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Old 03-26-2005, 08:47 PM   #1
NKENN
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Question Cvt Transmission

Does anyone have any insight into the reliability of the CVT that Ford is installing in the Freestyle and 500? I understand it is the same or similar to a CVT used by Audi. My daughter is thinking about buying a Freestyle and is concerned about the transmission. Thanks for any information.
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Old 03-28-2005, 11:52 PM   #2
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Re: Cvt Transmission

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Originally Posted by NKENN
Does anyone have any insight into the reliability of the CVT that Ford is installing in the Freestyle and 500? I understand it is the same or similar to a CVT used by Audi. My daughter is thinking about buying a Freestyle and is concerned about the transmission. Thanks for any information.

CVT's are still emerging technology for the most part. A few vehicles have them, but none have been around long enough for anyone to tell the longevity of them. Especially on domestics, I think the Freestyle, 500 and Montego are the first domestically made cars to offer a CVT.

Fords transmission and transaxle reliability has been spotty. Many early to late 90's Fords ( as well as a few other manufacturers) have awful automatics. Many were failing before the car reached 60k, sometimes less then 40k! Most of that is behind them, but the CVT being all-new on an all-new car isn't a good gamble.

If your daughter can live without AWD, I'd go for the 6 speed automatic in the FWD version. Or, get the AWD version, but spring for the extended warranty, IF she plans on having the car longer then 3 years or 36k. If not, just take your chances with one or lease a car. That way, if the CVT turns out to be a problem, you can get rid of it.

Make sure she drives a Freestyle with the CVT transmission. Some people become disconcerted with the way a CVT operates compared to a regular automatic.

For example, the CVT doesn't really change gears like a regular automatic. If you floor it, the car keeps the revs up to the max while accelerating until you back off the throttle. There's no rise and fall of RPM's while accelerating. Seems wasteful, but it is actually more effecient. Much better for passing on the highway, no waiting for the transmission to downshift. Better economy to (supposedly)

Good luck. I like the Freestyle, but it needs more power ( perhaps 220-250hp instead of it's current 200) Other than that, it is based on the Volvo S60/S80 platform, has tons of room and is comfortable.

If it were me? I'd lease the AWD version or if buying, I'd get the extended warranty.
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Old 03-29-2005, 12:39 PM   #3
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Re: Cvt Transmission

Thanks for your insight on the CVT issue. I will pass along to my daughter.
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Old 03-30-2005, 11:16 PM   #4
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Negative, i'd go with the CVT. My dad just got a CVT FWD freestyle, loves it. A cvt will give you better accleration, gas mileage and yes reliability.

think of it tihs way, a 6 speed has like a zillion moving parts, most automatics are 4 speeds, some are 5 speeds. And a 6 speed just seems like too many moving parts to me. CVT has just a chain and is much simpler than a 6 speed. Also since the CVT allows the engine to run at more optimum rpms both engine and tranny will last longer.

Go for the CVT


BTW CVT is the only option on the freestyle.
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Old 07-05-2005, 10:24 AM   #5
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Re: Cvt Transmission

the 6-speed is also prone to problems - if your going to buy a ford you have to understand your flipping a coin with the trans - the cv has just a good if not better (since volvo designed them) chance to last for the long haul
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Old 07-05-2005, 07:37 PM   #6
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We haven't seen many problems with the CVT yet. Our first freestar with one stopped moving, but that's the only one we've touched yet. I'd get one...I'd get ESP coverage, too for the thousand dollars on purchase it's cheap insurance against new technology failing.

I'm with NKENN on comparing a CVT's reliablity to earlier transaxles. You just can't do it because they're completly different animals. I myself wouldn't hesitate to buy one. I've driven them and they're neat little cars with plenty of room and a good amount of zip. Whatever you decide, I hope you have good luck and enjoy!
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Old 10-09-2005, 01:26 PM   #7
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Re: Cvt Transmission

umm why would you say such a statement "with a ford you flip your coin with a trans" MY 4R70W automatic transmission in my mustang is incredible, they have seen 700 flywheel horsepower and not had a single problem, throw a tranny cooler on and it will never break, and flush it at 20k miles it says to and replace it with amsoil tranny fluid it wont break.

BTW Jatco helped design the CVT in the ford freestyle, a company partially owned by toyota, and most of fords transmissions arent even built by ford and are coincidently used by just about every car company. Example, the tremec T56 is ues in everything from the corvette 6 speed manual, to the dodge viper, to the 6 speed f bodys, to the cobra mustang.

