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Honda Accord Hybrid: Driving Tips & Tricks



  • vietviet Posts: 847
    Hi AZHAH,

    When you turn off the engine without shifting the tranny back to park position one or some pulleys is/ are still pulling. Watch out or you may damage the pulley(s) as my friend did it with his Maxima since he turned off the ignition key while the engine was running. I am not quite 100% sure on that. You may want to check with Honda engineers to be sure if you should turn off the ignition key that way.
  • vietviet Posts: 847
    Sorry, I meant the belt(s) may be pulling on the pulley(s) when you turn off the ignition key without shifting the tranny back to park position.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Huh? What belts? What pulley? What has either got to do with the internals of the transmission?

    As far as I know, you can do no harm to a torque-converter automatic by shutting down the engine with it still in drive, AS LONG AS THE CAR IS NOT MOVING.
  • I just got back from a +20 mile trip in sunny/65 degree weather. The car was warmed up from a previous short trip but _never_ did the auto-stop "work" i.e. it never shut the engine off when the car was stopped. I've got 1350mi and I thought that the AS wasn't coming on because of cold weather the last few days, but that's not the case today. I've also noticed that the re-gen braking doesn't happen as much as in the beginning, not to mention that the battery level indicator hasn't gone above the #4 position for a week or two.

    Anyone else seen similar problems?
    Could this be my "driving style?"

    please let me know,
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    Is you AC set to coldest? I think if the AC is working hard, the engine stays on. This would have affected the defrosters in cold weather as well.
  • No A/C, as a matter of fact it took me a while to figure out how to turn the A/C off. No A/C no Heat, no defrost, no seat warmer. What else could i be doing wrong?

  • azhahazhah Posts: 82
    When in the manual :)

    Here's what the manual says:

    The autostop will function if all of the following conditions are met:

    1) The vehicle speed is over 8 MPH before the vehicle comes to a stop.
    2) The coolant is nearly up to operating temp.
    3) The shift lever is in D, D3 or N.
    4) You ARE pressing on the brake.
    5) You are NOT pressing on the accelerator.
    6) The IMA battery has sufficient charge.
    7) Climate control is set to lower fans speeds either in manual or auto.
    8) Outside temp is between 10 - 100 degress F.
    9) The front window defrost is off.

    My experience is that it works most of the time as expected. Occasionally it fails to stop after creeping forward a few times in a drive-through but never in traffic probably due to much lower "creep" speeds in a drive-through.
  • tx_bbqtx_bbq Posts: 7
    yup, shoulda read the manual!

    it was the front defroster that was "getting" me this time.

    what's funny is I knew about the other 8 conditions.

    thanks for checking for me.

  • tx_bbqtx_bbq Posts: 7
    I keep hearing about "driving style" but can't figure out what i'm supposed to do different (than just moving with traffic).

    I've got about 1300miles and have yet to have a tank get better than 22mpg (via the odometer reading).

    what am i doing wrong?

    in city driving,
  • azhahazhah Posts: 82
    Hey that's awesome! I almost mentioned.. "how about the last item" but thought it might sound insulting. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if that greatly affect your poor mileage issue. For city driving the auto stop has a BIG impact.

    Let us know how it goes!

  • cheapiamcheapiam Posts: 11
    I do not get it! I have a 2005 EX V6 Auto w/o Hybrid and average 25 miles to the gallon - 27 to 28 Highway (Garden State Parkway with some stop and go traffic) and 20 to 22 in the City. With all the claims, the mileage does not add up! Since I bought my car for 24,000 even versus the local going rate of 28500 for the Hybrid, I do not see a payback!

    Is it possible that for other than one person claiming excellent mileage, that the Hybrid systems are just not working and the mileage is the result of running a normal V6?

    Handa seems to have some explaining to do to the vast majority of Hybrid Accord Owners!!!
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    There are Accord Hybrid owners getting 36-41 MPG highway. It's not a problem with the technology. If it was, there would be ZERO drivers achieving EPA numbers, and that is not the case. The average for drivers at a certain Hybrid website is 27 MPG for the Accord Hybrids registered there, only slightly below the EPA City number of 29 MPG.

    There are many reasons for cars not achieving max MPG in the colder months...

