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I have a 2009 Patriot with CVT. I bought it in December 2008. In December 2009 before a long journey I sent it to the dealer to do all necessary checks but while on the road the engine failure light came on while overtaking a slow moving truck and I had to go to a nearby dealer that diagnosed that the problem was caused by dirty gasoline and also found that there was missing more than 1 liter of transmission oil.

The next month I noticed that when trying to accelerate quickly the car response was sluggish (the rpm went up but the car accelerated very slowly) so I went back to the dealer that apparently fixed it. Some weeks later when I went out of the city I found that the problem was still there and so back again. And again and again.

Two weeks ago I was told that they found the solution to my problem but (surprise!) the warranty had expired and so I had to pay for fixing it. After some discussion I was offered a deal: the factory would put the parts free of charge and I only needed to pay the labor (about US$300). I agreed to that in order to have the car fixed at last but to my surprise the solution was to replace the radiator and hoses for cooling the transmission oil. When I asked if the problem was some leak or malfunction the mechanic told me that there was nothing wrong with the system but that in some cars this cooling system was not enough and the factory recommended to replace it with a new bigger model. It seems that the problem is not general and so it does not require a general recall procedure. Somehow the too hot oil affected the overdrive.

I am not very convinced but the car is working fine now but I really wonder why I have to pay for what is clearly a design failure.

Does anybody has had the same problem?
 

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Yours is the first I've heard of that they told someone this was a problem. I'd be more inclined to believe there was a leak in those hoses, or tranny line.

And we can;t check the tranny fluid ourselves, so how would any of us know if we had a leak, or were low on fluid?
 

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I had a leaking transmission oil cooler line.
Check out this post:
http://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62423

Check your CVT fluid by using the recommendations by todde702 in this post:
http://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55143
I do it weekly.
Works great.
I have a baseline measurement and it is conforming weekly.

The CVT is not really semi-sealed for life and is in fact one of the few with the ability to do maintenance on.
This CVT can have it's fluid and filter changed and if you want to invest in a proper scanner so you can read the temp, this CVT has a kit available for purchase with a dipstick and a chart for officially checking the fluid level.

The bottom line is how is your Jeep running?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What I found most strange is that the problem got solved by installing a bigger radiator as the original one was not sufficient. If this is true it should be happening to somebody else as well.
 

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Same thing!

Appears I am having the same issue. Original owner, my 09 Pat has 93K. I am taking it to the dealership tonight. Dreading that! I had this issue checked back in Feb and the same dealership said they could not find the problem. What happens is.. When expressway driving usually, my transmission light will come on first, you can then hear the transmission whining. A few times I had to pull off the side of the road to let the fluid cool because the car wouldn't move, you could just feel the trans slipping and the engine rpms going up! This is happening more frequently now. If they tell me that can't find the problem again I will be pissed. So back in Feb when I took the Jeep in, they said I had leaks in my tran lines so I had them replaced, $300. The engine light went on a couple weeks earlier, so I had that checked. They wanted $1200 to replace the catalytic converter and 2 sensors, no thanks, can live with the light on. I just replaced my lower ball joints myself, dealership wanted $500 for that. I have always been a jeep guy but not sure anymore. The quality sure has gone down. We'll see what the dealership says??
 

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I think this may be related to another post that talked about the transmission oil cooler thermostat. Somewhere in the 2009/2010 model change, they switched the transmission cooler to one with a thermostat. Someone else on here mentioned they had theirs replaced as it stuck closed.

I wonder if they put a bigger trans cooler on or the 2007/2008 style trans cooler on.
 

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CVT Transmission Dipstick at Napa

You can check the fluid level in your CVT. Napa sells a dipstick with that has metric graduations in millimeters for about $23 dollars. It comes with a chart that lists the proper level which is dependent on temperature. Do not add if it is not low as you may over fill. They also sell CVT Fluid form Valvoline which is 100% synthetic and meets CVTF4 specs and I was able to order the filter for $9 a quart. I recommend that you be a somewhat experienced mechanic before changing your filter though. Do not practice on an expensive tranx.
 

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I am having the same in my 2009 Jeep Patriot with 98k miles I brought it in the first time with this issue around 93k miles. I told the jeep dealership the transmission was failing and at high speeds it was screaming and having a really hard time on the highway.The first paperwork I received was for a transmission replacement of $5999. They then told me the second visit, since the transmission wasn't throwing any codes there was nothing wrong. However my transmission oil was dark and sluggish, that being said I could do a flush but because its a special CVT transmission it would be $800, meaning $100 a qt. The third visit I made after the problem is progressively getting worse and my warranty is up at 100,000 miles that the spark plugs were 80k mile plugs and thats why I was having issues with lagging really bad at lights and it is having a very hard time shifting into second gear, between first and second gear at low speeds it jolts really bad. I then proceeded to change the spark plugs myself since they wanted to charge me $150. The jeep ran okay for about two weeks and I am now still having the same issue, so now at 98k miles taking it in for a fourth time. We will see what they say, since my warranty is through carmax and not jeep they have no obligation to fix my jeep and will not report it to the warranty company unless broken. I tasked them if my transmission failed would they then report it, they said yes then they would. Very frustrated and probably not owning a jeep again even though I have loved them all my life.
 

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The recommended CVT fluid change timeframe is either 60k or 120k miles, depending on use. So, needing it done at 93k is not unreasonable and would be the first thing to try. However, $800 for that is about twice (or more) what others here have reported as the cost at dealers so whoever you are going to is trying to rip you off. I'd try a different dealership or call a Nissan or Mitsubishi dealership since the same brand of CVT transmission is in some of their cars. Alternatively, there may be a local transmission shop that would do it.
 

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The recommended CVT fluid change timeframe is either 60k or 120k miles, depending on use. So, needing it done at 93k is not unreasonable and would be the first thing to try. However, $800 for that is about twice (or more) what others here have reported as the cost at dealers so whoever you are going to is trying to rip you off. I'd try a different dealership or call a Nissan or Mitsubishi dealership since the same brand of CVT transmission is in some of their cars. Alternatively, there may be a local transmission shop that would do it.
I paid about $350 at my Jeep dealer for my tranny fluid change and an oil change combined a few weeks ago; they also diagnosed a check engine light and corrected the problem. $800 is outrageous!

I haven't had the expense myself, but others report that a new CVT is around $4000 -- again, $6000 seems way on the high side.

Sarkus' advice is good. Shop around for a better price.
 
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