02 Honda Civic, and 02 Honda VFR 800

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by prasadee, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. prasadee

    prasadee Member

    Hi Hypermilers,
    I am amazed by the amount of info available on this forum. I never admitted that I used some of the hypermiling techniques till now. I was being sensitive to people who may accuse me of slowing down traffic. These days, I say "screw those Hummer driving maniacs".
    A little about me. I have been living in San Diego for a decade now, I commute on a 02 Civic(Auto) - 40 MPG, and a Honda VFR -45+ MPG. Wife and the kids use a Ga$ Gu$$ler Toyota 4Runner. Wife does no Hypermiling. Living in San Diego, I dont really need to use the AC during my commute timings. I follow the basic rules of anticipating stop lights, and P&G.

    1. After reading some of the posts, I am concerned about my transmission as a result of too many shifts to Neutral. How bad is this risk? Is my tranny going to drop dead after a few hundred/thousand shifts?
    2. I do FAS only after coming to a full stop. This, I understand is alright. How bad is the risk of engine/trans damage by shutting off the engine, while going downhill?

  2. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

    Hi Prasadee, welcome to cleanmpg! You're already doing well. I only got 36mpg in my 2000 Civic.

    Be careful with engine off coasting and other advanced techniques. Practice in safe places with no traffic first. Power steering may not work, so steering works but is heavy. Power brakes become not powered after 1 or 2 uses of the brake; again they work but with much more pedal effort.

    Is your Civic 2000 or 2002? If your civic is a 2000 HX with CVT (continuously variable) transmission, they had transmission problems, according to the xmission repair shops I talked to when mine died. Later years the design was improved.

    Civics with regular 4 or 5 speed autos have good reputations here. Auto Honda Accords are FASed by people here with no problems.

    The problem with engine off coasting is that the engine running is what lubricates the transmission. The conventional wisdom here is that if your manual says that you can tow your car with wheels on the ground, engine off in neutral, then engine off coasting in neutral is OK. Shifting into neutral with engine on shouldn't be a problem but doesn't gain as much mpg.

    PS I'm a mathematician, not a mechanic, so take my mechanical advice with a dollop of WD40.:)
  3. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    Welcome to cleanmpg!

    I too have a VFR800 (a '99) - a wonderful bike, fabulous brakes - and like you get ca 45mpg with it. I have a hard time justifying commuting on it (as I used to) when I get so much better mileage with the Insight. So I'm not riding it nearly as much as I did. You may soon run into the same dilemna with the Civic!

    You don't say whether your Civic is MT or AT. If it's MT, you can just push in the clutch for short glides and leave it in gear, saving some wear on the trans. If you double clutch when putting it back into gear while you are moving, that will be smoother and less wear on the trans. Things are tougher with an AT but rev match as much as you can.

    The key for P&G is that you consume little or no gas on the Glide, and burn gas efficiently on the Pulse. As I understand it, the engine runs more efficiently under moderate load than it does at light load. The difference between FAS and NICE-ON is that the engine burns a little gas at idle, so you will get better economy with FAS. But as noted above it's VERY important to FAS safely. Not a bad idea to use each technique where appropriate.
  4. prasadee

    prasadee Member

    Re: 00 Honda Civic, and 02 Honda VFR 800

    Thanks for your reply.
    My Civic is a 2000 model, Auto trans. (Could not fix Typo in the thread topic) Luckily I realized the effects of full engine shut off in front of my house. I live down hill, and I shut off the engine as I get home. Everything got stiff, fortunately there was no one around. This is the only place where I do full shutoff. Thanks for the heads up. I should have read all the articles here before I try out fancy techniques.

    I shift to neutral as I coast to stop lights, the engine does not hold back, and the car freewheels very easily. In fact when I go down hill, it increases the distance covered by twice as much.

    This month, I am going to give my best shot on my Civic, if I cant get close to my desired target of 45MPG, I will be seriously considering a Honda Fit with MT.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2007
  5. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

    Re: 00 Honda Civic, and 02 Honda VFR 800

    Hi Prasadee, I don't think the Fit will do much better than your Civic. I have a new auto Fit and had a 2000 auto Civic. I'm doing better now with the fit, but I don't think it's the car so much as learning what to do. The 2000 civic (HX, CVT) actually had better EPA rating than the Fit. Getting a scan gauge for my Fit helped a lot and it's a LOT cheaper than a new car.
    As long as the Civic is working OK, my recommendation would be keep at it with the Civic rather than replace it with a similar car. I do find FAS less scary with the Fit than the Civic, but that might be because I've practiced more systematically in zero traffic conditions. (and power steering works engine off in the Fit).
    In the mean time, if you haven't done it already, raise the tire pressure to the max sidewall pressure (on the tire it says what the maximum rated pressure is). Some people here go above that pressure. Handling will change a bit so be careful till you get the feel of it.
    Also, if you haven't done it already read the articles in the article section starting with
    Good luck.
    PS Not all MPGs are equal. I've been getting over 40 lately, but that's on rural roads. In stop and go city driving it's tougher unless you have a Prius.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2007
  6. prasadee

    prasadee Member

    Thanks Walter, your reply really helps.

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