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Is it possible to get 200k miles with the original CVT in a Patriot, or are we near replacement time at 125k miles?
Also, if we do the fluid/filter route, what's the thoughts about not filling to full capacity? Although I'm concerned I might be too late at 125K mi.
My 2014 FDII patriot is sitting with 198K on the clock right now. I had the CVT go into protection mode once at about 50K. I took it to my dealer and asked for a trans service. They asked me why and I explained what was going on. They did a diagnostic scan and came back and told me "There are no current or stored fault codes. The trans service will cost about 300 bucks and will not be covered under warranty". I let them know that I understood, but wanted them to do the service anyway. They did and also did some sort of Transmission/PCM update at the same time. They also told me that they found a TSB or something that talked about servicing the trans and tells them not to fill it all the way to the "full capacity". When the fluid warms it expands and gets into the rotating assembly which causes it to foam up and loose it's cooling and lubricating ability. The document they had said to set the fluid level in the middle of the range for best results. After that experience I researched doing the fluid change myself. It's not hard. If you can change the engine oil, you can change the CVT fluid. It takes longer, but the process is pretty straightforward. Just remember that there is a screen under and magnets in the pan that need cleaned (or you can replace the screen for a few bucks). And then there is a filter on the side of the trans under the trans cooler return lines. You have to remove the battery and battery tray to get to it. A little bit of a PIA, but it's just nuts and bolts.
After all this, I started changing my CVT fluid every 60K. A few months ago I was on my way to work and got the trans overheat light, but the trans itself never went into protection or limp mode. I never got the slow down to 40MPH. I did pull off the road and place the trans in neutral and wait for the light to go out, then continued on my way to work. That weekend I changed the fluid and filters.

At 198K now, I fully expect to get well beyond 200K out of the CVT. You need to understand it's limitations and live within them. It's a junk transmission. There is no other way around it. I will avoid CVT equipped vehicles in the future. But, I paid for the Patriot, and other than the junk transmission, it really is a great vehicle. If you are willing to live within the limitations of the transmission and perform regular maintenance on it, it can and will last as long as any other transmission. With a used vehicle, you have very limited knowledge of it's service or use history, and that puts you at a disadvantage (regardless of transmission type), but at this point I would find a reputable dealer or shop that can service the trans. If you are having a hard time go to a Nissan dealership. They own JATCO and a large portion of their vehicles are equipped with CVT transmissions. Have that shop do a full service. Drain the fluid, clean the magnets in the pan, clean or replace the strainer under the pan, replace the filter under the cooler return lines, and refill to the middle of the range for temperature with a quality fluid. Then at least you have set a baseline. It should cost around 300 bucks at a dealer maybe a little less at a private shop. If they don't find any large metal chunks in the pan, my bet is that it will be fine. The belt that runs the CVT has metal links and there are a few bearings in there. Shavings are relatively normal and the amount will depend on how long it has been since the fluid was changed and the magnets cleaned. Large chunks of metal belt links or bearing material will be evident and let you know that replacement is the only option.
 

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At 198K now, I fully expect to get well beyond 200K out of the CVT. You need to understand it's limitations and live within them. It's a junk transmission. There is no other way around it.
Interesting.

As I've said before I'm not a CVT fanboy, but if you can get 200k out of it, used as intended, with regular maintenance, why junk?

Not trying to attack or put you on the defensive, just trying to understand your position.
 

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Interesting.

As I've said before I'm not a CVT fanboy, but if you can get 200k out of it, used as intended, with regular maintenance, why junk?

Not trying to attack or put you on the defensive, just trying to understand your position.
I'll throw my opinion in the ring. I don't know if I would call the CVT a "Junk" transmission. But I would say that

1) all the manufactures (nissan, jeep, toyota, honda) that used a CVT in their cars did a terrible job of setting expectations. It feels different, it drives different. automatic transmissions have been around for the vast majority of driving experience for most people. But CVT's are quite new and in limited vehicles, so it felt different, so they think something is wrong with it, and when they are told there is nothing wrong, it engenders bad feelings tor

2) manufactures did a terrible job with maintenance schedules. they ALL are trying to go to a no-maintenance, or extended maintenance on vehicles, especially transmissions. "sealed for life". I think that is wrong, most cars need more frequent servicing, and the CVT being no exception needed to have services more often, and they needed to make it cheaper. Most people wouldn't balk at a $100-$150 transmission fluid change, but have it be $300+? and only a few places will do it? and they'll fight you on it?
 

