Totally Disappointed by the Civic !

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by pturula, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. pturula

    pturula Member

    So i recently bought myself a 2010 Honda Civic LX, after driving a complete gas guzzler i opted to not get myself the car i really wanted (Nissan 370z) in the hopes of being a smart consumer and give my little help to the world. So i get this Civic 2010, it's EPA was 26 city 32 Highway....

    Well 4K miles later i'm very dissapointed whereas the very best i could get out of the car was 26mpg. I was hoping 29/30 but to no avail. I'm not a petal to the metal driver by any means. Well i am, but i'm very capable of driving efficiently. I was able to get 18pmg out of my 13mpg Pacifica, so you would think i'd get 29/30 mpg out of an "efficient" civic. After 3K miles i stopped trying and now am driving regularly, no super efficient driving just your regular grandpa style and all i get out of this civic is 24/25 mpg.

    Anyone else as dissapointed? Or am i missing something? I'm due for my first oil change soon do you think that would help?

    Gimmie Your Input!
  2. gabe1475

    gabe1475 Well-Known Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    Something does not seem right there. Are you also using hypermiling techniques? From what you say it does not sound like you are driving fast. Trade it in and get a smart! :)

    But seriously, I would try the oil change see if that helps out, also keep in mind if you are in a colder climate your mileage is going to take a hit.
  3. pturula

    pturula Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    Yea i did the hypermiling thing for the first 3k. I know the cold weather hits the mpgs not only due to temperature but also because the gasoline itself is different for winter. I'm still hopefully that summer will bring me mpg happiness. Yea i'm changing my oil next week so we'll see how that imacts my mpgs.
  4. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    What transmission is your vehicle equipped with (AT or MT)? What techniques have you tried? What is your average trip like (distance, speeds, any stops, terrain, etc)? Do you have a ScanGauge or similar mileage reporting device in the car?

    We'll need the above information to even begin helping you.
  5. pturula

    pturula Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    Automatic Transmission.

    Daily trip is about 10 Miles each way so 20 miles total (work travel).

    I live a rock throw away from the highway. So....

    I get on the high way i always keep my rmps very low, especially with this civic keeping them low is easy since the gear ratios are built for low rpms. I always steadily increase my speed i dont step on it and reach 57 / 60 mph and hold onto it for about 8 highway miles, the remaining 2 miles are city from highway to workplace but even that are is a 30/40 mpg speed some of which is downhill which i coast.

    I coast to red lights which usually turn green before i get there i try the best i can to never come to a full stop, even on some stop signs hehe.

    I also did my highway driving with & without cruise control, unfortunately i do not have any mpg measuring gauge or anything of that sort i simply do fuel divided by miles to estimate mpg. I get about 10 gallons of gas into the civic each time and get roughly 240 - 250'ish miles out of it before i tank again.

    I must mention that sometimes there's more traffic on the road especially if i leave even 10 minutes later so the highway speeds are typically around 40mph range and there are certain near grid lock points where i'm down to the 10 mile range for give or take 500 feet worth of the 8mile drive.

    I think that should cover all habits and driving conditions.

  6. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    Hi pturula;

    Judging from how some grampas drive I would not consider "Grampa driving" as the standard for success either.

    Also to add to Sean's excellent questions:

    What are the average temps in your area?
    What tire pressures are you sporting?

    Anyway, an MPG gauge like the popular ScanGauge is an absolute necessity. Make no mistake about it. You are not driving nice or fuel efficient until you have a scangauge to confirm it, once you get one your eyes will open and your right foot will learn the new moves you need.

    Also, 10 miles is not a big distance at all and it is way too short for the car to enter its most efficient operation. Perhaps a grill block is for you too.

    Lastly, avoid freeways and highways if at all possible. Instead choose an alternate route that enables steadier slower speeds -even if it implies a marginally longer distance to cover.

    Also, hypermiling is all about leveraging a great toolkit of techniques. Pick one or two of the basic ones and work at them with patience and you'll see huge gains for sure.


  7. St. Mushroom

    St. Mushroom doesn't wash his car.

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    '07 EX AT, really satisfied with the car, it's kind of a disappointing time of year to look at mileage, due to temp.

    Driving normally's been getting me around 25 when it's as cold as it is now, for 10 mi commutes. Thinking the engine just doesn't have enough time to warm up, it's almost warmed up when I pull into work. If you look at the mileage database, someone did 40 MPG in early January in an '07 AT, so it has a lot to do with how you drive it.

