Are CVT Transmissions Any Good?

Are Modern Cars With CVT Transmissions Any Good?

Modern cars are going towards a new design of transmissions called CVT. Scotty explains the history of transmissions and what he thinks about buying a modern car with a CVT tranny. His 50 years of fixing cars gives him a unique perspective on the truth.

Comments (18)
No. 1-17
ayub1969
ayub1969

we all know that we have conventional-manual genuine gearing box systems running on the roads for probably 80+ years (without fixing, only with oil changes). can CVT do so?? I dont think so!!! it is normally said that CVTs are better to conventionals for fuel economy, my question is this, if the car is running on highway (conventional gears) in top gear, with exactly same rpm and gear ratio as that of a CVT, how CVT would have a better fuel economy? while considering that a CVT always have frictional loses (driver to driven ratio is never constant due to slippage). on the other hand in conventional spurr gear there is no slippage???????

Mike1998
Mike1998

CVT transmissions are technologically amazing. The biggest perk to them is they can stay in the power band of the engine the whole time, and can switch from the power band to the fuel efficiency band, and stay there. They are most commonly used in snowmobiles.

With standard and automatic transmissions, every time you shift, the revs usually fall out of the power band of the motor, which wastes more fuel to get back up to the power band.

With a CVT transmission operating how it is designed to, they are constantly within the power band or the fuel efficiency band, depending on what the computer determines they should be in. This guarantees more power on demand.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies decided to forego this advantage because customers want to hear a gear shift. So they program the computer to act like the transmission is shifting. This causes excessive wear on the transmission, making it tend to break down faster. It is also what causes the "rubber band effect"

BigCatCougar
BigCatCougar

Are there any "good" videos out there to change the cvt fluid and filter for a 2016-2019 corolla? Do you recommend DIY or should the dealer do this kind of work. I've seen some videos out there, but they are the Japanese versions. They use TC fluid where as we use FE fluid. What are your recommendations.

ScottyKilmer
ScottyKilmer

Editor

Yes, all that is true. You are a wise person.

TheAutoAdventurer
TheAutoAdventurer

@r8989k just enjoy what you like buying, there is always a trade off buying anything. Besides you got a very refined Honda especially when you turbo charged it. I also understand manuals are not the most pleasant for drivers taking it easy. You also got a much better handling vehicle than a Toyota. One more thing, I do not like how he always doubts on people making decisions freely but I won’t do that, good luck👍.

ScottyKilmer
ScottyKilmer

Editor

I would do it every 40 to 60 thousand miles,, cause it wears very gradually and if you go by them acting up, it's too late then

Stoner
Stoner

How do you know its time to change the transmission fluid on a CVT transmission

r8989k
r8989k

i live in acountry have no mountain to go up or down just flat earth so its good for cvt gears

r8989k
r8989k

hehehe dont scare me i hope it last forever

ScottyKilmer
ScottyKilmer

Editor

Lets hope you can say that in 5 years

r8989k
r8989k

i like cvt on my honda acord 2017

ScottyKilmer
ScottyKilmer

Editor

stick there, expeditions turn into money pits as they age

Yizzy07
Yizzy07

I have a 96 acura tl got everything on it new its runs great has 220000 miles on it and i was thinking about selling it to get a expedition on Craigslist because i love big SUV's should i take that chance or just keep the car i have

E V
E V

Great video. What about the recent addition of more gears to automatic transmissions? We had 3 speed with OD automatics in 80's and then a bump to 4 and 5-speed autos throughout the 90's and early 2000's. Then 6-speed automatics seem to be the norm in the mid-2000's. Now, we have 8-speed and even a 10-speed automatic (new Honda Odyssey). More gears means smoother shifting and better gas mileage, but are we setting ourselves up for $10,000 transmission rebuild costs in the future?

Vladchan
Vladchan

Wankels have probs inherent in the design. Nissan CVTs suffer from weak bearings and sticking valves which are not unique to CVTs. The "CVT" part of the tranny is actually quite strong.

ScottyKilmer
ScottyKilmer

Editor

So, in other words, they often are not very good. Yea,an interesting idea, like the wankel rotary engine, but those wankels proved to be disasters when people actually massed produced them and drove them every day. The mazda cosmos being a perfect example of good idea gone bad.

Vladchan
Vladchan

There is nothing wrong with CVTs as such, it's Jatco trannies used in Nissans and a bumch of others have known probs they have done nothing to fix. Also some manufacturers cheapen out and put too small a CVT into too big/heavy/powerful a car. So they go out prematurely.



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