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Discussion Starter #1
I've put over 3000 miles on my new 2010 FX35 AWD since I bought it over a month ago, and the most glaring, frustrating, and disappointing aspect of this high-priced vehicle I've found so far is the miserable behavior and performance characteristics of its automatic transmission when operated in either the "D" [Drive] or "SD" [Sport Drive] modes.

Now that I have your attention, please note that I have spent a considerable amount of time combing through the archived threads here and elsewhere on the Web regarding this issue before I decided to finally post my concerns and comments here, so please spare me any terse, snarky, and dismissive replies along the lines of "This topic has been discussed in other threads..." as if my questions and concerns regarding this matter are as trivial as perennial questions about the best oils and tires. The fact is that a number of people have similarly complained of many of the problems I'm referring to here, yet as serious as this topic is, this site has yet to create and dedicate a "Sticky" thread regarding this apparently well known problem and design flaw.

So, you may ask... what am I referring to here with regard to the 2010 FX35 AWD's automatic transmission? Many of you undoubtedly know exactly what I'm talking about, but for the sake of clarity, allow me to briefly describe what's greatly bothering me about the behavior and performance of this vehicle's 7-speed automatic transmission...

1) Whether the vehicle is in D or DS mode, gently and smoothly depressing the gas peddle, either from a dead stop, or at very low speeds, typically results in the automatic transmission (AT) inappropriately and almost immediately upshifting into higher gears, which in turn results in a totally inappropriate and potentially dangerous flat-spot in which the power quickly fades, bogs down, and the engine lugs. It's as if gently applying the gas tells the engine and tranny to bog-down and crap-out, rather than waking up and moving! Alternatively, one can instead try to overcome this behavior by more aggressively stomping on the gas pedal, but this will often result in a more brief lag, followed by a sudden surge in power as the tranny thinks, hesitates, downshifts, and then the vehicle bolts forward! WTF?!

2) Once you manage to get the vehicle moving forward while operating the AT (either in the D or DS modes), the AT will then quickly begin inappropriately UPSHIFTING and STEPPING through (within mere seconds of time) to higher gears! Indeed, by the time one is traveling at a mere 30 mph, the f**king AT has up-shifted all the way to 5th or higher gear, and the resulting sensation of driving this expensive vehicle is simply miserable and totally uninspiring! The vehicle stumbles, the power bogs down and fades, and it can't get out of the way of itself unless you stomp on the gas peddle! Hello?

3) When starting the FX35 out from a dead stop, and you then begin gently applying throttle (you know, like you would expect from a normally behaving car), if you would like to discover just how inappropriately far the FX has upshifted through its 7 forward gears while you're lumbering along at ~35 mph, do the following before you start out--> Move the shift knob to the left, which will place the vehicle in DS mode. Then, once you begin gently pushing on the gas pedal and you feel the tranny rapidly upshifting, you can either count how many gears you feel it shifting... or you can simply pull back on the shift knob, which will drop you to the next lowest gear, which will be graphically displayed on the screen in front of you. I did just this tonight on my way home from work after I reached ~35 mph from a dead stop in DS mode, and the display read 5, which means that the tranny was actually in 6th gear before I pulled back on the shifter!

4) In DS mode, if I aggressively get on the throttle, the vehicle will wind-out the gears more, but once I hit ~ 55-65 mph, the tranny will then remain stuck at a higher gear, the RPM's will go over 4500-5000, and it won't upshift until I continue to stomp on the gas some more! Or, if I then want it to shift up to the next gear, I must either flick the shift lever to the right (D mode) which will then take over, or I can manually upshift while remaining in DS mode.

5) Quite unlike what some others have described and posted here and elsewhere, in which they feel that the signs and symptoms I've described here are only intermittent, I've found these problems to be constant and easily demonstrated. Indeed, I've raised these concerns with my local Infiniti dealer, and I was told that my 2010 FX35 AWD is not currently listed as a vehicle that falls within those that require a recommended re-flash of its ECU, but I was told that if it was, such a re-flash would be a permanent change to the ECU, and if I didn't like the results, I would have to live with them.

