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Honda Civic Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers

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  • I purchased a 2009 HCH last summer. At first I was getting 35 to 38 MPG. now I am down to 21 to 24.5MPG. I live in Philly and don't drive "hard". HELP!!
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    Time of year and the weather is certainly a factor

    PFFlyer@Edmunds

    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • I feel your pain. I purchased my 2009 HCH on April 01, 2009. Only got 40 mpg on a long 400 mile trip on all Interstate/Frwy. Last month we took the HCH into the dealer as the IMA Light and engine light came on. They indicated there was a service bulletin on the Electric Motor battery and the charging system. We were getting around 35 to 36 mpg both city and highway driving. The Honda dealer didn't indicate what the Service Bulletin fixed, but we are now getting 32 mpg both city and highway driving. It appears that the EM Battery does not hold a charge for very long. This leads to no electric motor assist on acceleration. I am calling them and reporting the problem. I had told the dealer that we were never getting the MPG we would expect from a Hybrid Car ever since we have owned it.
    We now have 16,000 miles on the car. Way past any so called break-in period, B.S.
    If Honda cannot fix the problem, I am selling the HCH, and going to a Hybrid Toyota Camry. I sacrificed the quiet comfort of our Camry for what I thought was going to be superior MPG. I am convinced that battery operated autos are a waste of auto engineering time. The auto industry needs to develop fuel cell technology for automobiles. No plug in, no batteries, no gasoline. The auto industry and it's Unions are still screwing the public.
  • My sister drives a Prius 2006. I drive it when I visit. She gets 45 mpg. I love her car. She has no issues at all. The A/C works like a dream - used it in Wash DC on a record hot August day - it cooled us down immediately, with no loss of "pep".
    The problem is HONDA! They want to offer a Hybrid because Toyota does but they don't have the know-how yet so their Hybrids stink.
  • I agree. In my post #511, the Service Bulletin on my Honda 2009 HCH did nothing to improve gasoline mileage. If anything, it made it worse, as the EM Battery does not hold a charge for very long. This reduces the EM Assist when needed. We still get anywhere from 32 to 36 mpg combined city/hwy. Almost traded it in, but mileage, and pric is still better than a Camry Hybrid.
    Will put lumbar seat cushions in car for better comfort, and live with the small trunk space. Current Hybrid technology is overpriced, and not practical. Driving around in a hybrid carrying the heavy weignt of EM batteries is not efficient. The best technology is Fuel Cells. for both efficiency and "green"! The fuel is Hydrogen, and the exhaust is water.
    The fuel cell technology just has to get affordable. May not happen in my life time!
  • eddokeddok Posts: 1
    edited November 2011
    I live in Southern California. I am the original owner of the car. I bought it in Aug 2009. I had a 92 4 runners, and decided to go green. At first I was a bit disappointed with the car, it wasn't quite getting the mpg as expected. My commute is relatively short, 3 mile one way to work. I was getting mid 30s street and high 30s fwy. And then the mileage dropped down to the high 20s to low 30s.

    I went to the dealer for the initial service, and told the service guy about it. I didn't get a straight answer from the guy, and I wasn't too happy. A few months later IMA light came on, so I took the car to the dealer. They said that the battery was bad and need to be replaced. After the battery was replaced, it drives a better.

    I was searching the net about the problem that I have and got mixed reviews. But there was a site that I found, I'll have to look for it again now. They describe how to get better mileage from a hybrid (I guess or any gas engine car) by changing the way I drive the car.

    I have been practicing the driving techniques. And I have been getting better mileage on my civic hybrid, as high as 49 mpg on a 200 miles + hwy trip. But mostly I have been getting mid to high 40s. Even in summer with A/C on, the mpg doesn't suffer that much. I really think the driving technique is the key to get high mpg from these cars.

    Slow accelerating (in most case, except at the fwy on ramp)
    More coasting and less braking (a lot of planning and practice on this one both on the streets and on the freeways)
    Keep the engine rev around 2500rpm or lower (I can mantain 2000prm going 65+mph on the freeway)
    Street speed between 30-45 mph, Hwy speed between 65-70mph are ideal. Just remember to accelerate slowly if you can and keep the engine rev low and constant.
    Plan your route, fewer stop and go, less up hills, etc.
    Practice and practice.
    I guess the EPA mpg is rated at ideal driving conditions (not much stop and go, slow accelerate, etc), in order to get it, you have to try to achieve those driving conditions.

    To get higher mileage on the hybrid, or any car, we need to change our driving habits.

