Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
PSA
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 10/25/2010 7:59:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/25/2010 7:59:37 PM EDT by roboman]
Let me preface this thread by saying that I know jack shit about motor vehicles. That being said, I'm wondering what drawbacks (if any) there are with continuously variable transmissions. They seem to get better MPG than regular automatic transmissions and don't have noticeable shifting pauses between gears.

Can anyone enlighten me on this subject?
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:05:38 PM EDT
I don't know about other makes, but the earlier Nissan CVT's had problems to the point that Nissan extended the warranties to either 125k or 150k miles even for second, third etc. owners. My understanding is that they are sealed units and can't be repaired locally. If I only kept a car for 100k miles and the warranty was good enough I wouldn't have a problem with one, but that's only the half life for my vehicles and I wouldn't want to be stuck paying $5,000 or more for a replacement trans. down the road.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:10:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/25/2010 8:11:50 PM EDT by AnticitizenOne]
Just a fad. Everybody jumped on the bandwagon, and they all had reliability issues, or the cost to repair was astronomical, making any repair a big $$$ issue.

Now the industry is migrating toward 6 and 7 speeds. yayyyyyy.

ETA: they do perform fanfuckingtastic when they work right, though.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:13:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AnticitizenOne:
Just a fad. Everybody jumped on the bandwagon, and they all had reliability issues, or the cost to repair was astronomical, making any repair a big $$$ issue.

Now the industry is migrating toward 6 and 7 speeds. yayyyyyy.

ETA: they do perform fanfuckingtastic when they work right, though.


What's the benefit of having more gears in regular automatics? More flexibility when it comes to shifting and keeping RPMs within reason? What makes a 7 speed better than a 4 speed?
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:14:08 PM EDT
This is like a snowmobile clutch right?  I've had a bad taste for anything like that since the early Polaris quads.  I'm sure they're better and more advanced now, but I'll be damned if anything is as reliable and economical as an old fashioned manual transmission.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:15:19 PM EDT



Originally Posted By roboman:



Originally Posted By AnticitizenOne:

Just a fad. Everybody jumped on the bandwagon, and they all had reliability issues, or the cost to repair was astronomical, making any repair a big $$$ issue.



Now the industry is migrating toward 6 and 7 speeds. yayyyyyy.



ETA: they do perform fanfuckingtastic when they work right, though.




What's the benefit of having more gears in regular automatics? More flexibility when it comes to shifting and keeping RPMs within reason? What makes a 7 speed better than a 4 speed?


Closer ratios>less RPM winding>stay in the power band of the engine>greater fuel economy



 
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:18:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:19:23 PM EDT
Time will tell if they're any good, but I can tell you that...

My 2009 Maxima has 65K miles and I've had zero problems so far, it drives awesome. Nissan did extend the warranty on them however.
I have a 2002 ATV with an auto transmission that the classic naysayers told me not to buy and it would be a piece of crap falling apart in a few years... it's 2010 and the thing still drives and shifts awesome. My point... you can't judge off of early experiences when it comes to transmissions, it just means that the company probably learned and figured out what to fix.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:23:06 PM EDT
Aside from chronic long-term durability problems, they are about as enjoyable as a root canal.

You floor the gas pedal, the engine makes noises like the transmission is slipping badly, and hopefully, you accelerate.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:25:30 PM EDT
My wife owns a 2007 dodge caliber R/T that is at around 80,000 miles. It doesn't have all that great of a mileage for being a small 4-banger, but it is not bad either. My biggest drawback is that after I drive the thing for awhile I start to become envious of the 0-60 time of an average box turtle.


During normal everyday driving it is normally just an annoyance but during the rare occurance where you need to punch it to get out of a bad situation it can get you into trouble when you floor it and the speed guage barely ticks upward. I am fairly certain this poor performance traces itself back to the lag time that is inherent to CVT transmissions (at least older ones).
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:27:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By A-Rob:
I don't know about other makes, but the earlier Nissan CVT's had problems to the point that Nissan extended the warranties to either 125k or 150k miles even for second, third etc. owners. My understanding is that they are sealed units and can't be repaired locally. If I only kept a car for 100k miles and the warranty was good enough I wouldn't have a problem with one, but that's only the half life for my vehicles and I wouldn't want to be stuck paying $5,000 or more for a replacement trans. down the road.


10 years 120k.....I own a Nissan with a CVT trans..later one though.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:32:37 PM EDT
Honda's got one in the CR-Z.  I'll be interested to see how that plays out.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:40:57 PM EDT
They do rob a good bit of engine power. We have a 2007 Murano and love it. 67k miles so far.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:50:31 PM EDT
2005 Prius here. Smooth running CVT with 98,000 plus miles.

Changing the tranny fluid is easy––just drain and fill. No need to flush the tranny like in other cars that hide a gallon in the gears.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 9:05:30 PM EDT
CVT.... Known drawback?
YES, note the lack of an installed clutch pedal to the left of the foot brake?
Yeah, that is a big drawback.
Dont buy a vehicle missing such an important powertrain control.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 9:21:13 PM EDT
My 150 cc scooter has a CVT. It is very smooth and reliable. Acceleration is it's weak point. The belt has lasted for 5000 miles (pretty good for a scooter, I gather)

I'm guessing a CVT on a car is the same thing on a larger scale.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 9:24:42 PM EDT
The theory is they are more efficient and provide better performance than a typical automatic transmission, AND better performance than a manual transmission.  Ive seen some tests to back this up.  The problem is they are expensive and cost way more to repair, and more likely to break, so it all depends what you're after.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 4:07:35 AM EDT
Honda Civics/Hybrids 2003-2006/7 at the least have a known defect wherein the CVT wears abnormally and causes lurching/weirdness when you try to accelerate. Basically you need a new $3000+ transmission.

