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Honda Civic 2005 and earlier

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  • I have a 04 Civic LX Sdn, Auto and get a consistent 37mpg highway with cruise set @ 73mph and A/C on. Travel is 300 miles a day, when I go.
  • nine51nine51 Posts: 78
    04 Civic EX coupe, 5 speed.
    Normal driving, the car spends most of it's life at 70 mph on my daily commute.

    Just short of 13000 miles now, overall gas mileage is 38.03 mpg. I noticed the mileage steadily increase during break in and seemed to level off at around 3500 miles at approximately 37.8 mpg. Switched to Mobil 1, 0W20 at 10,000 and mileage went from 37.8 to 38.03 overall. Not much change. More likely due to less A.C. use. The car definitely feels more lively now at 13K than it did at 3K. I may be pushing it over 70 more often too. I was pretty easy with it during break in.

    I'm wondering how much influence the Vtec has on mileage. It kicks in at around 3000 RPM (65mph in the EX). I've had several trips in the low 40's (mpg) when I was driving on rural roads under 65 mph. When I push it over 70, mileage drops to the mid 30s.
  • Just bought a 2004 Civic EX with automatic transmission. Car has about 250 miles on it now. At first fill (the dealer supposedly filled the car before I bought it - the gauge read full when I picked it up) of about 5 gallons, I got about 24 mpg (mix highway and city). How many miles should it take for the car to reach its EPA estimates (31 city, 38 highway)? Also, any idea if its better to run the car to close to empty before filling, in case they put something into the tank before it leaves the factory to preserve the life of the gas?
  • warnerwarner Posts: 196
    I have an '04 Civic LX 5-Speed with about 9,000 miles on it now. My first tank, I got 35 MPG. Subsequent tanks after that first tank have yielded as high as 40 MPG. The first couple thousand miles I was driving it pretty easy though. Lately, I've been driving it like I WANT to drive a car - taking off quickly, driving 80 MPH on the highway when possible; basically driving it like I want to. To date, I have NEVER gotten LESS than 35 MPG average from a tank of gas. I don't know if maybe the EX's don't do as well as the LX's, or maybe the 5 speed helps a lot, but I can say I'm NOT taking it easy on the car and I have yet to get less than 35 MPG average. That's what I've experienced.

                 Warner
  • That is what I'm saying. Anyone else in here have a 2004 EX automatic civic sedan? That is what I'm having trouble with. I haven't gotten over 30 mpg ever and I have 3600 miles on it. I'm about 85 percent highway when driving. At least I'm not the only one.
  • Just filled up a second time and got 28.5 mpg on the second 1/2 tank fill. I'll fill again sometime next week and see if it keeps improving. I drive about 60 percent freeway. dkcivic
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    At first fill (the dealer supposedly filled the car before I bought it - the gauge read full when I picked it up) of about 5 gallons, I got about 24 mpg (mix highway and city).

    If you go back a few posts, you will find a more accurate way of figuring out your MPG's. Your first mistake is that you went to fill up whwn you only needed 5 gallons.
    Fill up at a gas station until the first auto shut off, DO NOT TOP OFF! Reset the trip odometer to "0". Drive as you usually do. Wait until the tank is very close to empty (when "low gas" light is on). Go back to the same station, same pump, same time of day and perferrably same weather. Fill up until the first auto shut off, DO NOT TOP OFF!. Note the mileage and amount of gas needed. Reset the odometer and repeat the procedure 5-10 times. Average the 10, and you will get the most accurate MPG's.

    Also, any idea if its better to run the car to close to empty before filling, in case they put something into the tank before it leaves the factory to preserve the life of the gas?

    Dealer puts the gas in your car. It comes with very little gas from factory.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,428
    The LX does much better than the EX because of the taller gearing.
  • j9bakej9bake Posts: 1
    I purchased a demo 2004 EX automatic in August with 5,000 miles. I now have 9,000. Have always gotten between 35 and 40mpg. Depends on what kind of driving. Love the car!
  • Just filled my new EX w/automatic up a third time (ran the car nearly empty this time, and it now has 600 miles) and got almost 32mpg with a mix of city and highway driving. There clearly is a break-in period during which the mileage improves.
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    Sometimes there is and sometimes there is not. I own two Honda's and they both have gotten the same mileage since day one. Close to EPA for both a 2001 Accord LX 4 cyl/auto 23/30 EPA (my actual 22/28 with 48,000 miles of driving) & 2004 Civic LX auto 29/38 (my actual 29/36 with 6,500 miles). I drive around 78 MPH on the interstate and I usually accelerate faster than most.
  • max9max9 Posts: 2
    Just got a 2004 Civic LX (auto)

    I found that the driver side of this vehicle is 1cm lower than the passager side.

