A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a type of automatic transmission that can provide smooth, stepless gear ratio changes using two pulleys that are connected by a steel band.
A CVT is commonly found in the late model Nissan Rogue, Maxima, Sentra, Altima and Murano. Also found in the Jeep Patriot, Jeep Compass and Ford Freestyle and Ford 500, to include certain Mistubishi and Subaru vehicles.
Instead of using anywhere from 3 to 9 fixed gears like a traditional automatic transmission, the diameter of the pulleys adjusts constantly depending on the driving situation to provide the optimal gear ratio and power to the wheels. It may also be referred to as a stepless, single-speed or pulley transmission.
One way to improve a vehicle’s fuel efficiency is to manage engine speed (RPMs). The higher they go, the more gas an engine will consume. So maintaining the optimum engine speed with the limited number of gear ratios available in a traditional automatic transmission can be a bit difficult, which is one of the reasons why manufacturers are exploring the use of CVTs.
Automatic vs. CVT Transmissions
Traditional automatic transmissions use a set of gears that reduce RPMs at certain fixed intervals (typically 3 to 9 gear ratios or “speeds”) as the vehicle accelerates. The gears change in relation to throttle input and vehicle speed. A CVT on the other hand, uses a single steel band that can be adjusted to an infinite number of gear ratios by a set of pulleys. This allows the vehicle’s computer to instantly change the position of the band so that the engine consumes as little fuel as possible
Here at Richmond Transmission Service, we have invested greatly into the correct tooling, diagnostic equipment and training to support our customers needs in repair and rebuilding of today's modern CVT Transmissions.
To see how a CVT Transmission works, click on the video link below.