Piston Slap: Avoiding Brutal CVT Step Gears?
TTAC commentator Raincoaster writes:
I currently drive a 2011 Honda Fit(Manual) and I’m mildly interested in a CVT for my next car purchase. I have never driven one, and one thing that gives me pause is all the “fake gears” that they set them up with. I understand that this is to make them drive in a manner familiar to traditional automatic transmissions, but this seems unnecessary and possibly inefficient to me. Are there any cars/companies that don’t fake it and just let the engine/trans cook up the best ratio at any given time? I’d like to test drive something like that to see how it feels.
A second and 2 part question. I work a 40 day on, 40 off shift and while working, my car (2011 Fit) sits. Is this bad and is there anything I should do for preparation or upon first start up? This also got me wondering about cars on dealer lots, do they periodically start sitting inventory?
A 40-day stagnation period has been discussed, here’s the first example. Your only concern is having an older battery: newer cars in many geographic locations are rough on 3-5 year old batteries, so be ready for a dead battery that won’t come back from a jump start. Hopefully there’s an open parts store or a Wal-Mart nearby when that happens.
I also like the traditional, non-stepped CVT as witnessed by my 2014 Mirage road test. The Mirage lacks flappy paddles and fake gears, but has a manual “low” for steep hills or maybe autocrossing in a serious sleeper. Add that with the fuel economy benefits, these CVTs are worth considering over auto-erratic slushboxes.
As I mentioned in the review, compared to the slow upshifts and the borderline-unsafe delays on WOT downshifts of modern 6-8 speed automatics (considering decades of performance-oriented designs, both from the factory and the aftermarket) a stepless CVT is okay. But public adoption sans fake gears is unlikely, Nissan’s D-step redesign is proof of that. Hopefully you, me, and threads like this mean that CVT step gears become a fad like motorized seatbelts.
Speaking of steps, I’m side-steppin’ your query. Aside from the Mitsubishi, I don’t know which new CVTs run without steps. I assume Toyota hybrids stay stepless, as people are okay with a Hybrid being different. This is why Piston Slap only succeeds with the Best and Brightest in play. So off to you!
[Image: Shutterstock user pxl.store]
Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.
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