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Greg, import technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 7111
Experience:  import Technician . Shop Owner ,. 27 years experience,
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Nissan/Datsun Xterra SE: 2003 Nissan Xterra Auto trans 4WD,

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2003 Nissan Xterra Auto trans 4WD, 6 cyl, 250k miles. Trans gave no indication of trouble. No grinding no noise. All of a sudden when shift into Reverse, trans does not engage. Drives just fine but no reverse.
Name isXXXXX goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back,

First thing to do with all transmission problems is to check the trans fluid level and condition .
Ther condition should be a light red to light brown in colour .

Then a scan tool should be hooked up and checked for any transmission malfunction codes .

If the fluid is a dark brown to black then you have a bad internal reverse clutch .

Pressure test should be done to see if the oil seal has not failed ,which is a common issue .

Take a drive down to AAMCO and have a free diagnostic scan check for malfunctions and then see from there .

Need further assistance then please get back to me with the reply box and not the poor or bad service button .

Rgds Greg
Greg and 4 other Nissan Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thanks for your reply. Fluid is light red. Would a bad internal reverse clutch cause ant noise when shifting into reverse? I've seen other posts mention a bad sensor as well. Is your answer from a manual or have you had experience repairing this issue?
Hi peter .

I have had this problem a few times in my shop and my transmission tech has reported a few times with seals issue , and not that i can remember having any noise when shifting .

This is the first part of the transmission to go due to the cooling system set up the seals get hard and don't hold the pressure needed for the reverse .

Most times after opening the transmission we have found it better to replace rather than to rebuild.

We see this a lot on this truck when they get to around 140K so yours is doing very well with 250k

Rgds Greg
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks again. One final question, is this considered a major trans failure or repair? Just trying to get an idea of what kind of estimate I'm going to get from the shop.
Hi Peter .

Is normally a major issue but please have it checked first for malfunction codes and have a pressure test done at AAMCO or your local transmission repair shop .

Kindest regards Greg