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Old 22nd November 2023, 13:42   #1
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Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

Hello BHPians. I am writing this post to share something I observed in my 2023 Verna IVT user manual. The service guide says that IVT (Hyundai's name for CVT) fluid needs no checks or service under normal usage. Please find below the screenshot of the user manual.

Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance-hyundai_cvt_1.jpg

Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance-hyundai_cvt_3.jpg

The keyword here being "Normal Usage". I have always heard and read that the life of a CVT transmission depends a lot on timely replacement of CVT fluid with the right fluid. I remember my old Honda City CVT had a schedule to replace CVT fluid every 40,000 KM. So is Hyundai using some special grade CVT fluid? Or Is Hyundai expecting customers not to use the car for a long mileage (above 1lakh km, may be)

Some more screenshots to give you a perspective on what is a normal usage, what calls for replacement etc are given below:

Under severe usage, Hyundai suggests CVT fluid replacement every 90,000 km

Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance-hyundai_cvt_2.jpg

And what constitutes a severe usage is defined in the following page.

Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance-hyundai_cvt_5.jpg

Additionally in case vehicle has submerged under water any time, CVT fluid needs to be replaced.

Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance-hyundai_cvt_4.jpg

I am little confused with these pages. Hyundai has not given a scenario of service after 80,000 km. What will be the course of action after 80,000km. (I may not drive that much within warranty period of 7 years, 1 lakh km, but still I am interested to know how it will be post 80k km until 100k km)

Last edited by harikr : 22nd November 2023 at 13:45.
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Old 22nd November 2023, 14:02   #2
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

Manufacturers play all sorts of "low maintenance" tricks to:

- Portray an image of being fuss-free to own

- Lower the perceived cost of maintenance

- Avoid training their dealerships on complex tasks

- Avoid stocking items that are used once in 5 - 7 years

- Lower the cost of their all-inclusive service packages

- Make things easy as possible for the first owner. OEMs know that most people will sell off the car in the initial 4 - 5 years. Hence, the headache of costly replacements falls on the 2nd or 3rd owner which frankly are budget car buyers manufacturers don't care about. As long as the car manufacturer keeps the 1st owner of the car happy, they know they bought loyalty. Short-term thinking, I know.

BMW says the ZF-8 gearbox in my 530d doesn't require oil changes. But if I go on the ZF website, I see clear instructions to change the transmission fluid at the 7 (or 8) year mark FOR THE SAME GEARBOX. ZF even sells a full service kit for the same (with filter etc.) which I got done at substantial cost. But a good gearbox is as important as a good engine IMHO. Ford says its DCTs were "sealed for life" but that was all rubbish. Never ever believe the "sealed for life" claim for any mechanical product (different matter for electronic items).

The no.1 cause of CVT failure is not getting the fluid replaced periodically. For the old City, Honda said to replace the CVT fluid every 40,000 km. I would personally stick with that (or earlier). Changing the gear oil once in 4 - 5 years shouldn't hurt any car owner.

Maruti manual says to check, refill or change at 30,000 km intervals.

Related Thread 1 (CVT Transmission (Gear) Oil replacement for the Maruti Baleno CVT)

Related Thread 2 (Why you should periodically change your Automatic Transmission Fluid (even if "sealed for life"))

Related Thread 3 (Correct Gear Oil for CVT Transmission)

On a related note, this is also why I am not a believer of 15,000 km engine oil change intervals. For me, it is 10,000 km tops!

Last edited by GTO : 22nd November 2023 at 14:04.
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Old 22nd November 2023, 14:52   #3
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

I have a mixed response to the OP post.

Many well known youtuber car channels have proven that "anything lifetime" is the 1st lie carmakers tell you. So mind tells me that Hyundai will surely take you for a ride.

But my humble 2013 Chevy Sail UVA Diesel was promised to have the lifetime fluid. It came with the most expensive (in my lifetime) oil I have ever heard in my life. See it to believe it. I sold my car at 1,95,000 Kms. I changed the oil 1st time at around 1.85 or 1.9Lac Kms, dont recall, but I never had any issue, Just changed it because I was bored during Covid break.

Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance-123.jpg

Maybe that transmission was the best thing that GM did on the Sail UVA.
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Old 23rd November 2023, 12:57   #4
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The no.1 cause of CVT failure is not getting the fluid replaced periodically. For the old City, Honda said to replace the CVT fluid every 40,000 km. I would personally stick with that (or earlier). Changing the gear oil once in 4 - 5 years shouldn't hurt any car owner....
On a related note, this is also why I am not a believer of 15,000 km engine oil change intervals. For me, it is 10,000 km tops!
100% agree. I changed the CVT gearbox at 40K kms. Surprisingly the service center didn't insist on the same. And all* my cars serviced every 10K kms ( *3 series was the only exception as it had CBS - condition based servicing - or some such thing)
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Old 23rd November 2023, 13:06   #5
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

This sounds just another ploy by Hyundai to portray lower cost of maintenance, etc. In real life conditions, it's highly unlikely that this will prove to be true.
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Old 23rd November 2023, 13:16   #6
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

Hyundai is not the first company to play this trick. Tata had claimed the ATF on the Hexa Automatic was ‘filled for life’ and that the ‘gearbox is sealed and cannot be opened’. Rest assured, after a spate of automatic Hexas started having transmission issues over time, a circular was quietly issued that recommended changing both ATF as well as oil cooler every 50k km. They have now magically starting having these items on their inventory list.

There is no such thing as a transmission not requiring oil change. It has to be done. Ideally, not later than every 40k km for a CVT gearbox.
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Old 23rd November 2023, 15:20   #7
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

To be on safer side 50k kms/ 5 years is a good interval to change transmission oil in our conditions.

Tata also does not recommend replacing AMT kit oil. But after 2 years of usage the oil is jet black.

When manufactures say lifetime no maintenance, they mean it as no maintenance until the end of warranty. Lifetime = Warranty period.
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Old 23rd November 2023, 23:26   #8
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

Skoda recommended transmission fluid change at 60k km service for the Aisin manufactured torque converter automatic gearbox (1.0 tsi engine). I had a service package and the ASC was resisting despite me showing him this was listed as part of the package. Finally relented after some senior level consultation.
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Old 23rd November 2023, 23:49   #9
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

Anything that rotates /propels require maintenance or replacement at regular interval in order for it to function effectively.
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Old 24th November 2023, 07:53   #10
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

What they mean by 'lifetime' fluid is that it is designed to last throughout the transmission's lifespan. How long will it last, you may wonder? Well, it's engineered to endure well beyond the car's warranty period. So, when it eventually needs replacement, acquiring a new one won't be the concern of the original owner.

Instead of solely consulting the car manual, it's often more beneficial to seek instructions from the company that manufactured the transmission. Discovering the precise service instructions from the transmission manufacturer can be a valuable alternative.
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Old 24th November 2023, 09:43   #11
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

For a CVT gearbox, I would recommend that the fluids be changed every 25000 miles(40K Kms) for rough/stop-go driving and 40000 miles(60000 kms) if the driving is mostly on the highway.

These newer CVTs(Jatco/AISIN) need fresh fluids to perform to their optimum levels and let go very quickly. Nissans with CVT are notorious in the USA for their piss poor reliability and the JATCO giving up the ghost around the 100K mark. Many auto diag youtube channels recommend the 60K mile mark fluid changes.

Our driving conditions will be considered 'extreme' therefore the 25K mile fluid change becomes must lest it lead to a major component failure and $$$$ expenses.
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Old 24th November 2023, 10:57   #12
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by harikr View Post
Hello BHPians. I am writing this post to share something I observed in my 2023 Verna IVT user manual. The service guide says that IVT (Hyundai's name for CVT) fluid needs no checks or service under normal usage. Please find below the screenshot of the user manual.

The keyword here being "Normal Usage". I have always heard and read that the life of a CVT transmission depends a lot on timely replacement of CVT fluid with the right fluid. I remember my old Honda City CVT had a schedule to replace CVT fluid every 40,000 KM. So is Hyundai using some special grade CVT fluid? Or Is Hyundai expecting customers not to use the car for a long mileage (above 1lakh km, may be)

Under severe usage, Hyundai suggests CVT fluid replacement every 90,000 km

Additionally in case vehicle has submerged under water any time, CVT fluid needs to be replaced.

