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How Long Do CVT Transmissions Last? Facts and Fallacies!

A CVT (continuously variable transmission) is a single-speed transmission that works like an automatic shifter for seamless shifting through a range of gear ratios, unlike other mechanical shifters that offer access to a fixed number of gear ratios. There’s a concern about the longevity of these transmissions due to some past issues in some models of Jeep and Nissan. So, how long do CVT transmissions last? You should look into it if you have intended to purchase a CVT car.

What Does CVT In Cars Mean?

A CVT is a lesser-known option to conventional automatic transmissions. What does CVT mean in cars? You use it just like a regular one — slide the shift lever from “P” to “D” and off you go — but after that, well, it gets a little complicated.

Normal automatics have a certain number of gears that are referred to as “speeds,” hence “6-speed automatic,” for example. The reason is that each gear is good only for a certain vehicle speed, so if you need to keep accelerating, the transmission will shift up through the gears — first 1, then 2 and so forth.

But a continuously variable transmission technically have no gears; instead, it’s like having one magical gear that’s variable through all driving situations. That’s why you don’t even feel shifts from gear to gear like in a normal car. Everything you’ll notice is changes in engine speed, or RPM: higher for acceleration, lower for cruising.

How Long Do CVT Transmissions Last? Facts and Fallacies

How long does a cvt transmission last? Renowned brands like Toyota, Honda, Subaru, and Nissan have used various versions of CVT transmissions in several of their lineups. The concerns about the shifters lifespan have started after several issues in the first-generation models. Nissan faced serious problems in some of their lineups manufactured by its subsidiary JATCO. Jeep also had issues in the Compass model along with a few others.

how long do cvt transmissions last
A CVT will last if you take good care of the car. Source: HotCars


1. What’s The Weakest Point Of A CVT?

The mechanical structure of CVT is yet not perfect and sophisticated because it’s a relatively new technology. It has a steel chain about an inch wide that is the main route for transferring power from the engine to the rest of the car. If this chain breaks down for some reasons, the transmission will stop functioning.

When the chain fails, it shatters into pieces with shrapnel everywhere. A traditional auto shifter does not create such a mess when it fails. There could be worn out valves, burnt out clutches, or cracked sun shell, but nothing messy as metal shrapnel. Also, many servicing shops don’t provide the CVT transmission repair or rebuild service.

2. Which CVT Transmission Brand Is The Most Reliable?

The Honda models with the CVT are the most reliable among all the lineups and CVT transmission life expectancy is the longest. However, the automakers have been working relentlessly to improve the technology. Almost all the newer models of the brands are better than their predecessors.

3. What Steps To Take To Increase The Lifespan Of CVT Shifter?

How long do CVT transmissions last if you take good care of them? At least more than five years!

CVT is still a new technology and the automakers have been working to improve it. But, they will still last for a long time if you do proper maintenance.

how long do cvt transmissions last
The CVT in Honda cars are better than other brands. Source: Honda
  • Change the transmission fluid regularly, possibly every 30,000 kilometers. The chain/belt that transfers power requires clean, fresh oil to function properly. The oil change frequency should depend on the environment and climate of the area where you drive the car. The frequency should be more than the manufacturer’s recommendation if you live in a hot, dusty area.
  • The transmission works best for small cars and small engines. Many of them don’t have the suitable design and strong chain to handle high-powered engines.
  • Take the car to your dealer or an experienced, trusted mechanic at regular intervals.

CVT helps with fuel efficiency by increasing the mileage and it has several other advantages. However, not all the models enjoy all the benefits equally. For example, the Honda Civic and Accord models offer a responsive, well-programmed handling that eliminates the ‘rubber band effect’ – a condition when the RPM is high but the vehicle takes time to catch that speed.

Watch the video below to see more details:

Hopefully this article is useful for you. If you have any car question, feel free to leave us a comment in the box below, we will answer it for you.

CTV Transmission Problems

1. Honda CVT problems

Though Honda guarantee the transmission fluid for a lifetime but it is not like that:

1) NO transmission fluid is lifetime — it still needs to be changed.

2) CVT’s are not as reliable and durable as regular automatic transmissions — when they go out, you can replace it for several thousand dollars or get rid of the car for little in return.

