Different types of transmission have different characteristics because of their different designs, and therefore require different ways of handling. For the continuously variable transmission (CVT) in particular, it has its own quirks too, and this video by Engineering Explained describes what’s fine by the stepless transmission, as well as what isn’t.

First up, you shouldn’t hill-hold on the throttle. This applies to the clutch-equipped type of CVTs in particular, as the transmission is only partially engaging the clutch to hold the vehicle on throttle, and the clutch is slipping for the balance between moving forward or rolling back. Like on a manual transmission or dual-clutch transmission, this is bad because it can cause the clutch to overheat and sustain premature wear.

Coasting in neutral is a no-no too. This isn’t so much as case of drawbacks, rather than what it can do better if it is left to its one devices. Depending on the type of CVT, it will either regenerate the vehicle’s momentum into electrical energy if it is a hybrid, or it will disengage itself without driver input.

Next, do not neutral-drop the transmission. The same applies here as it does for conventional automatics; revving the engine in neutral for high rpm and then immediately engaging drive will damage the transmission. Even high-performance applications of a dual-clutch transmission with launch control will have a limit to how often this can be done before it calls up a form of safe mode to cool the transmission.

Just like in conventional automatics, it is best to stop completely before changing direction of travel (forwards or backwards), as engaging gear for a different direction before doing so puts undue strain on the transmission and can result in damage. Put simply, do not go from forwards to reverse – or vice-versa – before coming to a complete stop.

For clutch-based CVTs, constant inching forward in traffic over a prolonged period may also cause issues. The partial engagement of the clutch results in slipping and therefore possible overheating and premature wear. In more modern types of CVTs, those that employ electric motors (e-CVTs) or a torque convertor as part of its system, however, this is no issue at all.