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Old 05-07-2021, 06:59 AM   #1
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Name: Larry
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CRV tow vehicle

Regarding a Honda 2015 CRV.
I have Light Burro trailer and it seems to tow it well.
Some have said to use the S mode on the transmission selector.
Also, can a transmission cooler be fitted on the CVT transmission?
Thanks
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:18 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burroman View Post
Regarding a Honda 2015 CRV.
I have Light Burro trailer and it seems to tow it well.
Some have said to use the S mode on the transmission selector.
Also, can a transmission cooler be fitted on the CVT transmission?
Thanks
I would read the owners manual as to towing, and call a Honda dealer to see if Honda makes a transmission cooler or if the CR-V can be fitted with one, OEM or aftermarket.
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Old 05-07-2021, 09:20 AM   #3
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I would read the owners manual as to towing, and call a Honda dealer to see if Honda makes a transmission cooler or if the CR-V can be fitted with one, OEM or aftermarket.
We have a Honda Odyssey with Honda's transmission cooler. It's actually larger than the one in my former 17,000 pound motorhome.

My son towed a Scamp with a 4 cylinder Accord and had an aftermarket transmission cooler installed. He never had a problem.

As for me we towed with our 2004 Honda CRV for 9 years or so without issue but it was a manual transmission. Unfortunately Honda stopped supplying CRV's with standard transmissions.
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Old 05-07-2021, 09:36 AM   #4
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I own the same vehicle. Like most vehicles in it's class it has a 1500 lb tow rating. Honda provides a plug for a 4 pin light converter but for 7 pin you're on your own. Going with only 4 pin means no brakes and no charge line. I would not tow anything larger than a utility trailer or perhaps a small teardrop, especially without brakes. Based on what others have said the CVT is the weak link. There are lots of threads on this subject. You might want to do some research.
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Old 05-07-2021, 09:48 AM   #5
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Manual transmissions

Yup, the demise of the manual transmission.
For a small vehicle and wanting to tow a small trailer, Id prefer a manual transmission.
In addition to the CRV I have a small pickup(Mazda) with a manual transmission.
Less power than the CRV, but it works well for towing- just manually shift down.
The Mazda CX-5 has same specs. As CRV except it can tow 2000lbs.
I think it has a cooler for the transmission.
If I cant put a cooler on my CRV I might trade in for the CX5.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz View Post
I own the same vehicle. Like most vehicles in it's class it has a 1500 lb tow rating. Honda provides a plug for a 4 pin light converter but for 7 pin you're on your own. Going with only 4 pin means no brakes and no charge line. I would not tow anything larger than a utility trailer or perhaps a small teardrop, especially without brakes. Based on what others have said the CVT is the weak link. There are lots of threads on this subject. You might want to do some research.
Actually, our second vehicle is a CR-V and the only thing I tow with it is a 4 x 8 utility trailer to haul my lawn tractor if it needs to go to the shop. I also would not haul anything larger, but the OP asked the question so I tried to answer it without trying to dissuade.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:22 AM   #7
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I may be wrong but wasn't the Mazda pickup a rebadged Ford Ranger?
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:37 AM   #8
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Mazda

Yup
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:52 AM   #9
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The issue with the 2015 CRV is the continuously variable transmission. Don’t know if it can take an external cooler. 2014 was the last year for the bulletproof 5-speed conventional automatic, and 2006 was the last year for a stick shift.

I would have no issue towing a sub-1500# Burro with a 2014 or earlier, and yes, I would add an auxiliary cooler.

Since you are satisfied with the performance of the CVT, perhaps there is a way to evaluate the condition of the fluid to assess whether towing is stressing the CVT.

If you decide to upgrade, the CX-5 has a conventional automatic with a very intuitive manual mode. It would be my top choice in that class for towing a lighter 13’er.
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Old 05-07-2021, 04:39 PM   #10
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Transmissions 101

What causes the transmission oil to get hot? A slipping torque converter (TC) - that is - in conventional automatics, with shifting gears.
a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) adjusts speed ratios smoothly up or down as needed by the load and speed. Do they have a TC? I don't know.
The TC is a bit like a hydraulic turbine. The input half and output half have no mechanical connection. The oil is the medium that transfers engine power to the transmission. When a heavy load is applied, the TC slips a lot, churning the oil and making it heat up. To keep it from getting too hot, some of the oils is always being circulated through the transmission oil cooler, which is a coil inside the Engine coolant Radiator. All cars have one. So, you should not need an auxiliary cooler, unless you are constantly overloading the TC.
Want a "Manaul" transmission? You have one. Learn how to downshift. On uphill grades - slow down.
Even a CVT can be "downshifted" use the "power" mode.
Sadly, not all cars have a coolant temperature gauge. but, if yours does, watch it. If the transmission is getting too hot, it will show up there.
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Old 05-07-2021, 06:06 PM   #11
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Sadly, not all cars have a coolant temperature gauge. but, if yours does, watch it. If the transmission is getting too hot, it will show up there.
Not necessarily true in my experience. I overheated the transmission on a Toyota Sienna once climbing a long grade in pretty extreme conditions with the Scamp in tow. Went into limp mode and required a cool-down before continuing. Subsequent inspection showed slight discoloration of the transmission fluid.

