How does CVT work?

 Does your vehicle have CVT?

CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) has become increasingly more popular with vehicle manufacturers over the years. An alternative to a traditional transmission, CVT is well known for its fuel efficient nature. But how does this unique transmission option work?

How it works:

Unlike a traditional transmission, CVT does not use fixed gears. Instead it is comprised of two pulleys, connected by a steel belt. These pulleys are embedded with deep grooves that adjust by width as the engine runs. As the pulleys get wider, the belt between them changes the gear ratio between the engine and wheels. This means that the engine speed isn’t effected by gear changing; it maintains a continuous gear ratio based on the width of the two pulleys.

The first pulley (called the Drive Pulley) is connected to the crankshaft of the engine. The other (called the Driven Pulley) is connected to the output shaft of the transmission.

  • At the highest gear ratio, the Drive Pulley‘s grooves are narrow, and the Driven Pulley’s grooves are at their widest.
  • At a full stop, the Drive Pulley’s grooves are wide, and the Driven Pulley‘s grooves are narrow.

What does this mean?

This means that an engine with CVT is running more efficiently, for longer. The fixed gear ratios are continuously adapting to changes in speed.

If you would like to test drive a vehicle with CVT to see what it’s like, click here!

Looking for more information about CVT? Click here for Honda’s official Technology Picture Book!