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Old 04-04-2013, 12:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The VX - '95 Honda Civic VX
90 day: 38.99 mpg (US)
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Here with my "new" '95 Civic VX!

I currently drive a 2006 Honda Ridgeline and the mileage on that guy was driving me insane. Looked up fuel efficient vehicles online and was surprised at all of the cars listed from the late 80s and early-to-mid 90s. The Civic VX was on the list and I found one on Craigslist about 2 1/2 hours away from me - picked it up 4 days later. It has 250,000 on the odometer but still feels strong. Really excited to have it and start saving money on gas. It got 40 mpg on the drive home after purchasing and recently got right around 36 mpg on its first fill-up; driving was mainly city with trips to and from work. Definitely looking to get it into the 50s with mpg and will be getting either a Scangauge or MPGuino soon (looks like the Scangauge is only compatible with '96+ vehicles so I'm guessing that I'll go with the MPGuino), will replace one of the half-axles, will be changing out fluids in the transmission (plus filter) and differential, putting in new plugs and wires, possibly putting a new distributor and cap on, and then will start looking at aerodynamic mods (I'm bush league in the fabricating department). Driving for more efficiency is pretty exciting and has already made driving the VX fun.

Oddities: My VX has a chatter/rumble of sorts which sounds like it's coming from the transmission or bottom end of the engine and I've read on forums that a lot of them have throwout bearing issues so I'm curious if there is a recommended fix for this issue. My fuel gauge also jumps pretty sporadically but I'm not too sure this is a huge deal.

Excited to be here!

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Old 04-04-2013, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Congrats on the purchase! You've come to the right place - tons of VX expertise around here.

MPGuino is the way to go - it will also show you (via the instant MPG display) when you're in lean burn. Which is useful until you develop your seat-of-the-pants-indicator to know when you've coaxed the engine into that high-efficiency mode.

My brother has a Ridgeline (see the speed vs. MPG chart I made using it) that he uses for his business. He often talks about getting a little, efficient runabout, but when he ran the numbers, the added insurance (Ontario is very expensive) made it not worthwhile, financially.

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Old 04-04-2013, 03:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Patina - '80 Vespa P 125x
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Congrats indeed! Vx is a great car. Mpguino is the way to go and the biggest help in making the vx the most efficient it can be. And also don't be afraid to downshift to a stop or when traffic slows. Dfco is great on this car, down to around 1200 rpms. One thing that is a cool thing to have is an armrest center console- not an efficiency thing but way more comfortable.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome. If the transmission noise is there when you push in the clutch, it's probably the throw out bearing. If the noise is there in neutral with the clutch out, but goes away when you push in the clutch, it's probably the input shaft bearing. Either way, start with checking the fluid in the gearbox, it's probably due for a change anyway, and new fluid might quiet things down a bit if it's the input shaft bearing.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The VX - '95 Honda Civic VX
90 day: 38.99 mpg (US)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Congrats on the purchase! You've come to the right place - tons of VX expertise around here.

MPGuino is the way to go - it will also show you (via the instant MPG display) when you're in lean burn. Which is useful until you develop your seat-of-the-pants-indicator to know when you've coaxed the engine into that high-efficiency mode.

My brother has a Ridgeline that he uses for his business. He often talks about getting a little, efficient runabout, but when he ran the numbers, the added insurance (Ontario is very expensive) made it not worthwhile, financially.

Welcome to the forum!
thanks for the recommendation on the mpguino! i'm definitely interested in being able to monitor the lean burn more closely and also know where and when it works the best. i currently shift through each gear at 1500 rpm and am always in 5th by 35 mph. the ridgeline truly is an awesome truck and has been perfect for us with our dogs but the fuel efficiency is a bear. it's a funny thing because all of the ridgeline forums trash talk v8s because they're so bad on gas but the ridgeline's fuel mileage is absolutely nothing to call home about. i'll probably be selling mine now that i've got the vx which can haul dogs our dogs just as readily!