    I also keep the tire pressure a bit higher than honda spec which is 32-34 psi. The factory tires are rated higher (45-50psi). I have been inflating my tires to 38-40psi. The higher the pressure in the tires, the less rolling resistance, the better mpg. But you have to check the pressure limit on your tires, and I wouldn't recommend using the high limit on the tire rating. As the tires get warm, the air inside expands causing the pressure to go higher.
  • I finally sold my 2009 Honda Civic, which was only getting on average of about 35 mpg. I suspected something wrong with the Battery and Charging system.
    I traded it in for a fully loaded 2011 Camry Hybrid. It is much more comfortable and quiter than the cheaper small Civic Hybrid. The big difference was getting 37.5 mpg on the highway, and 35.6 driving around town.
    This is with the normal driving technique, not babying the car for better mileage. Toyota is far superior in fuel economy in its Hybrid design than Honda. Please note the new 2012 Toyota Camry, non hybrid, that just came out with a 43 mpg fuel economy.
    Honda is okay as a lower priced commuter vehicle, but it just doesn't compete with Toyota in overall fuel economy, and overall driving.
  • frednjudik,

    I am glad for you. I wish my finiancial was better so I could get rid off my 2008HCH. it is now under 37mpg and that still requires a lot of efforts. I used to get above 44mpg . Same driving techniques, same other factors...it's just that the car's mpg is decreasing...My friend has Prius 2007. I ask his mpg, he says the prius mpg almost stay the same and it is around 48mpg. I wish I bought the prius!
  • 2011 HCH Purchased Feb 2011 - mpg consistent 38 - 40 mpg until Sept 2011.

    Then steady drops with each tank of gas reaching 29 mpg in Nov 2011.

    Driving in Seattle, cold weather and heavy traffic for 4 miles of 12 mile one way commute - light traffic on return commute. Commute is 8 miles city/4 miles freeway. Use defroster only while car in warming up and turn off after 2 miles or so.

    Took to dealer - found no issues - insists I am using wrong gas and that is responsible for 10 mpg drop . Have used same gas (Safeway) from the beginning until last tank when on advice of Dealer, filled up with Chevron. Great burst of mpg just after (50 mpg!), next AM drove .5 miles to intersection and stopped at red light - watch mpg drop from 41 t0 37 while idling at stoplight then continue dropping while in heavy traffic for four miles to 27! After traffic broke and freeway travel ended up at 32 mpg. So much for "premium" gas.

    Dealer is not responsive - any advice on what to do from here? Besides trading in for a Prius which I am seriously considering depending on the financial hit I would take. HELP!
  • Sounds like you have a problem with the EM Battery not keeping enough charge to engage the electric motor. My HCH Dealer put a service bulletin fix on my 2009, and it didn't improve anything. I was getting 33 mpg combined HWY & City. Only 29 mpg?, something is wrong!! I traded my 2009 HCH in for a new 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid. It gets 35 mpg combined, and 37.5 Hwy. We sacrificed comfort and quality for a few less MPG. We are retired. The HCH would make a great commuter vehicle at its advertised MPG, but we don't have to commute anymore.
    Again, Honda just doesn't compare to Toyota's Hybrid Technology. The Regional Honda Corp told me to take it to a dealer and have them do a fuel consumption test. They have to keep the vehicle for several days to do this testing. Most Honda Dealers just buzz you off regarding MPG issues on their Hybrids. I suggest you trade yours in for a Toyota Hybrid. Used cars are at a premium right now, especially Hybrid's. Searching the Internet is the best way I found in finding what you want. Visiting Dealers, while looking, is a waste of time. We drove 90 miles when we found our 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid on the Internet. It was at a Ford/Suburu Dealer & used with 1300 miles on it. It was exactly what we had been looking for in a new vehicle. This car was like new, but at used car price. We really were lucky, but it took looking on the Internet, a lot.
    Good Luck!
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    It sound to me like you are hitting the reset button, and then watching average MPG display to get numbers like that (27 to 50). it means nothing until you have run enough fuel through it to get a good average. My 07 will read anywhere from 25 to 130 when i reset mine. And of course the numbers are going to drop when idling cold, you have no miles / gallons I found that i get an average of 45 MPG throughout the year, driving it like a car. I can push that figure higher by driving like an old man. 41 in winter 49 in the summer. I have both a Honda and a Toyota and would take the Honda over the Toyota and day. Better car, better dealer, less problems and recalls. Sure, the Toyota may have more technology,but it will someday cost you some day. Thank goodness for extended warranty's.
  • For Mrwaug,
    How do you get 45 mpg on an 07 HCH? Did you not get the software upgrade? I get 30 mpg and I drive with fuel economy in mind! I no longer have low resistant tires, but still.

    My original tires got chewed up at 32,000 miles due to some sort of suspension defect. I thought my car was going to fall apart, it was shaking so bad. Went to Les Shwab assuming I needed an alignment. They said tires were SHOT! They also couldn't align it properly due to this defect. Went to Honda who put in control arm fix (whatever that is). This was a KNOWN issue, they just didn't bother to fix it until asked. My replacement tires were not low resistance and I noticed a 2 mpg or so decrease. What I would really like an answer to is HOW I got my car serviced and tires rotated at Honda and NO ONE said a thing about the abnormal wear on my tires.
    Bottom line is since the software upgrade, shortly after my new tires, my mpg took another hit. The battery constantly recals - every 10 miles or so - and the auto stop hardly ever comes on. Honda just blames it on the tires.
    My sister loves her 2006 Prius and so do I when I drive it - 50 mpg no problem.
  • Yes - I reset trip A for each tank of gas. In Feb under the same driving conditions I was getting 38-40 mpg, now I am getting 29-31 and I had never seen the mpg gauge drop while idling like the other day. A few tenths I can accept, but not 5 mpgs in 60 seconds! Nothing has changed except my mpg and Honda has no explanation.

