Honda Accord CVT Transmission: Overview, Structure, Outstanding Features

CVT transmission is today’s most modern automatic transmission in the automotive industry.

Honda Accord CVT transmission is no stranger to many Honda drivers, with the outstanding features it brings to your journey.

So, What is the Honda CVT transmission? How is it structured and working? Does Honda have a CVT transmission? All will be revealed in the article below.

Overview of CVT Transmission 

honda accord cvt transmission

CVT stands for Continuously Variable Transmission, a type of transmission providing infinite gear ratios.

This automatic transmission helps vehicles achieve exceptional fuel economy efficiency while maintaining smooth and seamless operation.

CVT transmissions are increasingly featured in new car models, ranging from small cars to more high-end vehicles.

Prominent automotive brands, notably Honda, have adopted CVT in many vehicle offerings.

A CVT transmission honda accord operates by continuously varying the transmission ratio without distinct gears.

Instead of using gears like traditional transmissions, it utilizes a system of belts and two pulley sets (secondary pulley and primary pulley).

A V-belt or a timing belt connects these pulleys. The belt’s position on the pulleys can be adjusted to change the effective diameter of the pulleys, thereby altering the gear ratio.

The CVT can provide suitable gear ratios corresponding to the engine’s rotational speed by varying the gear ratio.

A CVT transmission continuously changes the gear ratio without fixed gears. It achieves this through the use of belts and two pulley sets.

The adjustable pulleys enable the transmission to create different gear ratios, allowing the engine to operate efficiently at various speeds.

Structure and Working Principles of Honda Accord CVT Transmission 

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and Automatic Transmission (AT) are automatic transmissions controlled by a hydraulic system.

However, the Honda CVT transmission differs from AT in the following aspects: CVT is a type without fixed gears, whereas AT has multiple gear ratios such as 1, 2, 3, and 4… similar to a manual transmission.

Let’s learn more about the structure, working principles, and meaning of symbols on the CVT Honda transmission.


The structure of a CVT Honda transmission consists of three components:

  • A pulley system, including an input pulley connected to the engine’s rotating shaft.
  • An output pulley drives the wheels.
  • A high-power transmission belt made of either rubber or metal.

These three components work together to operate the CVT Honda Accord.

The pulley system, composed of the input and output pulleys, adjusts the effective diameter of the pulleys through the movement of the belt.

This variation in diameter changes the gear ratio, allowing for seamless and continuous power transmission from the engine to the wheels.

The transmission belt, made of durable and high-power material such as rubber or metal, transfers power between the pulleys.

Working Principle

What is a Honda CVT?” or “How does the Honda CVT work?” – Two conical shapes form the input and output pulleys tilted at a 20-degree angle and opposite each other.

Inside the groove between the two conical shapes is a running belt, and the distance between them can be flexibly adjusted.

When the conical shapes move apart, the belt sinks deeper into the groove, reducing the radius of the wrapped belt around the pulley.

Conversely, when the conical shapes come closer, the radius of the belt also increases.

The necessary force to change the distance between the conical shapes can be achieved through either springs or hydraulic pressure in a CVT transmission Honda.

Typically, the pulley system and the belt diameter variations go hand in hand.

The input pulley (driving pulley) is connected to the engine’s rotating shaft and directly receives energy from the engine into the transmission.

The output pulley (driven pulley) is connected to the input pulley and transfers torque to the drivetrain, ultimately causing the wheels.

On the other hand, the radius of rotation refers to the distance between the pulley axis and the point where the belt wraps around.

The ratio of the input pulley’s radius to the output pulley’s radius of rotation determines the “gear ratio” of the transmission.

This means that as the radius of the pulley system changes, the corresponding transmission ratio also changes.

This is why the Honda CVT transmission has no fixed gears and can operate simultaneously with different engine types and vehicle speeds.

Meaning of Symbols on CVT Honda Transmission

  • P: Parking mode, only used when the vehicle is at a complete stop
  • R: Reversing mode
  • N: Inaccessible mode, the car disconnects between the engine and the transmission, often used when pushing or pulling the vehicle…
  • D: Driving mode, this is the primary mode used when the car is running

Pros & Cons of Honda Accord CVT Transmission

cvt transmission honda accord


  • Fuel Efficiency

In contrast to conventional automatic transmission fluid, the CVT can continuously adjust gear ratios, ensuring optimal engine efficiency.

Additionally, the CVT provides a virtually limitless range of gear combinations, leading to significantly improved fuel efficiency.

  • Lightweight

Typically, CVT transmissions are characterized by their compact and lightweight design compared to conventional gearboxes.

CVTs take up less space and are also lighter than traditional transmission options.

  • Easier, Less Expensive Configuration

Conventional automatic transmissions are intricate systems with numerous moving components.

