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Discussion Starter #1
CVT Information for New Owners

A few MINI owners and seasoned MINI2 users suggested that a thread dedicated to consolidating information, references, and URL links on the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) would be helpful for new owners and all of us.

The objective will be to save you reading time by gathering the best of what we have been writing since the car was launched into this thread. Let's try it.

Note to posters: Use the Edit function to keep early posts in this thread fresh and corrected. Put URL links into your posts so the reader can jump back to the full material. Come back to these first posts to add new material later using the Edit function.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here is a list of threads on MINI2 where information, opinion, functionality, hints and technique for the CVT only have been worked on. Take your new questions or comments directly to those threads, so this thread may become a reference.

CVT (Cooper and One) collected and consolidated threads
http://www.mini2.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=624

CVT engine mods
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33534

CVT driving technique
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25028

CVT objective performance testing
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26059

CVT engine braking
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42447

CVT discussion on merits of the transmission
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40747

CVT wish list of features or changes owners would like
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42394

CVT discussion of observed quirks
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39952

CVT rev limiter and tachometer display
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39175

CVT (and Cooper 5-speed) decision validation ;)
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7940

CVT high mileage owner comments (w/early software updates)
http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32441

CVT VT1F functionality "video" diagram
http://www.mini.ca/index.asp?pg=tech.asp&dir=technology&lang=en
MINI Insider > MINI Technology > Performance > CVT
displays a "filmstrip" of the Variators continuously varying

#### CVT Magazine and Newspaper Reviews

MINI2
- A full Forum is dedicated to the CVT-equipped cars
http://www.mini2.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=624

MotoringFile website
- Initial CVT Loaner Car comments
http://www.motoringfile.com/2003/08/28/RandomThoughtsOnMINILoaners
- Followup Full Review of CVT
http://www.motoringfile.com/2003/09/10/TheCVTRevisited-AFullReview
- A Detailed Assessment of the CVT Transmission
http://www.motoringfile.com/2004/05/21/a_detailed_assessment_of_the_cvt_transmission
- MINI named Most Efficient in Class
http://www.motoringfile.com/2004/10/15/mini_named_most_efficient_in_class

Road&Track on CVT Technology, January 2004
http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=20&article_id=1077&page_number=1

Canadian Driver.com on MINI Cooper CVT, December 2002
http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/ly/03minicvt.htm

New Car Test Drive.com on MINI Cooper, September 2002, by Denise McCluggage
(negative comment on CVT)
http://www.nctd.com/printversion-review.cfm?ReviewID=1304
 

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Maybe this should be made a sticky so that newcomers would always find it easily when they went to the Cooper Forum?
 

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Paul Mullett said:
Anyone fancy being moderator for a new CVT forum?

I guess I could keep an eye on it unless someone else wants the job. Nonsequiter perhaps?
I usually check most CVT related posts anyway. Maybe best to keep the Automatic MCS future variant thread somewhere else though so someone can keep an eye on me. :D
 

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Paul Mullett said:
Anyone fancy being moderator for a new CVT forum?

I would love to help moderate the CVT forum! Where do I sign up?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
punkeyfunky has properly suggested that we develop a FAQ on the CVT. Let's talk about what that should be here.

This thread was called "CVT information for new owners" so using my amazing new powers I changed it to "CVT FAQ (draft)"!

What needs to be in here? How should it be organized? Who will submit or consolidate appropriate content?

If you are willing to write a paragraph, put it in here. It can be cleaned up, and all the extra posts removed, later. I can do much of this "getting it finished" action.
 

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a cut at some CVT Q&A

I have taken the liberty to assemble some beginning questions and answers for this "FAQ" thread. Look things over, tear it up where it's wrong, let's get it right and post it for those people looking for good information.

What does “M/S + -” mean on the MINI CVT? I read page 50 in the Owner’s Manual but I still don't get it. What do I do if I want to use it?

When you get a CVT MC you have three transmission selection options. (It is recommended that your MINI be past its brake in mileage (1,250 miles or 2,000 km) before trying this because it is very easy to exceed the maximum recommend engine rpm of 4,500 or 95 mph or 150km/hr.)

“D” This is the fuel economy / normal driving mode. Hold the gas pedal at any position less than the detent (hard spot - feel for it when you drive) and *with an eye on the road* watch the tachometer. It will stay at a fairly constant rpm while the MINI gains speed; never "shifting" in the conventional sense. Stomp the pedal down to the floor and the CVT will run up to the peak 6,000 rpm and then "shift" down, and run the rpm up to 6,000 again as the car accelerates, (until you draw the attention of the police and have to stop.) The CVT will do this as long as the pedal is held to or near the floor (past the detent).

