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Honda Civic Real World MPG



  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    the real question is how was it measured/determined?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,337
    And that would tell you what, and operatively what?

    So what does it tell YOU when we get what 95-98% of what most Honda Civic owners do NOT get, and without trying??
  • rick119rick119 Posts: 21
    The 2008 1.8 Civic ( as I understand) is up to 6% more efficient than the 1.7 liter civic, probably due to increased torque while dropping rpm. I have looked beyond the basic rules for getting better mpg and can offer free advise to bump your civic mpg 2-4 more!
    I have a 1.7 civic and I have pushed highway mpg from 39-40 to 43 plus and after 2 more adjustments it should get 45 mpg.
  • rick119rick119 Posts: 21
    Is it a 4 cylinder automatic? Do you have a lead foot?
  • rick119rick119 Posts: 21
    Are you running the oem factory wheels?
  • rick119rick119 Posts: 21
    What year civic do you have and is it automatic or stick? What size are your wheels?
  • rick119rick119 Posts: 21
    I can advise but I must get some preliminary info first. What part of the country do you drive it in? It basically a cummuter to work or a family ride? Again what size wheels do you have on it?
    I have looked well beyond the average things for getting better mpg, that is why I can not just list everything, I need to know specifics as well.
  • rick119rick119 Posts: 21
    Are you willing to drive 100,000 miles before you recoupe your costs? Do you only want cost effective measures that you recoupe in 50,000 miles? I have one measure you will recover from very soon after you buy it. I have a high tech background and may not be the best but I am in the 90% area for advising on this.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    For a couple of weeks now you've been saying stuff like, "I can offer suggestions on many ways that folks can improve the mileage they're getting from their Civics...", however, you've yet to offer a single suggestion. As such, my Scam-O-Meter is starting to reach SCAM level. If you truly have recommendations that can demonstrably improve the mileage of a Civic, post them, please.

    Best Regards,
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I think the point is that we'd be interested in any information you can share about conserving fuel, especially these days. We're not really set up for these kinds of one on one interviews though.

    If you can share some general tips, that would be nice. (Provided, of course, that you aren't selling anything.) :)
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Model: 2000 Honda Civic LX Sedan
    Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
    Engine: 1590cc Inline 4
    Final Drive Ratio (AT): 4.36

    I drive about 5 miles highway and 5 miles city (downtown Newark, NJ) 5 days a week, each way from work.

    I've noticed that my 11.8 Gallon Tank gets around 300-320 for a tank, but I've also noticed that since I've owned the car, it seems to lose performance both starting and accelerating when lower than 1/3 a tank. As such, Once the needle says I'm around the 1/3 mark I will fill up and I grab about 9 or 10 gallons. (Seems like it drops from 1/2 to E a lot faster than it does from F to 1/2 tank).

    Honda quotes my mileage as: 4-Speed Automatic (City/Highway): 28/35

    On strictly highway driving, I'll get in the upper 30's, which is pretty good considering the age of the engine. Every oil change I make a point to put in Chevron Techron to help keep the injectors/fuel system clear. I probably get better than 35 when pure highway.

    I also tend to drive no more than Speed Limit + 5 mph on highways, anything higher than 55 mph will drastically start to reduce your economy due to parasitic drag.

    I used to use STP Fuel Saver (the red bottle) but I noticed that it wasn't really worth it - I wasn't getting very much "extra" mileage for the extra dollar-a-bottle, and the hassle to get the attendant put it in (in NJ we can't pump our own gas).

    I also make it a point to change my air filter every year, this'll definitely help with economy and probably performance. If you're looking for performance, I recommend K&N filters, but personally I use the Purolator brand and have had good results.

    Wash and spray-wax your car regularly for even less skin friction on long trips.
  • cartagramcartagram Posts: 115
    Like thegraduate, I live in Alabama (Huntsville) and I'll soon be vacationing near Gulf Shores. For grins, with my new used '07 Civic LX automatic, I've been running without AC on in the mornings and evenings. I keep a zipper-pull thermometer from REI in the car, just to see if I can run around town during the day without AC. So far, my tolerance for cabin air temp. is around 95 degrees.

