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Honda Civic Si / SiR 2005 and earlier

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  • And it only gets better, LOL!

    Like you, I'd like more seat adjustment, a tiltable bottom like on the '99-'00; but 'tain't no big thing.

    Have you looked at the maintenance sched, yet? 120K miles on a set of plugs, LOL.
  • My last 3 cars prior to the 02 SI were black. Then I bought a white SI. You would think that by making that decision I had learned my lesson about black cars. Not so, our 2003 Accord Coupe is black, although that was a decision based more on availability than desire.

    Your enjoyment of the SI will only increase with mileage. The engine will get smoother, transmission more buttery, and the durned little thing will endear itself to you more than you expect. The big windows are great for taking trips too.

    I do agree with you about the armrest and the seat adjusters but, as you said, it's comfortable even without them so I'm not complaining too loudly.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and congrats on your new 2003 Civic Si! Thanks for sharing the details of your lease... and specials available in your area. Happy motoring!

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • Hey all,
    I just recently purchased an 02 civic si. I'm currently a high school junior, and due to many favorable circumstances was able to purchase my own car. No more fighting with the parents over taking their camry ;-). I wanted a high quality car, so I thought getting a new one was way out of my league. That's why I like to think I got a real quality deal for the Si. A dealer around here in NJ had a left over 02 demo. It has 4000 miles on it, is in immaculate condition, and was only driven by the dealerships 62 year old manager. After talking them down in price substantially, I was able to purchase the car for 14,200 plus a whole slew of extras.
        Anyway, long story short I love the car. Seems so far to be everything i've wanted in a set of wheels. It not only turns a lot of heads (I loveeee the way my doorstop looks, as do my friends), performs well, but is amazingly comfortable. It also has the cargo space to hold my drumset when I go gigging with various music groups I'm in. But I'm sure everyone here already knows how great this car is, lol. I do have a couple questions.

    1. How high should I rev when not driving for pure power. As in what's the normal shifting rev? I had to shift my mom's 91 camry around 2k for fear the engine would explode ;-), but i'm thinking its different with this car. I have taken it up to 5k a couple times....wow. I've heard people are upset with the lack of power the car has, but it seems to perform well for me. Any comments on this?

    2. Will higher octane gas do any difference for the performance/mileage? I've read mixed opinions on this, so I'm wondering if regular is recommended but not the best choice. (I can't afford premium anyway tho.....)

    3. I've noticed an awful lot of road dirt being kicked up and "splashing" (for lack of a better word) on the sides of the doors and under the car. Even with music on I can hear the constant nicking. This is a load more than any other car I've driven and is most likely due to the lower nature of the car. Will splash guards help?

    4. radio......probably my only complaint thus far. I was looking forward to better sound. Any new units anyone would suggest for the future? The sound quality is really lacking on this stock unit.

    5. Finally, any tips or tricks anyone would like to share - I'd be very greatful.

    Like I said, I'm totally infatuated with my new Si. I've been reading a lot of negative comments directed to the new Si and positive ones for the Focus. Personally, I'd never buy a Ford due to the multitude of problems my friends have had with their fleets of mustangs. But to each his own I guess. Sorry about the long post, but I guess you gotta expect such from a newbie ;-). Any comments are greatly appreciated, thanks.
  • 944s2944s2 Posts: 16
    Congrats on your new car. I may pick one up tomorrow to use as a commuter to save miles on the Porsche and new A4. My local dealer has 2003s for $16,998 at 1.9%. Hard to beat that. Re: your questions:

    1) Rev the engine to whatever you like. It's already broken in. Typically, I rev my '92 Si to around 4000 or more for the 1st-2nd and 2nd-3rd shifts to get reasonable acceleration. You can push these engines hard and they won't complain, and you can also lug them down below 2000 if you are just loafing along. Try to go by the feel of the engine. Apply too much throttle at low rpm and it will let you know it doesn't like it! Bursts to 6500 won't hurt a thing and in fact you could cruise at 5000 all day long since the piston speeds are still very low. Cars should be treated with respect and not abused, but they don't need to be babied.

    2) Stick with regular. Premium will do nothing for you with the compression ratio in this engine. That's one of the good things about the 160 HP version, it doesn't need high octane.

    3) I have splash guards on my '92 and like them, but don't expect a quiet ride in the rain... it's a Civic after all :-)

    4) Don't know anything about the radio, but other forum members have changed theirs. Shouldn't be hard.