“SD” This is the sport drive mode. The engine rpm will be approximately 800 rpm higher than D mode. To get there, move the shift lever to the right from D mode. The CVT behavior will be similar to D mode. There will be more engine braking in SD mode. It may be used it like a passing gear. Put it into SD when preparing to pass another vehicle to increase the engine rpm toward maximum power.

“+/-” This is manual shifting mode. From SD move the shift lever forward two times and 1 will be displayed in the speedometer where D or SD were. Step on the gas and when you want to "shift", tap the shifter back one time for each "gear". Here's the tricky part: keep your foot on the gas. Do not lift off like a conventional stick shift. If you do, you could find yourself nominated for the dork of the week award. You will have 6 "gears" to choose from in +/- mode. The engine management computer will not let you select a gear and engine rpm combination that is likely to damage the vehicle. e.g., you cannot shift into 6th gear at 25 mph or into 1 at 50 mph. It will also automatically "downshift" if you slow too much and upshift if the rpms go too high. You can downshift just like a stick, but without need for your foot on the gas and clutch work. Also, whilst in a higher gear such as 5 in +/- mode, if the car is going slow enough, pressing the accelerator past the detent will cause the CVT to shift to a lower gear. If you were on a long downhill grade, you could put the CVT into +/- and choose a lower gear for engine braking.

Here's something to experiment with. Put the CVT into 1 (steptronic) and just leave it there as you accelerate. The MINI is programmed to protect itself from "inappropriate" CVT and engine RPM combinations. So if you leave it in 1, it will go to redline and shift itself to 2, 3, etc. You can get similar results keeping the gas pedal floored, but doing this in +/- mode works in less than full throttle positions too.

Even in SD mode, if you let up on the gas, the CVT will go to higher gear ratios. But maybe you don't want it to go to higher ratios... If you use the +/- mode, it will not up-shift when you lift off the gas. It keeps the RPM up and everything running in the power band. You only need to downshift manually to keep the RPM up as you slow. Seems like this would be the best mode for racing with a CVT.

Please excuse my ignorance; but how is changing to SD mode before passing beneficial?

Switching to SD mode kicks the engine rpm up by approximately 800 rpm. This puts the CVT and engine into a configuration which produces more power and better performance (at the cost of a little more gasoline I suppose). This increased performance configuration will get one past the other car faster (= safer?).

Can I switch between D/SD/ +/- modes at any time without damaging the transmission?

There is nothing in the on line Owner's Manual about not shifting the CVT into different modes whilst moving. (See Owner’s Manual page 49 where CVT info begins) All this does is change the transmission drive ratios. As it indicates in the manual, the CVT can not be placed into configurations which the manufacturer deems harmful. The software prevents it. i.e. page 49 top of the right (3 rd) column "If the engine speed is too high when the vehicle is at a standstill, the selector lever is also blocked to protect the transmission."

That will prevent the old "neutral drop" maneuver where the engine is at a high rev when the driver puts the transmission into D from N. (A good way to get an automatic trans to self destruct if you are wanting to replace it.)

If I'm cruising down the highway in SD or in +/- with "6th gear," showing, can I slide it into "D" to run at lower RPMs? Will that hurt the engine?

It is not going to hurt anything if you move between D and SD whilst motoring. (Or M+/- for that matter) Many of us slip into SD in preparation for passing another car, and then back to D after. The MINI with a CVT is programmed to protect itself from "inappropriate" engine speed and transmission settings. Try this: whilst moving slowly in M+/- mode, try shifting into a higher gear. You will find that you can't get into the higher gears at the slower speed. Same thing for downshifting. It will only go into the lower gear when it's safe. The maximum input rpm for the CVT is 6000 and the MC CVT is programmed to prevent exceeding that limit.

I've wondered why the indicated gear number changed sometimes, i.e. at slower speeds even though I had not shifted it.

You can break the rear end loose around corners? How?

Only try this on a road that you know very well, and know that it has no gravel on it before hand. With the CVT in a lower "gear", DSC “on”, and the engine at high rpm, just lift off the gas as you turn the corner. Depending upon how sharp a turn you make, and your over-all speed, the rear comes loose just a bit. Not spin out facing the wrong way loose, just enough to bring in some over steer to boost you around the turn a bit faster than you otherwise would. Mind you, this is not the sort of thing to try the first week, especially before the brake in period is past. You should mind the break in rpm limit (4,500), and get comfortable/familiar with the MINI's handling before looking for any corners of the motoring envelop. But, you could have some fun without exceeding the speed limit (as posted on the straighter parts of a road).
 

