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I am starting to question if my CVT or maybe something else is contributing to a condition I am observing.
My '04 SL AWD MO has 4300 miles and I have been educating myself to drive it differently so that the gas mileage is the best it can be had. I am watching the RPM's and from a stand still I only rev to 2K and stay under it, I would say between 1300-2100 rpm's in most conditions. It feels to me like grandpa driving (moving from a BMW740i that me wife drives now) but I want to see how good a mileage I get.
Well the mileage sucks, the best mixed city and rural I get is 17.5 and during the holiday we took a 200 mile round trip on the highway, set the cruise on 72, reset the computer and all I get is 21.2 with no A/C.
During acceleration in the 1500-2100 range I feel like the tranny is slipping and bucking slightly, it is worse of a sensation if the A/C is on, it feels like you would tow a light trailer if you know what I mean.
It doesn't throw any codes, it's been like this since I have had it, maybe it is normal behavior but I would not know. I had the dealer check any codes in the engine computer or tranny, nothing.
I am wondering where to look next ? I don't know if the poor mileage has something to do with the slugghish response in the low rpm's or not. If I kick it down it goes decently, no bucking, no hesitation, takes a little to respond but it gets going.
I guess what I expected from the CVT was more of a smooth shifting through the rpm's but it feels wrong for some reason. Am I imagining things ? Of course the dealer says that they don't see anything abnormal. Could that be the case ?
Does anybody experience the same thing ? Should I be concerned ? Any ideas of where to have them check for possible problems ?
Thanks.

Marius
 

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Hello Marius,

The general consensus here is that you don't rely on the MO's computer too much as it is usually inaccurate. I often reset it just to make it come down to reality within 4-5 minutes. It tends to show more than the real thing. The best way to determine your milleage is still the real milleage (trip counter) with a full gas tank.

The CVT is well protected by a computer program that will delay most attempts to get it moving by flooring the accelerator in D mode. I guess that the belt needs a few seconds to make sure that the proper spot is reached on the pulleys.

Use the Ds mode instead if you want to experience real fun but it will show badly on gas consumption.

I have noticed only one flaw with the CVT until now. When it is cold (not yet up to running temp), it tends to accelerate in a not linear fashion, much like if I was playing quickly with the gas pedal. This is a little annoying but it doesn't last very long. I suspect that the belt is slipping a little as long as the lubricant is not properly heated. I also suspect that this warm up period may last longer in winter.

Anyone else experiencing this gas jerking behavior when the CVT is still cold?
 

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Marius - there are so many variables to mileage - weather terrain, etc. ....a vehicle approaching 4,000 lbs with a 245 hp engine..21-22 mpg at 70 + isn't bad mileage....slow down to 60 (hard to do I know) and you would probably get 23/24...mileage should continue to improve up to about 10,000 miles on the vehicle...when accelerating slowly,say at 1,500 rpm...the torque converter locks up very quickly and tends to lug the engine giving off a sluggish, slight vibration type of feeling...

Sim - when the CVT is cold , the torque converter doesn't lock up until operating temperature is reached. RPMs tend to be much higher and it does feel "different" on the gas pedal....it should operate smoothly though, and not be jerky...
 

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Most newer vehicles have greatly overestimated EPA mileage figures. The EPA bases its "test" under ambient conditions where the engine has already been warmed up and acceleration is very very slow. In fact, the EPA doesn't even test most new vehicles - they just have the manufacturer apply a formula to estimate fuel economy.

Edmunds.com reported 19mpg in mixed driving with the Murano, which is in line with what you are getting. For what its worth, I get between 14-16mpg in the city, around 20mpg going 70, and about 24 going 55-60mph. Of course, I go 80 anyways!

Remember that short trips really hurt fuel economy. It might take only a few minutes for the engine to reach the normal temperature range, but thats a few minutes of running rich that really hurts mpg.

I do not think you have a problem with the CVT. It does have the non sporty slipping feeling, which is annoying but the tradeoff is the smoothest acceleration in any car, period.
 

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I have 2k miles on mine and I get close to 22 Mpg at 75 to 80 Mph. About 75% of my travel time is over level highway, the other 25% up and down a 5% grade. I am not hard on the negine or tranny but I do not baby them either. I am expecting the mileage to get even better as time goes by.
 

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has anyone experienced this...if I am in a rush and I put the mo into drive and and step on the gas too quickly it seems to skip or stutter 2 to 3 times almost like its not catching into gear properly.
 

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The CVT is VERY different than a traditional transmission. I thoroughly understand how they work and what I am feeling when it happens. It would take pages and pages of text to adequately explain all the proper workings of the CVT that tend to feel different than we are all used to.

I find the CVT in my Murano to be the smoothest tranny I have ever owned! It does feel VERY different than what I am used to, but seems to always have the best ratio for city driving and especially when I get into the mountains... Remember, the CVT is not for everyone. It is designed to be efficient (for what it is), smooth and thoughtless. "Sporty" driving and things like "peeling out" are not an application that could be expected of the CVT. Even though I have a FWD SE; I have childishly "smoked" a front tire in a turn on a very occasion. I don't think the AWD model will be doing this...

I have been driving "Mo" for over a year now and find I am so acclimated to the CVT that when I get into a "geared" car I REALLY notice the shifting! It doesn't feel un-natural for it to be "shifting"; but it does feel like allot of extra work after being used to the CVT in Mo....

I am thrilled with my 20+ mpg I can get on the open road when I am being conservative. My "Mo" is a heavy car that displaces a lot of air. No matter how efficient the drivetrain is, there is allot of weight to get moving and allot of mass to get the air around. We have to be realistic about that.

The other thing, I notice that the CVT is so smooth it tends to shade my sense of acceleration. I will be out-accelerating other traffic frequently with ought realizing it; while un-knowingly using more gas. I find that if I accelerate at about 1500 rpm, I am moving with traffic and getting much better mileage.

I have 24,000 miles now and "Mo" is running better than ever! I am also achieving much better MPG numbers than I expected. After the first 10K miles I expected the improving MPG numbers to level off, but it seems that they are still improving over 20k miles... I guess it just keeps getting better. Yay!
 
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