    Overall, though, I find mornings and evenings pleasant without the AC. On hot days, I'll usually turn it off about a mile from my destination. That is, when I'm not testing my heat tolerance for grins.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,337
    While every one's heat tolerance can be/ is different, one question most folks would have from your post might be: what are the mileage gains/losses given A/C OFF/ON ?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Using my scanguage (not on a civic....but hear me out) it appears that A/C is a huge hit in the city on most vehicles. Cold start driving around town with the A/C on burns gobs of fuel. Out on the road it's not as big of a difference as far as I can tell. So small you can't measure it.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,337
    That sounds logical.

    I watched a "Myth Busters" piece (cable tv show?) where they used a F150 (if I remember) put in a measured 1 gal and ran each scenario with A/C ON and with A/C off with windows opened (for obvious practical reasons- i.e., not test reasons) and the A/C on ran further on a gal of gas.
  • rick119rick119 Posts: 21
    I am not selling anything. I was an RN for 13 years and I need to get a history before I can advise what would be best for your particular civic and what it is used for, otherwise there are so many variables it might take a small book to post. If you are driving an unmodified oem civic, some of these things can get technical to some people. If I post all the ("if")
    situations it could get just too lengthy. Everyones situation may be a little different. If you can not give me some specifics it is hard for me to give specifics unless I just get real general and I just do not want to write that book all at once.
  • rick119rick119 Posts: 21
    Ok, let me start with gas additives. There is only one that I have found to not only work but is cost effective. Lucas gas treatment, one gallon treats 400 gallons of gas. And it should up your mpg by "up to 1 mpg" the math shows that it is cost effective if you say buy it at 19.99 a gallon or even cheaper by the case online.
    Some people do not want to fool with this so I will move on. I have also found that all the increases I give you can be cummulative.
    We all know weight is everything right? Take those heavy $%$%
    steel wheels off your car and buy a wheel that weighs 1/2 the weight but the same height. do not go any more than 1/2 inch wider on the light wheel. Depending on the size I can advise on which wheel. My steel 14 inch wheels with the plastic cover and heavy lug nuts weighs 20 lbs each. I went to a 9.3 lb wheel with light weight lug nuts and dropped 10 lbs per wheel. you can multiply lost wheel weight by 4 to get the equivalent in static weight.
    So I lost 160 lbs of static weight off the car and it performs noticeably better. These were 14 inch Kosei 119.00 each wheels. again you may determine that it is not cost effective but just this 40 lb of lost turning weight gave me 2+ mpg on a 4 cylinder 05 civic. Do not change the height of the wheel unless you can get the rubber that stands 2 inches taller than the stock tire, but of course then it will change your gear ratio and change your odometer . Your mpg would go higher but the odometer will not show it. If the speedo says your doing 68 you may be doing 70. Most of the time taller rubber will not fit in the wheel well anyway. I would not advise this. But By the time you lose the weight off the car the car could easily pull a slightly taller gearing. A narrower tire can bump up your mpg but possibly at the cost of losing a slight amount of traction or ride comfort.
    Get rid of that heavy $%$#^ battery! Depending on what part of the country you live in will help determine which battery you need. I run a 11.5 lb Braille battery here in the hot south and it works just fine. Braille also makes a 15 lb battery possibly for the 6 cylinder or colder weather.
    Take the 7 pound cover off the spare tire and leave it at home.
    A lighter quiet muffler will help and so will a different air intake.
    Magnets on the fuel line do not work, If you run a fitch fuel catalyst on the gas line the Lucas gas treatment may not improve your mpg at all, so be carefull about using both. The fitch fuel catalyst may or may not have improved my mpg, if it did it went up by up to 0.5 mpg.
    I run pulstar capacitor discharge plugs, the torque went up by the seat of the pants feel but I can not say my mpg went up with it, if it did it was less than 0.5 mpg.
    you can go to billette aluminum oem spec pulleys. Do not go to underdrive pulleys! Some hesitiate to put a light weight crank pulley on due to harmonic distortions but if you are not racing it I personally would put one on. It is my understanding that for each 1lb you take off the crank it is equal to 2.7 hp which would up your mpg if you do not drive it any faster.
    when was the last time you had a flat that fix a flat could not fix?
    I have had one in my 47 years that fix a flat could not fix. If you stay around the city take that heavy $#%#$^ spare out of your trunk and leave it in the garage. Take your cell phone with you and hope there is someone at home if you ever need it.
    I am the master at milking mpg out of a manual trans, I can shift through all 5 gears before 40 mpg without lugging it, easy to do after getting the weight off your car ( 35 plus mpg in the city) If you rarely carry a passenger or commute long distances take that passenger seat out and leave it in the garage, let occasional riders ride in the back seat.
    Now if you want even more mpg, go to the Bridgestone low rolling resistance tire, it may cost 95.00 each and may not be cost effective but you may realize up to 1 mpg or more out of it.
    Sometimes I am willing to spend a little more to keep from buying more gas. Go to search and pull up Bridgestone low rolling resistance tires. I would not even fool with buying " low resitance plug wires" any increase you may not even notice.
    This is a good start, any questions?
  • cartagramcartagram Posts: 115
    I've only had the car for a bit more than a month so I haven't isolated AC on and off on two tanks of gas. I picked up 3 mpg by using several techniques, although AC off was the most-used technique. With AC off, I'd "crack" the windows, although I suppose that working 4 window motors uses a bit of the juice saved by the AC being off.

