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Residual CVT fluid in old bottles?

I went to my dealer to buy some DW-1, and even though their computer had it in stock, they could not locate any bottles of it.
So rather than turn away a customer over a stocking error, he found some old empty bottles of CVT, and had the service techs fill them up from their barrel with DW-1…and he gave me a substantial discount for the trouble.
I have had the bottles in my garage for a while now, just because I was in between drain and fills, but it has began to make me curious, is there any harm in ANY of the residual CVT left? I am pretty sure the parts manager made sure they were totally empty, but I know how some people are so specific about the Honda ATF- so now I am second guessing myself.

Is there any fear that maybe a few milliliters of CVT were in that bottle? I’m not a chemist or an engineer, so who knows. Honda has altered the ATF formula so many times over the years, I start to wonder as long as it is slick, it probably would work just fine.

From my view, this is like putting a drop of wine in a jug, filling the rest with water, then worrying about getting too drunk to drive. :wink:

I think you’re fine.

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Personally, I’d not feel comfortable with this unless I’d personally verified what was put into the bottles. The risk is just too great.

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Haha. 2 responses. 1 for yes and 1 for no. I will cast the 3rd vote. For maybe.

Yeah another maybe. I can’t believe it would be a problem but I wouldn’t feel good about it. Maybe buy a few more and use just one for a drain and refill. I dunno. Where’s transman been? He used to overhaul transmissions just to destroy them for fun.

I wouldn’t worry about it. The ratio is minuscule.

Besides, a CVT doesn’t have clutches. So there’s no friction modifiers in the CVT fluid that can mess up the clutches in your transmission.


I think you must be living a life with not much to worry about. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry, my wife does it all for the both of us.

I’d use it, but I’m not risk averse.

You got a spectrum of answers because some people willing to take risks and others are not.

I think it takes 3 bottles for a drain and fill- I’m gonna do 1/3 with the “tainted” bottle. 2 new ones. Thanks for the responses.

So, how does it get into reverse, or lock up the torque converter?

A CVT has a single fixed ratio reverse gear.

A CVT doesn’t have a torque converter.


Well, Nissans do:


The article above is pretty good at explaining how the gearing system works when the car is moving, but isn’t very clear how the “stopped at a stop-light in gear” function works on a non-torque-converter equipped CVT. I’d always thought that CVTs used a torque converter for that function. But it’s possible to come up with some kind of belt disengagement method I expect.

The belt itself doesn’t disengage, they use a mechanical clutch (on my Insight, below) or torque converter.

And note those pesky clutches.


Here’s a video on how a CVT works.

And those aren’t hydraulic wet clutches. They’re centrifugal clutches.


You couldn’t be more wrong…

Edit: I take that back…I shouldn’t speculate on that.


Insight CVT hydraulics: