How to Get Nissan Altima Out of Failsafe Mode

CVT means Continuously Variable Transmission and is designed to go into protection mode to protect the fluid temperature (Fail-Safe Mode) when the CVT fluid temperature rises above a certain level.

If the CVT goes into fail-safe mode, engine performance is reduced tremendously. Other well-known issues include the following:

  • Extremely low power or reduced engine performance.
  • Reduced acceleration.
  • Whining sound from the transmission.
  • Continuous warning lights in the dash.

Option 1

To prolong the life of your transmission: 

  • Flush the transmission and change the CVT fluid EVERY 40,000 to 60,000 miles.
  • If you have not changed it and are over 60,000 change it IMMEDIATELY!

Option 2

  • Reduce the level of CVT Fluid to the minimum level indicated on the gauge. 
  • Drive the vehicle at high speed for 3 to 4 hours. 
  • Check the fluid level again (If it is hot, the CVT is exceeding the maximum level, therefore, you need to reduce more of the fluid.

Option 3

  • Install the external CVT Fluid Cooler kit (Optional).
  • Change the fluid every 40-60,000 miles.

Option 4

  • Change the CVT Fluid. 
  • Drain and refill with a compatible NS-2 or NS-3 fluid.


**Overall, just change the fluid frequently if you hear the whining noise from the transmission, or to prevent the noise altogether.

TIP: It is best to perform these options yourself or have a mechanic you know change the CVT fluid and flush the system, as taking this issue to the dealer will be extremely expensive because they undoubtedly will tell you that you need a new transmission upfront.

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