With holiday season being one of the most popular times for people shopping for a new vehicle, you may come across the term CVT Transmission. What does this term mean? And more pointedly, is it something you should buy – or something you should avoid?

CVTs were once derided as the shiftless “rubber band” transmission that made cars seem as if they were revving up forever. But CVTs are no longer a mere experiment by automakers looking for new ways to improve efficiency. They’re becoming so common that it’s hard to find a mainstream manufacturer that doesn’t offer them in at least some models. Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota all provide CVTs as the standard transmission in at least one model. And some carmakers have been doing so for many years.

What is CVT?

CVT stands for continuously variable transmission, which is different from a conventional automatic transmission. The standard automatic features a complex series of gears that transmit the power of the engine to the wheels. The CVT, on the other hand, doesn’t have any gears. It features a pair of pulleys of variable width, connected by a belt. One pulley is connected to the engine, the other to the wheels. Because their width is variable, it changes depending on how much power the car needs, hence the term “continuously variable transmission”.

The CVT also works a little differently from a conventional transmission. To a certain extent, you do operate it more or less normally—sliding the shift lever from Park into Drive, then zooming off! From there, though, the CVT gets a little bit more complex.

You see, with ordinary automatics, there are a set number of gears—so, for instance, you may see a vehicle marked as a “6-speed automatic.” Each of these gears accommodates a certain speed range, so as you start driving faster, the car may automatically shift from first gear into second, and maybe then on to the third.

With a continuously variable transmission, though, you do not have all these gears. Actually, you just have one. Unlike the individual gears in an ordinary automatic, this gear can handle all speeds. That’s why they call it variable.

CVT Transmission vs. Automatic

There are several differences between the automatic and continuously variable transmission, apart from the basic functionality of each. Some are more obvious than others. For instance, when you’re driving a vehicle with CVT, you won’t notice or “feel” gears shifting. You’ll just notice the car getting faster or slower. In that sense, it might make for a smoother ride. The unusual thing is that it essentially chooses the ideal speed for any given situation and holds it constant—even if you’re accelerating the car.

Say, for instance, you try to speed up to pass another car. When you slam on the gas, the car will immediately zoom to a nice, brisk speed – but then, it will hold steady at that speed, even as you continue to apply pressure to the gas pedal. So that feeling you get in an ordinary automatic, where you climb through the gears, just isn’t there.

Another difference you may notice, when driving a vehicle like this, is an easier take off. Since there are no gears in a CVT transmission, your vehicle will find it easier to get to the ideal torque ratio and maintain it. This means it will almost effortless for the car to take off from a stoplight, as well as easier to climb even on difficult terrain.

Needless to say, driving a vehicle like this is a unique experience, and it’s becoming more and more popular with some auto manufacturers. Many automakers use CVTs because it can get maximum power out of a small engine, therefore delivering a quicker, more reactive acceleration. This is also the reason why vehicles with four-cylinder engines are often the ones with CVTs.

Cars with continuously variable transmission

Because cars with a continuously variable transmission and ones equipped with a standard automatic look the same, you may not be able to tell the difference when car shopping. But here are the car makes and models that most often use CVT transmissions:

  • Mitsubishi, Nissan & Subaru – these car manufacturers often use continuously variable transmission not just for their regular models, but also for their SUVs.
  • Honda & Toyota – with over a dozen models that feature a CVT transmission, these two Japanese automakers are also on the rise.
  • European manufacturers – although CVTs are more common among Japanese brands. Some European car manufacturers also started adopting it for a few of their models, including Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class, as well as Renault Koleos and Megane.

If you’d like to know what type of transmission a car has before buying it, it’s easy to do for new vehicles, as this is usually printed on the window sticker, but you can also find it on the manufacturer’s website or printed brochure. If you’re buying a used car, then further research may be required, but typing the make, model and year in a search browser should do the trick.

CVT Transmission Problems

But before actually buying a car with this type of transmission, you might want to look into the CVT transmission reliability. Is this the best kind of transmission for your next vehicle? Certainly, there are some advantages:

  • This kind tends to get slightly better gas mileage, especially in city driving. Fuel efficiency is a great advantage of CVTs because they can adjust gear ratios instantaneously. They also have an infinite range. Estimates place an average sedan with CVT transmission at 38 miles per gallon. You’ll also find this type of transmission in most hybrids.
  • The power delivered is simple and straightforward.
  • The ride itself tends to be smooth; you never feel the gears shifting, because, well, they don’t!

