Should You Buy a CVT Transmission Car (How It Works)

Should You Buy a CVT Transmission Car (How It Works)

rev up your engines,
believe it or not, it’s snowing in Houston, since I can’t work outside now, I’m just going
to talk about CVT transmissions, now many modern cars come with CVT transmissions,
it stands for, continuously variable transmissions, they don’t have gears like a normal transmission,
they don’t shift from first gear, second gear, third gear,
now to understand CVT transmissions, here’s a little history on transmissions in
general, now the first widely accepted transmissions
in vehicles were standard transmissions, with a standard shifter, and a clutch that
you push down with your foot, they were extremely reliable, you shifted
it when you need to with your hand, but they have one drawback, they are a pain
to drive in traffic, and then came automatic transmissions that
were still geared transmissions, but they shifted themselves automatically,
which of course people in the city love, because then they don’t have to think about
shifting, they just step on the gas or the brake,
it makes driving a lot easier, now for a long time, the standard transmissions
had more power, and got better gas mileage than the automatics,
but as time went on, the automatic transmissions got more sophisticated and more complex, and
more computer controlled, so that they would get just about the same gas mileage as a standard
transmission, but that wasn’t enough, with pressure from
the EPA to get better and better gas mileage from manufacturers, especially in the United
States, they started making these CVT transmissions, because they get about 6 percent or so better
gas mileage than the normal automatic geared transmissions,
as you can see in this diagram, there’s a gear shift that allows you to manually change
it from first, to second, to third, to fourth gear,
and there’s actual gears that you shift into by yourself,
while in this diagram of an automatic transmission, although it’s a very basic one, the transmission
automatically shifts itself using various types of devices to send power to the wheels,
while in this CVT diagram, you can see that there are no real gears, it uses metal belts
and various shaped drums, in order to make the car run most efficiently,
they have a lot less moving parts than any modern automatic transmission and they get
the best gas mileage for whatever speed your going that you can possibly get,
and decades and decades ago, my grandfather who was also a mechanic, worked
on CVT transmissions, but they didn’t work all that well back then,
the garage was down at the bottom of a big hill,
and when he worked on these CVT transmissions, a lot of times they just would not go up the
hill, they would slip so badly that they had to
go around to flatter ground to get up, they wouldn’t make it up the hill,
now metallurgy has gone a long way since then, so the modern CVT transmissions, they’ll go
up the hills and stuff, but a lot of them have a lot of lag,
which many people refer to as a rubber band effect,
you step on the gas and it’s like winding up a rubber band,
it doesn’t go, it doesn’t go, and then it starts going,
but your going to find with many modern cars like this Nissan, they come only with CVT
transmissions, so what is there for you to do?
because the CVT transmissions are cheaper to manufacture, and get better gas mileage,
your going to be seeing more and more of them as time goes on,
so if your going to get a CVT transmission, listen to this warning,
do some serious research on the models your thinking about buying, for example,
I have never yet seen a Toyota Corolla CVT transmission go bad, not a single one yet,
but I personally have seen dozens of Nissan CVT transmissions go bad, especially in the
Altimas, and when the Altimas went bad, it was either spend $3,500 to $4,500 having them
rebuild, or buying a factory re-manufactured unit and
spending $5,000 to $6,000 to have it replaced, so in this case, if you don’t mind the way
the CVT’s drive, you would definitely get a Toyota Corolla
and you would pass on a Nissan Altima, now since CVT transmissions are being mass produced
now, more than they ever have been, I’m assuming in the future they will probably
perfect all the problems like they did with automatic transmissions,
but me, I’m going to stick with my four speed automatic transmission that’s in this Toyota,
it’s got 240,000 miles on it, and it’s never been touched and it still shifts like a dream,
more quick fixes on the Scotty Kilmer Channel, so if you never want to miss another one of
my new car repair videos, remember to ring that bell!

About the Author: Michael Flood


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  2. Does shifting down (out of OD) cause any extra wear to CVT? I sometimes do this for natural braking, but the rpms jump above 3k and it just feels bad.