More Honda CVT reliability can be found here.

2. Nissan CVT problems

We got some points for Nissan CVT transmission reliability:

  • Low speed acceleration is a trouble-spot, the vehicles will shutter and shake while getting up to speed.
  • One of the reasons for all that shaking might be an overheating. Nissan has been accused of using an inadequate cooling system for their transmission.
  • The CVT can take a long time to respond to input from the pedal. CVTs, by design, always feel different when you cram the accelerator to the floor. While a geared transmission typically bursts off the line, a CVT has a smoother (and slower) increase to maximum power. But CVT’s sluggishness goes too far. It may be a safety hazard when trying to merge onto a busy road. Needless to say, you cannot any friends with the people driving behind you.
  • CVT whining is a common problem and not unique to Nissan vehicles. What is unique, however, is how much Nissan’s CVTs whine. There’s also clanging and rattling.

  1. Debby says

    Not very long then. Pretty sad to spend so much money on a car and the cvt tranny might last 5 years. That is not something to be proud of.

    1. danny says

      Most Japanese replace their cars after 5 years because of very stringent standards imposed by the authorities on old cars so what he is saying is that the transmission will last the life of the typical Japanese ownership period but it doesn’t mean that the transmission will only last 5 years.

      1. Bob@Tokyo says

        This is not true. There are no particular “stringent standards imposed on old cars”, and they can pass the two-yearly road-worthy test usually without probem or extra cost. However, older cars are designated as being less efficient and are taxed more as they age. Additionally, car insurance is higher for older cars that (eg) don’t have modern crash avoidance tech. Nevertheless, I drive a 23 year old car in Japan that I bought new, and it is not so expensive to run. Many people use newly-bought cars until they are around ten years of age. Thus, secondhand cars around the 9-10 years old mark are the sweet spot in the market. It used to be that cars that reached ten years had to go through the road-worthiness every year after that, but that rule was changed and so older cars have the same two-year interval test as younger ones. But it seems that the ten year period is still stuck in the average Japanese mind, so that people tend to change cars at ten years of age, or earlier if they are flush with cash.

      2. Gustavo David Melendez says

        I just changed my transmission yesterday, my car is a Nissan Altima 2014. 2014+5=2019 wuala!

      3. Len says

        I have owned my 1998 4-Runner for 20 yeas now and it is still going strong. I’ll stay with the robust conventional transmission for the longevity that it provides.

    2. Chris says

      5 years is not very long.
      My 2006 Corolla’s transmission still works fine at nearly 200,000 miles. Only changed the fluid once. So surely a CVT transmission should be built to be more reliable than an automatic. That’s kind of the point in advancing technology to make things more reliable… not less reliable. That’s planned obsolesce.

      1. Cheryl M Burgess says

        My 2014 Corolla’s CVT DIED at 82K miles. NOT RELIABLE. I am an older driver. Bought car at 70K miles – bought in MD drove to SC. NOT excited in the least about CVT. Ridiculous that technology and genius engineers still can’t make parts that last. I miss the old tank cars that were wrapped in chrome and lasted a long time.

        1. Joel F says

          My 2014 Honda needs transmission fluid changed every 30k miles or sooner. Otherwise it will fail. How are Honda’s ranked #1 CVT?

          1. jan=vi says

            buddy if you read the car manual, it says that you need to change the trans fluid every 30.000 miles when you driving in very hot areas with downhills roads but if you don’t live in that type of road and a very hot area, you don’t need to change the fluid until 60.000 miles…

      2. Jimmy says

        I anglee 100% with you.Making vehicles that are not able to last more than their predecessors is taking us backward

    3. Sam Ruu says

      I’ve got a 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer with a CVT Tranny running over 120,000 Kilometers and it’s still running well after owning it for eight years. Then again I don’t drive the life out of the car and it’s all highway mileage.

    4. Rusty Schwartz says

      I think the point being made was the the technology is still new and that there just isn’t enough data yet to predict reliability and longevity.

  2. Tom says

    I don’t understand why some manufacturers can’t offer a manual transmission on cars like the Legacy or some Nissan models .

    1. Chalet says

      Especially Forester, such a wonderful SUV! Such a waste!

