Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Honda Civic Hybrid Driving Tips & Tricks



  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That's normal for a test drive from a non-hybrid-trained driver.

    Once you get the car and learn to use the instruments on the dash to maximize the MPG, you can see improvement if you want to.

    If you are a "dash from red light to red light ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM" type driver, however, you are better off not getting a hybrid car.

    Good luck either way.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    If you are a long-term hybrid owner, our Senior Editor, John O'Dell, would love to hear from you! A short email with your maintenance experiences and concerns would be great. Please send to John at by close of business Wednesday, August 22, 2007. Be sure and include your Forums username.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • With the autostop working intermittently. The dealer had the car for a week before figuring it out. There were no engine or transmission faults, but it turned out to be the HVAC controller which is back in the IMA controller behind the rear seat. That was replaced, and now autostop works all of the time and the gas mileage is 25% better.
  • There appears to be a generic problem with the 2006-2008 Civic Hybrids. When stopped at a traffic light, and with the heater on at low fan speed and without the defroster on, the auto idle stop kicks on as expected, but after a minute or two, it kicks off abruptly and startles the driver.

    This problem has persisted with my 2006 Civic hybrid and also with a brand new 2008 Civic hybrid I test drove recently.

    Have other Civic hybrid owners noticed this problem?
  • I recently bought a new 2009 HCH. Having never driven a hybrid before, I have noticed a few odd things while driving this car.

    Owners of HCH, please let me know if the following is normal:

    1. When stopped completely (say at red light), the car sometimes goes a bit backward when foot is released from the break -- like in manual transmission cars.

    2. At lower speed (less than 25 mph), the car does not move smoothly like a non-hybrid car does. I can feel the perceptible jerk.

    Then there is the small matter of dealership that never gave me two keys (I have just one), and did not give me the manuals either. Will contacting Honda do any good?

    - John
  • Hi John,

    Congrats on the new car! I bought my '09 HCH back in June. The only time the car has moved backward for me when taking my foot off the brake is when I've been on an incline (same as with a regular car). Also, I've never noticed any jerkiness at lower speeds, I'll pay attention next time I'm in the car.

    When I purchased my car I was given 3 keys - two regular keys and one valet key. Have you contacted the dealership about getting the keys and the manuals? If so, what was their response?

    I hope this helps!
  • MsAdventure, thanks.

    With the car going backward, this does not happen always. But, it happens on the flats road as well.

    The jerkiness is perceptible -- I can feel it in my belly. Please drive at slow speed and see if your car hesitates -- almost as if it can't decide if it needs to accelerate or decelerate.

    Also, could you please tell me which manuals did you receive with your car? I was given a 2009 civic manual (not of hybrid). I checked Honda's website at, and I can see that there are following manuals and user guides related to the hybrid that I believe I should have been given (my car came with navigation):

    2009 Civic Hybrid Navigation System Owner's Manual
    (English, Paper, 31SNC820)

    2009 Civic Hybrid Owner's Manual
    (English, Paper, 31SNC630)

    2009 Civic Hybrid Quick Start Guide
    (English, Paper, 31SNCQ30)

    2009 Civic Hybrid Service History
    (English, Paper, 31SNCM30)

    Did you receive all four of the above?

  • Hi John,

    I'm so sorry for the delayed response - I forgot to set myself email notifications! I did pay attention to driving at slower speeds two separate times. Once, after I first started the car it seemed to act slightly jerky. Second, after I'd driven for a while and that time, I didn't notice any jerkiness at all. Both times were at speeds 20-25 mph.

    I did receive all 4 of those manuals as well as these add'l booklets:

    2009 Warranties - 31SNCW30
    Consumer Information - 31H06801

    Hope that helps!!!
  • frednjudikfrednjudik Posts: 22
    New 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid purchased end of March, has 1900 miles.
    the MPG Indicator at the bottom dash display indicates 33 mpg. I have not reset any trip meter readings. We have combination city and highway. Outside Temps. 101 degrees, its summer in SW Calif.! The dealer tells me that the car needs a break-in period of at least 5,000 miles to begin to get the good gas mileage. The owners manual indicates 600 miles break-in. The Electric Motor kicks in at take off's from a dead stop, and accelerating above 3,000rpm. When coasting/free-wheeling, the EM is charging the battery. Has anyone else experienced low mileage on a new 2009 Honda Hybrid? Should I wait until the Odometer turns 5,000 miles, and then complain about low mpg? My wife and I are retired. We don't drive like teenagers anymore! I have not yet measured gallons divided into real miles yet, but will on the next tank fill. The very first tankful, I did, and it matched the MPG Indicator in the Dash. Any Ideas? I think the Dealer is Full of It!
  • Thanks, MsAdventure. We all get busy from time to time. Thanks for taking the time to remember and reply.

    I did call Honda last week, and complained about not receiving a single manuals from the dealership. The rep from Honda said something about the dealer communication. No word from anyone (Honda or dealer) yet. I am not sure what my options are if I don't get them!! :confuse:
  • frednjudik, I bought a 2009 HCH a month ago, and my overall avg has been 37 only with a combination of city and highway driving. I have seen that it does worse during city driving. Last week I was driving in NYC, and my mpg dropped to 33.

