Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox  
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - Richard L
My primera has done 105K. The gearbox is now getting stiff to engage 2nd gear when the car has been standing for some time (e.g. overnight) but is much better after a few miles run. It is time for a new gearbox or is there another solution? The problem seems to have slowly become worse over the last three months. Engaging 3rd, 4th and 5th is OK at any time. Any suggestions of who might be able to fix it? I live in Kent.

Tags: technical issues gearboxes automatics faulty gearbox

Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - MW
Cheepest first idea, is to change the oil for some good synthetic stuff. Too many gearboxes go years without an oil change.
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - Aprilia
Probably the 2nd gear synchro is getting a bit worn.

Nissan issued a TSB some time ago on these gearboxes suggesting that synchro performance is improved by using a 75W-85 oil as opposed to the 75W-90 listed in the handbook.

In Nissans (and most Japanese cars) I only ever use a 75W-85 (or in some Mitsubishis even thinner). Castrol SMX-S is a good one to go for - its about £10 a litre. IIRC the Primera 'box takes about 3.5 litres (but check in your handbook first). If you don't want to buy that stuff then Morris Lubricants do a 'Rover/Honda' gearbox oil (can't remember the name) that is about a 75W-80 - most motor factors should stock this. Its the stuff used in recent Rover 25/45 and Honda manual transmissions.
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - RichardM
Mine seems to suffer the 2nd gear synchro problem. Seems Ok going into 2 after moderate climbing revs, but not easy going in after travelling at steady revs for a distance (such as in traffic).

I plan on changing the gear oil soon. Don't know what grade the 'box was filled with new, but the current Nissan branded oil (XZ Gear Oil) is SAE 75W-80 / API GL-4, so might be a little thinner? A bit sceptical it will improve matters, but has to be worth a try. Costs around £5-something plus VAT per litre.
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - bell boy
my 97 2.0 litre primera does this as well with 72,000 i just put it down to gearbox design and carefully slide it into 2nd first thing in the morning its alright after 1/2 mile drive and i can live with it,i certainly wouldnt consider a gearbox
--
\"a little man in a big world/\"
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - RichardM
Thanks. My 1999 1.6 has done 76,000. I'm sure you are right and that it is just how these 'boxes are. It just seems a bit stiff and notchy after the super-lightweight feel of my old K11 Micra's 'box (same mileage), and requires a bit of 'planning' when going into 2nd from 1st - providing you do it 'right' it's fine. TBH I find it the same even when warm but I plan on living with it unless it gets really bad.

I will report back after changing the oil.
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - The Gingerous One
I had a 95 Primera that had done 110k when I got it and 2nd was a bit stiff to engage when cold. Once it had warmed up though it was a bit better. The g'box fuild level was OK so I didn't see the need to do anything with it and when I sold the car after 3 years with 165k on the clock it was still the same.

Only if it had gone BANG! or refused to ever select 2nd gear would I have entertained obtaining another gearbox!

But let me know how you get on with the oil.
BTW the newer P11-144 Primera doesn't seem to have the same problem, although my 2001 model has only done 26k so it's not exactly a conclusive observation......

cheers,
Stu
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - Aprilia
Going to a thinner oil really helps on these boxes - honestly!
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - RichardM
Aprilia, value your knowledge as always - do you know if the Nissan branded gear oil I've recently purchased (spec which I gave details of above) is thinner than the original stuff factory fitted in 1999? Thanks.
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - Aprilia
Yes, it is about 25% thinner.
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - RichardM
OK, finally changed the oil. (Straightforward enough job but requires a 3/8" and a 1/2" ratchet). I notice no difference in the gear change. However, it was a worthwhile job as the drain plug magnet was covered with fine filings and the indentation full of a smooth silver paste-like substance -- obviously a sludge of microscopic metal particles which entered the old oil over the last 78k.

And despite what my above post says, it is going into *second* from first (not the other way round) which requires a technique. That said, I'm used to the car now so it's not a problem.
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - Aprilia
I don't know when you did the job, but don't make a final judgement until you have done a few hundred miles of mixed driving. The friction modifiers in the new oil may take some time to plate onto the synchro's.
Nissan Primera 1997 gearbox - RichardM
Fair point Aprilia. Only did the job the other day, so I suppose I should really give it a bit longer :) Still, it's been worthwhile in any case.

Join the discussion

Latest News & Road Tests

Buying Advice

Honest John's Newsletter

Connect with Honest John

Facebook YouTube