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Discussion Starter #1
I just replaced my radiator on my 2004 Nissan Titan, the lines that connect to the radiator drained out. I was wondering how many quarts of matic J should I put in there?

How can I tell from the dipstick? Any help would be appreciated, I’m not very versed in these areas.
 

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all I can tell you is when i pull the drain plug on the tranny pan, it takes one gallon to refill. I would probably trow in 1/3 of quart of tranny fluid. I use Valvoline Max Life Tranny fluid, works great in the Titan
 

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You have a dipstick on your trans. Here's the page from the service manual on reading that dipstick. This is for a 2011, but the procedure should be the same or very similar. Trans models were virtually identical.
 

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Some folks believe only OEM fluid is good. Some folks believe any fluid which meets the specifications laid out by Nissan will work. 4mula is in the first group. I'm about to change my trans fluid, and I'll likely use the Valvoline, as there are numerous reports on here that it works (with many miles on it), and Valvoline specifically states that product meets or exceeds Matic-S requirements. There is a Castrol fluid which also makes the same claims, and I will do some homework and get that if it looks better than the Valvoline. It's your choice how you service your transmission, obviously.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Some folks believe only OEM fluid is good. Some folks believe any fluid which meets the specifications laid out by Nissan will work. 4mula is in the first group. I'm about to change my trans fluid, and I'll likely use the Valvoline, as there are numerous reports on here that it works (with many miles on it), and Valvoline specifically states that product meets or exceeds Matic-S requirements. There is a Castrol fluid which also makes the same claims, and I will do some homework and get that if it looks better than the Valvoline. It's your choice how you service your transmission, obviously.

Thank you! My question is when I checked the dipstick while the engine was running, of course I wiped off the first pull but the second pull showed it was a little higher than the area specified, what should I do? Do I need to drain a little bit or what?
 

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If you're overfilled, it can cause issues. Drain a little. Easiest way to do that is a hand transfer pump with a long draw tube, down the dipstick.
 

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I have had my truck for over 12 years and have done maybe 3 or 4 drain and fills using only Valvoline Maxlife with no issues and it is still going strong. I pull my pontoon boat with it about 10 times a year and like to keep the fluid fresh and been doing it more lately.
 

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My local Nissan dealer used Valvoline by default when servicing a transmission. I specifically asked what they would use when I had them flush my transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you're overfilled, it can cause issues. Drain a little. Easiest way to do that is a hand transfer pump with a long draw tube, down the dipstick.

Thank you for the suggestion on the transfer pump, it worked wonders and was super easy to do! Now my level is perfect and the truck is back to normal!
 

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My local Nissan dealer used Valvoline by default when servicing a transmission. I specifically asked what they would use when I had them flush my transmission.

How much did they charge roughly for the tranny flush? I’m thinking about doing it as my Titan has quite a few miles.
 

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How much did they charge roughly for the tranny flush? I’m thinking about doing it as my Titan has quite a few miles.
It's been a few years so the price has likely increased and my memory has decreased. I think it was around $225 for the Valvoline fluid and $300+ for the Nissan fluid. Just make sure they aren't doing a simple spill-and-fill where they drop the transmission pan but don't flush the entire system. As I recall, I went through about 15 quarts of fluid when I did the DIY flush.
 
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We just did a full fluid exchange on my son's F150, and I'm about to do it on my T, as well. Pretty easy to do in the driveway. Here's what we did:

