Honda CVT Transmission Problems – Complete Guide

Honda CVT Transmission Problems – Complete Guide – Honda is one of the companies that use CVT transmission in its cars. Unfortunately, Honda didn’t get anything perfect in this technology. Many have complained about this CVT transmission problem. Therefore, it is good to discuss the issues related to the Honda CVT in order to get a complete picture of it.

Honda CVT Transmission Problems – Complete Guide

In the last few decades, Honda has utilized CVT technology for its cars. Almost all of their newest cars use CVT. It doesn’t matter where Honda releases the car – Asia, Europe, and America – all of their cars use CVT transmissions.

Honda CVT Transmission Issues
Shift Honda CVT Transmission.

In terms of fuel efficiency, CVT is indeed very suitable for this purpose. The movement of unlimited speed shifts makes this type of transmission very suitable for fuel economy. The issue of scarcity of fossil fuels, in this case, can be handled properly. Although of course, the movement towards the use of hybrid cars, plug-in hybrids, and EVs is unavoidable at this time.

Read more: Difference Between Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Cars

Although all vehicles lead to electric cars, the reality is that there are still a lot of internal combustion cars circulating in the community. At least for the next 30-50 years, internal combustion cars will still exist. And again, they still had to use a transmission that met the energy efficiency requirements.

Before we discuss the issues of Honda’s CVT transmission further, it’s good if we study first how CVT actually works.

What is a Honda CVT Transmission?

CVT is present as part of the automatic transmission family. This type of transmission has a myriad of advantages, namely the car moves quite smoothly without jerking (pause) shifting gears. For example, as in a conventional automatic transmission with a torque converter.

CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is a type of transmission device that is friendly to the driver and the environment. Although the CVT transmission concept is as old as automotive history itself, Honda had to work hard to engineer this idea to suit the demands of the 21st century. Honda’s efforts include full-grade logic electronic controls with drive and sport modes as options.

Where did Honda apply the CVT System? Honda applies CVT to the Honda Civic, Logo, and HR-V as a substitute for the conventional automatic transmission.

This Japanese company believes that CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is able to optimize the performance of low-emission engines like the types of cars above.

Honda CVT Transmission Issues
CVT Honda in the general picture.

Why Does Honda Need a CVT System?

A conventional automatic transmission consists of a fixed number of speed rating ratios. The transmission system automatically selects the speed level that best matches the actual speed of the vehicle and the position of the gas pedal. Even so, the ideal conditions are often still not achieved. Therefore, some automatic transmissions use a torque converter (“torque converter”) that is connected directly to the engine.

Although the device above is installed with a “lock-up clutch:” system, only about 90 percent of engine power is used efficiently. This is a form of wasting power that is in vain when using a conventional automatic transmission. And Honda tried to overcome this by using a CVT.

CVT does not use a fixed rate ratio device. CVT also does not use a “torque converter” (torque converter) which actually steals engine power. True to its name, this system does not operate incrementally but rather works from a standstill to maximum speed smoothly and uninterruptedly.

By constantly matching the ideal ratio of the transmission to the working of the engine, your vehicle’s engine performs very efficiently whether in “D” mode operation or drive on the highway. Or a more fierce appearance with the “S” or sport mode for off-road conditions (HR-V 4WD).

Honda CVT Transmission Issues
Honda also applies CVT transmission to 4WD cars in the Honda HR-V.

How Does a CVT System Work?

Technically, the conventional toothed wheel in a CVT is replaced by two adjustable drums and a steel drive belt. The movement of this steel belt is formed by each drum. The diameter of each drum is regulated by a transmission computer which increases or decreases the pressure of oil into each moving part of each drum. This is a low ratio (gear 1).

In the high gear (top gear) high-pressure oil enters the drive pulley. The diameter of the drum is now reversed so that the drive pulley rotates faster than the moving pulley.

In these two positions, the lowest and highest ratios, the transmission computer helps balance the oil pressure to each drum and this results in the correct ratio to road conditions and accelerator position and drives mode. It becomes a system

CVT Makes Machine Work More Efficient And Lighter – Honda car engine with a CVT transmission system will be very easy to control. You can maintain your car’s speed at a fuel-efficient speed.

Soft Shifting Gears for a More Comfortable Ride – In an automatic transmission car using gear, the car will shift gears automatically, while in the Honda CVT transmission system, there is no gear shift, but it is assisted by a pulley and a belt that shifts along with the rpm of the Honda car engine.

