Up to about 160,000 kilometers, new vehicles with CVTs should operate reliably.
In addition to the big fish—the life expectancy of CVT transmissions—this article will also discuss various subtopics related to continuously variable transmission (CVT) systems.
Let’s thoroughly explain what a CVT is in order to comprehend how it functions and how long it will last. Stick with us.
How Long Do CVT Transmissions Last?
The CVT should last more than 100,000 miles in a vehicle of recent vintage. However, the earlier CVTs, particularly some of the first designs, might not be as dependable. The typical lifespan of a CVT transmission depends on a number of factors and is not fixed.
Over time, as the design has been improved and tweaked, these affordable transmissions have increased in dependability.
We anticipate the lifespan to increase over the coming years as automakers continue to invest more money in CVT technology. You can make the CVT last longer by adhering to any maintenance advice given in the owner’s manual.
What is a CVT Transmission?
Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs) are a type of automatic transmission with an arbitrary number of gear ratios. The number of gears in a traditional automatic transmission is fixed; for example, a six-speed transmission has six gears while a four-speed transmission has four. Depending on the programming’s constraints, the CVT can have any number of gear combinations.
Although the CVT is programmed to shift like conventional automatic transmissions, no shifting actually occurs. The process of changing ratios is seamless and can take place while the engine is running. In a manner akin to that of an electric vehicle, this operation results in a smoother power delivery.
When the gas pedal is pushed, a CVT may feel as though the clutch is slipping to people used to driving with a manual transmission. At full throttle, it becomes most obvious. When the accelerator is floored, the engine speed increases quickly and stays high. Although this is how CVTs typically operate, drivers who are unfamiliar with it may become uneasy.
How Does a CVT Work?
There are numerous varieties of CVTs. Two conical pulleys and a belt or chain are used in one of the most common designs. The hypothetical gear of the pulley also shifts as the cones get farther apart or closer together.
A toroidal CVT is utilized by Nissan and some other car manufacturers. Similar to the need for an RWD sports car, this design is intended for higher torque applications. Using two rollers to transmit torque between two disks, the toroidal CVT moves. The conical disks spin at various speeds as the rollers rotate.
Toyota uses a CVT that has a conventional first gear but switches to CVT operation after one upshift. These models of Corolla Hatchback feature this design.
Along with these, there are CVTs that use magnets or fluids to transfer torque appropriately, called magnetic or hydrostatic. These patterns are less frequent, though.
Are CVT Transmissions Reliable?
Although it depends on the car model and transmission type, the CVT transmission is typically quite dependable. Older models had some issues, but contemporary CVT transmissions have grown to be quite dependable. However, traditional automatic transmissions are typically more dependable than CVT.
Looking at the Toyota brand makes sense if you want a dependable CVT. After all, the business consistently receives top ratings for dependability, largely due to the fact that it never implements new technology before thoroughly testing it.
Toyota is renowned for producing some of the best CVTs available. In actuality, a few Prius models have logged more than 300,000 miles.
Another reputable automaker is Honda. Having said that, occasionally a manufacturer uses new technology that has some flaws.
However, if you were to purchase a 10th generation You could find plenty of acceleration and dependability in a Civic with a CVT and 1.8-liter turbo engine. In fact, these cars are considered to be among the best on the market.
Subaru vehicles have a CVT that is designed to improve fuel efficiency, and it succeeds in doing so. Subaru owners enjoy going off-road and going on adventures, but the CVT might not be designed for that sort of activity.
The typical manual or automatic transmissions can hold more torque than CVTs can. If pushed too hard, it will overheat, which will cause reliability problems.
The low prices are what draw people to the Mitsubishi lineup. Mitsubishi should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for an affordable car.
Having said that, you do get what you pay for. Due to their different construction from the other CVTs in this lineup, they probably won’t last as long. Before driving a Mitsubishi, it is advised that you do your homework and understand what you are getting into.
Nissan had a fantastic reputation prior to using the CVT. However, there was a lot to be desired about the earlier CVT models. In actuality, a lot of the original CVTs frequently failed after 80,000 miles.
Nissan has improved the CVT’s construction’s dependability over time. However, you might want to hold off until everything is perfect.
Is a Transmission Fluid Flush Necessary With a CVT?
Most manufacturers don’t advise flushing a CVT transmission as part of routine maintenance. The CVT fluid is supposed to last the lifetime of the vehicle, according to many automakers.
You might decide to get service even if you don’t need to if the car has a lot of miles on it or if you notice a leak. If you observe contaminated fluid or burnt debris, or if the vehicle is getting older, I advise having a professional examine it.
Continuously variable transmissions are used by many manufacturers, including Subaru, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota, on their most well-known models. Do not be concerned if the CVT automatic is present in a new Prius, Civic, Accord, Corolla, Forester, or Outback. For many car owners, CVTs have proven to be reliable and fun. When buying used, do your research and use resources like Consumer Reports to find out the make, model, and year’s reliability history. Avoid any years with a track record of reliability issues.
With CVTs, you get comfortable controls, a smooth ride, and significant fuel efficiency improvements. If you haven’t tried one yet, we advise giving the novel sensation some time. If you do, you’ll probably come to love the sensation and have a satisfying amount of time behind the wheel.