If you’re shopping for a new car, truck, or SUV, you may notice that vehicles come with different transmission types. Transmissions are used to control the power coming from your engine and maximize its performance, and you may be familiar with automatic and manual transmissions. There is a third option, however: a continuously variable transmission, or CVT, which is common on many new vehicles and works differently than other transmission types.
Drivers in Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton can find out what a CVT transmission is and how it factors into your vehicle’s performance and efficiency.
A continuously variable transmission uses movable pulleys that connect to a high-strength steel belt to regulate the engine RPMs and operate at the most efficient level. Though these transmissions used to rev repeatedly, newer technology has made them more efficient and reliable, making them the top choice for many top automakers, including Nissan.
How Does a CVT Work?
A transmission with three or four gears used to be commonplace for most cars, but newer vehicles are increasing the gears to eight, nine, or 10, depending on the vehicle’s purpose. Overall, the more gears a transmission has, the better it can control the engine speed and adjust to changing driving conditions. Low gears give better acceleration, while higher gears maximize fuel efficiency, and specialized gear ratios are more important for vehicles that are designed for towing, off-roading, or performance.
Continuously variable transmissions are different than automatic and manual transmissions in that they don’t use gears that step up or down between high and low speeds, but work through a pair of variable-diameter, cone-shaped pulleys that connect to a steel belt. This can vary between models, but most CVTs align the pulley halves with the ends of the cones, forming a V-shaped groove for the belt. With one side of the pulley fixed and the other mobile, controlled by a hydraulic cylinder, the amount of space between the two sides of the pulley can be increased or decreased, allowing the belt to ride higher or lower and change the gear ratio. Due to this, a CVT can optimize the engine’s power band and increase fuel efficiency, along with enabling smooth shifts through the ratios.
What Are the Advantages of a Continuously Variable Transmission?
The CVT is remarkably simple, which is the essence of its appeal. It has fewer components than conventional transmission types that contain hundreds of moving parts, which leads to several advantages.
A CVT only contains a high-strength belt, a mechanical torque-sensing pulley, a hydraulically operated driving pulley, and microprocessors and sensors. This not only makes it easier to diagnose and fix, but the simple, straightforward process provides smooth operation, steady acceleration, and the ability to adjust to road conditions and power demands.
Learn More About Nissan CVTs
If you’re shopping for a new or used Nissan, you may notice that most of these models offer continuously variable transmissions exclusively or offer them alongside manual transmissions. Now that you’re aware of the purpose and advantages of a CVT, you’re better equipped to decide which option is the right choice for your needs.
If you’re in Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton and want to learn more about what a CVT transmission is and how it works in your Nissan vehicle, contact us or stop by Nissan 24 today. We’ll be happy to provide you with more information about these modern transmissions and you can try one out for yourself with a test drive!