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  1. #61
    Guest

    MSantos, I've just read all

    MSantos,

    I've just read all your posts, and I am very impressed with all the advice you've given.

    My question is easy, but a little background first: I'll be coming into a little bit of money (not a lot!) in about a month, and my number #1 goal is to replace our ailing '93 Mazda Protégé with a used hybrid. I had always assumed I'd buy a Prius, but I just priced the used ones on Craigslist, and was amazed at the asking prices. (Maybe hybrids have appreciated, thanks to the nearly $5/gal. gas prices here in the Bay Area?)

    Then I did some research, and found a lot of positive testimonials for the HCH; people consistently said that it handled better (and looks nicer too!) than the Prius. A quick check reveals that prices for used HCHs are more affordable as well.

    So, my question relates to how much the HCHs may have changed in the past few years. I assume that they've improved a lot since the first models appeared. Should I absolutely not buy an earlier model than, say, 2005?

    Also, I'd planned to purchase from an individual, but the only late-model manual transmissions I could find are from a fleet of "Mostly Recent Factory Lease Returns". Would this be a good source, do you think?

    Thank you in advance for your reponses!

    LMorland

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  3. #62
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    0

    Hi MSantos: "When you need

    Hi MSantos:

    "When you need autostop to kick in, ensure that the air conditioning is in the right state and the defroster is OFF. Use the Eco button in your climate control system"

    I have a 2008 HCH. Can you elaborate, what is the right way to run the A/C? I am not sure what the Eco button is.

    "When stopped for more than 10 seconds (yes, 10 seconds !!!) place the car in neutral (with foot on the brake) and turn off the gas engine. When you need to advance just turn the engine back on and take it out of neutral to move forward again."

    When you say to turn off the gas engine, do you mean to turn the key and switch off the engine? Why not put into "P" then, rather than "N."

    Also, as a general question, when we convert from L/100km to mpg, does anyone know whether this is imperial mpg or US mpg (I am assuming its US, but just want to make sure).

    Thanks all!

  4. #63
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    0

    quote Let's start with the

    quote

    Let's start with the obvious:
    - Inflate your tires to their maximum pressure rating or just a few PSI short of it. The maximum pressure rating is embossed in the sidewall of every tire. This is very important.
    - When you need autostop to kick in, ensure that the air conditioning is in the right state and the defroster is OFF. Use the Eco button in your climate control system.
    - When stopped for more than 10 seconds (yes, 10 seconds !!!) place the car in neutral (with foot on the brake) and turn off the gas engine. When you need to advance just turn the engine back on and take it out of neutral to move forward again.
    - Avoid jack rabbit accelerations. IE: Stay below 2000 RPM. Anything above that and you bleed fuel needlessly.
    - Avoid sudden stops and racing to the red lights or stops. Instead, coast and minimize the use of the brakes.
    - Keep a steady speed for as long as possible and avoid pulsing the gas and brake pedals frequently.
    - Avoid using cruise control in undulating terrain. It's good for flat roads but terrible for small hills.
    - Stay at or below the speed limit. Seriously!!! Many folks claim that they'll be run-over if they don't speed as well. That is an excuse in mediocrity and compounds on the insult of breaking the law in the first place.
    - Last and not least consider an alternate route that is less afflicted by a lot of stop and go or speeding traffic. Many alternate routes may be longer but you end up spending less fuel and they'll save you much stress as well.

    The EPA 51MPG rating for your car was not derived from your driving conditions. In order for you to achieve the vehicle's federal ratings you would have to drive under exactly the same conditions the EPA tested your car in - which were very mild to say the least.

    Cheers & Good luck;

    MSantos
    quote

    Yep, use synthetic oil also/ 0w30 or 0w20 (in 2003 I had to use 5W20 because I could not find full synthetic 0w30 or 0w20 anywhere). I get 54MPG on the 2006 and 2007 by doing the above driving to work. However, 44MPG is a good day on the Freeway. 55 and above sucks gas. Maybe 50 and above.