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Interesting.

As I've said before I'm not a CVT fanboy, but if you can get 200k out of it, used as intended, with regular maintenance, why junk?

Not trying to attack or put you on the defensive, just trying to understand your position.
This is the second vehicle I have owned that has a CVT transmission. My position is that they are junk because they do not live up to the expectations of even the manufacturers that install them.
Vehicles that were once equipped with CVT's are now being offered without them. Jeep even swapped out the CVT for the 6 speed auto in the Patriot/Compass even though they never admitted that the CVT had issues.
They are weak. For the first time in history we are installing transmissions (CVT's) in vehicles where the maximum torque rating of the trans is right at (or occasionally below) the max torque output of the engine. We do it in a bow to the alter of the almighty MPG. But in the end, spend thousands more on replacing broken transmissions than fuel. And at the end of the day my Grand Cherokee that weighs 2000 lbs more, with a larger engine and 8 speed auto gets better gas mileage than my CVT equipped Patriot. All while being more reliable, more capable, and a much better driving experience.
Nissan has even more problems that Chrysler did with the JATCO CVT. I used to blame it on poor programming by Chrysler, but if Nissan can;t get it right while owning the trans manufacturer and working closely with them..... I have to admit that maybe it wasn't a Chrysler issue.
Personally, I have only had 1 other vehicle that I failed to get at least 200K out of. A Plymouth Sundance R/T. It was a twin turbo 6 cylinder and I blew it up at around 125K and replacing the engine was not economical. In that time, with all those vehicles, the transmissions were an after thought. Both CVT equipped vehicles I have owned, the transmission has been the limiting factor, and the most probable point of maintenance related issues. Gears, or gears and chains will always be stronger than belts. It's why almost no manufacturers still use timing belts. They were more "efficient" than chains, but in the long run proved they didn't hold up and most manufacturers abandoned them. I see a similar arc with CVT transmissions. IF they proved reliable and capable no one would be spending the R&D money on 8, 9, or 10 speed autos.
Nissan is in free fall mode in warranty claims due to installing CVT transmission in CUV's like the Rogue, and even going into the SUV range in the Pathfinder. Their owner forums are almost nothing but CVT trans related issues. And once again Nissan owns JATCO and should have the best opportunity to put out a workable, reliable unit as far as CVT drivetrains are concerned.

My position is that a CVT transmission is fine for a snowmobile, small ATV, and some small econo-box cars like the honda fit. But anything approaching 3000 lbs is too much for a CVT trans to reliably push around. It should never be used for anything over that. Volvo (used to be Mack) experimented with CVT's for their road tractors. That experiment lasted all of about 6 weeks before they abandoned it.
I have lived within the limitations printed in my owners manual since day one. (with 4 miles on the odometer of a brand new Jeep Patriot). The wimpy 2000lb tow capacity clearly over stresses the CVT, even though I have never towed more than 1600 lbs. The stated maintenance intervals clearly over stress the CVT. The intended capability of the "Trail Rated" Patriot over stresses the CVT. A simple tire and wheel change can and does result in over stressing the CVT (even if those tires and wheels aren't necessarily larger, but might weigh more because they are a "tougher" tire). When you recap our owner forum, it is CVT trouble, followed very, very distantly by wheel speed sensors, throttle bodies, and sun roof leaks.
When multiple vehicles fail to meet their design specification because of the CVT transmission, it means the transmission is "junk". If you bought any other product and found that it had a component that had to be serviced twice as often as the manufacturer claimed, and even with that, limited the performance of that product would you consider it a good value? Or would you say that the entire product, or at the very least that specific component, was "junk". Anecdotally, I think I already know the answer. At this point, all I can do it get the most life out of it that I can, use it within it's actual limitations (that are much more limiting that the limitations the manufacturer claims), and make sure I get my value out of the vehicle. What really sucks about it, is the fact that the Patriot is a great vehicle otherwise.

