What is the average life expectancy of CVT transmissions? What are their reliability and how long they last?

The letters CVT might be next to your transmission specs if you're looking at a car. It stands for Continuously Variable Transmission and is the latest configuration of modern cars. However, you might have also heard that CVTs aren’t as reliable as the conventional automatic transmission, leading you to ask – how long do CVT transmissions last?

The CVT design is discussed and we look at how it functions. The average life expectancy is also shown and we list some automakers who have a superior CVT. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. Is it possible to keep CVT transmissions in good condition for a long time?
  2. What's a CVT Transmission?
  3. What is a CVT?
  4. Can CVT Transmissions be trusted?
    1. 1. Toyota
    2. 2. Honda
    3. 3. Subaru
    4. 4. Mitsubishi
    5. 5. Nissan
  5. Are Transmission Fluid Flushes Required for a CVT

Is it possible to keep CVT transmissions in good condition for a long time?

You can expect to see the CVT last over 100,000 miles in a late-model car. Some older CVTs are less reliable, particularly some of the first models. 

CVT does not have a set life expectancy. There are many variables that can affect the life expectancy of the CVT. As the technology has improved, these affordable transmissions are more reliable. 

We expect CVT's lifespan to increase as automakers invest more in CVT technology. By following any maintenance recommendations in the owner’s manual, you can help the CVT last longer. 

What's a CVT Transmission?

Continuously variable transmission (CVT) is an automatic transmission that has a set number of gear ratios. Conventional automatic transmissions have one fixed number of gears. This could be four or six on a four speed transmission. A CVT can contain any combination of gears that are allowed by the program limits.

While the CVT has been programmed to shift just like other automatic transmissions (such as an auto-shifter), there's no actual shifting. The CVT can change ratios seamlessly and it is possible to do this while the engine is running. This creates smoother power delivery that is similar to an electric car.

People who are used to driving with manual transmissions may feel that the CVT's clutch slips when they push the pedal. It’s most noticeable when at full throttle. When the accelerator pedal is dropped, engine speed increases rapidly but remains high. This is a normal operation for CVTs, but it tends to cause some alarm in drivers that aren’t used to this operation. 

RELATED: CVT vs Automatic Transmission – Differences, Pros & Cons

What is a CVT?

There are many kinds of CVTs. The most common type uses two conical pulleys with a belt, or chain linking them. If the cones are closer to each other, then the imaginary gear of the pulley will change. 

Nissan, along with other manufacturers, use a toroidal VVT. The toroidal CVT is designed for high torque applications similar to an RWD sports car. Two rollers are moved by the toroidal CVT, transmitting torque between two disks. The conical disks spin at different speeds when the rollers turn. 

Toyota's CVT uses a first gear design, but it transitions to the CVT mode after one upshift. This design is found in Corolla Hatchback models. 

Other than these you may also see magnetic or hydraulic CVTs. These use magnets and fluids to properly transfer torque. They are not as common though. 

Cvt Transmission

Can CVT Transmissions be trusted?

1. Toyota

Toyota makes a great choice if you are looking for a reliable CVT. After all, the company is regularly rated as one of the most reliable, mainly because it doesn’t use new technology without thoroughly testing it.

Toyota's CVT is one of the top-rated on the market. Some Prius models can go more than 300,000. 

2. Honda

Honda is another trusted automaker. Despite this, there are times when a manufacturer uses outdated technology and creates problems.

If you wanted to buy 10, however,Th The Civic with the CVT and turbo-powered 1.8-liter engine will provide plenty of power and stability. These models have been rated among the top on the roads. 

3. Subaru

Subaru cars have a CVT that is designed to increase fuel economy. Subaru owners love to travel off-road, and the CVT may not be right for them.

CVTs don’t hold as much torque as the typical manual or automatic transmission. It’s going to overheat if pushed too hard, leading to reliability issues. 

4. Mitsubishi

The low prices of Mitsubishi vehicles are why people flock to them. Mitsubishi is the best choice if you are looking for a low-cost vehicle.

You get what your pay for. The CVTs in this lineup are not built like the others and likely won’t last as long. It’s recommended to do your research and know what you are getting into before you drive a Mitsubishi. 

5. Nissan

Nissan was renowned for its stellar customer service before the CVT. The older CVT models left much to be desired. Many first CVTs gave up after about 80,000 miles.

Nissan has made the CVT more reliable over the years. But perfection might take a while. 

Are Transmission Fluid Flushes Required for a CVT

Most manufacturers don't recommend that a CVT transmission flush be part of routine maintenance. Automakers often claim the CVT fluid should last throughout the entire vehicle's life.

You might still consider having it serviced if you have accumulated a lot of mileage or notice any leaks. If you see any signs of deterioration, such as burnt oil or particles in the fluid, it is worth having it checked by a professional.

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