Continuously Variable Transmissions are Gaining Popularity

By Mister Transmission

Wondering if the next car you buy should be one with a CVT? It depends on if you want to drive a vehicle with gears or not

DAF 600 in 1959

Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) are not a new invention, and yet it’s only been in recent years motorists have become more familiar with them.

In 1958, the small Dutch manufacturer van Doorne Automobiel Fabriek (DAF) introduced the DAF 600. It was one of the first mass-produced cars with a CVT, but it was not a success. In 1987 Subaru rolled out the Justy, also built with a CVT. However, it too was a market flop for various reasons including concerns about CVT reliability, as well as the noise they omit.

Despite the bad rap they sometimes get, CVTs do provide advantages including a significant boost to an engine’s fuel efficiency when accelerating, and they reportedly cost less than modern eight- and nine-speed automatic transmissions.

What Is a CVT?

 

Nissan Murano 2003

Most automatic transmissions rely on gears to operate. CVTs, on the other hand, don’t have any gears at all. They operate using a system of variable pulleys connected by a belt, hence the alternative moniker, the pulley transmission.

When Japanese automaker Nissan launched its Murano crossover with a CVT in 2003, motorists started to warm up to them. Nowadays, CVTs are increasingly common on our roads. For instance, Nissan offers the CVT on many of its vehicles including the Murano, Altima, Maxima, Rogue, Sentra, and Versa. CVTs can also be found in some Audi A4 models, Jeep Compass and Patriot, BMW Minis, Mercedes-Benz Class Bs, select Honda Civic Hybrids, Mitsubishi Lancers, and some Toyota models. Chrysler and Ford both offered vehicles with CVTs but switched gears after a while due to consumers’ perception CVT reliability was questionable.

CVT Maintenance and Repair Advantages and Disadvantages

 

In general, CVTs are no more or less reliable than traditional automatic transmissions. But it may be their application are better suited to smaller cars than larger vehicles.

With that said, and when compared to conventional sealed automatic transmissions which can run for up to 100,000 kilometres or more before maintenance is required, proactive preventative maintenance on some CVT models may require frequent transmission fluid changes. Heat is the CVT’s biggest enemy. Thus there are specific oils required for these transmissions.

Do you have questions about CVTs or any other kind of transmission? Visit the Mister Transmission service centre nearest you and talk to our expert technicians to get the information you need.

 

Visit your nearest Mister Transmission location today!

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  • 6016 Almon St.
  • Halifax, NS
  • B3K 1T8
  • 902-702-7022

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Customer Reviews
They did a good job,...
Lisa Overland
They did a good job, pretty fast so far so good. Shifts good.They did break an exhaust sensor, did not mention it to me after l showed the warning light to em. Cost me anouther $200 at Midas while getti g an oil change.
Date: June 29, 2022
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Very nice staff and service with enough satisfaction to your questions and concerns.
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Great people and service!!Service: Transmission
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Great people and service!!Service: Transmission
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Zaff was really good.Services: Body &...
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Zaff was really good.Services: Body & Trim, Oil change
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I have used this location...
D Anderson
I have used this location (Centennial Pkwy.) for transmission repair and preventative maintenance work on several occasions, with more than one vehicle over the years. Owner Steve is both courteous and knowledgeable. The work done here is honest and reliable. They are not in the business of overcharging for work that isn't required! I would highly recommend this location to anyone in need of transmission repair or service.Service: Transmission
Date: June 27, 2022
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Great service and honest !Fixed my problem with very little headaches!
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Doctor Matt and his crew...
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Doctor Matt and his crew fixed up a bad situation on a 700R4 in an old car. It’s tough to get ANY shop these days to even consider working on ol school Detroit muscle. They’ve touched both my cars and I wouldn’t have anyone else deal with my drivetrain issues. Thnx again Matt
Date: June 25, 2022
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Dave Nelson
Fantastic place! Staff so friendly I would work there!!
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Excellent people small family business
Date: June 23, 2022
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A true “five stars” service...
Adnan Isakovic
A true “five stars” service by a professional Team of experts!Had intermittent transmission issues with my old SUV and previously tried to get help from the dealership, with no resolution - until I called Eric.Got immediate attention and effective service. Eric is passionate about his business and someone you can trust without reservations. You will get the best transmission job done for a fair price.Highly, highly recommended!
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