  3. CVT’s are worthless and cause way too many problems. In my Mitsubishi the transmission oil over heats all the time when driving 70 mph for more than 15 min on cruise control and it whines really loud if it’s hot out. Straight garbage

  4. Hey Scotty I have a 2017 Nissan Sentra with 37,000 miles on it is there anything I can do to prolong the life of that car I have a 6 year car payment on it

  5. Can't be serviced, can't be rebuilt, you can't even flush and change the liquid because there's no data and no instructions. But you're right, customer choice is a myth as more and more new cars only come with CVT.

  6. Got a 2009 Nissan Versa 4 spd auto. No engine problems. Just the tires and a couple of electronic problems

  7. nope.. was just reading hyundai is switching the elantra, all models, to CVT in the 2020 models. thats the end of me buying hyundai which this is my last one anyways since hyundai service is about a disaster anyways.

  8. Toyota also came out with a direct drive launch gear, so the belt deals with less low end torque. Because of it they were able to narrow the belt which also increases "shift" times

  9. I have a 2010 nissan altima and replace the transmisson with a 2012 altima transmission do i need to get it reprogram because the car hesitate to move forward or backwards

  10. Anyone who says CVT in general is bad isn't following the manufacturer recommendations for maintenance in their manual. Automatic and manuals can handle far more abuse if you don't swap the fluid and what not, but if you actually take care of your car the way you are supposed to the reliably is indistinguishable

  11. I have a 2013 Altima 2.5s coupe with 64k miles on it.
    I bought used in 2018 with 56k miles on it. I think the cvt in it is awesome💯🤷🏾‍♂️
    It has superb gas mileage and the horsepower is okay for your average daily driving. I drive it good and never over 80miles an hour, my average speed on the highway is 65-70mph, and in the outer parts of town 50-60mph, I don’t drive crazy in it, I get my fluids changed and filled when supposed to, and etc…
    If you take care of it, it will last longer💯

  12. They paid him to diss Nissan my CVT has 288.000 miles on it every car has em there it not alot of moving parts in it so it's hard to fail everyone talking about Nissan they selling like crazy Ford and Dodge don't even make cars no more so why is that? Cause America can't make reliable cars $50k for a focus RS and it needs a transmission with 5thousand miles

  13. I have a 2015 Honda CR-V with a CVT transmission. How many miles should I expect from this transmission considering I just changed the transmission fluid at 55,000 miles. We drive it pretty carefully when possible considering traffic in Cincinnati, OH.

  14. I have a 2012 nissan Sentra 2.0 engine CVT.
    Getting a purdy bad whining sound. Turns out the transmission is going out.

  15. Jatco cvt trans ha cant say much every 20k to 80k with nissan xtronic cvt trans ul need to replace I deal with them almost every day in an out an it not just nissan cvt jatco makes them for all of different manufacturers some are designed better then others. My advice learn how to properly drive an shift with a manual transmission nuff said there

  16. Crap never even heard of CVT until we got our crap 2011 Altima. We have a 99 Nissan Altima with 370,000 miles on it original engine. Runs, but may not run great. Still gets me to and from work lol. Never replaced the transmission on it. The 2011 already had work on the CVT under warranty at about 85,000 or 90,000 miles on it. Now the CVT at 123,000 is going out AGAIN no warrenty. Live and learn. Stay away from CVT's.

  17. They use them because they help get better fuel economy. My wife has one in her 2012 Quest. Seems to work ok. We have 125,000 miles on it and have had the transmission oil changed twice.

  18. Wait, he said he hasn't seen a corolla CVT go bad, but didn't they recently have a huge recall for their CVT? Or am I mixing things up? 🤔

  19. My 2017 Altima did not have lag
    I test drove 2019 Alitima has major lag.
    My 2019 Maxima is responsive as hell.

  20. Scotty said, " Im assuming that in the future they would probably perfect all the problems that they had" … NO THANKS…. The problems have been perfected enough. We have enough problems , let's concentrate on perfecting solutions not problems. I assume he meant to say solve all the problems.

  21. I have 2001 Chevy suburban 1500 with 353,780 miles on it original engine and transmission still drives like a dream

  22. Honestly this is the first of your videos I kiiiiinda agree with lol. Although you should tell people to seriously research EVERYTHING about a car before you buy. Not just the cvt


  24. 106,000 miles on my 2012 Toyota Prius C has a CVT. Yes if I smash the gas pedal I get the rubber band effect. Other than that it is great.

