What parts "break" in the CVT?

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Gator417
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What parts "break" in the CVT?

Post by Gator417 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:28 pm

I keep reading about the CVT being a little fragile, perhaps only slightly more than others, but enough to have me "gently concerned". So my questions are; what is it that goes bad in these transmissions? Why are they so difficult and expensive to repair (above a normal at)? Are the parts available to do repairs? Etc, etc...
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'06 AWD SE


Mike51Merc
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Re: What parts "break" in the CVT?

Post by Mike51Merc » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:07 am

Do a search on "Helicopter noise". There was actually a class action lawsuit filed about bad input shafts, but regretfully it never really got off the ground (sorry for the pun). There's a bunch of postings on this forum on the subject. You'll also find a lot of Freestyles for sale (really cheap) with bad transmissions on places like Craigslist and ebay, which tells you that the expense of the repair (anywhere from $4,000-$6,000) outweighs the value of the vehicle.

I'm not sure there's any way to prevent the problem from happening to you because I don't believe the problem is a result of abuse or neglect. Mine failed on a one-owner fully-maintained car driven gently by my wife.

My input shaft failed at 88,000 miles, I fixed it myself, and I still have the car at 140,000 miles. The repair cost me about $1,100 in parts and about 24 hours of my own labor.

Another common problem is the Haldex AWD system (which is in the rear differential, not the transmission). The temperature/pressure sensors and the Haldex pumps commonly fail.

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mmsstar
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Re: What parts "break" in the CVT?

Post by mmsstar » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:28 am

Statistically I don't think the CVT has any more or less problems than a regular automatic trans. But because the CVT requires special fluid many failures have been caused when regular ATF was added or when the CVT was flushed on the same equipment used to service regular automatics. I drove a 'Style for just over 2 years fefore I got the Flex and loved how smooth it was. My son just picked up a 2014 Altima with a CVT and was asking me why it was so different from the Grand Cherokee we retired.
Drove an 06 LTD FWD from July 08 to August 10, moved on to a 2011 Flex

Gator417
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Re: What parts "break" in the CVT?

Post by Gator417 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:56 am

Thanks for the responses.
Can the input shaft be "fixed" before it goes bad with an upgraded or new part? Is the rest of the cvt pretty solid?
MM, I think a lot of it can be attributed to the newness of the cvt as well. When one breaks, it seems like special attention is given to the failure (I told you those cvts are junk). I know there are folks here with 250k on their cvts and still running strong, but others that failed way early, so I guess the jury is still out on this one.
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'06 AWD SE

Mike51Merc
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Re: What parts "break" in the CVT?

Post by Mike51Merc » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:27 am

I had a great uncle who always said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Seriously, the amount of work to change out a working input shaft is exactly the same amount of work to change a broken one. There's no such thing as a preventative repair, especially since there are no "new and improved" parts to swap in.

Oh, and the part that fails has nothing to do with it being a CVT, the input shaft bearing surface isn't unique to a CVT. The CVT parts of the CVT are still fine in my car.

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