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Symptoms of CVT transmission problems

Top 10 Symptoms of CVT Transmission Problems

Since the 1990s, CVT—Continuously Variable Transmissions—have been the choice of many auto owners.  Offering a smoother, “shiftless” driving experience and good fuel economy, CVTs differ from automatic or standard transmissions, which have a pre-set number of gears.  But like any other component, CVTs can go bad.

How Do I Know if my CVT Has a Problem?

Many CVT-related snags are not unlike those found in standards or automatics.  A malfunctioning CVT can be identified with the following common signs:

  1. A grinding noise
  2. A jerking feeling
  3. Delayed acceleration
  4. Higher than normal RPMs
  5. Engine overheating
  6. Evidence of fluid leaks
  7. An unexplained loss of acceleration
  8. A burning smell
  9. A rattling sound
  10. The “Check Engine” light

Of course, many of these symptoms can signal issues other than your CVT, so a diagnostic is necessary to find out what the problem is.

What Are the Most Common CVT Problems?

Ironically, many issues related to CVT can be traced to the transmission fluid. The wrong type of fluid, no fluid, or dirty fluid can cause serious problems for your transmission and car in general.  The good news is that simple routine maintenance can solve this problem.  Other difficulties can be mechanical, such as a bad control module, damage to pulleys, gaskets, control value, or gearbox slippage.  Normal wear and tear can cause these problems over time; rough driving can make them appear earlier.

What is the Life Expectancy of a CVT?

There’s no rule of thumb of a CVT’s lifespan.  There is some evidence that they don’t hold out as long as automatic or standard transmissions, but a lot has to do with maintenance history and driving style.  If maintained properly, a CVT can last for 100,000 miles or more.  Keeping the right kind of clean fluid is key to a CVT’s longevity.

What Causes a CVT to Fail?

As with many other car issues, normal usage over time may cause a CVT’s components to wear out or malfunction.  One problem unique to CVTs is that they are driven by pulleys or rotating discs that may need to be replaced.  There could also be problems with the pump, control value, or chains, which can slip. Good care and maintenance can prevent, or at least delay, many of these problems.

Sun Transmissions can help you with your CVT maintenance, or any other transmission-related issue. If you need any automatic transmission parts, accessories, overhaul kits, universal transmission cooler, or even power steering components, Sun Transmission is your source. In our website you can find from an automatic transmission connector, to switches, or the best power steering pump rebuild kit, and so much more. Give us a shout today and let us know how we can help!

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