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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Manual Shift Mode


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63 replies to this topic

#1 wollip

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:53 PM

A reminder to check your manual shift control button occasionally - even if you are a flatlander.

The button on the end of the shift lever which drops the transmission out of overdrive and activates the manual shift mode failed incrementally on my 2012 2500.
The service tech (Gene)at North Point Nissan in Little Rock, AR diagnosed the problem with a combination of wizard like skills and a fancy voltmeter. As he said - high impedance in the switch contacts. Bottom line - shift lever assembly was replaced.
Gene explained that the button works in a fashion very similar to the buttons on an older cell phone or a tv remote - and that over time they can fail or not, depending on - luck?
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#2 wollip

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 07:28 AM

Woe is me - I have the Sword of Damocles hanging over my head.
The problem with manual shift mode returned. As I drive it now to test it, it is failing to respond somewhere near 5% of the time. I don't want one of those times to be when I'm descending a steep grade with no shoulder.
I've had to wait a week for the tech guru to return from vacation but will be waiting for him early Monday morning.
If anyone has EVER had the button fail to respond and not allow you to drop out of overdrive and access your lower gears, I would appreciate hearing about it. Thanks!

#3 ASD Dad

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 09:15 AM

Mine acted up on one camping trip over the summer.  It would not get into Manual mode no matter what I did.  Once I stopped and restarted the van at a gas stop it was fine.  I only use it when camping and on hills but I tried it out last week after your first post and it was fine.  I will definitely be keeping an eye on it though.


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#4 wollip

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 06:10 PM

ASD Dad-
Things for the input. Kind of scary when it happens - suddenly no control over a driving situation and more often than not no chance to reset it (stop and restart) until much later .

To update, I drove it home after seven hours at the dealership today. The local tech still thinks the problem is electrical (the signal from the button on the manual shift assembly not making it to the meter) while the Nissan tech team is leaning toward the possibility that the transmission is overheating and refusing the command.
The tech team is reaching out to Nissan Japan who will contact the Hitachi team that wrote the program that controls the transmission.
Sounds like it will be several days before an answer comes back.
In the meantime, we wait ....
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#5 ASD Dad

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 06:50 PM

Overheating transmission?! Even towing big hills with the AC maxed my temp gauge never reaches halfway, we have a big cooler sitting right out in the airstream!

I'll start using mine on my daily drives and see what happens.
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#6 KMG

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 07:55 PM

Just a thought.  Does the computer keep the transmission from down shifting if doing so will cause the engine to over rev?  When I was driving down the Going to the Sun road, once the manual downshift didn't work for me.  I thought it was a safety feature.


Edited by KMG, 26 October 2015 - 07:56 PM.

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#7 wollip

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 08:09 PM

KMG-
I'm thinking this whole thing is more of a safety CONCERN. Maybe, as others report in with their experiences, we will be able to spot a pattern.

ASD Dad -
You have a transmission temp gauge?

#8 KMG

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 08:52 PM

If I press my vehicle information display button 3 times my transmission fluid temp is displayed.



#9 radin2son

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 10:00 PM

None of the displays have ever shown much if any movement once warmed up, no matter what the conditions.

When overdrive is pointless, I will use the manual mode. Downshfting from 4th to 3rd on a downhill can be felt and heard if the speed is too high, so I tend to brake, probably more than necessary, to the point where I think the shift will be smoother. On the Moki Dugway, it was slow going in 2nd, and I didn't put it into 1st until I had braked for each switchback or very rough section. It has never not shifted.

Climbing or slogging along in manual works like a charm. Whether you use the tach or your ears it is more intuitive...

#10 wollip

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 05:39 AM

So far, I've never had a problem with the shift paddle. And the button has never failed to return to overdrive.
It is the occasional failure of the button to activate manual shift mode that is my concern. Seems random and sporadic - without a pattern. But with enough input and occurrences maybe something will emerge.
Dope slap me for not knowing my vehicle - I did not realize that transmission display was there - or more precisely, didn't know what it was for.
I agree with Rad - never noticed any significant movement on those read outs - but I'll now be hawk eyeing the one for the transmission.
I'm guessing the local tech doesn't know that readout is there either because he made the comment that we could prove or disprove the tech teams theory by installing a transmission temp gauge.
As soon as it stops raining, I'll check the condition of the transmission fluid. If it has been overheating, it should be dark.
Many thanks to everyone for the comments and suggestions - keep them coming - we'll figure this out eventually.

#11 ASD Dad

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 09:01 AM

Did my drive this morning in manual mode for the fun of it.  Worked fine switching in and out of manual and actually using the paddle.  I'd use it to downshift coming to a stop or slow corners.

 

Yes, we have a gauge!  My Bully Dog tuner will also show the actual temp of the transmission.


2015 NVP SL - Silver, 20% tint, Bully Dog GT, AEM filter w/ snorkel mod, Topper Rack, Luverne Grip Step running boards, Hankook AT-M tires. DRL delete, LED's
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Me, wife, 3 kids and 2 big dogs!


#12 radin2son

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 10:46 AM

ASD Dad, Did you notice anything when you downshifted at higher speeds?

