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There is no way to accurately attain a dataset to prove this either way. You have way too many variables. How the car is driven, temperature its driven in, fluid exchange increments, Manufacturing defects, altitude which changes overall load, geography of where it is drive (hills and mountains), ect ect. What is going to follow in this thread are a bunch of posts saying: Oh my cvt is excellent, FWD/AWD 4 LYF. or F all CVT's they suck.

My first juke was a FWD CVT, 130k+ miles when i got rid of it and was driving fine, i beat the crap out of it for the last 30k miles of its life at stock power.

My current Juke is an AWD CVT, going on its third CVT, but is making literally double factory horsepower and i beat the dog **** out of it and only has 70k miles.

I know a local AWD cvt that had 200awhp for 80k miles and is currently at 150k miles with zero issues and all it now has is a cooler and is back to stock power.

I also know of a stock engine AWD CVT I replaced at 112k miles and is babied, never really even full throttle on-ramp pulls.

Insane juke is on its stock FWD CVT still driving around to this day with like 130k miles on it at 260 horsepower and big ass tires.

The six speed swap juke i built a few years ago limped into the shop at 110k miles on a mamba turbo tune, the cvt was cooked.

You can see where I am going with this.

And if you want info on how may cvts have been replaced: Again not going to be a dataset you can get. IF you got the dealership and Nissan info, that still does not account for all the small shops that have replaced them such as myself.

This is going to be a thread with a BUNCH of opinions. Keep that in mind.
 

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My opinion is the lower traction and lighter weight of an FWD is better for reliability. I have no data to support that but the AWD typically have problems with the CVT. I'll be doing a big of weight reduction in the future to help take stress off the CVT transmission.
 

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Great question.

I would say it doesnt matter as the output shaft of the engine applies the same power to each trans.

Now does the say " FWD" trans come off a different mfg line or are they made in a big lot for FWDs ? so a perceived difference in reliability is actually manufacturing ?
 

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Another point to keep in mind, the JF011E (RE0F10B) typically fail the oil pump flow relief valve. This starts cascading wear and/or failure of the pushbelt, then the debri clogs up the valvebody, and so on. The AWD would typically wear out the clutch packs due to lack of wheelspin and potentially the clutch drum get's beat up as well. These types of things are somewhat running in parallel in terms of failure modes but the end result is the same. The Altima (FWD) were running the RE0F10A CVT and they were failing in droves, so FWD won't necessarily save you. I think it's a combination of driving style, CVT design limitations, maintenance, engine modifications, and AWD vs. FWD.

Maintenance schedule and driving technique can potentially improve CVT life. The AWD makes it worse, but IMHO not the root cause.
 

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I believe that the best thing you can do for a CVT is to drive it with some spirit and change the fluid regularly. This means that the belt is routinely in all positions and the friction and pressures are all relatively high. This keeps everything clean and smooth and doesn't allow build ups of material or "varnish" on the components.

If you feather foot it all around town and never change the fluid over the years you are going to get gunk build up and that is going to cause some sort of failure in a pump or solenoid or any of the various other systems, especially in the valve body.

It is my understanding that failure of the belt, as in it snaps, is incredibly uncommon on these CVT's. Which makes sense, pretty sure you can dangle the entire car from that thing - it's a beast. Failures are almost always a result of issues with auxiliary systems.

I'd be interested to see some compiled data. But it seems that these CVT's are more likely to fail on older folks or people who drive more conservatively. For that reason alone I bet Nismo and RS trims have far less CVT failure, not because of anything special other than the type of driver that buys them. Debra the jewelry sales rep, who has a "Be Kind" rear decal next to the never removed dealership decal on her SL, who takes 15 seconds to get up to 45mph, is probably the one who is going to see the unit fail at 60k.

Now if you start running way more than stock power, that is probably asking for trouble. But with simple bolt ons, running the stock tune, if you are scooting around town with some conviction and are regularly changing your fluid I believe this is every bit as reliable as any "reliable" standard transmission.

This is the primary reason I will never get an aftermarket tune actually. I am far more interested in my CVT lasting the life of the vehicle than I am shaving .2 seconds off of my 0-60. Not that there is any directly known correlation but I believe the RS is just a bit too rare and special of a car to just **** with it like that IMHO. There aren't a ton of these things (in fact the 2015-2017 RS models are exceedingly rare) and for what they are they are plenty quick out of the box. These are handling performance cars not drag racers, spend your money on sticky tires and spend the rest elsewhere in your life. I am always hoping the people who have them are taking good care of them and it's why I have stuck mainly to Nismo aftermarket offerings.

Anyway, now that I have finished my dumb PSA.

I do not believe that FWD vs. AWD has any significant impact on the longevity in any meaningful way. I guess technically the AWD CVT is under more stress, but I don't think that actually translates to lower lifespan.
 

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Agree with some exceptions.

