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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all -

I’ve got a 2012 Patriot with ~117k miles on it. I’ve been getting the CVT death whine for a couple weeks and three times in the last two days I’ve had it lose all power on me (jump to 4500 RPM and can’t accelerate past 40mph) twice on the interstate. It’s also lost power acceleration in stop-and-go traffic a few times in the last few weeks.

I’m having it looked at tomorrow but my mechanic says the transmission is probably slipping (which sucks, bc I just had a couple spark plugs replaced 3 weeks ago and he said it looked great). So I’ve got 2 options: repair the tranny or sell it and see if I can get an XJ.mobdro https://pnrstatus.vip/ https://sarkariresult.onl/


I’m not in a place financially to buy a new car, but is it silly of me to say that if the tranny needs replaced I’m just going to sell it? Family is suggesting I should just bite the bullet and have it fixed (~$4k) and keep it since I’m starting law school in August, “that way you have a car with basically a new engine,” but I also don’t think they realize the CVT can’t easily be rebuilt like a normal automatic.

WWYD, y’all? Any advice is appreciated. I gotta get this figured out ASAP (but in the meantime I’m gonna borrow my grandpa’s XJ while mine’s in the shop).
 

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Have you ever changed the fluid and filter?

If it's going into limp mode because of whine/overheat I'd start with changing the fluid and filter.

PS- The CVT isn't that hard to repair/rebuild. Someone here took theirs out and repaired a bad bearing. Another removed and replaced a failing valve body.
 

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Your question is a good one. I'll share my experience with my '08 Patriot:

1) My CVT failed at 110,000 with the humming noise that indicated a bad bearing. I was under the lifetime warranty so replacing it was a no-brainer. My replacement tranny went another 165,000 miles for a total of 275,000, Engine never gave me trouble. My Dad always said if a car had been good to that point, it was worth one major repair.

2) As for whether its worth the repair, I needed a new engine harness at around 200,000 miles. Like you, my Wife and I debated whether it was worth repairing at those miles but our logic was that I'd spent nothing on repairs till then, so why not? In the course of finding and diagnosing the problem I burned out the alternator and wrecked a battery, but other than that I hadn't spent anything out of my pocket so it all came to around $1200. I got another 75,000 trouble-free miles out of it. I figure I got a reliable vehicle for $1200 that lasted me a several more years. :) I sold it to a friend and its still on the road.

Following is a bit of advice: "Free advice costs nothing and its worth the price" [Alan Sherman].
Just remember, if/whenever you buy a used vehicle, you're buying someone else's problem. It won't be trouble-free either -- at best its getting closer to the "repair belt," at worst the last owner ran from it! On the other hand I've had a couple experiences with used vehicles where the previous owner over-estimated the problem and I got it fixed on the cheap.

Finally, if you go for the repair, I'd avoid a junkyard tranny. Even if its OK at first, its already well-worn. If it failed in a year (or a month), you'd be in a world of hurt. :( A factory rebuilt should take you the distance
 

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Have you ever changed the fluid and filter?

If it's going into limp mode because of whine/overheat I'd start with changing the fluid and filter.

PS- The CVT isn't that hard to repair/rebuild. Someone here took theirs out and repaired a bad bearing. Another removed and replaced a failing valve body.
I usually agree with you, but I think its too late for a fluid & filter change. If the belt is slipping then it must be done for -- likely there's scraps floating around in there, too. I think that tranny's gotta come apart.

Agreed, they are repairable. However, while rebuilding it is a possibility not all of us are shade-tree mechanics. Maybe OP could get a tranny shop to do the work cheaper than a factory rebuild.
 

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I usually agree with you, but if the tranny is slipping, the belt is done for. Likely there's scraps floating around in there. I think that thing's gotta come apart.
Yes, IF it's actually slipping and not just going into limp mode.

Unless the vehicle is completely disabled, the only way you'll know if the belt is toast is to drop the pan.

I didn't mean that the OP should do their own repairs necessarily, I was simply stating that the CVT is not that difficult to work on with respect to conventional transmissions, and that a couple of members had repaired theirs as examples.
 

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Yes, IF it's actually slipping and not just going into limp mode.

Unless the vehicle is completely disabled, the only way you'll know if the belt is toast is to drop the pan.

