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Honda CVT Transmissions

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2013 - 2018 Honda Accord
jeffcurran

Anybody having problems with the Honda CVT transmissions on "newer" Honda Accords? Specifically, are they failing prematurely? I understand that it's too early to get a feel for this on cars that are less than 3 or 4 years old.

I'm looking at Camry with AT vs. Accord with CVT. The transmissionis the only variable. There are many horror stories on the Internet, but I can't rely on horror stories becausepeople do not complain when things are working well. All I see is people complaining,and I don't know the proportional relevance.

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Response from Bill NJ

7:41 pm July 24, 2016

I have a 2013 Accord with the CVT and I love the way it performs. Upshifts are silky smooth and downshifts are instantaneous. I only have 12,000 miles so I cannot offer much about reliability.

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Response from jeffcurran

8:01 pm July 24, 2016

Thank you for your response.

As I stated in my question, it's too early to make any assumptions or educated decisions about long term reliability. 12k miles just doesn't provide for a valuable baseline determination.

Cars are getting way too expensive to trust what the manufacturers claim. It's not a good time to buy a new or certified preowned car. Too many variables.

Thanx again.

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Response from windskisong

8:45 am July 25, 2016

This is a great question, and I wrestled with this before deciding on the 2013 Accord. The 60k mi drivetrain warranty helped a lot. When I was debating getting an extended warranty, my friendly neighborhood mechanic and a friend who works at a Honda dealership both recommended against it, because they've just not had anyone come in with issues. This is the same transmission they've been using on the Civic for quite a few years, just bumped up in size and power for the bigger Accord, so it does have a track record.

But, if you're nervous about it, look into either Carvana or Carmax and get their warranty, or play it safe and get the much less fun to drive, but very reliable, Camry

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Response from Henry2024

1:46 pm July 25, 2016

I have a 2013 Honda Accord with 108,000 miles. That should be more than enough miles for you to judge. According to the service history there have been no problems, and I have yet to encounter any problems myself.

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Response from clay

3:20 pm July 25, 2016

My 2013 Accord 4 cylinder with the CVT has been perfect except for one thing I have noticed. When you first start the car and immediately put it in reverse it will, at times, hesitate before pulling. Not all the time, just ocassionally. Other than that is is beautiful. There are no upshifts contrary to what Bill NJ stated. A CVT transmission does not shift as there are no gears to shift. I suspect he has a V6 with 6 speed A/T not the CVT. I am thrilled with the fuel mielage on my Accord. I get around 31 in mixed driving and 36 on the highway. I have on 2 ocassions gotten 38 and 39 mpg highway. The CVT is different and does not perform as a normat A/T does. If you have fears of the CVT then get a V6 Accord that has a standard 6 apeed A/T. I do know that Honda has the best CVT on the market today but nothing is perfect.

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Response from Bill NJ

3:54 pm July 25, 2016

Just to clarify, I probably should have put quotes around the word "upshift" in my e-mail. I do indeed have the CVT (with the 4 cyl engine) and I am well aware of how it differs from a conventional AT.

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Response from Henry2024

12:22 pm July 27, 2016

@Clay. I have the 2013 Honda Accord LX 4 cylinder with CVT and a 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i premium with CVT. Sadly, the Subaru CVT is far superior to my Honda's and is much smoother. You cannot even feel it is a CVT unless you looked at the specs. There is no rubber band effect. Honda needs to see what Subaru is doing right.

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Response from clay

1:21 pm July 27, 2016

I fell no rubber band effect, as you call it on my Honda. It is silky smooth. As I have not driven a Subaru I cannot speak of how they feel. I just know I love my Honda.

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Response from Henry2024

2:29 pm July 27, 2016

Response from clay

5:26 pm July 27, 2016

Response from TNTA2

2:15 pm August 26, 2016

My 2013 Accord Coupe i4/CVT has nearly 55k miles as of today. I have had no issues with the CVT requiring a dealer visit. They updated the software on a visit for something else, butother than that, and fluid drain/fill at 25k and 50k, nothing else has been done.

The only issues I've noticed are:
1. In cold weather, especially with ECON Mode turned on, there is a bit of a surge at low speeds. Very minor and can be nearly completely eliminated by turning off ECON.
2. A slight hesitation when shifting directly to reverse or drive after starting the car. This is apparently due to low fluid pressure immedaitely after starting and is normal operation. Waiting just a few seconds before shifitng out of park alleviates the issue entirely.
3. A slight judder when coming to a stop. This was mostly resolved with the aforementioned software update.

I came from a 2013 Civic Si with the wonderful 6-Speed Manual and was concerned when I read the new Accord was being equipped with a CVT on 4-cylinder models. What I knew of CVTs at the time nearly scared me away, but I put my trust in Honda's engineering and have not been dissapointed. The CVT is very smooth in all but a few driving conditions and I've gotten a lifetime average MPG of 32.5 in all kinds of driving conditions! From what I've read, it seems Honda and Subaru have the best CVTs in the business. Nissan is improving theirs, but I believe it's built by Jatco and not completely in house. Either way, I would not hesitate to go with the Accord and the CVT. Just be sure to take it on a thorough test drive in both city and highway before committing.

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Response from Member1310

10:35 pm October 14, 2016

That is the other question , how much are these fluid drains and refills . On todays normal autos you dont have to change the tranny fluid until 100000 miles plus . Having to do it every 25000 seems like a lot , no wonder honda says they are reliable .

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Response from clay

11:13 am October 15, 2016

Honda does not recommend the tranmission fluid be changed every 25,000 miles. As there is no maintence schedlule listed in the owners manual you must rely on the Maintenance Minder. As far as I can determine the Maintenance Minder will recommend a transmission service at 60,000 miles. Anyone know different please correct me. I know for sure it is not at 25,000 miles. That seems to be a dealer sticking it to their customer. They probably recommend changing the oil at 3,000 miles.

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