aaaugie

does anyone like the cvt?

55 posts in this topic

i hear a lot on here about the cvt in the spark but does anyone like it or have any positive comments on it?

i have had one for a couple months now and i like it o.k.(had to get the auto because wife isnt into the clutch)

i researched it a little before i bought it and it works pretty much how i expected.

i dont do much city driving but i have had to adjust the way i take off from a light due to a slight delay, but not bad.

i do mostly highway driving and the cvt eats up the open road and loves it and the mileage is great.

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I have the conventional automatic in my 13 Spark and although it's a solid transmission , I would prefer the CVT . I have CVT's in other cars and love it . The Sparks tiny motor really benefits from a CVT .

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took some getting used to but now i love it. drove an impreza with a cvt for few day smooth as silk compared to this thing but i like the sparks cvt better.. making it louder does make it funner.. for me any way

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took some getting used to but now i love it. drove an impreza with a cvt for few day smooth as silk compared to this thing but i like the sparks cvt better.. making it louder does make it funner.. for me any way

That's why I like your posts Skids..always upbeat and you see the glass half full. As a knowledgeable car guy, sounds like you pushed hard enough with the various CVT recall work to get it done right and you now like it and that is what counts..Like with your other past issues you don't 'whine' about it..you do something about it and it shows in your good results and the info you share with us...'Nuff said.

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I don't mind mine either. It does take a little different style of driving to get the most out of it but it works just fine.

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I don't mind mine either. It does take a little different style of driving to get the most out of it but it works just fine.

Ya..It's weird how some of those Jatco CVT units work just fine before or after the recalls and some just continue to not engage the gears at the proper range. Mostly seems like the belt driven swing gear does not move to the proper position at the right time or gets stuck at a certain gear range and requires a boot down to dislodge it and have the swing find the proper spot. It's kind of an unusual and new design with an actual mini gearbox attached to it making it very prone to require exact gear swing combination timing to get into the correct combination of gears that will give the correct ratio at various speed ranges. I have seen posts here and on other sites for CVT driven cars that show some are engaging smoothly but at way too low rpm's and others just freak out by wildly fluctuating the rpm's until it finds the correct combo of gears. The earlier versions of the Jatco unit in the Spark seemed to have only the "will not drop down to first gear" at short or rolling stop. The whole theory behind a CVT has always been a fairly constant RPM with the gears continuously changing...thus the name Constant Variable Tranny. But the constant RPM's need to be at a sufficient HP/Torque range to provide performance at all speeds and at the range to provide enough power for the CVT to respond continuously..this is easy with a high power engine but a small engine only has a very narrow and specific power band, so every function has to be very accurate and exactly timed for it to work properly...OK..'Nuff said on that.

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Totally agree. One thing I have learned is that you have to keep the rpm's up if you are really needing to accelerate. i have a long on ramp but very short merge lane I have to tackle going home in rush hour traffic that has a posted speed of 65mph. Coming up the on ramp is uphill so I will pull 6000 rpm's coming up the ramp but it will pull hard until it decides to shift. Then it falls flat on it face. As soon as it shifts I bring up the rpm's and off we go again.

I used to have all kinds of trouble with it with my old PT Cruiser. I rarely have issues with it in the Spark. In fact I think I surprise a lot of people with it as i come barreling down the highway in it lol.

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I live the cvt more now that they fixed the sticking issue from the recall. It does have a decent pick-up, and i enjoy zooming past other cars. But i will forever miss my manual. I still find myself mentally noting the "gears".

But that isnt a fault of the cvt.

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My household has had a 2016 Spark CVT since February. It took some getting used to, but I like it just fine.

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i drive this thing like its a sports car and haul ass in it.. i definitely dont baby it in anyway but i do take good care of her.. every car youll ever own these days will have some sort of recall regardless of where its made who makes it or how much it costs thats just life.. i love this car.. im sorry for some of you guys that are having so many issuses :(

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i drive this thing like its a sports car and haul ass in it.. i definitely dont baby it in anyway but i do take good care of her.. every car youll ever own these days will have some sort of recall regardless of where its made who makes it or how much it costs thats just life.. i love this car.. im sorry for some of you guys that are having so many issuses :(

I really wish i wasn't. i love the hell outta this car, but i will have to trade it in. I cant trust that it wont need another new trasmussion, or something more expensive as they never figured out why it misfired.

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Took some time to get use to it. But my daughter does not like it

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So surprised that some owners don't like the CVT . I have driven other cars that use the same exact transmission as the Spark and it works just fine . Jatco is always pushing the envelope in CVT development, making them more efficient and using software to mimic the shifting of conventional automatics . The gearbox added to the the CVT should be aiding the Sparks acceleration not hindering it . There's no rocket science involved in the CVT or anything unusal about the Spark that precludes it from benefiting from a CVT . In fact the spark should benefit the most of the applications this transmission is used in, better acceleration , mpg , and durability . Aside from defective parts this sounds more of a software programming issue , some owners may also have other problems with the car that compound the issue .

Edited by sparkfanatic
Christian LeBlanc likes this

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test drove a sonic hatch automatic and it might have been a new car thing but its shifts were super harsh (i have a 13 sonic sedan and it doesnt shift like that so might need breaking in but) I was like cool more power but the shifts hurt (the car anyway i felt bad) and I was like I like my spark with the cvt way more..  

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My wife has a 2015 Sonic turbo and it does shift really weird. Not so much harsh as just weird. Its hard to explain.

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yup. it was shifting at funky points and for no reason on the test drive my 13 doesnt do that which is weirder .. again I'm going to break in maybe? how many miles on your wifes 15? other thing I dont like about the sonic is the breaking you have to push half way down for the breaks to start engaging like a honda. all other gm cars break normally as soon as you touch the break pedal you get response. is hers like that as well?

