Jeep Patriot 2008 CVT Transmission Problems


I have a 2008 Jeep Patriot with a CVT transmission. The car was recently purchased and seems to have problems with slippage. When I accelerate, the car revs up highly, the tack goes to nearly 4k but the car does not accelerate in unison. Also, going up hill seem to challenge it. Seems like its slipping. When I took it to the dealer, the service manager says its because its a CVT transmission that’s the way it supposed to perform. Is this the normal performance for this type of tranny? Can someone suggest how I might handle issues with this tranny and getting the dealer to fix it? - Thx!

I doubt it. Fluid change and filter cleaning first step, magical additives next step, transmission rebuild 3rd step. How many miles?

The car has 75k.

I believe this is normal for a CVT. The transmission will keep the engine in the power band during acceleration. Here is a simple explanation of a CVT.

For your own peace of mind take a test drive in another Patriot for comparision.

On the other hand the Patrot CVT does seem to have issues.

Ed B.

Nice post ed, 4k rpm sounds excessive but will admit new cars do new things I am not familiar with, but it seems you are. Thanks, I do not want to pass along any bad info!

I test drove the Rogue with the CVT and did not notice much of rev’ing. But the CVT makes it feel like a bicycle, the faster you pedal the faster it goes. I think the only way to know is to test drive another Patriot.

I drove one of these cars (Dodge Caliper) with the same transmission and it is different. While you think it is slipping due to the reving motor it is really working as designed. Watch the tach and the speedo and if the speed of the car is increasing and the tach is staying at the same rpm 3,500-4,000 rpm then the car is working properly. If the motor is reving and the speed is not increasing then you have a transmission problem.

The CVT transmissions in these cars isn’t that robust so it is hard to tell if you have a problem or if you are just not used to the feel of a CVT transmission.

I’ve heard that several similar complaints led to Chrysler coming up with a computer flash modification, presumably to make the CVT run a higher ratio for the same revs. I haven’t looked into this for my Compass yet (same car as the Patriot/Caliber), but I do notice that I don’t get as much acceleration sometimes as I would like for the high revs its doing.

The problem sort of reminds me of my dad’s 1985 Olds Cutlass Ciera - at highway speed, if you pushed the gas pedal down, say, halfway, the tranny would automatically drop down one gear and you would get good acceleration at higher revs for passing. If you pushed the pedal down two far, it would drop down two gears - then you’d be sitting there near the red line without any significant acceleration.

That car had the 3.8 V6. I miss that.

It’s very difficult for me to judge if you’re having a legitimate problem with the vehicle or not as the feel of a CVT can be pretty subjective.
My oldest son has a Dodge Caliber AWD with the CVT. I’ve driven that a few times and never really noticed anything out of the ordinary that would make me think something is wrong. He lives in the mountains of Utah and that Dodge routinely sails through uphill grades at speed with no problems.

A slight gut feeling makes me think your vehicle may have a problem but that opinion is just a gut feeling, nothing more.
You might consider having a good independent transmission shop (NOT an AAMCO, Cottmans, etc) scan it for codes just to see if something is present.

Is there any way you can get your hands on another Jeep with a CVT and drive it for comparison purposes?

Also, did you purchase this vehicle from the same dealer where you talked to this service manager?

The service manager I spoke with is at the same dealership I purchased the vehicle. Not sure he is on my side. By the way, thanks all for the great feedback.

“When I accelerate, the car revs up highly, the tack goes to nearly 4k…”

You have described one of the two reasons why I didn’t want a CVT when I purchased my 2011 Outback!
The high-revving nature of a vehicle equipped with a CVT raises the interior noise level as a result, and I do not like a high interior noise level in my car. So–I opted for an Outback with the larger 3.6 liter engine and a “conventional” 5-speed automatic transmission. Every time that I ride in a friend’s 2.5 liter/CVT-equipped Outback, the high noise level reminds that I did the right thing by avoiding the CVT.

The other reason why I didn’t want a CVT is that most repair facilities in the US are still not able to repair CVTs, and in the event of a problem they have to install a new one.

All of that being said, the frequency of repair ratings for the Jeep Patriot do not reveal any significant problem areas, with the exception of “body integrity” (translation–lots of rattles and squeeks), so it does not appear that these transmissions are problematic. As someone else suggested, the only way to know for sure if you have a problem with the transmission is to drive another Jeep Patriot with the CVT. More than likely, you will find the same high-revving, loud nature of the beast.

VDCdriver Says, "All of that being said, the frequency of repair ratings for the Jeep Patriot do not reveal any significant problem areas, with the exception of “body integrity” (translation–lots of rattles and squeeks), . . . "

Where is this information from, Consumer Reports ?
I see they have rated “body integrity” much worse than average for this vehicle. However, besides squeaks or rattles, the body integrity survey includes " seals and/or weatherstripping, air or water leaks, loose interior trim and moldings, wind noise."

Specifically, what source are you tapping for your information ?
How many vehicles are included ?
What specifically is the problem with these vehicles ?


My source is, indeed, CR.
As to the number of vehicles included, you would have to consult with the folks who do their survey.

I was under the impression that body integrity included only rattles and squeeks, but apparently it includes more factors than just those two.

I Have Been A Subscriber To Consumer Reports For Decades (Currently My Subscription Expires January, 2017, Although I Plan On Renewing), But . . .

. . . I have a problem using their car surveys and this is an example. I see that little black circle in the “body integrity” column.

So What ? What does it indicate ?
Does it indicate a little rattle or a loud squeak ? Is it easy to remedy ? Is it a loose “Jeep” logo iside the Jeep (loose interior trim) ? Is it wind noise ? Do they all do that ? Is it all these things ? Have customers had these problems easily remedied while the vehicle is under warranty or do they plague the owner forever ?
I don’t know. To me, it offers more questions than answers.

It’s a bit like accusing somebody of something, but not telling them actually what you’re accusing them of, who is making the accusation(s), how many people witnessed it, and whether or not it’s a little annoyance or a major concern.

Granted, I do check their survey when I’m considering a vehicle and usually a major engine or transmission problem can be elaborated on by a little online research, but from my own experience, for the life of me, I often can’t figure out what the hxxx they’re talking about in many of their surveys and yet they’re rating the overall performance of the vehicles.

I will continue to subscribe. It has paid for itself in helping me choose coffee makers, coffee, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher detergent, TVs, etcetera. These are things they actually lab test. However, I take the car surveys with more than just a grain of salt. Some of my best cars have been some of their worse. That does a disservice.

Thanks, I feel better, now

Consumer Reports can be inaccurate…I used to work in a major electronics store and my expertise was in Appliances and Home Entertainment and sometimes the “top rated” products in CR…had a lot of repair issues. I don’t know if that holds true for cars, but my advice to any prospective car buyer is to not only check Consumer Reports…But check JD Power & Associates (you don’t need a subscription),, and look at manufacturer websites.

My daughter bought a new refrigerator about 2 years ago from Lowes. This top-rated refrigerator according to Consumer Reports suffered a compressor death at month 13 of ownership. The warranty was for 12 months so she had to buy yet another fridge.

When questioning Lowes they stated that “well, a lot of them are dying of compressor failures”.