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Automatic transmissions of every type have a high failure rate. Much higher than a manual transmission.
This has been the case since the beginning of automatic transmissions when they came out 70+ years ago.
This is nothing new. This is not "Honda thing". This a reality of all vehicles.

I feel for folks who have had a CVT trans failure but emotional outbursts about the failure and ranting "never buying another Honda again" don't make any sense.

If your vehicle is out of warranty and you can't afford an unexpected pricey repair bill, you should probably roll some kind of extended warranty into your monthly budget.
Read the details of the extended warranty very closely though.


Lately, there are different types of automatic transmissions.
These are new and different technologies and they have a higher failure rate than the older traditional automatics.

The multi-speed 8 and 10 speeds trans, the automated manual transmissions, dual-clutch transmissions,
CVT's and others all have a higher failure rate.
There is/were lawsuits with Ford and VW on their commonly failing DCT/DSG transmissions.
How about all the Honda Odyssey and Ridgerunner automatic transmission failures.
Chrysler is famous for their automatic transmission failures in Dodge Cummins diesel trucks.
The Nissan CVT history.
etc, etc...

A manual trans is still way more reliable than any automatic transmission.


The focus of these transmission failure discussions should be technical not emotional.


Just my thoughts... :)
 

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Automatic transmissions of every type have a high failure rate. Much higher than a manual transmission.
This has been the case since the beginning of automatic transmissions when they came out 70+ years ago.
This is nothing new. This is not "Honda thing". This a reality of all vehicles.

I feel for folks who have had a CVT trans failure but emotional outbursts about the failure and ranting "never buying another Honda again" don't make any sense.

If your vehicle is out of warranty and you can't afford an unexpected pricey repair bill, you should probably roll some kind of extended warranty into your monthly budget.
Read the details of the extended warranty very closely though.


Lately, there are different types of automatic transmissions.
These are new and different technologies and they have a higher failure rate than the older traditional automatics.

The multi-speed 8 and 10 speeds trans, the automated manual transmissions, dual-clutch transmissions,
CVT's and others all have a higher failure rate.
There is/were lawsuits with Ford and VW on their commonly failing DCT/DSG transmissions.
How about all the Honda Odyssey and Ridgerunner automatic transmission failures.
Chrysler is famous for their automatic transmission failures in Dodge Cummins diesel trucks.
The Nissan CVT history.
etc, etc...

A manual trans is still way more reliable than any automatic transmission.


The focus of these transmission failure discussions should be technical not emotional.


Just my thoughts... :)
Just for the record ... The, "I'll never buy a Honda again" was because of how they handled the issue. (Not at the dealership level but at the Honda America level.) The "ranting" you have mistaken for a "heads up" warning to others regarding the failure rates of these CVT transmissions. Yes, potentially purchasing an extended warranty could be a solution if you are dying to have an HRV. In my case, I was wanting a vehicle I could drive up to 150K miles without any major issues. Honda's came highly recommended by friends and family members.

So just to clarify ... I will not only never own another Honda ... I will not purchase a car with a CVT transmission.

Nothing emotional about it.
 

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Just for the record ... The, "I'll never buy a Honda again" was because of how they handled the issue. (Not at the dealership level but at the Honda America level.) The "ranting" you have mistaken for a "heads up" warning to others regarding the failure rates of these CVT transmissions. Yes, potentially purchasing an extended warranty could be a solution if you are dying to have an HRV. In my case, I was wanting a vehicle I could drive up to 150K miles without any major issues. Honda's came highly recommended by friends and family members.

So just to clarify ... I will not only never own another Honda ... I will not purchase a car with a CVT transmission.

Nothing emotional about it.

I'm sorry you had a CVT failure.

Can you share some technical details?

1. Year of HRV? AWD or 2wd? Mileage?
2. Original owner?
3. Symptom/details of CVT trans failure?
4. How black was the CVT fluid?
5. Any debris found in the CVT fluid? On the magnetic drain plug?
6. History/mileage of CVT fluid changes?
7. Have either or both CVT transmission filters ever been changed? If yes, mileage?
 