    Is that normal?

    Does anyone have the same issue?

    Thanks
    max9
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    How did you find out? What exactly are you looking at and measuring?
  • gregoryc1gregoryc1 Posts: 766
    DO NOT run the fuel low in the tank. Fuel is used to cool / lubricate the electric fuel pump.(assuming that the 2004 Civic has the pump in the tank). Drive the vehicle for at least 3,000 miles before you start checking the fuel mileage. Give the engine time to "break in"!
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    You can run the car safely without any fear of damaging anything at least until your low fuel light starts to stay on. The light will come on when between 2-4 gallons are left in the tank. The only way you could possibly damage anything is to run until your engine stalls. Although, it is a good idea to think about filling up when you get below a quarter of a tank. Sometimes there are contaminates in fuel and running the tank almost dry, risks something getting into your motor.

    Also, I doubt your gas mileage will improve much as you put on miles. I would be very surprised if you see more than 1 or 2 MPG improvement from day one through 100,000 miles. Both my Hondas have gotten the same mileage from day one, which has been slightly under EPA estimates. Cars are machined better than ever and break in just isn't as big a factor as it used to be. Drive it easy for the first few hundred miles like your owner's manual states. Then drive it the way you plan on driving it the rest of its life.
  • I have had my 2003 Civic EX Sedan - automatic - for over a year and a half. During that time I have normally averaged between 30-34 MPG driving back and forth to work. I just took an 800+ mile round trip drive and averaged 40 MPG going 70MPH for most of the ride. The gas mileage is great now only if it were a litter faster... ;-)
  • gregoryc1gregoryc1 Posts: 766
    Let's look at some interesting facts about fuel systems.