    At the moment since last 5 days with just suburbia driving. my mpg has stayed close to 35!! I am yet to see an EPA claimed 45 ever. :mad:
  • Hi John,

    That all sounds incredibly frustrating. I'm sorry you have to go through that hassle. Nothing like a bad experience to take away from the enjoyment of a new car. I would say at the very least, the dealer should offer to make copies for you of another set of manuals they have for the vehicle (never mind that what they *should* do is get you an actual set). I wonder if there's anything in your contract about what you're supposed to get with the vehicle and I wonder if the manuals are a line item on that? I thought I had my contract handy, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. Otherwise, I'd suggest starting a hunt on eBay for 2009 manuals. Good luck!

  • I am about to "get" a '05 hybrid from a friend at a rock bottom reasonable price (he is wealthy). Since then, i learned that batteries could cost almost as much as what i would be paying for this car!!!

    My question to the technical folks is this, Can i disable the battery or configure it in such a way that if it goes dead the car does not go dead also? i read somewhere on this site that if the IMA battery goes dead the computer will try to charge and will eventually give up and then after a while it will not try charging....not even the smaller/regular battery

    also that the car could lose power, and this can occur while driving? WTF???

    So, mi concern and question is can i drive the car without a battery installed

    p.s if the answer is no, i might buy a regular engine+transmission and do a conversion maybe
  • While I do not own a hybrid, Honda or otherwise, common sense would tell me that since you are getting this car for a little bit of nothing, AND you do not know if the battery is in need of replacement why worry about it?? If it turns out the battery needs replaced, replace it, since you got the car cheap otherwise why buy a hybrid in the first place? As to your other choices i.e. disable the battery/configure the car to run without it, I'd say nope...same as your other option of replacing the engine/transmission to make it a "normal" Civic. Again...nope, if you are worried about the cost of replacing the battery why are you so willing to spend at least as much to try to make the car something it isn't? And you don't even know if the battery IS bad...don't bother buying it if you want a normal car.
  • After posting a short answer to your proposals I thought further and figured I would try to expand why I said "nope" to both your ideas.
    a. regarding your idea about disabling the battery, I said no because a hybrid is designed around the entire package and that design includes the battery as the central part of the overall system. There may be a wild eyed blogger somewhere on the web who has the complete set of instruction on how to do this but I wouldn't even consider won't work, and I'll go out on a limb here, AT ALL!!
    b. regarding your other idea of replacing the engine/drivetrain...again, the car is a hybrid from engine to transmission to various computer modules designed to make the hybrid system operate seamlessly to the instrument cluster to wiring harnesses to...well you name it. Make no mistake, it may look something like a Civic of the same year but it is a HYBRID and the costs of changing it over (if possible) would make the battery replacement cost look like an oil change in comparison. I'll finish up the same way I finished the previous post...If you are concerned about replacing a battery that may well still be OK do not buy a hybrid, especially if you intend to follow through on one of the two options you outlined.
  • OK. Thanks for the help. I think i will sell the car after a year or so then. I'm just scared that this car will stop working in the middle of a trip and i will have no mechanic able to fix it....
  • First, I don't think you should be so afraid of hybrids since they have generally proved themselves to be reliable. Second, like all well maintained cars, it probably will not just stop in the middle of a trip. Like all cars you would probably get ample warning that some mechanical part is on its way out...again ALL cars can have mechanical problems but you will have minimal suprises if you keep up the maintainance per Honda's recommendations. The battery would not just die without warning. While I don't know the cost of a replacement Honda battery (but I don't think it is outrageous) hybrids have been around long enough to prove that their batteries are not usually trouble prone.You never mentioned the mileage on this car but some hybrids in taxi service have over 200,000 miles on their original battery. As to a mechanic, well, the engine is pretty much like any engine in that it has filters, spark plugs, etc. that any mechanic should be able to handle but the hybrid system is best left to a Honda dealer of which there are plenty in almost any city in the USA. If it were me I would buy the car taking advantage of getting a cheap hybrid and!!!
  • Hi when I first bought my Civic Hybrid 2007 the dealer told me that I should try my best not to brake suddenly. That it could actually cause damage to the car. I figured that's okay because it's not like I got it so I could drive like a speed demon. Brake early and often, right? Well unfortunately what do you do when someone pulls out in front of you? This has happened a couple of times and moderate braking doesn't help you from T'ing some idiot who doesn't know how to look both ways. One time it seemed like the shocks or something was going to blow right through the frame (obviously I'm not mechanically inclined).

    Is there something I can do to improve the braking? Better pads? Better shocks? I've had one at fault accident and one speeding ticket in my life. So obviously I'm a safe and conscientious driver. But the stopping distance IMHO sucks!!!
  • Thought I bump this up a bit. After reading some of these posts, I guess I should be happy with the MPG I get on my 2009 HCH. I have just over 6000 miles and over that time period I averaged 42.8 MPG. 90% of my driving is local, 10 miles or less trip. I have the Trip B set for when I bought the car to get the "lifetime" avg MPG which I posted. On Trip A, I reset it on every fill up and as of today it was 40.7.

    The 40.7 number is with AC off (since it's winter) but here in SC the winters are mild.

    My driving style is I would say is fairly aggressive for a Hybrid owner. I don't try to drive it too easy, but easier than I did with my 2004 Honda Accord EX with a V6 which I drove like a sports car.
  • You are very fortunate to get 40 plus mpg in city, stop and go traffic. Thank you for your input, as you sound like an average driver. My 2009 gets around 42mpg on long trips, interstate driving, going around 70 mph, the speed limit in California, on Freeway/Interstate driving. This is with AC on, another occupant, and luggage in the trunk. There are so many variables, it is really hard to get a good average reading. If everyone that owns a Honda Civic Hybrid, and replys to this forum, we would definately get a decent average irrespective of driving conditions and loads, and honesty.
This discussion has been closed.