    5) Misc. If you plan to keep the car a long time I'd recommend switching to synthetic oil eventually. I've used it in all my cars and the engines seem to last forever... the '92 has 173K and still runs strong.

    Have fun.

    Tom in Seattle
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    1. You shouldn't go above 4000RPM for the first thousand miles. But since you have already broken that personal rule of mine, try to take it easy for the next thousand miles or so. You will have plenty of time to rev the heck out of it. When we are just puttering around town we never go above 3500 RPM.

    2. Dont think the octane will make a huge difference. We use 89 octane but the car will run fine on 87.

    3. Splash guards are a must have. Not only do they protect the paint they make the car look better. Go to www.handa-accessories.com. They will be cheaper there than almost any other place. Get a set of directions and you might be able to install them yourself.

    4. The radio is fine to us for the type of music we listen to.

    5. Break it in gently, keep a VERY close eye on the oil level for the first 10,000 miles, and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE put the car in gear in addition to applying the parking brake when you stop on a hill.
  • fokus5fokus5 Posts: 38
    Has anyone replaced their head unit? How do you remove the silver center panels?

    It looks like the bottom panel should come off first, but the fit seems tight and i don't want to leave nicks trying to pry it off from the bottom, just below the shift knob, if that isn't how you're supposed to do it. Crutchfield says they have no info on the car yet. I'd like to get a head start before the helms repair manual arrives in the mail.

    I removed all the badging as soon as I took delivery and everyone has been asking me all week whether my si is a hybrid or a concept vehicle.

    initial impressions:
    Just broke 500 miles after week 1. The motor, tranny and chassis are loosening up and settling in nicely. Haven't noticed any oil consumption yet, but am keeping my eyes on it with a quart of 5W20 in my hand - thanks for the advice.

    Love the sound of the motor - it's just about perfect - not OEM silent and not aftermarket obnoxious and annoying - just right. Same goes for the suspension tuning. Michelin mxv4 ires are definitely the car's weak link, but they encourage a gentle break-in.

    I drove a friend's car last night for a bit and the standard shifter placement feels unnatural now. I can't imagine why it took so long for the dash-mounted shifter to come along.

    I don't miss my old focus as much as I thought I would.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    I had the same observation about the shifter after driving my 02 SI for a few weeks and then driving our 00 SI for a couple of days. The shifter in the 00 just felt low and the steering wheel in the 00 SI made me feel like I was driving a bus compared to the 02's.

    As for the oil, I took it easy and burned 3/4 of a quart in the first 3,000 miles. Although that was with 2 1000 mile round trip drives to Florida within a month. Haven't used any since.
  • much thanks to all for the great tips. It's amazing how much I thoroughly enjoy driving this car. I think i'll go with the slash gaurds, thanks to anony for the price tip. And anony, the car has already been broken in, and very well to my knownledge. (I talked to the 62 year old dealer who had it as a demo car.) Should I still treat it easy with 4000 miles? Thanks also to Tom for the details on the engine, really really good to know. My mom's toyota was a completely different entity. One quick question. Noticed from many posts and in person driving today that highway speeds rev very high. The general onsensus is this is aight? And the sound is beautiful. Someone told me it purred today. Thank again, I'm going driving ;-).
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    The only bad thing about it is the fuel consumption compared to other Honda's. But considering the power output I don't think it's all that bad. It's makes such great noises at cruise though.

    By the way it'll redline fifth at about 130 mph still accelerating. It's making power all the way up there.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    You got it right on the revs - roughly 3000 rpm at 60 mph, 4000 @ 80, 5000 @ 100, etc. This doesn't worry me. We've got an engine that is very similar to higher redlined engines in the RXS-S and S2000.
  • crikeycrikey Posts: 1,038
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Is rivertown's post correct?

    "You got it right on the revs - roughly 3000 rpm at 60 mph, 4000 @ 80, 5000 @ 100, etc. This doesn't worry me. We've got an engine that is very similar to higher redlined engines in the RXS-S and S2000."

    B/c my PRO runs 4500 at 90, so it seems the 2 cars are geared similarly. I know the Civic's might make a better sound, but I remember you complaining how the ES felt bad at highway speeds. Was it just the noise in the ES you didn't like or what exactly?