Thought about this last night; I use the manual mode most often when there are speed zone warning signs on secondary roads entering towns. If it looks like more than one stop sign/light town, or we are looking for fuel, just gawking, etc., I will engage manual mode. (Same for traffic jams.) The feel/sound in the shift from 4th to 3rd is most likely to occur going from 45 to a 35 mph zone. I'm not shifting at 45; rather, I shift after braking to 35 mph or so. The revs don't change audibly. Don't notice anything when going from 3rd to lower speeds.

Again, I've never had the manual button not work. No sounds etc., but the tach shows slightly higher rpm.

KMG, Have you tried putting it in tow mode. It acts like a speed limiter.

Here is another electronic related issue, or not, possibly related to the electronic brake force distribution (EBD). From day one, I have heard a faint sound when braking. It isn't mechanical, but sounds like pushing down on something spring loaded. When we were getting an "after the fact" NV orientation, I mentioned it. The cm at Dublin Nissan said he hadn't noticed this, nor had any one brought it up. It is faint enough that road noise drowns it out. I can still hear it, but it has never affected braking. Just ask the herd of deer near Eureka, NV I thought I was going to hit...

#13 KMG

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 01:29 PM

Whom ever goes and "Dope Slaps" Wollip, stop by my place and let me have it!  I just drove 6,460 miles forgetting I had the tow mode.  I guess because I wasn't towing I didn't think to use it.  Idiot!  Thanks radin2son.


Edited by KMG, 27 October 2015 - 03:19 PM.


#14 radin2son

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 03:17 PM

I am an "expert" in tow mode application, not because we tow anything or remember it on downhills; I inevitably hit the tow mode button instead of the inverter button to charge our phone. That is, when I remember to charge the phone or push the correct button and drive for miles thinking it is charging. My wife typically asks me, "Do you know you are in tow mode?" or Did you mean to push tow mode?" Actually, it is easier for the passenger to see both.

Curious, what is the 4x4 set up for engaging it and driving? Can this interfere with the manual mode?

Anyone wishing they had a clutch?

Just had this thought. Although the manual mode works shifting up and down, maybe it only was intended to engage when stopped and put it in the desired gear to prevent gear hunting in stop and go city driving, low speed zones etc. For those who have not had the button work while in motion, does it not work if you are stationary?

Also, does vehicle mass affect downshifting? If the system is car based rather than designed for NVs it could be too light duty. Then again, it could be a program issue.

Edited by radin2son, 27 October 2015 - 05:09 PM.


#15 KMG

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 03:51 PM

I'm not sure but I don't think my 4x4 and the shifting are interconnected.  While stopped, I engage my transfer case by lifting a lever in front of my seat next to the transmission tunnel.  A LED indicator on my dash next to our traction control switch illuminates.

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#16 radin2son

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 05:14 PM

Wow! Purely functional.

#17 KMG

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 05:31 PM

That kind of sums up my whole van.  Purely function.  Nothing fancy.


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#18 VStar650CL

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 11:52 AM

I'm the "Gene" Wollip mentioned, pleased to meet y'all.  By way of introduction, I'm a Nissan/ASE certified electical specialist with an engineering background.  I'm writing because I was concerned to discover that ASDDad had the same issue, so maybe Wollip's problem is something all Nissan technicians will need an answer for.

 

Some of you may be familiar with the old Sherlock Holmes quote, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."  Some electrical issues can only be diagnosed that way, by process of (sometimes painful or unlikely) elimination.  It's especially true when "smartware" is involved, because no service manual gives a technician access to the code, or even a flowchart of how a device "thinks".  In this case, despite the intervention of a Nissan field engineer, we still don't know if it's even possible for trans heating to cause Wollip's issue.  Only the firmware programmers in Japan know the answer, and they haven't told us.

 

To help better-understand the problem, there are actually two firmware programs involved, the TCM (transmission controller) and the Meter (dash cluster).  The way the NV is constructed, there is no direct link between the Manual Shift button and the TCM.  The Meter monitors the button, then sends a CANbus message to the TCM when the button is detected.  So, in Newtonian terms, what we have is a multiple-body problem.  We can only try solutions in order of likelihood until something works.

 

The good news is, our field engineer is an excellent guy who's very good at his job.  He immediately saw what I saw in the wiring -- that the 12 volt signal from the button needs to be translated to a lower voltage for the Meter's microcontroller, and that's usually done with a CMOS "buffer" chip.  Certain manufacturing flaws can cause the inputs on those chips to "latch" under certain conditions, meaning they will no longer "see" the voltage applied to them.  That is, until the power is cycled, allowing the latch to clear.  This seems to both of us the most likely scenario by far, and it completely fits the symptoms of needing to cycle the key.  So we've ordered Wollip a Meter.  He'll need to tell all of us whether it worked.  If we happen to hear from Japan in the meantime, I'll keep y'all posted.


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#19 wollip

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 12:30 PM

Gene-

Thanks for jumping in here and giving everyone an update on this manual shift situation - talk about straight from the horses' mouth :-)

#20 VStar650CL

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 01:05 PM

Least I can do.  Sounds like the answer might matter to more folks than you and me.








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