        Inside the fuel tank of most vehicles is a sending unit that includes a pick-up tube, and a float operated fuel gauge. The fuel tank pick-up tube is connected to the fuel pump by the fuel line. Some electric fuel pumps are conbined with the sending unit. (I don't know if this is true about Honda)! The pick-up tube extends nearly, but not completely, all the way to the bottom of the tank, so that rust, dirt, sediment, and water cannot be drawn up into the fuel tank filter, which can cause some nasty issues.
         Vehicles equipped with EFI engines usually have electric fuel pumps mounted in the fuel tank. Some EFI engines have an in-tank electric pump, and a second electric fuel pump mounted under the vehicle.
         Electric fuel pumps offer some important advantages. Because electric fuel pumps maintain a constant fuel pressure, they aid in starting and reduce vapor lock problems.
         It is NOT a good idea to run a fuel tank low with an EFI vehicle that is equipped with an electric fuel pump in the fuel tank. The electric fuel pump in the fuel tank contains a small direct current electric motor with an impeller mounted on the end of the motor shaft. The main reasons for the fuel pump being located in the fuel tank are: ----1.) To keep the fuel pump cool while it is operating, ----2.) To keep the entire fuel line pressurized to prevent premature fuel evaporation.
         If the fuel level is allowed to become low, the liquid, (gasoline), will move in the tank, and it is possible that there will not be sufficient fuel, (liquid), around the body of the electric pump to keep it cool. In addition, the movement of the fuel will also move the sediment and water at the bottom of the tank.
        Fuel injectors spray a certain amount of fuel into the intake system. If the fuel pressure is low, (due to a problem with the electric fuel pump), not enough fuel will be sprayed into the individual cylinders. The engine will run, but on a lean mixture. Over time this can cause major engine damage.
       As a side bar piece of information, boat owners with EFI inboards and I/O engines replace the electric fuel pump as a regular maintenance item every two season. The reason for this is simple. The electric pump on a boat is not in the fuel tank, but rather, it is located in the engine compartment. There is no fuel on the outside of the pump keeping it cool. The CG will not allow electric fuel pumps to be located in the fuel tank of the boat. Electric fuel pumps loose their efficiency very slowly, and as such, it will be hard to notice a loss of power or performance. On a marine engine, because of its high operational RPMs (3,000 +), the operator will notice the RPMs on the Tach. hunting very slowly,(not enough to alter performance). This is the first sign of a fuel pump problem. Since the pump has been loosing efficiency slowly, when the new pump is installed, a significant improvement is felt in the operation of the engine.
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 552
    Thanks Gregory. I keep telling my husband to stop letting his CR-V run down to passed when the gas light goes on. I read him the part in the owners manual about running with extremely low fuel can cause misfires and engine and catalytic converter problems. I also told him about the fuel pump needing gas as lubrication. He insists that with 2-3 gallons left in the tank, that is not "extremely low" but I say, why risk it? When the reward of letting it run low is simply to see how far you can get on a tank vs the risk of seeing how far you can get with that engine? Ugh.
    Anyway, that's for the add'l ammo. :-)
    Elissa
  • gregoryc1gregoryc1 Posts: 766
    Thanks for the "come back" on this posting. Ideally, the fuel level should be kept at least 1/2 of a tank. On a Civic that would be about 6.5 gallons, and on the Accord it would be about 8.5 gallons. Periodically, you should add a fuel injector cleaner to the fuel tank just prior to filling the tank. There are many safe Major Brands of cleaner on the market at local auto stores, that are safe for oxygen sensors and Cat Converters. If you use these products, stay with the Major Brands. Also be careful where you purchase your fuel. Try to purchase fuel from a station that has a high turnover of fuel. Just a suggestion! -----Greg
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,064
    are all supposed to contain adequate detergents to keep the injectors clean and working.
    Additives are a waste of money. The only one I've heard about is Chevron's Techron additive which is a high dosage of the additives they use in their own fuels. For several years they were regarded as having the best additive pack in ALL grades of their fuel. Then Texaco took the best for a while. This is according to a mechanic who keeps up with data in the trade.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,752
    I understand your logic behind 1/2 tank or 6.5 gal, 13.1 being the capacity? 6.5 gal would effectively give you a cruising range of 228-247 miles. Contrast this with a(14.5 gal) VW Jetta TDI of app 650-700 miles. On the Jetta when the reserve fuel buzzer and lamp is lit you have app 2 gals left and depending on your consumption 100 miles left. I am guessing there is a longer interval happy medium for the Honda Civic.
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    Let's at least operate on facts, not speculation here. First, the gas tank on the current Civic is plastic, therefore rust is not a factor. Greg I Know you love to compare car engines to marine engines. And you think your engine needs additives like a human body, but we need to deal with facts here. Water & oil float to the top of gas and solids float to the bottom period! When the fuel light comes on there is more than ample fuel in the tank to keep a normal amount of contaminates out of the system. The fuel pump is in no danger of damage whatsoever as long as you don't run the tank dry period! Don't guess or speculate, it makes people think they need to go to a gas station twice as much or they might damage their car. Again, just fill up a car either before or at least shortly after the light comes on and there will never be an issue. That is the way it was designed. My Dad was a state gasoline inspector and I have 2 years of technical training on outboards and small engines. Also, about 30 years worth of experience fixing repairing cars on the side. Call your Honda dealer and talk to a mechanic, not the service manager and they can verify the fuel facts and fuel pump operation that I have stated.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,752
    Yeah, I would have no concerns about taking either vehicle to the last gal; i.e. 35-38 miles left on the Civic and app 45-50 miles left on the TDI Jetta. So given consumptions of 12.1gal/13.1 and 13.5/14.5 we are talking ranges of 424-460 miles, 608-675 miles respectively. (The ability to do this is almost routine planning especially in CA,NV,NM desert driving)
  • gregoryc1gregoryc1 Posts: 766
    If you want to run your fuel tank dry, that is "ok" with me. I am just trying to help some other people with quality preventive maintenance information. Oil floats on water, so as such, water will collect on the bottom of a fuel tank. If the tank is low on fuel, and the fuel moves in the tank, the gasoline and water will mix to form an emulsion. That mixture can be picked up by the fuel pump. Think of what that can do to those expensive fuel injectors. Contamination can enter the tank from the service station. As the owner of the vehicle, you are free to make your own decisions as to what type of maintenance you want to give your engine. You do not have to take my advice. Everyone is free to make their own decisions. Personally, I would not let my fuel level go below 1/2, but that is my decision.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,752
    You must either fuel a lot or not go too far! :)
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    Why do you have to go to extremes? I clearly stated not to run the tank dry! The system was designed to function the way I described. When the the light comes on, head to the gas station. No one needs to worry about damaging anything. It was designed taking into account some contamination. You can fill your tank up whenever you want, but suggesting that the fuel will cause issues if you let it go below half a tank is total unfounded and ridiculous. You do a lot of unfounded and wasteful maintenance on your vehicles and that's O.K. by me. But when you state your personal opinion as fact, it can cause other less informed people to think there is something to your suggestions.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,064
    Please stay on topic and don't discuss people. That recently helped close a couple of interesting groups I liked to read on Edmunds.

