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Cvt vs 5speed Decisions???
I am drawn to the cvt transmission in our order(very soon) and my wife has never driven a stick, and I always had a 5-6 speed in most of my vehicles seperate from her. She has her own 96 civic ex that she loves and as we get older I want her to enjoy the insight as much as I do. I thus am seriously and finally going to order a cvt insight to bridge the
gap.
Thank you for your opinions
Elmer
 

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One thing about the 5 speed is that even if you already know how to shift a manual transmission, there's a lot of learning involved. First, you need to shift way, way earlier than you're used to on a regular car. Like at 2000 RPM max. Second, 4th and 5th are both extreme overdrives, so when you downshift for a corner you frequently have to go from 5th to 2nd. And in the mountains or any significant hill, you'll be down in 3rd or 2nd before you know it. 4th is almost a useless ratio, in my opinion.

So your wife will have two chores, first learning the mechanics of manual shifting, and then second the wierdness of shifting an Insight. It's doable, but perhaps a CVT would be a better choice. Also it's a lot easier to find a CVT, and they are SULEV compared to just ULEV for the manual...
 

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I have the CVT and wouldn't want it any other way. I am sure the 5 speed is nice and that is what I wanted when we made the trade, but I like not having to shift in that car. One less thing to think about everyday going to work.
 

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After having put 200K on my 5 speed 88 CRX Si, I don't regret my CVT Insight at all. I don't miss the constant clutching/shifting in stop and go traffic. Yes I realize 5 speed Insights get better mpg, but I'm quite content getting "only" 55 mpg with my CVT. It really just comes down to what you are more comfortable with. You can't go wrong with either transmission.
 

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I wanted a 5 speed just for the increased mileage but all I coould find at the time is a CVT. So, I went that route. I like it but it does have some fine tuning to be done. For example sometimes if you coust through a corner then get on the gas hard (real hard) it will lurch and buck like it's trying to decide how hard to hook up. Then at stop lights, when it kicks into auto stop it will pick up speed all of a sudden and you have to brake harder. When leaving from a stop (while in auto stop) it will sometimes restart the engine with a big bang. Not a bang as in a noise but, a bang as in it lurches forward all of a sudden (drive train lash etc.) I notice that more with the A/C on. It's probably because of a fast idle switch or something of the sort. The nice points of the CVT is most of the time it's very smooth. There's no shifting so once you start it's pure acceleration untill you let off the gas. Now that I have driven the CVT for 16,000 miles I have to say I would have looked at it harder in the beginning if I had it to do again.

Good Luck,
Todd
 

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Todd, It doesn't sound as though your CVT is running properly. I don't experience any of the conditions you mention with my 02 CVT. Being that your's is an 05, I would certainly have the dealer take a look and repair/replace anything under warranty.
 

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Go with the CVT

The 5 speed requires alot of shifting competency.......unique to the Insight.

I am shifting this ALOT.....way more than any other vehicle....and I am a very experienced driver,with alot of racing experience,and this thing is quite an experience....requires nearly constant shifting in my hilly area.

The CVT makes sense....optimal gearing in any situation,no decisions required.....Many time I am in a sub-optimal gear with the 5 speed...and I wonder if the CVT would be better for my hilly area....

Get the CVT......JMHO
 

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james said:
Humm... But if the gearing is always optimal, how come the CVT gets significantly worse mpg?
No lean burn. They went for SULEV vs ULEV emissions ratings. The japanese emissions ratings are more focused on carbon volume so their CVT's have lean burn (at least that's what I gather looking at their site with a translator). The fuel economy on theirs is much closer to the 5 speeds than ours is.
 

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love the CVT

If you have to drive in heavy, stop and go traffic like I do you'll love the CVT. Put it in drive, put on some good music, and tune out all the stress of freeway driving at 15 mph.
 

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Ever since my driver's ed car, I always preferred manual transmissions.

The CVT as an automatic is different than other automatics. It usually shifts when I want it, and with Sport mode, you can change the shifting ratios for more torque when needed, such as passing up hills. It's almost as good as having a manual, thanks to Sport mode. :wink:
 

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My bigest concern is what happens when the CVT fails. That won't be a cheap fix. I forget who on the list had his replaced, but he told me the dealer cost was 15k and it had to be shipped to japan to be worked on.
 

