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Discussion Starter #1
The splines on the CVT flywheel are initially lubricated with long-life Honda grease that is held in by a rubber O-ring. If (when) the O-ring deteriorates, the grease "escapes" and the splines on the flywheel eventually wear down. At that point, the engine runs, but the flywheel doesn't engage...you are basically stuck on the road, as I was. It isn't predictable, but it is very likely to happen with all high-mileage CVT Insights, Civic Hybrids and CRZs...they all use the same spline/flywheel setup. The failure would appear to require a prohibitively expensive transmission repair or replacement, but it is actually a fairly straightforward (and much less expensive) replacement of just the flywheel. The question is whether the replacement of the spline grease and O-ring should be on the regular maintenance schedule in order to avoid full flywheel replacement.

It's possible that the splines on the manual transmission flywheels also deteriorate. However, it is also likely that the clutch plate (where the splines are located) will require replacement before the splines go. In the case of the CVT, you expect it to last the life of the car...you know...500K miles or so. But the spline grease is likely to disappear before then. Scott probably knows the typical mileage when the splines start to go. For my experience, it was around 200K miles of fairly hard use (at least for the last 30K miles with Autocross racing). The replacement flywheel I bought (from a Civic hybrid) had perfect splines at about 100K. So, somewhere between 100K and 200K miles, it would seem to make sense to have a grease/O-ring replacement service on the regular maintenance schedule. But it is obviously not there.

Granted, replacing the grease/O-ring involves the same amount of effort as doing a full flywheel replace. So maybe it's a wash to just wait until the splines disappear. But the added hassle of being stuck on the side of the road is something to be considered.

I just wanted to bring this up since those of us that are still driving the CVTs (and especially those folks with the more costly CRZs) will likely need to eventually deal with the issue. And, before you throw away what might be a mostly good CVT Insight stuck on the side of the road, consider a flywheel change before giving up.

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The answer is probably, but the prohibitive cost and effort reqd to inspect the failing oring/lack of lube will mean 99.9% won't bother.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You can't just inspect it, so it would be replacement of grease and O-Ring at some recommended mileage point. But, yes, it is a major hassle equivalent to replacing the clutch plate on a manual.

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You can't just inspect it, so it would be replacement of grease and O-Ring at some recommended mileage point. But, yes, it is a major hassle equivalent to replacing the clutch plate on a manual.

B
Those of us with more than one aged Insight enjoy the ability to take one offline while still getting our Insight fix with the other. Do you have information about the type of grease, O-ring part number, and other parts (filters? gaskets? bearings) and other work one would want to do while the tranny is on the bench?

What's the maintenance interval? 200K miles? Did your autocross finish it off? (cool - autocross in a CVT...)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I only worked on the CVT, and the plan was to only do the spline seal. Due to a little over-zealousness, I also ended up replacing the CVT rear seal, but it would not have been needed. Click on the link in the first post to see the trials, tribulations and part numbers...
B

PS...the Autocross story
 
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