CVT Transmission Advantages & Problems

You may have heard the term CVT and you’re not quite sure what it is.  The CVT transmission (Constant Velocity Transmission) is a transmission that provides a stepless shifting pattern, which gives a very comfortable drive as well as having full vehicle performance available at any time.

The advantages of this style of automatic transmission are:

  1. Low engine revolutions at constant speeds
  2. Improved emission control fuel consumption
  3. Low noise, vibration
  4. Smooth acceleration

Unlike conventional planetary automatic transmissions that provide a limited number of gear ratios (usually 4, 5 or 6), the CVT, as its name suggests, continually varies the gear ratio.  A low gear (low ratio) makes it easier to pull away from a resting position.  The drive pulley diameter is relatively small while the driven pulley diameter is larger in comparison.  The drive belt is designed and used to connect the two pulleys and transmit the power and torque.


The CVT uses a primary pulley and a secondary pulley.  These pulleys have one fixed half and one mobile half, controlled by hydraulic pressure, generated from the pump and associated valves.  In principle, the operation is well designed.

The problems we are seeing with this style of automatic transmission range from:

  1. Variator pulley bearing failures
  2. Oil deterioration with belt and pulley contact (which basically results in a transmission rebuild)
  3. Solenoid failures

Due to the nature of this design I recommend that the transmission oil be changed at a maximum of every 45,000 km.

Feel free to contact us to learn more.

Our Transmissions Services Include:

  • Automatic transmission overhauls
  • Repairs / servicing
  • Coolers supplied & installed
  • Shift Kit installations
  • Reconditioned torque converters
  • Valve Body reconditioning
  • General servicing
  • Clutch replacement & flywheel machining
  • Differential servicing
  • Fault Diagnosis & Troubleshooting
  • Gearbox repair
  • Clutch recalibration
  • Transfer box overhauls
  • Coolant changes / flushing
  • All Australian & imported vehicles
  • FWD & 4WD
  • Electronic controlled
  • Torque converter repairs & overhauls
  • General auto warranty servicing
  • Authorised registration inspection (Pink slip)