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CVT Transmission Fluid

Do CVT Transmissions Need Special Fluid?

Published on Jun 25, 2023 by Boulder Nissan Team

Do CVT Transmissions Need Special Fluid?

Why it matters: As the owner of a vehicle with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), you might be wondering: Do CVT transmissions need special fluid? This question is crucial as the right transmission fluid is fundamental to maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your vehicle. The quick answer is, yes, CVT transmissions do often require specific types of transmission fluid.

Understanding CVT Transmissions

CVT, or continuously variable transmission, is a type of automatic transmission that offers unlimited gear ratios. This innovative technology provides a smoother ride for you, eliminating the jerky gear changes that come with traditional transmissions. Instead of gears, CVTs use a pair of variable-width pulleys connected by a belt to transfer engine power to your wheels. This design allows for seamless acceleration and optimal fuel efficiency. 

For more information about CVT Tranmission fluid changes, see our previous blog post: The Importance of Chaning Your CVT Transmission Fluid

image of CVT fluid

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The Importance of Changing Your CVT Fluid and Intervals

The Importance of Special Fluid

  1. Optimal Performance: CVT-specific fluid is engineered to provide the optimal friction for the belt and pulley system, ensuring your transmission performs as it should.
  2. Thermal Stability: CVT fluid is designed to withstand high heat, ensuring the transmission stays cool even under heavy loads.
  3. Longer Lifespan: The right fluid can minimize wear and tear, prolonging the life of your CVT transmission.

Choosing the Right Fluid

  • Manufacturer Recommendations: Always check your vehicle’s owner manual for the manufacturer's recommended CVT fluid. Using the wrong fluid could lead to decreased performance, increased wear, and even transmission failure.
  • Fluid Type: CVT transmission fluids come in synthetic and conventional forms. While synthetic fluids are typically more expensive, they offer better performance and longevity.
  • Quality Matters: Stick with high-quality, reputable brands when choosing CVT fluid to ensure you’re getting a product that meets industry standards.

Yes, but... while CVTs generally require special fluid, some modern CVTs have been designed to work with more common types of transmission fluid. Always refer to your vehicle's owner manual or consult with your mechanic to determine the right fluid for your specific model.

The Bottom Line

CVT transmissions do usually require special fluid. The right CVT fluid ensures optimal performance, protects your transmission from excess heat, and can prolong your transmission's life. Stay on top of your vehicle's needs and always opt for the fluid recommended by the manufacturer for the best results.

Curious to learn more about what a CVT Transmission fluid change costs? See our previous blog post: Understanding the Costs of a CVT Fluid Change

CVT Transmission Fluid

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