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Old 09-04-2014, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CVT Whine and malfunction light

Hello all,

I purchased a 2010 Kisazhi GLS when it had about 55k Miles.. Just did a few things like sparks and tire rotation oil etc nothing major..

I use the car to commute (about 30 mins each way). Always drives fine..

Last week I went to VA from northern NJ and during the trip.. after a couple of hours the tranny refused to shift normally and started whining loud.. Had to stop the car and restart it.. which fixed the issue. This happened 3 or 4 times.. but the last time was the worst. I had it in manual mode going about 75 up a hill in 5th.. went to let off the throttle and put it in 6th and it jerked and refused to shift (also would not display the gear after that.. or the M for manual) and made the service engine light come on..

As soon as I could (few days) took it to the dealer.. It's there now since yesterday but the light went away a few miles before the dealership.

Anyone experience this before?? Car has about 61k now.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sadly there have been some reports of Kizashi CVT's failing with much the same symptoms as you've experienced. The CVT's are made by Jatco (also used in a lot of Nissans) and seem to be very temperamental with oil temperature and even oil level.

Some people have had their CVT totally fail and leave them stranded. Others have had whining CVT's replaced and noticed a marked difference in driving performance. However, sometimes the same problem reappears.

If you've still got warranty it would pay to push the issue with the dealer and get something done about it (or at least noted down) in case the worst does happen.

PS: have a read here for further info Kizashi Club - View topic - Whinning Noise - CVT?

Last edited by murcod; 09-05-2014 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your comment!

I just wanted to report back on what was happening.. in case this ever helps anyone.

These transmissions have many sensors, and when tripped they will likely trigger the "malfunction indicator light" (engine light). In my case, the sensors that read the speeds and compare them (example: input, main pulley, secondary, etc) were reading a very small speed difference. This was caused by the previous owner putting different brands of tires all around (and one in the front was actually the wrong aspect ratio). The TCM would compare the speeds and when it detected the discrepancy it thinks that it must be due to the transmission malfunctioning and not performing correctly. This causes it to put the transmission in fail-safe operation.

While in fail-safe / limp mode, it seems to stay in gear, which is probably done by changing the way the CVT oil flows through the components.. which would explain the hydraulic "whining" noise.

That and a recent trip to NYC (pothole city) forced me to get new tires. Went with 4 new Good Years, balanced and 4-wheel alignment for good measure. The car feels like new.. almost.. (brakes don't.. and yes I did get to drive a brand new one from 0 to 30k so I remember what it felt like ).

With the new tires, I've since taken the car on long trips (5+ hours nonstop) and it has not acted up at all. Also I have not heard the noise. Been a couple thousand miles like that. I'm hoping it will stay that way!

As a side note.. the dealer did check the trans and etc, nothing wrong apparently. No codes stored either. Fluid was in good condition still.
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's a good outcome - thanks for posting the update. I assume your model is equipped with AWD from the description of the fault cause; although I guess different tyre sizes across the front axle with a FWD could possibly cause similar problems?

Last edited by murcod; 11-17-2014 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My pleasure! Actually I have the FWD version and yes you are correct it caused the problem because of the tire size difference in the front. The dealer was quick to notice that too and warned me that if the transmission were to fail under those conditions it would likely not be covered by the warranty.

I'm guessing the issue would be more pronounced in the AWD models..
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Old 12-20-2014, 04:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default CVT Whine and malfunction light

I had a similar experience with my 2012 Kizashi AWD. On I-95 south in Jax, Florida the trans (in manual) began to whine and I couldn't move it into automatic mode. I pulled off and noticed the master fault code was illuminated. I let the car cool off., it smelled hot. The car only had 12K miles and was riding on a brand new set of Hankook Ventus tires. After it cooled off it ran fine and I took it to the Suzuki dealer not far away. The service guy was great (this was late on a Friday afternoon). No code popped so the tech downloaded the latest trans computer software and I was on my way. The car ran fine for ~2 hours in drive. After I left a well needed rest stop on I-95 I decided to try driving in manual mode again. In maybe 2 miles the trans began to whine and the car eventually began to slow down. I pulled off the road and after about 45 minutes started it up again. It was very late and I-95 is a bad place to be stalled so I found a motel and stayed overnight. Next day the car ran fine all the way to Ft. Lauderdale which was my destination. I left the car at the Mitzu/Suzuki dealer in Coral Springs for three days. They drove the car about 200 miles but the problem never reappeared. On the way back to NC I had to pass a car and the whining returned after I kicked it down and ran up to about 80mph. I stopped and let it cool off. Everything fine after that except a truck kicked up a rock that put a nice divot in my erstwhile pristine windshield.

Since then I have not been able to duplicate the problem.

I called Suzuki in California but they had no answer other than to initiate a trouble ticket.

This is not my first Suzuki. All have been very reliable and good vehicles. I like the Kizashi but I don't trust it. If it craps out again I'll trade it for something else.
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