See here for discussion about it. Here at Edmunds

My CVT went out at 95k miles, they had to replace it. Some folk are seeing failure much earlier. By the way, in Japan Honda was required to recall affected vehicles. In the US, well tough shit basically, we'll fix ones that break and not recall them. Honda did extend the warranty to 105k miles for this defect at least.

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:58:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:04:01 AM EDT

back when I was a productive member of society and a travelling accountant, our company car was a Nissan Versa with CVT.  We put nearly 50k HARD miles on it before I quit, and never had a problem.  Actually, the only problems we had with the car within warranty was with the ignition switch, I believe.

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:05:04 AM EDT
You sound like the folks who screamed bloody murder when motorcycle manufacturers stopped making models with HAND SHIFTERS (aka the suicide shift).  

It is called progress.  Deal with it. Or just keep driving your manual; there are STILL Model A & Model T fords on the road, so you should be good for the rest of your life.


Originally Posted By Fullpower:
CVT.... Known drawback?
YES, note the lack of an installed clutch pedal to the left of the foot brake?
Yeah, that is a big drawback.
Dont buy a vehicle missing such an important powertrain control.


Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:09:54 AM EDT
wife traded her 05 murano with 160K miles for a new 10.  We had Zero problems with the CVT.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:12:40 AM EDT
I LOVE MY '09 SENTRA CVT!

I drive in the mountains quite a bit, and I'm sure some of you know what it's like with a 4 banger in the hills...not so with my CVT.

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:19:25 AM EDT
I rented a 2011 Maxima w/ the VQ 3.5L V6 from the 350Z and a CVT. No
complaints. I didn't realize it was a CVT at first. I floor it, and it
runs like a bat out of heck.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:23:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 7:27:16 AM EDT by chapperjoe]
my 09 maxima is great.  
very smooth, accelerates great and in sport or auto-shifting can convince me it's not just for cruising.

...........but reverse sucks donkey balls.  Can't STAND reverse.  I mash the pedal and nothing for a good two seconds.

ETA: I don't have any lag issues in forward acceleration.  my car jumps off a red light pretty darn quick for a non sports car.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:27:02 AM EDT
My wife has a 03 Mini Cooper with the CVT.

In 2002 the Mini was offered with a CVT and supercharger but not in 03. This tells me the CVT couldn't handle the power of the supercharger.

They have since stopped offering the CVT.

We have had no trouble with ours in the 7.5 years and 50 k miles it has.

It doesn't have any pep from a stop but it does ok at passing because it is already at a high enough RPM range.

Mileage is in the 30mpg range around town. Its no fun on long trips with the short wheel base and sport suspension.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:16:23 AM EDT
My 2011 Nissan Juke SV AWD has a CVT tranny.

Tell you what, that thing get's to full tilt boogie pretty damn nice with the turbo and all!

At 1300 miles so far, I'll let you know if I scatter the transmission all over the highway soon enough!
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:33:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:37:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Wave:
My 2011 Nissan Juke SV AWD has a CVT tranny.

Tell you what, that thing get's to full tilt boogie pretty damn nice with the turbo and all!

At 1300 miles so far, I'll let you know if I scatter the transmission all over the highway soon enough!




You actually bought that thing?
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:39:21 AM EDT
50k on my wifes Patriot and no problems, and its a Chrysler for crying out loud. Oh well, lifetime warranty and simple fluid changes I can do and band adjustments that are covered.



It is loud, and seems like its slipping when you floor it but they all seem to feel like that to me after driving a 5spd slushbox auto in my Exploder.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:47:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BeetleBailey:

back when I was a productive member of society and a travelling accountant, our company car was a Nissan Versa with CVT.  We put nearly 50k HARD miles on it before I quit, and never had a problem.  Actually, the only problems we had with the car within warranty was with the ignition switch, I believe.



Only problem we have had with our Versa is the fuel pressure regulator died..fixed under warranty.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:48:04 AM EDT
The Toyota  'Hybrid Synergy System' is a species of CVT by default.  

It works extremely well for its intended purpose.  Of course that purpose is moving the car around as efficiently as possible.  It was not designed to straighten the twisties or haul Bobcats, which for some reason is what arfcom insists a small sedan should be able to do.

It is known to be extremely reliable.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:55:25 AM EDT
Like driving a car powered by wound up rubber bands.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 10:32:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mauserfan:
Like driving a car powered by wound up rubber bands.


It becomes normal.  After driving the Prius for a few solid weeks exclusively, driving one of my trucks seems odd.  "What's this jerking (he he) motion?"  Not to mention, "Why is my engine still running at this stoplight?"

CVTs in terms pure efficiency are superior because they allow the engine to stay at its most efficient operating RPM, and work the transmission to vary the speed.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 11:23:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tyman:
Originally Posted By Wave:
My 2011 Nissan Juke SV AWD has a CVT tranny.

Tell you what, that thing get's to full tilt boogie pretty damn nice with the turbo and all!

At 1300 miles so far, I'll let you know if I scatter the transmission all over the highway soon enough!


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/Juke_F15.JPG/800px-Juke_F15.JPG

You actually bought that thing?


Yup. Awesome in person! Like an Infiniti FX35....just smaller.

Top Top