The Honda CVT Issues and Reliability. Honda originally used the CVT automatic transmission in 1995, when it was debuted in the Civic CX model. Honda’s CVTs, on the other hand, are exceptionally reliable in the vast majority of their linked applications. However, no automatic transmission is perfect, and many are prone to a variety of flaws. Different design flaws can substantially shorten the lifespan of an engine system. Nonetheless, Honda has maintained a good reputation with its CVT use.
CVT is an abbreviation for Continuous Variable Transmission. CVT transmissions are distinguished by their smooth transition between gear ratios. To change gears, these transmission systems change the diameter of the drive pulley. As a result, unlike other automatic transmissions, CVT systems are distinct in that they are called automatic while still containing fixed gears.
Various vehicles still use CVT transmissions in today’s car industry. Because the CVT has such a well-known reputation in the automobile market, let’s take a closer look at its uses, performance, typical difficulties, and general reliability in the sections below.
Honda CVT Utilization
Many different automakers have developed their own CVT. Others have contracted with other businesses, such as JATCO, to develop CVT systems for their various uses. Nonetheless, the Honda CVT will be the primary emphasis of this article.
Honda models offered with a CVT or eCVT technology in 2022 are as follows:
- Civic (Sedan, Coupe, or Hatchback)
- Hybrid Accord
- Clarity Hybrid Plug-in
In general, applications using the Honda CVT have met high criteria of overall reliability and longevity. Honda has continued to expand the number of models in which the CVT has been used throughout time.
Transmission Performance of CVTs
When compared to a standard automatic transmission, the CVT has several advantages. One of the benefits that many drivers connect with the system is improved fuel economy. Furthermore, the CVT transmission is lighter than standard automatic transmissions. Furthermore, one of the most noticeable aspects of the CVT driving experience is the lack of “shift shock” and general smooth acceleration. All of these advantages are complemented by the fact that a CVT system has fewer total components and so costs less to construct. However, this does not imply that CVT systems are less difficult, as some may require more meticulous and costly repairs as a result of their intricate design. That may appear to be a paradox, but to put it another way, the CVT design is complicated while requiring fewer components than standard automatic gearboxes.
This cost-effective design does not sacrifice a pleasant driving experience; in fact, the Honda CVT is a lot smoother transmission than other automatic systems. The continuously variable transmission, particularly its transition between gears while accelerating to higher speeds, is noted for its efficiency. Smoother in the sense that it should improve engine performance over equivalent automatic transmissions.
However, no transmission is infallible, and the CVT has its own set of issues. With that said, let’s not get into some of the most typical CVT difficulties in the section below.
The Most Common Honda CVT Issues
The CVT takes pride in its general dependability and durability. However, given to the intricate nature of these systems, there are numerous areas that can fail or fail. In response to certain CVT components and their accompanying difficulties, Honda has issued service bulletins and extended warranties. It’s worth noting that many of these issues can be avoided by practicing appropriate maintenance, repairs, and the use of high-quality gasoline and oil. It is especially crucial to avoid any problems that could cause the temperature to rise to abnormal levels. Overheating is one of the few significant causes of problems with the Honda CVT and comparable CVTs.
On paper and in practice, the Honda CVT is a fantastic design. However, as time and wear pass, the incidence of certain difficulties becomes more frequent. With that said, let’s look at the three most likely problems with the Honda CVT.
1) Jerking/Slipping Honda Transmission
Many transmission jerking problems can be attributable to the fact that your transmission fluid needs to be changed or is low. Other components, however, can act as a catalyst for jerking or slipping transmissions. Catalysts for sliding transmissions might include:
- Problems with solenoids
- Clutch Issues
- rusted gears
- Transmission bands that are broken or damaged
- Torque converter problems
With the different reasons of transmission problems, it’s critical to determine the source before moving on to more expensive and time-consuming repairs. Transmission problems can conceal a variety of other engine system flaws, emphasizing the importance of prompt maintenance. In summary, a jerking transmission is named by its symptoms: a driver may have trouble selecting gears or, in the case of the Honda CVT, a jerking reaction to the motor transitioning between ratios. Furthermore, if the problem is serious enough, drivers may suffer anomalous engine shaking.