I didn't mean that the OP should do their own repairs necessarily, I was simply stating that the CVT is not that difficult to work on with respect to conventional transmissions, and that a couple of members had repaired theirs as examples.
Of course we don't know what the "death whine" is without hearing it. It may be what I call a scream and that's the CVT begging for new fluid. When my first CVT failed it was only making a humming noise. I'd hate to see him waste a couple hundred bucks in changing the fluid & filter on a dead tranny.

The part about the RPMs jumping without acceleration seems to me like the belt is slipping, and that's why I think his transmission is toast.

Besides smooth performance, simplicity is the other beauty of the CVT.

Here's hoping the OP gets good news.
 

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If the fluid has recently been changed, then another fluid change obviously won't help.

If it hasn't had a fluid change, the pan will need to dropped to change it, at which point the mechanic can see if there's metal bits all over. If not, it may still be good for a few more miles and worth the money to change the fluid.

I too would hate to see someone waste money on a fluid change, and even more so on an unneeded replacement.
 

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I'd say 70k-80k is probably the point at which changing the fluid will show a budding problem instead of preventing one from forming. Also maybe have the AC checked for whining and the throttle body checked for the hesitation, just in case. I have a haunting feeling that in this case it's the transmission in this case, but the AC can whine like an overheating CVT, the throttle body(and spark plugs like you said you changed) can hesitate like a slipping CVT, and both are much cheaper fixes. If you need another CVT, maybe look at an already rebuilt CVT or rebuilding the unit you have, as that'll cut probably 20%-30% off the cost of a new unit. Getting a junkyard CVT is risky business, but if you find one below 60,000 miles in good condition(case not cracked, front end of donor vehicle reasonably intact) then I'd say it could be worth that risk, and would be 40%-60% cheaper than a brand new unit. Also change the fluid on the replacement unit every 60k miles or better, using Amsoil, Valvoline, or Castrol CVT fluid. Maybe even include the pan with a plug in it, to make fluid changes easier.
 

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Bought a 2012 Jeep Patriot with 120,000 miles. First thing we did was to have tranny checked and change the fluid. Lo and behold, the transmission filler neck(?) had broken off and we were driving around with an open portal to the guts of what should be a sealed unit. Reading the forums here, sounds like this is a recurring problem. Dealer fixed it at no cost to us.

A couple days ago, daughter was driving on the interstate at 70 to 75 mph for about 90 miles when the transmission overheat light flashed, kicking in the infamous CVT "protection mode" that slows the vehicle down so you can pull over and let the tranny cool. This is unsettling, especially with major construction on I-25 between CO Springs and Denver. 20 miles of NO shoulders.

Are we getting ready to fork over $FourK for new tranny (in other words are we getting forked over!), or should we have the transmission fluid and filter replaced? Dealers all say that the CVT is a sealed unit and the fluid doesn't need to be changed, but too many peoples' experiences suggest otherwise. (Can't post url yet, google "transmission overheat Jeep Patriot Cargurus.com")

(Too bad it isn't possible to replace the CVT with one NOT built by JATCO...)
 

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A couple days ago, daughter was driving on the interstate at 70 to 75 mph for about 90 miles when the transmission overheat light flashed, kicking in the infamous CVT "protection mode" that slows the vehicle down so you can pull over and let the tranny cool. This is unsettling, especially with major construction on I-25 between CO Springs and Denver. 20 miles of NO shoulders.

Are we getting ready to fork over $FourK for new tranny (in other words are we getting forked over!), or should we have the transmission fluid and filter replaced? Dealers all say that the CVT is a sealed unit and the fluid doesn't need to be changed, but too many peoples' experiences suggest otherwise.
Those dealers are wrong, it is not a sealed unit.The fluid and filters can be changed; I and many other people have done it. At 120K miles the fluid and filter should have already been changed at least twice by now.

If the only problem is whine/overheat/limp mode I would get the fluid/filter changed and see if that helps.

Having high miles and overheat/whine doesn't necessarily mean the trans is shot. Another member here recently had the same problem:
https://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/15-engine-drivetrain/336327-improved-cvt-performance.html
 

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While the CVT in our 2WD Patriot hasn't developed the "death whine", it has dropped into 1st gear on its own after leaving a stoplight. Prior to that we had been driving about 50 miles at 65-70 mph in moderately hilly terrain.

Read the Improved CVT Peformance thread. Unfortunately, not able to do my own work (disability creating limited mobility), so I'll be having to depend on transmission shops.

