Deciphering the Letters
CVT. If you’ve never heard of it, the series of letters might sound as foreign as UFO. You don’t need to worry, however. No, the aliens haven’t landed! CVT stands for Continuously Variable Transmission. It’s a modern system that’s found in more and more new vehicles. The concept is likely here to stay, so the ASE-certified technicians at Dynamic Automotive in New Market, Maryland, have made sure to shift their gears to include knowledge of this trend. Schedule an appointment for help understanding CVT and all your transmission service and repair needs.
What It Is and How it Works
The CVT is a bit different from its traditional predecessor because it uses two variable-width pulleys connected by a flexible belt instead of fixed gears. A less common kind of CVT operates via rollers and discs. If your auto includes this system, you’ll notice a seamless acceleration as opposed to typical gear shifts. One pulley connects to the engine. The other relates to the wheels. Based on the amount of power you need at the moment, the transmission can change the width of the pulleys. When one of the pulleys widens, the other one narrows. This allows for as many gear ratios as are needed between lower and higher gears. This is different from the familiar transmission that has a fixed number of gears. As the system connects the vehicle’s power plant to its wheels, the rpm’s stay within the safe range with both types of engines. Some drivers love the pulley system because it allows them to accelerate with both steady strength and seamless operation.
Today’s vehicles featuring the newer CVTs have a couple of distinct advantages. One of those is the ability to maximize the power of a small engine, allowing for quick acceleration. For that reason, most CVTs are found in smaller autos with four-cylinder motors. Also, this transmission eliminates the noticeable shift that you feel if you step on the gas to pass another car or put the vehicle under strain when climbing a hill. Additionally, the CVT weighs less than other models, so some hybrid vehicle manufacturers take advantage of it. The downside, however, is that some people complain of being annoyed by the strange humming of certain cars equipped with a CVT. True driving enthusiasts may also miss the feel of shifting gears. Finally, there are some reports of the CVT overheating, losing acceleration power, and slipping. Obviously, your vehicle must have a fully functioning transmission to make operation feasible. If you need help with transmission service or repair, count on Dynamic Automotive in New Market, MD. For more than a quarter-century and through various generation transmissions, we’ve remained dependable.