Is there any correlation in terms of reliability of the CVT when it comes to FWD vs AWD? Can the CVT be more reliable on one rather than the other? Thoughts.
The dealer service interval for CVT flush is 60K miles. I just did mine this week I was at 34K miles.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.
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.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.