1. Get a 5gal bucket in a light color. Mark the bucket by quarts on the inside using a black sharpie marker. We didn't go through the trouble of pouring in one quart of fluid at a time and marking, but rather just divided the height of the bucket by the number of quarts and drew lines at even intervals. It's not exact, but close enough for this process. Count your total number of lines, so when dark fluid is in the bucket, you can subtract the visible lines to determine how many are "filled" in the bucket.
2. Once the bucket is marked, put the truck on jack stands and drain the trans pan into the bucket. Once it's drained, put the plug back in and note the number of quarts of fluid in the bucket. Refill (through the dipstick tube and a funnel) the same amount of fluid you just drained.
3. Now is the time to replace your trans fluid rubber lines if you plan to, except for the return line. I recommend doing so. Wait to change the return line until you're done with the flush. Try not to get too much trans fluid on the hose barb when you install, and swap up to worm-clamps or fuel injection clamps as the little OEM tension clamps suck.
4. Identify the return line from the trans cooler to the transmission. You can unhook that line at the point it joins the hard line next to the bottom of the motor, to return to the transmission. Use a small clamp to angle that line down into the 5gal bucket to catch what you drain out. Crank the truck, and run out a quart at a time. Pour in a quart through the dipstick for each quart you drain out. Keep a count while you go. It helps to have a second person in this phase, as one can crank/shut off the truck, while the other watches the bucket and pours fluid. You can pour while it's running/draining, but it won't go in as fast as it comes out, so stop every so often to "catch up" on the fluid you're draining. I find a quart or so is not harmful to the trans, so stopping after a quart drains works best for me.
5 Keep a count of how many quarts you put in. When you get to 11qts or so - because our trans systems hold roughly 11.5-12qts - be aware that you're closing in on the point where your fluid color should change, and be watching for that. Once you get to the color change (more or less from dark brownish-red or cloudy fluid to bright, clear red fluid) you are at full fluid change. It will likely involve pouring in 12-13qts, or maybe as many as 15. When you get to clear red fluid, shut off the truck.
6. Change out your return line rubber section now. Keep a pan under your work so you catch any drips. Again, try not to get too much trans fluid on the hose barb when you install, and swap up to worm-clamps or fuel injection clamps as the little OEM tension clamps suck.
7. Once you have the hoses back in place, get the truck on level ground and check the fluid level. Adjust it according to the dipstick (using the prescribed method for checking the level). It will be "warm" but not hot, most likely, since you've just been running the truck at idle and generating almost no heat in the fluid, so don't fill it to the top of the "hot" area. Once you get your fluid topped off, drive the truck to warm the trans, and carry a quart or two of fluid with you to top it off if it gives you any slipping or such. Once the trans is warmed, check it and confirm/adjust to the dipstick.

Overall, whole process took us about 2hrs with my son's truck, including the warm-up and fluid adjustment. His F150 had no drain plug, however, so it was much harder to get the pan emptied. Took about 30-40min to deal with getting his pan off without spilling trans fluid all over the place. With the T having a drain plug, I'd give this job 60-90min, depending on whether or not you have a helper and how quickly you work in unfamiliar new tasks. I generally am pretty slow and methodical. This is an easy job, though, once you get over the idea of pumping your transmission out into a bucket. That's why I say go slow and drain a quart, fill a quart, along the way. This method literally changes out 100% of your trans fluid (well, probably 99%, but close enough). By draining the pan first, you effectively keep the old and new fluid from mixing except in the passages/lines, which gives a pretty good demarcation between old and new fluid when it's going in the bucket.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We just did a full fluid exchange on my son's F150, and I'm about to do it on my T, as well. Pretty easy to do in the driveway. Here's what we did:

1. Get a 5gal bucket in a light color. Mark the bucket by quarts on the inside using a black sharpie marker. We didn't go through the trouble of pouring in one quart of fluid at a time and marking, but rather just divided the height of the bucket by the number of quarts and drew lines at even intervals. It's not exact, but close enough for this process. Count your total number of lines, so when dark fluid is in the bucket, you can subtract the visible lines to determine how many are "filled" in the bucket.
2. Once the bucket is marked, put the truck on jack stands and drain the trans pan into the bucket. Once it's drained, put the plug back in and note the number of quarts of fluid in the bucket. Refill (through the dipstick tube and a funnel) the same amount of fluid you just drained.
3. Now is the time to replace your trans fluid rubber lines if you plan to, except for the return line. I recommend doing so. Wait to change the return line until you're done with the flush. Try not to get too much trans fluid on the hose barb when you install, and swap up to worm-clamps or fuel injection clamps as the little OEM tension clamps suck.
4. Identify the return line from the trans cooler to the transmission. You can unhook that line at the point it joins the hard line next to the bottom of the motor, to return to the transmission. Use a small clamp to angle that line down into the 5gal bucket to catch what you drain out. Crank the truck, and run out a quart at a time. Pour in a quart through the dipstick for each quart you drain out. Keep a count while you go. It helps to have a second person in this phase, as one can crank/shut off the truck, while the other watches the bucket and pours fluid. You can pour while it's running/draining, but it won't go in as fast as it comes out, so stop every so often to "catch up" on the fluid you're draining. I find a quart or so is not harmful to the trans, so stopping after a quart drains works best for me.
5 Keep a count of how many quarts you put in. When you get to 11qts or so - because our trans systems hold roughly 11.5-12qts - be aware that you're closing in on the point where your fluid color should change, and be watching for that. Once you get to the color change (more or less from dark brownish-red or cloudy fluid to bright, clear red fluid) you are at full fluid change. It will likely involve pouring in 12-13qts, or maybe as many as 15. When you get to clear red fluid, shut off the truck.
6. Change out your return line rubber section now. Keep a pan under your work so you catch any drips. Again, try not to get too much trans fluid on the hose barb when you install, and swap up to worm-clamps or fuel injection clamps as the little OEM tension clamps suck.
7. Once you have the hoses back in place, get the truck on level ground and check the fluid level. Adjust it according to the dipstick (using the prescribed method for checking the level). It will be "warm" but not hot, most likely, since you've just been running the truck at idle and generating almost no heat in the fluid, so don't fill it to the top of the "hot" area. Once you get your fluid topped off, drive the truck to warm the trans, and carry a quart or two of fluid with you to top it off if it gives you any slipping or such. Once the trans is warmed, check it and confirm/adjust to the dipstick.

