HCH II oil

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by LionGreen, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist

    The only "easy" way to make sure the dealer uses 0W20 and nothing else is to "demand" that they place the remaining oil in the trunk. This is because the Honda 0W20 oil comes in bottles and a proper fill-up will use 3 1/4 bottles. Do this and you'll make sure that they not only put the right oil in but also the right amount. ;)

    Frankly, I would be suspicious of the free oil offer. In all likelihood you'll be the loser in the arrangement unless they put the leftover bottle in trunk.

    6.3-6-5 L/100km is hardly horrible if that is an overall average for winter time fuel economy and driven in a mostly urban environment. Yes, it can be better but not by much. This is something many people fail to acknowledge and that is that almost every car will produce significantly poorer fuel economy when the temps are lower. There's no magic here, just basic physics.
    Just to give you an example:

    In the summer months, I get 3.6-3.9 L/100km average driving mostly urban/suburban environment with no more than 14km worth of commuting distance each way on a daily basis. If I drove over longer distances I would also get better FE. Some days I am able to arrive to work with a 3.0-3.2 L/100km reading, but others will be a little above 4.0. On average I get 3.6-3.9 L/100km.

    Now for the other side of reality:

    In the Winter months I will be happy if I can get 5.5 L/100km average from Nov to March. It is more typical for me to get close to 6.0 L/100km than less. That is reality and the way it works for everyone.
    Now there are also days in the winter (bad days) when I get 7-9+ L/100km at the end of my commute. This too is reality and that is the way it works. Please, do not be depressed and also look at it objectively. Also remember that lower displacement engines are impacted far more than the bigger engines. In the end it is all a game of averages and the yearly average is what counts.

    Please see the recorded FE for my HCH-II's to give you an idea of what I am talking about. You have a good car in your hands.

    Finally, driving at 100km/h is not the only determinant of what FE you get. The primary determinant is the "how" rather than the "what". For instance, if I "just drive" the car, I will likely get 4.2-4.7 L/100km especially if the car is properly setup (tire pressures, alignment, Oil, fuel, weight, etc).

    But... If I drive it the smart way, I will get 2.8-3.4L/100km. Who says we cannot have the cake and it it too? In the end it all boils down to the "how" we are able to leverage this technology. As many can attest, It takes some learning and time and it can be a boat load of fun in the process not to mention "profitable". ;)

    My 2006 HCH mileage...

    BTW, a gasoline Civic will consume far more than your HCH. This is something many fail to acknowledge especially in the winter months. And sadly, when people quote its FE they conveniently refer to its NRCAN ratings and not its effective FE which is much poorer under similar conditions. Too bad the regular civic does not come with the same FE gauge as the HCH-II. :(


    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  2. linx3566

    linx3566 Member

    Thank you for the detailed explanation...reading these post I know that you are the guru of this technology. I feel better with my 6.5L/100km now. The reason I was depressed is I see everyone saying they get 4.0 - 5.5 L/100km but never said summer or winter. I will wait till summer and see what is my mileage. Like I said i am not an aggressive driver and stay the speed limit, I know that slow acceleration and conservative driving is the key to better FE. As far as the oil thing with the dealer I will have to be more diligent when I go for an oil change and ensure the correct oil is put in. I spoke to the service manager and he assured me that they always put the oil that is marked on the oil cap. I can only take his word for it but I will still be diligent on this matter. thanks again for your input, much appreciated as it has settled my mind a bit and going forward maybe now I can enjoy my HCH. For the past week of ownership I was very unsettled and felt something was wrong with my car and maybe I made a grave error in its purchase. Cheers and season greetings.
  3. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist

    Hi Linx3566;

    Indeed. Do give the car a chance. It won't let you down and will even surprise you if you are willing and open to learning a bit.

    Please read Tarabell's article multiple times and adopt some of the tips she offers. It would be a lie for any of us to claim we know all there is about these cars... as they still continue to surprise many even after years of driving it.

    Still, try to work on some basic HCH-II techniques, like gliding and foot feathering and remember that the accelerator is a critical part of the drive-by-wire system and is therefore VERY sensitive. Under the right circumstances, use this sensitivity to kick the car into its special modes and it will reward you with endless fun and fuel savings to boot. And yes, you can have this fun while at 100km/h too :)


  4. LionGreen

    LionGreen Well-Known Member

    It's true.
    The Winter hurts fuel economy,no matter I drive.
    My tank's average is 4.6l/100Km on the BC so far is the worse tank so far I did on my HCH.
    I catch a lot of heavy rain on these days and some strong wind :(
    (Un)Fortunately there is no snow here were I live and the temperatures are around 8 to 14ºC in the day (at night sometimes hits below 0ºC) but not now, because of the rain.
    I miss the summer :D
    What about your winter? I believe that is more colder...maybe some snow.
  5. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist

    Hi LionGreen;

    At the moment we're enjoying a balmy -23C (-10F). With the windchill factored in the temps may actually feel like -32C. Not too bad. :rolleyes:

    Yep, we got snow on the ground.


  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I don't think there's any way, short of watching over the mechanic's shoulder as he cracks the seal on 0W20 bottles and pours them in, to be absolutely sure what they're putting in. I think you have to take them at their word, assume that they're professionals, and are not going to compromise their franchise status over a few bottles of oil (though sometimes I've wondered...). Personally, I opted to take them out of the equation for oil changes, just head straight to the Parts Counter, pick up the oil and put it in myself.

    Weatherwise: in Vancouver, British Columbia (on west coast of Canada) it's sitting at plus 3 degress Centigrade right now, and overcast.

