Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

How a CVT transmission works

CVT transmission operation

A CVT transmission has some of the same components as a traditional automatic transmission. For example it has:

• Torque converter
• Pump
• Valve Body
• Clutch pack
• Sun Gear

But it also has:

Two variable sheaves (pulleys)
Pushbelt (can be steel or rubber with impregnated steel elements

CVT pushbelt

Many early model CVTs used a rubber belt with impregnated steel elements. However most late model CVT transmissions use a steel ring with steel elements. The ring can have multiple wraps to make it stronger. The driving pulley pushes the belt, as opposed to pulling it.

cvt pushbelt

How a CVT transmission works

The engine power is transmitted through the torque converter to the clutch pack and variable driving pulley. The driving pulley transmits the power to the CVT pushbelt which transfers power to a variable driven pulley.

Each pulley consists of two moveable moveable sheaves that infinitely change the pushbelt’s radius. This allows the CVT transmission to achieve an infinite number of transmission ratios.

low versus high ration cvt transmission

This image shows the driving pulley at low and high ratios. But the driven pulley can also change ratios.

CVT transmission advantages

• The CVT is a stepless automatic transmission that eliminates the shift points found in a traditional automatic transmission. So the driver experiences a more seamless acceleration

•  In increase in MPG up to 7% lower fuel consumption than a manual transmission and
reduced CO₂ output
•  Compact installation space, lightweight
•  More cost-efficient than other automatic transmissions due to smaller number of components
•  High power density and optimal NVH behavior (Noise, Vibration, Harshness)

©, 2022 Rick Muscoplat


Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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