    Car engines must warm up to a certain operating temp before they most efficiently use the fuel. Winter months and colder temps make that transition from cold start to most efficient take a little longer.

    In addition: Colder tires are harder, so they provide more rolling resistance than when they are warm and soft.

    Also: new cars (and all the Accord Hybrids are "new" as of three months ago) have what is called a "break-in period" where the metal engine parts are still grinding against each other more rigidly, creating more friction, which also reduces efficiency. OVer time, the "extra metal" shaves off and gets lubricated better (expecially if you use Synthetic Oil) and the friction is reduced, which affect MPG numbers.

    Also: Honda Hybrids use the "electric assist" much less before warmed up, and since the electric assist is key in MPG gains, the car must warm up before the use of the assist starts becoming most effective.

    Also: Winter formula fuels used in most states hold less energy and this also hurts MPG.

    Also: Generally speaking, colder weather in many areas means "rain, snow, or slush or ice" on the roads - these things add additional resistance which the tires must push out of the way to contact the road, so they hurt MPG in that way.

    Also: Tire pressures also are lowered by the cold. Most people fail to properly inflate their tires all year, but ESPECIALLY in the winter when it is cold and you might have dirty tires and you just dont want to deal with spending time in the cold airing up a dirty tire. Low tire inflation can cause blowouts and adds quite a bit of rolling resistance.

    Also: Additional idling uses fuel, and many people in cold climes are used to warming their car up in the morning. That is good practice to stay warm, but BAD for MPG numbers. While idling, your car is getting 0 miles to the gallon !!

    Also: People who use the defroster in a Hybrid are many times using the A/C compressor to help reduce the humidity in the car and clear the fog. That is a MPG killer too.

    See this science page for more explanation:
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    The average for drivers at a certain Hybrid website is 27 MPG for the Accord Hybrids registered there, only slightly below the EPA City number of 29 MPG.

    The average of 27 mpg combined is 16% below the EPA 32 mpg combined. There are so many excuses for why the HAH gets such poor mileage. Why not admit it is a failure as a hybrid. Plus the sales bear that out. You will be seeing them below invoice in many parts of the country, if they are not already there. Honda will be lucky to sell half of their projected 20k units.

    The truth is the poster getting 22 mpg is probably closer to the overall average than those on greenhybrid. Most on that website tend to be hypermilers and work hard to get the good mileage. I don't know many people that drive to get good mileage. They drive to get from point A to point B. They expect to get what the window sticker says they will get.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I just ordered a frost silver HAH and skipped the NAV. Is there any way to see instanteous mpg on the non-NAV HAH to help me learn to drive it more efficiently?
  • russ5russ5 Posts: 9
    You will find you have 2 trip odometers with 2 mpg indicators. You can set one for long term and the other for short term to get instant feed back on mileage. Another item related to mileage that I had a problem with on my HAH was the easy slide of the automatic shift from D to D3. If you are not careful you will go several miles before discovering you are in D3. I solved that by cutting a thin plastic piece with a crescent cut out at one end and painted it black. Place in the slot which stops the shift handle at D. It is small enough that you don't even notice it is there.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Thanks Russ5. Does your plastic gizmo prevent you from going to gears you might need on the selector?
  • russ5russ5 Posts: 9
    No problem, the insert just lifts out if you want to use lower gears, however the need seldom arises. The dealership said most drivers eventually hit D without looking all the time, but I just couldn't consistently hit it! And before the naysayers start yelping about this minor defect, I really enjoy my HAH. On highway trips I always get 37 or 38 mpg and it is a delight to drive. Early reports said the electric steering was jerky but evidently they have improved it as I have had no problem at all.
  • vietviet Posts: 847
    Hi Nowakj66,

    Imagine there is a big basket of raw eggs underneath your fuel accelarator and try your best not to brake any single egg. That's called the "HAH's Delicious Raw Egg Tactics" which can save your fuel tremendously. Yet, it prevents you from demonstrating your HAH's 255 HP and 232 lbs-ft low-end torque.
  • solar_dadsolar_dad Posts: 22
    However, there's no "instant-instant" MPG indicator (graduated bars) like there is on the HCH. I like the HCH version because it's non-cumulative unlike the digital MPG indicators, and you don't have to keep resetting it.