  3. Zaid Alshawabka says

    Hi there,

    Does the steel belt need to be adjusted after kilometres of using? If yes, how many kilometres do we need to do that?

    Kind regards

    1. Alasdair says

      No, the belt is tensioned with hydraulic actuators on the pusheys (like pulleys) as they are tapered their opening and closing has the effect of changing the turn radius of the belt, thereby making the ratio variable, there is constant tension on drive an driven pulleys ensuring the correct belt tension. The belt is a steel band with hundreds of hardened steel plates on it that are wedge shaped. The belt actually pushes the drive from one pulley to the next, the geometry ensures the wedge disks are pushed in a way that increases their grip, and there is no stretching of the belt as a result. Most Jatco cvt failures originate in the slider bearing of the driven pully, the pulley loses drive on one side and skews the belt causing breakage.

      1. Brandon says

        I think this is the best comment on this thread (along with many other forums) that I’ve seen so far. Been doing lots of research as my 2011 Nissan Rouge’s transmission needs to be replaced and this seems pretty accurate. Going to dump this car to someone who can fix the transmission cheaper than I can (of course telling them what’s wrong) and getting a different car. PS Nissan wouldn’t honor their transmission recall for us since the car was a branded/salvage title. Never buying Nissan again.

  4. Daniel Shilling says

    New technology to most manufacturers but not Toyota. Toyota has been making CVT transmission since they designed the Prius 20 years ago.

    1. Cheryl M Burgess says

      and talking to garage mechanics from MD to SC Toyota CVTs have a high FAIL RATE.

    2. Waldemar Ishibashi says

      Prius has a eCVT, Hybrid Synergy Drive. This is a planetary gear set. So no, Prius doesnt have a belt type transmission and as such that has to be mentioned.

    3. John Dorrell says

      The “CVT” transmission used in Toyota’s hybrid cars is essentially a one-speed transmission. It has no belt or pulleys. It is an epicyclic gear set, a differential, that varies only the speed of the smaller motor-generator (“MG1) in relation to engine speed. A Toyota hybrid needs the torque of the electric motors (mostly the larger “MG2”) to achieve satisfactory acceleration from a standing stop. Because it is mechanically simple and lacks the cones and belt of other CVT transmissions, it is very reliable and can last far longer (e.g. 300,000 miles), even in taxi cab use, than other CVTs or conventional automatics. IMO Toyota calls it a CVT only because they don’t know what else to call it or how to explain its operation to the general public.

  5. Nicole says

    I have a 2008 Nissan Altima 4 cyl. with CVT. I’m currently at 10 years with 187K miles. It’s now, just starting to have trans issues. I’m not sure how much longer it’s going to last, so I’m car shopping. I did take it to a trans. repair shop and they quoted me 3200 for a rebuilt. He noticed burnt trans fluid. I loved my car and loved the smooth ride it offered, but wondering if I should have expected more miles from a CVT trans? Should I consider getting another CVT? Have the different car brands figured out the issues with CVT in 2018? I’ve heard that many people had problems with theirs across brands and I’m not sure what to do.

    1. tedd says

      i had a 2005 altima and CVT failed about 200K..very dissappointed.. i bought a 2017 camry without the CVT which is in the 2018

      1. Zeke Adebayo says

        The 2005 Nissan Altimas didn’t have a CVT, that’s 2007 and above. If yours wasn’t a manual then it was a traditional automatic.

  6. […] 2.5L engine is not a bad choice due to the decent power generation. However, the CVT is a bummer that creates strange tremble when you cross he fake shift points. It almost feels […]

  7. Patrick R. says

    I have a 2005 Prius with a 105K miles and have had no CVT issues. Given Toyo TR as experience I’m surprised to hear the opinion that Honda makes better CVT’S?

    1. Waldemar Ishibashi says

      Prius has a eCVT – a planetary gear set. No belt in that trans.

  8. Rami says

    Please comment on
    👇 MR Tsakasa Azuma

    Some recommendation to change the cvt fluid with stepwise replacment, to mix the old and new oil then gradually on 3-d replacment evacuate and replaced the residual old fluid with the same amount by new one?
    Thank you sir.