I am little confused with these pages. Hyundai has not given a scenario of service after 80,000 km. What will be the course of action after 80,000km. (I may not drive that much within warranty period of 7 years, 1 lakh km, but still I am interested to know how it will be post 80k km until 100k km)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
BMW says the ZF-8 gearbox in my 530d doesn't require oil changes. But if I go on the ZF website, I see clear instructions to change the transmission fluid at the 7 (or 8) year mark FOR THE SAME GEARBOX. ZF even sells a full service kit for the same (with filter etc.) which I got done at substantial cost. But a good gearbox is as important as a good engine IMHO. Ford says its DCTs were "sealed for life" but that was all rubbish. Never ever believe the "sealed for life" claim for any mechanical product (different matter for electronic items).

The no.1 cause of CVT failure is not getting the fluid replaced periodically. For the old City, Honda said to replace the CVT fluid every 40,000 km. I would personally stick with that (or earlier). Changing the gear oil once in 4 - 5 years shouldn't hurt any car owner.

Maruti manual says to check, refill or change at 30,000 km intervals.
Even Toyota claims that the transmission fluid never needs to be replaced. But, I refer to The Car Care Nut Youtube channel ( a channel by a Toyota Master technician ) to cross check such claims. He talks from his real experience of dealing with old Toyota cars. There is a video of Watch from 4:07 till 9:45 to get his thoughts about transmission fluid replacement.

TLDR

For Non-Hybrids: Torque converter transmissions that use the ATF WS transmission fluid & for normal CVT Transmissions
  • Recommendation is to replace transmission fluid every 100,000 kms / 6 years.
    • The earliest you can do is every 50,000 kms.
    • But, it's not recommended to do transmission fluid replacements more frequent than that.
  • In case, you never replaced the transmission fluid for 200,000 kms, then it's better to continue as is than to replace it. Replacement could potentially lead to clutch slipping.

For Hybrids: e-CVT transmissions that use ATF WS transmission fluid ( ironically the same transmission fluid used on the Torque Converters! )
  • Recommendation is to replace every 100,000 - 150,000 kms ( 6 - 9 years )
  • Even if you forgot to replace the transmission fluid ever and it is already past 200,000 kms, it's still recommended to replace it.

Why is it so ?
  • There should be a delicate balance for a debris. Not too much and not too low.
    • When you replace transmission fluid too early, the debris gets removed and there is no scope for accumulation. Accumulation of debris reinforces the clutch and compensates for the metal loss. So, when it's not there, the clutch tends to slip over a period of time.
    • If you don't replace transmission fluid at all, the debris clogs the very small passages in the valve body and valves will become sticky which leads to lesser pressure applied to the clutch.
    • If you replace the transmission fluid after running for too long without a change, the debris in the clutches gets removed. But, the small valve passages in the valve body are too clogged and sticky. The debris continues to remain there. This causes the pressure on the clutch to remain low while the debris on the clutch also goes out which means less reinforcement on the clutch. So, it's better not to replace transmission fluid at this stage than to replace it.
  • On Hybrids ( with e-CVTs ), because there are no clutches and no valve body, there are no such complications. So, there is no harm in replacing transmission fluids even at a very late stage.

Let me quote the verbatin of his thoughts on why he recommends the above.

Quote:
Why ?

Transmission does have some debris to it and it comes from the clutches. Some of it will be floating in the fluid, some of it will be caught by the filter. Most of it actually won’t.

There should be a delicate balance for this debris. There should be some debris in the transmission because that debris will follow the pressure route into the clutches and they actually reinforce the clutches because this clutch material after all will pile up on the clutch and it’ll actually reinforce it.

But you don’t want too much debris where it is now clogging the very small passages in the valve body and now the valves are sticking, the accumulators are sticking and now you have shifting concerns.

When you overdo the transmission fluid change ( like every 10,000 miles ) and you drain it 6 times and replace every last drop. Well you took all that floating material in the fluid. Now the clutches are on their own. As they wear, there is nothing to reinforce that material that’s being lost and it gets to a point where there is no more material and it starts slipping.