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kNOwtalent said:
My bigest concern is what happens when the CVT fails. That won't be a cheap fix. I forget who on the list had his replaced, but he told me the dealer cost was 15k and it had to be shipped to japan to be worked on.
Wellll,

15K :!: :?: I don't believe it. Funny how some people won't believe a low-ball price but swallow the hook on a high one. :p
(And some delaership personel are guilty of starting such rumors :( )

There is a Service Bulliten on replacing the start clutch at the dealership (I've seen it, but being a 5spd owner only briefly scanned it). Basically its an overhaul of a CVT, the most common "wear" part. I'll have to go digging for it if somebody's gotta have it to believe a more reasonable mode of repair and cost. Honda's version of the CVT was first introduced in the 94 ( :?: ) model Civic VX. Its historically been one of their most trouble free _automatic_ transmissions.

HTH! :)
 

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Insightful Trekker said:
There is a Service Bulliten on replacing the start clutch at the dealership (I've seen it, but being a 5spd owner only briefly scanned it). Basically its an overhaul of a CVT, the most common "wear" part. I'll have to go digging for it if somebody's gotta have it to believe a more reasonable mode of repair and cost. Honda's version of the CVT was first introduced in the 94 ( :?: ) model Civic VX. Its historically been one of their most trouble free _automatic_ transmissions.

HTH! :)
i would very much appreciate this if you can find it!
my CVT operates nearly the same as Todd's...
Then at stop lights, when it kicks into auto stop it will pick up speed all of a sudden and you have to brake harder.
i think this is just because the car goes from regen in fuel cut mode, to no regen and a "neutral" cvt setting (since the pistons stop moving in auto stop, but the car is still moving). so going from friction to no friction feels like you suddenly take your foot off the brake, even though you havent moved your foot
When leaving from a stop (while in auto stop) it will sometimes restart the engine with a big bang.
do you mean you roll forward after hitting 0/1mph with your foot on the brake in auto stop? i think the insight tries to stop you from rolling backwards (or forwards) and restarts if you roll after stopping. otherwise, if youre talking about just the restarting of the engine when the light turns green and you get off the brake - and it jerks a bit, i think thats kindof normal too. it happens sometimes, and i hypothesize that the speed and deceleration rate at which you enter auto stop may factor into it. and also at what speed the engine restarts (in case you never actually make a complete stop).
example sometimes if you coust through a corner then get on the gas hard (real hard) it will lurch and buck like it's trying to decide how hard to hook up.
this has been happening a little more frequently with mine recently. even not going on a sharp turn, if i go from fuel cut mode to getting back on the gas with a bit of a heavy foot, i'll get a quick throw against my seatbelt.
recently, as in within the past month, i've been getting a slight "whirrrr" sound when starting from a dead stop and not feathering the gas. it goes away once i hit about 3mph and the first lurch goes away, as if the clutch is whirring and once the cvt really engages, it goes away. it's also always made a slight grunt noise when going from a stop. louder when i mash the pedal. so i wonder if that service bulliten applies here
 

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Allnighte said:
Insightful Trekker said:
There is a Service Bulliten on replacing the start clutch at the dealership
i would very much appreciate this if you can find it
Maybe my bad (about a "Bulliten") And there's nothing special about a Honda Service bulliten really. Just is part of corporate communications to the dealers and may reflect a point that corporate has identified as a "weak" point in service. Maybe and often due to the lack of field expereince. It will take several weeks before I can get another peek without making a special 70 mile round trip, sorry. :(

Their _not_ the same as a recall. But there is something that Citrus Smoothie posted several months back about a CVT calibration proceedure. Try the forum search feature. ;)

And the process of a CVT overhaul will be a rare experience for any tech in the field. I doubt that many dealerships will opt for any such repairs. They'd rather R&R the assembly and let Honda bear the warranty burden. So while component parts are available (AFAIK) finding a competent CVT repair tech will be the most difficult part of your search.
 
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