    Got as good as 52 MPG on a lengthy highway run during the summer, no FAS, loaded down with luggage... just drove like grandma.

    Last Wednesday I got like 9 MPG because I literally was plowing through snow, and Civic isn't made for that.
  8. pturula

    pturula Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    Currently temps around here are in the 30's range +/-.

    Would installing the ScanGauge void my warranty?
  9. St. Mushroom

    St. Mushroom doesn't wash his car.

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    It shouldn't void a warranty any more than car freshener, but a desperate dealer might try to blame issues on it. I unplug it before routine maintenance at the dealer.
  10. southerncannuck

    southerncannuck Well-Known Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    I suspect that when the weather warms up and the engine breaks in a bit you will see much better numbers. The first order of business for an engine is to get to operating temp. This means block and oil temp, not water. This can easily take over 5 miles. How cold is it there.
  11. pturula

    pturula Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    At what point do you consider an engine "Broken In"? I'm at 4k'ish miles at the moment.
  12. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Well-Known Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !


    Disclaimer: I own a 7th gen Civic with an earlier 1.7L VTEC engine, so some implementations may vary.

    First, the good news:
    Your Civic should be capable of 45/40mpg with a little work.

    Second, the bad news:
    1) The fuel waste of idling in a Civic is a large fraction of its total fuel usage. Shutting off at lights will give 2-3mpg.
    2) The little Civic engine has to use a lot of power to drive the A/C compressor and alternator. A/C is automatically engaged when you select defrost unless you manually pull the fuse. Defrost = Bad MPG
    3) 57-58mph will get you much worse mileage than 55-56mph. The reason is that VTEC-e and i-VTEC select cam profiles based on rpm. for VTEC-e, 57mph means the engine hits 2300rpm and switches from the economy cam to the gas-wasting power cam and FE plummets. i-VTEC is similar.

    I speak from experience- Civics can get you great mileage with a little work (40mpg is pretty doable) or horrible mileage if you're inattentive (12mpg with my foot in it).

    Good Luck!
  13. Taliesin

    Taliesin Well-Known Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    On this note, idling to warm up the car can use a LOT of fuel as well while giving you 0 mpg.
  14. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    Engine break in times vary, but i would give it at least until 5K to assume it's fully broken in and "loose'. The tempoeratures plus the fresh engine conspire to hurt your mileage. it will improve.
  15. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !


    This might be a good confidence-builder.

    Your Civic needs a trip meter that records the mpg. That or a scangage.

    Drive your car five miles to get it warm.

    Then find an uncongested highway you can cruise for ten miles without stopping at 45 or 50 mph, preferably without many hills or sharp curves.

    You should find your Civic's potential and feel much better about it.
  16. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    Something isn't right with only 26mpg even with cold temperatures and a 10 mile commute. I suggest reading and thinking more about "Driving Without Brakes", my guess is you aren't using that to it's fullest. Keep a good distance during the congested times and keep momentum, manuals are much better for this. Manual tranny would have been my choice, but there are a lot of people here that do great with autos.

    With temperatures at mid-teens (and no garage) and a 10 mile commute in the dark so I don't Fas I'm getting 26 minimum on my morning commute with a 19/25 epa tacoma.

    You may not realize your running your a/c whenever you have your defrost on, I modded (simple sequence of steps to change controls) my Honda Element to allow you to turn off the a/c with defrost, if you leave your vents on defrost you are running a/c, my wife does but can control it now.
  17. regor

    regor Active Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    I drive a 08 Honda civic. I drive 81 miles day, mountain driving and I get between 38 and 4mpg (Automatic). When my wife drives it on the freeways, and she tends to be a hard driver, she will get 35mpg.
    I work as a Park Ranger. I'm 6/2 and I weight 300lbs. I wish I could say I'm the only added weight, but since the weather could change, I keep a bag of cold weather stuff to change into in case I have to spend the night. I also keep a bag full of my fire clothing per department policy. I also carry snow chains.
    As others have said, get a scanguage. It really does show you how to drive more efficiently. I use mobil-1, but never saw the mpgs go up. I keep 40 psi in my all my tires.
  18. fanamingo

    fanamingo Well-Known Member

    Re: Totally Dissapointed by the civic !