2) Transmission Power Loss in CVTs
Slipping or jerking is another sign of CVT power reduction. Furthermore, unusual engine noise or shaking may contribute to the overall loss of transmission power. It is critical to ensure that the transmission fluid is not dirty if you are experiencing lack of acceleration or engine power. After fluid issues have been resolved, power loss may indicate malfunctioning or failing Honda CVT system components. Again, this is a problem that will occur less frequently in vehicles that are driven less aggressively and in vehicles that have received regular maintenance.
Related : The Nissan VH45DE Engine Manual
3) Failure/Leakage of Honda CVT Coolant Hose
A leaking or broken transmission coolant hose can be a costly repair for certain Honda CVT users. This issue can cause a range of symptoms, including:
- Transmission fluid depleted
- Breaks or damage to the cooling lines
- Puddles of fluid are forming beneath the automobile.
- The engine compartment exudes a burning odor.
- Strange noises coming from the engine compartment
- Transmission slipping or jerking
CVT coolant hose leaks are another issue that can occur as a result of poor transmission fluid flow or low fluid levels. An abnormal CVT fluid can cause an overheating gearbox and, in extreme cases, the CVT to stop working entirely. Because this results in more expensive repairs, it is critical to diagnose and correct any transmission coolant hose problems as soon as possible.
After detailing three of the most prevalent difficulties with the Honda CVT, we will summarize our judgement on the CVT’s overall reliability in the next section.
CVT Reliability in General
Many drivers regard Honda as one of the most dependable automakers on the market. Honda’s remarkable reputation originates in part from the high quality of the CVT systems it employs. Even our most prevalent faults, as noted above, are most likely the result of poor maintenance rather than design flaws or weak structural components.
Continuously variable transmission systems are typically more reliable than standard automatic gearboxes. This is supported by the fact that many CVT-equipped applications have greater dependability ratings than comparable vehicles without. The CVT is expected to reach at least 100,000 people. Nonetheless, many models may reach 250,000 miles without requiring major repairs. The Honda CVT offers more longevity and fuel economy than many comparable sized cars, making it difficult to dismiss its total economic value.
However, it is crucial to know that when a Honda CVT requires repairs, they may be more expensive in comparison. Maintenance and repairs may eventually be more expensive, but many drivers may find the expenditure worthwhile. Especially valuable for individuals looking for a transmission with the advantages listed above.
Check read our prior guide on automatic transmission maintenance for more information on the CVT’s architecture and required maintenance.
Summary of Honda CVT Problems and Reliability
The Honda CVT’s architecture promotes smooth shifting while remaining cost-effective. Audi, Hyundai, Subaru, and Toyota, among others, make their own CVTs in addition to Honda. A CVT is used in many of these companies’ most reputable and dependable models. It’s simple to understand how influential this gearbox system has been on the overall automotive market. Furthermore, because to its low cost, durability, and general performance, this system is difficult to evaluate. Having said that, no transmission is flawless, but the CVT has set a high bar for all automatic transmissions.
However, Honda (and Toyota) appear to have maintained a higher quality standard than most other CVT makers. In comparison to Honda, the number of complaints linked with Nissan’s CVT systems is extravagant. As previously said, the balance of dependability comes at a cost. Many Honda CVT owners may experience greater repair costs when necessary. These expenses will, of course, vary, and many drivers may consider them to be a worthwhile overall investment.
When it comes to transmissions, drivers will always choose a manual system over an automatic system in terms of overall reliability. Of course, this is susceptible to a variety of subjective elements such as specific models, maintenance, driving circumstances, and so on. One thing is certain: the Honda CVT is an excellent choice for those looking for a pleasant ride and improved fuel efficiency.