In contrast, CVTs have a simpler design, making them easier and faster to assemble and more cost-effective to produce.

  • Smooth Performance

The CVT can adapt to various driving conditions and requirements. Its placement in the vehicle ensures optimal power and efficiency at all times.

Whether faced with different situations, the CVT ensures a seamless and uninterrupted driving experience due to its continuous and smooth operation without gear changes.


  • Not Yet Made For Speed

CVTs are undergoing advancements to optimize fuel efficiency, making them a desirable choice for hybrid vehicles.

  • Creating a Sense of Unfamiliarity

For experienced drivers who have accumulated years of driving experience, the CVT may appear unconventional and peculiar.

The throttle response may feel slower compared to a traditional transmission. However, vehicles equipped with a CVT can sustain higher RPM levels without placing excessive strain on the engine.

  • Expensive Maintenance Costs

Due to its relatively recent introduction in the automotive industry, a limited number of experts specializing in CVT technology is less than the traditional automatic.

The scarcity of certified CVT technicians can result in higher service costs at independent repair shops.

So,Does Honda use CVT transmissions?” the answer is always “yes.” In today’s advanced vehicles, it is recommended to equip them with CVT transmission fluid, and the Honda Accord is no exception.

The advantages of these CVT transmissions are incredibly outstanding instead of regular transmissions.

They provide a smooth driving experience and have an extended warranty.

The mentioned disadvantages of transmission issues are negligible and easily remedied, especially for a wealthy owner.

Is the Honda Accord CVT Transmission Durable?

Although Honda Accord CVT is a familiar piece of equipment, many people still wonder if they are durable. And the answer is “yes.”

CVT transmissions, which are continuously variable and lack traditional gears, provide smooth and stable gear shifting while minimizing power loss from the engine, providing efficient fuel combustion, accord sport, and fuel savings.

Due to their simple design and operating principles, CVT transmission oil encounters a few technical issues during usage.

Even in the event of a malfunction, the repair costs are not high due to their straightforward construction.

Moreover, with careful maintenance, a Honda Civic CVT reliability can last at least five years or more, saving trans fluid, accord sport, extended warranty, and fuel efficiency.

Notes to Maintain The Life of The Honda Accord CVT Transmission

honda accord cvt

To prolong the life of the gearbox, you need to use the gearbox properly.

The driver must switch the gear lever to the appropriate driving mode when using a continuously variable CVT transmission.

Here are some tips when using a CVT transmission:

Maintain Steady Throttle Input

Maintaining a stable throttle input contributes to fuel efficiency and reduces pressure on the transmission and engine.

An unstable throttle input can cause issues such as sudden acceleration, making it difficult to shift gears and affecting the vehicle’s overall performance.

To ensure a stable throttle input, it is essential to maintain a steady foot on the accelerator pedal while driving. Avoid abrupt throttle movements and accelerate gradually.

Do Not Rest Your Foot On The Brake Pedal

Resting your foot on the brake pedal while driving for an extended period can lead to premature brake wear and create unnecessary strain on the engine.

Therefore, avoiding resting your foot on the brake pedal while driving is essential.

This practice not only helps prevent rapid brake wear but also contributes to fuel efficiency and minimizes the occurrence of sudden braking, ensuring safety for the driver.

Limit Fast Driving

Driving at high speeds can result in rapid fuel consumption and strain the transmission.

Therefore, if this condition occurs frequently and for extended periods, users who regularly engage in speeding, reckless overtaking, or driving above the speed limit will decrease the variable transmission’s lifespan.

Switch Gears to Neutral Whenever Possible

Drivers should shift the CVT transmission to neutral (N) when stopping at a red light or when stuck in traffic to help reduce fuel consumption.

When briefly stopping at a red light, the driver only needs to keep the gear lever in the “D” (Drive) mode and should not switch back and forth between the “D” and “N” modes.

Doing so can decrease the lifespan of the valve system and the torque converter.

However, if the vehicle remains stationary at a red light for an extended period or when stuck in traffic, the driver can shift to the “N” (Neutral) mode.

Gentle When Going Downhill

Quick acceleration when going downhill can put stress and pressure on the drivetrain, leading to potential damage to the transmission and increased fuel consumption.

Therefore, to reduce strain on the transmission, it is advisable to exercise gentle acceleration when going downhill.


With the specific analysis mentioned above, we have the answer to the question, “What is the Honda CVT transmission?“.

Suppose you appreciate a smooth and gentle driving experience in a Honda vehicle while prioritizing fuel efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and durability.

In that case, the Honda Accord CVT transmission is suitable for you.

However, if that is not the case, you should opt for a traditional manual transmission to meet your commuting needs.

Once your CVT transmission experiences issues, you’d better take your car to the nearest transmission shops for timely repairs in performance transmission.

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