    Dinu
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    For me, the heavier, torquier, smoother Si is a bunch less buzzy than the Pro.
    That hard to define quality they're calling 'refinement', the feeling of having reserve power even at 100 mph. Honestly, the Si feels solid at speed like my '89 5.0 'Stange.
    There is wind noise with the Si, but that's somehow different.
  • thanks for the rev numbers. I was on the highway last night and tested out your numbers. That's almost exactly what I'm getting. I hear ya about the good quality of the engine, but my dad's telling me reving any engine that high will cause long term damage. Don't get me wrong, I love to accelerate fast, shift at higher revs, etc, but this car is going to be my daily commuter (school's the least of my traveling) for hopefully many years. My dad's also got me wondering about fuel consumption. Obviously fast accel is going to hurt the mpg, but is it a large difference? Regardless, i don't think highway driving could have been more fun last night.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    Honda's have had high-revving engines since they started building cars. The engine is designed to rev that high and one of the things you almost never hear under normal circumstances is premature Honda engine failures.

    As for the gas mileage, the faster you go the lower your MPG will be on the highway. That's true with any car but probably a little more so due to the SI's high-rev nature. But on a recent trip with average speeds of 85-90 MPH we still average 30MPG. On a less agressive trip we got 30-33 MPG.
  • thanks for the rev numbers. I was on the highway last night and tested out your numbers. That's almost exactly what I'm getting. I hear ya about the good quality of the engine, but my dad's telling me reving any engine that high will cause long term damage. Don't get me wrong, I love to accelerate fast, shift at higher revs, etc, but this car is going to be my daily commuter (school's the least of my traveling) for hopefully many years. My dad's also got me wondering about fuel consumption. Obviously fast accel is going to hurt the mpg, but is it a large difference? Regardless, i don't think highway driving could have been more fun last night.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Remeber I said that we regularly drove at those speeds though. As River said the difference is in the way the car behaves at those revs. The Protege at 4000 rpm sounded and felt like it was laboring the SI is just like 2000 rpm. I say it's the Vtec and balance shafts creating a more relaxed cruise but whatever it was the Pro didn't seem to like it. I have no problem running our Si for extended periods over 100 mph(over 5000 rpm) there's no way I'd feel as comfortable doing that in our Protege.

    So in a sentence it was the noise, excess vibration and the lack of reserve power that we didn't like about the Pro. Cause even my 93 EX coupe had reserve power at 100mph. It handled 115-120 easy mph with no strain on the engine. That's another comparison that didn't go over well in the Pro room.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    I see what you're saying.

    I agree with you: the PRO is not too smooth at 85mph+. I usually keep it at 80 or so on trips b/c:

    1. Noise!!!
    2. Don't wanna pay $$$ for tickets and higer insurance.

    The 93 Civic I had was good on the highway (smooth and not too noisy > better than the PRO at 80+mph), but not too good in the city.

    It seems the SiR is the ultimate package, combining the best of 2 worlds. And a 160hp in a car that small begs to be driven :)

    Too bad it costs so much! No discounts here.

    Dinu
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Its too easy to get you to see both sides of the coin. I'm glad this didn't get drawn out. At least you can see that we didn't hate our Pro. It didn't like our driving style is all. It was nice to look at and everything though.

    I agree my 93 EX would not have been fun in the city. Especially with the A/C on. Nothing really till over 2000rpm. But it LOVED the open road. Power, mileage, and comfort were excellent.

    We take our driving seriously though. We got rid of the EX-V6 Accord for the same reason. The tranny was fine after one of us drove it for a while. But if we drove it back-to-back the transmission had a brain fart. So we got rid of it. Nothing wrong with the car. Just didn't like to adjust to her more abrupt inputs and my more relaxed style.

    And by the way we do refer to the SI as the perfect Pro sometimes. We still have fond memories of our brief time with it.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Well I am VERY fond of hatches and a hatch w/160hp, a Honda MT and those seats is hard to beat.

    On the other hand, for the $, I think the PRO is a better value, especially for me, as I do most of my drivig in the city, so I am not annoyed so much at the noise. If the cars were selling for the same $, or $1500 more for the SiR, I'd pick the Honda, but w/a $5.000 difference, it's hard to justify paying $100 more per month for 4 years.

    Cheers!
    Dinu

    PS: Glad we can see both sides of the coin.