But there are also drawbacks, the most common complaint of some drivers being that a continuous variable transmission doesn’t allow for quite as much speed. Also, some drivers prefer the escalating gear shifts to the steady hum of this new technology. Other CVT transmission problems include:

  • Overheating
  • Sudden loss of acceleration
  • Slipping, jerking & shuddering
  • Excessive wear and stretching of the belt
  • Droning sound
  • Cost of repair and maintenance

Ultimately, it’s up to you—but we do recommend that you drive a CVT transmission before you purchase one!

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Aamco of Keller Your Locally Trusted Auto Repair Experts

Keeping you and your family safely on the road is important to us at AAMCO Keller.  If you believe you’re facing potential issues with your car or need routine maintenance such as a regularly scheduled Oil and Filter change , our expert team at AAMCO of Keller is here to help. Stop into our shop located at 1485 S. Main St., Keller, TX 76248 or contact us today for an appointment.

Have your car properly serviced by the locally trusted experts at AAMCO of Keller.  Call us today at (817) 431-0009 or schedule your appointment online now.

Save at AAMCO of Keller with this special Full Synthetic Oil Change Coupon

_____________________________________________________________________________________

AAMCO Of Keller, TX

AAMCO Transmissions of Keller our technicians are the best trained in the industry with not only 20 years experience on new cars but also over 50 years experience in the automotive industry. Our goal is not only to provide the best product in the industry but also the best customer service available. A recent survey showed that over 95% of cars serviced with major repairs at AAMCO are still in service with many reaching the 100,000 mile range without failure.

At AAMCO of Keller we believe that getting the best value for your dollar is the most important part of any repair. That is why all of our services come with a minimum of a one year warranty and not the typical 90 days provided by most repair shops. We use only the highest quality parts available.

AAMCO of Keller is a full-service auto repair and preventive maintenance center. We are automatic and manual transmission experts. We provide transmission service and maintenance as well as transmission flush & filter service. We are conveniently located for your service and maintenance needs and we are qualified to repair and service all domestic and imported cars, trucks, and SUV’s using parts that are equal to or exceed the standards of those parts originally used by the manufacturers. We are definitely the cost-effective alternative to car dealership servicing for all scheduled maintenance of your personal or company auto, pickup or truck. Regardless of where it was built, we will service your car or truck and still maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. We honor most extended warranties.

AAMCO of Keller is independently owned and operated. We pride ourselves on getting the services or repairs on your auto right the first time by our highly qualified service technicians. So drop your auto, SUV, or truck off today and allow us to provide you with excellent service. We look forward to servicing your vehicle.

Premium Gas

Buying gas is one of life’s small conundrums. Most of us have little idea what those numbers on the pump mean, so we usually just pick one that seems to correlate best to our stage in life. When we’re starving students, we go for the less expensive 87 octane. If we drive a nice car and we’re feeling flush, bring on the 91! While buying what you can afford might seem like a smart approach, this kind of simple calculation actually misses hidden costs you should be considering. Before we get to those, let’s clarify what octane levels actually are and what they mean for your car. If you are wondering whether high octane fuel equals better fuel economy, you first need an understanding of how fuel interacts with your engine.

Premium Gas

What Are Octane Levels?

Octane actually has two definitions. In its simplest sense, octane is the name of a chemical compound. This flammable hydrocarbon, in combination with several others, is what makes gasoline. When ignited, it powers your car’s engine. The second definition of octane refers to the amount of energy required to ignite the gasoline. These octane level numbers (87, 89, 91, etc.) are a percentage of the fuel’s performance measured against pure (100%) octane. Lower octane gas burns quicker than higher octane, and so require less energy to ignite. However, this also means that lower octanes burn more quickly in high pressure environments, and can have a greater tendency to knock. Knocking occurs when the gasoline is burning fast and is also under high pressure environments. When this occurs there are small gasoline explosions occurring within the engine. These small explosions interfere with the cylinders’ normal operation and can damage engine parts. Ignoring these knocks can result in an expensive repair and reduce your car’s performance significantly.

So Why Use High Octane Fuel?

High octane fuel may prevent engine knock, which is a useful quality in a fuel. This is why luxury cars that use higher-pressure engines sometimes require premium gasoline. Higher octane gasoline reduces knocks and pings in high-pressure environments which exert more energy and burn fuel quicker. If your car manual doesn’t require you to use high octane fuel, using it anyway probably won’t help. Stick with the type of fuel that best suits your car’s engine requirements.