In summary, I would like to strongly suggest that the moderators of Infinitifx.org create a "Sticky" thread regarding this rather widely talked about, but currently uncategorized and unfocused issue with the FX's automatic transmission problems, in which all members and visitors alike may easily find, review, share, and respond to these glaring problems with the AT, rather than having to spend many hours trying to sift through a multitude of online reports in order to begin getting at the truth of the matter.

I thank each and every one of you who've taken the time to read this!
 

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Don't have a 2nd gen FX so can't really say anything either way other than that almost everyone with an 09 that got the tranny reflash said it was like driving a new car... in a good way... but the '10 FX should have come from the factory with the new transmission algorithms so a reflash should not be necessary... as an experiment, why not get the reflash anyways and let us know what you think? If there was a difference or no difference? Even though it's IRREVERSIBLE I haven't heard a single negative comment about the reflash yet...
 

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I dont see any need for a sticky topic. Your experience does not seem typical of '10 owners. There are maybe a few threads here related to the 2nd gen tranny- no widespread epidemic. Perhaps if this became a major issue, then maybe. But pretty much everyone who has complained was satisfied after their tranny upgrade. Did you notice this behavior on your test drive?

As far as being in a high hear at lower speeds, yes many cars unfortunately do this nowadays. Its to try and get better fuel economy. If you want it to shift aggressively, you have to be all over the gas, or put it into manual and do it yourself (which is the reason there is a manual mode).

Maybe something is wrong with your FX that your dealer is not competent enough to find out (more likely). Maybe find another dealer to check it, or get involved with Infiniti Corporate.
 

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Ghost Hunter said:
In summary, I would like to strongly suggest that the moderators of Infinitifx.org create a "Sticky" thread regarding this rather widely talked about, but currently uncategorized and unfocused issue with the FX's automatic transmission problems, in which all members and visitors alike may easily find, review, share, and respond to these glaring problems with the AT, rather than having to spend many hours trying to sift through a multitude of online reports in order to begin getting at the truth of the matter.
This topic has already been discussed in other threads.................sorry, I couldn't help myself. :D

Ghost, I understand the frustration and, likely, anger you are feeling about the transmission problem on your new FX. I'd be pissed too if I were in your shoes. But even though the finicky 7 speed tranny has been discussed here a few times (I wouldn't go as far to say that it is widely discussed), I don't think its an epidemic that we need to create a sticky for. We've had maybe 5 or 10 members mention complaints about their transmissions, and then about half of them got the reflash and said things were better. I have to question the motive behind suggesting that we create a sticky on this topic -- it seems that if someone owned an FX and felt that they had a problem with their transmission, they would come here and search for threads about the issue. I somehow don't see people spending many hours searching through our multitude of topics in order to find existing threads. And if it is as "widely talked about" as you claim it is, then people should have no trouble finding the threads about it because they would be all over the place. The only logical purpose served by creating a sticky about a transmission problem that maybe 10 people have complained about is so that everyone else can read about it and thereby incite rioting in the streets. That was your aim, no? Your freudian slip was that you referred to the transmission problems as the "truth of the matter".

"You lose! Good day, sir!"
 

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I don't have any of those problems with my 2010 FX. Did you not notice this when you test drove the car? The primary reason that I chose the FX was the way it drove and looked as compared to the competition, and I tested them all. The fact that the FX was the least practical in terms of cargo space but I still went with it speaks a lot about how much I love the drive and the looks.
 