Last edited by mahintes; 04-05-2013 at 07:25 PM..
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The VX - '95 Honda Civic VX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backsidesnap View Post
Congrats indeed! Vx is a great car. Mpguino is the way to go and the biggest help in making the vx the most efficient it can be. And also don't be afraid to downshift to a stop or when traffic slows. Dfco is great on this car, down to around 1200 rpms. One thing that is a cool thing to have is an armrest center console- not an efficiency thing but way more comfortable.
do you mean more than the original armrest? my vx has the original armrest in it and i've been a fan of having it. never thought about the dfco before but that's definitely good to know. i usually coast in neutral to stoplights and when traffic slows. thanks for the welcome!
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The VX - '95 Honda Civic VX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War_Wagon View Post
Welcome. If the transmission noise is there when you push in the clutch, it's probably the throw out bearing. If the noise is there in neutral with the clutch out, but goes away when you push in the clutch, it's probably the input shaft bearing. Either way, start with checking the fluid in the gearbox, it's probably due for a change anyway, and new fluid might quiet things down a bit if it's the input shaft bearing.
thanks for the welcome! the transmission noise is actually only there during initial acceleration and seems to get progressively more mild as i go through the gears. i'll be swapping out the fluids all around here pretty soon, possibly this weekend so i'll definitely see if that helps. a lot of the recommendation's i've seen for the transmission call for amsoil 10w-40, your take?
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There are a lot of posts on here about the best fluid to use. I suggest you go through them and see what you think. You can never go wrong with Honda MTF, as for any gains you will see from using anything else, I'll leave that to you to decide, a lot of smart Honda folks have posted their results here. I think more important than the fluid choice is actually just getting the old stuff out of there and making sure the level is where it should be.

If the noise goes away in higher gears, it sounds to me like input shaft bearing. A throw out bearing noise will always be there when the clutch is pushed in, regardless of what gear you are shifting into. The input shaft bearing in my CX howls like an M22 (sorry, old Chevy transmission reference there lol) in 1st gear, but 2nd is way quieter, and 3rd is silent. The good news is that they can go for a long time making noise before you need to worry about them. Though in your case, it may have already been making noise for a long time, one of the perils of 20 year old used cars. Start with a fluid change and go from there would be my advice.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The VX - '95 Honda Civic VX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War_Wagon View Post
There are a lot of posts on here about the best fluid to use. I suggest you go through them and see what you think. You can never go wrong with Honda MTF, as for any gains you will see from using anything else, I'll leave that to you to decide, a lot of smart Honda folks have posted their results here. I think more important than the fluid choice is actually just getting the old stuff out of there and making sure the level is where it should be.

If the noise goes away in higher gears, it sounds to me like input shaft bearing. A throw out bearing noise will always be there when the clutch is pushed in, regardless of what gear you are shifting into. The input shaft bearing in my CX howls like an M22 (sorry, old Chevy transmission reference there lol) in 1st gear, but 2nd is way quieter, and 3rd is silent. The good news is that they can go for a long time making noise before you need to worry about them. Though in your case, it may have already been making noise for a long time, one of the perils of 20 year old used cars. Start with a fluid change and go from there would be my advice.
Thanks for the input. I'll read through the other threads on which MTF to use and will see if there is a general notion for any fluid in particular. If all else fails, I'll go with the Honda MTF. Hopefully the transmission noise/rattle doesn't become a big issue. My MPG looks to have improved a bit after getting some fresh synthetic oil in the engine so hopefully putting new transmission fluid will help even more. I'd read another thread about replacing the transmission fluid filter as well so I might knock that out when I drain it too. Hoping it just keeps running well because I'm really enjoying the great mileage I'm getting out of it right now!
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The filter only applies to automatics. Manual transmissions do not have a filter. You can magnetize the drain plug to help draw metal filings away from the gearset, but that's about it.

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