Pretty much everybody has heard of manual and automatic transmissions. And most of us understand the basic differences between the two. But have you heard of CVT transmissions? Do you know what they are? Do you know how to repair a CVT transmission? Or, more to the point, do you know how transmission technicians repair CVT transmissions?
“CVT” stands for “Continuously Variable Transmission”. So, before we go any further, let us admit that “CVT transmission” is redundant; just like “ATM machine”. But it is how people often refer to CVTs. CVTs are a newer type of transmission, though the concept is old. In the name of fuel efficiency, CVTs are becoming ever more popular, so if you own or are looking at purchasing a newer vehicle, you have a higher chance of getting a CVT.
A CVT is a type of automatic transmission, but it’s different than traditional automatic transmissions. CVTs provide a smoother driving experience because they have optimized the shifting process. When driving a CVT, you might well notice that the transition between gears becomes near seamless. But there are other advantages to CVTs, too. CVTs can provide better fuel economy and more efficient power usage because they permit the engine to operate at optimum power, regardless of how fast the vehicle is traveling. This all boils down to CVTs being “continuously variable”. It means that instead of actual gear “stages”, the CVT allows for a continuous variation within the engine so that you can’t even notice the transition between gears.
Different Types Of Cvt Transmissions
There are several types of CVTs, many of which are now available from major auto manufacturers. These different types include:
- Pulley-Based – The most common type of CVT. Pulley-based CVTs use a complex pulley system, as opposed to gears, in order to provide seamless gear transitions.
- Toroidal CVT – This type of CVT system utilizes rotating discs and power rollers to achieve the function of the pulley system from a pulley-based CVT.
Cvt Transmission Repair
CVTs represent a general improvement on the traditional automatic transmission. CVTs generally feel smoother than other transmissions. However, CVTs will idle in any gear and, because the sounds of regulation are often similar to that of a slipping or clunking transmission, people can get confused. Sometimes CVT transmission repair consists of simply reassuring new drivers of CVT vehicles that their transmission doesn’t need to be repaired at all. Though, at Mister Transmission, we always conduct our Multi-Check Inspection, just to make sure.
At Mister Transmission, we expect to see more and more CVTs in the future, both near and far. The benefits are simply too great to prevent wider adoption of CVTs. And we are prepared for all the increasing CVT transmission repairs with which we will be tasked. CVT repair can be tricky because of the pulleys, but it’s nothing the technicians at Mister Transmission can’t handle.
Whether you need an automatic, manual, or CVT transmission repaired, please contact Mister Transmission to get the job done right.
At Mister Transmission, we have a way to fix any transmission problem that our customers present us with. Sometimes it’s a relatively easy fix. Sometimes it’s a very involved fix, such as taking apart and inspecting an entire transmission, piece by piece. Some transmission fixes take longer than others and some are more expensive than others. But no matter what the job, we perform all of our transmission fixes fully, professionally, honestly, and as quick as possible.
Having said all that, even with our commitment to great service, we know none of our customers want to see us for a transmission fix. There is no convenient time for a transmission problem and anytime you have a transmission problem, and nobody wants to spend money to fix transmission problems, even the inexpensive ones. Having said all that, we at Mister Transmission do have some suggestions of things you can do to avoid coming to see us any more than you have to. Here are some tips to help you avoid transmission problems.
Check your transmission fluid
Let’s start with the basics: your transmission fluid. We can’t count how many transmission problems we’ve seen that ultimately come down to a lack of transmission fluid. If you don’t have enough transmission fluid, you’re going to put a real strain on your transmission, and this will inevitably cause problems. This is why you should check your transmission fluid regularly –every month, even– to make sure you’re up to the right level. If not, you have to top it up. And if you see patches of reddish liquid underneath your automobile when you’re parked, then you have a transmission leak. You must bring your vehicle into a Mister Transmission as soon as possible to fix a leak before it causes a major transmission problem.
But it’s not just about quantity with transmission fluid. The quality of your transmission fluid is also important. Automatic transmission fluid is mostly clear with a reddish hue and is largely odorless. If your transmission fluid is dark and opaque, or if it has a foul smell to it, then this is an indicator of damage inside your transmission. In such a case, your transmission fluid should be flushed out and your transmission inspected by a technician for any problems. If you drive a manual transmission that does not use automatic transmission fluid, much of the above still applies to how you should treat your transmission oil.
Use the right transmission fluid
There are different types of transmission fluids that are better suited to certain makes of transmission. Using the right type of transmission fluid for your transmission is key. Check your auto manufacturer’s booklet to see which transmission fluid they recommend or bring your vehicle in and we can tell you. Newer vehicles generally do better with synthetic transmission fluids.
Avoid excess heat and strain
In terms of using your transmission, there are a few things you can do. Transmissions don’t like to get to hot so try to stay cool. Some transmissions can benefit from the installation of an auxiliary cooler. If you use your vehicle for towing, do not do so in overdrive.
To learn more about avoiding transmission problems, please contact us. Back
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.