  9. Richard Courtenay says

    A CVT has a steel belt driving cone shaped pulleys. The belt is seperated from the pulleys by a thin film of special oil. Dirty oil means premature wear so oil change intervals need to be monitored. I would never buy a second hand car with a CVT due to this fact.

    1. pj says

      what “special oil” are you talking about?

      1. Stephen Kennedy says

        I think he means CVT transmission fluid. Very different from regular transmission fluid. Available from the dealer. Also, maybe the internet?

  10. JByrd96 says

    I have a 2012 Nissan sentra 2.0 base , I got it at 66k and it has been good so far. I literally drive the living crap out of it every single day. I live in Texas so you already know that the heat is crucial and the winters are cold too and I have had the car for a year and 1 month. I changed the transmission fluid myself around 109k and I now have 127k. After owning it for 7 months I put some 18inch rims on it meaning the car is working harder than before due to the heavier rims and tires and still no issues. I’m hoping to pay it off and drive forever as an everyday car considering that I live in the country and its convenient on gas. 95% of the miles are highway miles meaning long distances. very little stop and go miles like in city driving. Overall with the way I drive, its been pretty reliable. no hesitation, no winning, just smooth like butter.

  11. JByrd96 says

    if buying a used cvt car, check the color of the transmission fluid, If it is Green or gold then it is ok. If it is Light brown I would recommend to go ahead and change it just for your assurance. If it is brown or dark brown or black, change it immediately if the transmission is still functioning properly. After that , Yes, change the transmission fluid about every 40 or 50k miles. Me personally when I changed mine in my sentra I used the generic compatible NS-2 fluid from Oreilles just cause I didn’t have the money for the fluid to get it directly from Nissan. Make sure you check and see which type of cvt fluid you need for your Car, Nissans typically use Ns2 and Ns3 fluid. It is different depending on the model year you have so be sure to check. Hope this is helpful for my nissan family!

    1. Cheryl M Burgess says

      Thank you for the information and head’s up.

  12. Tweety says

    I changed my Nissan Rogue CVT oil at 94 thousand kilometers. It was decidedly brown and dirty looking. We baby’d this vehicle since day one. No jack rabbit starts, no towing, no slamming into Drive. Use the Nissan
    branded replacement CVT oil (NS2 or NS3 depending on your vehicle model year). It’s expensive – paid
    almost $30/litre and you need at least 5 litres. But if you want to use an alternate brand it’s your choice and take your chances. Going forward I’m changing it every 40k kilometers. My mechanic laughed when I asked him about the so-called Nissan “lifetime CVT oil”. He said “Yea, lifetime till the moment the cvt fails”. He also advised to use the genuine Nissan oil. So I took his advice because he’s seen and hear of premature CVT failure. Hopefully changing the oil as stated above and crossing my fingers gives me a good and extended experience with my Rogue. Seems to be a reasonably good vehicle with the exception of the known past history of the JATCO produced cvt’s. I would be caution about buying a used Rogue with extended mileage without the cvt oil changed periodically.

  13. Tom Elliott says

    I have read most of these submissions about the CVT transmissions. The article describes the CVT in general as having the potential to fail in a way that would be unrepairable potentially. However all of the responded individuals describe different experiences in my opinion invalidating the author’s opinion. were did the author get the 5 year life span idea from? what we are looking at? I have searched to see what others experiences have been… Across the brands I have not found any complete failure (although I am certain there must be some) of a CVT transmission. I did find many regular automatic transmission failure experiences.
    I own a 2013 ford C-max and had a 2007 Nissan. I like the way the Ford performs I can hardly tell its a CVT it seems to work so well. The Nissan never had any problem while I owned it almost 10 years. I did perform proper maintenance. I did drive it hard. I did not like it ‘s rubber band effect but I did like the around town mileage performance.
    I hope if there are people with experiences that are similar to the original article they might share them with us?

    1. Mar says

      I agree. I think the CVT works well only if the person changes the transmission fluid at each interval and use only Nissan oil.

  14. Christian Roux says

    We have a Subaru R1 from 2007 ((RJ1017107) with now 65K kms,all working well with regular maintenance,I need to change the CVT oil,I cannot find anywhere the CVT oil capacity (how many liters?), can anyone help?

