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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    05 HCH MPG decrease

    My wife has a 05 Civic Hybrid that we bought new. It has had all of its scheduled maintenance performed at the same dealership. For the last three and a half years it has been getting constantly around 43 MPG. A few months ago it dropped to around 35 MPG so we contacted the dealership and they said to bring it in and they would check it out. They said there was a software upgrade that needed to be done. A month after the upgrade was done the MPG has now dropped to 30. We contacted the dealership again and they had us bring it back in.

    We go to pick up the car last night and the service manager came out to talk to us. He says ďI plugged in the computer and there are no trouble codes so there is nothing wrong with your car.Ē What kind of lame mechanic work is that?

    He goes on to say that the software upgrade they performed was probably giving us a more accurate MPG reading than before. So the previous software made everyone think that these cars were getting excellent mileage and they all ran out and to buy one just to be told later that they really donít get any better MPG than a standard Civic?

    Then he asked if we had recently replaced the tires and we said we had about 6 month ago. He said that was probably a big factor because the tires they put on the car are three time more expensive than the one we had put on because they are more energy efficient and this could cause our MPG to decrease.

    In the end he pretty much said sorry for ya, nothing I can do. What should I do now? Should I call the Honda service number even though they are just going to call the service tech and have him tell them there is nothing wrong? Should I take it to another Honda dealership and get a second opinion?

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Hi Red 5: Yes, the type of

    Hi Red 5:

    Yes, the type of tires you end up installing in your car can have a significant impact on your fuel economy. But let's work on this "lower MPG" issue one item at the time.

    First thing I ask you to do is to air up your tires - especially- if they are not rated as LRR (Low Rolling Resistance). To air up you tires, first read what the maximum pressure on the sidewall of the tire is (typically 44 or 51 PSI).

    Once you have this max pressure rating at hand, please inflate the front tires with a pressure that is 2 PSI lower than this listed maximum pressure. For the rear tires you set the pressure at 4 PSI lower than the maximum pressure.

    Todays tires can withstand pressure 2-4 times their listed maximum pressure rating so do not worry when setting up the pressure to those levels is. It is perfectly safe.

    Give it a shot and lets us know how you fare. In the future though, make sure that the tires you buy are LRR rated or just ask in the forum for a tire brand and model recommendation.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    0

    I follow those standards

    I follow those standards pretty closely. I just donít buy that having a different tire type could lower the MPG by 10 to 13. If it were only 2 or 3 I might believe it but this is a drastic change in only a few months.

    Nothing has changed in the driving routine or how we maintain the car. We also only use gasoline that contains no ethanol.

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    There are three significant

    There are three significant factors to watch for (at this time of the year) when looking at mileage drops like that:
    1- Oil change, where the wrong oil was likely used (very common)
    2- Non LRR tires (very common)
    3- An electrical drain or malfunctioning high power system in the car (not so common)

    They were not kidding with regards to the LRR tires and neither am I. Unfortunately, your story is way too common and typical particularly when owners replace the OEM LRR tires with something else. Sorry, but that is just the way it is and that is certainly why every fuel efficient hybrid (Civic & Prius) always comes from the factory with LRR tires on.

    But like I said, there are ways of mitigating that deficiency.

    By the way, what is your maximum tire rating on your current tires and what pressure do you have them at, at the moment?

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  6. #5

    MSantos, any suggestions for

    MSantos, any suggestions for a replacement tire for the Civic Hybrids?

    I'm likely going to be replacing our '06's tires before winter. I'm thinking the Michelin Harmony might be a good choice, balances decent rolling resistance, handling, noise, rain/snow traction etc. What do you think?

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    0

    I tried some Michelins on my

    I tried some Michelins on my 2003 and had to take them back and order the factory tires from tirerack.com.

    Since you have a 2006 I suggest the Goodrich at SAMSCLUB. They cost me $66 each and I actually get better mileage than the factory tires. The dealer was out and I could not wait for a shipment from tirerack. I am running 42 PSI in these tires and they are on the front only.

  8. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    PS//these are made in the

    PS//these are made in the same factory as the Michelins but have a higher profile and are not as wide.

  9. #8

    Which Goodrich tires are

    Which Goodrich tires are those, etb. FYI, our current (OEM) tires are:

    Bridgestone Insignia SE200 P195/65-R15

  10. #9

    PS: One option I'm

    PS: One option I'm considering is to just get the OEM again. They've served us fairly well. They are a decent handling/steering tire, and I'm sure it will be difficult to match them for LRR. But their performance in rain and snow is pretty poor.

    It looks like they're going to be close to running out of tread around 60,000 km, just on the edge of winter. I think I could make it through another winter before the wear bars join up, but that's pushing it, not worth it.

    We're on the west coast of Canada: get infrequent snowfall in winter, some icy conditions, but mostly just rain.

    I guess I'm looking for a compromise: farily good LLR coupled with better all weather traction, decent feel and quiet. If I lose a bit of mileage to gain the traction I could live with that. In particular if the tire has a long tread life.

    Sorry for hijacking the subject. I guess it all revolves around mileage, anyway.

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    0

    Hi Mendel; Yes, the OEM's

    Hi Mendel;

    Yes, the OEM's don't win any awards in some areas but they are VERY hard to beat for FE purposes. Personally, I recommend nothing but the OEM rubber for myself and anyone else who asks.

    The Bridgestone Insignia's or Dunlops Sp31 are the ones I will always vote for - hands down.

    However, Michelin has some very good tires too that have VERY low LRR coefficients (even smaller than the OEM rubber) and if you can get your hands on those then they may be worth the extra cost. The problem of course is finding those "energy saving" tire models at your nearest shop.

    Cheers;

    MSantos




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