big hills in a 04 civic hybrid?

  #1  
Old 01-24-2019, 03:46 PM
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Default big hills in a 04 civic hybrid?

I bought an 04 Civic hybrid w/185k miles and cvt trans cheap from a co worker to give to my 16 year old niece. After reading lots of stories on this website about how unreliable these are, I decided it was not the car for her. My buddy is interested in the car as a second car that gets good mileage. He lives in Tahoe Donner (near Lake Tahoe), which is at 7000 feet. There is a pretty steep street from the freeway to his house. The freeway is at 6200 feet and his house is at 7000 feet. Is this likely to tax the already weak CVT trans in the civic?

While I'm asking about the trans, is it normal for it to jump to 4000 rpm or higher when going uphill on the freeway at 70 mph?

Thanks for the input!
 
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: big hills in a 04 civic hybrid?

Originally Posted by hpcbmw View Post
I bought an 04 Civic hybrid w/185k miles and cvt trans cheap from a co worker to give to my 16 year old niece. After reading lots of stories on this website about how unreliable these are, (1) I decided it was not the car for her. My buddy is interested in the car as a second car that gets good mileage. He lives in Tahoe Donner (near Lake Tahoe), which is at 7000 feet. There is a pretty steep street from the freeway to his house. The freeway is at 6200 feet and his house is at 7000 feet. (2) Is this likely to tax the already weak CVT trans in the civic?

(3) While I'm asking about the trans, is it normal for it to jump to 4000 rpm or higher when going uphill on the freeway at 70 mph?

Thanks for the input!
(1) You are a good uncle.
(2) Yes and the IMA system overall.
(3) Very much and for other small hybrids too. It's only a 1.3L car. At 70mph, you're already loading it up pretty hard, and the IMA system isn't very effective above 2K rpm. Add a change an increase in potential energy on top of that, and the power demand will spike. The CVT "jumps" to 4000rpm or higher to satisfy the need for more power. My 1.5L Prius does this too. You'd likely have to downshift in a manual to maintain 70mph having the same effect.

 
  #3  
Old 01-24-2019, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: big hills in a 04 civic hybrid?

Thanks S Kieth, I kinda thought that might be the case. I think the car is going up on craigslist soon!
 
  #4  
Old 01-25-2019, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: big hills in a 04 civic hybrid?

Originally Posted by hpcbmw View Post
The freeway is at 6200 feet and his house is at 7000 feet.
My experience with two small cars, a 1987 (I think) Tercel with a 1.3L (or 1.5L?) motor and a 2003 Protege5 with a 2L motor, at altitudes like that was that they lost a considerable amount of power. Both cars went from acceptable acceleration at sea level to seriously under powered above 6000 ft. The Tercel was particularly gutless at high altitudes, and its motor was about the same size as the one in the HCH1. The HCH1 is already a very slow car at sea level. Maybe by some miracle it will be immune to the altitude, but more likely it will go from merely anemic to ridiculously under powered.
 
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: big hills in a 04 civic hybrid?

Well, my buddy is still interested in the car and drove it up to Tahoe last night (my place is 1500 feet, his place is 7000 feet). He said it revved pretty high climbing the hills, but made it no problem and at 35mpg uphill. I tried to talk him out of the car and even gave him links to this thread and other threads discussing the battery and cvt transmission problems, but he thinks it's worth the risk given the gas mileage and the low price of the car. Only time will tell, I guess.
 
  #6  
Old 01-28-2019, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: big hills in a 04 civic hybrid?

It may work for him. At least he's informed. At a minimum, while the hill performance would suck, a civic with a bypassed IMA battery will get excellent highway mileage.
 
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