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Old 07-05-2007, 06:33 AM   #1
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New member with a civic

Hi all, just recently joined your forums in my quest for better gas mileage. I have a recently acquired 2003 Honda Civic. It's unfortunately got an automatic transmission (I really prefer MT/RWD to this econobox AT/FWD config) but at least I'm happy with my mileage (so far). I definitely want to bring my mileage up though, if I'm going to have to live with a FWD, AT, 4cyl vehicle (ugh, I just cannot state how much I hate driving a car like this) I am going to extract any possible benefits I can from it! I'm planning on doing some minor modifications to it; a transmission controller (from awshifting), lowering, a rubber air dam, etc. are in the works.

My last vehicle was a 1995 Chevrolet K1500 extended cab with a 5.7L engine, 5 on the floor and 4.10 final gears. I got an average of 10mpg throughout the lifetime of the vehicle! I could barely manage 12mpg when shifting at 1,300rpm and cruising below the speed limit (hard to do in south FL, people are terrible, terrible drivers here as a rule of thumb ).

I look forward to learning and contributing in this forum, it seems to be a pretty nice place.
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:35 AM   #2
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You're going to do great.
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:32 AM   #3
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Welcome!
Wow - you've already more than tripled the mpg's compared with the truck!

I think with an a/t one main point is to keep the torque converter locked up as much as possible - hopefully it has t/c lockup.

Also I'd definitely get a ScanGauge for real time mpg readout. It plugs right into the OBDII port in the passenger compartment. That's the first thing I'll get for my next car - only works for '96 and later since it relies on OBDII for its data.
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Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:56 AM   #4
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Welcome.
I still have a 95 C1500. Got the small V8, & SWB too, so mileage is not as bad.
Find an old VX, they are out there. You should be able to pull 50+ MPG.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome everyone,
brucepick; I believe the 03 civic has a lock-up torque converter, I think all post 1990s vehicles do. I've never worked on a post 2000 vehicle that didn't... I was thinking about a manual transmission swap earlier to cure my AT problem, but when I wrote down on paper what I'd have to do, I figured it just wouldn't be worth the time, effort or money.

It's funny how a few changes in the vehicle can make a huge difference in mileage, Sigifrith, for a truck not so different from mine, you have double the gas mileage... That's very suprising. I'm guessing the differences are the lack weight of a transfer case, front diff and half shaft, the extra foot or so of my LWB and a lower final ratio.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:47 PM   #6
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yea usually switching from auto to manual isnt too easy and might as well buy the same car with a manual tranny, alot less work/time/ less bugs to work out.
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