cvt towing tips

The next-generation Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission® eliminates gears, thus it transfers power from the engine to the wheels very effectively while shifting smoothly. The CVT holds the engine at the best possible RPM for the conditions at hand, offering responsive power for passing or towing when needed and quiet efficient running at cruising speeds or around town.

Towing a Trailer with a CVT-equipped Vehicle

It is fine to tow a trailer behind a CVT vehicle as long as the maximum towing capacity limit is within the vehicle’s towing capacity and does not exceeded the allowable weight when the load and the passengers are accounted for unless it states in the vehicle Owner’s Manual to never tow a trailer. Drive gently when towing, and avoid parking on slopes. However, if parking on a hill is unavoidable, there are certain steps to take. Apply the brake pedal. Have the vehicle in the D (Drive) position if facing uphill and the R (Reverse) position if facing downhill.

  • Have someone else place blocks on the downhill slope behind the vehicle and trailer wheels.
  • Slowly release the brake pedal, feeling the blocks absorb the load.
  • Engage the parking brake.
  • Shift the gear into P (Park) position.

And when leaving, put the transmission into gear before releasing the parking brake.

Tow Mode

  • Using tow mode (if so equipped) is recommended when pulling a heavy trailer or hauling a heavy load. Press the TOW MODE switch to activate tow mode. The indicator light on the TOW MODE switch illuminates when tow mode is selected. Press the TOW MODE switch again to turn tow mode off.
  • Tow mode is automatically canceled when the ignition switch is turned OFF.
  • Tow mode includes the following features:
    – Grade logic – Adjusts transmission shifts when pulling a trailer or hauling a load up a grade.
    – Downhill Speed Control (DSC) – Automatically downshifts when driving down a grade with a trailer or hevy load to help control vehicle speed.
  • Driving the vehicle in the tow mode with no trailer/load or light trailer/light load will not cause any damage. However, fuel economy may be reduced and the transmission/engine driving characteristics may feel unusual.

NOTE: When towing a trailer, transmission oil/fluid should be changed more frequently.

Towing a Vehicle with a CVT

There are a couple things to note in regard to towing a vehicle with a CVT. To tow a vehicle equipped with a Continuously Variable Transmission, an appropriate vehicle dolly MUST be placed under the towed vehicle’s drive wheels.

  • Never tow a front-wheel drive vehicle with a CVT with the front wheels on the ground or four wheels on the ground. If you have to tow a CVT equipped vehicle from the rear, with the front on the ground, use towing dollies under the front wheels. Failure to do so may cause serious, costly damage to your vehicle.
  • Never tow CVT all-wheel drive models, such as the Murano®, with any of the wheels on the ground. This may cause serious costly damage.

Refer to the Nissan or Infiniti Towing guide and Owner’s manual for proper use.

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