Automatic transmissions have changed over the decades is car companies have sought to get more torque, more speed and more miles per gallon. Modern-day transmissions are available with eight, ten or even more gear ratios. Even so, a transmission may not deliver the ideal gear for your current speed at any particular moment. By having the most efficient gear ratio available with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), your engine can get better fuel mileage while giving a smoother ride without gear shifts.
Because a CVT never stops transferring power from the engine to the wheels, and the gear ratio is almost infinitely variable, the CVT can always find the most efficient formula for delivering power to the wheels at any speed.
The key benefit of CVTs is seamless, smooth power delivery with better gas mileage. The drawback is that the design relies entirely on a single metal band. There aren't a lot of parts that can fail on a CVT, but when the steel band breaks, the unit becomes completely disabled and the vehicle can't move either forward or back. Countless, small metal shards and bits of the metal bands spread throughout the transmission and damage the drive and reverse gears as well as the transmission case. This could have been prevented by replacing the bands before reaching 60,000 miles, which is only about half the cost of replacing the entire unit.
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