    Regarding fuel economy: with reset odometer just before a highway/freeway run, we got home showing 4.6 liters/100km. A day or two later, with a fair number of short trips, and even lending the car to our daughter and family overnight, on my last short trip the mileage climbed to 6.6, but then I was able to settle it back down to around 6.3. In short, I was able to bring it to an equilbrium in that range. That's with Nokian WRG2 all-weather tires installed, on steel rims. They tend to depress our mileage a bit.

    I think you're in the ballpark for short trips around town, and I'm sure it's a little cooler in T.O. right now.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  7. linx3566

    linx3566 Member

    In Toronto it is -9C with a windchill of -20C. I just took a drive on the highway and reset the B trip. When I got home I was reading 6.0L/100km. I guess I don't feel too bad now with my consumption considering the temperatures here in Toronto. Around the town driving I will climb to 6.5L/100Km and that is the worst I ever got with this car. Fairly consistent I would say. Cheers
  8. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    Trust no dealer! When the crapstastic cvt HCHII of ours was in for warranty work I went a head and let them change the oil on it. $45 bucks for a oil change and $45 bucks more if I wanted M1 used. $90 bucks for a M1 oil change.

    I'm done with Hondas and there dealers of rip off thugs. And the Yota dealers are even worse around here.
  9. linx3566

    linx3566 Member

    MSantos - I got average 6.0L/100km today and my second week of driving this HCH II. I think I am slowly getting the hang of driving this hybrid to maximize FE. Please note I have no block heater and no covering up of front grill. Just bone stock and temp here in Toronto is cold...-9C and wind chill -20C. I feel good about my accomplishment and should get a bit more when I install block heater and cover up front grill. Cheers
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Just to get on my soap box a bit, I think any-and-all auto manufacturers should factory-install block heaters, in all their cars, regardless of destination. It's the time to do this, before the engine even goes in, and obviously prior to coolant install, not down the road at the dealership.

    Block heaters will likely gain ground as a selling feature, given the current and increasing interest in fuel conservation.

    If you get them installed at the dealership it's a waste of coolant (actually I believe they recycle it now, but it's still a totally unnecessary coolant swap), an extra expense, and you're at the mercy of the service department's "interpretation" of the install instructions.

    Some manufacturers already do pre-install them, but I think it tends to be regional. I see our daughter and family's Vibe (Ontario purchase) had one. And of course they never used it (smacks head).
  11. linx3566

    linx3566 Member

    Yes a block heater is good to improve your mileage but how practical is it. Most people can only plugin at home in the garage but what about when they are at work parked all day. In Toronto I can safely say there is no infrastructure to plug in your can unlike Winnipeg. I know in Winnipeg there are plugin stations at hotel parking lots and other places. I guess none in Toronto because we don't get as cold although we do experience an average winter temp of -10C. This is cold enough to have a negative impact on FE. I don't have all the answers but owning a hybrid and saving gas is a good thing. Just my two cents. Cheers.
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    It does depend on your circumstances. Our car tends to get started at a predictable time each working weekday (the time varies, but is predictable), and then driven 3~4 times during the day, with 1~2 hour breaks. That's probably best scenario for a single blockheater session, early morning.

    Obviously not as good is the more typical scenario, where you heat it up for early morning commute, park at work, and it sits there for maybe 9 hours before you start it up to head home. There you're still 50% better than no blockheater, and just maybe you can find an outlet at your destination.

    For either situation a 7 day programable timer is very useful.

    I thought I read somewhere that some Toronto parking lots had outlets, suitable for block heaters, that cycled on/off in 1/2 hour intervals, not sure though.
  13. linx3566

    linx3566 Member

    If there are any outlet in Toronto I have not seen any. Have we calculated all the extras in ownership of this vehicle to obtain FE such as block heater and oil that is more expensive. Not to mention the initial cost to buy it. I bought mine used but was more expensive if i got a regular Civic by at least 2000.00. I know that I am paying less for gas by at least 40% but I have not calculated the pay back as yet. Just wondering how long it would be. Cheers
  14. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    The situation isn't that bad. How much is an EBH? Not more than $200 is it? And the electricity to run it doesn't cost much. Even using it just at home to warm the engine for the AM startup will probably net more than 50% of the possible improvement in FE because afternoon temps are generally higher than nighttime.

    As for oil, the more expensive synthetics can be changed at longer intervals, which helps recoup a lot of their additional cost.
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Dealer installed is ~$160, at least Canada, West Coast. You might double check that there isn't one already in there, especially being a back east car. The heater replaces the engine block coolant drain bolt, which is around back of the engine, maybe 6~8" laterally away from dipstick. If there's just a big bolt head there, you don't have the heater. The cord and plug should be the giveaway, but they can be installed and then tucked away in the bumper.

    Besides improving fuel economy (by shortening the relatively wasteful warm-up stage), the BH is good for your engine's longevity, and get's the cabin warmed up quicker.
  16. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist

    Hi All;

    Since we're on the topic of EBH's:

    In addition to the EBH benefits already stated by Mendel, there's one in particular that escapes most folks until it is too late. Do you know which am I talking about?

    Yes, the emission control system... which in itself is a pretty pricey thing to deal with.

    I am talking about the rather precious 3-way catalytic converter along with the accompanying minor hardware (O2 sensors ) and so on that may be needed.

    You see, the EBH tends to dramatically relieve and accelerate the warm-up process. This is a MAJOR good thing since a prolonged warm-up process will cause a richer fuel mixture to slowly foul-up the downstream exhaust system thus measurably impacting its life.

    That is yet another reason why so many of us use the EBH even during the summer months. In other words, if you got one then use it well ;)


  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    We've been shopping window shopping to help a relation choose a new vehicle, and I see Nissans (at least the SUV's I've looked at) all come with block heaters standard. With Honda you need to install these at or after purchase, with a superfluous coolant change and extra charges.
  18. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Here in MN at least the Ford Escape comes with one standard it seems.

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