Whether you are looking to purchase a new car or are constantly looking for ways to improve your current one, you may have heard about Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Though this technology has been in use since 1989 it has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you are considering buying a new automatic car or replacing your current transmission there are a few things that are worth going over with a CVT.
What makes CVT different?
Let’s get down to brass tacks. A CVT changes how power is sent from the engine to the wheels. In a traditional automatic or manual transmission, the engine’s output energy is regulated with various gears. It’s the same concept as a bike, shifting gears (either manually or automatically) facilitates accelerating from lower speeds to higher speeds. A continuously variable transmission uses two pulleys connected by a single band. Instead of a hard change from first gear to the second gear, a CVT can fluidly adjust its length to mediate how engine power is sent to the wheels.
How CVT works/why that matters.
Although a CVT has no gears, some cars with a CVT continue to have the concept of “gears”. From a driver’s perspective, there is still “gear shifting” but it is now seamless because of how a CVT operates. There are several reasons why a CVT transmission can benefit a car. Cars with small engines (four-cylinder) can benefit from a CVT. A CVT can also reduce gear hunting, make accelerating to pass more fluid as well as make uphill driving safer. A CVT is also lightweight compared to a traditional gear system, which can impact fuel efficiency.
Is CVT hassle free?
There are some concerns to a CVT. Experienced drivers who are used to the feeling of traditional gear shifting will need to adjust to the way a CVT handles shifting. A CVT also forces an engine to run at a higher rotation per minute (RPM) which can cause overheating. Like any transmission, a CVT can fail. Because the CVT uses a belt to hold the pulleys together, this belt can get stretched or worn down and require replacement.
If you are considering buying a car with a CVT or replacing your current transmission with a CVT the decision is going to come down to personal preference as well as what is best for your engine. At Everett Transmission, we help repair and replace transmissions and can help recommend the right transmission for you and your car. Schedule an appointment online today!