Disadvantages and Advantages of Honda CVT Transmission

Cars currently use a CVT automatic transmission or Continuously Variable Transmission. But do you know, what are the advantages and disadvantages of CVT transmission in cars? Single-speed CVT transmission with speed ratio that changes automatically according to torque requirements while driving.

Thus, when your car uses a CVT transmission and wants to change gears, the engine car does not give any jolt at all.

However, like most components, each transmission has its own advantages and disadvantages. What the hell?

Disadvantages of CVT Transmission

1. Expensive Treatment

The first thing that needs to be highlighted from the CVT transmission is the cost that drains the driver’s pocket. In conventional transmissions, we can replace components per part. But not on the CVT transmission. In CVT transmission, we have to replace the whole component if there is damage in one part.

The replacement starts from the belt to the pulley, for example. Thus, of course, it costs fantastic because it can reach hundreds of dollars and even more. The cost of this replacement is of course much more expensive if we compare it with repair costs for other transmissions, such as conventional automatic transmissions.

2. Only Suitable for Light Activities

Most people say that the CVT transmission is more suitable for cars with light work. That is, if you often travel to places with steep terrain and lots of inclines, CVT transmission is certainly not suitable.

Why is that? This is because Honda did not prepare a CVT transmission for cars that often carry heavy loads. Especially cars that often pass through steep and winding areas with high performance.

3. Limited Torque

Many CVT transmission users have complained that the engine pull is slower because it is difficult to get instant speed. This makes the driver unable to run the car optimally when it is stuck because there can be problems with the stop-and-go pull.

When the driver is stuck in traffic and tries to run the car at the slowest speed continuously, the car may run into problems and cause an unnatural vibration.

4. Limited Service

In addition to repair costs that must be set directly so that it requires expensive costs, service places for vehicles with CVT transmissions are also limited. This is because not many repair shops are willing and able to repair a problematic CVT transmission.

Advantages of the CVT transmission

1. Smooth Gear Shift

We should give a thumbs up from the CVT transmission. One of them is because the speed ratio shift is very smooth so you will not feel surprised when changing gears. The absence of this beat is because the CVT transmission does not have a gearbox, so it is more comfortable for us to use.

2. Environmentally Friendly

The CVT transmission has a relatively small power loss. Thus, the car does not waste energy and fuel in excess. This automatically makes cars with CVT transmissions more fuel-efficient so they are environmentally friendly.

3. No Need for High RPM

If in other transmissions the rpm must always adjust when changing gears, then in CVT transmissions this is not the case. When you want to get a big power pull from the engine, it doesn’t need to be achieved at high rpm.

This then also affects the use of fuel in the previous explanation.

Honda CVT Transmission Oil

The more dense traffic in big cities, makes car manufacturers switch to using automatic transmissions. But along with its development, to facilitate congestion, Honda – for four-wheeled vehicles – issued a CVT transmission variant aka ‘Continuously Variable Transmission’.

Honda CVT Transmission problems
Use a special fluid for Honda CVT transmissions so that we can avoid Honda CVT Transmission problems early.

Regarding maintenance, a car with a CVT cannot do oil changes carelessly. Usually, the manufacturer has provided the customer to replace the CVT lubricant in accordance with the recommendations. An indiscriminate oil change will make the CVT car break down quickly and of course, it will cost quite a bit because of the electronic system on the CVT.

Honda issued 2 types of CVT fluid. For the first generation CVT and for the second generation. The first generation is of course specifically for the Honda Jazz L15A i-DSI and VTEC. While the second generation includes the third generation Honda Mobilio and All New Honda Jazz. Don’t make the wrong choice even though both are CVT, but the oil specifications are clearly different. Eneos makes the first generation CVT oil, while the second generation is by Idemitsu.

It is very important to ensure that the oil filling does not exceed the upper limit, because the vehicle will feel heavy when accelerating, much like a slip clutch in a manual transmission. Conversely, if it is not enough, it can actually cause overheating of the gearbox.

The Right Time to Change Honda CVT Transmission Oil

The Honda CVT automatic transmission uses oil to support the performance of the automatic transmission and as a cooling medium. This CVT automatic transmission oil on Honda also needs regular replacement time.

