Last post on Mar 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM
You are in the Honda Civic Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Honda Civic, Hybrid Cars, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), Sedan
#447 of 540 Re: Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers [KarenS]
Jul 25, 2009 (11:53 am)
I have a new 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid. It has 1,800 miles on it. The MPG lwr. dash indicator shows 33.4 mpg. Will measure next tankful miles/gallons to compare to dash display. Dealer told me that Civic Hybrid needs 5,000 mile break-in before getting good mpg. The owner's manual indicates 600 mile break-in period.
Didn't reset any trip meters during the entire 1,800 miles.
I noticed on older messages on Forums 2004, 2005 that people were reporting decent mpg. Is something wrong with my new 2009 Civic Hybrid? I also noted on one message long ago, that a long break-in period does very little to boost gas mileage. We do normal combination city/highway driving, no drag racing!!
#448 of 540 Re: Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers [frednjudik]
Jul 25, 2009 (12:21 pm)
There are a lot of factors that can affect the mileage you get with your hybrid.
Obviously there are the old stand-bys like how you drive and tire pressure. But especially during the summer, many states mandate different approaches to oxygenate fuel for smog reduction. One way is to blend in ethanol. If you are gassing up at a pump that says something along the lines of "contains up to 10% ethanol" then that will be another factor in reducing your gas mileage because ethanol doesn't have the same energy content as gasoline. It's lower.
Also, where you fill up matters big time. It's the same issue as what grade of gas you buy. By law, gasoline can have a range of octane values that still qualify it as "regular" or "premium". It's more profitable for vendors and refiners to push those to the low end. If the gasoline you use does not burn as efficiently in your engine, at your altitude, etc, then you will get lower mileage.
(And if anyone quips in that it doesn't matter because modern cars have knock sensors, they are incorrect. Even with knock sensors, if you are running a real octane value too low or too high for what your engine runs most efficiently with, your engine will get lower mileage. Retard the timing and the engine is less efficient and you have to put more fuel and air in to get the same power out. Richen the mixture and you are directly lowering the mileage. All knock sensors allow modern engines to do is to keep running without damaging the engine because of pre-ignition, aka detonation and knock.)
My personal experience - backed up with the dash gauges, manually verifying the mileage with gallons filled up and mileage driven, and switching between different brands and grades of gas - is that in my area "mid-grade" gasoline from Chevron gets me the best mileage and the difference is enough to more than cover the difference inn price over buying the lowest cost regular, or even just regular at Chevron or other gas stations. It is a very false economy to always hunt the lowest gas prices. What people generally end up with is an inferior grade of gas that actually costs them more in the long run because their mileage is reduced.
Also, the brand of tires can make a huge difference as well as the previously-mentioned tire pressure. Some tire rubber compounds are "stickier" and/or the construction of the tire just causes more rolling resistance in a trade off for better handling or whatever.
I changed tires on my car and watched my mileage take a consistent 5 mpg hit. It rides nicer and feels like I have more control and maneuverability, but I haven't seen my previously common 50 mpg since. Even with pumping these tires up to the max recommended pressure, my mileage now is right at 45 mpg. The change was like night and day and happened right when I got the new tires. It was frustrating enough that I almost took them right back off and put on new Bridgestones which were what the car came with new. What I put on were Michelins.
#449 of 540 Re: Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers [refields]
Jul 25, 2009 (4:58 pm)
Thank you, and I appreciate your response. I fuel up at CostCo. I don't believe they have all of the bad things, including ethanol that are written up in the owner's manual to not use. I have the tires that came with the Honda Civic Hybrid. If they advertise average of 42 mpg, then I would expect to get that with a brand new vehicle no matter what the tires are. These vehicles are tested with original factory equipment for the mpg., that includes tires. Has anyone ever been told by a dealer that the break-in time is 5,000 miles to get the advertised mpg for a Honda Civic Hybrid? I am ruling out gasoline quality and tires as a problem.
It may be related to heat, as our temperatures have been in the low 100's for a week and a half, however we drove over to the coast last week for three days where it was in the mid 70's. Thanks for any info. anyone can provide.