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The brakes work like normal. I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary. We bought the car last November with 8500 miles on it and she has 11,500 on it now. She only drives a half mile to work so I attributed part of the weird shifting to that. When she does get it out on the road she drives it at a snails pace (Her driving drives me crazy lol). I think the shifting would be a little different if it was driven normally.

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never drove a cvt before, but today i did a test drive spark LS cvt and i was very impressed with the performance. i would definetly buy it with CVT 

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40 minutes ago, Abdul Hafiz Al Masri said:

never drove a cvt before, but today i did a test drive spark LS cvt and i was very impressed with the performance. i would definetly buy it with CVT 

Once you drive a good CVT it's hard to ever go back to a conventional automatic. It's just better in every way I can think of . Smoother , better performance , durability . Far less moving parts .i have had CVTs for many years , lots of experience with them and there's lots of myths and unfounded fears about them .

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4 hours ago, sparkfanatic said:

Once you drive a good CVT..........

The Spark CVT's all seem to be OK at first...then after a while the fun starts. Not only the Spark, but many units with the new design Jatco7 are having issues as well..Nissan is pressuring it's subsidiary Jatco Corp..to come up with a fix. Other unit models of the Jatco seem to be just fine...

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1 hour ago, Retired old Gearhead said:

The Spark CVT's all seem to be OK at first...then after a while the fun starts. Not only the Spark, but many units with the new design Jatco7 are having issues as well..Nissan is pressuring it's subsidiary Jatco Corp..to come up with a fix. Other unit models of the Jatco seem to be just fine...

I haven't seen issues with the Nissan Note which uses the same transmission , i know several owners and they love it . There may be glitches but Chevy sells a lot of Sparks and not all of them are having issues and you can see that just on this forum . You can't sell thousands of these cars a month , either the transmission either works or it doesn't  . If there's a defect then expect a recall. There's also people who are not used to driving a CVT and for some  it feels like there's a problem when it's normal CVT behavior ,while others have a myriad of problems not just with the CVT . I have had some similar problems with my Spark and it has the regular auto trans so go fiqure    . The Jatco 7 is a newer design but last week I read where GM is quite pleased with the Sparks CVT and plan more CVTs . The Jatco's are Nissans lowest warranty cost transmission so they aren't going anywhere . Not to mention the Versa note is the highest rated for reliability even above the Honda Fit . So I'm not seeing problems with the Jatco itself but with the tuning and maybe some defects .. Who knows .

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The older Nissan Note used the Jatco7 only in the supercharged 1.2L engine, thus just enough torque to properly kick the CVT into the correct position. The Jatco7 was replaced with the Xtronic CVT on the 1.6L Notes. The Spark 1.25L engine never had enough torque at a wide range to operate the Jatco7 gear ratio changes at low torque ranges in the power curve. The New 1.4L higher torque at a wide range should correct that...but it seems it still needs a few tweeks with the programming etc. All cvt's require more torque to affect gear changing operations than say a manual or small 4sp conventional auto-tranny...That's the logic and that's my take on the CVT's. required math to function according the the basic CVT input requirements.

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The transmission uses different names by the respective OEMs  but transmissions except for programming are the same in the Spark , Note and Mirage across the board . The Spark for the US market  specifically got a revamped engine 1.25 vs 1.2 to increase the torque curve. The conventional transmission we got on the 13 model was just a stop gap , the CVT was already planned and  in the works . I agree CVTs tend to like to torque or have improved feeling  but some of these issues people complain about happen on many transmissions including my own Spark with non CVT and it still hasn't been resolved and probably won't ever be . I would suspect the complaints are so few that GM doesn't deem it worth the expense to look deeper into the matter .We are into the new generation of Sparks and hopefully programming issues have been resolved . For those having serious mechanical issue or a defect , they can only hope for s recall . I should also mention these same very same complaints Spark owners have on their 14-15 CVT also afflict Camaro owners along with other GM vehicles and none of them use a CVT . 

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Good post 'sparkfanatic'! I can't disagree with anything you say and you seem to be up-to-date with vehicle issues and knowledgeable on the CVT principal workings. Keep in mind that your 4sp auto tranny is part of the powertrain and is under warranty...not sure what your issues are but the conventional 4sp auto unit has a very large knowledge-base and most issues are easily fixed by a tranny tech. Sometimes a simple adjustment of the 'bands' via the external adjustment ports will fix an out of sync unit. As you probably know, low tranny fluid will cause slipping while all four gears have 'band' adjustments on the exterior access ports fitted with adjustment square heads...Just an FYI in case you were not aware.

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The mechanical aspect of my trans is fine , it's the electronics and the nature of the beast . GM does have a fix via TSB but unfortunately that fix doesn't make sense nor does it fix the problem . The good news is that it's not a frequent issue . In fact Walt when he was here had the problem once and never again . Like many things electronic a restart fixes it . For how long ? Maybe forever or maybe 10K miles from now . There other nuances but nothing that I can't live with , that's for sure . The other issue is a safety problem if it were to happen pulling into a busy intersection , but again it's only been 3 times  ( twice since the fix lol ) in nearly 50K miles and luckily I was never in a bad situation. If it was continually  reoccurring then I would punt the car . At this point I will deal with it if and when it happens which might be never ..I hope . These techs only go by what they look up in the database and are not supposed to replace parts that GM doesn't see as necessary . On top of that I really don't want them touching anything and causing some other issue or keeping my car for extended period of time  when the car runs like a champ. . I could take a video to show them but there's never a trouble code and it's not something that can be reproduced for them . 

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