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Honda Civic Hybrid Driving Tips & Tricks



  • jph3006jph3006 Posts: 49
    Please describe how the vehicle drives being a hybrid, I would enjoy reading your obervations. Thanks
  • rysa4rysa4 Posts: 9
    There isnt a miles remaining visual but it is very easy to track. Use either trip A or trip B for your current tank. It will show your total miles and your average MPG for that tank. Multiply by 12 x your average MPG. Thats the conservative total mileage you can go on one tank. Subtract the current mileage you have driven on the tank. The difference is what you have left.

    This gives an extra .4 gallons in the tank. Also on the fuel indicator when the gas tank light comes on you are supposed to have two gallons left, or another 90-100 miles amazingly.
  • The only difference I find between a Hybrid and a regular Civic is the horsepower and getting accustomed to the auto start/stop feature. The auto start is a bit awkward at first; when you remove your foot from the brake, the car instantly restarts. There's really no delay; however, the slight ignition sensation takes some getting used to. While not as fast as other vehicles, it's fun to drive and will get you 50 MPG (my current gas consumption).
  • cdoldcdold Posts: 34
    "The only difference I find between a Hybrid and a regular Civic is the horsepower and getting accustomed to the auto start/stop feature. "

    I don't agree. I find the Honda Civic LX with 4 speed auto to be noisy and poor accelerating in the city by comparison to my 2003 HCH.

    Because of the CVT, the HCH glides from a stop, and never has the sound of a struggling little four cylinder pulling at uncomfortably low RPM against an automatic transmission.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Because of the CVT, the HCH glides from a stop, and never has the sound of a struggling little four cylinder pulling at uncomfortably low RPM against an automatic transmission."

    If your Civic ICE was running in low RPM, then you don't understand Honda engineering.
  • I'll have to disagree with the warm-up comment.
    The engine consumes a comparatively large amount of fuel cold vs warmed up.
    I park heading-out (Backed in) to avoid the extra load on the engine right after starting cold.
    In fact I keep load as light as possible. For example I could park right next to the exit gate at work. I'd start up, drive a few feet to the gate, then drive .2 miles uphill to a traffic light.

    Instead I park on the 2nd to the top level of the deck. I start, put in D, nudge a little gas to get her rolling, then switch to N. (This is 2:30AM and the lot is vacant for safety). I'll roll @ about 3-5MPH down 3 levels of ramps, still in N until I get to the gate, then shut her down.
    Leaving the gate I roll in N again on an abandoned street about .1 miles where I get onto the regular road then baby it for the first 5-10 miles.

    Yes I know this is quite extreme but I get quite extreme results from my efforts. My last tank figures:
    Beginning 69,676
    Ending 70,659
    983 miles
    Pumped 13.79g to the rim

    Gotta baby that engine in warmup for maximum efficiency and makes a big difference.
  • roundtriproundtrip Posts: 105
    Sounds like you love a challenge and are making the most out of your purchase. Do you think you could get much higher?
  • Thank you roundtrip.
    I'm going for a 1,000 mile tank this time before cooler weather sets in. I missed it last time by 17 miles!
    So far I've traveled 643 miles and have 1/2 tank left so I have a pretty good shot at it. Dash says 70.8MPG for those miles.
    Wish me luck!
    2004 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT
  • pmzpmz Posts: 26
    Do you carry a gallon of gas around with you so you can utilize every drop of gas?
  • We picked up our '06 Civic a few days ago, and are getting used to how the car works. We're looking for some clarification on when (if) the car operates in battery only mode. For example, the Prius will back up or go at low speeds in battery only, with the gas engine completely off. Our Civic engine is always on (except for auto shut off with foot on brake at a stoplight). My car salesperson at the dealer does not know if the car operates in battery only mode, and in doing some looking online, there is a surprising amount of confusion if the car has this feature or not. So, can anyone clarify? Do you back out of your garage, for example, with the gas engine off, or pull down your subdivision street with the gas engine off? Or, is the IMA strictly for 'assist' of the gas engine, and it never operates in battery only mode? Thanks.
  • Much has been written on your question in previous posts but the answer remains the same.

    Under certain circumstances the '06HCH will run in the battery only mode at speeds of less than 30mph but only for a very short distance, 1/2 mile would be exceptional, 1/4 mile is more likely.