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2wd with 69k
Not the original owner. I bought it at 31k miles (that is the reason Honda America is denying my claim)
I was getting the highway and accelerating. When I hit 40 mph the gas pedal started revving and stopped accelerating. The car then wouldn't go over 40. All lights came on including a blinking N. I got the manuel out and read to turn the car off and let it reset. I did that and some lights went off and the N stopped blinking. I was 1 mile from Vandergriff Honda so I drive 25 mph to have the dealership look at it. No error codes found. It took about 3 hours for them to figure it out but the Honda mechanic found shaved metal in the transmission fluid.

Transmission fluid changed around 35k miles. Oil changed religiously every 3 to 5I miles.
I hope that helps.
 

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Just for the record ... The, "I'll never buy a Honda again" was because of how they handled the issue. (Not at the dealership level but at the Honda America level.) The "ranting" you have mistaken for a "heads up" warning to others regarding the failure rates of these CVT transmissions. Yes, potentially purchasing an extended warranty could be a solution if you are dying to have an HRV. In my case, I was wanting a vehicle I could drive up to 150K miles without any major issues. Honda's came highly recommended by friends and family members.

So just to clarify ... I will not only never own another Honda ... I will not purchase a car with a CVT transmission.

Nothing emotional about it.
Over time the payments on an extended warranty are liable to cost more than a transmission replacement. The CVT transmission does not fail all that much or it would not be easy to find plenty of used ones for $5-700. car-part.com Installed it won't be much more than a clutch replacement or maybe even the same.
 

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One of the reasons I wasn't concerned about buying one of the first HRVs out the door was because they were using existing technology for the transmission and engine. In fact, both for my vehicle came from Japan, so that helped my confidence in the specific car. I wonder how many of those having issues are Japan builds vs. Mexico for the transmission and or engine...
does this mean your HRV (what model year did you get) has not experienced any cvt issue yet?
 

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2016 HRV and I'm on the THIRD transmission. Yes, you read that correctly. CVT #3.

First one blew in late Nov 2018 at 108k miles, second one shit the bed a few months later in April 2019 after only 11k miles, let's hope number three is lucky. Currently have 124k miles total, so the newest transmission has about 5k miles.

I paid out of pocket for the first replacement, to the tune of roughly $5,000. And that doesn't include several hundred dollars for towing because it was a holiday and I was really far from home. The second replacement (my current transmission) was covered under the replacement warranty from November, which is only 36k miles to begin with, even though it is a factory transmission straight from Honda. HOWEVER, this third one, even though it replaces #2 only gets the remainder of the warranty from the second one. In other words, transmission #3 only got a 25k mile warranty the minute they replaced it because it just assumes the original warranty from #2, which is totally BS. Hoping this one is a keeper because I can't afford to keep shelling out thousands of dollars on a 3-year-old car.

Details are the same as the rest of you - dashboard lit up like a Christmas Tree and the vehicle went into limp mode (wouldn't go above 35-40mph) and finally went into total transmission failure. I have photos and video of the dashboard lights from the SECOND failure. All maintenance was done on time per the manual - I drive a ton obviously and I BABY my cars. Both times I was told a transmission solenoid was the culprit. Not so sure about that, but I'm not an expert so...

The first time, in November, I was driving through the mountains on the interstate with my cruise control on. The HRV was traveling up a large hill and trying to maintain a steady speed. That's when the transmission failed. The engine revved really hard (I assume because the transmission stopped working properly with the cruise control still on, so I tapped the break to release the CC) and then it would barely accelerate, so I pulled over, stared in amazement at the number of lights on my dashboard that I didn't even know I had, gathered my very rattled wits, turned on my hazards and coasted down the mountain trying to gain speed because I was only able to go 35 mph and my fellow interstate travelers were not happy. After a few minutes, I gave up realizing I could not drive the 200+ miles home like that and was a danger to both myself and other drivers. Called a tow truck. I was able to drive it both onto and off of the tow truck. I even pulled her into my driveway. Alas, the next day when I tried to drive it 2 miles to my mechanic, the HRV got to the stop sign at the end of my street and would go no further. Not backward, not forward. Nothing. Had it towed - again. This time to my mechanic. That is the sad story of transmission #1. RIP.