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valnmike said:
“D” This is the fuel economy / normal driving mode. Hold the gas pedal at any position less than the detent (hard spot - feel for it when you drive) and *with an eye on the road* watch the tachometer. It will stay at a fairly constant rpm while the MINI gains speed; never "shifting" in the conventional sense. Stomp the pedal down to the floor and the CVT will run up to the peak 6,000 rpm and then "shift" down, and run the rpm up to 6,000 again as the car accelerates, (until you draw the attention of the police and have to stop.) The CVT will do this as long as the pedal is held to or near the floor (past the detent).
Fantastic work! I see no errors or omissions yet. I'll review again later (when I'm not at work).

Lee
 

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Thank you punkeyfunky. Something I just read has me kicking myself. Last month, I was in Barcelona and I was at the MINI dealer there. It never occurred to me to ask whether a CVT is available in the MINI D. Perhaps someone from Great Britain or the EC can clarify that for us?
 

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Here is another FAQ I suggest we add to the list

What is involved in a software update on a CVT equipped MINI?

The software upgrade is sort of a lengthy process because it involves driving the car a couple of times by dealer service personnel to synchronize the CVT clutches. If your dealer knows what is doing, the update is not limited just to re-programming the DME (engine and other systems control computer), but also to add new Motronic (a Bosch trademark, a company used by BMW for engine software) code, align EWS (Engine immobiliser), clear adaptation or 'learning' settings for the transmission and road test the car a few times to allow the system to re-learn driving patterns.

When a CVT car has had this software upgrade the service technician has to carry out a road test which can take up to 45 minutes and 15 miles to do so the cars clutch set point's are all self learned again.(Drive program)

They then :
1, Reset clutch adaptation values,
2, Carry out clutch adaptation,
3, Set-up clutch ratio adaptations,
4, Carry out a software reset
5, Clear adaptation values in the DME/EMS2000 Control unit.

The car sticks in 1st gear until it learns its set point/ratio's when it then selects 2nd gear and so on. There is a special way to do this but telling anyone on here would have no benefit at all...e.g. holding between certain rev thresholds etc etc...very boring!

This answer was taken from other mini2.com posts by cooper4us & here2help
 

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Why is this not a sticky? I just found it by chance as I was researching my forthcoming order. great thread!

NOW that is what I call service! :D
 

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valnmike said:
Here is another FAQ I suggest we add to the list

What is involved in a software update on a CVT equipped MINI?

The software upgrade is sort of a lengthy process because it involves driving the car a couple of times by dealer service personnel to synchronize the CVT clutches. If your dealer knows what is doing, the update is not limited just to re-programming the DME (engine and other systems control computer), but also to add new Motronic (a Bosch trademark, a company used by BMW for engine software) code, align EWS (Engine immobiliser), clear adaptation or 'learning' settings for the transmission and road test the car a few times to allow the system to re-learn driving patterns.

When a CVT car has had this software upgrade the service technician has to carry out a road test which can take up to 45 minutes and 15 miles to do so the cars clutch set point's are all self learned again.(Drive program)

They then :
1, Reset clutch adaptation values,
2, Carry out clutch adaptation,
3, Set-up clutch ratio adaptations,
4, Carry out a software reset
5, Clear adaptation values in the DME/EMS2000 Control unit.
Wow. This is a mind-boggling process. Does any dealer in the whole world actually do this?? I am sure mine didn't when I got v.39. :(

What are the consequences if (or when) the dealer doesn't do this 15 mile test drive, etc, but just loads in the software? Is this a big problem? Does it explain why some people claim worse performance afer an "upgrade"? Should/can we owners do it ourselves by driving a certain way after a software upgrade? :confused:
 

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Is there a cross section image of what a CVT tranny looks like and how it functions in any of the CVT threads? If so could someoone share them with me?
I'd love to be able to really explain all the many curious folk who want to know.

Thanx so much,:)
 

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Cvt

Is there a cross section image of what a CVT tranny looks like and how it functions in any of the CVT threads? If so could someoone share them with me?
I'd love to be able to really explain all the many curious folk who want to know.

Thanx so much,:)
CVT is made by ZF Getriebe. Believe they are in Belgium Go their website & you should be able to get the info you are looking for:wone:
 

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CVT -Transmission management fault

Glad for the write ups here, big up to all who contributed.

being driven crazy with a Mini One with CVT.
The car has no power, as in, the engine at idle doesn't rev beyond 4000 rpms.
Placed in either Drive, SD or 1, the car struggles to pull away, feels like it is in gear 3.

Pulled some codes, and came up with;

11 Tank Sensor 2
50 Vehicle Identification number in ZKE and instrumentation is different
20 Term 15 ON and term R OFF
62 CAN bus, no ABS MESSAGE 1
51 Fault in transmission management.

But the last one got my attention. Should I worry?
 
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