Car Question ...

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
I thought about putting this in section for men but, recognizing that there are likely women who are interested in cars and, more importantly, knowledgeable about such, it's in this section. I have a 05 Nissan Xterra which will no longer go in gear. Starts fine, but when I put it in reverse or drive, it just runs like it's in neutral. It will, eventually, lurch into gear, then drive fine. So, I guessing transmission issue....anyone have similar experience? This is a vehicle that was given to my (now) daughter in law who gave it to me. I don't know it's history. I've driven it about a year with no issues. This came up last week and it's happened several times since then. I'm fearing the repair cost will likely be excessive to value and resale shows value less than $1,000.00. Even to have someone look at it will cost a hundred and since I use it only for trips to Home Depot, I'm thinking of selling it to a junk dealer. Before that, though, I thought I ask. So, any thoughts?
 

pixelpusher

Well-Known Member
I thought about putting this in section for men but, recognizing that there are likely women who are interested in cars and, more importantly, knowledgeable about such, it's in this section. I have a 05 Nissan Xterra which will no longer go in gear. Starts fine, but when I put it in reverse or drive, it just runs like it's in neutral. It will, eventually, lurch into gear, then drive fine. So, I guessing transmission issue....anyone have similar experience? This is a vehicle that was given to my (now) daughter in law who gave it to me. I don't know it's history. I've driven it about a year with no issues. This came up last week and it's happened several times since then. I'm fearing the repair cost will likely be excessive to value and resale shows value less than $1,000.00. Even to have someone look at it will cost a hundred and since I use it only for trips to Home Depot, I'm thinking of selling it to a junk dealer. Before that, though, I thought I ask. So, any thoughts?
RonJohn,

I forget the year of mine, but I had an Xterra of that same body style. They ran the transmission fluid line through the radiator if I recall correctly. Eventually that line rusts and leaks transmission fluid into the coolant and vice versa. It was called the "strawberry milkshake of death" on the nissan forums, because if you looked in your radiator it looked like strawberry milkshake.

My transmission started going out about 2 weeks after I had paid the used vehicle off. Came out to go to the grocery store, put it in reverse, and it just spins until it catches. I located another car I wanted and drove to the next town over and just traded it while it would still run.

eta what was most frustrating besides being denied a few years of no payments was the rest of the car was in great shape, engine strong, but it was not worth the cost of replacing the trans.
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
Check the pavement under where your car is parked. Is there evidence of any fluid leak, drip, etc.? If you can't tell because asphalt or dirt, put cardboard or paper bags under the vehicle and check those. Make sure not close enough to anything hot that could cause a fire. Some leaks only show up when you first park the car and turn it off. Others will show up while the vehicle is parked. Some only show up when you first start the car or when you put it into gear. Some need the car to get really warm to show up.

Check your transmission fluid and coolant/antifreeze. What color are the fluids? As other have posted above, or?

Low transmission fluid or worn out transmission fluids can cause the issue.

There are different kinds of transmission fluids. Some are less caustic than others. Do not mix-and-match. Ditto different types antifreeze/coolant.

When was the last time the transmission fluid and screens were changed? Warranty?

When was the last time seals were checked?

Check the last service paperwork and last inspection paperwork. There might be a note(s) or checked box(es) that provide clues/info. Warranty?

Check the shifter button. Is it stuck in or partially in the engaged position or does it fully engage?

Check the shift release button. Is it stuck in or partially in the engaged position?

Might need to tighten up something in the shifter. May need to check and tighten the linkage.

Might be an issue with the drive shaft or drive axle (front axle if front-wheel drive). Is there anything physically stuck under the car or wrapped around anything (branch, stick, wet mud/dirt that dried, loose asphalt that dried, plastic bag(s), trash, leaves, etc.)? Might be hard to see without a bright light and getting under the car and checking carefully. Is the drive shaft loose?

If you have a check engine light on, take the vehicle to Auto Zone and have them pull the code(s) and tell you what it/they is/are, and what it/they mean(s) (free service). Either get a print-out or write down each code. Research what each code means and what to do about it/them. If you get someone knowledgeable at Auto Zone, sometimes they'll give decent advice. They may also just be out to sell you something, or might not know anything.

Get the Chilton's manual (and/or Haynes manual) for your vehicle from your public library and do some reading.

Get on a reputable Nissan forum and do some reading. May need to post your question.

Check recalls. You might get lucky.

If you have a mechanic or service manager that you trust, ask him or her. Don't take the vehicle in when you ask. Find out how much it'll cost to determine the issue, first. It might not be worth it. FWIW, some AAMCOs used to do a free or inexpensive check of the transmission. Bad locations always said something expensive was wrong. Honest places would tell you if all that was needed was a fluid change or top-off. I always got a print-out of what was wrong and cost to repair. Sometimes worth it, sometimes not.

