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How Long Do CVT Transmissions Last? All You Need to Know

How Long Do CVT Transmissions Last? All You Need to Know

If you're planning to invest in a CVT transmission, one of the most important questions you must ask yourself is how long do CVT transmissions last? Typically, the CVT transmission is expected to last up to 100,000 miles; depending on the model, you can also achieve 300,000 miles.

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In the world of transmissions, you might encounter continuously variable transmission or CVT. But, what is that transmission, how does it work, and how long does it last?

This article provides all the details to help you answer the question, how long do CVT transmissions last? It also highlights how this transmission works and how different it is from the traditional transmission. Finally, it will provide a general recommendation about which manufacturers produced the best CVT transmissions.

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What is the CVT transmission, and how does it work?

Before we dive into the details about “how long do CVT transmissions last,” it is essential to understand the difference between the traditional translucent and the CVT transmission. In other words, you need to understand how this transition works and what's involved when engaging with your vehicle's CVT transmission.


In any standard automatic transmission, the vehicle switches between a fixed number of gears to achieve the best driving experience. Despite the good number of transmission gears, you'll still have this feeling of shifting gears every time your vehicle performs a gear shift.

Considering this feeling, manufacturers and automotive experts thought together and created a new innovative transmission that does not have a limited number of gears. In other words, the gear shifting will happen continuously, and you will not feel any fixed shifting when your vehicle does so.

Sometimes the CVT transmission is referred to as a single-speed or the shift list transmission, considering how it works. According to experts, this transmission is designed to provide you with a better fuel-efficient driving experience and a smoother ride that does not involve any disturbance.

What are the benefits of CVT transmission?

Obviously, with this innovative technology, your vehicle will achieve many benefits when switching to a CVT transmission. Some of these benefits include:

  • Incredible fuel economy
  • Smooth or right and no shift-like feeling
  • Better familiarity and easier right
  • Great reliability rating

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What are the main cons of CVT transmission?

Despite the great features you will achieve from switching to this transmission, you must be familiar with a couple of drawbacks because they might mean something to you and discourage you from switching to this transmission.

Some customers might not feel very comfortable with this no-shifting feeling. It takes some time until you get used to this vehicle's performance, but it's better than feeling the strong shift gear in your car.

Although most manufacturers provide better reliability ratings when switching to this type of transmission, there are some complaints about the lower reliability, especially if you choose a used vehicle equipped with a CVT transmission.

Is CVT good for long drives?

Obviously yes! Automotive experts recommend driving a vehicle equipped with a CVT transmission if you're planning to make long trips. The transmission is great for providing the smoothest ride and preventing the feeling of shift every time your vehicle shifts gears.

How long do CVT transmissions last?

According to automotive experts, the CVT transmission is expected to last as long as your normal automatic transmission. Depending on the manufacturer, you might achieve 100,000 miles out of this transition, and in some scenarios, vehicles can achieve 300,000 miles without any major problems!

One of the best brands known for a long-lasting automatic CVT transmission is the Toyota Prius.

Keep in mind that the reliability rating and the longevity of this CVT transmission differ significantly depending on the automaker. Therefore, if you're planning to purchase a car equipped with such transmission, you must review the main recommendations and complaints about people who tried these vehicles.

Note that some major problems do not happen early in the vehicle's lifetime. That's why when you do your research, you must select different vehicle ages and look at different snapshots in the vehicle's transmission lifetime.

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Can CVT last 200,000 miles?

Of course. As we mentioned earlier, we've seen some CVT transmissions lasting up to 300,000 miles. For example, in the 2013 and 2014 CYL, the CVT transmission listed more than 200,000 miles, and all it was taken to the drivers to replace the transmission fluid once every 30,000 miles.

How can I make my CVT last longer?

Considering the expensive cost of replacing the CVT transmission, drivers need to learn some tips and tricks to help them extend the life of their CVT.

Let's look at some of the recommendations to help you make your CVT last longer:

1.    Keep up with regular maintenance

One of the most important recommendations that we like to provide you is to keep up with your regular maintenance. This recommendation applies not only to the CVT transmission but also to any vehicle component.

Follow the recommendations in your vehicle's owner's manual and check how often you should replace the fluid or perform a transmission flush or any maintenance required by your manufacturer.

The more you keep up with the regular maintenance, the less likely you will deal with major complications in your transmission and, therefore, the more you achieve a long life of your CVT.

Your manufacturer created the vehicle, and they know exactly what you need to do continuously to keep this CVT and extend its lifetime. Therefore, it is a huge mistake to delay or postpone any regular maintenance thinking that nothing will happen. Although negative consequences will not show immediately, you'll deal with some major complications in no time.