The second time was not as dramatic. Again, I was on the interstate but, the only unusual thing that happened was right before the dashboard lights came on, I had stopped at a gas station and accidentally locked up the steering wheel and the ignition switch wouldn't turn - you know when you have to pull the wheel really hard to one side and turn the key to release it? Well that happened and then I got back on the interstate and about 60 seconds later the dashboard lit up like before, only this time the car seemed to be running okay. Weird right? Well, I went to an Advance Auto at a nearby exit and they pulled the code and I can't remember the exact number (it's written down somewhere), but it was for the transmission solenoid - ugh. So I finished my trip, literally 6 more hours of driving, and again, it was driving fine but the dashboard lights were blinking and freaking me out, so I took the HRV straight to my mechanic. They confirmed it was a solenoid that was not working properly, but had not "failed entirely", so that is why she kept on driving. Since I had just replaced the transmission a few months prior and it was under warranty (thank GOD), they conferred with Honda and it was decided to just replace the whole thing - again.

Now, with transmission #3 I pay very close attention to how it's working and I've noticed that when I accelerate at a steady or increasing pace for an extended period of time, like when trying to merge onto the interstate, the CVT does not shift if the acceleration pressure on the pedal is steady. Or if it does finally shift, it is really delayed - like past where it should have shifted when looking at the RPMs. I literally have to lift my foot and change the pressure on the pedal, even slightly, so it shifts properly. So, of course, I try not to do that.

Has anyone else noticed this delayed shifting with their CVT? Is that normal for a CVT?

PS - Honda knows ALL about my transmission problems. They have it documented and wouldn't do anything about it to help defer the costs because I was out of warranty when the issue began. They also won't consider a recall yet. Not enough HRVs have had this problem. However, I have a lot more miles than most people, so once the HRVs have been on the road a while longer, if this becomes a bigger issue, they MIGHT do something then. I've been told to keep all my receipts, expenses, and paperwork, including towing costs.
shouldn‘t you start to shop around for a vehicle replacement by now? If I was in your shoes and 3rd tranny replaced already is a sign to get a diff vehicle as it’ll be a money pit...just my 2 cents...
 

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My daughter bought a 2016 hrv— new— based on the great luck I’ve had with Hondas over the years. She commutes about 150 mikes/day, so she bought the extended warranty. That was good, as the transmission went out at about 110,000 miles. Transmission was replaced with a rebuilt transmission, with a 36000 mile warranty. This week the transmission failed again— at 40,000 miles so the warranty will not cover. The dealership told her it will cost $7000 to replace. She has a worthless car that she still owes payments on. How can Honda produce a vehicle that is so unreliable?
Yes, she did all of her required maintenance at her Honda dealer— she has meticulous records of her maintenance.
I Looked at the HRV, CX3 and Kona before making a decision for my next vehicle 6mos ago...looking at the stories here on this forum about the CVT issues on HRV made me validate my apprehensions on getting the HRV - first of am not a fan of CVT and second I’ve also heard stories in general abt CVTs not as reliable as traditional automatics. Good thing I got something else that has a traditional 6-spd automatic. With your experience having a 3rd CVT if I were in your shoes I would‘ve just run and replaced it with another vehicle! It’ll be an endless money pit down the road! Yikes...
 

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Over time the payments on an extended warranty are liable to cost more than a transmission replacement. The CVT transmission does not fail all that much or it would not be easy to find plenty of used ones for $5-700. car-part.com Installed it won't be much more than a clutch replacement or maybe even the same.
Lol, I didn't think anyone else but me on this forum would know about www.car-part.com or www.row52.com !

A quick search on www.car-part.com in Canada does indeed show a ton of HRV CVT's available.
Of couse in Canada they are way more expensive than in the US.
I see a range of CAD$1000-1800 (US$750-1400) for the 2wd and AWD versions.

Installation, fluids, etc, probably 7hrs book labour, plan for US$1000 for the trans swap.
While a used auto trans from an auto-wrecker is a crap shoot, this is a long way from the dealer US$5k-7k quoted in this thread.

For a technical type guy, yanking a Honda engine and transaxle is routine.

Thanks for sharing that option.
 

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Lol, I didn't think anyone else but me on this forum would know about www.car-part.com or www.row52.com !

A quick search on www.car-part.com in Canada does indeed show a ton of HRV CVT's available.
Of couse in Canada they are way more expensive than in the US.
I see a range of CAD$1000-1800 (US$750-1400) for the 2wd and AWD versions.

