Yes ,yes, # 1) Mistake I beleive , solely from anecdotal talk that abounds many forums - " I drain x amount quarts from my CVT AND find after filling it reads high " or " I only put back this much instead of the amount that came out ... "
So many people , DIY'ers , I believe half of them that beget CVT failure complaints , Limp modes , temp - hi triggered, etc.THEY ALL SAY FACTORY OVERFILLED MY CVT !!!
In those circles you'll also hear of talk of a brilliant deal on aftermarket fluid , not dealer spec NS-1 OR NS-2 ,3 whatever ,to save a "few dollars" . Those fluids that cover several specs AT ONCE CANNOT BE BETTER for the weak CVT's today , and are probably detrimental to them ,wanna gamble -Vegas anyone? Dealers mechanics say eng bay sticker is most accurate listing for what shall go into your specific car's CVT - & overrides any other reference.
My research uncovered one fact that the belts have a CRITICAL DEPTH to be SUBMERGED in the fluid for LUBE & COOLING.
Yes the higher operating temp of case components and fluid in these CVT's cause a drastically WIDE LEVEL during operation of vehicle , which I notice my level when ambient AZ temp is 112 F and running 80 mph - CVT dipstick is IN THE BENT "S" PORTION ??!!
When untouched & from the" Factory", I went & mapped out a chart per temp fluid ,also per "ticks" of temp gauge on dash , avg ambient 80 F outside , and shifting thru ea."gear" - readings of 10+ graphed levels , AS READ ON THE STICK , THE FACTORY WAS CORRECT ! Then when I changed my CVT fluid and measured VERY carefully (7 qts 5oz I believe) and little by little pouring in fresh , whilst carefully measuring and comparing my graphed observations - within 2 oz to get the EXACT LEVEL ON THE CROSSHATCH per the correct temp.
So , yeah CVT will prematurely break , yeah it'll overheat / wear more , yeah causing Limp Mode , yeah be the experience of DIY'ers who ALL have concluded THE FACTORY OVERFILLED MY CVT - " So I'll just put less back in when I change my fluid to PROLONG IT"S LIFE " ( I' m really KILLING IT !!!
p.s. the previous is general diagnostic philosophy , and I didn't and won't specifically give advice that I have'nt had "for sure" experience with , nor pretend to know, guess (without stating so) ,nor where there's too much "Mystery" or inherent danger in your task at hand
So I have no advice on the specific inner workings , nor " how to's " the components inside CVT's.