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
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Eric is very professional and...
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Driving through Toronto from out of town we had transmission problems with our van. Ray at Mister Transmission was an absolute star!! After calling several places, I talked to Ray and he was very welcoming and said to bring it over and he would take a look. From the very beginning, I totally trusted his advice and he was accomodating considering our situation. He gave us the straight facts and information that we needed and truly helped us out. Too bad that we are not from the area as he would definitely be someone that I would trust with my vehicles and who would become our "go to" guy. Thanks Ray so much for your help!
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Excellent and quick service. Addressed the complaint I came in with and identified that it would be covered under warranty from a previous service. No charge and yet I wouldn't have known the difference had they charged me for the issue. I'm a repeat customer here and they have treated me kindly and provided very good service each time.
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I've never left an online review before but my experience with Brad and his team at Mister Transmission was so good I felt compelled to do one for them.After the initial transmission repair I had to return my car for some additional work and Brad was more than fair with how he fixed the problems. I could tell they were trying their hardest to do their best for me as a customer and I really appreciated that.Highly, highly recommended!
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