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#3313095 - 03/15/14 08:52 PM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: 7055]
cptbarkey Online   content


Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 1139
Loc: texas
who cares who made the CVT, by design it will grenade and be far too cost prohibitive to replace. If you dont believe me try your hand at a Saturn Vue or Ford Freestyle.
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#3314554 - 03/17/14 07:47 AM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: cptbarkey]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 6087
Loc: Onondaga County
Originally Posted By: cptbarkey
who cares who made the CVT, by design it will grenade and be far too cost prohibitive to replace. If you dont believe me try your hand at a Saturn Vue or Ford Freestyle.


Or the thousands of Rogues, Muranos, Altimas that have experienced CVT failure early on.
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#3314576 - 03/17/14 08:11 AM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: cptbarkey]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7171
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: cptbarkey
who cares who made the CVT, by design it will grenade and be far too cost prohibitive to replace. If you dont believe me try your hand at a Saturn Vue or Ford Freestyle.


I hear you, but how is that not the same as a present day 6,7,8 speed automatic grenading?

The way they switch things around today and the fact most can't be worked on, only completely replaced means repair costs can exceed the vehicle's value, regardless of what type of automagic trans it has.
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#3314983 - 03/17/14 01:51 PM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: JTK]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 14263
Loc: Sunny Florida
Originally Posted By: JTK
Originally Posted By: cptbarkey
who cares who made the CVT, by design it will grenade and be far too cost prohibitive to replace. If you dont believe me try your hand at a Saturn Vue or Ford Freestyle.


I hear you, but how is that not the same as a present day 6,7,8 speed automatic grenading?

The way they switch things around today and the fact most can't be worked on, only completely replaced means repair costs can exceed the vehicle's value, regardless of what type of automagic trans it has.


The only problem is that the 8 speeds are too new to get much data on failures.

But with folks like Bentley and Jaguar using the well known ZF 8 speed in 500++ hp vehicles they may prove to be quite reliable in 'ordinary' cars. You will NEVER see a CVT used in a high torque application. So 'many-speed' slushboxes will rule, as it is the only way to get the desired ratio spread.

People said the exact same things about 4 speed OD slushboxes decades ago...
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#3315060 - 03/17/14 03:12 PM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: SteveSRT8]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 6087
Loc: Onondaga County
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
Originally Posted By: JTK
Originally Posted By: cptbarkey
who cares who made the CVT, by design it will grenade and be far too cost prohibitive to replace. If you dont believe me try your hand at a Saturn Vue or Ford Freestyle.


I hear you, but how is that not the same as a present day 6,7,8 speed automatic grenading?

The way they switch things around today and the fact most can't be worked on, only completely replaced means repair costs can exceed the vehicle's value, regardless of what type of automagic trans it has.


The only problem is that the 8 speeds are too new to get much data on failures.

But with folks like Bentley and Jaguar using the well known ZF 8 speed in 500++ hp vehicles they may prove to be quite reliable in 'ordinary' cars. You will NEVER see a CVT used in a high torque application. So 'many-speed' slushboxes will rule, as it is the only way to get the desired ratio spread.

People said the exact same things about 4 speed OD slushboxes decades ago...


There were a lot of problems with the 4 speed OD boxes, too. Chrysler and Ford had a lot of problems with their 4 speed OD transmissions - both FWD and RWD versions.
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#3315179 - 03/17/14 05:48 PM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: 7055]
cb450sc Offline


Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 272
Loc: Chatham, Ontario, Canada
The CVT in my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid had to be replaced after 45000 km. The replacent was getting stiff when I sold it at 300000 km.

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#3315656 - 03/18/14 10:04 AM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: cb450sc]
cptbarkey Online   content


Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 1139
Loc: texas
Originally Posted By: cb450sc
The CVT in my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid had to be replaced after 45000 km. The replacent was getting stiff when I sold it at 300000 km.


the civic CVT prices seems to be a nice exception to the rule, i've seen the transmissions go for ~$300 on Ebay.
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#3316686 - 03/19/14 09:49 AM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: 7055]
thunderfog Offline


Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 74
Loc: Eleanor, West Virginia
I think the CVT overall gets a bad rap. I've mostly been a MT guy, but moving to the hills 7 years ago forced that change.

As for longevity, I'm only at 8k miles on my '14 Impreza, so I can't speak to that. I think it's interesting to drive, but you have to have some discipline... it doesn't take much to wind up the RPMs.

In my own personal comparisons to other ATs, I think the CVT wins, because the 5 or 6 speed ATs seem like they are constantly hunting for the right gear. Lots of downshifting and upshifting, especially on hills. Can be a touch annoying.
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#3317011 - 03/19/14 01:25 PM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: 7055]
Mykl Offline


Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 1186
Loc: Texas
Does anybody have any actual failure rates for CVTs sold in the last five or so years? Are they really that prone to failure?
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#3317075 - 03/19/14 02:31 PM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: 7055]
7055 Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 273
Loc: KS
I am curious to know Mykl
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#3317132 - 03/19/14 03:36 PM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: 7055]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 12279
Loc: Silicon Valley
From what I know, a friend's Murano got the CVT replaced at 80k despite doing everything by the book knowing that CVT is unreliable.

Honda's Civic GX before 2006 was also CVT, and for this reason a huge discount in used market because of its failure rate. In 2006 and later they change back to a regular automatic and all is well.
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#3318954 - 03/21/14 11:43 AM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: SteveSRT8]
440Magnum Offline


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 6099
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8


People said the exact same things about 4 speed OD slushboxes decades ago...


And the term "700R4" will strike a shudder into many of us for the rest of our lives... :-)

Things do go in cycles. Diesel power is just coming out of an upheaval due to emission controls that was eerily similar to the convulsion gasoline engine designs went through when catcons were mandated in 1975. I can still hear the sound of Chevy trucks hissing down the highway after the pellet catcons disintegrated and the debris plugged the spark arrestor in the tailpipe tip.

So I really have to laugh when people say all CVTs suck and will fail by design. They're actually proving out REALLY reliable in the past few years. And I don't doubt that the high-gear-count automatics will also be reliable. 6-speeds have been common for almost 14 years now (including the ones like the 545RFE that only use 6 of the 6 gears under ordinary conditions) so upping the count to 8 or 9 isn't a big deal.
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#3319013 - 03/21/14 12:53 PM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: 7055]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 14263
Loc: Sunny Florida
^^^Yessir, and look for the new 10 speed due out from the joint Ford/GM development team... coming soon to a pickup near you!
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#3319107 - 03/21/14 02:48 PM Re: How reliable are the Subaru CVTs? [Re: SteveSRT8]
440Magnum Offline


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 6099
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
^^^Yessir, and look for the new 10 speed due out from the joint Ford/GM development team... coming soon to a pickup near you!


Its the only way they're going to meet efficiency mandates: get more ratios in the gearbox so you can use a much smaller engine and run it closer to max output all the time. The 8-speed ZF is a big part of how the 3.6L Pentastar hauls the Ram 1500 around virtually as well as the 4.7 v8 with the 5-of-6 speed used to (better under some speed/load conditions, a little worse under others so I hear).

Design-wise, its just replicating planetary sets and clutch packs to add more ratios in the "ladder." There's got to be a point of diminishing returns, I would think, and honestly I'm surprised it wasn't at around 6-8 forward gears.
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