Car guys: Do CVT transmissions "learn" like adaptive automatic transmissions?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by RockStarNick, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. RockStarNick

    RockStarNick Supporting Member

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    This was what my mind was pondering on the way to work today.

    I know that many modern automatic transmissions are "adaptive". They learn the accelerating behaviors of the driver, and adjust their shift times accordingly for "optimum performance". I've also heard that if you mainly tool around town, that the adaptive learning can also lead to sluggish performance when you actually want to dig in. But I digress...

    Since a CVT doesn't have any true gears, and seamlessly downshifts, is there such a thing as "adaptive learning" for a CVT trans?
     
  2. Lwilliams

    Lwilliams Supporting Member

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    No. The logic circuitry does not need to "learn" driving habits with a CVT. You are right in saying that some do. But the CVT never actually shifts gears. It works much like the centrifugal clutch on your old mini-bike. The ratio constantly changes based on engine demand. Smooth and seamless.
     
  3. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    I agree for the most part. The CVT in my new CRV is good and you don't really miss a regular automatic (I do wish it was manual but... I digress) until you step on it. Then all the subtleties go out the window, there is no hiding its true CVT-ness.

    It does do the fake-ratio thing and it does behave very much like a regular automatic under normal driving conditions, until you want to pass someone, then you don't get that kick-down you get from a regular auto, and you get the drone most people hate. I would have to say Honda's CVT was the best out of all the SUVs I tried when I was car shopping.
     
  4. Lwilliams

    Lwilliams Supporting Member

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    I work for Honda! :)

    The CVT uses a steel belt for the power transition. You should see the inside of a CVT. It is a work of art really.

    And yes, the CRV is amazing. The rest of the smaller SUVs can't really compare to the CRV......the only one that comes close is the Escape.
     
  5. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    Is a CVT more complex than conventional?

    Are they more expensive, (or less) to build?

    How dependable are they compared to conventional?

    How would one fair pulling a trailer? (I pull a 10 ft band trailer with the wife's minivan.)
     
  6. RockStarNick

    RockStarNick Supporting Member

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    I'm totally cool with my CVT - it has it's pros and cons, but overall, I dig it.

    I guess my question is more about the adaptive nature, or lack thereof.

    Will primarily driving slooooow around town hinder sporty performance when I actually want it?

    If the answer is "no", then awesome.
     
  7. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    My Jeep has one. I can't answer your question one way or another definitively, but I haven't noticed any change in the way it performs over the years. I really like it and it'll be something I look for in my next car.
     
  8. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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  9. Lwilliams

    Lwilliams Supporting Member

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    No more complex, just different.
    VERY dependable. No problems seen with "normal" use.

    I would not pull a trailer with one except within the HONDA guidelines. A CR-V equipped with a CVT has a MAXIMUM towing capacity of 1500 pounds TOTAL (trailer and cargo). As long as you don't exceed that you will be fine........not much, I know.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  10. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    If a CRV is your primary tow vehicle, you need to go truck shopping or rent a truck when you need to tow something. It's a fine little SUV, but it wasn't designed for that.
     
  11. gearmeup

    gearmeup Member

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    What the H is CVT?
     
  12. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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  13. deluxeman

    deluxeman Member

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    Far less dependable on average, Nissan and Ford especially.

    Very expensive to replace

    A small trailer would be OK but not anything to heavy.

    I love the idea of a CVT, they are very efficient but not very durable at this point.
     
  14. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I'd always heard they were more reliable. I have 107,000 on mine so far with no issues at all.
     
  15. Lwilliams

    Lwilliams Supporting Member

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    We have owners, I have personally witnessed, with over 200,000 miles and still going.
     
  16. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    The only adaptive function I am aware of is when descending a long hill, the CVT will automatically ramp up the ratio to keep the vehicles speed from increasing, much like downshifting a manual. Also most CVT's have a preset higher ratio for "sport" driving.
     
  17. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Member

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    Mrs. Lee's 2006 Mini had one. Back then Mini claimed their transmission fluid was "lifetime." BS! Just before the warranty ran out I had the dealer flush it. They said it looked like sludge and took four complete flushes to make the fluid look clean. And it had a high whining noise after that. But, of course, they didn't charge me for any of it. After researching that those trannies are replace, not repair and run $7k, I convinced Mrs. Lee to trade it in the next weekend.
     
  18. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    Throttle tip in is the term. Racers try to program it out. It'll all be ancient history soon.

    Gearboxes and buggy whips.
     
  19. Mike Anderson

    Mike Anderson Member

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    Is this backed up by data somewhere?
     
  20. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    Do Priuses (Priuii?) have CVT trannies? In the one we rented for 10 days, my only complaint was that the tranny felt unusual (kinda spongy) and it only had 8000 miles on it, so I'm pretty sure everything was working as it should...I sort of got used to it, but it didn't have the responsiveness I'm used to...
     

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