  15. Patsy says

    I have a 2014 Nissan Altima that I bought new and the CVT failed at 59800 miles. Just under the warranty, thank goodness. Loved the car but don’t think the “new” transmission will last so I’m getting rid of it. I’ve owned 5 Honda’s and never had any transmission issues, all had over 100k miles when I sold them. Going back to a Honda or maybe try a Toyota.

  16. J-Man says

    CVT’s need to have the fluid replaced if you want long life !!!!
    I have a 2017 Nissan Rogue with 35k miles; the owners manual recommends a CVT fluid change every 60k miles…. I’m doing mine every 30k miles.
    It takes about 5.5 qts of NS-3 fluid….
    I’m a service tech and I’ve NEVER had a transmission failure on my vehicles (several over 200k miles) because I’ve serviced the transmission every 50k miles.
    Since CVTs appear to be so failure prone, I’ve cut the factory recommended service interval in half to ensure it’s reliability.

  17. J-Man says

    In addition…
    DONT LISTEN to anyone who says an automatic transmission has “lifetime” fluid… THERE IS NO SUCH THING!!!

    Well, maybe if you consider “lifetime” around 100k miles or less…

    Transmission oil gets abused as much as engine oil; BOTH must be changed at regular intervals!

    Even the newer vehicles with “sealed” transmissions can be serviced; they’re just a bit more complicated when draining and filling.

    I own a 2011 Toyota Camry and a 2017 Nissan Rogue that both require the trans fluid level be set when the fluid is at a certain temperature.

    This is easily accomplished without the dealer scan tool by using a laser temp gun sold at Harbor freight tools for around $20 on sale!

    Or if you’re not an auto tech or avid do-it-yourselfer then just have a competent tech do it for you… key word here is COMPETENT !!!

    They should know the proper procedure for your vehicle to ensure the FULL level is checked at the appropriate transmission fluid temp.

  18. SDH says

    The eCVTs in hybrids are not even the same type of transmission as a normal mechanical push-belt CVT, so they shouldn’t be confused because of similar naming. eCVTs are MUCH MORE RELIABLE than regular CVTs with the push-belt design/construction. With that said, count yourself lucky if your regular push-belt CVT makes it past 100K, & go read some Honda owner forums if you think Honda makes the most reliable CVTs (LOL).

    1. Waldemar Ishibashi says

      Do you know anything about Honda dual clutch transmissions?
      There is AWD hybrid Fit in Japan that I like but not much info about it 🙁

  19. SDH says

    I personally will never buy a standard push-belt CVT transmission without a 100K-120K powertrain warranty being supplied by the automaker (they need to learn to stand behind their products & new technologies). The new in-house iCVT that KIA designed for their 2019 Forte was made after studying the problem with regular push-belt CVTs over the past 15 or so years, & uses a more robust system with a metal chain system instead of a metal push-belt design, and this type of general CVT design in the past has only been used on heavier-duty vehicles – so in a small car, it should have some added longetivity hopefully. You can find videos out there detailing the differences in this design vs regular auto CVTs.

  20. Judy martin says

    Just replaced the transmission in my 2012 jeep patriot at 84,000 miles..autta be a recall..will never purchase any vehicle with this type transmission

  21. ewart Sorrell says

    I am thinking of buying a Suzuki Insignia 1.2 Auto but a little concerned about the CVT transmission.Does it have rubber belts or a chain drive and does it have transmission have oil?
    After reading some reviews I am also wondering how reliable is the CVT system

  22. Manuel Guillen says

    I bought a 2015 Nissan Altima with 16,000 miles I now have 64000 miles I purchased online the Nissan OEM CVT maintenance kit this maintenance kid came with five Qts of Nissan oil. When my mechanic did the work on the transmission he unscrew de plug on the side of the transmission that tells you when the oil is properly filled by sticking your finger inside to check oil level or the oil should dribble out of the hole telling you the transmission is full because this car has *No Dipstick* to check oil level. my transmission guy was very glad I purchased an extra court because he swore to me that this transmission needed the 6th quart and it was better off for the transmission the car now runs better than it did when I first bought it at 16000 miles. I find it interesting and scary that Nissan puts 5 quarts of oil in a transmission and when my mechanics swears’s it needs 6 that my car runs much better than the day I bought it with 6 quarts of oil in it now then when it ran with 5 quarts that’s a very scary thought. so I will now change my fluid and the filter every 40,000 miles with my same mechanic hopefully getting 200k

  23. Michael says

    These cvt boxes are based on the very old industrial PIV gearboxes I used to maintain decades ago. They were expensive and if anything failed inside the box was trashed. A good efficient design but pricey and not durable. Change the fluid or roll the dice!

