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Nicolai

Hybrid Cvt- Any Problems?

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So, I just had a rather uncomfortable talk with my local garrage.

As some of you may know by now, I currently drive a Suzuki Swift 1.3 2006 with an automated clutch (similar to Toyota's Multi mode system). After only 21,000 miles, the transmission went crazy and needed a reset by plugging a computer into the car's "head unit". This helped but the problem wasn't totally cured. And now again after 23,600 miles the clutch is slipping again albeit not as much as much as at 21,000. Garage will do another reset free of charge, however, from what I told over the phone, they estimate a new clutch is needed!

So, are there any problems with the hybrid CVTs. Will they "slip" and need adjustment/replacement just as an AMT/Multi mode will?

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Repeat after me - there is no gearbox in a Toyota Hybrid.

In the Gen 2 model, Toyota used to use the terminology eCVT to signify that their solution was different from a conventional CVT gearbox. With the Gen 3, I think that terminology was dropped, perhaps it was too subtle and confusing for most journalist and the public to grasp!

There are no rubber belts (pull), steel belts (push), pulleys, clutches*, etc, in the Toyota Hybrid systems because there is no mechanical CVT gearbox. Mechanically, the Toyota Hybrid is a very elegant and simple system. The Continuously Variable Transmission on a Toyota Hybrid is achieved by controlling the speed of the two electric motors and one petrol engine.

*Technically (for the pedantic amongst you), on the Prius there is a clutch between the engine and the hybrid transmission, but it doesn't operate as a conventional clutch as the plates are permanently engaged.

BTW Nicolai, I have a bet with myself that you are never going to buy another car, ever, everything has problems :flowers:

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Hehe. I will buy another car for sure. I need the Auris touring as the Swift is too small with a child and pram.Just checking to make sure if I should expect a gear repair on the Hybrid as well. What are the common problems with T hybrids then (if any can be called common, that is).

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Well, technically inaccurate as the Toyota Hybrids does not have a gearbox - it has a Continuously Variable Transmission. If it is the same as other Hybrids then accelerating hard is noisy.

Commonest faults seem to occur in clusters by year.

Toyota has something of a track record IMHO for bad design of steering columns - it only affects certain models or generations.

Coolant pumps - same thing. The Inverter coolant pump is very important because the Inverter is expensive and actually is probably more of a worry than the petrol engine to keep cool.

Brake discs seem to be a problem. Whether it is under use or just bad materials I am not sure? Also I would guess poor preventative maintenance by the dealers contributes to brake components such as the floating callipers seizing.

If you do low mileage, the small 12V Battery will need early replacement.

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This years JD power survey showed the Prius ( which shares many Auris components) as being in 3rd place overall with a score of 83% with the winning car being a Kia Sportage with a score of 83.8%. The jdpower survey takes its results from surveying owners of 3 year old cars.

I think that any car in the top ten has to be a good one. Look at JD Power results in recent years and you will see that top ten slots feature a high percentage of Toyota group cars( including Lexus). You will also see that the Toyota hybrid scores consistantly highly.

Only death and taxes are certainties.If you look hard enough at anything you will find something you can worry about.

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I like the CVT trans,and it only becomes noisy when driven wrong..if you drive it like a diesel needs to be driven.. i.e.pedal to the floor then of course it is going to be loud,driven properly, not so noisy,anyone wanting an auto can expect this..This is my first Toyota and i have to say i am very impressed...so far... by the quality of the build..

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I like the CVT trans,and it only becomes noisy when driven wrong..if you drive it like a diesel needs to be driven.. i.e.pedal to the floor then of course it is going to be loud,driven properly, not so noisy,anyone wanting an auto can expect this..This is my first Toyota and i have to say i am very impressed...so far... by the quality of the build..

At Carbuyer.co.uk, they don't like the "rough gear changes in hybrid". I am surprised to read this: If the Hybrid drivetrain is exactly the same as in the Prius/previous Auris. It's not rough at all. Unless of course by "rough" they mean "noisy". I hope it's identical to the one found found in the Prius. If so, I will have no problems buying a Hybrid with CVT.

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I like the CVT trans,and it only becomes noisy when driven wrong..if you drive it like a diesel needs to be driven.. i.e.pedal to the floor then of course it is going to be loud,driven properly, not so noisy,anyone wanting an auto can expect this..This is my first Toyota and i have to say i am very impressed...so far... by the quality of the build..

At Carbuyer.co.uk, they don't like the "rough gear changes in hybrid". I am surprised to read this: If the Hybrid drivetrain is exactly the same as in the Prius/previous Auris. It's not rough at all. Unless of course by "rough" they mean "noisy". I hope it's identical to the one found found in the Prius. If so, I will have no problems buying a Hybrid with CVT.

snigger snigger. The toyota hybrid CVT doesnt have steps like a "rubber band" CVT I am guessing that a hack at carbuyer was searching for something bad to say about Toyota CVT systems in order to sell his article. It does illustrate however, just how "expert" some of these journalists can be when they make erroneous remarks like "rough gear changes in hybrid" . I wonder,did this hack actually drive the vehicle or just copy somebody elses remarks and add a few negative ones of his or her own? :)

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Car buyer are completely out of touch; the writer has not got a clue about the Toyota hybrids and is ignorant of how the gear train operates. I am more than pleased with our Prius T Spirit and is not noisy. Passengers nearly always remark how quiet it is.