Wish I could reach through the screen and touchy-feely your car and help.

Hope it's something simple and free/inexpensive.


:pray :pray :amen :amen
 
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Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
ROOT while editing the above [sigh]

Keep track of where the cardboard or paper bags were under the car so you can correlate any drips, spots, etc. with where they're coming from. Check everything under the car that could even think about leaking. If you find any leakage, wet spots, drips, seepage, dampness, etc., even on something that doesn't have anything to leak, trace it back, up, etc. to where it's coming from and identify the component/part. Chilton's/Haynes helpful with this.

Different kinds of fluids are different colors. You might find evidence of more than one problem.

Look at the transmission top, bottom, sides, back, and front and anything connected to it and all connections.

Look at the radiator, top, bottom, sides, back, front because of what was posted up-thread about this particular car.

Good visual inspection of everything while you're under the hood, under the car, and inside.

As long as you're looking at everything, is the key sloppy in the ignition? Is it an electronic or regular key? Are the ignition and key clean? Does the problem happen no matter which key is used? Not sure if the ignition could be an issue, but ignition problems sometimes manifest in weird ways. Depending, it could be easy/cheap, moderate, or expensive.

Did something happen to the car right before the problem started (accident, theft, attempt, etc.)? Did someone service or repair it right before the problem started? Warranty? Bad stuff going on at the facility?
 
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Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
I thought about putting this in section for men but, recognizing that there are likely women who are interested in cars and, more importantly, knowledgeable about such, it's in this section. I have a 05 Nissan Xterra which will no longer go in gear. Starts fine, but when I put it in reverse or drive, it just runs like it's in neutral. It will, eventually, lurch into gear, then drive fine. So, I guessing transmission issue....anyone have similar experience? This is a vehicle that was given to my (now) daughter in law who gave it to me. I don't know it's history. I've driven it about a year with no issues. This came up last week and it's happened several times since then. I'm fearing the repair cost will likely be excessive to value and resale shows value less than $1,000.00. Even to have someone look at it will cost a hundred and since I use it only for trips to Home Depot, I'm thinking of selling it to a junk dealer. Before that, though, I thought I ask. So, any thoughts?

Maybe someone at your church could help, or knows someone that can.

If you decide to dispose of the car, check all options before you decide because used cars are in huge demand right now and new and refurbished used cars are very expensive. Trade-in, outright sale to dealership or used car lot, sale to private party, donate to a trade or high school automotive program, donate to vehicle repair teaching ministry, donate to charity, sell to junk yard, etc. Take into account any tow costs. Also, TAKE YOUR PLATES. Bad stuff happens when people let them stay with the car when ownership changes. Also take your insurance card, registration, and original sales paper. Make sure payment from a private party is good before signing the title. DATE THE TITLE when you sign it. If you can, photograph the front and back of the title when you decide to get rid of the car, and the back again after signing. The buyer may want a notarized bill of sale. Notaries typically available at banks and UPS. Some banks do this for free for their customers.
 

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
This is ironic and sad at the same time. If my Xterra is not salvageable, I was going to take it to a nearby parts/junk place where they would give me maybe a couple hundred for the parts. Today, that place caught fire ... as I write, the smoke from the blaze has closed off the nearby interstate and they're still fighting it.
 

Spartan Sprinter 1

Formerly known as Shaun
This is ironic and sad at the same time. If my Xterra is not salvageable, I was going to take it to a nearby parts/junk place where they would give me maybe a couple hundred for the parts. Today, that place caught fire ... as I write, the smoke from the blaze has closed off the nearby interstate and they're still fighting it.
Might be a sign from God that he will answer your prayer to repair your car rather than selling off the for parts
 

seated with Christ

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Check the pavement under where your car is parked. Is there evidence of any fluid leak, drip, etc.? If you can't tell because asphalt or dirt, put cardboard or paper bags under the vehicle and check those. Make sure not close enough to anything hot that could cause a fire. Some leaks only show up when you first park the car and turn it off. Others will show up while the vehicle is parked. Some only show up when you first start the car or when you put it into gear. Some need the car to get really warm to show up.

Check your transmission fluid and coolant/antifreeze. What color are the fluids? As other have posted above, or?

Low transmission fluid or worn out transmission fluids can cause the issue.

There are different kinds of transmission fluids. Some are less caustic than others. Do not mix-and-match. Ditto different types antifreeze/coolant.

When was the last time the transmission fluid and screens were changed? Warranty?

When was the last time seals were checked?