Wife doesn't want to waste money changing fluid/filter is CVT is going bad. We are at 125k miles now, and previous owner had installed a hitch, so we know he'd towed with it. Had I seen that prior to buying the thing, I would have said deal's off.

Is dropping the fluid and checking for metal bits the best way to inspect the CVT, or is there another way to check things out?
 

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I wasn't clear from your first post if you were able to get the fluid and filters changed shortly after you bought it. Was it done?
If both were changed, then whoever did it should have been able to tell you if there were metal bits in the pan.
 

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No, the fluid was never changed. We were going to do this at the repair shop when the discovered the broken filler neck to the CVT, so we went to the Jeep dealer who fixed that, but they didn't change the fluid.
 

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Hi Joe,
I am a "new" owner of a 2008 Jeep Patriot (145K miles) with CVT. If you are handy with wrenches and willing to do-it-yourself, there are plenty of options before investing $3-$4K for a transmission. By the way, if my sources are correct, you can only get a rebuilt transmission at this point.

Prior to spending thousands, perhaps spend hundreds for fluid and filter changes. Adjust your expectations and driving style to reduce load on transmission. I am very new with the Patriot drive trains. I already learned that the lower-end jeeps are not high performance vehicles until put in situations that were designed for their performance. These Patriots still seem to respond as Jeeps and not Fiats. Perhaps this is why Fiat dropped the Patriots?
 

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Is dropping the fluid and checking for metal bits the best way to inspect the CVT, or is there another way to check things out?
The best way is to have a transmission shop that's CVT competent do a full diagnostic.

If you bought it with a warranty and it's still in effect, I'd try to talk to the dealership about getting some help with it.
 

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Progress report: got our '12 Patriot back to CO Springs from Greeley, about 120 miles. No CVT overheat, but kept speed at 65 MPH and below, also let it cool off by stopping about halfway for 10 minutes. Tach stayed fairly steady around 2500 RPM. Could hear a soft whine, assuming this might be normal but not sure.

Big question is whether the CVT at 125k miles would benefit from fluid/filter change, or if it's inevitable that it's on the way out and we should just nurse it along until it goes. It goes into the transmission shop tomorrow, so we will see what they say about it.

We bought the beast at 120k miles at the first of the year. They are a Jeep dealer, but we don't expect any help from them.

Is it possible to get 200k miles with the original CVT in a Patriot, or are we near replacement time at 125k miles?
 

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Is it possible to get 200k miles with the original CVT in a Patriot, or are we near replacement time at 125k miles?
I've had 2 CVTs. First failed at 110,000 miles -- hum indicated a bad bearing. Second went to 175,000 then started slipping. Both were replaced under lifetime warranty.

I think FCA lost money on my '08 Patriot. They sold it new for $15,000, threw in the lifetime warranty, and replaced two transmissions. I can't complain.
 

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Is it possible to get 200k miles with the original CVT in a Patriot, or are we near replacement time at 125k miles?
IMO with regular fluid and filter changes it's possible, but not guaranteed.

Without the fluid and filter changes, unlikely.
 

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Also, if we do the fluid/filter route, what's the thoughts about not filling to full capacity? Although I'm concerned I might be too late at 125K mi.
 

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Also, if we do the fluid/filter route, what's the thoughts about not filling to full capacity? Although I'm concerned I might be too late at 125K mi.
I wish I could tell you if it's too late or not; I can't. It will wear out eventually, but I can't tell you when.

I can say that I know of one member here who had whining/overheat/shutdown, had the fluid changed and has changed it regularly since, and last I knew was over 190,000 mi with heavy daily freeway driving. Maybe he'll see this and can give us an update.

In any case, I'd tell the trans shop you need to decide about fluid change vs replacement, and after they do a diagnostic they'll hopefully be in a position to help you make a better informed decision. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

On the fluid level, here's part of a previous post I made on it:

https://www.jeeppatriot.com/forum/1755881-post94.html

...I did a drain and fill with filter change on mine a few days ago, and it did get rid of the whine even when driving on the interstate in the mountains. The last trip up into the mountains right before the fluid change I didn't get a temp light but it was whining very loud.

I came across this graphic showing the difference between our CVT and the newer CVT7 with regards to fluid levels. If they actually changed the design to get the fluid farther away from the pulley, that might explain the problems with fluid foaming when the level is too high. Maybe better to have the level around mid point on the chart or slightly lower when at operating temp.

 
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