#450 of 540 Re: Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers [frednjudik]
Jul 25, 2009 (5:29 pm)
I've never been told 5,000 miles for break-in with any car.
If you are fueling up at CostCo, on what basis do you exclude fuel quality? Have you tried other brands and grades to do any comparative testing?
CostCo is going to be a bargain fuel reseller. I would put CostCo in the same category as buying gas at a convenience store. Maybe their gasoline is the primo stuff, fresh from the refinery and the octane rating spot on what is claimed, but I wouldn't bet on it.
And if the temperature has been in the 100's, are you running the air conditioner? Any engine load will reduce mileage.
Just for kicks, why not try a mid-grade tank from one of the majors? It will cost you 10-20 cents more per gallon - all of one to three dollars extra - but you might be pleasantly surprised. Then, if you do get better mileage, calculate out the cost per mile of gasoline costs and see which is lower.
And if you do get 5 mpg extra, with a 12 gallon tank, that's an extra 60 miles - or a free gallon (1.2 gallons at 50 mpg) of gas and then some. If the difference in cost of a tank of regular and a tank of mid-grade is less than the cost of 1.2 gallons of regular, it's cheaper to run mid-grade.
#451 of 540 Re: MPG improves [mrwaug]
Jul 25, 2009 (5:56 pm)
In the old days, as now, a particular octane rating will work better and provide more power when used in engines with particular characteristics. Higher compression engines *still* need higher octane and lower compression engines *still* work best with lower octane.
There is no problem if highmpg gets better mileage with a higher grade of gasoline. It could just mean that the gasoline in his area is marginal as to rating.
That has been my experience from when I first bought my hybrid. I get about 5 mpg better mileage using mid-grade than regular. Legally, there is a range of actual octane values that are accepted for a particular grade and it is more profitable for refineries and dealers to sell the lowest allowable octane (if not lower) that can be sold as a particular grade.
I think that where I am, and possibly where highmpg is, what is called mid-grade is probably a lot more like regular ought to be. Gas that barely passes as mid-grade is going to essentially be high-quality regular.
I'll bet that top end cleaner makes no difference to highmpg's numbers. What really matters for most people is what your fuel cost is on a per mile basis. Other than that, the fuel that gives you your highest mpg *is* the fuel that operates your engine most efficiently. That's basically by definition. It could also be that the difference in mileage is more than enough to offset the difference in price per gallon which makes the gas that is most efficient also the best in fuel cost per mile.
That's how it works for me. Verified - both by the dashboard mpg meter and manually checking the numbers with miles driven and gallons to fill up.
I get higher mileage by running mid-grade and the extra mileage compensates and more for the higher price making that the cheapest fuel for me to use as well.
This stuff is simple. All it takes is running the fuel and making simple calculations to figure it out.
#452 of 540 Re: Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers [refields]
Jul 25, 2009 (6:03 pm)
Thanks again for the input. I just might try that, going to some other supplier of fuel. However, if Auto Manufacturers are going to specify the fuel ingredient requirements, then are we supposed to go to several different suppliers and ask them what is and is not in their fuel? Would the fuel station attendants even know?
Are these things all posted at the fuel pumps? Should they have fuel pumps for Hybrid Cars only? Like diesel fuel for Trucks? Why don't the EPA test results of these Hybrid Cars indicate what fuel they used, other than Regular Lead Free Gasoline, if fuel quality makes a difference? I have never had a problem with fuel for MPG in other non Hybrid Autos, no matter where I fueled up, Chevron, Shell, Mobil, 7-11, CostCo, ARCO, whatever. After this next tank of gasoline, I will go to CHEVRON, the most expensive, and fill up, and see if it makes a difference, and I will let you know. I really suspect the dealer is feeding me a bunch of B.S.!
#453 of 540 Re: Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers [frednjudik]
Jul 25, 2009 (6:27 pm)
What would be of more value would be to have tighter standards/requirements on gas grades. But there are also other factors - age of the gas and altitude a big ones - in how a gas grade works in a car's engine.
