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Old 05-08-2008, 05:51 PM   #11
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You are also getting a lot more for your money buying a Civic. you are getting a fun to drive, reliable and stylish automobile with good ergonomics and overall very solid design.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:35 PM   #12
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Get an HX.



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Does anyone know if the alternator in a 2001 or 02 civic constantly runs? Can it be disabled or can its belt be isolated from the engine while the alternator is not in use? I don't want the alternator to constantly be adding to the engine's mechanical workload if the battery is charged.
Honda alternators are pulse-width-modulated and have been since 1988 and possibly earlier. What this means is that the alternator is controlled by the ECU to output power on demand. This is one of the features that makes Japanese cars better than domestics.

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Can an integrated starter alternator be installed on a 2001 or 02 civic?
I don't know what that is. I hope you're not talking about how the starter is integrated into the electric motor on a hybrid.

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I assume the radiator fan is electric. Does it run constantly and can it be hooked up to a thermostat? I don't want the fan to constantly be draining the battery if the engine doesn't need cooling.
Whoa buddy you need to catch up with the times. I don't know of any crank driven fans (except on trucks) since the late eighties. The electric fan is indeed controlled by the ECU to turn on only when the coolant passes a certain temp. This generally only happens at idle or in stop and go traffic.

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Are the air conditioner and the heater one unit in the 2001 and 02 civic? I want to remove the heater because I don't need it since I live in the desert south west.
The heater consists of a coolant/air heat exchanger mounted in a box that is downstream of your blower. You really don't want to remove this. There's no mpg gain from removing it, and it can be quite complicated re-routing or looping the coolant lines. It's a good thing to have in case your car begins to overheat.

The blower itself and all the ducting can be removed for a small yet significant weight reduction, but I wouldn't recommend this if you ever want to sell the car someday. It's going to be a lot of work to remove the dash and pull all the components. You'll have to eliminate the AC. Truth be told you'd be lucky to pick up 1 mpg but the value of the car will plummet. Some parts of the AC system are difficult to remove without damaging them. And you'll have to pay to have the AC system drained and recycled (about $40 or maybe free if they're nice).

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Where is the air conditioner located? I'd like to locate it somewhere else in the car if it is located in the engine compartment. The engine compartment gets hot. I makes no sense to put the air conditioner in there.
The air conditioning is a large system that has components mounted on the engine, in the engine bay, and under the dash. You can't relocate any of this and for much of it there would be no benefit as you are assuming. The A/C pump is driven by a belt off the crank pulley. The A/C radiator (not the technical term) and fan are in front of your coolant radiator and can't be moved for obvious reasons. Various lines are routed through the engine bay but these do not soak up heat. In some places these lines are insulated. Under the dash in your air ducting attached to the blower motor is the condensor. This is the part of the A/C that actually cools the air.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:05 PM   #13
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"Under the dash in your air ducting attached to the blower motor is the condensor"

I think you gave him very good advice, but one minor correction: that's the evaporator. The condenser is the part that looks like a radiator, and is either in front of or beside the radiator.
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:28 PM   #14
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I say a Civic is a great decision...over 70 degrees or longer distance, I get 40-42 mpg which is pretty decent. Just wish there was a 5th gear on the autos.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:16 AM   #15
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I would go with a 5spd civic, but try to find (or at least test-drive and look into) a VX or HX. The gas mileage savings will outweigh other things in the end.

Good luck.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:01 AM   #16
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he can't.

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Physical issues with getting a manual. Man I would love one though.
it's very unlikely he'll find a near stock VX or HX. they are so rare now it's likely going to require a cross-country drive to get it or he'll have to pay a lot more than it's "worth". other trim civic's get great mileage, even automatics. as we all know, it's easy to attain +30% epa estimates in driving style alone.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:25 PM   #17
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Well, now that I've been told the Civic HX was never a hatchback, I've had to do a little more research. So I'm going to go with the 1997 Civic hatchback which got 29 MPG city / 35 MPG hwy.

Well, actually I'll go for any of these cars in the order they are listed:
1997 Honda Civic Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.6 L 29 city / 35 hwy
2004 Scion xA Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.5 L 27 city / 34 hwy
2002 Honda Civic Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.7 L 29 city / 35 hwy
2003 Honda Civic Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.7 L 29 city / 34 hwy
2003 Honda Civic Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.7 L 29 V-Tec 26 city / 34 hwy
1996 Geo Metro / Suzuki Swift Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.3 L 26 city / 31 hwy
1997 Geo Metro / Suzuki Swift Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.3 L 26 city / 31 hwy
1998 Geo Metro / Suzuki Swift Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.3 L 26 city / 31 hwy
1999 Geo Metro / Suzuki Swift Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.3 L 26 city / 31 hwy
2000 Geo Metro / Suzuki Swift Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.3 L 26 city / 31 hwy
2001 Geo Metro / Suzuki Swift Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.3 L 26 city / 31 hwy
2003 Honda Civic Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.7 L 25 city / 34 hwy
1996 Honda Civic Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.6 L 25 city / 33 hwy
1998 Honda Civic Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.6 L 25 city / 33 hwy
1999 Honda Civic Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.6 L 25 city / 33 hwy
2003 Toyota Celica Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.8 L 25 city / 33 hwy
2000 Honda Civic Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.6 L 25 city / 32 hwy
2002 Toyota Celica Hatchback Automatic 4 cyl, 1.8 L 25 city / 32 hwy
1996 Ford Aspire Hatchback Automatic 4cyl, 1.3 L 25 city / 31 hwy
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:55 PM   #18
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Ford Escorts 1.9L automatics are worth a look also, they are easy to get into the 30s in with the auto. When I got mine all tuned up and dialled in, I'd have to pound the crap out of it with the A/C on to pull less than 30 city, I was pulling 32-34 tank averages with 50/50 city-hwy, and that was "going with the flow" at 75mph, and in a wagon. Hatch does better for aero with a Cd of .34 Parts are dirt cheap, the cars are dirt cheap, but suffer from "disposable car syndrome" meaning, find one that has maintenance records.

I'd think you might want to think about Geo/Chevrolet Prizms as well, the 1.8 though not the 1.6. Like the Escort the EPA numbers look a little low, but they are well known for exceeding them.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:39 AM   #19
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I am partial but I love Honda's. I drive a '96 hatchback and am getting anywhere between 42-46 mpg, and my car has 188k miles on it. Honda's in general are great on gas and require very little maintenance. I haven't had to do much more to mine than change the oil and the brake pads since I've had it. And they are super easy to work on.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:58 AM   #20
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Heh...Civic beats Metro for sure, but you might want to take a look at the "Hypermile sleepers" thread:
http://www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?t=7449
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