    The trick is to manipulate the accelerator to around 40-50mph then deaccelerate to slightly under 30mph and watch for the MPG Indicator to max out at 100 and hold steady. You will then know you're in the battery mode. Every time i've tried it usually kicks in at 25mph. You'll hear a thud like sound when the engine reverts to the gasoline mode and the MPG Indicator will drop.

    It has long been my opinion that Honda's claim about the battery only mode is technically correct but misleading, the effect on FE is minimal.
  • davem7davem7 Posts: 35
    I've found two ways to reduce fuel consumption with my '06 HCH, both involve reduction of idling time..

    At the auto car wash it typically takes 10-15 minutes to complete the transaction and drive off, depending of course on how many vehicles are ahead of you in line. Once the car is on the rolling rack and in neutral I shut the ignition switch off until the car is off the rack. I then restart the car, pull it outside, and shut it off again while the attendants wipe it dry by hand.

    The practice has two benefits: it reduces fuel wasted idling, and second it reduces the amount of pollutants that the car wash personnel are exposed to. The manager at the car wash says i'm the only person that she is aware of who follows this practice but concedes it is a good idea.

    The other fuel saving tip is, weather permitting, if it is necessary to wait several minutes at a railroad grade crossing, I shut the engine off until the train passes
  • jmu2jmu2 Posts: 2
    Has anyone felt that the Hybrid Civic just does not have the acceleration it should, I do realize that it is not meant to be a sports car but I feel that it has virtually no pickup. Secondly has anyone checked the 0-60 time and just curious has anyone been able to hit 106mph ;)
  • jmu2jmu2 Posts: 2
    Has anyone else experienced a dramatic decrease in MPG with cold weather?
    I live in Chicago and my gas mileage dropped from over 43MPG in the summer to 38MPG in the cold weather.

    Is there anything I can do to better my gas mileage in the winter.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Has anyone felt that the Hybrid Civic just does not have the acceleration it should, I do realize that it is not meant to be a sports car but I feel that it has virtually no pickup.

    What other cars do you normally drive (or did you drive before getting your hybrid)?

    It should be noted (for your sake) that Car and Driver recorded 0-60 MPH at 10.8 sec. for a full battery charge, 12.3 sec for a partial charge.

    Similarly, a Civic LX Manual Transmission model made the same run in 7.7 seconds.

    The basic Civic is pretty quick, the hybrid is just, well, not.
  • "To allow "Econ" to be used, the procedure above is exactly the same, but you hold all 3 buttons in for step 4 until the Econ blinks."

    I don't understand what you mean by the last part. What is the three-button setup that you mention, verses the two-button setup?
  • erscoloerscolo Posts: 11
    I just picked up my 2007 HCH, replacing my 2004 HCH, and the pickup is quite good. Then again, I bought it for the fuel economy not to pass that Mazaratti in the next lane. The bump up from 85HP to 110HP is noticeable, however.
  • Has anyone experienced the following potential problem. I recently bought a 2007 Civic Hybrid and, as expected, when I stop at a stop light, the auto stop engages. Well, it was doing that until the last 3 days. Anytime I stop at a stop light or stop for any prolonged period of time (while on "D"), the auto stop doesn't engage so I'm idling like a normal gas only car.

    Before I bring it into the dealership, I'm wondering if anyone else had this problem and what it might be?

    Thank you in advance.
  • 46jimbo46jimbo Posts: 12
    The auto stop feature doesn't work when you have the defrost on. This is indicated in the manual. However, in addition to this, auto stop also won't work if you have selected the ventilation mode where the air blows to your feet and to the windshield.

    I took my Civic to the dealer when the auto stop stopped working and it's there that this was noticed. Personally, I think this is a glitch that should be fixed in a software update. I understand why it doesn't work when you press the defrost button. The AC comes on and the fan runs at full speed. But in the above mentioned ventilation mode, no extra resources are called upon.
  • sfilersfiler Posts: 1
    Test drove a 2007 HCH and average mile indicator on instrument cluster only reached 32. Dealer said it was due to car not being broke in yet, which takes 5,000 miles. Any comments or suggestions?

  • 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: 9,105
    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 [email protected] by close of business Wednesday, August 22, 2007. Be sure and include your Forums username.

    Edmunds Moderator

    Need some roadside assistance? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • 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:
This discussion has been closed.