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CVT Issue

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geoffdaddy
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CVT Issue

Post by geoffdaddy » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:35 am

Let's play guess the problem!

My in laws have a 2007 Freestyle AWD. When they first got it a few months ago everything ran fine, but now they get an intermittent wrench and check engine light. I tried pulling the codes and they are all over the place. They haven't been totally consistent from one scan to the next.

Anyway, fast forward to today, the weather is getting colder and the problems are more repeatable. They always seem to be right after cold start up and don't go away until the trans is nice and warmed up. When starting right away after maybe a couple minutes or so of idling, the car goes into limp home mode and will barely move. Moving the transmission shifter through reverse and drive while park exhibits a mild-to-moderate bang upon engagement. A periodic tick is present until you restart the car and I'm guessing the transmission clears out the limp home condition until it sets it up again.

Anyway, after warming the transmission, these driveability problems are gone, no strange noises and you can drive the car normally. The trans fluid level is normal and the fluid is clear, it doesn't smell burnt. The color I understand of this fluid straight out of the bottle is blue-green, but the fluid I see more pinkish, but not the same pink/red I see from the fluid in my Toyota Prius or my Expedition. From a few posts I see that is normal after it's aged a bit? Can has about 160k miles on it.

I advised them that it might be worthwhile to do a drain/fill and replace the screen and HP filter. I see the advise here is mixed on changing the screen, but given their symptoms I'm tempted to do the screen since a few people have said they discovered that the screen pickup gasket was broken and/or came off and/or the screen dropped off. Given that the driveability problems go away once warm it makes me wonder if the pickup is sucking air a little until the fluid level rises due to thermal expansion. They called around several local shops and no one wants to do it "oh no, don't do that, we have a Freestyle right here we did that to and now it's dead." More than one shop told them this... nobody seems to want to touch it. I've done plenty of work on cars so it's within my skillset, I'd rather someone else do it so it's their problem, but hey, I'm not opposed to working on it myself.

What say you o experts of Freestyle CVTs?

geoffdaddy
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by geoffdaddy » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:48 am

My feeling is that the issues must be related to fluid pressure which I would think most likely candidate would be a clogged high pressure filter.

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jas88
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by jas88 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:22 am

Certainly changing the fluid/filters should be your first try at fixing it. The fluid turns kind of brown when it gets old/dirty. If it's pink, that would worry me.
2006 SE Silver w/Slate cloth

geoffdaddy
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by geoffdaddy » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:41 am

Well, "pink" is a little subjective in this case. It's certainly a grungy color, so I could see how someone might interpret it more of a brown. :)

geoffdaddy
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by geoffdaddy » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:04 am

Has anyone used Pentosin CVT1 fluid in these trans? I see it specifically cross references XT-7-QCFT on it's manufacturer's datasheet.

geoffdaddy
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by geoffdaddy » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:04 am

(and it's a lot cheaper)

Dany 06 freestyle
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by Dany 06 freestyle » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:02 pm

I have six quart of Total CVT oil that said that it’s mercon c approved.. but Im just not sure that is correct to put that in.. would you?

Jim likes catwalks
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by Jim likes catwalks » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:20 pm

Thinking the TCM on the mechatronic unit is doing the same thing mine did. Once it warmed up to 180 fat I could clear limp mode. Got a good used one for 200 us$ and had no more issues with that. But then sounds like my oil pump blew a spring. Sadness it sits again.

geoffdaddy
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by geoffdaddy » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:15 am

Yeah that is a concern of mine, but I figure filter and fluid should be the first step. When you replaced the mechatronic did you look at the condition of the solenoids and valve body seals? Also did you have to reflash it at the dealer?

DanfromSterling
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by DanfromSterling » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:57 am

Ours had same issue after changing the pan and high pressure filter in summer then this started in 40 F mornings. Just replaced the pan filter with oem filter and made sure was seated. When pulled the pan the filter fell out so o ring was not seated on filter. Also replaced with new oem fluid. Been 4 years without issue. Thought at time would new new car.... Keeps going down road. 140K now on car.

geoffdaddy
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by geoffdaddy » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:28 pm

Interesting. The new filter is an aftermarket one since I couldn’t find an gasket easily to match oem . I have to say that the new filter is fairly easy to pull off by hand and like you the old filter fell off with the pan.

Nevertheless the symptom is the same. A trip to o Reilly’s and using their tester showed 10 stored codes, all of them having someone to do with fluid pressure. Eventually though after it reaches operating temp it runs fine.

This job was a right royal pita for me. I have done many trans fluid changes on manual and automatic trans over the years on my cars and they have always taken me maybe up to two hours to fully complete start to finish and that is being generous.This one fought me every step of the way. The first problem was the corroded trans fluid line going to the high pressure housing. It felt like a stuck o ring and after wiggling it a few times, well let’s say the connector wiggled right off. Both lines were seriously corroded into the filter housing cover. Externally they looks fine. That led to a trip to the junkyard to source both a new hp filter housing and two new lines. ($25 at the local junkyard) that I got to remove without the aid of a jack, and the the [email protected]$# pan filter o ring that wouldn’t come out without some serious persuasion. Turns out the “new” lines were cut off 2” short on the donor car missing it’s radiator so i had to fix that. Then there was the too tight leaky drain plug. Replaced that.

7 quarts of trans fluid altogether at $14/qt and it used all of it. All for naught. :P I will say though that the fluid was fairly dirty, but not burnt smelling, and there was almost nothing fuzzy on the magnet in the pan.

geoffdaddy
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by geoffdaddy » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:39 pm

...and the car will run 70 on the highway just fine while warm with no weird noises.

geoffdaddy
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by geoffdaddy » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:49 pm

I do wonder if the problem is due to the feed tube seals on the mechatronic assembly and/or the variator circuit seals as mentioned in this article. Most of the codes it talks about at the front of the article on p4 are what was present.

https://atracom.blob.core.windows.net/g ... _10_04.pdf

Deckard_Cain
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by Deckard_Cain » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:10 am

geoffdaddy wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:49 pm
I do wonder if the problem is due to the feed tube seals on the mechatronic assembly and/or the variator circuit seals as mentioned in this article. Most of the codes it talks about at the front of the article on p4 are what was present.

https://atracom.blob.core.windows.net/g ... _10_04.pdf
Seems quite plausible. Would be nice to view the PIDs for the pressure sensors to verify though.

geoffdaddy
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Re: CVT Issue

Post by geoffdaddy » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:00 am

Agreed. I'll have to see if I can use my scantool to determine this. I do have multiple pressure related codes when it's in this condition, and then they clear and stay cleared. Seems like if it was a pressure sensor issue it would be a single one.

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