Wait, But What Octane Fuel Should I Use?

Good question. Your car’s owner manual will recommend the fuel you should be using for best performance, and that’s the type to go with. If your manual says unleaded (87) is enough, then it is. If it advises premium (usually 91), then heed its advice.

So is Higher Octane Fuel More Efficient?

In a word, no. On its own paying for premium gasoline does not make your car run better or get greater gas mileage. Giving your car the fuel it requires to run smoothly and efficiently, without damage to the engine, does make a difference in your fuel mileage.

So How Can I Learn to Improve Fuel Economy?

First, get your car serviced regularly. If your engine isn’t in good repair, you can waste fuel. The same holds true if your tires are underinflated, which can reduce fuel efficiency up to 0.3% for every pound of pressure dropped in all four tires, says fueleconomy.gov. And, just as you should use the recommended fuel octane level of your manufacturer, you should also use the right grade of motor oil. Doing so can definitely make your fuel go farther. Second, lighten your load wherever possible. Remove your roof storage rack whenever you aren’t hauling anything, and don’t leave unused cargo sitting there. It adds significant weight to your car, which means you need to burn more gas to go the same distance. You should also regularly clean out your trunk or back cargo area for the same reason. Third, avoid idling while waiting for long periods of time. Although it may seem easier to leave the car running, this wastes a lot of gas, especially if you have the air conditioner on too. When possible, open the window to cool off. And on the highway, use cruise control when possible. By keeping your speed even, you avoid accelerating and decelerating, and save fuel.

Does How I Drive Matter?

Yes, your driving style impacts your fuel economy significantly. We’re not trying to be backseat drivers, but observing the speed limit and driving safely also improves your bottom line. When you accelerate rapidly, step on the brakes, stop and start a lot, and drive at excessive speeds, you waste gas. If you want to preserve the fuel in your tank, the best thing you can do is take a sensible approach to drive.

Fuel economy is a confusing issue, but hopefully this explanation has been enlightening. When in doubt, stick to the recommended octane level in your owner’s manual and you’ll be fine. Aside from that, the best things you can do to stretch your gas mileage are to drive well and service your car regularly, and bring it in whenever something seems wrong. If you notice any trouble with your car, such as funny sounds, pulling, using fuel faster than normal, leaking, or not performing to its usual standard, bring your car into Aamco of Keller today!

Additional Resources

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/

http://www.carsdirect.com/car-buying/will-a-higher-octane-level-increase-a-cars-fuel-mileage

http://mn.gov/commerce/weights-and-measures/images/OctaneFacts.pdf

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Aamco of Keller Your Locally Trusted Auto Repair Experts

Keeping you and your family safely on the road is important to us at AAMCO Keller.  If you believe you’re facing potential issues with your car or need routine maintenance such as a regularly scheduled Oil and Filter change , our expert team at AAMCO of Keller is here to help. Stop into our shop located at 1485 S. Main St., Keller, TX 76248 or contact us today for an appointment.

Have your car properly serviced by the locally trusted experts at AAMCO of Keller.  Call us today at (817) 431-0009 or schedule your appointment online now.

Save at AAMCO of Keller with this special Full Synthetic Oil Change Coupon

_____________________________________________________________________________________

AAMCO Of Keller, TX

AAMCO Transmissions of Keller our technicians are the best trained in the industry with not only 20 years experience on new cars but also over 50 years experience in the automotive industry. Our goal is not only to provide the best product in the industry but also the best customer service available. A recent survey showed that over 95% of cars serviced with major repairs at AAMCO are still in service with many reaching the 100,000 mile range without failure.

At AAMCO of Keller we believe that getting the best value for your dollar is the most important part of any repair. That is why all of our services come with a minimum of a one year warranty and not the typical 90 days provided by most repair shops. We use only the highest quality parts available.

AAMCO of Keller is a full-service auto repair and preventive maintenance center. We are automatic and manual transmission experts. We provide transmission service and maintenance as well as transmission flush & filter service. We are conveniently located for your service and maintenance needs and we are qualified to repair and service all domestic and imported cars, trucks, and SUV’s using parts that are equal to or exceed the standards of those parts originally used by the manufacturers. We are definitely the cost-effective alternative to car dealership servicing for all scheduled maintenance of your personal or company auto, pickup or truck. Regardless of where it was built, we will service your car or truck and still maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. We honor most extended warranties.