Overall, whole process took us about 2hrs with my son's truck, including the warm-up and fluid adjustment. His F150 had no drain plug, however, so it was much harder to get the pan emptied. Took about 30-40min to deal with getting his pan off without spilling trans fluid all over the place. With the T having a drain plug, I'd give this job 60-90min, depending on whether or not you have a helper and how quickly you work in unfamiliar new tasks. I generally am pretty slow and methodical. This is an easy job, though, once you get over the idea of pumping your transmission out into a bucket. That's why I say go slow and drain a quart, fill a quart, along the way. This method literally changes out 100% of your trans fluid (well, probably 99%, but close enough). By draining the pan first, you effectively keep the old and new fluid from mixing except in the passages/lines, which gives a pretty good demarcation between old and new fluid when it's going in the bucket.

Thank you again for such detailed information. After reading this I feel like I can follow this and do it myself! I think I may do it soon to my Titan.
 

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When I did it my first time, it looked like someone had bled to death on my garage floor.
 

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When I did it my first time, it looked like someone had bled to death on my garage floor.
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😲😲🤣🤣🤣🤣

Kind of looked like that at my kitchen sink last night. I was pitting cherries to make a batch of brandied cherries for bar use here around the house. One could easily say I was "caught red-handed!"
 

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Here's a tip - buy some painting drop cloths (the canvas, waterproof kind) and lay one out beneath your truck and do the change on top of it. It will make your creeper not move as well, but otherwise it's simple, and gives you time to mop up spills pretty easily. And if you're doing this solo, you can use your transfer pump to pump the 5gal bucket back into the empty trans fluid containers to take to the store for recycling, and no mess. If you have a partner, use a big funnel and just pour and watch. Just keep a roll of shop towels handy and when you're done, wipe out the bucket, and expect it to stink for a day or two. Just leave it outside for a sunny day (no rain - that'll be a disaster with the remaining trans fluid floating in the top of the bucket...) and the smell will dissipate.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Here's a tip - buy some painting drop cloths (the canvas, waterproof kind) and lay one out beneath your truck and do the change on top of it. It will make your creeper not move as well, but otherwise it's simple, and gives you time to mop up spills pretty easily. And if you're doing this solo, you can use your transfer pump to pump the 5gal bucket back into the empty trans fluid containers to take to the store for recycling, and no mess. If you have a partner, use a big funnel and just pour and watch. Just keep a roll of shop towels handy and when you're done, wipe out the bucket, and expect it to stink for a day or two. Just leave it outside for a sunny day (no rain - that'll be a disaster with the remaining trans fluid floating in the top of the bucket...) and the smell will dissipate.
Ironically I own my own painting business, so the drop cloths I do have! I do have my wife here to help so that would be great.

I think I may have an air bubble or something, my temp gauge will go to 3/4 H then drop to the middle sometimes, is there a way to bleed the radiator? I didn’t notice a bleed valve or anything?
 
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