    Dinu
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    you guys are gonna make me cry. Proof that we can all just get along.

    You guys pay crazy prices up there in Canada. Here in the US we paid $15300 for the Protege and we paid $16,000 for the SI. The Pro was at 0.0% though while the SI is 5.25%. Although now Honda has 1.9%.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    Once you're past break-in, I honestly wouldn't worry about the revs and engine wear. There's even a rev limiter that works by chopping fuel supply; so, I think the only way you can harm the engine is by downshifting - too low a gear, too high speed. If you're running hard, I'd simply make sure to keep oil status good.

    LOL, gas mileage is another story. I think it's simple physics; use the power, use the fuel. My take is to use good gas and not penny pinch; for me that means Amoco, Exxon, or Texaco. The cool thing about the Si is the torque allows you cruise at low rpm and shift less in the city or to run and gun, as you like. I've yet to get the mileage Anony gets, but I think it's my heavy foot and short trips.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    Some of us is smooth and some of us ain't, I guess.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    I've observed Gee driving my SI and it's hard to get great gas mileage when you are determined to find out the true top speed of the SI any time a Chevy truck comes near you.
  • hosimianhosimian Posts: 10
    continue into March, except now they're even better. Residual value stays at 52% for 48 months, but money factor drops from .00092 to .00078 (that translates into just a hair less than 1.9%).

    I might just have to get another one. I need to replace my old 89 BMW 535i, AKA "The Black Hole," before in implodes . . . again.

    If anyone out there lives in an area where you can get a 2003 Si under $17k (legitimately), you could lease one for less than $180/month tax included with no money down (just first month and usual fees). For that price I would definitely get another one, but I think they're still above invoice in my neck of the woods (Pittsburgh, PA).

    Did a 4 hour mini road trip in the new Si yesterday and it was very nice. Love those seats! And for a small engine it just seems to have torque all over the place. It does rev a bit high on the highway, but it has a nice smooth sound. We are just finishing up the last month of a lease on a 2000 Acura Integra GS-R, and the Civic Si just seems better in almost every way. The GS-R might have a fraction of a second 0 to 60, but to get that fraction you have to beat the snot out of it.

    Although, after driving the GS-R for three years, I have found myself occassionally bumping into the rev limiter on the Si. It just feels like it could go at least another 600-700 RPMs without any additional stress to the engine. It makes me think that the Si could actually out-accelerate the GS-R if that rev limiter was, say, 7700 RPM.

    Does anyone know, can you hit 60 in second gear in the Si before the limiter cuts off the fuel?

    Still loving it more and more with each drive . . . and uh oh, so's the wife.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    There's mpg (miles per gallon) and there gpm (grins per mile), inversely related.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    lol river. You gotta point there. Gee is usually grinning when he is driving the SI ... but so am I.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    "Although, after driving the GS-R for three years, I have found myself occassionally bumping into the rev limiter on the Si. It just feels like it could go at least another 600-700 RPMs without any additional stress to the engine. It makes me think that the Si could actually out-accelerate the GS-R if that rev limiter was, say, 7700 RPM.

    Does anyone know, can you hit 60 in second gear in the Si before the limiter cuts off the fuel?"

    You can get a hondata reprogrammed computer and it will bump up the output to 180 hp and give you a higher redline.
    http://www.hondata.com/k20a3civicsirelease.html
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    I no longer own my Si. It will be missed. I had an appointment to get window tint on the Si and had some nice 17" wheels picked out. Felt that my earlier problems were taken care of then opportunity struck. Received an excellent trade on a 2002 VW Golf TDI. Monsoon stereo with indash cd and cassette and 6 disc cd changer, heated seats, heated mirrors, power roof like the Si, alloy wheels, 44 mpg, lower insurance and better resale. It is slower than the Si by far but I'll get it chipped and get some bigger wheels for it and I'll be ready to go.
    The most missed feature from the Si will be the seats. The seats were fantastic! Honda service was much better overall than VW service and I'll miss that too but I spent way too much time at the Honda dealer with Si problems. My previous experience with VW's has been excellent and much better than my recent Honda experience. Yeah, I know that is not normal, VW must be lucky for me.
    Anyway, I wish everyone the best of luck with their Si's. All I need to do now is figure out what to do with my Si mudguards that I never installed.
This discussion has been closed.