Understanding CVT Transmission – What is CVT? How long is the service life of a CVT transmission? What is the difference between a CVT transmission and a conventional automatic? What are the advantages and disadvantages of CVT? Those are a series of questions that may need to be answered for those of us who are considering buying a car with a CVT transmission. Let us discuss these questions one by one.
Definition of CVT
CVT stands for Continuous Variable Transmission , it is a single speed transmission that works like an automatic shifter for unlimited gear ratio shifting, unlike the speed mechanical shifting of other types of transmission which offers access to a fixed number of gear ratios.
To understand a CVT transmission technically, this is a transmission without a gearbox so it is also called a Single Speed Transmission, One Speed Automatic, gearless transmission, or also a variable pulley transmission . This CVT transmission image may be understood.
The speed ratio varies automatically according to the power and torque requirements for each driving situation. That is why in a car with a CVT there is no pounding of gear changes like in an ordinary automatic transmission. The extremely smooth transfer rate ratio is one of the advantages of this variable transmission.
For information, the CVT transmission system was first patented by Daimler & Benz (Mercedes-Benz) in 1886. Then the CVT with the first belt was built by Dutchman Huub Van Doorne in 1958. It was only in the early 90s that Nissan introduced the CVT to the transmission. Nissan March. Meanwhile, the initial concept of CVT was first sketched by Leonardo DaVinci in 1490.
How Long Is the Life of a CVT?
There is no official statement from each manufacturer that uses a CVT transmission in their cars, regarding how long the service life of the CVT should be. However, based on the information of several car maintenance experts, at least the CVT transmission must last for at least 5 years if cared for properly.
However, it is likely that it will last longer than 5 years, if the car does not often work hard, such as carrying heavy loads or frequently passing heavy roads in regular times. To get a long service life, of course, car users must follow car care suggestions regarding transmission.
The advantages of CVT transmission
CVT transmission has many advantages that benefit car users, including the following:
- The speed ratio is very smooth, there is no pounding of gearshift because the CVT does not have a gearbox. So it is more comfortable for everyday cars.
- It is more fuel efficient, because it has a smaller power loss.
- A device that is more compact than a transmission with a gearbox, so it’s lighter.
- CVT makes the machine rotate at the ideal RPM, making it good for the machine.
Weaknesses or weaknesses of CVT
- The torque capacity is more limited than a transmission car with a gearbox. So that the pull feels slow.
- More expensive than manual transmission.
- On a CVT with a belt or pulley, there is a possibility of a slip which makes the transmission response slower.
- Not suitable for cars that often carry heavy loads or cars that require high performance.
Common CVT Problems
Common problems with cars with CVT transmissions include:
- Durability – The CVT is no more robust than a typical automatic transmission in terms of wear resistance. This means that the durability is not as good as conventional transmissions, both automatic and manual.
- Slow – Limited torque is often complained of by car users with CVT. When instant speed was needed, it was hard to come by. So that this transmission can feel like a problem when you need to stop and go in traffic jams. Some conditions make the car vibrate, such as forcing us to slow down in a high gear position in a manual car.
- Brisket – Transmission that makes a noisy sound is a frequent complaint of CVT car users, especially from the Nissan brand. This problem is often called ‘ whining ‘ or transmission like whining.
- Limited Service – Not many mechanics provide servicing for CVT transmission repairs. So that if it is damaged, the only solution is to replace the transmission unit which of course costs a lot of money.
The Weakest Part of the CVT
The mechanical structure of CVT is not yet perfect and sophisticated because it is a relatively new technology applied to mass products. In some CVT types, a one-inch wide steel chain or belt is used to transfer power from the engine to the rest of the car. If this chain breaks for some reason, the transmission will stop functioning.
The problem is that if the chain is broken, it is like being shattered into pieces with scattered component fragments. A typical automatic transmission doesn’t create such a mess when it breaks.
How to care for CVT
By understanding CVT transmission, several things need to be considered in order to keep the CVT transmission condition prime and its service life longer or at least as it should be, including the following:
Observe the manufacturer’s recommendations to change the transmission oil periodically. Adhere to the time interval or number of kilometers the manual recommends for changing the transmission oil. If you do not find these suggestions, in general, CVT transmission oil changes can be done every multiple of the distance of 30,000 km.
If the car is often run in areas with hot weather and tends to be dusty, then the transmission oil change may need faster than the manufacturer’s recommendations.
The CVT is a transmission that is more suitable for small cars with small engines and not cars used for carrying excessive loads. Therefore, do not use a car beyond its function in terms of load capacity, so that the CVT transmission is more durable.
If you experience problems related to transmission, you should take the car to an authorized repair shop so that it is handled by experienced and trusted mechanics. Regular maintenance at the official repair shop will also be better for monitoring the condition of CVT transmission.
Which car is a CVT transmission suitable for?
Since the CVT transition is aimed at fuel economy and driving comfort, it is best suited for this transmission in cars that do not require high performance in either power or torque. For example, family cars and cars for daily use such as MPV, Hatchback and Sedan.
While cars that require large power and high performance, you should choose one that does not transmit CVT. For example, vehicles that are often used on roads that have many inclines, often hit off-road terrain or vehicles that frequently travel long distances continuously.
Those are some important things that need to be known to understand CVT transmission. Hopefully this information will be of use to your readers, especially those who are in need of everything there is to know about CVT.