    Can anyone advise on how to escalate with Honda?
  • Escalate to your Regional Honda Corp., tell them the problems with your MPG and the Dealer that appears to not have fixed anything. Other than that, sell it, and buy a Toyota, or try the Ford Fusion.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    I read about about the suspension up date on Edmunds and got that taken care of right away, I kept the original tires until the were bald (45k) and then bought Bridgestone LRR tires. I had the computer up date done last year. It did not change the actual fuel mileage, but the average fuel readout now reads about 3 mpg less than actual mileage. You did mention Cold day in Seattle, That will Kill your mileage. It may be a Hybrid, but it is still an internal combustion engine. The effects of temperature, humidity and altitude affect the efficiency. So any condition that creates and oxygen rich atmosphere will cause more fuel to be consumed, So living in Seattle you have three strikes, Cold, High Humidity and sea level. Most cars would not show much difference, but an high efficiency in most hybrid cars are greatly effected. Things like low tire pressure, anything other than 0-20 oil, sand bags in the trunk are going to effect fuel mileage.
  • You wont get any joy from Honda.
    This is an issue and its gonna cost too much for Honda to fix.
    Those who opt-out of the Class Action suit may get some joy if Honda think the numbers are within there tolerance.

    I have written to my congressman because this is more than individuals getting duped, this is about Americans believing in new fuel efficient technology and whether they are taking a "big" risk in wanting to go green.
    I for one wont buy a Honda "fuel efficient" vehicle again.
  • I am sorry for your experience. I have just sold my 2008 HCH with a heavy heart - I loved this car, but I fell in love with another car ( which has much worse gas mileage ) and that was that.

    The 2008 HCH was an incredible performer for me. Toward the end, with 72k miles on it, I could not have gotten bellow 39 had I tried. Most of the time I was getting from 41 to 45 in mixed and not particularly careful driving. One week, determined to wring every last drop of fuel from it, I got an amazing 57 mpg on a tankful of gas.

    The 08 was incredibly reliable. Not one problem. Not one service visit for anything other than maintenance. It got wonderful gas mileage when I really applied myself to it. When I didn't, I got lower gas mileage, but never less than 39.

    It's all in how you drive it. My new car is rated at 28 - 32 city/highway. I'm currently getting 37 mpg out of it, having been well trained by the HCH.
  • It is a shame that you sound like a HONDA representative. My own gas mileage dropped from 35 city/ 40 Hwy down to 24City/28 Hwy over almost two years. I was repeatedly told that I just didn't know how to drive. I replaced my original tires at 33k miles to a much less recommended tire, got no reduction in gas mileage at all. (the dealer tried to tell me "That is the problem" until I showed him me records of mileage over the last two years (EXCEL Spreadsheet). He gave me some more crap until I started to get angry in the dealership and online. He had the audacity to complain that he didn't appreciate me telling him " I'm just blowing smoke up your butt". However after they actually did a thorough testing of the car's electrical system, they replaced the IMA battery and, so far it seems to be running better. I will report back after I have gone through a full tank of regular gas.

    Bill
  • I believe you couldn't get below 39 mpg even had you tried. I also believe pigs can fly.
  • This is the message I sent back to the Honda Dealer today.

    I got the IMA battery Cell replacement on 3/14-15. I just finished the first gas tank since and calculated that, with a 60 mile trip on I95 I still got less than 32mpg. I am very disappointed with the results I have experienced. My purchase of new tires was done in March and does not seem to show any change in mileage. I am not sure what to do now. Was the IMA battery changed or just a bad cell? At least the “AUTO STOP” is now working and the IMA battery charge stays near half charged 90% of the time.



    What do you suggest?

    Bill



    26-Jan-12 33321 164 4.7070 34.84 Trip to Havre de Grace

    17-Feb-12 33489 168 8.1160 20.70 Check Engine & IMA lights on &
    off sporadically

    3-Mar-12 33693 204 7.9290 25.73 Check Engine & IMA lights on & off sporadically

    Took car to Piazza Honda (33737) - Cost $194 upgraded Software "No more problems with IMA Light coming on" - IMA Light and Check engine light came on that afternoon. The next day the check engine light stayed on for our trip to the GYM.

    16-Mar-12 33904 211 7.3270 28.80 Check Engine Light on constantly and IMA light on & off sporadically. Car to PIAZZA HONDA - New IMA battery 14-Mar-12

    28-Mar-12 34155 251 7.9500 31.57
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