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What you described is exactly what I experienced with a brand new G37 sedan. Unfortunately, I think the average person will find the horrendous transmission to be perfectly acceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to all of you for your comments thus far. In response, I offer the following thoughts:

1) To those of you who've said that this problem is uncommon and not widely reported, I would point out that it has been a subject of interest on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM2qBMdqq8U

2) I did indeed notice the behaviors I've described when I test-drove a 2010 FX35 AWD pretty aggressively at times (it was a demo, and not the car I bought), and when I raised this question with the dealership, I was told not to worry because the vehicle's computerized adaptive shift-control logic would need some time to adjust to my driving habits. That sounded like a very reasonable and reassuring answer at the time. Meanwhile, the vehicle that I purchased off the lot (which I also briefly test-drove) had only 12 miles on the odometer, so I babied it and followed Infiniti's recommended engine break-in procedures for the first 1200 miles (i.e, avoid running the RPM's much above 4000; avoid cruising at a set-speed for prolonged periods; avoid aggressive braking, etc.). Once I reached 1200 miles, I had the oil changed and I then began driving the vehicle and getting on the throttle and manually shifting the tranny in more in a spirited manner, but nothing outrageous.

3) When I brought my FX35 back to the dealership for an oil change at 1200 miles, I mentioned my complaints about the behavior of the AT, and after the service manager, as well as a master technician, test-drove the vehicle, they pretty much agreed with my assessment. At first they told me what I already knew, which is that Infiniti has designed the shift-points of the AT with the goal of maximizing fuel economy by keeping the engine's RPM's as low as possible. That said, they told me that there was a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) for an ECU re-flash on 2009 models, but it only involved correcting a recognized problem with abrupt and rough DOWNSHIFTING of the AT. Infiniti has since corrected this DOWNSHIFTING problem with the 2010 FX35 AWD, and my vehicle's VIN # doesn't show up as needing this. Indeed, I have no complaints with how the vehicle downshifts. Rather, the problem is how the AT UPSHIFTS, and so far as I've been told, there currently is no firmware upgrade that addresses this UPSHIFTING issue, but Infiniti is most likely aware of the problem and they will only be motivated to do something about it until a sufficient number of complaints are registered.

4) It seems that some of you may be so brand-loyal that you wear blinders, and you are reluctant to objectively criticize this vehicle in areas where such criticisms are well deserved. I'm enjoying my new FX35 AWD for the most part, but with a luxury vehicle costing more than $50,000.00, I shouldn't find myself missing and longing for the AT performance of a vehicle costing a mere fraction of this price. If Infiniti soon fixes my gripes, I will totally love this vehicle and be as happy as a pig in mud.

5) Other problems I've had so far with my 2010 FX35 AWD? Well, the vehicle's Navigation/Audio module was defective with regard to BlueTooth. It repeatedly failed to mate with a variety of cell phones, and the dealer eventually diagnosed the problem as a defective audio control module, so they ordered a new one. When it was installed, the new module correctly paired with the phones, but then they found that it had no audio output signal, so they've ordered yet another audio control module, which has yet to arrive and be installed, but I'm hoping for the best...
 

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Ghost Hunter said:
2) I did indeed notice the behaviors I've described when I test-drove a 2010 FX35 AWD pretty aggressively at times (it was a demo, and not the car I bought), and when I raised this question with the dealership, I was told not to worry because the vehicle's computerized adaptive shift-control logic would need some time to adjust to my driving habits. That sounded like a very reasonable and reassuring answer at the time. Meanwhile, the vehicle that I purchased off the lot (which I also briefly test-drove) had only 12 miles on the odometer, so I babied it and followed Infiniti's recommended engine break-in procedures for the first 1200 miles (i.e, avoid running the RPM's much above 4000; avoid cruising at a set-speed for prolonged periods; avoid aggressive braking, etc.). Once I reached 1200 miles, I had the oil changed and I then began driving the vehicle and getting on the throttle and manually shifting the tranny in more in a spirited manner, but nothing outrageous.
I wonder if this might have something to do with your problems... if you babied the FX, it learned to run at a VERY conservative mode... there's a pedal dance in the 1st gen to reset the ECU... wonder if it's the same on the 2nd Gen FX or if there's a specific way for the 2nd gens to do this as well... possibly disconnecting the battery for 10 minutes or more should also reset the ECU but would erase seat memory and radio presets (although I think I heard something about this not completely wiping the info learned by the ECU somewhere but forget where)... I would try something like this before trying to reflash the tranny...