Honda CVT Transmission Issues
Parts of Honda CVT Transmission when it’s breaking down.

If you change the oil for the Honda CVT automatic transmission late, the risk of breaking it awaits, it’s dangerous, friend.

The time to change the CVT automatic transmission oil like Honda should not be late because it is at risk of breaking like a broken steel belt.

The CVT automatic transmission oil drain will replace the entire transmission oil inside. For Honda – Mobilio – requires about 7 liters or 2 gallons of CVT automatic transmission oil.

If the delay is far from the ideal replacement time, the risk of the CVT automatic transmission breaking will be great. When the CVT automatic transmission of the Honda Mobilio has broken, get ready to spend large amounts of money.

Honda CVT Transmission Issues

CVT is a system of increased acceleration and improved fuel economy. However, many people still doubt it. Here’s a list of some of the most common Honda CVT transmission problems;

Honda CVT Transmission Issues
The Most Issues of the Honda CVT Transmission.

Irritating Noise

Honda cars with CVT transmission will produce noise during initial acceleration. At the time of initial acceleration, CVT tries to adjust the engine speed so that it produces noise. These sounds can disturb the driver and people in the vehicle. What’s more, if those in the car compare it to the clutch slipping sound that comes from the manual transmission.

So, if you’re used to driving a car with an automatic transmission, you might have a problem with the noise. But, once you get used to it, it’s probably not that important to you.

Jerky Movement

Honda cars that use continuously variable transmissions should offer smooth transitions when accessing maximum power. However, there is a jerky movement problem during initial acceleration. Yes, again at the time of initial acceleration.

In addition, people also complain of crackling noises at low speeds. Some sudden movement problems in the starting system or engine have also been the focus of many Honda users. In addition, if the fuel efficiency of the car decreases, this is a clear sign of a transmission problem.

More expensive

Drivers who have ever driven a Honda car with a manual or automatic transmission usually find it difficult to switch to a car with this system. For them, buying a vehicle with CVT is a more expensive deal if we compare it with other transmission systems.

No Gear Shift Change

Cars with a CVT system do not give the feel of shifting gears as in vehicles with automatic transmissions. In other words, you do not feel the change in engine speed when shifting gears.

This is because paddle shifts are incorporated in vehicles with a CVT system to simulate gear shifts. As a result, the paddle shifter makes it possible to transmit an electronic signal to the clutch, which causes a gear shift. This is what happens to the automatic transmission engine.

Examples of Honda CVT Transmission Problem Cases

One owner of a car transmission specialist repair shop said that there was a case of a Honda CVT (in this case Mobilio) buzzing. The buzzing sound on the Honda CVT indicates a serious problem with the main part of the automatic transmission.

According to him, the driver or passenger in the car can hear and feel the hum from inside the CVT transmission when the car’s engine is running. Even the buzzing sound will get louder when the car starts moving.

Read more:vReviewing the Causes of the Honda CVT buzzing 

The owner of the workshop said that the frequent buzzing sound was due to worn-out pulley bearings or crankcase bearings.

Honda CVT Transmission problems
This is an example of disassembling a Honda CVT transmission when handling Honda CVT Transmission problems.

“Usually the buzzing sound is because the pulley bearings or crankcase bearings have started to wear out, so the engine rotation becomes unbalanced,” he explained.

“This bearing is a place for the axle of the pulley on the CVT automatic transmission system and it often happens on Honda Mobilio,” he added. Damaged bearings can cause a vibration when the system is running. Well, this is what finally makes the buzzing sound.

In addition to the problem with the bearing in the axle pulley, the buzzing sound can also come from the axle gear needle bearing of the Honda CVT transmission. You can easily feel the damaged bearing by turning the bearing. We can confirm that the bearing is damaged by turning the bearing and feeling any abnormal movement in it. To fix it, you need to replace this pulley bearing. However, the replacement must be a set following the pulley.

“As for the size numbers for the Honda (Mobilio) pulley bearings, it is quite unique and no one sells it except for the following set with the CVT pulley. So if you want to change, you have to change the pulley too,” he explained again.

He also explained that usually the hum of a Honda CVT transmission (Mobilio) mostly occurs on used and aged Hondas. In addition, the former owner did not perform CVT maintenance properly.

6 thoughts on “Honda CVT Transmission Problems – Complete Guide

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  6. Gabriel Marcantel Reply

    Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

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