  24. Bruce Spark says

    Just been advised that my 2014 Nissan Livina requires a replacement CVT. It has just clocked up 44,500 kilometers, and I have owned this car from new. I am a senior driver, and the car has always been driven sensibly, with all servicings done on time by Nissan. I am told by the Nissan mechanics that, as I only drive 10,000 K’s per year, this explains why the cvt failed. I am having difficulty believing this explanation, but rather I believe these CVT’s are of a very poor standard, and that fact is well known by Nissan. They fail very early in comparison with most other automatic and manual gearboxes. Never buy a Nissan with CVT .

  25. Rich says

    I have a 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5s with 477,529 miles on the original cvt transmission only changed the fluid when recommended. No other work on the engine or transmission. I’m still going strong and am looking forward to updating y’all when I hit 600k.

    1. Dean says

      The issue with CVTs isn’t that a few of them can get high mileage. The issue is for the poor consumer who gets one that can’t and they are just past the warranty. Yours may have 477,000 on it but everyone knows that Nissan had to issue longer warranties on their cars when they first started using CVTs. Back in 2005 these transmissions were breaking at an alarming rate with repair bills higher than $5000. There are most likely more than a few 2005 Nissan CVTs still going strong. But would you want to be in the group that had to pay a bill like that after 36,000 miles? I don’t think so

  26. Frank says

    I am sure all highway?

  27. Ann says

    We purchased a 2016 Nissan Altima nine months ago with over 30,000 miles. While driving 4/15/2019 stopped at a red light, light changes and car hesitate, pushed the accelerator hard and the car takes off fast. We have a transmission problem at over 60,000 miles. Warranty ends at 60,000 miles. Now we have to make payments and buy a transmission for $4,000.00. A recall is needed for Nissan Transmissions. This is a bad deal for consumers. Hesitation on a car can be deadly.

    1. Lal Perera says

      Every CVT has to be serviced, oil changed, filter changed etc once 30k or else you are planning to fail them.

  28. Dean says

    It doesn’t really matter to me how reliable they seem to be or not be. The issue is, call any dealership that sells cars with CVTs. Tell them your car is right past the warranty and your CVT is either slipping or not working. Then hold on to your hat when they give you the bill. Now call any dealership that sells the standard automatic with the same problem. It is what you would expect. Car owners can’t be stuck with a $6000 transmission bill on a car that has 36,000 miles (standard warranty on most cars) People should demand that if the car makers use CVTs then they have to offer better warranties on their products either that or they eat the difference in the repair bills. PERIOD!!!

  29. Steve says

    My 2008 Nissan Altima shudders on take off,is the transmission shot or will a stepper motor fix the problem?

  30. Benson Masai says

    Dear Team,

    Thank you for the good analysis,kindly advise me with emphasis on transmission(FCVT-is it different from CVT?) and whether it’s reliable and durable; as I am thinking of buying this car:

    Year 2013
    Make TOYOTA
    Trans FCVT
    Kms 74,000
    Capacity 1300 cc
    Colour White
    Extras –
    Grade 4
    Chassis NRE160

    Your advise and analysis will be highly appreciated.

  31. William Dale says

    Hi I have a 2009 Nissan Murano SL AWD with 236000 Kms. My Murano feels a bit sluggish and had a friend with an Altima tell me it lacks power, I took car in for a new transmission under my warrenty but don’t trust the mechanic who fixed it I don’t know what they did because they were closing when I got there. I am dying to know from other 2009 Murano SL AWD owners comments on my issues are they right or is it the norm. I always had normal automatics this is my first CVT. Does other Muranos are peppy or do they lack power

    1. Lal Perera says

      Murano is a grunty car whether 2.5 or 3.5. All you need is a good transmission service. Failing to service any CVT once 40-50k is just like writing its own death warrant! A good mechanic changes oil, filter and use reliable additives to keep it up for another 50k.