    My opinion is I keep the fuel at 1/4 and higher. The electric pump submersed in the fuel is what cools it. When the fuel drops lower, the depth can't be enough to keep the pump cooled in liquid. The pump runs warmer increasing wear.
    I often refill at 1/2 tank; the 1/4 is my minimum.

    When traveling this causes no problems. The 1/2 tank outlasts my bladder and the need to stretch.

    Around home that allows me to price shop and refill whenever I judge the price is likely to rise sharply the next day.

    An auto mechanic on talk radio has always recommended keeping the fuel tank at a level 1/4 or higher to avoid pump failure.
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    We are on topic, but I admit sometimes I chime in harder when old wive's tales are being relayed as truth. Refueling at around a quarter of a tank is a good generic practice. However, the low fuel light is just as safe. Auto mechanics on radio have many unfounded opinions too, so don't take everything they say as fact. The pump has ample fuel for cooling when the light comes on and you can continue to drive for a while without hurting anything. That is the way it was designed. Fill up whenever you want, but realize you can drive until your light comes on without any fear of hurting anything if you need to drive on. I regularly drive my Civic and Accord until the light comes on and this is always at least 2 gallons left in tank. I'm very comfort with the system that Honda's engineers designed. O.K. stick a fork in me, I'm done on this subject.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,064
    "Honda's engineers designed."

    That's with two gallons in the bottom of a fuel tank. What's that? about an inch of fuel. That's enough to cover the pump. Glad you're comfortable with that. These are the engineers with the Accords with brake problems, rattles, (see Accord Problems discussion) and the Pilot with the rear strut that hits something and makes a noise along with the gas tank on the Pilot that has gas sloshing bumps..., I'd trust their design for minimal fuel content so someone doesn't run out to cover me for fuel pump maintenance too.

    "Auto mechanics on radio have many unfounded opinions too"
    Since he's owned his own shop, service and body repair, in Hyde Park, Cincinnati, for about 30 years, I guess he's probably wrong too.
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    O.K. I read your profile, so now I know where you are coming from and I'm the bad guy because I tell it like it is. Let's use your logic and your radio mechanic's belief. If I run my tank low and my pump isn't submerged in gas it will overheat and burn up. Wow that would be a great design, because all of these exploding cars would mean people would have to buy new ones if they lived through the fire. Think about it, the light is part of your safety factor, but in reality you could run the tank dry, but at that point and only then do you risk damage to the fuel pump. In many designs the pump is located at the top of the tank internally and the pickup goes to the bottom of the tank. Wait a minute maybe we should only drive for a couple of miles or so and then fill up. Remember you have to keep that pump fully submerged to keep it cool. The fact is most pumps are cooled and lubricated from the fuel running through them, not what is around them. Mechanics are not engineers and sometimes interject their opinions, just like everybody else does.

    I'm not trying to make fun of you, but I'm trying to make a simple fact about design clear. Fill up before you run out of gas for sure, hopefully soon after your low fuel light comes on or start thinking about filling up when you get around a quarter of a tank. They all work and won't cause you any mechanical difficulties.
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