Civic HX with CVT

Discussion in 'Civic' started by sbd, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. sbd

    sbd Guest

    I'm looking for blunt, honest feedback, positive and negative, on the
    Constant Variable Transmission (CVT) that came with the Civic HX
    in '96/'97 or so.

    I remember Subaru offered one of these transmissions a while back that,
    ... um ... , sucked.

    Thanks folks.
    sbd, Sep 27, 2003
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  2. sbd

    SoCalMike Guest

    sucked, meaning? i dont remember any recalls on it, or anyone saying it was
    a lemon. the justy wasnt a very popular model anyway, and im sure most
    people that bought one opted for a stick
    SoCalMike, Sep 27, 2003
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  3. sbd

    dold Guest

    It is currently offered on the HX and the Hybrid.
    I have the Hybrid, and I love it. The CVT makes the car glide away from
    a stop. It is an altogether different sensation than my friend's LX
    with 4speed auto. On easy acceleration, the RPM goes to 1200 and stays
    there up to about 25 mph. When passing on a two lane road, it's wierd.
    The RPM leaps to some point, maybe 4500RPM, maybe 5800RPM, and stays
    there, from 45mph until you back off the gas. The mileage is nearly
    equal to the highway mileage of the five speed, and higher for city. lists the following versions of 2003 Civic Hybrid:
    CVT 47/48
    Man(5) 45/51
    dold, Sep 27, 2003
  4. sbd

    Mista Bone Guest


    The early CVT models were plauged with issues.

    Charles Tague
    93 Honda Civic DX HB
    1.6L SOHC VTEC 14.85 @ 89 mph,1.98 60 ft.
    With ZEX 85 hp ZEX 13.09 @ 103 mph, 1.81 60ft.
    86 Pontiac Trans Am
    225/50/15 GForce Drag Radials
    305 peanut cammed 15.29 @ 88 mph
    Mista Bone, Sep 27, 2003
  5. sbd

    garygorb Guest

    I also have a Hybrid and also LOVE the CVT. I bought the Hybrid mainly
    for Gas+Electric fuel efficiency. But I fell in love with the CVT and
    my affection for it has grown. It makes for smooth ride and a sensation
    I've never felt in driving before.
    garygorb, Sep 28, 2003
  6. sbd

    sbd Guest

    Rebuild every 2 years. With my mother driving it.
    sbd, Sep 29, 2003
  7. sbd

    sbd Guest

    Thanks for the response.

    Do you know what some of the issues were, if they were addressed with
    recalls or redesigns, and what to look for?
    sbd, Sep 29, 2003
  8. Not clear whether he means early Honda CVTs or those of other
    manufacturers. Can't recall ever seeing a complaint about Honda CVTs
    in this forum but then there aren't that many out there.
    Gordon McGrew, Sep 30, 2003
  9. sbd

    Mike Dennis Guest

    Most problems with CVT's center on the drive belt. The Honda CVT's use a
    different type of belt than all other makers and has had very few problems
    with it. IIRC, the metal belt is a Swedish design and is sourced from
    there. A section of it looks like a stack of bent razor blades--very
    unusual! It is limited to low power applications, which is why you see it
    in the models currently available.
    Mike Dennis, Oct 1, 2003
  10. I've no idea what the current state of the art is on CVT belts but the
    first I saw of it was in DAFs (taken over by Volvo in the '80s) built in
    the Netherlands in the 70s. It was very popular in lightweight city
    delivery vans but had some very weird quirks... especially on heavy

    Rgds, George Macdonald

    "Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
    George Macdonald, Oct 2, 2003
  11. sbd

    dold Guest

    Translating the English to English, I have a 2003 Civic Hybrid with CVT.
    On long downhill stretches, I "shift" into "S". The compression braking is
    non-existent on the Hybrid due to the fact that three cylinders are shut
    down by VTEC for better regeneration into the battery pack. Eventually the
    batteries fill completely, and I have little compression braking.

    Prior to the batteries filling, I don't detect that there is any problem
    associated with the CVT and deceleration braking, which I assume is the
    same as "overrun".

    Now a 70's Saab, with a two stroke motor and the freewheeling clutch...
    that was a problem on overrun ;-)

    The only quirk seems to be the lack of shifting on heavy acceleration.
    When the engine is holding at 5500 RPM as you are accelerating up a hill,
    it sounds like you are making no progress. My wife was verbally
    encouraging the car to shift from the passenger seat. I had the benefit
    of seeing the speedometer climbing, but it is a really strange sound,
    as if you are not gaining speed, and you are at or near red line.
    dold, Oct 2, 2003
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