I apologize for the wall of text. :)
 
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Maybe try a Ford then.
I actually had a collection of Bronco's. 6 of them at one point. And several mid nineties F150's and two F250's. All had either the Ford C6 auto or the Ford E4OD transmissions. Never an issue with a single one of those transmissions. Front ball joints and cracked exhaust manifolds were the biggest maintenance issues on those vehicles. One bronco (a 1995)and one F250 (1994) I personally put over 300K miles on. But every single one of them was able to make it to Fords stated maintenance intervals and beyond without strange noises or overheating.
But none of that helps the ongoing issues with the Patriot, and I am afraid at this point we are turning this thread into something it wasn't meant to be. I responded to the OP with my experience that I thought was relevant to answering the questions they asked. Since then, the thread has turned into people asking me to either validate my opinion or with useless little jabs like yours above. I stand by my statements and experience and you can continue posting about chemtrail conspiracy theory....:hijacked:
 

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Update on my 2012 Jeep Patriot 2WD w/the infamous JATCO CVT CAT transmission. (In the tradition of the Honda CVCC morphing into the Civic, the CVT transmission is morphing into the Civet Cat, which in the US refers to a spotted skunk.)

We made another round trip from Colorado Springs to Greeley last weekend, 120 miles one way, no stops, and kept speed at 65 MPH or less. *No CVT overheats. *A faint whine from the CVT, but not overbearing.

After the single CVT overheat incident several weeks back, we took the car in for a scheduled diagnostic test of the CVT yesterday at Perkins Motors, the Jeep dealer who sold us this car at 120k miles in January. They couldn't find any codes, but they kept the car for about seven hours until we lost patience and took the car back. They were supposed to email the service paperwork back to me, but I've yet to see it. Disability means I don't drive, so my wife took the car in. Service rep suggested that we don't replace the transmission, but we trade the car in.

We still owe somewhere north of $6000 on the Civet-Cat-i-mean-Patriot.

Our points to ponder:
*Probably would get only $4000 in trade, then the new-to-us car would get jacked up in price too.
*Replace transmission...most estimates point to $4000
*Change transmission fluid and filters....$350-$400
*Do nothing and nurse the car along until the trans fails.

DangerAaron, your experiences are instructive. I'm afraid that if we do nothing, the transmission will go out within the next 12 months. My wife's afraid if we do the trans fluid and filter service that we'll find we need a new CVT and we're out $400.

And another question for DangerAaron...can you drive your vehicle at 75 MPH for several hours at a time with the A/C on? 65 MPH is a little slow.

We like the roominess of the Patriot, but we have to acknowledge it isn't going to have the punch of our old '08 Kia Rondo, which had a 6 cyl engine and a 5 speed automatic. It was very happy cruising at 85 and 90 MPH on lonely Wyoming interstates. But at 220k, fuel system problems and smoking wires in the steeering column doomed it.
 

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DangerAaron, your experiences are instructive. I'm afraid that if we do nothing, the transmission will go out within the next 12 months. My wife's afraid if we do the trans fluid and filter service that we'll find we need a new CVT and we're out $400.

And another question for DangerAaron...can you drive your vehicle at 75 MPH for several hours at a time with the A/C on? 65 MPH is a little slow.
iowegian3, I feel your frustration. I can in fact drive my Patriot for extended periods at 75MPH. I do it everyday. My commute is 83 miles each way and I make that drive 4 days a week. If I went less than 75 I would get run over by a tractor trailer, honked at, given the finger, etc, etc....

A dealer should be able to change the fluid and filters for right around 300 bucks. A Nissan dealer should charge the same. If you have a trusted independent garage/trans shop in your area they can probably do it for less. In my opinion, it will take care of your issue for the time being, but will need to be done again 50-60K miles or you will be right back where you are now.

If you change the trans, you will still have to do the fluid and filter changes on it or you will end up right back where you are now.

