freeway driving, 3rd gear uphill? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 04-17-2009, 10:35 PM   #1
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freeway driving, 3rd gear uphill?

Hi, I was wondering if other drivers feel they need to get into third gear to pick up enough speed to maintain about 55-60 mph going up steep hills on the freeway.

I don't have a grille block, warm air intake, under belly pan, new tires, oxygen sensor nor a front air dam (front lip). Also, the alignment is off and I might need to readjust my valves in the near future.

I'm currently sitting at 102k miles. The dizzy rotor/cap, spark plugs, and spark plug wires have been changed a few months ago. The egr valve, idle control valve, and throttle body have been cleaned recently.

I drive a civic hx and it sometimes feel VERY under powered on the freeway when going up hills. If it's in 5th gear, I drop it to 4th and it feels like I need to stomp on it to maintain speed uphill. Drop it into 3rd and the power issue is solved, however, I'm now pushing the car near 4k rpm... How do you vx owners handle it?
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:49 AM   #2
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have the car aligned and it will feel stronger.
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:55 AM   #3
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Drop it into 3rd and the power issue is solved, however, I'm now pushing the car near 4k rpm...
Yeah dude, don't worry. That is just part of driving a gutless car. 4k RPM ain't nothing to worry about with your civic.
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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wait u dont have an oxygen sensor?

what wonder....

go put one in and get the alignment checked at least
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:30 PM   #5
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LOL, I meant i haven't gotten a new oxygen sensor yet. I bought a 5 wire one for $50 and extended it to fit but it popped up with a CEL, and I later found out about the small pocket of air inside the wire jackets...

Funny thing is the car feels like it lost power after I took it to get the timing belt and waterpump changed. I know it doesn't sound right but I took it back to the same shop and they claimed it was timed correctly using a timing gun. Is there any way for me to check the timing?
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:59 AM   #6
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. Is there any way for me to check the timing?
You could remove the cover for the timing belt and check to make sure the timing marks align correctly when the engine is at TDC. I don't know exactly where the marks are on your car but there'll be a mark for aligning the cam shaft and one for aligning the crank shaft if one of them are off when the engine is at TDC then they have the timing off by a tooth or two. If the timing is off by a tooth you gas mileage would probably be down too.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:09 AM   #7
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I have a non-vtec civic with lower power than yours. I never need anything except 5th gear on the highway.

You don't list your location, though. We don't have mountains here, but we do have some serious rolling hills.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:05 AM   #8
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I know what you mean about downshifting and being underpowered- I just swapped in a 1.3 liter (60 peak hp) engine into my 87 Civic.

My old 1.5 L engine (76 hp peak) set on cruise control could pull most interstate hills fine in 5th gear at 65 mph even with the HF transmission (about 2200 rpm at 65mph). Now, with the smaller engine, I have trouble climbing the same hills even when I downshift to 4th gear and floor it. I can maintain speed in 3rd gear on those hills but there is still no abundance of power.

Unless I can average 50+ mpg on the interstate in the summer months, I think I will continue to regret my engine swap experiment (I was averaging 44mpg on the interstate with the 1.5 liter engine).
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:03 PM   #9
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speed up before going up the hill and keep it in top gear as you gradually slow back down as you are going up hill
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info guys. I'll check the timing belt once my Finals are over. I'm sure its in the service manual somewhere.

The freeway I'm referring to is the one in San Francisco. I'm getting about 30mpg-33mpg with 95% city driving. I'm assuming this is pretty good for a civic HX. Would a clean air filter improve mileage at all? I've replaced the fuel filter as well.
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