  32. Cate says

    2013 Altima with 89000 miles. Transmission failed spectacularly last night. My car guy, who has taken care of everything I’ve ever driven, tells me it can’t be fixed, it’s got to be replaced to the tune of $4,000, and that when I do, I need to just be aware that it’s going to happen again. I didn’t know to even ask about CVT transmissions. But I’ll never have another one.

  33. Nancy Marrs says

    My 2014 Subaru Forester with only 28K miles has just been diagnosed with CVT transmission failure. Only 28K miles! The dealer is working to see if the warranty can be extended.
    Like Cate (above) I didn’t know to ask either but I’ll never buy another one either. I’ve had Hondas that lasted 200,000 miles without issues. It’ss back to Honda for me.

  34. Lal Perera says

    I was quite dumbfounded when you said Honda is the ‘most reliable’ CVT in the market. You ask any reputed mechanic and their gospel word is ‘avoid Honda CVT at any cost’ particularly pre-2010 models. Honda is the worst CVT in the market next to Subaru which was plagued with multiple issues and recalls in the 00s. Honda Jazz is notorious for its transmission shudder where you need $400 to fix once every 30k miles!
    And the other shocking thing is when you mention Nissan CVT had problems. Every CVT had problems early on but Nissan uses Xtronic CVT units from their own subsidiary JATCO which is one of the best renowned automatic transmission makers in the world that supply more than 50% of world CVT units to major manufacturers such as GM. It is as good as Toyota’s Aisin CVT units.
    I am telling you these because I am still running my 2009 Nissan X-Trail with 170k on the clock so far and I haven’t bat an eyelid as it has been the smoothest and fastest engine I’ve run of its class.

    1. Keefe says

      Is it okay for you to reveal your usage patterns and CVT maintenance details?

  35. Dennis H. says

    Some of this is bunk, relating to Nissan at least. I have a 2011 Sentra with 116,000 miles on it. The CVT fluid has been changed several times and the transmission is perfect. Never any issue, especially with acceleration…It moves just fine when entering the highway – no “shudder” or any of the other nonsense mentioned. I maintain the car well and will purchase another Sentra in the future.

  36. Peter says

    Dennis, I sincerely appreciate your information. I am an engineer and wanted to know if this part is true?

    Nissan CVT problems

    We got some points for Nissan CVT transmission reliability:

    Low speed acceleration is a trouble-spot, the vehicles will shutter and shake while getting up to speed.
    One of the reasons for all that shaking might be an overheating. Nissan has been accused of using an inadequate cooling system for their transmission.
    The CVT can take a long time to respond to input from the pedal. CVTs, by design, always feel different when you cram the accelerator to the floor. While a geared transmission typically bursts off the line, a CVT has a smoother (and slower) increase to maximum power. But CVT’s sluggishness goes too far. It may be a safety hazard when trying to merge onto a busy road. Needless to say, you cannot any friends with the people driving behind you.
    CVT whining is a common problem and not unique to Nissan vehicles. What is unique, however, is how much Nissan’s CVTs whine. There’s also clanging and rattling.

    With a bad design there are always exceptions where it works just fine….

    One type of logical fallacy is misleading vividness. When someone uses a small number of dramatic events to claim that something is more prevalent than it actually is based on statistics, they have used misleading vividness. Sometimes, this type of fallacy is also called “anecdotal” fallacy.

  37. Joe says

    I own a 2013 Altima that I bought in 2013 with 21,000 miles on it. Today it has 130,000 on it and (knock on wood) no CVT issues as of yet. I had the CVT fluid changed at about 40,000 miles and twice after that up to 110,000 miles, and am planning on again at 135,000. I met a guy with 200,000 on his Altima and was curious about his CVT and he said no problems. I asked him how often he changed the fluid and he said about every 25,000 miles. Not sure if highway miles are easier on a CVT but I live in rural Arizona and most of my miles are cruising highway miles as I am 10 miles from the next town and 35 from the Phoenix burbs.

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