Fuel Economy & Emissions Talk about the mileage database, EPA, hypermiling, gas and driving strategy.

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  #1  
Old 10-28-2004, 12:18 AM
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I recently bought a Honda Civic hybrid. I like the car and the ride but in the first 2600 miles I only got 41.6 miles per gal. I drive carefully to conserve fuel but cant seem to increase the mileage. The database on this site shows a lot of drivers of civic hybrids with the EPA standard and above.

I took it to the dealer and he said "The engine seems tight". Wonder where he learned that? Is there anything that could be wrong mechanically or with the computer? Or is it just the luck of the draw?
 
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Old 10-28-2004, 07:07 AM
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Well, there are a LOT of things that can conspire against you in a new car.

The first problem is "added friction" in a new engine as the metal moving parts are turning for the first time against other moving metal parts. They will "shear" microscopically over time and "mold" into shape against each other and friction will be reduced. My suggestion is that you change your oil at 5,000 miles to a Synthetic oil (Amsoil or Mobil 1) to help reduce friction more. I gained AT LEAST 2 extra MPG after I changed to synthetic at 5,073 miles.

Secondly, you did not mention where you live geographically - the colder your climate this time of year, the worse the MPG will be because of many factors, not the least of which is the HCH battery system not holding it's charge as well.

Third, what is your tire pressure? If you leave it at the 30 PSI recommended by Honda, you are (in the opinion of many) doing yourself a disservice and costing yourself lost MPG. Most drivers on this board who are high mileage drivers inflate their tires to 40 PSI or higher, which is a combination of still being safe yet aiding in reducing "resistance" of the road against the tires.

And there are many "tricks" involved in high MPG driving, like coasting every chance you get, using AutoStop effectively, and many other tips. Look around on this board and you will find virtually everything you need to train yourself to be a high mpg driver.

My name is Larry S also - nice to have another one on the board !!

Good luck and keep the faith.
 
  #3  
Old 10-28-2004, 11:29 AM
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I just got around 60mpg out of my first tank. I've yet to check the tire pressure and the car still has factory oil in it. The single biggest thing that you can do to raise mileage is drive different, IMO. I believe the reason I'm doing so good is that my HCH is the 3rd car I've owned with a "game gauge". I've had lots of practice. A non rush hour second shift job helps a lot as well. My numbers are real, have posted a picture of the dash gauges in the file area for non believers.

https://www.greenhybrid.com/discuss/...hp?download=84
 
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Old 10-28-2004, 11:43 AM
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Lakedude, no doubt your techniques are important, and your results prove that.

but even the best hypermile driver in the WORLD cannot outdrive the Laws of Physics...and the increased friction of a new engine and the added resistance of lower inflated tires WILL take a toll on MPG.

Per your example, maybe with a broken-in engine and 40-45 PSI, your first tank might have been 63 or 64 versus 61.....
 
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Old 10-28-2004, 03:11 PM
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I drive carefully to conserve fuel
There is alot that can factor in great MPG.
Terrain, weather, block to block traffic versus open road conditions to name a few.

I'm not exactly sure the meaning of the above quote.
Do you simply drive carefully or learned to drive more efficiently?
There is a big difference.
 
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:10 PM
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Try this article for starters. It's written specific for the Prius, but the principles are all the same (just don't try to use the same tire pressure specs and such).

Rule #1: be patient...
 
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Old 10-30-2004, 06:00 PM
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Hi Larrys:

___There could be any number of reasons that you are not yet receiving EPA estimates or just a bit better mileage to date but I can bet it has more to do with your past ďlearnedĒ driving techniques and experiences then the mechanical condition of your HCH. Even my Ranger XLT P/U is receiving 37 mpg on my daily commute and it has less then 5,000 miles on her.

___Let us get some more detail as to where you live, what type of drive you normally commute through (traffic, hills, speeds), temperatures and wind conditions, how long of a drive and amount of IMA used during said daily commute, A/C or defroster use, as well as what kind of mileage and type of car did you own previously etc. 41.x mpg from an HCH rated at 47/48 sounds about right for new with a std. non-trained driver imho.

___If you really want to know one way or the other, there are any number of hypermilers scattered around the country that could take you and your HCH for a drive to see what she is actually worth when driven as a hypermiler would. There isnít a car made to date that canít beat EPA estimates with the right driver and even the most minor of setup if any is needed. Let us know where you live and maybe one of us can hook you up. All that have responded in this thread to date have the experience to judge an automobiles mileage capabilities with nothing more then a 20 mile test drive and a game gauge for fuel economy verification.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 
  #8  
Old 10-30-2004, 06:44 PM
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Thanks to everyone for all the good suggestions. In response to the request for more information on my driving conditions, I have driven in the past only around 10,000 miles per year (in my Ford Explorer, which is now history!). My mileage average was around 13 city and 19 highway. Living in Los Angeles, the climate is mild. No AC or heater is necessary (usually). I drive approximately 6 miles to work each day. The terrain is down one hill in one direction and up the same hill coming home.

I increased the tire air today to 40 psi and will use synthetic oil as suggested at 5K miles. I was just wondering if perhaps the computer could be set wrong so that it does not use as much electricity as necessary during acceleration.

As to my driving habits, I have tried to utitlize the mileage gauge and adjust my presure on the gas to get it maxed out. I do not brake hard and accelerate rapidly. That is why I was surprised to be getting so low a mileage.
 
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Old 10-30-2004, 08:28 PM
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Hi Larrys:

___Higher pressure in your tires as well as an oil change to Mobil1 0W-20 will definitely help after a few more break in miles but it is the 6 miles to work that is killing you. A std. Civic LX/EX would probably receive on the order of 20 - 25 mpg under such a short commute. If you did in fact record your Explorerís fuel economy for that short a commute, it was more then likely 8 - 10 mpg over that short a distance then anywhere near EPA estimates. You are doing very well indeed to achieve 41.x mpg by the sounds of it so asking for more because of some problem appears to be a waste of your time imho. Consider it a blessing that you will only fill up once a month for ~ $25.00 vs. $25.00/week in the Explorer

___As a small tip, donít use the HCHís IMA electricís other then to enter and exit autostop and pickup some regen when needed or available. Using the electricís to get you out of the hole faster helps in the acceleration department of course but you pay for it in blood in the fuel economy department every time that little Assist gauge lights up for a period of time. My best advice is to use it as sparingly as possible with as gentle a foot as possible. You may have heard of driving like a granny or driving with an egg between your foot and the accelerator. This is only a small part of the equation. I tend to think in terms of ďdriving without brakesĒ to achieve what I have to date. If you donít have any brakes, you can darn well bet your driving technique would change. Your fuel economy will improve tremendously in the process as well

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 
  #10  
Old 11-16-2004, 02:09 PM
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Driving without brakes.

I like that.
Excellent point.

That is how I drive.
Actually the brakes on my 92 Accord lasted 3 times more miles than average according to my dealer.
 

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