Akshat wrote:Hello! This is my first post here, I was not really surprised to find a club dedicated to the kizashi as I feel that it is an above average vehicle, which for idiopathic reasons, just didn't sell in the numbers it should have had.
That aside, I have a black CVT one(FWD), which has done close to a 100k miles. I have never changed the transmission fluid. I am a bit apprehensive about changing it now, as it runs the way it was bought, if not better. Is it mandatory to change it for it to last, or should I wait for some symptoms to indicate changing it?
I think the other replies have made the general consensus rather clear.
The whole "lifelong" fluid claim that many automakers have pushed recently have been exposed to really mean "as long as we care for". A number of insiders like dealer mechanics have exposed that companies that state "lifelong" consider that to actually be 100,000 miles. Beyond that, automakers don't really care as their warranties would not cover the vehicle and profitability declines for that specific vehicle overall. However, it should be obvious that this is a problem given there are millions of people around the world that expect and depend on their cars to run long past reaching the six digit figure on the odometer. This is why many who want to keep their cars a long time are now reverting back to the scheduled maintenance they used to follow before these "lifelong" claims.
Here's another way to think of it: The Kizashi's CVT's fluid was considered "lifelong" fluid with no service interval. However, the manual transmission had a service interval at something like every 60K miles for the OE semi-synthetic gear oil and every 30K or so for any other. I'm using premium quality Red Line full synthetic gear oil in my manual transmission gearbox yet changing the fluid at least every 40K miles. Compared to a manual, an automatic is far more sophisticated and sensitive to everything from fluid condition, fluid amount, heat, and load. It makes no sense to me how then a CVT can have no service interval for fluid replacement yet a vastly more simple and durable manual trans has a shorter interval. While they obviously don't work the same way for an equal comparison, consider the fact that manual gearboxes seldom ever break for any car meanwhile CVTs are a leading cause of problems for cars with them.
I think if you replace the CVT fluid with the proper stuff and refill it to the correct level, you will extend the service life of your CVT.