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I have a 2013 Nissan Maxima with a 3.5L V6 and a CVT transmission. Like most CVTs these days, it has a "manual mode" where the driver can manually change the gear ratios by shifting through simulated gears 1 to 6.

Yesterday I let a friend test drive my car, and of course, he switched over to manual mode without knowing how to use it. He floored it and held the engine around 6500 RPM while staying in first gear the entire time. He kept this up until the car reached 60-70 KPH. When he eventually let go of the accelerator (still in first gear and revving at 6500 RPM), the car jolted as if it was being engine braked... I did not like the feeling of that at all.

Is there going to be any damage to my engine/transmission as a result of this?

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There could be. The CVT transmission is a common issue with most Nissan vehicles as the chain in the transmission becomes weak and goes out. I've had it happen before. What I noticed the transmission do was make a wining noise and a hesitation on shifting and acceleration. Before I took my transmission in I noticed fairly higher RPMs before shifts, around 4000-5000. Based on your year model and my understanding the transmissions are warranted from Nissan for 10 years or 100,000 miles.

If there is a diagnosed transmission issue, at the time of writing this, Nissan just ships a new transmission and they swap it out but my understanding later in 2017 the dealer will be allowed to break into the transmission for repairs.

I would monitor your transmission for awhile and if you start experiencing shifting issues take it in. You could even now take it in and just have your "friend" pay the service fee. Either way this is why I don't let others drive my vehicles.

Picture of the CVT chain:

enter image description here

Reference pic from: "Should you buy a car with CVT transmission?"

  • Could there be any damage to the engine as well? Or is it just the transmission? – user928112 Mar 1 '17 at 16:04
  • I wouldn't know without looking at it. If you're that worried about it take it in to have the dealer look at it – Hᴇʀʙɪᴇ Mar 1 '17 at 16:06

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