SVT focus uses a GETREG 6 speed transmission, a german company that builds racing trannys for just about every car company.
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:42 AM   #8
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Re: Cvt Transmission

Be careful with this transmission. I have a 2005 Freestyle. Have had it for just over a year with 27k in April. Car stopped accelerating in the middle of traffic. Engine was fine. Ford - after 6 weeks!! - replaced the "computer" on the transmission. Had car back for 5k more miles and it happened again - this time with smoke out the rear of the car. The car is at the dealership being investigated. I don't trust this transmission anymore.
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:06 AM   #9
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Re: Cvt Transmission

Before I retired I was a gearbox and surface specialist, I helped design many of the CVT styles that are used in current commercial turbines, machines and some cars.

There are about eight or so different types of CVT transmissions in use today and they have been in use longer than any other modern transmission so unless you could write something worthy of a dissertation in regard to transmission and in particular CVT transmission don't comment on the technology or how you think it works.

You really have to consider what you want out of a car/transmission when picking one out.

The CVT will give a smooth constant power while keeping the engine in check but it will not carry the same power band as an automatic or manual.

The most commonly used CVT transmission will not last as long as a traditional geared transmission (2/3 the time) but it is cheaper to build so the rebuild kit will cost less.

But then have the chain driven CVT transmissions that will far out last their engine counterparts but will cost significantly more to fix than a typical CVT transmission.

Mechanics havenít been exposed to CVT transmissions they might not know how to work on them properly (or at all) that might also lead them to ideology that they can charge more to work on a CVT driven vehicle.


In my own opinion the Ford CVTs which are built by VOLVO are among the most trusted you can buy next to BWM. Volvo has been using the same basic design with various retools for 30 years.
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:45 PM   #10
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Re: Cvt Transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by focusyn
CVT's are still emerging technology for the most part. A few vehicles have them, but none have been around long enough for anyone to tell the longevity of them.
I'd agree they haven't been used much in the US but they've been around in Europe for decades. My aunt had several Daf cars that had CVT back in the 60s and 70s. Little well engineered dutch econo car. Don't think she had any issues with it back then. Volvo bought them in the 70s and for a while sold Dafs under the Volvo name. Now Ford owns that technology and know-how. If anyone can screw it up it'll be Ford though - lets hope the Ford bean counters didn't mess with the Volvo engineers too much.

I personally think CVTs are a great idea and Volvo has always designed and built sturdy stuff. CVTs are so simple a kid can understand the technology - I consider myself pretty mechanically inclined but have no clue how a regular auto transmission works.

Haven't heard any issues with the Freestyle CVT apart from the guy who posted here - hopefully that's not typical. My long term plan is to replace our ageing Windstar with a Freestyle - I'll check back here before I take the plunge though.
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:42 PM   #11
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Re: Cvt Transmission

I think the first applications of CVT's were not in autos at all ... but in various conveyor applications and production equipment designs. I can't remember the name of the company that made them, it was from some Northern European country ... Norway perhaps.

Right after WWII; selectable, dependable variable speed of motion was difficult to come by in the factory. DC motors were often used for variable speed ... but very expensive to supply current to. Huge vacuum tube diodes, rheostats, etc. Solid state diodes had not made it on the scene then.

A number of mechanical schemes were tried, but the "infinitely variable ratio" gearbox is the only one that I know off that was a success. The heart of the CVT.

But nothing's perfect. There's a lot of sliding and "crunching" (my term) goes on between the chain-plates and the grooved cone pulleys. But with today's hi-tech lubricants ... they may last a long time.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:48 PM   #12
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Re: Cvt Transmission

I bought a used 2005 Freestyle w CVT Transmission have had it for almost 18 months and it has over 36K miles and still doing real well, knock on wood. Hope to keep it for over 100K miles.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:25 PM   #13
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Unhappy Re: Cvt Transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by mindysm View Post
Be careful with this transmission. I have a 2005 Freestyle. Have had it for just over a year with 27k in April. Car stopped accelerating in the middle of traffic. Engine was fine. Ford - after 6 weeks!! - replaced the "computer" on the transmission. Had car back for 5k more miles and it happened again - this time with smoke out the rear of the car. The car is at the dealership being investigated. I don't trust this transmission anymore.
I dont know a hell of alot about cars but ime pretty sure that was one of the first years with the CVT in the freestyle and it was all new to them so its not suprising that it didint work great sorry it didint work for you
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:27 PM   #14
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Re: Cvt Transmission

And ime buyying a 2007 Ford Freestyle sel with the CVT trany any one have advise on specail upkeep or any thing
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:28 PM   #15
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Re: Cvt Transmission

and it has 36k miles on it now!!!
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