Bad times for Nissan

Ok, I was probably told wrong info, thank you for the update. The dealer said the new (at the time) CVT used a belt to drive the axles, and I envisioned it wrong. I still think I was right to stay away.

It was only 12 years ago. I think the Dodge Caliber was Dodge’s first use. They were known for constant noise and fails. I don’t know how often they failed, but was in the dealer and chatting. He pointed to one waiting for parts. It had under 30K when the belt snapped, he said. They’d had some slipping probs, but mostly squeaks, as early as 4K.

I’m sure they must have improved. 12 years is a long time… but I’ll trust manuals or more conventional automatics.

Thank you for the link I know they have been around in one form or another before modern day cars but I did not know they were around that far back.

Quite a genius, old Leo, inventing a transmission that early on. I wonder if he used it in his motor cart or one of his other vehicles… or for one of the mills. I was only in the late 1990’s that his giant bronze horse was completed.

1 Like

Here’s an image of a Subaru CVT
There’s a chain but there’s no roller nor socket like a bicycle. There are the 2 familiar pulleys that are clamping hard on the chain.

Friction CVT is great for JDM cars. For the ratio spread they can achieve, they are physically smaller than a manual or an automated manual. And for some of their small cars with 3 cylinder engine under 1L, size matters. They achieve similar efficiency of a manual. In an island country that’s roughly the size of California, their cars don’t have to travel very far. The Japanese government discourages cars older than 6 years because they cannot have old heaps breaking down and clogging up their roads. Many cars are retired after 5 years or exported as second hand cars.

In the name of globalization, the Japanese decide to run their CVT on American roads by American consumers, who expect their cars, including the CVT to last much longer than the typical Japanese driver would. I won’t go into my views about CVTs inherent engineering challenges as we can see the statistics from Nissan’s CVT

There’s a rumor that says Honda is ditching CVT in favor for a dual clutch for their Civic. Mazda uses CVT
only for JDM. Audi, Ford, and Saturn tried to use CVT and have ditched them. As for me, I won’t buy then until big diesel trucks use them

I think it has more to do with the fact that the car is a Dodge . . . :smirk:

To be honest, that kind of worries me

The CVT transmission used in the Caliber/Compass/Patriot was supplied by Nissan/Jatco.

1 Like

Yes they were.

The Subaru Justy from 1988 offered a CVT as an option. I’ve heard it worked OK with the little 60 HP engine. The rubber belt type works OK on scooters, snowmobiles, ATVs, etc., but the belt requires periodic replacement which on many of these small vehicles takes only a few minutes. If the engineers could design a car CVT where the wear parts could be easily replaced at regular intervals, like a timing belt, I would consider buying one.

Have you actually heard about the steel chains that transmit power in modern CVTs being a wear item?

Should ( Timing Belt ) and ( easily replaced ) be in the same sentence ?

1 Like

But that chain is a wear item. It works the same way as a rubber belt; it’ll wear out the same way as a rubber belt. It is a tougher material so it’ll last longer. But it’ll probably wear out before the gears

Why would the Japanese tank uses a hydrostatic cvt instead of relying on that steel chain?

Sometimes, but only sometimes.
I can change the timing belt, waterpump and antifreeze in an hour on my Opel.
A complete clutch is a different story though. It’ll take me all of 1 hour 15 mjn. (I only need to put it on ramps)

Well, for that matter, the same could be said about a timing chain. In my experience, timing chains wear-out only after an odometer hits very high numbers, but–of course–lubrication issues can accelerate the wear process.

You’re comparing apple to watermelon. They ate both chains with flexible links. That’s all they have in common.

Timing belt transmit motion by pushing on the rollers using the teeth on the sprockets. It’ll last the life of the engine so long as that roller is lubricated by clean engine oil.

For the nth time, the CVT chain, if it uses a chain, is clamped by 2 pulleys. Motion is transferred from pulley to chain by friction. And there are papers on the world wide web discussing the micro slip between the 2 components. As I said in my earlier post in this thread, CVT’s reliability is not an issue for the JDM, which keeps cars on the road for 5 years

Clutches in an auto trans are wear items too, right?

The type of CVT belt used in cars consists of several flexible steel bands with hundreds of small steel plates attached. The edges of the plates contact the pullies and protect the bands which transmit the power. This has to be constantly lubricated by running in CVT transmission fluid.

Rubber belts as used on scooters run dry and are air cooled by a fan. Many can be changed with no tools at all once the cover is off.

Of course they are.