We've had a fair number of people lately who been experiencing CVT failure, or have we? It seems like there is a problem, but since reports of trouble are by definition self-selecting and often come from new members it's hard to know if these are just isolated cases or a signficant number of failures. I know of one or two CVT owners who were posting on here and then had trouble, but I also know of several, Willy first and foremost, whose cars have been fine. What I suggest is that all of us who have CVTs that are running fine post on this thread saying just that, CVT year, X thousand miles, date, no problem. And we keep doing this every month or so and see how many and how long we all go with or without problems. The more CVT owners who "sign on" the better sample size we'll have and maybe we can get some sense as to how big a problem or not CVT failure is. Many of us have posted this sort of thing before, but it's scattered in various threads, this way we'll get all our "data" in one place.
OK, me first.
Sejanus-'02 CVT, 68,000 miles, Nov. '06- no problems
No engine / transmission problems whatsoever. (Knock on wood)
To say that I drive spiritedly is an understatement!
And I actually had a conversation with my MA just yesterday, and he did say that to his surprise, he has seen relatively few CVT's come back with transmission trouble. In his original opinion, he felt that the CVT was a weak transmission. But he knows of a bunch that are routinely tracked, driven hard, etc, that just keep on going!
Seriously.. I think you need to drive the way that CVT are meant to be driven...
I think if you use it and maintain frequently, then you'll be OK.
I know some MINI owners doesn't even use the Sport Drive mode or Shift made... it's kind of sad to hear it!
02/03 build. Only 16300 miles so not much of a testament. Never been to a dealer, since driving off the lot, for anything. No dealer within several days travel so I do my own maintenance. Car has original software and other than the slow speed jerkiness to drive around it has been fine. I use SD often but of course cruise in D.
2002 MINI Cooper CVT (also a very early car!)
No Transmission Problems, also no general problems since the last software update. (Touch wood!)
One thing I noticed by chance just recently: over the past year, I've had some niggling electrical problems unrelated to the tranny, or at least not at first glance. It was especially noticeable on AMVIV and the MTTS, where I had her throw a code on me both times after long freeway runs culminating in stop and go traffic, with no cooling off period between. The car suddenly began running on about 3 cylinders, the check engine light came on in both cases, and in Vegas I limped to Desert MINI, who couldn't find anything concrete, but put in new plugs and coils.
The car still didn't feel right, and i threw some dough at Long Beach when I got back to do a diagnostic - nothing. I lived with it and sure enough, at Santa Barbara, same 3-cylinder problem and the check light came on again. This time I let the car cool down for an extended period, and tho the light was still on when I re-started, the car ran pretty well. The next time I started her up, no light, and she ran well. I had heard of these self-analytical fixes B4, so I was lucky, but she was still a little off, so after consultation with a mechanic I trust - plugs sez he, so I replaced the spark plugs with Denso Iridiums, and boy howdy, she had all of her pep back, and more. It was like a new car, and strangely enough, the tranny felt smoother - the little mis-fires were evidently having a secondary effect on the CVT, there was no doubt about it. There was still a bit of mis-firing at certain revs, but it was almost unnoticeable, except thru the accelerator pedal.
Now for the kicker - I had my original factory battery finally croak on me, so I bought a non-factory replacement put in, and a number of things became very clear. All of sudden, no mis-fires at all, no curious vibrations, and the tranny was like butter. My take is this: the engine has to be running smoothly, because it transmits the power pulses into the CVT in a like manner; and above all, since the whole shebang is electronic, you have to have plenty of juice. I think the battery was just failing enough to cause little electrical faults, but holding a charge just enough to start up every time, until it failed completely. The amount of electronic control on the CVT mandates we keep a close eye on the plugs, coils, and battery - they all have to be in tip-top shape, or not only does the engine suffer, I'm convinced the CVT has to have that level of smooth input to be at its best, and perhaps that adds to its longevity, as well.
Rob in Dago
Brooksie, the 2002 BRG & W Cooper, lets me sit in the drivers seat sometimes.
Oh no! that sucks the dealer just took my interstate battery out and put back in one of theres and told me I should not of changed it to a aftermarket one....I told them it should not have gone bad so early. so now I have a new crap battery in the car and my good interstate is probably in the service mangers MINI.
It was at service# 1 34,000 MI that they changed the battery I put it in at 29,000 MI when it failed completly while driveing shorted out internally!!!!. My dealer is a day drive so I do most my own service but service 1 calls for a cvt fluid change so I took it in and they did it.
back to the topic.....we have a 2004 CVT at 37,000 MI works great no probs. at all.
I had an '04 with just shy of 50k miles - no problems whatsoever, but I traded her for an '06 which I took delivery of at the end of April and now have just under 9k - great MINI and no problemos.
I will admit that the negative posts made me nervous...and I miss my Indi Blue, but I got a brand new CVT PWB/B for a very good price, so I felt it was an offer I couldn't refuse, if you know what I mean. Love my CVT and hope to keep her around for a long time.
First love: MC CVT Indi Blue/White '04
Past MINI: MC CVT PW/Black '06
Present MINI: MCCa Pure Silver/BLK '09 w/roof rails
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