Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

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Old 08-29-2006, 12:48 PM
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Default Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

I have an Escape Hybrid and love it. My fiancee will be getting a new car here soon and is leaning toward a Civic Hybrid. We haven't tested one yet, but she likes the look and the idea of it.

She has one concern, though. The only thing that she doesn't like about my Escape is the A/C. On the Escape Hybrid, there are 3 A/C settings: 2 of them will allow the engine to shut off during idle but the air starts to warm up, 1 of them will keep the engine on during idle to keep the air cold. So, you have to decide if you want cool air or better gas mileage.

Does the Civic Hybrid have any similar issues? I thought I heard something about an electric compressor for the A/C. Is that true?



Thanks for any info,



Mark
 
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

Yes! the civic has a small electric AC compressor (15cc) to compliment the standard belt driven unit (75cc). Under heavy load (ie. very hot outside and/or c.c. temp turned all the way down) both units run to deliver max cooling - no autostop when this is the case. Once the interior temp is cool enough, the vehicle will autostop and the small electric a/c unit will keep the interior cool. So, IMHO, you most certainly do not have to choose between good FE and keeping cool.

Other's may tell you that you have to choose because running the A/C certainly takes it's (relatively minor) toll on the FE! Relatively minor meaning 5-10% of 50MPG equals a drop of 3-5MPG. A vehicle that acheives only 25MPG on average, with the same overall 5-10% decrease will yield only 2-3MPG difference....
 
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:57 AM
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Default Re: Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

Thanks.

So just to get this right, on the A/C in the Civic, you set an internal temperature, and the car regulates the A/C to achieve/maintain that temperature?

If so, I like that idea. I wished Ford would have done that in the FEH.


Thanks again,
Mark
 
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

Mark,

You are correct. The HCH-II has automatic climate control which changes the fan speed and the vent according to the temperature at which you set it. There is a small vent on the dash right at your right knee, this is where the internal AC thermometer goes.

When the fan is on high, the Auto Stop feature of the Combustion engine does not activate. However, as soon as the fan slows a bit and the compressor is running on one source the Auto Stop feature will activate.

The HCH-II does not have settings on the AC that allow for 'better' gas mileage. So, to answer your initial question, the AC will always run the way you like it, it will always produce cool air. I have yet to feel a 'hit' to the AC during the auto stop or any other time.

Joe
 
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Old 09-02-2006, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

Originally Posted by mamorgan2
Thanks.

So just to get this right, on the A/C in the Civic, you set an internal temperature, and the car regulates the A/C to achieve/maintain that temperature?

If so, I like that idea. I wished Ford would have done that in the FEH.


Thanks again,
Mark
It's a shame but the Escape uses the same method as the old Prius. The older Prius' did the same thing. One more area of clarification, only the 2006 Civic has the feature that allows idle stop when the AC is on. The earlier models of the Civic work the same as your Escape.

Also, I didn't see where you lived but here I can tell you the idle stop won't work if it's over 105 degrees outside. Here in Phoenix that happens a lot in the summer months. And I can also tell you the AC is a pretty substantial hit on FE in the summer.
 
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Old 09-04-2006, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

Originally Posted by EZ2beGreen
Other's may tell you that you have to choose because running the A/C certainly takes it's (relatively minor) toll on the FE! Relatively minor meaning 5-10% of 50MPG equals a drop of 3-5MPG. A vehicle that acheives only 25MPG on average, with the same overall 5-10% decrease will yield only 2-3MPG difference....
AC will represent a greater percentage on a vehicle such as a hybrid, as an AC will consumes a certain amount of fuel in a given amount of time to maintain temperature, (for example) 0.1 gal/hour. On a hybrid that's a 5% increase in consumption assuming 50mpg @ 60mph, A similarly sized sports car averaging 30mpg @ 60mph that would only be a 3% increase in fuel consumption, but the same total cost. Also, air conditioning will represent a much greater portion of fuel consumption for slower driving, such as driving in traffic, as to cover the same distance will require more time out in the sun.

Another reason for the heavy impact on AC for vehicles like the Civic have to do with steeply sloped windshields for aerodynamics generating greater solar heating.
 
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Old 09-05-2006, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

Originally Posted by AZMerf
It's a shame but the Escape uses the same method as the old Prius. The older Prius' did the same thing. One more area of clarification, only the 2006 Civic has the feature that allows idle stop when the AC is on. The earlier models of the Civic work the same as your Escape.
My fiancee would be getting an '06. I didn't know the Prius has the same feature. She doesn't like the looks of the Prius though, so that one's out.

Originally Posted by AZMerf
Also, I didn't see where you lived but here I can tell you the idle stop won't work if it's over 105 degrees outside. Here in Phoenix that happens a lot in the summer months. And I can also tell you the AC is a pretty substantial hit on FE in the summer.
I live in Indianapolis. It almost never gets in the 100's here. We will get to the low to mid 90's though... maybe for about a month or so.
 
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Old 09-05-2006, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

You have a choice- it depends on whether you use Econ mode or not. Econ mode will affect the fan when you are stopped, but on the 2005 HCH, if you turn on A/C, then you won't auto-stop and your fan will stay on. This sounds like the issue you mention with the FEH.

If you use the Auto setting, then you can set a temperature with the dial and the heating/cooling system moderates the speed of the fan etc. to achieve and maintain that temperature. I have never had any trouble getting to the temperature I want if I use the Auto feature, and it does not kill my mpg too badly. At the same time, if I let it turn off when I'm auto-stopped, the temperature doesn't change very much before I start up again and the fan starts back up. It's just not a very big deal- most people ignore it; I'm just more likely to set a high temperature or avoid running the A/C than most people, because those last little 3-5 mpg matter a lot to me. If you live in the midwest like me, then most of the time, I think it's temperate enough to get the mileage I want without taking the A/C hit, but some people prefer to just set a temperature and leave it alone, which is fine, too.

It's not as if driving a less fuel efficient car would mean that the air conditioning system uses LESS energy- in fact, the automatic system is really a very efficient way to go about the heating and cooling process. So in answer to your question, you are not really deciding between cool air and better gas mileage- you are deciding between cool air/good gas mileage and slightly warmer air/slightly better gas mileage. And if she thinks about it,
 
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Old 09-05-2006, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

Anyone notice on the 06 HCH that in Auto it will adjust recirculate or fresh if the outside is cooler than the inside?

Usually I like fresh air even if it's really hot out but I found out hitting the fresh button takes it off Auto. Well this is my first car with climate control vs low/med/hi so I dealt with the recirc until this morning when I noticed it had switched itself to fresh since outside temp was lower than inside.
 
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Question of the A/C on the Honda Civic Hybrid

Originally Posted by AZMerf
...One more area of clarification, only the 2006 Civic has the feature that allows idle stop when the AC is on. The earlier models of the Civic work the same as your Escape.
I disagree - my 2005 can have the AC on in idlestop, without me finagling the ***** and switches. I couldn't recite to you the proper settings for this to occur, but it can be done.
 

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