Ghost Hunter said:
5) Other problems I've had so far with my 2010 FX35 AWD? Well, the vehicle's Navigation/Audio module was defective with regard to BlueTooth. It repeatedly failed to mate with a variety of cell phones, and the dealer eventually diagnosed the problem as a defective audio control module, so they ordered a new one. When it was installed, the new module correctly paired with the phones, but then they found that it had no audio output signal, so they've ordered yet another audio control module, which has yet to arrive and be installed, but I'm hoping for the best...
I've read about some quality control problems with the 09 FX but I think this is the first quality complaint I've heard about the '10 (although there is still a lot of time for more problems to come in)... hope you get it fixed PROPERLY and soon!
 

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We have the 7 speed in our 09 which I had reflashed when it became available. I guess I've gotten use to the transmission because I don't notice the problems listed in the thread. I waited several days after I read this tread so I could pay attention to the transmission and still don't have any complaints with the shifting. Is there any way a 2010 model would need to be reflashed? I hope you get it straightened out.
Bill
 

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I have the '09 fx and I did have some issues with tranny and rough down shifting. I had the tranny relflash and it was better. I have some of the issues that you have in terms of a sense of bogging under certain conditions but not under most conditions. I just assumed that it was a byproduct of an attempt at fuel savings. I think there is room for improvement in the tranny programming but I wouldnt say that overall it has ruined my experience with the fx. Overall I am much happier than my previous FX which did not have these tranny issues.
 

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I must agree with ghost, I have an '09 FX35 and the tranny is horrible even after having the reflash. The engine bogging down as he refered to has to be one of the most annoying things i've ever experienced driving a car. I've had a lot of issues with my FX, they only recently fixed my engine problem (car engine would shut off while driving). I am more than dissatisfied with my FX and this would probably be my last Infiniti vehicle (I am on my 2nd infiniti). Hopefully we can bring more awareness to this tranny problem and infiniti will come up with some other reflash.
 

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You know, for a second there I thought this was Weatherman. I mean, he used one of Weatherman's Youtube videos (I recognized the deep voice). Coincidence? Anyway...

Ghost, you mentioned that the problem you are having with the transmission upshifting too early happens on a "constant" basis. However, everyone else who has mentioned these symptoms have said that it only happens intermittently, and that their FXs drive normal most of the time. Even the video link that you posted above, Weatherman clearly said that this problem only happens every so often, and that the transmission shifts normally.....well, normally. So you seem to be the only one who is having transmission problems all of the time. This has nothing to do with any of us being so brand-loyal that we wear blinders. If your FX is the only one having shifting problems all of the time, then perhaps it is a problem specific to your FX.

Dat had a good suggestion as far as resetting the ECU. I don't know if the "foot pedal dance" procedure will work on the second gen FX, but you could always disconnect the battery overnight, then press the brake pedal a few times to drain any remaining juice, and reconnect the battery. Resetting the ECU will allow it to relearn your driving habits, although it takes a few days and your fuel economy will drop until it is relearned. But I'd try that since you have nothing to lose.
 

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I have an 09, and my transmission works exactly as the original poster describes. It has no hard downshift problem. My dealer looked at it, test drove, and said all of "normal." This is by far the worst programed transmission I have ever experienced, and this is particularly true for a supposedly "performance" suv. Other the the transmission, the car is great. But I would not purchase again due to this problem which Infiniti chooses to consider "normal."
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ah, at last, several others here, upon reading my complaints, are now stepping forward and saying that they pretty much agree with me and have noticed the same unacceptable and infuriating behaviors with the AT shift points. Perhaps this thread will encourage more who've found the same problem, but who've previously been silent and felt reluctant to admit it and report it, will come forth and chime in. Indeed, I've suspected that this problem may currently be under-reported here partly because there may be a brand-loyalty bias, as well a tendency for some to choose to overlook and even deny problems since they've spent a lot of money on the vehicle, and perhaps in order to stave off any feelings of buyer's remorse/regert, they choose to wear blinders and go into denial along with a cognitive dissonant "good enough" mode of thinking.