My best and most sincere suggestion is that if you cannot do the fluid and filter changes yourself that you find a local trans shop and go talk to them about CVT transmissions. Let them know what is going on and ask them about changing the fluid, cleaning the screen under the pan, and replacing the filter and oring under the cooler return lines. I am sure they can do it, because I and many others do it on our own without any special training, tools, or skills. I am also sure that it will (at least temporarily) cure the whine and the overheat issues you are experiencing. By temporarily, I mean you will still need to service the trans again in the future in about 50-60K miles if you keep the vehicle that long.

Once the trans overheats, the fluid "foams" up. Once that happens just one time, the fluid no longer returns to it's correct viscosity and looses it's ability to lubricate and cool the transmission. The whine you hear is the pump within the trans trying to pump foamed up fluid. Once it foams up once and the trans overheats, it will just continue a downward spiral of re-occurring at smaller and smaller intervals. If I wasn't all the way on the east coast I would offer to do the change myself in exchange for beer, but Colorado is a hike from Virginia....

You stated before that the fluid wasn't changed. That is where I would start. The knowledge that this has been happening since 2008 and for at least 95% of people with this issue the fluid and filter changes correct the issue, should help you make the decision. For best results ask whoever does the work to set the fluid level in the middle of the range. Too much fluid and it gets into the rotating assembly of the trans and foams up..... not enough fluid and it can't properly lubricate and cool the trans and it foams up.... This is easily the most critical step in the process.

Once this is done, you will love your Patriot. There is a joke in Harley Davidson owner circles about "paying taxes".... meaning replacing the stock exhaust, air cleaner, and re-jetting the carb. Servicing the CVT is the equivalent "taxes" to be paid in the Patriot ownership experience.
 
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A dealer should be able to change the fluid and filters for right around 300 bucks. A Nissan dealer should charge the same. If you have a trusted independent garage/trans shop in your area they can probably do it for less. In my opinion, it will take care of your issue for the time being, but will need to be done again 50-60K miles or you will be right back where you are now. .
Another question: would you have the CVT flushed to get all the old fluid out, or is it better to just have the CVT drained? One of our more trusted independent shops likes to do full flushes, but I wonder i that would push any metal fragments up into areas of the trans where they shouldn't be, and causing more trouble.

We drove the Patriot today after getting it back from the dealer. I don't know how much they got into the transmission, but it seems to run rougher now. It sort of shudders when you take off from a light...more so now than before the diagnostic yesterday.

Wife still doesn't want to do the trans service...thinks the trans is too far gone. I would rather gamble $300 on a fluid/filter change. What's $300 compared to the cost of a new CVT? Doing nothing seems to insure the worst possible outcome in my mind. Also, $300 every 60k miles is a bit expensive, but a fair amount less than $1200 every 100k to replace a timing belt.

Now to the question of replacing the CVT: are there any options OTHER than using a rebuilt JATCO CVT?
 

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JATCO created a replacement (JF015E) design called CVT7 for the JF011E design used in the Patriot and other vehicles, but I have no information regarding it's use as a replacement in the CVT-equipped Jeeps. According to the specs, it's easier to repair, but just as quirky as the older design and it has some design flaws. It has been further improved with the JF020E.

https://www.jatco.co.jp/english/products/cvt7.html
 

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JATCO created a replacement (JF015E) design called CVT7 for the JF011E design used in the Patriot and other vehicles, but I have no information regarding it's use as a replacement in the CVT-equipped Jeeps. According to the specs, it's easier to repair, but just as quirky as the older design and it has some design flaws. It has been further improved with the JF020E.

https://www.jatco.co.jp/english/products/cvt7.html
Nice link, thanks for the info!
 

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Another question: would you have the CVT flushed to get all the old fluid out, or is it better to just have the CVT drained? One of our more trusted independent shops likes to do full flushes, but I wonder i that would push any metal fragments up into areas of the trans where they shouldn't be, and causing more trouble.

We drove the Patriot today after getting it back from the dealer. I don't know how much they got into the transmission, but it seems to run rougher now. It sort of shudders when you take off from a light...more so now than before the diagnostic yesterday.

Wife still doesn't want to do the trans service...thinks the trans is too far gone. I would rather gamble $300 on a fluid/filter change. What's $300 compared to the cost of a new CVT? Doing nothing seems to insure the worst possible outcome in my mind. Also, $300 every 60k miles is a bit expensive, but a fair amount less than $1200 every 100k to replace a timing belt.