The engine temperature gauge never moved.

I believe you can use the OBD2 port to access transmission temperature data. That would be a better way.

I really don’t know if the issues are the same in a CVT.
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Old 05-08-2021, 05:40 AM   #12
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My F150 has a tranny temperature gauge on the dash. Sadly it is not accurate, by the time it registers high temp, it’s too late. OBD2 reader if you really want to know.
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:36 AM   #13
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Transaxle cooler

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPW View Post
I would read the owners manual as to towing, and call a Honda dealer to see if Honda makes a transmission cooler or if the CR-V can be fitted with one, OEM or aftermarket.
Mr. Transmission make a great little transaxle cooler unit that would work.
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:56 AM   #14
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Thanks, Ill check that out.
Larry
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:12 PM   #15
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Actually .... it may be the other way around? I'm on my third Ranger. As far as I can tell, they all have Mazda engines. I sold the first Ranger with 300k on the odometer, no issues. My second Ranger is closing in on 400k, no issues. My third Ranger has 12k, no issues. I wouldn't expect that kind of service from a Ford engine but from Mazda, no problem.
I believe Ford bought Mazda and closed some engine plants to avoid duplication? Maybe all 4 cyl Fords and Mazdas have the Mazda engine? Hope so!
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:22 PM   #16
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JUst talked to the Honda service manager where I bought the CRV,
No trans cooler available from Honda, but thought an after market one was possible.
Recommended changing fluid more often if I towed a lot (I dont), and thought the S mode was a good idea.
As long as I keep the weight down- and I weighed my trailer , so I know what Im towing.
Changing fluid is easy(Honda HCF-2 is not cheap), but really easy to change.
Ill do that for now and for me I usually travel fall to early spring- not so hot here.
Ill keep all this in mind when I think about the next car. Maybe a Mazda CX-5.
Larry
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:35 PM   #17
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Vehicles overheat when the cooling system can't dissipate heat as fast as it produces it. The sources of this heat are the engine and the automatic transmission. The engine's water pump circulates coolant through the engine to capture heat and then through the radiator to release it.
The transmission circulates hydraulic fluid through a coil inside the radiator for the same reason. A transmission cooler is a separate radiator for cooling the transmission fluid, reducing the demand on the radiator and (hopefully) preventing overheating.
I've installed several transmission coolers. I plumb them into the lines circulating the transmission fluid to the vehicles radiator, usually to the input side.
The only time this didn't work was way way back when I was asked to install a transmission cooler on an American Motors vehicle ( a long time ago) as these vehicles had air cooled transmissions. If you can access the transmission lines going to the radiator, you should be able to install a transmission cooler.
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Old 05-08-2021, 04:13 PM   #18
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Mike
Thats the rub.
There are no lines from the transmission to the radiator!
I looked and looked, but these CVT transmissions dont cool via the radiator.
I dont know how they cool.
Baffles me.
But the Honda guy said youd have to drill ones and tap for lines.
My son is a mechanic and I have the problem posted to him. Unfortunately he lives on the other side of the US!
I can find nothing on the web , YouTube about installing a cooler on a Honda CR-V with the CVT transmission.
Sure makes me miss the manual transmission.
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_L View Post
Actually .... it may be the other way around? I'm on my third Ranger. As far as I can tell, they all have Mazda engines. I sold the first Ranger with 300k on the odometer, no issues. My second Ranger is closing in on 400k, no issues. My third Ranger has 12k, no issues. I wouldn't expect that kind of service from a Ford engine but from Mazda, no problem.
I believe Ford bought Mazda and closed some engine plants to avoid duplication? Maybe all 4 cyl Fords and Mazdas have the Mazda engine? Hope so!
The relationship between Ford and Mazda is history. The divestment began during the Great Recession, when Ford sold a large chunk of its Mazda stock to raise cash, and continued through 2015 when Ford sold its remaining shares and the last shared technology- Ford’s CD3 platform and 3.7L V6 engine used in the CX-9- was replaced by an all-new Mazda-designed platform and turbo-4 drivetrain.

The CX-5 was the first of the new in-house SUV offerings from Mazda.

Mazda’s latest partnership is with Toyota. They're sharing some technology, and Toyota seems to be selling more Mazda 2's rebadged as Yaris sedans and hatchbacks in North America than Mazda ever did.
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:08 PM   #20
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Larry, sounds complicated. I've never owned a Honda, except a bike. Drilling, tapping for lines may give you access to the transmission fluid but is there pressure to circulate it, I have no idea.
I also prefer a manual shift. They don't overheat, last longer and are more fun to drive!
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