AAMCO of Keller is independently owned and operated. We pride ourselves on getting the services or repairs on your auto right the first time by our highly qualified service technicians. So drop your auto, SUV, or truck off today and allow us to provide you with excellent service. We look forward to servicing your vehicle.

When it comes to general maintenance for your car a proper oil change at regularly scheduled intervals is one of the most important things you can do as a vehicle owner. At Aamco of Keller we are commonly asked by our customers “what is the difference between synthetic oil and conventional motor oil”? Our goal is to be your locally owned and trusted Keller Auto & Transmission Repair Shop and to also help educate our customers on any questions they may have regarding their vehicle.

When it comes to motor oil, you have two popular options which include going with conventional motor oil or synthetic motor oil. The differences between the two begin at the molecular level and continue all the way up to how the oil is manufactured and processed. Conventional oil will cost less than the synthetic but will require more frequent oil changes. If you decide to go with the synthetic motor oil – depending on your driving habits it’s recommended that you change your oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles for most vehicles.

Oil Change Near Me

What is Synthetic Motor Oil?

Synthetic oil is nonetheless oil, though it is somewhat man-made. Synthetic oil is made from a base oil, powder additives, and a carrier oil that enforces an even distribution of the additives.

Both synthetic oil and traditional motor oil are made from refining oil. Most synthetics begin with highly refined crude oil, pumped from deep underground. That is the same source as conventional oil. Other synthetic oils use artificially made compounds or a synthetic oil as a base oil. The primary difference between synthetic oil and traditional oil is at the level of refinement.

The base oil falls into one of several “oil grades” from mineral oils extracted from crude (Group I and II) to fully artificial, compound-based oils. All grades of oil are manufactured with additives that increase performance.

Refinement processes and ingredients also result in scientific control over molecular size and purity. That can lower friction, reduce engine sludge, and increase performance. Synthetic oil was first developed in 1929. With technology and access to resources, it has refined to accommodate jets, high-performance vehicles, and everyday consumer vehicles. The need for synthetic oils also comes from technological changes. High-performance vehicles and machinery—from jets that break the sound barrier to industrial plants—have to operate in extreme conditions and temperatures. Highly refined engine oil allows better temperature resistance.

Advantages to Synthetic Oil:

  • Uniform molecular size means less friction
  • Refinement and engineering reduce deposits
  • Additives boost protection and can clean engines
  • Better function in cold and extreme weather
  • Cleaner oil with fewer impurities

Full Synthetic vs. Synthetic Blend

Full synthetic oils are better understood as a grade of motor oil. Semi-refined–also called synthetic blend–oils are less refined than full synthetic oil. Semi-synthetic oil blends traditional oil with the more technologically advanced oils. You get the advantage of additives and more refinement. But, the impurities and inconsistent molecular size of conventional motor oil are still in the blend at lower degrees.

The benefit of synthetic blends is largely a cost-vs-benefit decision. Synthetic blends are cheaper than full synthetic motor oil but higher performance than conventional oil.

How often should you change Synthetic Oil in your car?

Synthetic oil is better on your engine and has fewer impurities, it can go longer than conventional oils or synthetic blends.  It’s important to remember to schedule regular oil change intervals. For conventional oil, twice a year is suggested as a safe way of keeping track. If you want to keep better track, every 7,500 miles is suggested for average cars. You should also change your oil filter every oil change. But, especially if using synthetic oil, every other oil change is sufficient if you don’t regularly push your car hard or endure extreme conditions.

Check your owner’s manual. Newer cars may be able to go 10,000 miles or only need an oil change once a year. Turbo engines and older cars may still require oil changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Synthetic oil change intervals range 10,000-15,000 miles or once a year (whatever comes first). Extended performance synthetic motor oil is on the upper top of that range. That extra 5,000 miles may be worth the investment.

Synthetic Motor Oil vs. Conventional Motor Oil

Visually speaking you cannot tell the difference between new synthetic and conventional oil. There are two major differences, however. First, how they are made is a distinction. We’ve explained that synthetic oil is far more refined than conventional oil.

Second, the way they run in your car is worlds apart. Used motor oil shows a lot thicker and sludgy in conventional oil vs. synthetic oil, given the same amount of wear. Synthetic oil is by far better for performance. It protects the engine due to lower levels of friction. Additives help clean the engine of deposits. And, fewer impurities mean it burns cleaner, thickens far more slowly, and has fewer deposits to start.