Some have even said that yes, they are aware of this problem with their FX's automatic transmission, but rather than expecting Infiniti to correct the problem, their solution is to simply use the manual-shift mode as much as possible, thus bypassing, avoiding, ignoring, denying, and just accepting the AT problem as it currently exists!

To those of you who have steadfastly refused to make this thread a "Sticky", if more and more owners begin to come forth with similar complaints now that the cat is out of the bag, you might want to rethink your position, since one of the bedrock services of an online enthusiast forum with integrity should be to foster and provide information, rather than obfuscation in which some may choose to ignore any pink elephants sitting in the middle of the room.
 

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Uhm... before you make this your personal crusade, try erasing the ECU and then really PUSHING your FX... it may learn to do things in a more "performance" manner than "economical" manner since you've babied your FX while trying to break-in the engine... with these cars that "learn" your driving style, it makes it hard to switch back and forth between performance and economy... I would at LEAST try this first before thinking there's a conspiracy going on... even in the 1st gens, if you bought your FX used from a grandma, it performed differently than if you bought one from a younger person... until it learned YOUR driving preference of course... but we only have 5 gears to worry about instead of the 7 that you guys have... so I don't think the problem was quite as prominent as what you have... but still... it's a starting point... do it first and let us know if you notice any difference... THEN we can start talking conspiracies... :)
 

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Good luck on your crusade. May the force be with you. 0X

I still don't understand why you want this to be a sticky. If you looked around the forums a little, you would see that the only stickies in the 'Problems and Questions' section are TSB's -- which means actual problems that Infiniti has recognized. I'll make you a deal; if Infiniti released a TSB or a recall or whatever for this problem, then I'll make it a sticky.
 

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Infiniti was in a spot where others had 6,7,8 speed transmissions while the 5 speed was still in need of signicant improvement. They brought out a design that was not ready...is there a reason so many of us drive in MM?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Please don't try to twist my words here. I never said nor implied anything about a suspected "conspiracy" on the part of Infiniti. (Indeed, that would verge on being delusional unless perhaps we were talking about a new Toyota, but I digress.) Rather, what I'm strongly suggesting is that as it currently stands with (at least) the 2010 FX35 AWD, my hunch is that the 7-speed AT itself is probably mechanically sound, but that there is most likely a significant design flaw with the 7-speed transmission's current electronic mapping, and this is what needs to be addressed, acknowledged, and rectified by Infiniti.

With regard to those respondents who've quite reasonably thought that perhaps all that might be needed is to somehow 'reeducate' the AT's adaptive-shifting brain... I will need to pick the brains of the service technicians about this idea, but that said, it's been my understanding (at least with my other vehicles so equipped) that typical modern adaptive ECU's are programmed to continuously learn, adapt, relearn, and re-adapt over time and miles, rather than being designed to learn once within a certain period of time and miles, and then the learning is done. Indeed, the latter would make no sense if you think about it, and the following example may be a case in point...

I previously mentioned that before I bought my new FX35 AWD, I test-drove a 2010 FX35 AWD demo that had several thousand miles on the odometer. Why did the dealer first have me test-drive a demo? The answer is obvious, which is that most folks (men in particular) will tend to drive a demo very aggressively, including quick-starts, high-rev upshifts, stomping on the gas, putting the engine and AT through its paces (especially in Manual Mode), aggressive braking, aggressive cornering, etc. Indeed, the dealership where I bought my car is right next to a freeway outerbelt as well as a couple of nearby twisty roads, and let me tell you, I drove the piss out of that demo on all of those roads, and it was great fun!

On the other hand, when I later chilled out and test-drove the same demo under typical 'around town' driving conditions, its tranny behaved the same as my 'virgin' and 'babied' FX35 does... The demo's AT rapidly upshifted into the stratosphere at low speeds, it bogged, it hesitated, it flat-spotted, it seemingly couldn't get out of its own way, etc., but I overlooked this because the salesmen said that the vehicle would perk-up with continued driving, etc. (Plus, I otherwise liked the car very much, so I too had blinders on here, which caused a sort of linkage blindness.) I also later felt more confident when the differences between the AT's "D" and "DS" modes were pointed out to me, and I realized that I had NOT driven the demo in DS mode, only D mode.

