How to Change Nissan CVT Transmission Speed Sensor

This guide shows how to replace the primary VSS sensor on Nissan equipped with the 3.5L V6 engine and CVT transmission. Note that your Nissan may have a secondary VSS sensor that is causing the problem.  

DIY Cost: $40-$150
Est. Time: 1 hr
Difficulty: Intermediate

The transmission speed sensor on Nissan CVT automatic transmission may fail, causing shifting problems. 

It can cause hard shifting, check engine light, or a bang when you move the shifter from Park to Drive or Reverse gears.

This transmission is installed on multiple cars, including Nissan Altima, Cube, Juke, Maxima, Murano, NV Cargo, Pathfinder, and Quest.

Symptoms

Symptoms of bad transmission speed sensor

  • Engine bangs when placed in Drive / Reverse.
  • Check Engine Light On
  • P0720 Fault Code
  • P0500 - Vehicle Speed Sensor
  • Harsh shifting
  • Cruise control stopped working.
  • Possibly Related Fault Codes
    • P0703, P0705 Range Sensor,
    • P0706, P0711, P0712, P0713, P0715,
    • P0717 Input speed sensor,
    • P0730 incorrect gear ratio,
    • P0740 torque converter,
    • P0743, P0779, P776, P0746

What you need

Procedure

There are two methods to replace the speed sensor on Nissan CVT transmission.

This first requires removing the battery and the starter, which will take a lot of time.

The second is to access the speed sensor from the bottom of the engine. The sensor is on the side of the transmission housing facing the front. It is on the same side as the starter. 

  1. Jack up the vehicle or drive it on-ramps. A secure vehicle with jack stands.
  2. Remove the plastic splash shield from the bottom of the engine.
  3. Locate the transmission speed sensor. In this Nissan Quest, you can see the sensor on the driver side, between the radiator and transmission housing. The black part is the starter. You will need to get under the vehicle to access this sensor. nissan transmission speed sensor location
  4. Disconnect the electrical connector. Use a flat screwdriver to pry the plug away from the sensor.nissan cvt transmission speed sensor
  5. Remove the 10mm bolt. Get it loose using your 10mm socket and ratchet. Next, remove the bolt by hand.nissan transmission speed sensor replacement diy guide
  6. Remove the old speed sensor from the transmission housing. There may be a tiny amount of oil leaking from the sensor hole.nissan maxima transmission speed sensor
  7. Reinstall the new sensor. Make sure it has the O-ring in place. Apply a little bit of oil on the O-ring before installation. It is not recommended to reuse the old O-ring.diy on how to replace nissan transmission speed sensor
  8. Tighten the 10mm bolt. Connect the electrical connector. nissan altima transmission speed sensor
  9. Lower the vehicle and follow the proper procedure to check the automatic transmission fluid level.

If the check engine light is on, plug an OBD2 scanner into the diagnostic port under the dashboard (driver's side) to read and clear any stored fault codes. 

Notes

  • The sensor is right below the starter. If you are accessing the sensor from underneath the vehicle, using a 1/4" ratchet and 4" extension is better to get to the 10 mm bolt.
  • Service manual instructions can be found here.

Input Speed Sensor Location

On Nissan vehicles equipped with the CVT transmission, the input speed sensor is located on the side of the transmission housing.

How to diagnose Nissan transmission speed sensor

A mechanic will connect an OBD-II transmission scanner that can read Nissan codes. 

  1. Locate the OBD2 port under the dashboard.
  2. Turn the ignition to position II. All dash lights will turn on.
  3. Allow the scanner to power on.
  4. Select the Automatic Transmission menu or A/T menu.
  5. Select read codes.
  6. Verify that fault codes are pointing to a faulty transmission speed sensor.

 

Visitor, March 9, 2019
Excellent Inf....Clear Easy...Congra...
Visitor, March 9, 2019
Was this video taken underneath the car I cannot seem to find the sensor
Visitor, March 9, 2019
very helpful thank you.
Visitor, March 9, 2019
Always helpful. Thanks
Visitor, March 9, 2019
Obd2 scanner not working in my nissan sunny 2002 model 1.3
Visitor, March 9, 2019
very good very helpful thank you much
jon, September 17, 2020

Thank you excellent information, I'll proceed with confidence.

Trinity Moen, September 23, 2020

What year Murano was this? I have an 07 and there is no input sensor in that area. This must be newer than an 2007 CVT Transmission. If you can help with locating the input shaft sensor on the 2003-2007 CVT, I would greatly appreciate it.

How to Change Nissan CVT Transmission Speed Sensor The transmission speed sensor on Nissan CVT automatic transmission may fail, causing shifting problems.  It can cause hard shifting, check engine light, or a bang when you move the shifter from Park to Drive or Reverse gears.