Buying a Car in 2018

There are many pros and cons to look at when buying a vehicle, whether it be new or used cars.

We are going to go over the transmission which has never been more important.

The CVT Transmission.

There are several things to consider before purchasing a vehicle but we think this should be at the top.

What to look out for from a transmission shop side of view with so many CVT Transmissions out there.

We at Clutch & Transmission Technicians have been serving Modesto for the past 26 years and would like to help shed some light on the CVT transmission. We love to give back to our community and hope this will help people from finding out after the purchase when they are looking at an expensive repair tag that they have a CVT Transmission.


Know what you are purchasing!

Yes CVT, Constant Velocity Transmission. Store this in your phone and make it one of the top considerations when buying a vehicle. A CVT Transmission is a belt driven transmission that is picking up momentum in the automotive industry and found in the majority of small to medium sized vehicles today.

The difference between a cvt transmission from traditional automatic transmissions is that they don’t have gears that provide steps between low and high speed. Instead, the majority of them work via a pair of variable-diameter, cone-shaped pulleys connected by a steel or composite belt.

Do some research on them and determine if this is a transmission you want in your vehicle. We will go over some of the pros and cons of the cvt transmission in this blog, but a quick search on the internet will bring up loads of information. This is one of the first things we want you to research when buying a vehicle and narrowing down what your next purchase will be.  We are still getting customers in on a regular basis that had no idea that they had a cvt transmission or that they even existed. This is why we are going to revisit this topic.

Pros:  They are smaller and light weight compared to the traditional transmissions and are designed  to improve fuel economy. Typically you get a smoother shifting transmission as well.

Cons: They are a weaker transmission and tend to have a lower torque delivery.  They tend to do ok under normal driving but lack on harder accelerations.  We service the Modesto and surrounding area and are seeing some of them fail at low mileage and come with a pricey repair tag. At this point, there aren’t a lot of quality parts available to repair them and we are having to install dealer units.

Our advise on buying a vehicle with a cvt transmission.

When to buy a vehicle equipped with a cvt transmission.

If you test drive the vehicle and are happy with the way it drives and how it transfers the power under harder throttle. You are not planning on keeping the vehicle past the warranty period or buying an extended warranty. This may be a good option for you.

When not to buy a vehicle with a cvt transmission.

If you plan on keeping the vehicle past the warranty period and like the way a traditional transmission shifts and the way the power is transferred. This may not be the option for you.  Reselling the vehicle when it comes time, may be an issue also if the consumer has done their research or had any dealings with a cvt in the past.

In summary, cvts are here to stay and a large percentage of the vehicles come with them. As time goes on, the parts will become better and more accessible bringing the cost to repair them down.  They should also become more reliable and the life expectancy should increase. For now, we at CTT Transmissions would not recommend purchasing a vehicle with one unless you are going to sell it or trade it in before the warranty period is up.

How do I know which vehicles have a cvt?

We would not recommend relying on the salesman or owner of the vehicle as they may not even know if it has one.  A quick search on the internet using different terms such as the year, make, model  and engine size asking if the vehicle comes with a cvt should produce several sites with this information.  They have been out for a while now but they have gotten really popular in 2013 with the majority of the manufactures using them, mostly in the compact vehicles.

If you have a cvt transmission and it fails at low mileage but is out of the standard warranty, contact the dealer and see if they have extended the warranty on it before having it replaced.

CTT Transmissions

Modesto California