    My 2003 and 2004 get worse mileage but they are better built IMHO. Big difference between the 2006 and 2007 in the little stuff. 2007 is a better vehicle. I look forward to the new smaller version of the Hybid in 2010 to add to my fleet or maybe the Volt. Time will tell. Until someone gets 200K on one of these we will not know how good these vehicles are for the long haul. I expect a great vehicle to get 200K if properly maintained. Change all your fluids once a year if at all possible. Change your air filter when needed. The fuel filter is not an option on these vehicles.

  5. #64
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    0

    Hi Peggy; My mistake.

    Hi Peggy;

    My mistake.

    Somehow, and for a brief moment I forgot you had a Gen 2 Civic Hybrid. The Gen 1 HCH (2003-2005) have an ECO button but our Gen 2 HCH's do not. Again, my apologies as the Eco button reference is meaningless.

    Why not put it in P? Because there is less wear on the transmission by switching to N from D particularly when doing it often as it is common in heavy-stop-n-go traffic. Again, when switching it to N keep your foot on the brake and when you are ready to move again, just switch the engine back on and then move the lever to "D" to move forward. This technique is usually referred to as a FAS (Forced Auto Stop) and helps reduce the hit on FE. "Starter wear" problems are a non issue on Honda hybrids so feel free to do this as needed.

    The instrumented conversion on the HCH-2 occurs from L/100KM to US MPG and vice versa. In my view, imperial MPG is no longer relevant (??) and can even be very confusing to many.

    MSantos

  6. #65
    Guest

    It's nice to see I'm not the

    It's nice to see I'm not the only one getting low gas mileage in my civic hybrid. Mine is a 2005, unlike some other people on here i actually was getting around 50 mpg for about the first two years and then late last year it started to go down. I used to always get around 500 miles to the tank, now i can just barely get it to 400. The MPG usually shows 35 mpg or below. I've asked honda about it a couple times, theres always a different answer. I have new tires, alignment, and im keeping them inflated as Mr. Santos says to. I went to honda about a week ago and the guy said its because of the ethanol in gas....he told me to find a station without ethanol in it. So i did, and filled up, and no difference at all. I'm not sure what to do, 100 miles less every tank is a HUGE change and definately makes it seem like something is wrong with the car. And no chance selling it in this condition either.
    MSantos...do you have any suggestions or guesses on why I've had such a drastic change in gas mileage?
    Thanks

  7. #66
    Guest

    I have a 2004 HCH. I get 43

    I have a 2004 HCH. I get 43 mpg. 50,000 miles. Mixed ac usage.
    City driving. I drive the speed limit or 5 below. And my rear tires are regular tires not the low rolling resistance ones. I think that the only reason you can get bad gas mileage if you drive too fast and like an idiot.

  8. #67
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    0

    Hi JDS: Do you know for sure

    Hi JDS:

    Do you know for sure what oil grade you have in your engine? That significant of an MPG drop is often attributable to using the wrong oil grade. Too much oil poured in (even slightly above the full marker) can "eat" your MPG as well.

    The other thing that may help is to check the health your 12V battery. This may sound crazy, but believe me that there are good technical reasons for a bad 12V battery to hurt your fuel economy. As in previous cases even a malfunctioning relay can cause your DC-DC to be working overtime in an attempt to charge your 12V battery. A malfunctioning electric power steering rack as well as other high drain electrical components can also be potential culprits.

    Again, these are just some of the better known clues that have yielded results for other folks in you situation... and most technicians (especially those who care and know their stuff) will usually look at.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  9. #68
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    0

    my civic 03 claims to have

    my civic 03 claims to have average 45 mpg but im only making 33mpg atmost..
    its claim are not true i dont know what kind of driving they did.
    articles at
    Autopartswarehouse shows how professional "mpg" driver to it but its not appropriate for everydat use like turning of the engine in a long downhill road.



  10. #69
    Guest

    Thanks very much for the

    Thanks very much for the reply! If i take my car to honda should i just ask them to check the battery? Or all electronic components? What would be the best way to word it to them?
    Thanks again

  11. #70
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    0

    I have a 2003 HCH manual and

    I have a 2003 HCH manual and for past 11,000 miles I averaged 50.3 mpg. For my last 300 miles I even averaged 55.8 mpg.

    But I do drive 95% on highway at 60-65 mph...

    The instant fuel mileage display really helps, unfortunately that display just stopped working for me :-(

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