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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may be a long read but it will definitely help me out and possibly someone else in the future. I'll try to make it short.

My '06 Titan has 50,300 miles on it. SE Crew Cab...

Two weeks ago, I went on a 3 hour trip. About an hour from my destination, my truck starting making a "noise" when it would shift. I was thinking U-joint. Well, the next morning (I stayed overnight) the noise seemed to be getting a little worse. You would only hear it when the truck would shift gears and it wasn't real loud or jerky. WELL, I got into a town and was stopping / starting at red lights and stop signs. The truck started "slipping" a couple times. I went directly to a Nissan dealer. The first dealers' service department was closed. The second was open.

They test drove my truck and said it was the rear differential.

I ended up leaving my truck there and having to rent a car.

My truck was at this dealer for 5 days. Oh, by the way, Nissan will not pay for a rental unless you get the extended warranty. That's a whole other story. My drive-train is covered under warranty but I still have to pay for a rental. My words to Nissan, "You are saying you are putting out a product that once you reach 50,000 miles you can't depend on it to go on a 3 hour trip?" Anyhow....

The dealers service manager calls last Tuesday and says the truck is done BUT there is a "clunking" noise under hard acceleration - when it shifts. I explained that is what it was doing when I dropped the truck off. He said, "there is no way you could have noticed this due to the loud noise coming from the rear-end." WHAT???? There was no loud noise coming from the rear-end. I said to fix it, then. He told me to take it to my "local dealer". I explained I was 3 hours away and my local dealer was another hour away. I made sure to call the "local dealer" and relay this information, in case something happened on my way to the dealer. (Causing damage to something else). The trip was a rather "jerky" ride. Once I would reach 65 MPH, causing the truck to not shift; everything was fine.

I make it to the "local dealer". I get out of the truck and am waiting for my wife and 3 year old daughter to get out. I smell anti-freeze. I'm parked by the service department so I wasn't worried about it, thinking someone parked nearby was leaking antifreeze. IT WAS MY TRUCK!!!!!!!! There was antifreeze EVERYWHERE!!!!! The overflow was full so I knew something wasn't good. At first, I was thinking head gasket and how could so many things go wrong in one week to my truck.

To sum up the story, the dealer called me and said the transmission needed replaced. They SAID the radiator went bad (they said there was an internal crack), which caused the tranmission to go bad. Basically, since the radiator isn't covered under warranty there is a possibility I'm going to have to pay for the transmission. Replacing the rear differential DID stop the slipping, though.

FYI - the antifreeze was coming out of the overflow.

Here are my questions:
1. How do they know the radiator went bad first?
2. The truck was not leaking antifreeze at all before the 3 hour trip to the "local dealer". I was told it was ok to drive the truck. Did the transmission overheat causing the radiator issue??? I had just changed the oil a week before my trip. I would have seen antifreeze.
3. Why was there no warning light or SOMETHING telling me there was an issue? I guess I'm asking if there is a warning light that should have came on.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? I guess I don't understand the mechanics of the radiator being linked with the tranmission. The jist I got was there are lines going from the radiator to cool the transmission.

Any suggestions / opinions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Once I hit 50k miles (somethin like 50,230) my power steering pump blew out. Then the rear end, radiator, IPDM, an other stuff..

Now my truck overheats only in the winter time but is fine with A/C in 100* heat sitting in a parking lot for two-three hours.

Open your overflow tank, and get a decent amount of coolant out of the tank. Place in glass jar. Let sit for a few hours, this will cause the tranny oil to float to the top. It will be red. Also pull the tranny dipstick out, an check for anything other than red fluid.

These radiators are junk. Very common for em to bust out on the passanger side, bottom portion. If you can, go for a stillen.
 

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FYI, if coolant mixes with your oil, it'll turn milky. This will happen via headgaskets an such.

Radiator has a cooling line inside the bomttom portion of the radiator. Tranny fluid travles through this line. If it breaks, naturally fluid will leak out into the radiator mixing with coolant, thus causing it to come out the overflow due to heat/extra fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jarvis... I see what you are saying. They told me the radiator went bad, causing the transmission problem. Is that possible? I see what you are saying about the line running inside the bottom portion of the radiator. If that line breaks, that should be covered with the transmission, right? From the sounds of things, I'm going to have to pay for the radiator and they are going to take care of the transmission. I'd rather pay the $400 for a radiator than pay for the transmission but I'm having a hard time thinking I need to pay for anything.

The antifreeze that was coming out of the overflow looked like chocolate milk.
 

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Jarvis... I see what you are saying. They told me the radiator went bad, causing the transmission problem. Is that possible? I see what you are saying about the line running inside the bottom portion of the radiator. If that line breaks, that should be covered with the transmission, right? From the sounds of things, I'm going to have to pay for the radiator and they are going to take care of the transmission. I'd rather pay the $400 for a radiator than pay for the transmission but I'm having a hard time thinking I need to pay for anything.

The antifreeze that was coming out of the overflow looked like chocolate milk.
Ummm chocolate milk coolant = oil. Not tranny fluid. Sounds like a much bigger problem than just what you're stating..

I've mixed tranny fluid in my garage last year. I put a good amount of coolant into a glass jar. I then put enough tranny fluid to create an inch layer ontop of the coolant. I shook it to mix it, and it came out anything but chocolate milk looking. It was more red with "bubbles" of oil.

Each part is coverd under each warranty. If I was the guy telling you the answer, I'd say well, radiator failed, thus cauing a failed tranny. I'll cover the tranny because it DID fail due to non-user fault. However you cover the radiator because that's out of warranty.

I'd consider yourself lucky..because they could foot the whole bill on you.

But like I said, sounds like bigger problems if your coolant looks like milk
 

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this is a well known problem. it has happen to many others. sorry for your luck

the tranny possibly not being covered because of "neglect" of the radiator (not saying you were, but rather in the dealers eyes), i see as a very touchy situation. it makes sense that they dont want to cover it but i hope for your sake they do. hopefully nissan makes a good decision and doesn't bone you...good luck
 
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