What is CVT?
Many drivers, no matter what their level of automobile knowledge is, know what manual and automatic transmissions are and the basics of how the work. But as technology advances, so do the parts in our vehicles. There’s a relatively new piece making appearances in some vehicles, and it replaces the automatic transmission many drives know and love. It’s called a Continuously Variable Transmission, and if you’ve ever seen or heard of it then you might be asking yourself, what is CVT?
Rumored to have been originally conceptualized over 500 years ago by the greatest inventor in history, Leonardo Da Vinci, it was first created in 1886, led to the creation of your average automatic transmission, and has been advancing ever since then to become a much bigger piece of the pie. In case your knowledge of transmissions doesn’t go past “manual I have to move a stick, automatic I don’t,” we’ll fill you in on a few details.
No matter what kind of transmission is in your car, it’s job is adapt the speed ratio between your engine and the wheels. Basically, without a transmission, your vehicle would only be able to remain in a single gear, which would not make driving very enjoyable. Classic automatic and manual transmissions utilized literal gears in order to do this act, but the “new” continuously variable transmissions don’t utilize actual gears at all. Instead they utilize a pulley system which allows vehicles to have an infinite amount of “gears,” rather than the usually limited number of traditional transmission systems.
The reason CVTs are most likely going to become the mainstream transmission in vehicles is because it offers a much smoother ride than other transmissions. If you pay attention when driving your vehicle with a traditional transmission, you might notice a bit of a jerk as your car changes gears. Your RPM gauge is constantly going all the way up and then flopping back down and repeat, et cetera. With a CVT, as you increase speed, your RPMs increase steadily as well. Giving you as smooth a ride as possible.
A lot of vehicles are starting to utilize continuously variable transmission systems. Including the hybrid trim version of the 2014 Toyota Camry, and some engine options in the 2014 Honda Civic. If you have any questions about how the CVT system works, or would like to inquire about what vehicles we carry that have them, feel free to call one of the Drive Wheaton dealerships right away!