If you are tuned into car blogs or have a history of taking your car to a mechanic, you might have heard the phrase “CVT transmission” floating around. Or maybe your car actually has a CVT transmission, and you’ve always wondered what that really meant.
It’s easy to just hop in your car and go, and that’s not necessarily bad; at Riverdale Automotive, we have years of experience helping customers do just that—get from point A to point B safely and confidently. But it can’t hurt to know a little more about how your car works, and one popular aspect of many cars today is the CVT transmission. Read on to learn more, courtesy of your experts in transmission repair in Conway, AR.
What’s in the name?
First off, let’s clarify this important term. “CVT” stands for “continuously variable transmission.” This makes it sound a little more complicated than it actually is, so here’s a simple explanation of the term: CVTs are different from manual and automatic transmissions because they do not have fixed gear ratios. Instead, CVT picks the optimal engine RPM (revolutions per minute) for the car’s speed.
For drivers looking to optimize their fuel efficiency, CVTs could be a good option, because you don’t have to switch between a set number of gears trying to pick the best RPM value based on your road speed—something that can eat up extra fuel.
How does it work?
Think about your speed bike. At low gear, the wheels turn quickly with little power, and at high gear, more power is required to push down the pedal before the tires spin. In cars, something similar happens. When you go slowly, a smaller gear turns a larger gear, and this larger gear in turn dictates the wheel speed (with a few other components involved). The smaller gear turns a lot quicker than the bigger gear, revving the engine up fast. However, when you drive quickly, the opposite happens: the engine will turn a larger gear instead, and that larger gear is connected to a smaller gear. This means the RPMs don’t rev up too high.
Why is CVT a good choice?
The CVT doesn’t use gears at all—it uses two pulleys that are held together by a belt, with many different pulley sizes available to help find the optimal RPMs for your speed. This technologically advanced setup also means your CVT-powered car can determine how to give you optimal power, torque and RPMs for every situation. This in turn gives riders a quicker, sometimes-smoother and more fuel-efficient ride.
What’s better about traditional gears?
Manual and automatic transmissions with gears provide a smoother overall driving experience, and they still win out for engine power. Plus, the CVT can initially be jarring for drivers, because it feels like the gears aren’t functioning properly.
This is just a basic overview; a lot goes into CVTs and their counterpart transmissions, and we can help you understand the process even more thoroughly. When you need transmission repair in Conway, AR, as well as general car advice or other expert maintenance, stop by Riverdale Automotive. We look forward to serving you!