Honda Hybrid Gas Milage

hybrid-repair
civic
honda
fuel-economy

#1

I have a Honda Hybrid 2007. I have calculated the MPG for every gas fill up since I bought the car new. My dealer tells me I should expect lower mileage in the (cold) season during which the local gasoline has an additive the causes lower MPG. For not-cold season the car has gotten 41 MPG on a regular basis. Previous to this cold season the car has gotten 36 MPG. Now this cold season the car is getting 30.8 MPG. This change has been an immediate drop 41 --> 30.8. I have taken the car for all the recommended maintenance on schedule to the dealer’s shop. Only the Dealer’s mechanics have touched this car. It was just serviced I’m told everything is perfect. But ‘they’ cannot explain why the MPG has dropped suddenly. Can you suggest anything I can do to get the MPG back up? Thanks for any help. Tom Head


#2

Very cold weather decreases the battery output - how cold is it where you are? Does the battery show full charge?


#3

Make sure the tires are correctly inflated. Cold weather lowers the tire pressure, and this reduces fuel mileage.

Not as much as you’re talking about, but it may be a contributor.

You got 36 last winter, and now you’re getting 31. That’s a drop of 5 mpg. How many tanks have you tested with this new, lower number? If it’s just one tank it doesn’t mean anything. You have to average multiple tanks to see what the mileage really is.


#4

You got to wonder what the fuss is about Hybrid’s. You have a bigger car than I do, but I get 45mpg in my stock VW.


#5

Thanks for reply. It is not very cold here - well above zero - sometimes above freezing. There is a gage on the panel that shows the charge on the battery. It has continued to hang around the middle as it always has (no change there). However it seems as though the ‘assist’ / ‘charge’ is behaving a little different - sometimes charging just because I have my foot off of the accelerator without the brake pedal depressed.


#6

Thanks for your reply. I have nitrogen in my tires now and they were just checked at my very recent service appointment. Its 30.8 over two refills. I’ll continue to compute regularly - and hope there was some temporary anomaly (but I have not hope there really). I bought the car to minimize pollution and not waste gas. At this point I’m really disappointed. Its been a great car for 3 & 1/2 years, however.


#7

Delighted your VW is doing so well! We have always had the best luck with Hondas - and the dealer is within walking distance. Best, Tom


#8

Nitrogen has no impact on whether the tires are at the correct pressure. The temperature does.


#9

Yes, the only reason I know of for using Nitrogen is that the dealer said the the pressure varied less with pure Nitrogen - and they gave it to me free and they restore the pressure (with Nitrogen) to the right level each time I bring it in without any charge to me. Frankly, since air is 80% Nitrogen, I figured it probably did no good at all - but maybe.


#10

OK, just wanted to make sure…the dealer is incorrect, air and nitrogen change the same with pressure.


#11

There should be a shop in every area that advertsise to be one who will restore lost mpg, yeah right.


#12

This reminds me of a recent thread about Honda Hybrids. Did you have a software upgrade as part of the service?

http://community.cartalk.com/posts/list/2160199.page

I think my advise (reply #6) may be applicable.


#13

Joseph-Driver and commute play a big role in mileage. With my '03 Civic Hybrid I’ve achieved a 66MPG tank and lifetime average is around 59MPG. Even in the dead of winter with snow/ice and extreme cold I easily beat your 45MPG.


#14

You got to wonder what the fuss is about Hybrid’s. You have a bigger car than I do, but I get 45mpg in my stock VW.

And that would be for HIGHWAY driving…NOT driving around town…Hybrids get better gas mileage around town…so you’re not comparing apples to apples. I’ll bet your VW doesn’t even come close the hybrid for city driving…


#15

I noticed the same dramatic drop immediately after the IMA system was reprogrammed. A bulletin for this was issued in August of 2010. The IMA system had to be changed because the hybrid batteries were dying prematurely, which would have resulted in Honda having to replace them under warranty.

Following the update, I noticed that the IMA does not kick is when it used to. If the battery meter is at half or less, the IMA does not kick in at all. Honda told me I should only see a difference when idling at a stop.

The battery is not being utilized in order to save life, which results in an increased fuel cost for the consumer, which I feel is not fair.

Anyone who has this problem should report it to their dealer and Honda customer service. I have yet to get the impression that Honda is willing to do anything about it. I have also reported this to the Better Business Bureau Auto Line and my state Attorney General consumer complaint line.

If enough people complain, they will have to do something about it. My dealer said that they have had many complaints.


#16

This software update applied to 2005-08 Civic Hybrids


#17

Something has got to be wrong with that . . . we get 40-45 with our '95 Civic all of the time. What is the EPA estimate? Has your driving route changed much? Got to be something major to have such lousy MPG for a hybrid. I will admit that our newer (2010) Civic is “only” 30-35 MPG . . . not as good as our’95, it is considerably bigger and heavier than the '95, still . . you would expect a hybrid to be better than 30 MPG. Your question . . . “Can you suggest anything to get the MPG back up?” Maybe . . . start with basics . . . get another mechanic to check the specs . . . timing, spark plugs, alignment, air filter . . . how about tires? I think that the originals were “special” to increase MPG . . . are they the same? How about tire pressure? One thing I believe is most important . . . how’s your driving habits? Changed since the car was new? Your MPG drop is considerable . . . like 25%. It has to be something major, IMO. Good luck! Rocketman