I own a 2008 Honda Civic hybrid and am happy with it except for the road clearance at the front end; it is so low that it hangs up on the concrete “tire stoppers” in parking lots that your front tires rest against to let you know that you are all the way in the parking space. There are already visible scrapes on the front end that will require repainting, but I don’t want to do this if I can’t keep the problem from recurring. Has anyone else adressed this problem and found a cure? I am thinking about installing a 3 or 4 inch “lift Kit” if thats possible. Any help will be appreciated.
Well, first off, that’s not what those concrete blocks are for-- they’re mostly there to stop your car from rolling away in an emergency or to stop you from accidentally accelerating past the spot or when they want to stop you from pulling through a spot. It’s not especially good for your car even to run the tires into them while parking.
But if you do insist on crashing into them, the problem isn’t that the car runs especially low to the ground, it’s that the front plastic piece goes really low to the ground in order to improve the aerodynamics of the car. On some cars, you can just remove the lower-most piece, or there may be a replacement piece available that doesn’t go down as far or you might be able to have a body shop trim it down. Even if a lift kit were available for this vehicle, and I seriously doubt there is, it would negatively affect the handling and fuel economy of the car.
A man goes to his doctor and says, “Doc, every time I hit my head with my hammer I get a headache.” The doctor says, “Well, stop hitting your head!”
The clear solution is stop rolling all the way up to the concrete stops. There is no requirement for you to hit them. I’m not sure where you got the idea you had to. Your car is short enough that there is little danger of its rear sticking too far out. You will have to exercise some judgment as to when to stop but it’s not much different when you park parallel at the curb. You don’t smash into the curb just to find out where it is do you?
That problem is not unique to the Civic hybrid, and in fact, every Honda sedan and coupe with which I am familiar is also built very low to the ground. That design factor, coupled with Honda’s practice of putting the seats very close to the floor, helped me decide to buy another brand of car after my '92 Accord.
When I later drove my friend’s '01 Accord, I found that Honda was still designing their cars with poor ground clearance and seats very close to the floor. Based on your experience, it appears that Honda still favors this type of design–unfortunately.
But, to return to your problem-- After a couple of incidents such as you described, I learned to be very cautious when approaching those concrete structures, and I think that you will have to do likewise.