On 3/3/07 8:32 AM, in article lGfGh.2690$Du6.2230@edtnps82, "Brian Smith"
Whether it makes sense is not the point. The point is that it doesn't
matter with the Nissans and it definitely does on the Hondas.
In fact, unlike Honda, changing brake fluid is not on the maintenance list
for any of the Nissans and changing transmission fluid is only by condition,
not time or mileage.
I should add that I am the manager for a truck fleet (all automatic
transmission equipped), the transmission fluid and filtres are replaced
every year as part of the fleet's preventative maintenance program.
Common sense, really. Since implementing this procedure, transmission
problems and failures have ceased to occur. The replacement of the
transmission fluid and the filtres cost in the range of $300.00 to $400.00,
much less expensive than repairing or replacing an Allison transmission in a
i'm interested to know - have you established from testing that the
lower failure rate is a function of this maint. schedule, or has allison
changed anything in their transmissions? and what was the failure mode?
metal fatigue for instance is not known to be influenced by oil filter
cleanliness. clutch life isn't rally affected by it either. operation
tends to get less smooth as particulates accumulate, but that's not
necessarily going to affect overall life of the transmission.
In the past the transmission fluid and filtres hadn't been changed
except when the transmissions displayed problems (not shifting correctly,
jumping in and out of gear). Once I implemented the yearly changes, there
have been no further issues with any of the transmissions. The down time
that was experienced in the past was a killer on the schedules. They are
specialized trucks and one can't rent replacements from Ryder, so they have
to be working properly every day, all day long.
ok, if filter clogging is an issue, then it's good to change them.
this should have been revealed in failure analysis though, not be the
result of what is, with respect, a pretty much random maintenance
schedule. in an ideal world, you'd have had the manufacturer work with
you to figure this stuff out, not just gouge you for new transmissions.
I know what you're saying, but we don't live in an ideal world <g>.
Doing what I did was the logical step towards solving the problem(s), with
Allison's labour rate of $105.00 an hour it doesn't take long to waste a
grand when looking for the answer.
but for stuff like that, i don't think you should be paying - you should
have one of the allison design team down there resolving your problem.
from a manufacturer perspective, they need as much field service
feedback as possible to make sure your stuff works properly. if nobody
bothers to let the design team know [not the service tech] that their
filters clog outside of the lab, they'll never deal with it. here in
san francisco, a number of the taxi companies run fleets sponsored by
auto makers so we have all the latest and greatest of their vehicles in
taxi livery charging up and down the badly pot-holed streets, hills,
etc. they do this so they can install "black box" data recorders in
them and find out how their vehicles perform in "real world" for a hilly
city. they do it in las vegas too for heat. if they have the data,
they can design accordingly. no data, inadequate design.
I do understand what you are saying, but a small fleet of trucks doesn't
seem to draw their attention. I would think that one truck having problems
with their product would garner attention, but not yet.
it's also possible, depending on their business model, that they don't
want to resolve the issue - either a local or corporate decision. when
i was a pup at university, one of my professors did some consulting work
with one of the big auto manufacturers to help them limit the life of
their transmissions via metal fatigue. [it's a very hard technical
problem because things tend to either break right away, or last
forever.] but the point is, life limitation is very much on the agenda
in certain situations. i'm not sure it would be for commercial
applications, at least from a corporate standpoint, but you may have
been up against local sales quotas, and failures are a sales opportunity.
On 3/3/07 1:50 PM, in article nkkGh.3242$cE3.3113@edtnps89, "Brian Smith"
Good for you. I think it is completely safe to say the vast majority of car
owners do whatever maintenance is specified by the owners manual or less,
not more. If it is all that important, the manufacturer would have
I'm talking about maintenance religiously conducted according to
manufacturer's recommendations, no more, no less. If you follow the books
to the letter, Honda requires more upkeep than Nissan does.
On 3/3/07 10:12 PM, in article firstname.lastname@example.org, "High Tech
I really haven't seen that result on the ones I've directly experienced.
Given my limited experiences (6 Hondas and 6 Nissans over about 18 years), I
have to say the vote goes in the other direction.
The only non-routine problems I've treated on Nissans have been the
occasional engine compartment electrical connector that needed
cleaning/reseating (plagues the '02 Pathfinder) and periodic throttle body
cleaning ('91 240sx and '96 I30).
With the Hondas, we've had ABS systems fail on two out of two mid 90's cars
('95 Integra & '96 Odyssey) and one transmission failure ('00 TL). These
cars were well maintained with brake fluid changes and transmission fluid
changes according to the published schedules. Clearly design flaws. Honda
made good on the transmission, but they never owned up to the ABS problems
on those cars.
One of the most troublesome cars I've ever had was an '85 300ZX. There were
problems related to poor maintenance, especially the use of straight water
in the cooling system (I violated my rules for used car standards because I
lusted after the car). But the real killer was in the electrical system. At
17 years and 150K miles it was developing new intermittents faster than I
could track them down. A few years before, an intermittent connector on the
ignition coil caused it to die half a dozen times a day for two months. The
first month it didn't even stay dead a minute at a time... very frustrating.
On 3/4/07 6:51 PM, in article email@example.com, "High Tech
My daughter's daily driver is a '91 240sx. Non-routine maintenance costs on
this 16 YO car so far have only been a starter, a window motor and one fuel
injector, basically next to nothing.
The electrical ghosts in the '02 Pathfinder are irritating. If not for the
fact that I do my own car maintenance this sort of thing could get very
expensive and frustrating very easily. I don't think I'm ready to move it
all the way to the category of crap, but I have to agree with you that it
does seem to be a step down in apparent quality from the older ones.
Compared to the transmission defect in my similar vintage '00 Acura TL
though, it still comes out ahead.
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