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Before i bought my previous Hybrid.. a Honda Civic (saloon with CVT))..i also read a lot of so-called experts reviews.."the trans was noisy/jerky etc) and so i test drove one myself and was pleasantly suprised,i found the CVT excellent,i have been driving/owning auto's for forty years,the first was a Vauxhall 101 estate and things have progressed quite a lot since then,before i went down the "hybrid path" i had owned Mercedes(diesel) for the previous 15 years..all auto,i like my CVT just as much as i did any of the conventional 5/6 speed auto's,its just a case of learning how to drive one properly,and certainly not like a sports car with a gearstick..just like all the so-called motoring experts will..in my own opinion ..of course :D

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The Prius is the first auto we have ever driven. We were initially put off by the thought of a CVT driven by rubberbands, but the Prius is nothing like that. The CVT terminology is only used because it's the closest fit for insurers.

tbh going to the hybrid auto has been the best thing we ever did as we mainly do city driving.

The 'creep' imitation is good...a cvt doesn't have creep like a standard auto so it was programmed in to make things familiar.

There's no kickdown like an auto, but you can tell from increased noise when you hoof it, just a continuous increase in spped.

There's no power bands, just continuous power.

There's no turbo to kick in, just continuous power.

tbh I wish standard autos were made with this setup as it is just so good.

imo having the 'park' as a button on the GenII also makes it easier than putting the gearstick into park.

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Can't agree about the P button. After two years it still feels alien to press a button to move to park and move a lever to move to drive. Why not one control, and, ideally, one that stays where you put it and doesn't spring back to a central position.

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It depends on what you consider a gear box. The Toyota Hybrid does use gears to transmit power. It has a sun gear with planetary gears and a ring gear around it. This is a gear set and Ive avoided the name gear box but it is basically a box with gears that evenly transmist the power from the electric motors and ICE,

Its may not be like other CVT's with belts etc but again its end result is very similar as the transmission basically is constantly variable. So really it is a gearbox and CVT but is quite unique in design for the automative industry. Hence the confusion over what to call it.

An very easy explanation can be found here but Ive seen numerous similar articles and demos on the net

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/hybrid-car7.htm

As to how to drive it properly or having harsh gear changes. There is no gear changes as such so the power delivery is very even. Driving it properly is simple, place your foot on the accelerator.

The harshness which in my opinion is basically a noisy engine under harsh acceleration. The harder you press the accelerate the noisier the engine becomes. Unlike other conventional cars where the engine tone starts low and builds as you accelerate and is repeated throughout the gear range so its constantly changing. The Prius maintains a more constant engine note while you accelarate. The harder you accelerate the noiser the engine note, like hard revving a normal car in third gear and holding it there.

However if you gently accelarate its quiet and with moderate acceleration its fine also, its really just harsh sounding if pushed.

The unit itself is very reliable.

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Can't agree about the P button. After two years it still feels alien to press a button to move to park and move a lever to move to drive. Why not one control, and, ideally, one that stays where you put it and doesn't spring back to a central position.

I quite liked the P button. I have just come out of an Auris Hybrid after the best part of 12 months and gone into a Yaris CVT. I just cannot get used to the conventional P R N D shift, feels really strange at the moment

Kingo :thumbsup:

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A differential is a box with gears in it and is used to transfer power to the wheels... it isn't afaik a gear box. The sun and planetary gears in Toyota's PSD are fixed ratio like in a differential.

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I like the P button. I like it when car designers break with tradition. The Gen 3 was a backward step in many areas imho.

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I

As to how to drive it properly. Driving it properly is simple, place your foot on the accelerator.

However if you gently accelarate its quiet and with moderate acceleration its fine also, its really just harsh sounding if pushed.

.AND THIS IS HOW TO DRIVE IT PROPERLY,..AND NOT LIKE A SPORTS CAR.current-mood-happy.gif

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I like the P button. I like it when car designers break with tradition. The Gen 3 was a backward step in many areas imho.

Me too. The functionality of a mechanical box and gear level is limited by the very fact that it is a mechanical device. Once freed of the limitations of a mechanical box, why not seek a better arrangement. I like the way in which the device defaults to the "Park" position whenever it is turned off, thus achieving a safe mode without the use of the over-rides that mechanical boxes require.

I would be happy to consider push-button controls for all gear/mode changes.

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I

As to how to drive it properly. Driving it properly is simple, place your foot on the accelerator.

However if you gently accelarate its quiet and with moderate acceleration its fine also, its really just harsh sounding if pushed.

.AND THIS IS HOW TO DRIVE IT PROPERLY,..AND NOT LIKE A SPORTS CAR.

I was trying to avoid telling people how to drive their car. Merely indicating just how easy the Prius is to drive. Overall I have found the car to be the most relaxing and uncomplicated car to drive despite what appaers to be a high tech hybrid.

For best economy i accept gentle acceleration and smooth driving is the best combination. However many drivers are willing to sacrifice some economy for a more "spirited" driving performance and providing they are driving within the legal limits and safely for all road conditions and other users at the time, its not for me to tell them whether they are driving properly or not.

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If I understand the CVT, I think it works like an epicyclic system.

It has a sun gear, planet carriers holding planets and an outer ring gear.

Depending which gear is driven and which gear is given resistence then the speed of the last gear will change.

I know it is not a very clear description, but I have not payed with epicyclics for a few years and am not a teacher.

I hope this can help a few to understand why the CVT is not a "gearbox" in the traditional sense.

Sooty

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Hi Timberwolf,

Unfortunately your link did not work.

Try this one: http://en.wikipedia....icyclic_gearing

HTH

No, sorry about that link - it wasn't the epicyclic gears page itself that interested me but where it led me by following a chain of links from that article.

It was this one about EVTs that I was trying to post from my phone. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_(mechanics)#Electric_variable

Further to my last post I have also found this explanation.

http://auto.howstuff...hybrid-car7.htm

I think this will clear up any confusion.

Sooty

Oh no, they used the G word in that article, LOL!

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