“According to industry tests, synthetic oil engines perform 47% better than engines using conventional motor oil.” – AAA

Choosing the Best Motor Oil for your Vehicle

A full synthetic oil is the best oil option for any engine. Synthetic oil cuts down the hassles or oversights related to more frequent oil changes and deposits.

If synthetic oil is outside your maintenance budget, go with a blend or rotate between a full synthetic and non-full synthetic every other oil change. Changing car oil will not damage your vehicle. Keep a record to remember the mileage, next oil change date, and type of oil.

It’s always best to consult your owner manual to lookup your manufacturer’s recommendations on oil viscosity grade and their recommended oil specifications. If you have trouble locating this information feel free to give our team of experts mechanics at Aamco of Keller a call for their recommendations.

AAMCO of Keller – Full Service Oil, Lube & Filter Change

At AAMCO of Keller, TX we know regularly scheduled vehicle maintenance is essential to ensure your car runs great for years to come. An oil and filter change is at the top of any good tech’s must-do list. This is one of the most important maintenance services you should do for your car, truck or SUV on a regular basis.

A lot of outside factors can affect the frequency rate in which your vehicle will require an oil change. For example, if you are often in stop-and-go traffic, city driving or go on frequent short trips, you should likely change your oil more often as this kind of driving can work your engine a little bit harder.

To have a better understanding of what your vehicle model requires, like conventional or synthetic oil specifications and what viscosity, refer to your car’s owner’s manual for the factory’s recommendation on engine oil requirements.

AAMCO of Keller is your one-stop shop for all of your car, truck or SUV’s repairs and maintenance needs. From the most basic services, like changing oil, fluids and filters, to the most complicated issues, like transmission repair, AAMCO’s expert techs have you covered.

We make getting an oil change quick, easy and cost-effective with convenient online appointment scheduling and great money saving special offers to keep you and your family safe on the road.

The Keller AAMCO Full Service Oil & Filter Change also includes our comprehensive Vehicle Courtesy Check® performed by our expert technicians to ensure all major systems in your vehicle are in good working order.

AAMCO of Keller Full Service Oil & Filter Change includes:                                                 

  • Up to 5 quarts of engine oil
  • New oil filter
  • Plus AAMCO’s comprehensive Vehicle Courtesy Check ®, to ensure all major systems in your vehicle are in good working order.

Aamco of Keller Your Locally Trusted Oil Change Experts

Keeping you and your family safely on the road is important to us at AAMCO Keller.  If you believe you’re facing potential issues with your car or need routine maintenance such as a regularly scheduled Oil and Filter change , our expert team at AAMCO of Keller is here to help. Stop into our shop located at 1485 S. Main St., Keller, TX 76248 or contact us today for an appointment.

Have your car properly serviced by the locally trusted experts at AAMCO of Keller.  Call us today at (817) 431-0009 or schedule your appointment online now.

Save at AAMCO of Keller with this special Full Synthetic Oil Change Coupon

_____________________________________________________________________________________

AAMCO Of Keller, TX

AAMCO Transmissions of Keller our technicians are the best trained in the industry with not only 20 years experience on new cars but also over 50 years experience in the automotive industry. Our goal is not only to provide the best product in the industry but also the best customer service available. A recent survey showed that over 95% of cars serviced with major repairs at AAMCO are still in service with many reaching the 100,000 mile range without failure.

At AAMCO of Keller we believe that getting the best value for your dollar is the most important part of any repair. That is why all of our services come with a minimum of a one year warranty and not the typical 90 days provided by most repair shops. We use only the highest quality parts available.

AAMCO of Keller is a full-service auto repair and preventive maintenance center. We are automatic and manual transmission experts. We provide transmission service and maintenance as well as transmission flush & filter service. We are conveniently located for your service and maintenance needs and we are qualified to repair and service all domestic and imported cars, trucks, and SUV’s using parts that are equal to or exceed the standards of those parts originally used by the manufacturers. We are definitely the cost-effective alternative to car dealership servicing for all scheduled maintenance of your personal or company auto, pickup or truck. Regardless of where it was built, we will service your car or truck and still maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. We honor most extended warranties.

AAMCO of Keller is independently owned and operated. We pride ourselves on getting the services or repairs on your auto right the first time by our highly qualified service technicians. So drop your auto, SUV, or truck off today and allow us to provide you with excellent service. We look forward to servicing your vehicle.