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While poking around looking in all nooks and crannies for a block heater cord, I ran across what I believe to be the Trans Fluid Level Dipstick. In the Xterra this was a conventional looking checkpoint, but painted black instead of yellow and bolted with a 10mm bolt. The XD manual as with the Xterra, does not provide this as a DIY service item for some reason and has made it less than easy to access.

As a former early Powerstroke owner I have become conditioned to keeping an eye on trans fluid condition via the dipstick. It's hard for me to believe that any mfr believes that only a dealer should be checking trans fluid levels or allowing and idiot light to illuminate before any action is needed, especially for a vehicle that is designed to tow.

The catch has managed to confound me. Its design shouldn't be that challenging, but my guess is that Nissan doesn't want anybody putting something down that tube other than Genuine NISSAN Matic K ATF with the secret on how to easily release that catch being retained by certified XD professionals. (interestingly, the 7 speed for the gasser still showing type S.)

There seems to be a few people in the know participating regularly on this forum and confirmation of this "find" along with some guidance on how to release that catch without buggering it up would be very much appreciated!
 
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picture didn't want to drag and drop with the post so here we try again....
 

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PS-- Once you get in there, it's clear nothing's going down the tube very easily. "Transmission fill port' would have been a better choice of words.
 

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Follow the maintenance schedule & get it serviced when it's time other than that leave it alone. The ATF that's in it is Synthetic & doesn't need to be bothered.
 

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Follow the maintenance schedule & get it serviced when it's time other than that leave it alone. The ATF that's in it is Synthetic & doesn't need to be bothered.
Well, thanks for your input, but that's not the answer to my question! Sounds like a Nancy Pelosi answer to me! It either is or is not the dipstick for checking the the transmission fluid.

My experience over the las 45 years tells me your advice is not the best advice for a good number of us, but thanks anyway!!!

If you are in fact someone with the knowledge to know what that is, that is exactly why I avoid dealerships! You can't get a direct answer from them!!
 

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Well, thanks for your input, but that's not the answer to my question! Sounds like a Nancy Pelosi answer to me! It either is or is not the dipstick for checking the the transmission fluid.

My experience over the las 45 years tells me your advice is not the best advice for a good number of us, but thanks anyway!!!

If you are in fact someone with the knowledge to know what that is, that is exactly why I avoid dealerships! You can't get a direct answer from them!!
Have you owned Nissans ? I have for many years and they are all the same. The maintenance schedule is there for a reason.
 

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I promise to confine my future posts on this or any other thread to the original topic. Any real help on this one will be greatly appreciated. But as I've found out over the years, often self help is going to be the best course of action. I will no doubt find a competent source and post that answer including how to remove the blasted dipstick--if in fact is is one!
 

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Your photo looks suspiciously like the CVT dipstick on my wife's Murano. If it has a metal tab with a square cutout on the right side (as we are looking at your photo), then insert a blunt screwdriver or allen key into the cutout and GENTLY press, the locking tab will release and you can pull the dipstick out.


IF it works like that, then clean off the fluid, rotate the dipstick 180 degrees, and reinsert all the way in, that's how you check the fluid with that style of dipstick. Insert the dipstick with the locking tab lined up with the cutout to reinstall and lock. It should snap into the tab cutout.




If there isn't a cutout on the metal tube tab, then I don't know. I need to go check mine out in the daylight next weekend.


MB
 

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Your photo looks suspiciously like the CVT dipstick on my wife's Murano. If it has a metal tab with a square cutout on the right side (as we are looking at your photo), then insert a blunt screwdriver or allen key into the cutout and GENTLY press, the locking tab will release and you can pull the dipstick out.


IF it works like that, then clean off the fluid, rotate the dipstick 180 degrees, and reinsert all the way in, that's how you check the fluid with that style of dipstick. Insert the dipstick with the locking tab lined up with the cutout to reinstall and lock. It should snap into the tab cutout.




If there isn't a cutout on the metal tube tab, then I don't know. I need to go check mine out in the daylight next weekend.


MB
It is exactly as you describe with the square cutout and locking tab. The blunt allen key would likely be a perfect tool to push in the tab. It is a little awkward getting in there and I have to use a step ladder to reach it, but am sure your recommendation is going to work very nicely. Many thanks! Will post back after trying it.
 