Check the last service paperwork and last inspection paperwork. There might be a note(s) or checked box(es) that provide clues/info. Warranty?

Check the shifter button. Is it stuck in or partially in the engaged position or does it fully engage?

Check the shift release button. Is it stuck in or partially in the engaged position?

Might need to tighten up something in the shifter. May need to check and tighten the linkage.

Might be an issue with the drive shaft or drive axle (front axle if front-wheel drive). Is there anything physically stuck under the car or wrapped around anything (branch, stick, wet mud/dirt that dried, loose asphalt that dried, plastic bag(s), trash, leaves, etc.)? Might be hard to see without a bright light and getting under the car and checking carefully. Is the drive shaft loose?

If you have a check engine light on, take the vehicle to Auto Zone and have them pull the code(s) and tell you what it/they is/are, and what it/they mean(s) (free service). Either get a print-out or write down each code. Research what each code means and what to do about it/them. If you get someone knowledgeable at Auto Zone, sometimes they'll give decent advice. They may also just be out to sell you something, or might not know anything.

Get the Chilton's manual (and/or Haynes manual) for your vehicle from your public library and do some reading.

Get on a reputable Nissan forum and do some reading. May need to post your question.

Check recalls. You might get lucky.

If you have a mechanic or service manager that you trust, ask him or her. Don't take the vehicle in when you ask. Find out how much it'll cost to determine the issue, first. It might not be worth it. FWIW, some AAMCOs used to do a free or inexpensive check of the transmission. Bad locations always said something expensive was wrong. Honest places would tell you if all that was needed was a fluid change or top-off. I always got a print-out of what was wrong and cost to repair. Sometimes worth it, sometimes not.

Wish I could reach through the screen and touchy-feely your car and help.

Hope it's something simple and free/inexpensive.


:pray :pray :amen :amen
Therese, I think a man hacked your RF account, your advise wowed me. :)

Is it an automatic or shift?

I don't know automotive mechanics, but my first thought was that the gears were stripped.
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
Therese, I think a man hacked your RF account, your advise wowed me. :)

Is it an automatic or shift?

I don't know automotive mechanics, but my first thought was that the gears were stripped.

I'd check the cheap and easy possibilities before digging into the tranny, especially if automatic. If manual, while checking the shift linkage, easy enough to check the fork, gears, etc. because right there, but less likely because the car does go into gear :smile If only Reverse, it's not likely the clutch (expensive these days), but that's something else to check after exhausting cheap and easy. Flywheel is expensive, too. Without being there to touchy-feely, test drive, hear, see, smell, etc. don't know which expensive thing I'd look at first if cheap and easy wasn't it.


The Manager at one of the gas stations I worked at when I was a teenager taught us all well, and not just the mechanic stuff. They had a great reputation for not ripping people off and getting the vehicle back to the owner ASAP. Of course, being open all night helped, and if there was a car you had the knowledge to fix there, or one came in, you were expected to fix it, no matter which shift you were working. Each thing we learned and could do without supervision, we got $0.25 per hour raise, and the raise was reflected in the check for the whole week. I remember getting 5 raises in one week :lol When starting wage was $2 an hour (well above minimum wage), hard work, curiosity, and paying attention paid well and served the employer well :smile We were also allowed to work on our own vehicles if there was an empty lift and no cars waiting that we could take care of, no cars in the gas lane, and no cleaning, stocking, parts runs, etc. to be done. And we could go in not on the clock and use the facilities and tools if there was an empty lift. Learning was learning. Got a raise for learning how to do motor mounts on my parents' car when I was off the clock :smile I had to hang on the end of the cheater bar and beat on it to break the bolts, and I was black with grease and dirt from head-to-toe when I was done getting them changed :lol Went to a junk yard with one of the "real" mechanics and learned a bunch of stuff taking parts off of cars with him. Junk yard owner wasn't happy because his Dobbies liked me and let me pet them :lol Got yelled at by the gas station Manager for going into the neighborhood (it was bad) to collect a bad check, but the rule was if you took a bad check, you collected it or it came out of your paycheck. It never occurred to me that I should take someone with me since no one else did, and it was close enough to walk :lol The guy was very apologetic and gave me cash on the spot. One of the best places I ever worked :smile Too bad they gentrified the main drag in the area and ripped the gas station out :frown
 
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RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
Resolution!!! Took it to a local transmission place that I've used before. Today the owner called and said that the transmission showed good in all components and that the problem seemed to be more with the shifter. He said that the gear was engaging almost all the way, but not quite, but with some jiggling, it fell into place ... every time. His recommendation was to continue as is, using the jiggling as needed, and it'll last a long time. So, it costs me 125.00 but that's a small price to have a working car. Thank you God.
 
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