    I actually began to prefer the AC off until the car was in the mid-90s. I'd gotten used to stepping out of a refrigerator into the summer heat so that when I began cutting the AC a mile before destination and for a mile after starting up, I felt more comfortable driving and leaving the car.

    BTW: the post with all of the weight-saving ideas was great. I, too, have questioned the presence of the spare tire around town.

    One other change is to remove 10 or 15 lbs. of body weight, and wear light-weight clothes (runner's dry-fit gear works well during the summer). There are probably a pound or two of clothing and shoe weight that can be shaved off.
  • rick119rick119 Posts: 21
    I have even more things that will give you 2 more mpg but will keep it quiet because it cost so much. Taking a few pounds off the inside or clothes is not really going to do any more than coasting a few more feet. If you want significant improvement you have to spend money.
  • harvey44harvey44 Posts: 178
    I drove 275 miles today. In my wife's 2006 EX MT. 10% suburbs, 90% highway. When I filled up RIGHT after getting off the highway - I had gone 240.6 miles and the car took 4.98 gallons. The math on that is over 48 mpg.

    I couldn't believe it. The best I had ever done in her car was 42. This time I really tried hard. I kept it at 65, or the speed limit or lower. On top of it was really hot and I ran the AC on the lowest possible setting most of the way.

    Normally on this drive I set the cruise on 68 and stomp on it when necessary or I feel like it. This time I was a light as I could be. It took me about 20 mins longer than usual, on a five hr ride.

    It''s a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] to concentrate like that the whole drive, and all that work really probably saved me only 5 bucks.

    The pumps could have clicked out in my "favor." But even at 45mpg that's pretty cool. That's borderline hybrid mileage.

    One advantage on the highway I noticed...EVERYONE was using cruise control or driving easy and the heavy volume spots kept moving, so I never got stuck.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Don't believe it. A sampling that small is gaurenteed to be incorrect as there's absolutely no way the two different pumps clicked off at the same point. Said another way, the click-off event on different pumps can vary by more than a gallon.

    Best Regards,
  • harvey44harvey44 Posts: 178
    As I said, I'm skeptical too. The next tank will tell.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Even a full tank is a poor indicator. After tracking mileage tank-by-tank for years, and then checking it via a mileage calculator (either an OBC with an AVG mileage display or a ScanGaugeII or some such), it typically takes five or more tanks using the "miles devided by the gallons" methot before you gain any real accuracy.

    Best Regards,
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    we can reduce the weight of our cars by ripping out the insulation, and the carpets. Don't carry any passengers, they can drive their own cars. So we can remove all the seats and replace the driver seat with an aluminum folding chair that can be used at the destination.

    Radio, CD players, glass, and the starter on MT (park on a hill) aren't really necessary. They are just a convenience. Without glass the AC and heater won't be effective, so chunk both of them. Also the inside door panels, door locks, window motors and all the heavy associated wiring is now obsolete.

    How often do we really need/use the air bags or seat belts. They really aren't needed any more than the spare tire. Anti-lock brakes and vehicle stabilization are nice but add weight. Chunk em! We can shave our heads and drive naked with our clothes in a plastic bag and suspended from a balloon filled with helium.

