The recommended fluid according to the manual is Nissan ATF or Dexron ATF. The Trainsaxle fluid capacity is 6.6 quarts (US) but you are to make a final check with the dipstick.
Some transmissions are very sensitive. You must have the exact amount. Too much or too little will cause the transmission to slip......or just sit.
There are a couple of Technical Service Bulletins out on different types of ATF. Also on the proper fill level. Last I attached a troubleshooting chart. As you see from the first one - no movement the first major reason is the oil level.
If it were me, the first thing I would do is change the fluid and filter and make sure I used the recommended type. Then let's see from there. Good luck and let us know.
May 15, 1998
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID
This amended version of NTB95-055 updates information regarding the Recommendation ATF usage.
Please disregard previous NTB95-055 and NTB93-065.
IMPORTANT NOTE : Nissan Matic "D" ATF must be used in performing repairs paid by Nissan, such as warranty, service contract, or goodwill repairs. Nissan will not reimburse dealers for repairs when non-genuine Nissan Matic "D" is used.
For current and prior production Nissan vehicles, front wheel and/or rear wheel drive, only Nissan Matic "D", or other ashless petroleum based ATF, is formulated to meet the requirements of Nissan automatic transmissions and automatic transaxles. Nissan Matic "D", or other ashless petroleum based ATF, assists in ensuring transmission durability, smooth driveability, low exhaust emissions and customer satisfaction.
Only an ashless type petroleum based ATF should be used to repair Nissan vehicles because other types of ATF may contain compounds which adversely affect transmission performance. Specifically, ash will impact friction response. In addition, ATF with ash is likely to have a higher Zinc (Zn) content. Zinc will adhere to clutch linings and cause slippage, resulting in transmission damage.
For ordering procedures, please refer to the "Dealer Confidential Parts Price List".
BULLETIN: # 9002006
SUBJECT: Automatic Transmission Fluid
DATE: Feb 1990
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID
CHOOSING YOUR ATF
Different ATF's (Automatic Transmission Fluid) can have different frictional properties which can produce different shift characteristics. You may have already experienced problems like lock-up shudder, or squawks on shifts and have corrected them by changing the fluid. This alone tells, you that friction material and fluids are critical in today's cars.
MEETING THE O.E.M. SPECIFICATIONS
The first thing to consider when choosing an ATF is "Does it meet the O.E.M. specification?" ATF's wishing to be labeled as DEXRON II and/or MERCON must first meet the respective minimum requirements. It's important to note that even though the specification for DEXRON II and MERCON are currently very similar, THEY ARE NOT IDENTICAL. Also note, even fluids which meet the same specification may not be identical. One fluid may just meet a specification and, another may far surpass it. You should know what your fluids properties are! You can get that information from your fluid supplier.
EVALUATING YOUR FLUID
Ask your supplier to prove (certify) that the fluid meets O.E.M. specifications (MERCON OR DEXRON II). He will do that by supplying you with the license (certification) number issued to him by the O.E.M.
A DEXRON-II license number (sometimes referred to as a "D" number) will always start D-2. A typical DEXRON license number.
MERCON license numbers will be six digits starting with M
TRY TO MEET SEVERAL SPECIFICATIONS!
DEXRON II and MERCON have different minimum specifications, so a product that meets BOTH specifications may be better then those meeting only one spec. Meeting other specs, in addition to the first two can be an added benefit. If a fluid is licensed as DEXRON II AND MERCON as well as others like Allison C-4, or Caterpillar TO-2/TO-4, it means the fluid had to pass more tests and may be a better fluid.
Lastly, demand that the license numbers be placed on all your invoices especially if you buy in bulk. If your supplier is unwilling, it is very likely that they are supplying you an unlicensed fluid. Licensed suppliers are required to supply the license numbers to their customers as part of their agreement with the O.E.M.
OTHER THINGS TO CHECK
So now you've narrowed your choices down to a few suppliers that have O.E.M. license numbers. How do you compare two fluids that meet the same O.E.M. Spec.? Ask your supplier to give you the viscometrics on the fluid you buy.
An excellent "bench mark of the overall quality of a fluid is its viscosity at -40 degrees. This is measured in "centipoise" or "cPs". DEXRON II specification says viscosity will be no more then 50,000 cPs @ - 40 degrees. (Some poor fluids have tested at over 1,000,000 cPs) In general, the lower the number, the better the fluid.
Keep in mind that as the number goes down the price of the fluid usually goes up. (You get what you pay for) Most good fluids will average around 35,000 cPs. Hydrotreated (or Hydrocracked) fluids average around 20,000 cPs or less. (Hydrotreating is a refining process done to the base oil to clean out contaminants or impurities) Synthetic ATF's average 10,000 cPs or less, and some are as low as 5000 cPs. Viscosity at -40 degrees is a function of the base stock from which the ATF is made. A low number indicates a premium base oil OR an expensive refining process. (Hydrotreating)
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Transmission Digest August '89
Page 91 December '89 Page 51
Only use fluids with O.E.M. approvals.
Try to get a fluid that meets more than one spec (e.g DEXRON II AND MERCON)
Check the viscosity at -40 degrees. The lower the number the better.
Avoid bargain basement fluids with no license numbers.
Models: 1987-89 Sentra & Pulsar
Section: Automatic Transmission
Bulletin No.: TS89-091
Date: June 30, 1989
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID LEVEL
As with all Nissan vehicles with Automatic Transmissions (and as specified in all Nissan Owner's and Service Manuals), it is especially important that the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) for the 3-speed RL3F01A automatic transmission (used on 1987-1989 Sentra and Pulsar XE models) be maintained at the proper level.
CAUTION: Both overfilling and under filling may cause damage to the transmission.
Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 AT 12:14 AM