Gasoline is really a complex mixture of hydrocarbons. It's also a natural product of sorts. Oil from one region can look very different from oil from another. Refining will balance a lot of things out but it's still a very complex mixture that on the whole has characteristics that allow it to be classified as a particular grade of gasoline. We're just stuck with the situation.
The people that do gas mileage testing will verify the fuel that they use meets certain standards. It's just not practical for corner gas stations to do that. They may also have issues with water, their refiner might simply sell them substandard gas, etc. While the people evaluating mileage on cars may know pretty well what they are putting in the tank, we don't have that luxury and there are also the unscrupulous who take advantage to increase profits.
One thing to also remember is that cars that get high mileage will show variations in that mileage more than cars that don't. Also, did you monitor and track mileage in the other non-hybrid cars? A 10% change in mileage on something that gets 50 mpg will be much more noticeable than on something that gets 25 mpg.
And even if you fill up a Civic Hybrid with more expensive gasoline, it won't cost that much more since it is only 12 or so gallons. And in the long run, it might even save you money.
As an aside, while I get about 5 mpg better mileage with mid-grade over regular, my milage went down by about 5 mpg with premium over regular. My car definitely does not like premium. Some stations have four grades of gasoline instead of just three. I'd go up just one grade and see how it does.
And if you do notice a difference, keep in mind that things may change as seasons change, and from brand to brand and region to region. It's because formulations change between brands and between seasons even at the same station. Region to region will have even more possibilities for change. But in general for me, I pretty much always get the best mileage on mid-grade.
#454 of 540 Re: Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers [refields]
Jul 26, 2009 (8:53 am)
Thanks for the detailed explanation of Gasoline. I only see Regular and Premium at most pumps. I won't be spending extra on mid-grade or premium anyway, if the auto manufacturer states to use Regular Gasoline. I don't see anywhere on the Internet that people are complaining about the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid Fuel Mileage. It's either because not many people are purchasing new cars right now, no one else is having a problem, or there might really be a problem with my 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid. I think the later, since the dealer is claiming the 5,000 mile break-in period. My next step is to go to the Honda Customer Service, in Torrance, CA and hopefully get some straight answers. I'm just frustrated when a lot that I have read indicates most people are getting 40 to 50 mpg with their Honda Hybrids. Maybe I need to go to a Honda Civic Hybrid Driving School, if it's not a mechanical problem. I really hope I don't have to drive the Hybrid like a little old lady from Pasadena, sweat my buns off with no A/C when it's 100 degrees, and buy the most expensive gasoline I can find. If so, I'm trading this puppy in for a Prius.
#455 of 540 Real world numbers
Jul 28, 2009 (1:34 pm)
My 06 civivc hybrid gets 35.1 overall mileage. I drive the fast lane with the speed of traffic in ca. and az.It used to get 45 at highway speeds,though now it feels as though something isn't right,it runs good just doesn't get the same mileage as before under same conditions.Battery goes dead sitting at lights and while driving leaving me with little power! I would sell this car if not for my h.o.v. stickers.
#456 of 540 Honda Civic Hybrid MPG
Jul 28, 2009 (5:30 pm)
Dan, Sounds like you need to have the EMR Battery checked out. It's only 3 years old, and I believe the warranties are much longer than that. I talked to American Honda Headquarters today, and they verified that a 5,000 mile break-in is not required for getting the correct good gasoline mileage. The break-in is as stated in the Honda Civic Hybrid Owner's Manual. It is 600 miles. They told me to take my Hybrid to any Honda Dealer and ask for a Fuel Consumption Test, and they should honor it. However mine is a new Honda Hybrid with only 1,800 miles on it. Don't know about older Honda's out of Warranty. I plan to do this after my next tankful of gasoline & measurement. Incidently, (per Honda Headquarters) we're supposed to verify at any Gasoline Station we go to, that their gasoline meets the requirements as outlined in the Owner's Manual. Each station should have this information. This is to eliminate claims of "Junk Gasoline", or using "Higher Octane" as reason's for avoiding or getting better gasoline for better mileage.