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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used the search engine but didn’t find the answers I wanted.

I bought my daughter a 2009 Cube about 3 years ago. It has 100K miles and the CVT was replaced around 60K under warranty. I had Nissan replace the CVT oil at 80K miles. This car has to last her through high school and hopefully college. I’ve already had an engine rebuild at 80K and the head gasket replaced at 95K. Love the looks and functionality of the car but it’s been the most unreliable car mechanical amongst any Japanese vehicle we’ve owned.

I fear the CVT may fail like the original so I’m planning on having the CVT fluid changed every 30-40K miles. I’ve read that some folks have installed external CVT oil coolers. I’m wondering if the fluid intervals I mentioned is enough or should I have an external CVT oil cooler installed? Would love to hear comments with folks that actually has external CVT oil coolers installed. Thanks
 

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It's been 3 days and you haven't had any replies from "folks that actually has external CVT oil coolers installed " so as an owner of a Cube with a manual 6 speed I feel the need to comment. I'm 69 years old, have rebuilt 3 Chevy small block V8s, 1 Chevy 6 inline 6 cylinder and an automatic transmission out of a Mazda 323. You could say, I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two. Anyway before buying my 2012 Cube I did a lot of research on CVTs. You are on the right track with what leads to failure of CVTs. It's infrequent fluid changes and excessive heat. The excessive heat is caused by the friction between the all metal drive belt and the variable diameter pulleys it rides on. The heat breaks down the fluid over time and causes the pulleys to not be in sync. When one pulley decreases in diameter the other must increase in diameter an equal amount or the metal drive belt will slip. Since the pulley diameter is controlled by hydraulic pressure the fluid is critical to keep the pulleys in sync. The OEM coolers are simply inefficient especially under load like climbing hills. An after market cooler would definitely make a difference and changing the fluid (with the correct fluid) regularly will too. As you know, Cube CVTs are not repairable (no parts) and a new one costs over $4K. Here's a video showing a teardown of a Nissan CVT. It's the best one I've watched and it's explained in laymen terms. Anyone owning a Cube with a CVT should watch this so they know what they're dealing with. It's well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's been 3 days and you haven't had any replies from "folks that actually has external CVT oil coolers installed " so as an owner of a Cube with a manual 6 speed I feel the need to comment. I'm 69 years old, have rebuilt 3 Chevy small block V8s, 1 Chevy 6 inline 6 cylinder and an automatic transmission out of a Mazda 323. You could say, I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two. Anyway before buying my 2012 Cube I did a lot of research on CVTs. You are on the right track with what leads to failure of CVTs. It's infrequent fluid changes and excessive heat. The excessive heat is caused by the friction between the all metal drive belt and the variable diameter pulleys it rides on. The heat breaks down the fluid over time and causes the pulleys to not be in sync. When one pulley decreases in diameter the other must increase in diameter an equal amount or the metal drive belt will slip. Since the pulley diameter is controlled by hydraulic pressure the fluid is critical to keep the pulleys in sync. The OEM coolers are simply inefficient especially under load like climbing hills. An after market cooler would definitely make a difference and changing the fluid (with the correct fluid) regularly will too. As you know, Cube CVTs are not repairable (no parts) and a new one costs over $4K. Here's a video showing a teardown of a Nissan CVT. It's the best one I've watched and it's explained in laymen terms. Anyone owning a Cube with a CVT should watch this so they know what they're dealing with. It's well worth it.
It's been 3 days and you haven't had any replies from "folks that actually has external CVT oil coolers installed " so as an owner of a Cube with a manual 6 speed I feel the need to comment. I'm 69 years old, have rebuilt 3 Chevy small block V8s, 1 Chevy 6 inline 6 cylinder and an automatic transmission out of a Mazda 323. You could say, I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two. Anyway before buying my 2012 Cube I did a lot of research on CVTs. You are on the right track with what leads to failure of CVTs. It's infrequent fluid changes and excessive heat. The excessive heat is caused by the friction between the all metal drive belt and the variable diameter pulleys it rides on. The heat breaks down the fluid over time and causes the pulleys to not be in sync. When one pulley decreases in diameter the other must increase in diameter an equal amount or the metal drive belt will slip. Since the pulley diameter is controlled by hydraulic pressure the fluid is critical to keep the pulleys in sync. The OEM coolers are simply inefficient especially under load like climbing hills. An after market cooler would definitely make a difference and changing the fluid (with the correct fluid) regularly will too. As you know, Cube CVTs are not repairable (no parts) and a new one costs over $4K. Here's a video showing a teardown of a Nissan CVT. It's the best one I've watched and it's explained in laymen terms. Anyone owning a Cube with a CVT should watch this so they know what they're dealing with. It's well worth it.
I appreciate your thoughtful reply. Any recommendations on an external CVT oil cooler? I have a local Nissan specialty shop near me but they've never installed one so the owner said if I brought in the part he'd install it.
 

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I appreciate your thoughtful reply. Any recommendations on an external CVT oil cooler? I have a local Nissan specialty shop ne
I don't have a recommendation but here's some more information. I found a video of someone adding an after market cooler to a Nissan Rogue which would be very similar to the Cube. The advantage you have is your OEM cooler already has 4 lines. The Rogue owner had to buy one to replace the OEM one on his CVT because it has only 2 lines. The first photo shows a drawing of the Cube OEM cooler with the 4 lines and a whopping dealer price of $358.96. The actual after market cooler would be an add on that would be mounted to the front of the radiator and AC condenser. Unless your super good with mechanical DYI projects, I'd get the Nissan specialty shop to do the install. If you watch the video, it's obvious that the cool air flowing through the after market cooler would definitely make a huge difference. I believe the Cube also has the filter under the stock cooler so while they're in there I'd have them change that too.


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