Civic owners...a question for you...

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Apr 10, 2005
Fremont, CA
My girlfriend has an 2005 Civic EX automatic, but her gas mileage isn't what I think it should be. Her car has 5000 miles on it, had the oil changed at 3000 miles with 5w20 exxonmobil, with OEM filter. She drives a normal of 50 miles round trip freeway, at about 75mph. Her gas mileage is about 30mpg to scion tc gets that much with a 2.4L! The tank full will only last about 300 to 330 miles before the gas light turns on. Fill up takes about 10.5 gallons or so. The EPA says the civic should get 35-38mpg and my friend who has a 98 Civic EX is getting close to 40mpg! Whats going on? And whats your gas mileage?
In addition to what Master Acid said, the car also only has 5000 miles on it. Some cars don't get their best fuel mileage until they are fully broken in. Fuel mileage also depends on a LOT of driver factors, including speed, jackrabbit starts, etc. If she is spending a lot of time at 75 in traffic and she is speeding up and slowing down then that will really influence the mileage. My Subaru Outback Sport gets its best mileage at about 58MPH. If I'm on a secondary road and can set the cruise I'll get 32MPG. On the Interstate at 75 with the cruise on I'll get 29-30MPG. I don't often drive in traffic, but if the cruise wasn't on at 75 and I was in traffic I'm sure it would drop off even further.
05 Civic DX automatic (purchased Aug 05 - currently has 6100 miles, factory fill oil remains). 1st tank: 433.1 miles, 11.500 gallons = 37.66 MPG 2nd tank: 493.1 miles, 12.500 gallons = 39.45 MPG 3rd tank: 488.7 miles, 12.548 gallons = 38.95 MPG 4th tank: 436.6 miles, 10.842 gallons = 40.27 MPG 5th tank: 463.9 miles, 11.652 gallons = 39.81 MPG 6th tank: 419.7 miles, 9.986 gallons = 42.03 MPG 7th tank: 436.0 miles, 10.671 gallons = 40.86 MPG 8th tank: 504.7 miles, 11.895 gallons = 42.43 MPG 9th tank: 421.3 miles, 10.266 gallons = 41.04 MPG 10th tank: 410.2 miles, 9.825 gallons = 41.74 MPG 11th tank: 458.2 miles, 10.144 gallons = 45.17 MPG 12th tank: 442.4 miles, 9.919 gallons = 44.60 MPG 13th tank: 427.6 miles, 10.071 gallons = 42.46 MPG I've got a 72 mile r/t mainly highway commute, and I drive at/slightly below the speed limit (commute times are off rush hour, so I can get away with going slower). Have you checked the tire pressure lately? If it's low, that will cause lower MPG. My guess is 'heavy right foot' syndrome [Smile]
I have an '03 Civic EX (1.7L, VTEC) that I normally drive around town. However, on 3 point-to-point highway trips (70+ MPH) of 400 miles, I got 42MPG. When I did this the car had about 10K miles on it. Weather was cool, so no heavy A/C use, but had to use defroster (which engages the A/C) on one trip with seeming little effect on mileage. I was passing trucks, going up and down hills, etc across Tennessee. I was not racing at all, but I was not babying it either. I did this with Shell gas and M1 5W-30 oil. I think that my Civic has the "50 State" emission certification, so we probably have nearly the same equipment. Around town, I do NOT do jackrabbit starts. I give that small engine a chance to bring me up to speed gradually. Maybe a quick trip to the dealer for diagnosis is your next step. Hope that helps. Best Wishes as you motor along!
your engine is too new to get the best gas mileage. it should loosen up fairly well by 10-12k miles. i have a friend who works at a dyno shop and they can see a 10hp difference between a brand new honda engine and one with 10k miles on it. that 10hp is all internal friction. give the engine a chance to break in. your mileage should slowly creep up.
Probably a combination of things. Break-in is certainly a factor ... but so is pacing yourself in traffic, not allowing the car to idle for minutes at a time, not using drive-through windows, etc ... My '95 Civic Coupe averaged 44-45mpg for much of its life with me, significantly higher than the EPA rating. My Nissan Sentra SpecV is rated 23/29 and I used to get an average of 28.5mpg before my commute changed drastically. I'm pretty anal about maintenance, tire pressures, keeping the car clean (not hauling around pounds and pounds of unnecessary junk), and being very good about pacing myself in traffic. --- Bror Jace
My 05 Civic VP 5-speed has averaged 41.6 mg since new. Mostly highway driving but includes some prety good mountains. I can get over 45 mpg driving on flat highways. But I drive with an eye towards fuel economy and take advantage of coasting down the hills and trying to avoid and time lights. My mileage drops qucikly if I drive more aggressively - my 41 mpg route drops to about 38 mpg with even a bit more enthusiastic driving. I normally keep it at 60 or under, speed limits here are 55. I'm sure its her driving style and going 75 on the highway. These cars don't have the most powerful engine, so trying to drive faster means you're really pushing the engine and the mileage drops quickly.
Here in the UK Honda UK very specifically advise against changing oil before the 12,500 service interval on my 2.0 (160hp) manual Civic. It needs to be run in (but not babied) and changing the oil too soon may affect the process, so they say. I don't do huge mileage, but changed mine at yearly intervals. I get around 35 Imp. mpg: but I do use the performance in the lower gears.
These cars don't have the most powerful engine, so trying to drive faster means you're really pushing the engine and the mileage drops quickly.
A more powerful engine wouldn't help fuel economy in that case. Gasoline engines are more efficient at higher loads, and, all else being equal, smaller engines operate at a higher load at a given speed than do bigger ones.
I'm voting for driving style as the cause. 30 to 33 isn't terrible though anyway; it's within the 29/38mpg city/highway range that the EPA gives. From my experience, the EPA highway rating is about what you'd average with mostly 65mph driving.
daemonite, My wife's 2005 Civic EX 5 speed gets 32-38 mpg (had it for 30,000 mi) depending on who is driving and season. Her driving is 60% city and includes four 2-mile trips per week where the car does not warm up [Frown] Her 2000 Civic VP auto averaged 30-35 mpg in 4 years of ownership. I "second" that you check tire pressure (30 psi all around acccording to door jamb but I run 32) and try some different gasolines. If you are convinced something is wrong, maybe try a UOA. Honda 6 cyls have shown propensity for leaky injectors; you never know. [Cheers!]
My girlfriend's car is a automatic 2000 Acura EL. It is a Canada only version of the 1995-2000 model Civic sedan with a bunch of trim extras plus the VTEC 1.6L 4 that otherwise was only sold in the Civic Si coupe. Essentially Honda did not sell a 4 door civic with the VTEC engine, so this took the place of the Civic EX (or whatever eas the high end trim level) as well as filling a gap after the Integra Sedan was discontinued. I find it is verrrrry sensitive to how its driven. This engine revs to 5500 rpm instantly and thats where it makes all its power. If you drive it timidly it is a miser on gas. If you step on the throttle it chews through it. I don't have experience with the 2006, and this is purely anecdotal, but my experience has been that the small Honda 4 cylinder engines are very fuel efficient if driven mildly but if you lean into it, they become (relative) fuel hogs quickly.
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