CVT Longevity -

  1. andromeda

    andromeda Senior Member

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    I really like the CVT. I've driven every imaginable transmission for well over half a century, and wouldn't trade the CVT for anything. Just seems to be a great overall automatic performer. But I think the jury's still out on longevity. Variable pulleys with a steel belt don't bode well IMHO, but I'm hopeful. Welcome any good input on this ...
     
  2. CobraCommand

    CobraCommand Senior Member

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    Regular maintenance, don't beat on it by trying to "launch" the car, and it'll last 10 years easy. CVT's are not what they used to be and whether the automatic community likes it or not they are the fuel efficient / direct power future.
     
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  3. gtman

    gtman Senior Member

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    I don't love the CVT but I think Honda did a good job engineering it. My biggest gripe with it is the lag when you go from light throttle to heavy throttle. This is not the turbo lag, that's different. It seems to "confuse" the CVT logic for a second. As far as durability, only time will tell.
     
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  4. syncro87

    syncro87 Senior Member

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    Time will tell. Industry wide, the durability record of the CVT has been spotty.

    Personally, on my list of things to worry about with our Civic, fuel dilution of the oil and carbon buildup on the valves due to DI are higher on the list than CVT issues.
     
  5. elmer255

    elmer255 Member

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    I hear your concern- I've got an old Saturn sitting in my backyard with one of the early CVT's and it shit the bed after 80k. New ones have come a long way.
     
  6. NotSerious

    NotSerious Senior Member

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    We can only speculate how long the GenX CVT will last until the GenX has been around for seven or eight years and we start to get high-mileage or abused Transmissions wearing out.

    However, you can take precautions to make sure that you aren't one of the owners that do end up with an expensive repair bill.

    1) Don't "tune" a CVT car. The less power the engine puts out, the less stress on the transmission.
    2) Don't tow anything heavy.
    3) Change the transmission fluid when recommended (maybe even sooner). Use the proper fluid (Each manufacturer's CVT is built differently. Get the fluid that the manufacturer recommends).
    4) Don't make a habit of accelerating hard. (Keep it in "D", not "S" or "L").
    5) Don't buy a used "Uber" or "Lyft" car that was used in urban areas. Urban driving is hard on a car. You might want to avoid a used car that has had any "modifications" or signs of abuse as well.
     
  7. cubsws2016

    cubsws2016 Senior Member

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    what is hondas recommended fluid change interval on the cvt cars?
     
  8. CivicXI

    CivicXI Senior Member

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    Honda uses a similar CVT design to Subaru's. As far as I know, there haven't been many instances of problems on the Subaru forums. In fact, they have a CVT in their WRX, which makes a lot more torque and power than the Civic and SI. They've been using CVT's for the past 10 years with relatively few problems. I trust that Honda came in late to take advantage of other's mistakes early on.
     
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  9. motoguy128

    motoguy128 Senior Member

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    Nissan has used them for over 15 years now without issues. At low speeds I believe it has a somewhat typical torque converter, then it's a hydraulically operated pulleys and belt. It's a sealed system and there's not a lot to it.

    CVT's are now common on taxis around the world in Toyota Prius and other hybrids too. If they can survive taxi use, they are find for normal consumers.
     
  10. motoguy128

    motoguy128 Senior Member

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    Honestly, I was far more worried on the reliability of the Audi 8speed we had, the 6 speed auto in the BMW i owned and the 5 speed auto in the CR-V i had. I've also rented a Chevy Malibu and it has the slowest shifted transmission I can ever remember driving. Made the marginal performance of the 1.4T a total dog. Was constantly revving well over 3500RPM just to keep up with traffic.... where our heavier CR-V rarely goes over 2500 and does it a lot quieter and smoother.
     
  11. NotSerious

    NotSerious Senior Member

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    I think it is like engine oil changes. The MM calculates when it is recommended to make the change based on how much stress (stop and go driving) that you do. The more urban driving, the sooner it should be changed. I plan on changing mine every 60,000 miles (100,000 km) regardless.
     
  12. CivicXI

    CivicXI Senior Member

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    Nissan I believe used cones with rollers instead of a chain though.

     
  13. n9yty

    n9yty Senior Member

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    I hope to get more than 10 years out of it.... That would be a huge disappointment.
     
  14. syncro87

    syncro87 Senior Member

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    #14 syncro87, Apr 15, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    Two inaccuracies I'd like to correct, for the record, and with all due respect. Well, one inaccuracy and one clarification:

    a) Nissan has had many issues with their CVTs, actually. As in, tons of issues over time. This doesn't necessarily mean Honda will have similar issues.

    b) The CVT in the Prius is a completely different design than that found in most Nissans, Hondas, or most other CVT-equipped cars for that matter. Reliability of the Prius transmission says nothing about potential reliability of the Honda unit, with all due respect.


    If you guys are worried about the CVT, the number one thing you can do to help it last is to change the fluid early. As in before 50k miles. I changed mine at 30k, and will change it again at 60k. The first change is the most important. You can probably extend the second change interval, but the early miles are where the trans breaks in and you end up with the most contamination in the fluid. Don't neglect that first change. I recommend 30k if you plan on keeping your car past 100k miles. It cost me a little under $100 at the dealership.
     
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  15. a c i d.f l y

    a c i d.f l y Senior Member

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    Google Nissan CVT's, they're notably the worst on the market.

    As far as Honda's CVT, Ktuner in another thread showed a tuned Civic under 220ftlb torque with zero scoring or evidence of wear on the rings or belt after a ton of track time.

    Even if you blow one up, you can pull one off a totaled car in a junkyard or get a new one for ~$400 and swap it yourself. That's cheaper than a clutch, and a lot easier.
     
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