Blown-Up CVT

I was out for a drive in a customer’s car that had a complaint about a vibration. I didn’t feel anything, but as I took a left turn through an intersection, there was a clunk and the car suddenly would not move when I pressed the gas pedal. After just barely coasting through the intersection, I hopped out and just started pushing it down the road because I was just a couple hundred feet from the shop. When I got it inside I quickly figured out what was wrong.


My first thought was that maybe an axle shaft had broken, but I knew that we’d had a couple of these transmissions fail recently. I looked at the data list on the computer and there was no secondary shaft speed at all, meaning that the CVT belt had broken. After getting warranty approval from Honda, we got a new transmission ordered.


Draining the fluid gave the final indicator of what happened. The drain plug is magnetic to remove small particles from normal wear, but because something in the transmission broke, it was now holding several big chunks of metal. I also sent a sample of the fluid back to Honda as they requested.

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