How CVT Works in a Truck

Do you know how CVT works in a truck? More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci invented the continuously variable transmission (CVT), which has proven to be more reliable and is now replacing the widely known automatic transmission in some trucks. Many improvements have occurred with various automobile manufacturers such as GM, Honda, and Nissan adopting this kind of drivetrain. In the early 90s, the CVT was tested in formula one cars, and the f1 cars powered with the CVT were quicker than those powered by manual transmission. This article will explore how CVT works in a truck.

Components Of A CVT System

The CVT has three basic components.

  1. Hight-Power metal or a Rubber belt.
  2. Variable input pulley or the driving pulley.
  3. Output pulley or the driven pulley.

Apart from the above three basic components, the CVT has various sensors and microprocessors that aid in its smooth operation. 

How CVT Works In a Truck

At the heart of the CVT, there are variable diameter pulleys. Each of these pulleys has two cones that face each other at a 20-degree angle. At the groove of the two cones, there is a belt. Sometimes this belt is made of rubber. In such a case, a V-belt is preferred. The V-belts are v-shaped to increase the grip at the groove of the two cones. 

The belt will ride lower when the two pulley cones are far or their diameter increases. In such an event, the belt loop radius around the pulley grows smaller. 

The belt will ride higher the groove on an occasion when the two cones of the pulley are close, or the diameter decreases. In such a case, the belt’s radius around the pulley will increase. The sizes of the pulleys rely on the adjustment of hydraulic pressure, centrifugal force, or spring tension. 

The variable diameter pulleys are always in pairs. The first pulley is the drive pulley that connects to the engine through the crankshaft. It is also known as the input pulley because it powers the other pulley. The other pulley is the driven pulley, which relies on the motion from the driving pulley to turn. The driven pulley is the output pulley that transfers power to the driven shaft.

The two pulleys work interestingly. When one increases its radius, the other will reduce its radius, keeping the belt tight. The variation in the radius of the two pulleys creates an infinite gear ratio – from low to high gears. For example, the rotational speed on the driven pulley will decrease and give a lower gear when the radius of the driving pulley is small, and that of the driven pulley is large. On the other hand, if the radius of the driving pulley is large and that of the driven pulley is small, the rotational speed increases, giving rise to the higher gear. 


The CVT has a lot of gears that we cannot exhaust if we start to count. But how the driving and the driven ratio behave will give rise to either lower or higher gears. The other gears between the lower and the higher gears result from various variations in the radius of the two pulleys.

Signs of Faulty Mini Truck Transmission

The engine in the mini truck produces the rotational power, which initiates the motion. For your mini truck to move, the rotational power has to be transmitted to the wheels. The drive terrain or the transmission does the role of transmitting the rotational power to the wheels. The transmission ensures that your engine spins at the required rate while simultaneously transmitting the power to the wheels. In this guide, we will go through some of the signs of faulty mini truck transmission system.

Signs of Faulty Mini Truck Transmission

Mini trucks use two types of transmission, manual and automatic transmission. As the name suggests, the driver has to shift the gears independently in the manual transmission. Still, in the automatic transmission, the gear shifting happens automatically, depending on the terrain you are driving.

Signs of A Faulty Transmission

When your mini truck fails to shift gears, you might spend a lot repairing it. How will you know there is a problem with your transmission? Here are signs that your transmission is faulty.

Check Light on the Dashboard

The mini truck engine has sensors. The sensors are in constant communication with the engine control module. If the sensors sense a problem with the transmission, they will pass the information to the engine control module, which will later turn on the engine check light on your dashboard. 

To determine whether it is your transmission causing the engine check light, consider other signs of a bad transmission.

Shifting Problems

You will know that your transmission is faulty when your mini truck starts to develop problems when you shift the gears. It might take time to shift, or the shifting might be challenging. When you are shifting gears, your mini truck might produce a clunking sound and fail to attain the desired speed. 

When the Gears Shift Without Your Consent

It is the driver who changes the gears of a mini truck. If you realize that your gear slides into neutral when driving or hear a whining sound, or the engine produces an unusual sound when driving is a sign that your transmission is faulty. Consider taking your mini truck for a mechanical check-up as soon as it starts to shift gears automatically. 

Fluid Leakage

The transmission system has a fluid that lubricates and absorbs excess temperature generated as it works. If you try to shift your transmission and realize it is hard, check if your transmission fluid is leaking. It is rear for transmission fluid to leak. If it is leaking, you will see a clear red fluid with a sweet smell under your mini truck. 

Delaying in Engagement

Your truck might take some time to drive or move when you engage the gears. Such happens when you press the clutch pedal, engage the gears and release it, but your mini truck pauses instead of picking up immediately. In such a scenario, it is your transmission system having a problem.


If you realize that your mini truck is having shifting issues, it is necessary to take immediate action. Whenever you feel any of the above signs, never hesitate to contact your mechanic for assistance. Ignoring transmission issues can escalate into major problems which are costly to fix.