"The CVT: Learn it and Love it"

buster

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I have yet to own a car with an AT that I actually liked. My brother's 2001 Solara had a very smooth transmission. My 05 Ram had a poor transmission. The rest of my cars were all MT's. I think CVT's have more potential. It may take some time, but they could be the next major AT replacement. Subaru really dropped a bomb today announcing the new Legacy will only be CVT. I think people will be surprised how good it is. Read the WRX reviews.
 
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Originally Posted By: buster
I have yet to own a car with an AT that I actually liked. My brother's 2001 Solara had a very smooth transmission. My 05 Ram had a poor transmission. The rest of my cars were all MT's. I think CVT's have more potential. It may take some time, but they could be the next major AT replacement. Subaru really dropped a bomb today announcing the new Legacy will only be CVT. I think people will be surprised how good it is. Read the WRX reviews.
I bought a manual because , in the particular car I bought, they are more reliable. Give me a CVT that is reliable and does not cost $1000 more and I will buy it. The first is not possible at the moment.
 

buster

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I'd like to see the reliability data. I have read the Subaru CVT is $8,000 to replace. When something goes wrong, the entire unit is replaced.
 

buster

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Quote:
Sorry for the delay, missed this post. the info posted above is correct. We have to ask why you are feeling the need to change so often; and what you plan to tow that needs the extra cooler. I have taken the school CVT apart, a amazing unit. Overall, very simple in comparison to a normal Automatic. Subaru now has 2 generations of CVT, both have very little that we are allowed to do to them. Our big worry is contamination of the fluid; this is why there is no fill plug. just putting the incorrect fluid in it could cause the chain assy to fail. The transmission requires a clean room for rebuild--- currently there is no facility in the USA to rebuild a CVT. all we can do is replace the valve body. The fail rate on the cvt is very low; a few minor issues on the early ones and we have one with a failed ft diff in the shop now-waiting to ship it back. If one fails;we must take a bunch of pressure readings before removal,than we can replace the transmission.. a real PITA. I have done one fluid adjustment, you do need the scan tool. We also had a few cars come in where we had to adjust the cvt fluid level--- overfilled at assembly.. Also Note-the fluid is very expensive..
 

JOD

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Originally Posted By: buster
I'd like to see the reliability data. I have read the Subaru CVT is $8,000 to replace. When something goes wrong, the entire unit is replaced.
I agree it would be nice to see some long-term data on it, but Subaru's transmission is pretty new. That said, I don't think it's a given that the cost of ownership of the CVT is going to be higher than the MT. Every Subaru owner I know has replaced a clutch before 100K, including 2 drivers who got over 200K out of a Honda clutch. And at least around here, it's an expensive job, about $1,200.00. Plus, people tend to maximize to the extreme the cost of a replacement CVT. You can find one almost new/salvage for $1,200 or so. Yes, a brand new from the factory transmission is probably a lot of money, but so is a brand new manual, and there's no guarantee that's not going to fail, either. If I were buying a Subaru, I think the CVT would probably make more sense, just because of the clutch life/cost.
 
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When we test drove a new Altima recently I was very impressed with it for a pedestrian application. It was a very smooth, nice to drive car. Still wouldn't want it in a sports car. But in a comfortable snoozer of a car? Sure. Concerning the video that buster posted above, I completely agree with the guy's sentiment. I enjoy extra driver involvement, but there have been times where I wanted to focus entirely on my lines and wouldn't have minded having a dual clutch gearbox.
 
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I have a post in the forums on my horrible experience with a rental Altima. I went back and returned it early because I could not stand the CVT/engine combo. That experience as well as riding in a Nissan Rouge has pretty much scared me away from CVT's. The thing that bothers me the most is the CVT seems to rob the car of any feeling of acceleration. You floor it, the RPM's shoot up to redline and stay there, the car slowly rubber bands up to the speed you want... The problem is it never really feels like you are accelerating with any force. Maybe it is just the smaller 4 cylinder engines and CVT combo's that don't work well. Anyways, as of now I absolutely hate them and will not be jumping on the wagon any time soon.
 

buster

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They can be made to work really well in cars too. I think they have more potential, but I really don't know and I'm not the biggest fan of them...yet.
 

JOD

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Originally Posted By: Huie83
I have a post in the forums on my horrible experience with a rental Altima. I went back and returned it early because I could not stand the CVT/engine combo. That experience as well as riding in a Nissan Rouge has pretty much scared me away from CVT's. The thing that bothers me the most is the CVT seems to rob the car of any feeling of acceleration. You floor it, the RPM's shoot up to redline and stay there, the car slowly rubber bands up to the speed you want... The problem is it never really feels like you are accelerating with any force. Maybe it is just the smaller 4 cylinder engines and CVT combo's that don't work well. Anyways, as of now I absolutely hate them and will not be jumping on the wagon any time soon.
That's interesting. On my Freestyle, there's a torque converter, and when you stand on it locks down and the RPM's increase in a fairly linear fashion, though they'll level off a bit one you get up near the redline. One thing to note though is that if you're more gentle with the throttle there is more of a rubber band effect, but after 150K of living with it, I really like it. It's way smoother than a traditional car, and regardless of how it "feels", the acceleration is actually pretty good for the HP and size of the car. I think it will always "feel" slower, but for a utility hauler, I'll take smooth over "sporty-feeling".
 
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