By now, everyone in the automotive industry should be aware of the infamous Nissan radiator issues that cause antifreeze to contaminate the transmission oil (and vice versa). If you’re not, you should research the topic as the implications are many. This issue isn’t as easy to detect as it was several years ago. Today’s transmission fluid doesn’t always tend to froth up into the “pink milkshake” that was always a telltale sign of contamination. Small amounts of glycol can wreak havoc on the transmission, and many times a test kit is required to detect it. I know this is nothing new, but perhaps a refresher with a few new things that you may have not previously considered. The vehicles I will be referencing will be a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder 4×4 and a 2007 Nissan Pathfinder that had related issues all within the last six months.
This story is about the grown-up “shop” version of the game. The vehicle in question is a 2005 Ford F-150 4WD with only 49,568 miles. It all started like so many others: It came in with erratic shifts, abnormal noise and metal in the pan. The vehicle also had two transmission codes: P0712 and P0713. Initial diagnosis determined that the unit had internal hard-part damage. A remanufactured replacement transmission was in order.
Instead of choosing just one success story that applies to one vehicle, how about writing something that applies to all vehicles? The thought that I want to convey is to pay attention to the simple things and small details alike, both when diagnosing a problem and when removing and reinstalling a transmission.