  25. how a cvt is better to a manual transmission (in top gear, no need of gear changing) on a highway??
    it is friction/slippage cvt vs not slip manual top gear.
    which one would give better fuel economy at a constant cruise speed???
    cvt is always like to slip, having frictional lose which is unavoidable.
    what is the life of a cvt transmission as compared to conventional gears?? we still have genuine manual gears running on the roads for more than 80+ years (without ever been dismantled for repair)

  26. BUYER BEWARE: a cursory search of Toyota Corolla CVT problems will clearly show the full scale of the defective flawed design of CVTs has not yet fully revealed itself. Millions of Corolla CVTs will be failing along with the rest of the other garbage made today. Why? Because the fundamental design of CVT's is garbage.

  27. CVT’s are for mopeds, minibikes and garden tractors. Hope I die before I’m forced into one. Damn EPA and DOE need to stay the hell away from cars. Everything they touch turns out costing consumers out the A$$.

  28. we all know that we have conventional-manual genuine gearing box systems running on the roads for probably 80+ years (without fixing, only with oil changes).
    can CVT do so?? I dont think so!!!
    it is normally said that CVTs are better to conventionals for fuel economy, my question is this, if the car is running on highway (conventional gears) in top gear, with exactly same rpm and gear ratio as that of a CVT, how CVT would have a better fuel economy? while considering that a CVT always have frictional loses (driver to driven ratio is never constant due to slippage). on the other hand in conventional spurr gear there is no slippage (constant driver to driven ratio)
    and if you are used to roast your tyres, forget about CVT.
    to the beat of knowledge no one has ever made non-slip CVT yet. is't it??
    I named it a "disposable gearing sytem"

  29. a friend of mine going with his family (honda air-wave) suffered a road blockage on a hill ascend for 2+ hours, including lots of intermittent starts/stops. the CVT failed badly. their recreational tour became a headache.

  30. CVT SUCKS!!!! Can't tow Nothing.. Says 900 LBS passenger capacity and no TOWNING!! Like 5 200 lbs people put you over the limit of weight.
    Go back to just having 4 gears with over drive… 84 000 KM Tranny went in Nissan Ultima 60% highway and 40 in city driving. Plus it's harder on gas then My Older Corolla.. Grrr

  31. People hate change, CVT has been arounf a long time, they go bad probably as much as standard automatic transmission. Get use to it.

  32. I got a 2004 Nissan Murano FWD with 267k miles and original CVT transmission. It has been in the family since new. I have kept up with CVT fluids, and I haven't had a single issue. It drives very well. However, Scotty is right. They are not as strong when it comes to towing or going up to a steep hill. My 2011/Civic/1.8/4DR/auto tows better than Murano. If the transmission fluid is little less than what it should be, it has a late response on acceleration. If it is very low, Murano won't even move. SO If you are planning to do lots of towing, I wouldn't go with CVTs. That's my intake.

  33. I have got a year old Qashqai I think in us you guys calling them rouge , anyway it is CVT transmission since a couple months ago when i put the car to drive or when i stop at the stop or traffic sign and need to move off again car kicking like on manual transmission when you don't release the clutch probably , i always drive carefully never doing any harsh to the engine always be careful with breaking and even on the motorway never done morden 65 miles an hour i am planning to sell it and never get another Nissan

  34. The Nissan CVT is junk. I purchased a 2016 Nissan Altima SR last September with 46K and at 57k the Continuous Variable Transmission died. Luckily, the CVT was under warranty until 60k so it was repaired under warranty. This would be good except that the warranty on the replacement CVT is only 12 months 12k. You would think that given all the repeated failures of their CVTs that they would at least provide a legitimate warranty to stand behind their product. I have been a loyal customer of Nissan having previously purchased 3 other Nissans, but this is it. Beware of the CVT. DO NOT PURCHASE AS IT WILL ONLY COST YOU MONEY.

  35. I recently drove a Toyota corolla cvt and was very impressed by it. It powered the car very well, it was very capable and I experienced no cvt lag. The fuel economy was insanely high. If I ever buy a Toyota corolla I will make sure I get the cvt. I was also impressed at how quickly the cvt accelerated the car.

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