    Now the car is so light that we can replace the wheels, tires, and brakes with motorcycle components. And fill those tires with helium. That large gas tank is simply not necessary. Replace it with a 1-2 gallon plastic can and mount it high so gravity can take the place of the fuel pump we just discarded. Why carry 60-100 pounds of fuel around ? A gallon of paint is heavy, sand it off !

    Of course this post is ridiculous! But so are some of the other suggestions posted here. Some of us will, but most of us will not keep a car 100K miles. So spending money that requires 100K for "pay back" doesn't make much sense to me.

    Everything on modern cars is there for a reason. Including the spare and the lug nuts and all the safety devices, and the seats. . We have the option of buying the entry level of some cars that don't have electric windows, AC, and such but most of us want those things. The one thing that affects mileage more than any other is the driver. Makes no difference, the terrain, traffic conditions, or weather. The driver that is skilled at achieving the best mileage for conditions, will win out every time. The driver with a heavy foot that thinks they can "Buy" their way to great mileage, such as K&N intakes, fuel additives, light weight but expensive components, or remove enough of the car to make a difference is dreaming.

    There is one thing they can buy that will help. That would be a Scan Gauge. However they will have to go to some effort to learn and actually practice using it.

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,337
    Filled up this week after a normal commute for a 43.9 mpg. Normal commute range has been between 38-42 mpg.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    You are the type of driver I'm speaking of in above post.

    You get good mileage. Probably without a lot of costly alterations.

    You will likely get better mileage than the average person in a "like vehicle", with most anything you drive.

    It is a knack that some people naturally have, others can learn it, yet most simply can not.

  • vadaivadai Posts: 14

    I just recently purchased a Civic EX Automatic. When it came off the dealer's lot, I think the fuel indicator was off by 1 bar(or may be 2). I have barely driven about 90 miles right now and the fuel indicator is down to about 50%. I have been driving around in suburban traffic and have been gentle on the breaking and acceleration. I am not sure exactly what my mileage has been as of now, but if I were to use the fuel gauge as any kind of indicator it does seem a bit low. Should I expect better/realistic #s a bit once I have driven the car around a bit more. I have been using the AC at the low setting.

    Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

  • harvey44harvey44 Posts: 178

    I've never aggregated tanks only because it's rare that I fill one of our cars 2x in a row. (Wife will never save receipts or save mileage numbers).

    In any case, this tank didn't prove much. I drove 345.7 and used 8.58 in gas. It's a hair over 40.

    But this tank was way different. 100 miles of it was secondary roads, with few lights. About 25 miles of mountain driving with maybe 5 or 6 steep hills, including some errands. 200 miles of interstate at 65 or less. Another 20 miles on interstate at 68 mph. AC was on 30% strength most of the way.

    There was lots of traffic and some stopping with more predicted on 87. I chose to get off the highway and do 45-55mph on secondary roads.

    So 40 mpg in this tank. Let's pretend that's a legit number. If my 48 was high, this 40 should be low right? I've got to believe if I can do 40 under these conditions, that a test-tube pure 90% highway run could hope to get 48.

    What do you think?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,337
    I take it the Civic is new. Really, do not worry about it for at least a couple tank fulls. After a while you will see how much fuel is used/left on the app position of the fuel indicator. I would just fill soon after the low fuel lamp/buzzer goes off and estimate from there. Really LEARN how to drive your new Civic. It truly has its own quirks.

    Don't really expect things to stablize for the first 1,000 to 5,000 miles. Concentrate more on proper break in: 0-1,000 miles and longer term break in (to 5,000 miles, if you plan to keep the Civic for a LONG time)
  • vadaivadai Posts: 14

    Thanks for your advice, my civic is new indeed, I took delivery of it with about 28 miles in it. I will keep your thoughts in mind. I do intend to keep the civic for some time to come. From the manual, I saw the short term break in is to not brake hard and accelerate hard. What are the long term break steps(~5k miles)?

    What are the other specific tips to "learn" how to drive a civic? I used to drive a 5 speed before(just sold the car after 100k miles with not much significant wear/tear). I used to drive aggressive, but with the addition of a little one, I am a lot more defensive and calmer in my driving style.

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