However, in hindsight (and this is my real point here, so bear with me a while longer) if one's hypothesis is that the AT upshifting problems I've been complaining about are perhaps merely due to driving my vehicle like an old woman for the first 1200 miles of break-in, which hypothetically may have resulted in said problems for now, how then do you explain the same problems occurring with a 2010 FW35 AWD demo that's surely had the veritable piss driven out of it since the day it hit the dealer's lot? Answer that one, smarty pants. :)

When, as one respondent here has said, that they wouldn't buy this vehicle again, had they known then what they know now about the AT and other issues... well, that's a bold and sobering statement, one that deserves attention. I've been having second thoughts myself, and I hope that Infiniti soon gets its sh*t together and solves this problem.

A moderator here at this thread recently posted a comment in which he told me that he would make a deal with me--> If and when Infiniti announces a TSB regarding this issue, only then would he post this thread as a Sticky. Hmmm, this seems like rather backward and hindsighted thinking, rather like waiting to announce an oncoming storm only after the horses are out of the barn.
 

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Ghost Hunter said:
With regard to those respondents who've quite reasonably thought that perhaps all that might be needed is to somehow 'reeducate' the AT's adaptive-shifting brain... I will need to pick the brains of the service technicians about this idea, but that said, it's been my understanding (at least with my other vehicles so equipped) that typical modern adaptive ECU's are programmed to continuously learn, adapt, relearn, and re-adapt over time and miles, rather than being designed to learn once within a certain period of time and miles, and then the learning is done. Indeed, the latter would make no sense if you think about it, and the following example may be a case in point...
Today's cars learn quickly... but they're a bit slower to "re-learn"... so every once in a while, it's good to clear the ECU anyways...

Ghost Hunter said:
However, in hindsight (and this is my real point here, so bear with me a while longer) if one's hypothesis is that the AT upshifting problems I've been complaining about are perhaps merely due to driving my vehicle like an old woman for the first 1200 miles of break-in, which hypothetically may have resulted in said problems for now, how then do you explain the same problems occurring with a 2010 FW35 AWD demo that's surely had the veritable piss driven out of it since the day it hit the dealer's lot? Answer that one, smarty pants. :)
Good question... I'm wearing the OTHER pants today so I have NO answer for you... :lol:

Ghost Hunter said:
When, as one respondent here has said, that they wouldn't buy this vehicle again, had they known then what they know now about the AT and other issues... well, that's a bold and sobering statement, one that deserves attention. I've been having second thoughts myself, and I hope that Infiniti soon gets its sh*t together and solves this problem.
Totally understandable...

Ghost Hunter said:
A moderator here at this thread recently posted a comment in which he told me that he would make a deal with me--> If and when Infiniti announces a TSB regarding this issue, only then would he post this thread as a Sticky. Hmmm, this seems like rather backward and hindsighted thinking, rather like waiting to announce an oncoming storm only after the horses are out of the barn.
And one last thing is that if we made stickies for EVERY thread that our members requested, we'd only have stickies and no normal threads... it may seem like backwards thinking but if this thread keeps going as it has the past couple of days, it'll stay at the top of the section and won't need to be made a sticky... OR it could eventually become a sticky if a TSB ever comes out... for now, it's good as is IMO...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Seems to me that this forum hasn't had a good pot-stirring in a while. By God, this is almost as much fun as rehashing Tiger Woods' rough-lies and hole-in-one's. :redhotevil:

By the way, I also ride a 2007 Honda VFR 800A Interceptor. No adaptive-shift control, just plain fun to be had with engine, throttle, clutch, brakes, tires (Michelin Road Pilot 2CT's here), corners, and the occasional stop for fuel and cheeseburgers. 8)
 
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