  • There have been a few times when the auto-stop does not happen when I stop. This is usually when I've just started the car up, and it happened once after I had been driving and stopped, backed the car up, and then put it in drive again but remained at a stop. The honda dealer is telling me that this is normal, that you have to be going at least 18mph and come to a stop for it to turn off. They told me that if you stop at a light, and it stops, and then you take your foot off the gas to creep forward and stop it won't turn off again. I find that it still cuts on and off when I stop and creep and stop, so I don't buy that story. Anyone know the real deal?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    For the Autostop to execute the FIRST time, the car must be warmed up to a certain temp. That explains your warmup thing.

    Changing gears will disengage any AutoStop, which explains your "drive/reverse/drive/no AutoStop" scenario.

    The Civic Hybrid (car I own) *WILL* also allow certain stop-and-go creeping and re-engaging of AutoStop, but not always. I think it depends on if the car is warmed up, and if the IMA battery is charged enough, and if the brake pedal is fully pressed down.

    I've driven my car for 16 months now and I do not fully understand the AutoStop system, I just go with what I got. If I want an AutoStop and the car does not stop, I just turn the key off. It restarts in an instant and does not waste any fuel on starting, so there is no harm done by manually AutoStopping the car.

    Best of Luck....
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    The cold is really doing a number on my HAH mileage. I was getting 26 mpg on an intra-city highway commute in central Ohio. Now that the cold has hit, I am down to 21! Its a 10 mile commute so I know it barely gets warmed up and then its parked.

    I do a little better if I take 2 lane instead of highway - like 23 mpg and about 5 miles in the HAH will start shutting down the motor at stoplights.

    On the highway it stills pulls in over 30.

    Others experiencing the same?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Have you increased your idle time? How long do you idle normally?
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    My HAH is garaged so I generally turn the key and go. No idling.

    Three things happened at nearly the same time coincident with my mileage drop.

    1. 7500 mile service
    2. put in 1 tank of premium and then went back to regular
    3. Temperatures went from 40-50s to 10 - 30s

    So I am trying to tease out which of these caused the mileage drop.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Then my next question will be... do you notice anything different about "charge" display with colder temperatures? The only way cold weather would affect mileage in your car would be that there is virtually no charge in the battery pack, or less enough to warrant more charge every time you drive.
  • I'm glad you posted this, because I've seen the same thing and I thought it was just me. I have a 55 mile commute each way-- about 5 miles of 2-lane road, 30 of open highway, and 20 of stop-and-go D.C. traffic. I was routinely averaging 35 mpg (better in the fall with no A/C running). Since the cold weather started, I'm having trouble hitting 32. I haven't changed idle time, and it usually has enough time to warm up before I make any stops for the autostop to kick in. The battery charge hasn't changed, either. I've noticed the same drop on the highway. I could easily hit 40 mpg while cruising, but I can't hold 36 now.

    The only cause other than the cold that I could think of is the change in gas formulation in cold-weather states in winter. I seem to recall a similar drop-off in my old car ('03 Maxima) this time of year.

    On the bright side, I drove the HAH in the snow for the first time last week, and it handled great! I went through some pretty deep snow on side streets and up some slippery hills, and the few times the traction control kicked in it worked really well.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I think it has to do with extra time to warm the car up. The charge status seems the same or a little lower perhaps.

    I do check the tire pressure to make sure that is up (I run them at about 33 psi). I am by no means a leadfoot.

    My autostop does not kick in nor does the ECO light until about Mile 7 or 8 of my 10 mile trip on colder days. In that state it is essentially acting much like a non-hybrid v6 Accord which I beleive gets about 21 mpg city.

    I am not sure if central Ohio has altered gas formulation during winter months. Anyone know?
  • The cold has knocked off about 5 to 6 mpg off my HAH. I am in Ohio too.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    As a matter of fact, I’ve seen a minor drop in my car’s gas mileage too, down 2 mpg from 27 mpg that I normally get, to 25 mpg. But this is based off only one fill up, and I don’t think my driving style has changed, not in last year. And mine isn’t a hybrid. I will know better with next fillup.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Thanks for the replies. I am satisfied that this is just a seasonal reduction in mileage. This is my first car with a mileage meter and of course we all paid more to get the hybrid so it makes you a bit more sensitive what happens to all cars MPG this time of year.
This discussion has been closed.