Technology in the automotive industry changes at a rapid rate—with new innovations happening daily—especially when it comes to the tech found in Honda vehicles. Whether it be a brand new safety feature, more powerful engine, or better connection to the outside world, every new Honda vehicle is improved (even if just slightly) to offer a better ride. Even with all this innovation, there was one aspect of vehicles, Hondas or otherwise, that did not change for a long time: the transmission. From the original manual transmission found in the very first automobiles to the first automatic transmission that debuted in 1940, there have been very few changes to vehicle transmissions. Of course, in the 90s, Honda started to explore the CVT, also known as the continuously variable transmission. Now found on a wide variety of Honda vehicles, the CVT has cemented itself as the go-to transmission for those looking for a smooth and efficient drive. Read on and the team at Alberta Honda will explain what a CVT is, how it works, and why your next Honda should have one.
How does a CVT work?
Traditionally, transmissions have been a series of gears used to transfer power from your Honda’s engine to the wheels. The gears all feature a shift point, essentially a predetermined RPM (Revolutions per Minute) that tells them when to shift down or up. When your vehicle hit the gear’s shift point, you could either manually shift or, in the case of an automatic, your transmission would shift for you.
However, a CVT works quite differently. Rather than using gears, the CVT uses two pulleys of variable widths, attached to a belt. When you accelerate, one pulley will power the engine and the other pulley will power the wheels. Thanks to their variable width, the pulleys will get narrower or wider, depending on how much power is needed. Without the need to clunkily move from gear to gear, the pulleys provide a much smoother drive—not to mention a more efficient one.
Why drive a CVT-equipped Honda?
As mentioned above, CVTs offer a smoother drive and more comfortable drive. CVT-equipped vehicles both avoid the lurching effect that accompanies quick acceleration, as well as “gear hunting,” the phenomena that occurs in conventional automatic transmission vehicles when they can’t find the proper gear for the task (when climbing a hill for instance). Thanks to the continuous nature of the pulleys’ movement, gear hunting is a thing of the past.
But beyond the effortlessness of the CVT’s drive, is its efficiency. With fewer moving parts, the CVT is much lighter than a conventional transmission. It is also capable of harnessing more power from a smaller, lighter engine. Thanks to this, CVT-equipped vehicles are able to accelerate quicker, while using less gas—meaning you spend less time at the pump.
What Hondas offer a CVT?
Many Honda vehicles—including, but not limited to, the Civic, HR-V, Accord, Fit, and Odyssey—offer Honda’s revolutionary CVT as a choice when it comes to picking your transmission. With a smoother drive, less maintenance, and truly exceptional fuel efficiency, Honda’s CVT is yet another example of how Honda continues to make exciting, reliable, and value-packed vehicles. If you’d like to know more about CVTs, or test drive a CVT-equipped Honda, then give us a call at Alberta Honda today!