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Thread: Plus-sizing

  1. #11


    I've had my 97 Civic since new. I ditched the stock Firestones in no time and have gone through 3 sets of wheels and something like 6 or 7 sets of tires in the last 8 years and 130,000 miles. 14" tires aren't all that bad for general motoring, but you'd be amazed what a difference it makes to go to a 15" wheel, which is what I use now.

    Stock was 185/65-14, now I run 195-55-15 and it accellerates, corners, transitions, and stops far better than it did on the stock tires or even the grippiest of the 14" tires I used before ditching the original wheels. I recently did a 200 mile roadtrip at moderately low speeds (55-60mph most of the way, with limited sections at 65-70mph) and achieved 47mpg. Keep in mind, the HX is NOT a hybrid!

    I figure if I can get 47mpg when I want to and do it on grippy 15" tires (Yokohama ES100's currently) then there's no reason for me to worsen my car's performance by going to tires with a lot less grip and only a little less rolling resistance. What I've found is that the grippy tires simply wear out a lot faster, but don't seem to have much of a negative effect on fuel economy. Of course, I'm sure many people question the economic reasoning behind buying tires that only last 25,000 miles, but hey, I'll take the added safety of grippy tires any day of the week.

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  3. #12


    That's a really good data point. Thanks for posting it!

    Do you have a gut feel for what the difference would have been had you been using a typical OEM 14" LRR tire? 2 MPG, 1, or less than 1? I know it's purely guesswork, but if you have a hunch, since you seem well-versed in all this stuff, and are familiar with the technology, then your hunch probably carries a bit of weight.

  4. #13


    If I had to guess, I'd say that for my car the difference was no more than 1 to 1.5mpg when driving for max economy in the 40+ mpg ranges. It's probably closer to 2mpg when I have my performance tires at a low pressure like 32psi, but I almost never run tires that low anymore.

    Also, the fact that I run 195 width tires instead of the original 185's is probably some of the difference, not just rubber compound. A sticky 185 with 40psi would probably still produce very close to the same rolling resistance as an LRR at similar tire pressures.

    When I get the time, I'm going to try some back to back runs with my ScanGauge to check the economy difference between 44psi and 30psi. It's possible the results will be so close as to be statistically insignificant, but it's also possible that I'll be able to see a repeatable difference. I'll make a post if and when I ever do such a test.

    Oh, and for anyone wondering what a ScanGauge is, that's the tool all us non-hybrid owners can use to monitor engine performance. See http://www.scangauge.com

  5. #14


    Hey, I just saw a review of the scangauge on http://hybridcars.about.com It seems like there is some limitations to it for hybrid owners. But it seems ok for other cards. How do you like yours?

  6. #15


    I like it, although since my car is an HX, it has lean-burn, which is one of the things the ScanGauge is unable to get information about from the ECU. I've been exchanging emails with the guy that created the ScanGauge to see if we can come up with some way to get it to provide more feedback about the lean-burn function.

    Still, I think it's a great tool, and since you can spend just as much or more on scantools with a lot LESS features, I think it's a very good value for the money. Since the HX has no way of showing realtime MPG figures, I'm still ahead of having nothing. Hybrids at least have the in-dash FCD. It's kind of cool watching things like my coolant temp, which this morning for example was just 67 degrees on startup, and I could see exactly how long it takes to warm up all the way.

    I imagine for guys who use partial radiator blocks it would be terrific. On Hondas, the needle stays at "C" for anything below 120F and is at the warm point for anything from about 165 to 210. Well, at least 210 is the hottest I've been able to get my coolant so far; the temp that the electric radiator fan kicks on. Cruising on the freeway it normally shows about 182F, so for guys with a radiator block, if they do a partial block and still never get over 170-180, they'll know to keep using a larger block until it reliably will stay around 200-205. If you see 220+, you'll know you should think about cutting back on the size of the block. The way I see it, more information is always a good thing. I just wish the ECU would actually send the right info to the OBD2 port with regards to true fuel consumption.

  7. #16


    So do you think that there is going to be a "patch" or special modification of the gauge so that it can directly read the mpg data? That review I pointed, too seemed to think so. Or at least the review mentioned something about people providing assistance/feedback.

  8. #17


    Speaking of fancy tires and wheels and such, I live/commute in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have noticed quite a few cars with those spinner wheel covers that keep moving when the vehicle stops, or spin at a different speed than the tire/wheel when moving.

    But I've never seen a hybrid (Toyota or Honda) with spinner wheel covers. Has anybody? Different demographics?

  9. #18


    Ron is supposedly working with the Prius owners to figure out how to receive the needed data from the ECU to calculate the mileage correctly. A ScanGauge would still be handy for checking out things like the manifold pressure, engine load, intake and coolant temperature, and so on. I don't see the MPG thing being an issue for hybrids since you already have an MPG display. It's only really a problem for folks like me that have a lean-burn engine but no MPG display.

    As for spinners, you can learn all you need to know about them from this informative video:


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