I do agree the pushbelt is mega strong, typically you won't break it unless the pulley sheaves break a ball bearing and it jams or the belts have very high rpm/mileage. Typically 100,000 miles or less the belt isn't going to spontaneously just snap. I've seen quite a few RS owners have failed CVT units on this forum, so no I don't personally believe it'll provide any reliability improvement over a standard Juke. I thought the same previously and was proven wrong. There is nothing special in an RS that I've seen data wise that would say it's "better".

Running it harder wears the belt harder. Feathering it would actually be better, so would keeping the rpms down. With increasing throttle and rpms, the pulley pressure ramps up, then the contact pressures increases, then there is more wear. RPMS and engine load determine pulley pressure.

I think the OP is looking for some level of assurance, and with a CVT there really isn't any. If you started with good oil changes, external cooler, changed the internal filters often, and drove it intelligently, there is a good chance it lasting awhile and I believe 100k miles no problem. But with high mileage and abuse, the damage is typically done already and so it kind of is what it is.

Having said that, there are improvements that can be made internally that eliminate these potential failure modes but you have to be willing to pay the coin to dive into the transmission to do so.
 

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Yeah I didn't mean there is anything special about the RS CVT, its the same as the regular Juke with the exception of it's programming. Of course there will still be RS CVT failures, although I think there is some statistical bias there as RS owners are faaaaar more likely to be members here. Probably the vast majority of RS owners at least have an account on this site and are far more likely to come here with the news.

Based on my understanding of the CVT and how it operates I do not believe higher pressure will effect the life of the unit, failures usually occur for other reasons. Increased contact pressure, on good fluid, should not yield meaningfully more wear on either the belt or pulleys. Even "low" pressure on these is still ridiculous and to my understanding the variance is actually relatively low. I mean there has to be enough pressure even on the low end to provide the friction necessary to get a 3000lb vehicle moving from a dead stop.

One thing I always found interesting is that probably about 33% of CVT failures are actually just an issue in the valve body, which is relatively easy to replace. Yet Nissan protocol is to replace the entire cvt. I do not believe dealerships ever replace just the valve body.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
100K seems realistic with regular maintenance and just some common sense. 100-120K I'll start to look around and probably be out of the Juke after 125K. Fortunately our Juke is low mileage so won't be hitting 100K in a while.
 

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Well, technically correct on the RS with different programming. I thought at one time the RS had improved pulley pressure, but I'm thinking not, thus there is nothing special about it IMHO.

There are failure modes pertaining to cyclic failures, and the failures we are talking about due to high contact pressures. One happens at high mileage, the other at lower mileages.

Firstly, the entire control strategy is to keep the pressure as low as possible without slippage, it's about a 30% reserve on these transmissions. It's enough......when the car is brand new. The +30% reserve is precisely because they know it's going to burn down to 0% at some point, then the fun begins. Think brake pads. I go thru brake pads on my EVO X at about 10k miles. My mom's Accord at 80k miles still rocking the stock pads. The CVT is a big expensive brake pad, except it's a clutch.

You are making an assumption that there is no sliding friction in a CVT, and there is a significant amount. A CVT is quite efficient at LOW torque, but at HIGH torque/rpms it's insanely inefficient, I should post the efficiency charts in comparison to DSG, Automatics, and manuals. This shows up as heat, which is a consequence of sliding friction since there is no direct heat source within the transmission other than what's conducted from the engine. A push-belt is nothing like a clutch, the pushbelt has sliding friction on the rocking belt elements that over time grind down with high contact pressures and create slack in the belt element stack, which further reduces belt traction. There is sliding contact almost everywhere on a CVT, only a few places you might have pure rolling contact. Anway, these wear particles corrupt the oil pump and valvebody, in turn causing a reduction in belt contact pressure due to loss of pressure control, leading to further wear on the belt element flanks, and so on. There are a few other failure modes but they are incidental and I won't go into them, because the ones mentioned are the primary causes of CVT death at lower mileages.

And so, when it looks like a valve-body is just the ticket to cure the problem, in reality it's simply an indicator that the entire transmission is already worn out. Trust me, I've done the valvebody replacement. You ain't seen nothing till you tear-down a CVT and realize it's a huge waste of time in most cases. The entire transmission has to be upgraded/replaced to make it viable again. Nissan know exactly what they are doing.
 

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Is there a service interval on the CVT? I talked to a service manager who suggested having it flushed and new fluid every 30k miles for $240. Looking at the owners manual, it does not show flushing it at that interval.