Installation, fluids, etc, probably 7hrs book labour, plan for US$1000 for the trans swap.
While a used auto trans from an auto-wrecker is a crap shoot, this is a long way from the dealer US$5k-7k quoted in this thread.

For a technical type guy, yanking a Honda engine and transaxle is routine.

Thanks for sharing that option.
Well I know about car-part.com. I would say $1000 is pricey to swap the transmission. As many as there are available used and not that pricey, CVT failure is hardly a given for the HRV. Salvage yard pricing and availability are strictly "what the market will bear."
 

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Well I know about car-part.com. I would say $1000 is pricey to swap the transmission. As many as there are available used and not that pricey, CVT failure is hardly a given for the HRV. Salvage yard pricing and availability are strictly "what the market will bear."
2010 Honda fit 90500 klms
Still have the same trans fluid,purrs like a kitten
 

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I changed my CVT fluid (driveway-myself) at about 19,000 miles a few weeks ago- it was black and the magnet off the drain bolt had a thin layer of dark metallic powder - wiped off easily.
Knowing that the 'dump and fill' would leave about 50% of the fluid in the trans -I waited another 2000 miles and did the same dump and fill - the fluid was still failry dark and the plug still had a coating of "powder" stuck to - but since then (3 weeks ago)- the car has never "shifted" up AND down and rolls a lot nicer.
 

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Thats the break in grease
I changed my CVT fluid (driveway-myself) at about 19,000 miles a few weeks ago- it was black and the magnet off the drain bolt had a thin layer of dark metallic powder - wiped off easily.
Knowing that the 'dump and fill' would leave about 50% of the fluid in the trans -I waited another 2000 miles and did the same dump and fill - the fluid was still failry dark and the plug still had a coating of "powder" stuck to - but since then (3 weeks ago)- the car has never "shifted" up AND down and rolls a lot nicer.
thats the break in grease why its black,should be like a butter paste,if there are metal shavings when you changed the fluid ,thats the sign you ran the crap out of the car a few times and you didn't break in the transmission,you break in the transmission like you do the motor.
 

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Thats the break in grease
thats the break in grease why its black,should be like a butter paste,if there are metal shavings when you changed the fluid ,thats the sign you ran the crap out of the car a few times and you didn't break in the transmission,you break in the car like you do the motor.
I've heard some say that you should go easy on a new engine and others say to drive it like you stole it. Also, a small amount of metal shavings in a new/rebuilt engine is normal. Wouldn't it be the same for a transmission?
 

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I've heard some say that you should go easy on a new engine and others say to drive it like you stole it. Also, a small amount of metal shavings in a new/rebuilt engine is normal. Wouldn't it be the same for a transmission?
Not for the trans unless you have 60-100 miles you will see very faint glitter,the motor shavings are there after 1500 klms but you won't see it looking at the oil by eye.after 1000 miles I would dump the motor oil
 

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I Looked at the HRV, CX3 and Kona before making a decision for my next vehicle 6mos ago...looking at the stories here on this forum about the CVT issues on HRV made me validate my apprehensions on getting the HRV - first of am not a fan of CVT and second I’ve also heard stories in general abt CVTs not as reliable as traditional automatics. Good thing I got something else that has a traditional 6-spd automatic. With your experience having a 3rd CVT if I were in your shoes I would‘ve just run and replaced it with another vehicle! It’ll be an endless money pit down the road! Yikes...
Yes for the 2016 model problems not any thing newer,if you look around on ads you will find tons of people trying to unload a 2016
 

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Not for the trans unless you have 60-100 miles you will see very faint glitter,the motor shavings are there after 1500 klms but you won't see it looking at the oil by eye.after 1000 miles I would dump the motor oil
Well it was what i've seen on a few magnetic trans plugs- not grease and not shavings- it was a very fine like powder ( easier to see on the paper towel afterwards)- nothing i would be worried about- shavings to me, are a lot larger pieces of metal.This was nothing like it.
I can tell you i most certainly follow all break in procedures in all my new cars. For oil, brakes, transmissions....
 

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I have a 2016 HRV with just over 80,000...yesterday when I would take off from a stop it would seem to hitch before going then after one stop it appeared to shift to neutral and would go no further. Park and neutral were only options. Reverse, Drive and low gear resulted in nothing but reveling the engine. It’s been towed...but won’t know to until weekday when shop is open exactly what it is. Past warranty....not happy....
 
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