    Pturula, I see you've been a member for a while, but it looks like this is your first post. Welcome to CleanMPG! I expect you've done some reading and have already come across Beating the EPA - The Why’s and How to Hypermile and other fundamentals so I apologize if I rehash some of it.

    The Civic is actually a pretty good car. Don't give up on it just yet. You mentioned you got 18 mpg out of your Pacifica. Looking at the EPA numbers for that vehicle in mixed driving yields 17 to 19 mpg depending on year and trim. Based on this, I agree with you that you should be matching the Civic's estimate of 29 mpg. Was that 18 mpg figure for the Pacifica an average under the same driving conditions as the Civic is now?

    You may see a small improvement with the first oil change, but it'll be minor if anything. I noticed a small improvement on mine, but it coincided with the switch from winter to summer gasoline blends so I can't really say how much of the improvement was due to just the oil change.

    I'm a bit surprised you're due for an oil change after only 4k miles. Is your maintenance minder telling you the oil is at 15% or less? My first oil change came at close to 0% and 7.5k miles. I first learned about hypermiling about halfway into that. Since then, I've improved, and I'm going about 9k between oil changes, all according to the maintenance minder. I'm told it calculates oil life based on rpms, oil temperature, number of cold starts, and other factors. If you're due for an oil change at 4k miles, it seems the engine has been working pretty hard.

    I expect this is due to high rpms (> 2000) or lots of braking. Minimize both as much as possible. Make all accelerations and decelerations as gradual as safely possible. Try accelerating slowly enough that the torque converter stays locked. This won't work merging onto the highway or accelerating uphill (avoid whenever possible), but it can be accomplished safely in most other situations. A locked torque converter is more efficient. When changing pressure on the accelerator, the rpms will hold steady or vary gradually if the torque converter is locked. They'll vary quickly if the torque converter is unlocked. Hills are also fuel suckers. The torque converter will quickly unlock with anything more than a gentle grade if you try to maintain your speed. Try holding your foot steady on the accelerator and let your speed drop a bit to avoid the unlock. This will take experimenting to find what works and what doesn't.

    Excessive braking could also be hurting you. Anytime you have to brake, you're throwing away hard earned momentum. You mentioned trying to time lights and maintain momentum through them, so you're off to a great start! You also mentioned gridlock on the highway portion of your commute. Leave a comfortable buffer between yourself and the person in front of you. Also, stay aware of traffic far in front of you. These two things will enable you to anticipate slowdowns so you can start coasting early rather than braking late with the rest of traffic. If you know a bottleneck is coming up, start coasting early enough that you don't have to brake much for it. Depending on your current driving style and traffic conditions, this could make a big improvement.

    Others have already mentioned the impact of the short commute and cold temperatures, and they're right. Once your coolant gauge on the dash has 4 bars on it, the engine is a lot happier and can usually enter i-VTEC mode during light throttle situations. Your engine isn't really warmed up until you hit 10 bars on the coolant gauge. Even then coolant at air temperature is still mixing in from the radiator.

    Keep asking questions. We'll see if we can't get you up to at least 29 mpg.
  19. Kurz

    Kurz Well-Known Member

    Make sure you have your Tire PSI at Maxside wall on your tires.
    That will help a bit, since you can coast much longer in N with that.
  20. phlack

    phlack Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to get a little better with my Civic. I think my last normal tank was around 32mpg or thereabouts. And this is with a normal commute distance of 4.5mi each direction. So mine is shorter than the OP. The car usually warms up 2/3 of the way to work. That also depends on the temperature...ya know, those harsh Florida winters :).
    This morning's drive was under 30mpg, which is odd as I wasn't sitting at any lights (that I didn't shut down) but it was relatively cold out. It's amazing that I can have about a 8mpg swing for the same trip, with same lights and traffic conditions.

    My advice: get a scangauge!
    Then do the other tips as described. Eventually you'll find the sweet spots in regards to speed and MPG (like warthog mentioned). Low 40mpg is good for me, I can actually get a LOD of 38 and maintain speed, with iMPG in the low 60's. Sometimes. Not always. Can't really figure that out.
    I'll have to play around with what warthog said about 55-56/57-58 and switching in and out of iVTEC. I figured that would be the MPH higher would kick it out of iVTEC, I just dunno where that spot is on the 8th gen. Next time I'm on the highway and it's not crowded, I'll try to experiment. Too bad highways around here are 70mph psl.


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