Now to the question of replacing the CVT: are there any options OTHER than using a rebuilt JATCO CVT?
Personally, I would not "flush" the CVT. As you say if there are metal shavings in the trans pan, they are stuck to magnets right now. Flushing may dislodge them and it still doesn't account for changing the filters.

The trans service is a tried an true remedy for the overheating issue. while 300 bucks is expensive it is a whole lot less than a new transmission, and as you point out, cheaper than doing the old 60K timing belt/water pump replacements that all Honda's used to require.

As for options, there were other transmissions offered. A 5 speed manual that has it's own quirks, and then later a 6 speed auto trans built by Hyundai. However, I am not at all sure what it would take to swap over to a different trans, but I am sure it would require dealer intervention, because everything on these vehicles runs through the PCM and is VIN specific. So the PCM would have to be re-programmed for the new trans in addition to all the changes that would need to be made mechanically/ electrically (different wiring harnesses, etc). At that point you are way past the point of cost for just using a rebuilt CVT.
 

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As for options, there were other transmissions offered. A 5 speed manual that has it's own quirks, and then later a 6 speed auto trans built by Hyundai. However, I am not at all sure what it would take to swap over to a different trans, but I am sure it would require dealer intervention, because everything on these vehicles runs through the PCM and is VIN specific. So the PCM would have to be re-programmed for the new trans in addition to all the changes that would need to be made mechanically/ electrically (different wiring harnesses, etc). At that point you are way past the point of cost for just using a rebuilt CVT.
Sounds like a different transmission type would need to go along with engine replacement. I have fantasies of replacing the drive train when the engine fails with non-MOPAR components, but those are just fantasies. Suspect the costs to do that would exceed the cost of a used, Patriot-sized vehicle.
 

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Sounds like a different transmission type would need to go along with engine replacement. I have fantasies of replacing the drive train when the engine fails with non-MOPAR components, but those are just fantasies. Suspect the costs to do that would exceed the cost of a used, Patriot-sized vehicle.
Someone successfully swapped in a 6 speed auto, but it's a lot of work and lots of things have to be changed or replaced. you can read about it here: https://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/1811665-post28.html

For your situation, if you want something different I think you'd be better off trading.
 

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Someone successfully swapped in a 6 speed auto, but it's a lot of work and lots of things have to be changed or replaced. you can read about it here: https://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/1811665-post28.html

For your situation, if you want something different I think you'd be better off trading.
No, my fantasy is to have a Jeep Patriot powered by a Toyota drivetrain! "Fantasy"being the operative word here, as it just wouldn't be cost effective.

As mentioned earlier, trading is just what our Jeep dealer wants us to do. "Trade" is setting off A LOT of alarm bells! Especially after the vehicle is running worse now than before we took it to the dealer for a free trans. diagnostic check.

I asked the dealer's service writer today to send us the paperwork on Monday's service appointment. All I got was the invoice for $0.00 and nothing about what service was performed, or their recommendations for further service.

Dealer says verbally, but not in writing, that it needs both trans AND engine!

About the engine: just after we bought it in January, we noticed a tapping noise on start-up which would diminish after it had warmed up for a few minutes. Afterwards it would be just a light ticking. I assumed this was part of the somewhat noisy, clattery rep the 2012 engines have, as discussed on other forum topics here. So I decided to not worry too much.

Now, I'm concerned that it may actually be a weak rod as the dealer is telling us.

Before we go further, I'm wondering if we need to find an independent mechanic to look at the thing before we entertain any trading talk.
 

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I grew up in a gearhead household...in the 70s and 80s my folks ran a fertilizer operation back in Iowa and my older brothers modified a number of trucks to operate with the large floater tires. Monster trucks before monster trucks were cool. So once upon a time, the 7 foot tall Pat would have been right up our alley.

Dad retired and sold the business. Maintaining fertilizer equipment was a huge headache, let alone the huge changes that we could see happening to agribusiness. Still, it's sad looking back on the well-equipped maintenance shop where I helped out as a kid. Learned enough by osmosis to be dangerous, but the wrenching gene largely skipped me.
 
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