CVT rough "shift" in stop and go traffic

EastBayCivic

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Hey everyone,

Sometimes when I am traveling at low speed (1-8mph) in stop and go traffic the car will shake or jerk when I give it a little gas.

One of the best examples is when the cars in front of you are stopped so you kind of just coast behind them at low speed (maybe braking a little too), you see that they are moving again, and then give it some gas to keep the car moving into that space that was just created. When I give it a little gas in that situation the car sometimes jerks, jolts, or shakes, kind of like a rough shift, as it starts moving forward. It definitely doesnt happen every time. I also haven't gone to any length to try and recreate it.

It doesn't happen when I'm completely stopped and then give it gas. It also doesn't do it when I'm decelerating at higher speeds and then giving it gas. Maybe this is some kind of low-speed momenum related thing?

Maybe it's completely normal and I just dont experience it much because ~90% of the car's miles are highway and backroads (the wife and I are using another car for the concrete jungles). This is also my first CVT.

Anyways, I'm wondering if anyone has experiences similar to this and whether or not it is an issue. Thanks in advance for your input!





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civicls

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My CVT only jerks when braking hard and releasing near a stop...which (I think) is normal. You definitely want to get it checked out you probably have low fluid in there.
 
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EastBayCivic

EastBayCivic

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Hmm theres probably a dipstick I can check myself under the hood. Time to have a look.
 

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I have had this car for 2 years/15000 miles. What you are experiencing is normal. At low speeds the CVT will kinda "jerk" as the ratios change due to acceleration at low speeds. I've only ever had this at low speeds like you said. It seems while the car is moving slow, giving it gas causes transmission to change the ratio by a large amount to account for the requested acceleration and you feel jerkiness. If I had to guess I would think the computer puts the transmission in a state ideal for decelerating and giving it gas causes to computer to have to change the transmission into a state ideal for accelerating which at low speeds results in a jerk of the transmission.
 
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EastBayCivic

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I have had this car for 2 years/15000 miles. What you are experiencing is normal. At low speeds the CVT will kinda "jerk" as the ratios change due to acceleration at low speeds. I've only ever had this at low speeds like you said. It seems while the car is moving slow, giving it gas causes transmission to change the ratio by a large amount to account for the requested acceleration and you feel jerkiness. If I had to guess I would think the computer puts the transmission in a state ideal for decelerating and giving it gas causes to computer to have to change the transmission into a state ideal for accelerating which at low speeds results in a jerk of the transmission.
That makes a lot of sense. Does being super light on the gas pedal help with the jolt at all, or is it pretty much the same at all times? I won't get to check for a while since all week is just highway driving.
 

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Hey everyone,

Sometimes when I am traveling at low speed (1-8mph) in stop and go traffic the car will shake or jerk when I give it a little gas.

One of the best examples is when the cars in front of you are stopped so you kind of just coast behind them at low speed (maybe braking a little too), you see that they are moving again, and then give it some gas to keep the car moving into that space that was just created. When I give it a little gas in that situation the car sometimes jerks, jolts, or shakes, kind of like a rough shift, as it starts moving forward. It definitely doesnt happen every time. I also haven't gone to any length to try and recreate it.

It doesn't happen when I'm completely stopped and then give it gas. It also doesn't do it when I'm decelerating at higher speeds and then giving it gas. Maybe this is some kind of low-speed momenum related thing?

Maybe it's completely normal and I just dont experience it much because ~90% of the car's miles are highway and backroads (the wife and I are using another car for the concrete jungles). This is also my first CVT.

Anyways, I'm wondering if anyone has experiences similar to this and whether or not it is an issue. Thanks in advance for your input!

I have this same issue under the same scenario. It happens to me almost everyday in traffic. I also get the same jerking when approaching a stop sign and having to brake under normal speeds(25MPH or 35MPH).
 

civicls

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That makes a lot of sense. Does being super light on the gas pedal help with the jolt at all, or is it pretty much the same at all times? I won't get to check for a while since all week is just highway driving.
Trust me, engineers will not produce a car that "jerks" randomly. My ext has never experienced that kind of jerking, but depends how you describe "jerking". I am quite sensitive to noises and vibrations btw, and my cvt is as smooth as a clock
 

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I assumed this issue is caused by the "clutch". When going from low speed braking then back to accelerating, the clutch disengages then engages, causing a jerk from the sudden friction.
 

SCcivic

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Trust me, engineers will not produce a car that "jerks" randomly. My ext has never experienced that kind of jerking, but depends how you describe "jerking". I am quite sensitive to noises and vibrations btw, and my cvt is as smooth as a clock
Jerking, as in the car physically jerks back and forth to the point it shakes you, the passengers or objects in the car.

the only other thing I can compare it to is the old mechanic/engineering term known as "Bucking". my old Z did this "bucking" thing when it would lose power under heavy accelerating.

I don't know too much about CVTs but I have driven in a few cars with CVTs and I've never had them produce this odd "bucking" or "jerking" while under light load with light accel/deceleration. My only thought is that the combo of the 1.5L Turbo + cvt = jerky? lol
 

SCcivic

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Trust me, engineers will not produce a car that "jerks" randomly. My ext has never experienced that kind of jerking, but depends how you describe "jerking". I am quite sensitive to noises and vibrations btw, and my cvt is as smooth as a clock
Also my CVT is smooth but not under the driving conditions described
 

BogdanM

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I assumed this issue is caused by the "clutch". When going from low speed braking then back to accelerating, the clutch disengages then engages, causing a jerk from the sudden friction.
Yeah, the only thing is that there is no clutch.
 

civicls

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I assumed this issue is caused by the "clutch". When going from low speed braking then back to accelerating, the clutch disengages then engages, causing a jerk from the sudden friction.
Lol man where did you get a "clutch" from? It uses a torque converter
:nono:
 

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