I decided to get an extended warranty on my '15 RS so I chose the Gold Preferred 84 month 75,000 mile deal. I currently have 24k miles and the extended is on top of that. The local dealers wanted over twice the amount I paid which was $1,400, cheap insurance for a car with AWD and a CVT that has a less than stellar reputation.
Santa Rosa Nissan, talked to Dan for the price. If you are interested, call Dan at 1-(707) - 535 - 2529
 

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Not sure what the manual states, whatever it is probably it's wrong. I'd do every 15-20k mile changes AND both internal filters too, very important. A simple external cooler too if you can do it. Whatever they charge, it's worth it. A new CVT is $4,000 installed minimum, so you can figure how that pays off. Driving style, proper warm ups, monitoring oil levels weekly, all critical as well.
 

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The oil pump suction filter, the one in the transmission "pan". The other is the Beehive "cartridge" filter, in the external CVT oil cooler. One looks like a little pancake filter, the other is a round cartridge. The cartridge is far more critical, they clog easily, then the car overheats, oil get's nasty, and things break. If anything, just change the filter often. I can throw some P/N up for reference.
 

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You'll have to add it on. I would say it's probably only necessary if you drive hard constantly in a year round hot climate. It seems people have also reported mixed results with them in terms of temp drops and stability. I have always wondered if the extra strain on the pump due to the extra radiator is negating a lot of the benefits by simply shifting a more "spread out" failure risk to a more focused "pump failure" risk. And the problem is if the pump fails I'm pretty sure you won't know about it until the entire CVT fails 4 miles later.

I drive my car pretty hard and my CVT temps float around from 82-92c, getting up to about 96 on a hot day after a lot of spirited runs. To my knowledge that is normal and you aren't going to be significantly saving the CVT from any wear and tear by dropping those temps a few degrees - which is all you can really hope for from an just auxiliary radiator alone. Add a dedicated fan to the radiator and you can maybe under best case scenario see an occasional 10c drop but probably even then only 6c or so on average. In a lot of ways the CVT NEEDS to be hot, just not TOO hot. And TOO hot doesn't happen until 100c, which will activate "limp mode" until the temperature stabilizes back below that point. The heat though is what activates the CVT fluid and gives it the friction that the CVT needs to operate smoothly and efficiently. This is why the stock setup is as concerned with heating up the CVT fluid as it is cooling it. The idea behind the OEM design I think is that the CVT is always going to be about engine temp or a bit hotter, which is to my understanding perfectly fine and exactly the way it should have been designed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Is there a service interval on the CVT? I talked to a service manager who suggested having it flushed and new fluid every 30k miles for $240. Looking at the owners manual, it does not show flushing it at that interval.
The dealer service interval for CVT flush is 60K miles. I just did mine this week I was at 34K miles.
 

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We recommend every 30K miles here on the forums for a fluid swap out.
 

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You'll have to add it on. I would say it's probably only necessary if you drive hard constantly in a year round hot climate. It seems people have also reported mixed results with them in terms of temp drops and stability. I have always wondered if the extra strain on the pump due to the extra radiator is negating a lot of the benefits by simply shifting a more "spread out" failure risk to a more focused "pump failure" risk. And the problem is if the pump fails I'm pretty sure you won't know about it until the entire CVT fails 4 miles later.

I drive my car pretty hard and my CVT temps float around from 82-92c, getting up to about 96 on a hot day after a lot of spirited runs. To my knowledge that is normal and you aren't going to be significantly saving the CVT from any wear and tear by dropping those temps a few degrees - which is all you can really hope for from an just auxiliary radiator alone. Add a dedicated fan to the radiator and you can maybe under best case scenario see an occasional 10c drop but probably even then only 6c or so on average. In a lot of ways the CVT NEEDS to be hot, just not TOO hot. And TOO hot doesn't happen until 100c, which will activate "limp mode" until the temperature stabilizes back below that point. The heat though is what activates the CVT fluid and gives it the friction that the CVT needs to operate smoothly and efficiently. This is why the stock setup is as concerned with heating up the CVT fluid as it is cooling it. The idea behind the OEM design I think is that the CVT is always going to be about engine temp or a bit hotter, which is to my understanding perfectly fine and exactly the way it should have been designed.
Yes, the CVT needs to be maintained at a set temperature. I'd say it's somewhere between the 82*C coolant temp and maybe 100*C maximum. Colder will draw more power from the oil pump, hotter will produce more wear and tear on seals, CVT belt, clutch packs, etc. What really is happening is the oil pump cavitates when the oil is cold and "thick". What you are perceiving as "grip" on the belt is actually the pump being able to produce pressure to clamp it, when it's cold the pump doesn't work correctly......then the belt slips. This is why you don't run the CVT hard when it's cold. Will the belt grip better when the fluid is hot, I'm not sure but probably yes to an extent. Too hot and the belt metal weakens and starts to wear down quickly. If the temps are in that range I mentioned, you could not possibly go wrong. Hotter is thinner, and this draws less engine power, but too hot isn't good either. The factory go to great lengths to keep the oil temp and viscosity where it produces the least power draw, and that's a good thing. I don't think a CVT cooler is a bad idea, but only if there is an oil thermostat used.
 
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