Cars with CVT Transmission Problems

People get in trouble to find it out whether it would go for CVT, AT or manual, now a day’s most of current trending cars comes either CVT or AT therefore you must have a clear knowledge about the difference between each of it.

Here the topic is basically upon cars with CVT transmission problems, therefore we emphasize on what cars and their brands have or had issues related to CVT.

Honda CVT Transmission Problems

Before emphasizing, a little explanation of What is CVT?

CVT stands for continuously variable transmission, which is different from a conventional automatic transmission. The standard automatic features a complex series of gears that transmit the power of the engine to the wheels.

The CVT, on the other hand, doesn’t have any gears. It features a pair of pulleys of variable width, connected by a belt. One pulley is connected to the engine, the other to the wheels. Because their width is variable, it changes depending on how much power the car needs, hence the term “continuously variable transmission”.

The CVT also works a little differently from a conventional transmission. To a certain extent, you do operate it more or less normally—sliding the shift lever from Park into Drive, then zooming off! From there, though, the CVT gets a little bit more complex.

CVT Transmission vs. Automatic

There are several differences between the automatic and continuously variable transmission, apart from the basic functionality of each. Some are more obvious than others. For instance, when you’re driving a vehicle with CVT, you won’t notice or “feel” gears shifting. You’ll just notice the car getting faster or slower. In that sense, it might make for a smoother ride. The unusual thing is that it essentially chooses the ideal speed for any given situation and holds it constant—even if you’re accelerating the car.

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An automatic transmission is a transmission that shifts itself – the driver does not have to perform an action to shift the gears of the car as they do on a manual transmission car. Automatic transmissions are more popular today as they tend to be easier to learn how to drive, and have less wear and tear than their manual counterparts.

CVT transmission Pros and Cons


  • More Mileage you can get especially in city because the CVT can keep the engine at an optimal power range in order to keep fuel emissions low.
  • Quick Acceleration than Auto transmission.
  • Smooth ride because you don’t feel any sensation of shifting gears.


  • It cost you more money in case of fault arise in CVT
  • If you are new to owning a CVT it may take you some time to get used to driving a car without the feeling of it shifting.
  • Lack of power while acceleration

Now Let come to Cars with CVT Transmission Problems

There are three brand of cars that has the most number of CVT complains over the 10 years of period since first launched.


In Nissan brand the most number of complaint Nissan Brands are

  • Nissan Altima from 2010 to 2017
  • Nissan versa from 2012 to 2016
  • Nissan Rogue from 2012 to 2017-18

These complaints are:

  • Delayed throttle response
  • Feeling a shudder or Jerking sensation while acceleration
  • 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.

In Detail CVT Transmission Problems Nissan Altima


  • Subaru Foster from 2014 to 2018
  • Subaru Outback 2014 to 2016
  • Subaru Impreza 2015 to 2017

These complaints are:

  • Fluid Leak
  • Delay Before Transmission Engages a Gear
  • Transmission failed at 50 to 60k require replacement

In Detail Subaru Forester CVT Transmission Problem

Honda & Jeep Compass

Honda is the least one that has the number of complaints about CVT problems

  • Honda Civic 2013 to 2016
  • Honda Accord 2014 to 2016

These complaints are:

  • Transmission Failed at 60K miles cause too late to change transmission fluid oil
  • Ratting Noise while acceleration are common in Honda

IN Detail Honda CVT Transmission Problems

CVT Transmissions Life Expectancy

A CVT will last if you take good care of the car. Renowned brands like Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Subaru, have used different versions of CVT transmissions in several of their lineups. This is all about the shifters lifespan have started after several problems in the first-generation models.

Change CVT fluid as per according to respective car brand manual, normally car owners failed to replace the oil as per manual stated, this is one of the major reason for CVT failures.

Normal life expectancy if follow proper instruction then it can last up to 150k.

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About The Author

Avatar for Ibrar Ayyub

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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