I’m fooling around with a 2012 Versa, having just replaced the engine with an LKQ unit that started right up. However, the transmission is now unhappy. The trans is a 4-speed automatic, not a CVT.

What it seems to do is stay in 1st gear until a high rev, like 2500 or so, then make a DEEP shift into 4th gear. Getting on the freeway, it’ll downshift back into first, but then want to go to 4th. Then it will slowly build up to highway speed. I haven’t driven it far, and I am confident that the fluid level is appropriate.

I dropped the pan when the drivetrain was in the air and removed the strainer, but Nissan cleverly made one of the bolts have a loose nut on top, so I had to drop the valve body to claim the bolt. There is a spring at one corner of the valve body that perhaps I did not get seated properly. The friendly local transmission shop, whose proprietor is very helpful and willing to consult over the phone, says the behavior I describe is not likely to be caused by that spring not being in the right place. I can drop the pan and the valve body and check the spring — and capture the $60 worth of trans fluid I’ve added so far and buy another new $25 gasket from Nissan — or take it to the guy for a diagnostic and see what he thinks, for a $125 fee. Or I put it up for sale for what I have in it and count the adventure itself as profit.

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Thoughts? Suggestions?