If you don’t change the fluid at all, the valves and valve body will start sticking because you have too much floating debris. Some of them will start sticking where the pressure is less on the clutches. When you have less pressure, you are not applying those clutches with full force. It’s going to start barely engaging. And because of that floating material in the fluid, it’s going to actually help it engage better. But then, all of a sudden 150k miles ( 240k kms ) roll and you change the fluid and take all of that debris out. And worse when you do a flush because you replace the entire capacity of the transmission. Now you have potentially full pressure or sometimes the valve is too siezed it’s not moving properly. And now you have less pressure just like you were before. But that debris that you had that was helping the clutch engage is now gone and now you start slipping immediately.

That’s the delicate balance you want with transmissions. Don’t overdo it. But don’t under do it.

Conclusion: Single drain and fill every 100,000 kms gets some of that debris out, but not all of it. So now you have the best of both worlds.


Exception: Hybrids
They ( e-CVTs ) use the standard ATF WS fluid from Toyota ( NOT the CVT transmission fluid ). Here, transmission fluid can be replaced even if it’s very old because there are no clutches, no valve body. Here the reason why the fluid is replaced mainly to keep it clean. There is no filter to catch any metallic debris from the gears going against each other. So, it’s a good habit to get it out, put fresh fluid in to keep everything clean and not allow the metallic debris to start wearing the gears prematurely. This is why 100k to 150k kms is a good transmission fluid replacement interval for e-CVTs on Hybrid Toyotas.
Now, all these recommendations are for a Toyota vehicle. You might want to do some research around the best replacement interval for your Hyundai iVT ( the name for Hyundai CVTs ). But I hope you get some insights into why it's good to change at a long enough interval and why it's not good to change it too early as well. If I were you, I might go for 90,000 kms / 6 years transmission fluid change recommended by Hyundai for rigorous usage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post

But my humble 2013 Chevy Sail UVA Diesel was promised to have the lifetime fluid. It came with the most expensive (in my lifetime) oil I have ever heard in my life. See it to believe it. I sold my car at 1,95,000 Kms. I changed the oil 1st time at around 1.85 or 1.9Lac Kms, dont recall, but I never had any issue, Just changed it because I was bored during Covid break.

Attachment 2534305

Maybe that transmission was the best thing that GM did on the Sail UVA.
I hear that the Toyota transmission fluids also have a comparable cost to it. Even the car care nut mentions that we might not have any issue at all without changing the transmission fluid on a Toyota, if we use the car for 150000 miles ( 240000 kms ). But, if we really want a maintenance free experience for 300,000 miles ( 500,000 kms ) then changing transmission fluid every 100,000 kms is his recommendation.

Last edited by amalji : 24th November 2023 at 11:12.
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Old 24th November 2023, 12:27   #13
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

If you want to learn a bit more about traditional converter auto boxes, have a look at this thread.

You will see Raymond pulling apart a complete Jaguar gearbox and explaining the various parts and what goes wrong.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/diy-d...ml#post4180547 (My Car Hobby: Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123, Alfa Romeo Spider, Jeep Cherokee & Mini One)

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Old 24th November 2023, 14:41   #14
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by harikr View Post
I am little confused with these pages. Hyundai has not given a scenario of service after 80,000 km. What will be the course of action after 80,000km. (I may not drive that much within warranty period of 7 years, 1 lakh km, but still I am interested to know how it will be post 80k km until 100k km)
I don't see where the confusion is:
Till 80,000 km: no concern whether you are driving under "normal usage" or severe conditions.
After 90,000 km: replace the fluid if the vehicle is driven under severe conditions. If your vehicle is under "normal usage", then don't bother replacing.

By the way, if your driving/vehicle encounters even one of the conditions specified under "severe conditions" it qualifies for treatment as per "severe conditions."
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Old 19th December 2023, 20:16   #15
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Re: Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance

Thank you all for the suggestions and the discussion. General consensus is that it is better to change the transmission fluid. But I don’t see it happening at dealer end.

Found this sticker on the transmission case itself. So no way dealer is allowing it.

Hyundai India claims its CVT requires no fluid change, service or maintenance-img_0197.jpeg

So like @alpha1 suggested, will follow the instructions until 7 years when my warranty expires. Once it is expired, will evaluate the situation and do accordingly. By then there will be quite a few IVT transmissions which will have crossed the 80k or 90k km mark. So Hyundai also might have some other plans. Let’s wait and see.

Hari
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