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Any Thoughts on Subaru's CVT Transmissions?


JAG1

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Ended up getting one with about 87,000 miles on an otherwise almost perfect 2010 outback. The reason for this is my wifes older Forester was totaled by a teen age tailgator. I had to get her another car and this was the best around without going new (no debt) as the insurance made sure we were shorted as they tend to do.But.... I'm worried about the CVT transmission. Can't find much on the net except it seems as though its proving itself to be reliable so far. I'd like to hear anyones thoughts/ experiences.Subaru claims people are trading in their BMW's, Mercedes, and most other cars due to the repair bills they are tired of. Our dealer sold 190 cars last mo. with increases every month.

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Thank you ISX. I'm having a hard time understanding the 'lifetime no service' on the trans unless its towed heavy.Apparently, there is alot of proprietory information about these transmissions. Factory service guys are allowed only so much transparency. That's the reason for the difficult search for information on the net.

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It has no torque converter so not as much heat. It works by using a snake shaped steel belt running on a pulley that has more of cone shaped sides. As it gets closer together (Larger pully effect) as it up shifts . The two cone shaped sides of the pulley go further apart to downshift, making the pulley smaller diameter. When you drive it there is absolutely no shifting feel. The computer keeps the engine at max efficiency at all times and has proven a major increase in fuel mileage.Sorry for no links... trying not to admit I don't know how yet :whistle:

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I drove one a year ago. Was very interesting since it just goes to redline when you floor it and stays there until you let off. I wasn't impressed by the power at all but it was just a 4 banger nissan altima. My moms 4 banger camry seemed to have more power. I am not sure about the torque convertor thing I mean how would it not stall when you stop at a light? I guess to me it drove like an always unlocked, sloppy torque convertor..car. And since it was a sloppy TC, a lot of power just slipped away into friction resulting in the crappy power I experienced. But I have no clue and it mighta just been a doggy engine in a heavy car.

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Wasn't there a similar tranny in the late 50's-60's era???!!There was no gear shifts............just progressive final ratio change based on............"I don't know"!!! I'm going off memories from an old timer that lived next to us while I was growing up.I could be totally wrong................but he said that there were no "shifts" in this tranny from the era I said above.Help please!!!:smart::thumbup2::pray:

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The CVT is similar to what one would find on a snow mobile, or the side by sides of today. it's Belt driven. Belts can and do break. they are incredibly reliable though. the belt on my Rhino went 28,000 miles before exploding. it gave no warning sign either, just driving along then it quit moving forward. no bang, no clank, just no more acceleration. In the video, those are more like the Polaris and snowmobile clutches. where the one is spinning before grabbing the belt. The yamaha and other also use a wet clutch. which saves the burning factor of the belt, but you also start moving at a lower RPM. a way to tell when the belt is need replaced, is speed vs rpm, if you notice on the same stretch of road it used to take you 2800 rpm to do 60 mph and now it take 3000 then your belt is warn and isn't riding up the sheave as far so the effective gear ration isn't changing enough. and or the wights have become lodged and the clutch needs servicing.

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Wasn't there a similar tranny in the late 50's-60's era???!! There was no gear shifts............just progressive final ratio change based on............"I don't know"!!! I'm going off memories from an old timer that lived next to us while I was growing up. I could be totally wrong................but he said that there were no "shifts" in this tranny from the era I said above. Help please!!!:smart::thumbup2::pray:

I have no idea how I know this but you are right. The promotional video of it had the car next to a river and going from a stop to a good speed pulling a skier on the river, showing that it was so smooth that the skier never felt any jerks that threw them off. It was some 50's or 60's car commercial. I assume it was some sorta CVT.
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I learned that my Bombardier 650 ATV has one... wife used a rope to keep tension on a tree we were cutting down as we'd previously done with other vehicles... it blew the belt. The ATV has a bolt that was a SOB to get out (underneath, one tooth at a time with a custom wrench through a hole in the skid plate) on the cover, but replacing the belt was simple after that. But for a constant variable transmission, matching power to speed makes a whole lot of sense.... at least in light duty vehicles. Personally, I think the great opportunity for mpg gains will be in the transmissions... and we are already seeing the trend to more transmission speeds. I remember a certain 59 Ford that only had a 2 speed transmission!

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and we are already seeing the trend to more transmission speeds. I remember a certain 59 Ford that only had a 2 speed transmission!

I remember a 1968 Chevy Nova my dad had with a two speed auto in it. My son and daughter each have a 2006 VW Jetta TDI and I have a 2012 Jetta TDI all with six speeds.
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From what I understand Subaru has an all steel belt that looks more like a very finely engineered chain. On edit....I don't really know enough about transmissions to say if it has a torque converter or not. I repeated something I had just read.

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The trannys in the 50-60's was similar to the moderns Honda CVT, it's an oil swash plate, it uses oil pressure to spin a swash plate, I believe it does indeed have a torque converter. They are a zero mantainence CVT no belts or chains to wear out. My 05 Rancher had one, its was a rancher 400AT

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