- Learn about common Nissan Armada transmission problems
- Everything you need to know when shopping for a Nissan Armada transmission for sale
- How and when to buy a remanufactured Nissan Armada transmission
Get A Transmission Quote
Nissan Armada Transmission Problems & Solutions
From the deserts of Australia, to the oil fields of the Middle East, countless people trust their lives and livelihoods to the rugged Nissan Patrol. In North America, we know it as the 2004-2015 Nissan Armada, and it’s one of the most capable fullsize SUV’s that you can buy. To make it work in Suburbia, Nissan gave their 8-seat SUV standard leather, 20-inch wheels, and an optional rear DVD player to entertain the kids.
But what sets the Nissan Armada apart from other big FamUV’s, is the way it’s built. Underneath the masculine bodywork is a full-length, fully boxed ladder frame that’s made from high-strength steel. This allows it to tow up to 9,100 lbs, and the available 4×4 system uses a trick center differential and 2-speed transfer case to keep this big box rolling, even through serious terrain. The 5.6L V8 has enough power to handle any situation. And the 5-speed RE5RO5A transmission keeps the wheels turning, whether you’re crawling up the side of a mountain, or crawling through a Red Lobster parking lot.
However, a cooling system design flaw has led to numerous Nissan Armada transmission problems, which forces many owners to install a remanufactured RE5R05A transmission.
Common Problems with the Nissan Armada RE5R05A Transmission
1) Complete transmission failure
Although the Nissan RE5R05A automatic transmission is actually very well built. Many Nissan Armada owners have experienced premature gearbox failure due to contaminated transmission fluid. The problem is caused by poorly designed cooler passages, located inside the OEM Nissan Armada radiator. Over time, those passages can develop small cracks, which allows antifreeze to mix in with the transmission fluid as it flows through the cooler at the bottom of the radiator. If this happens, the chemicals inside that engine coolant will destroy the transmission seals, and the contaminated ATF will cause significant damage to the internal components (bands, valve body etc.). The only solution is to install a remanufactured Nissan Armada transmission, because a standard RE5R05A rebuild kit won’t be able to correct all of the internal damage.
2) Abrupt gear changes or slipping between gears
It’s common for the Armada RE5R05A transmission to exhibit shifting problems, particularly if routine maintenance has been ignored. Worn clutch packs are usually the reason behind hard 2-3 shifts. While worn transmission bands, a faulty solenoid, or even using the wrong type of ATF can cause the gearbox to slip between 4th and 5th gears. Ignoring these problems will eventually lead to a long walk/cab ride home. So to keep your Armada going strong, you need to consider one of our reman Nissan RE5R05A transmissions. They’ve been completely re-engineered to exceed factory specs. And each one is backed by a nationwide 3-year/Unlimited Mile Warranty.
Believe it or not, your RE5R05A transmission can overheat, just like your engine. On the 2004-2015 Nissan Armada, the OEM transmission cooler isn’t able to remove enough heat from the ATF, which is the leading cause of damaged transmission bands, clutches, and torque converters. If you do a lot of towing, or driving in hilly/mountain terrain, you’re going to need an auxiliary transmission cooler. This “transmission radiator” will keep your transmission fluid cool during severe use (i.e. towing, off-roading), and it will help to extend the life of both the ATF, and the transmission.
How to Solve Nissan Armada Transmission Problems
Option 1: Buy a Used Armada transmission
Your grandfather would probably tell you that getting a used Nissan transmission, is like buying somebody else’s problems. And frankly, he’d be right. Junkyards don’t know the history of each part they sell. So you can’t be sure that a used Nissan RE5RO5A transmission won’t have the exact same issues that you’re trying to fix. Plus, that junkyard warranty expires in just 30-90 days, and it likely doesn’t cover labor charges either.
Option 2: Buy a Rebuilt Armada transmission
Despite occasional transmission issues, the Nissan Armada was designed to last for a very long time. So if you want to get the most from your automotive investment, you need to consider the long-term value of a rebuilt Nissan Armada transmission. For example, a rebuilt transmission will get lots of new parts and seals. But the integrity of the case might not be checked, the rebuilder might simply reuse the valve body and torque converter, and most transmission repair shops don’t dyno test their rebuilds to ensure quality and function. Plus, the average warranty on a rebuilt Nissan Armada RE5R05A transmission only lasts 1-2 years, and you may be geographically limited to certain shops/repair centers.
Option 3: Buy a Remanufactured Armada transmission
Buying a remanufactured Armada transmission from Street Smart Transmission might not be the cheapest option. But it will add the most value in the long-run. Every RE5R05A transmission undergoes a thorough reconditioning process, that starts by testing, machining, polishing and painting all load bearing metal surfaces. The valve body gets completely remanufactured back to factory specs, and all of the replaceable components are upgraded beyond OE specifications. After reassembly, your reman Nissan Armada transmission gets pre-flashed and hot/cold dyno tested to ensure that it functions properly. This also allows it to be installed without reprogramming the ECU.
Each remanufactured RE5R05A transmission is then shipped with a reman torque converter, along with a brand new radiator that has reinforced cooler passages, to prevent future ATF contamination problems. In addition, your reman Armada transmission is covered by a 3-year/Unlimited Mile Warranty that protects you in all 50-states. The Street Smart Transmission warranty is also transferable, and it even covers labor costs if anything goes wrong. So in the long-run, you’ll not only be financially protected. But your upgraded transmission will likely outlast an OEM-spec gearbox.
To put an end to your Nissan Armada transmission problems, give us a call at (866) 812-7560.