We filled our coolant system with PEAK OET Asian Vehicle Extended Life Blue its pre-mixed and has a service life of 5 years or 150,000 miles. Some people online speculate this is the same fluid that Nissan uses at the dealership. There was almost no price difference between either the Peak or the Nissan fluid so we chose the Peak due to convenience. Finally we added a couple of radiator and coolant overflow hoses from Z1 Motorsports to finish off our cooling system upgrade.
We wanted to get a read on what the temps were before we upgrade our transmission and monitor temps to prevent damage down the road. The factory ECU keeps track of this data in the automatic cars and puts the car into a limp mode when the transmission fluid experiences excessive temperatures. We’ve never pushed the car that hard, but have been told the car gets put into a higher gear and RPM’s are fixed at 3,500 when in limp mode. Unfortunately there’s no way to tap into this factory signal for transmission temps unless you have a Nissan scan tool. To get a reading for transmission temps we contacted Autometer and got a temperature gauge and sending unit to hook up to the hot side of the transmission fluid loop.
We specifically used the 2-1/16″ transmission temperature gauge (Part #5658) from their Elite series. Autometer’s Elite series of gauges are a step above when it comes to features. The lighting mode is customizable offering 6 different colors, but the gauge also changes colors based on temperature. When cold the gauge glows green. As you cross to full operating temp the gauge glows white and finally red when you’ve exceeded 220 degrees. Of course these limits can all be changed and the lighting can be dimmed right at the gauge negating the need to tap into your factory dimmer switch. The Autometer Elite gauge also comes pre-wired to control a switched ground output to active an ignition kill, a set of fans or warning lights. There is also a data logging option available, along with a peak recall function.
We wanted some readings of the stock transmission, but without some track time available it was hard to get any readings past 210 degrees during a normal commute. But as it turns out all we needed to do was find some stop and go traffic – more on that in a bit.