2.    Check with your mechanic

Even if you're going for a simple oil change, it doesn't hurt to take a quick look at your CVT transmission. Have a conversation with your mechanic and let him know that you're interested in extending the lifetime of your CVT. Do we will have a better I to detect any early signs of major problems that could impact your CVT.

Once your mechanic pinpoints any problem, you must take it seriously and follow his recommendations on what needs to be done to resolve it so you don't must deal with major complications in your CVT.

3.    Never ignore minor problems

When your transmission is about to fail, it'll start showing some very minor issues like weird noises or strange smells. So it is essential for you as a driver to keep up and extend the lifetime of your CVT, never to ignore any minor problem.

The earlier you detect the problems, the easier it is for your mechanic to resolve the issue without needing to install major components and the fewer repair costs.

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What are the best brands that create CVT transmissions?

As we indicated before, the efficiency of your CVT transmission depends on who created it, so it is essential to understand the main brands creating the best CVT transmissions. Let's say if let's look at the top brands according to automotive experts,

1.    Toyota CVT

You should consider checking the Toyota lines if you're looking for the best fuel economy out of your CVT transmission. According to experts, Toyota created a new direct-shift CVT transmission which provides you with a combination of great fuel economy and the most efficient parts from the traditional conventional transmission.

If you decided to go with Val direct-shift CVT, you would achieve greater vehicle acceleration and reach the best speed without overwhelming your CVT transmission. Some of the many benefits you will achieve from the Geo to direct-shift CVT include:

  • No belt angle
  • Increase in the ratio spread by 15%
  • Improvement in the belt efficiency
  • 6% improvement in a fuel economy
  • Much better shift speed

Are you looking to shop for a Toyota with CVT transmission? Consider this row to RA V4, previous, Corolla, C-HR, and Camry.

2.    Subaru CVT

Subaru also provides you with many models equipped with a CVT transmission. You can achieve tons of benefits by choosing these vehicles, including:

  • A significant reduction in fuel economy
  • A smoother ride
  • A lighter vehicle
  • A better acceleration
  • A manual mode if you're interested

There are many examples from several if you're planning to shop for a new car equipped with such a transmission. For example, you can consider the Subaru WRX, Subaru Cross Trek, Subaru Impreza, Subaru Forester, Subaru Legacy, and Subaru Outback.

3.    Honda CVT

Why don't you consider the Honda if you're not interested in purchasing a Toyota or a Subaru? One of the main features of the Honda CVT is achieving the best sports you driving. As a result, you will continuously get the highest engine speed and achieve the smoothest declaration and acceleration performance.

There are tons of benefits you achieve from purchasing a Honda vehicle equipped with a CVT transmission, including:

  • But our fuel economy
  • More efficient control
  • Smoother ride
  • Is your exploration

If you're planning to purchase a Honda with a CVT transmission, consider the Honda Civic, Honda Insight, Honda Fit, and Honda Accord.

4.    Nissan CVT

There are tons of people who are big fans of the Nissan vehicles. The good news is that Nissan also has a long list of models equipped with a CVT transmission, including the Nissan Altima, Nissan Murano, Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Rogue, and Nissan Sentra.

By choosing the Nissan CVT, you're enjoying great benefits, including:

  • Much better fuel economy
  • Easier and faster response
  • But our vehicle efficiency
  • Seamless acceleration
  • Smooth ratio change

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How much does it cost to replace a CVT transmission?

Unsurprisingly, we're talking about significantly high repair costs, whether you're placing a CVT or any transmission. Typically, replacing a CVT transmission ranges from $4000 to $7000.

Of course, this price range is just a rough estimate, and depending on your vehicle's brand and transmission type, repair costs can climb significantly. Also, depending on where you get the job done, you'll see a different price range where the labor cost is a big component, especially if you decide to go to a dealership.

Is a CVT transmission reliable?

According to automotive experts, you cannot say for sure that a CVT transmission is more reliable than the traditional one. The concept of inventing the CVT transmission is to illuminate the shift-like feeling as you're driving your car.

However, some manufacturers create more reliable CVT transmissions than traditional ones. In other words, it's all about reviewing the customer's feedback and complaints about whether they had to deal with problems or not. Every model and manufacturer is different, and you cannot write a general conclusion saying all CVT transmissions are always better than traditional ones.

Final thoughts

The continuously variable transmission or the CVT is one of the very famous and most modern transmissions nowadays. This is because it provides great benefits including a smooth ride and reduces the feeling of gear shifting.

Typically, the CVT transmission is expected to last about 100,000 miles. However, you can easily achieve 300,000 miles in some vehicle brands.

Considering the great benefits of the CVT transmission, it is always a good recommendation to switch to this type of vehicle, especially with increased gas prices. So, if you're planning to sell your current car and buy a vehicle with a CVT transmission, that is a great idea.

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