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I was wondering about that item myself.... Now that I know what it is, I'll check mine weekly like I do the rest of my fluids. Not that I don't trust the manufacturer/dealer, but I've witnessed vehicles that weren't properly prepped before delivery...
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Firstly, a hat tip to mbalka.

Mine takes the touch of a safe cracker to release. A smaller allen wrench worked best for me that can be inserted near the bottom of the metal cutout. While pulling slightly on the dipstick to apply tension on the catch in the direction it will come out, push at the bottom. I felt an ever so slight movement at which point the allen wrench must be removed while continuing to pull on the dipstick. It's important to push gently with the allen wrench near the bottom of the metal cutout.

Another method was to push with the allen wrench while inserting a Harbor Freight straight pick from the top to hold the catch against the dipstick. Then you can remove the allen wrench and easily pull the dipstick out. Here pushing at the bottom isn't as critical, but you want the pick or screwdriver to get past the catch to keep it from locking up again. Something like a small flat bladed screwdriver with a longer handle that keeps your hands outside the area of the air intake tube works well. This latter method requires less of a safecracker's touch.

The fluid was cherry red as it should be, but there was a very small amount of black graphite-like residue that wiped off on the white lintless rag. I will keep an eye on this and likely end up changing the fluid before the prescribed interval. There is a 'hot' marking on the dipstick with hashmarks showing where the level should be. I will have to do it again hot to see where the level settles.

It might be approriate at some point to consider a high quality in-line filter that doesn't restrict flow. Am fairly certain it won't be too long until they will be available.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
thought this might help.
 

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So, with this being quite difficult to check (when comparing to older auto-trannys), is this a sign that Nissan doesn't want you removing this dip stick? It has been discussed here before that the Aisin trans is basically the same as in the Ram 3500, I wonder if the dipstick is so hard to check with them too? Anyone here have any experience with the Aisin in the Ram?
 

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So, with this being quite difficult to check (when comparing to older auto-trannys), is this a sign that Nissan doesn't want you removing this dip stick? It has been discussed here before that the Aisin trans is basically the same as in the Ram 3500, I wonder if the dipstick is so hard to check with them too? Anyone here have any experience with the Aisin in the Ram?
A lot of transmissions use this style of dipstick, including my old Tundra.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Agreed but its a first year production manual. I bet that newer manuals will have it as its an obvious omission that got left out.
I think it's just the direction mfrs are moving. They don't want us fiddling with them. My 2011 Xterra, which was 2nd Generation was similar. The Xterra had been in production for many years. My manual said take it to the dealer for transmission fluid checks. The dipstick was bolted with a 10mm bolt which really didn't make it all that difficult if you were used to looking for the stick. I didn't mind the bolt at all. The dipstick was painted black to blend in with the rest of the engine compartment as opposed to yellow as an owner DIY service check point like the regular engine oil dipstick.

I just think with their spec fluids (K Matic for our diesels; S for the gasser) Nissan just prefers not having somebody who presumes to know what they are doing messing around with it. Well, it's a "check" item for me, just because of what the truck is designed to do and what I do with it.

I was on a 12,000 mile road trip with to Alaska last year and we couldn't always have some dealer at the ready to pat us on the fanny while they they take you for $300 to check the state of your transmission fluid level. We carried everything we needed and had to know what to do because there wasn't any help hundreds of miles from a any kind of dealer. Even had to be prepared to remove/install tires on aluminum rims with hand tools.
 

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I also have the feeling they don't want us working on our own vehicles or to have it serviced anywhere but the dealership. There has been some action happening before with car makers doing something similar. There was that whole thing about how they don't want you modifying your car because it will void the warranty. Then the whole thing about although you bought and paid for the vehicle its still theirs. Weird.
 

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thanks for the info ,i just checked mine . those locking clips might fail which would be ok as they really shouldn't be there anyway.
 

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So, with this being quite difficult to check (when comparing to older auto-trannys), is this a sign that Nissan doesn't want you removing this dip stick? It has been discussed here before that the Aisin trans is basically the same as in the Ram 3500, I wonder if the dipstick is so hard to check with them too? Anyone here have any experience with the Aisin in the Ram?
Rams is still a normal Yellow T handle.. Well it is on my 13 with the aisin anyways.. maybe the new new ones have something similar but i really dont think so.... This is more of a Nissan thing not a Aisin item.
 
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