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Old 03-05-2013, 12:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Honda Civic HX (lean burning), how to drive it?

I've recently purchased a 99 HX, but I don't know much about it so I'm hoping some of you can help me understand how to drive it better. I understand the lean burn for extended highway driving, but I do mostly city driving and I don't know good shifting practices for maximum mpg. Where should I try and keep my RPMs for city driving? Should I try to be in highest gear all the time (if not on an incline)?

Also, the guy that sold it to me said to avoid braking in neutral and to downshift for better fuel efficiency. Is this true?

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Old 03-05-2013, 07:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What he means is that if you need to brake, you may as well be in gear to take advantage of DFCO. If you are in neutral, the engine is burning fuel to keep spinning.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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^^ yup, keep her in gear and decelerate w/ engine braking, that shuts off the fuel injectors so you get MAX mpg. but really, assuming you got your driving right, you want to avoid the situation all together. what i mean is that you SHOULD try to coast in neutral as much as humanly possible - the car rolls A LOT farther in neutral. but if you have to ever use the brakes (ie, you have too much momentum and not enough road), then as soon as you realize that situation - its better to use the engine braking *in gear* to decelerate the car, rather than be in neutral and apply the brakes. by keeping it in gear, you essentially use little to no fuel. so think neutral is good, but if you MUST force the car to lose speed, better to do so w/ the engine in gear than with the brakes. ideally, you NEVER want to use the brakes.

as far as general city driving, aside from the usual look way ahead and time the lights correctly kinda stuff, and try not to use the brakes - you want to be in the lowest gear possible. you want to accelerate at about 80% to 85% of the engine's ability whenEVER you need to gain speed. otherwise you should be cruising, trying to be SLIGHTLY decelerating as you do so; and you sure dont want to EVER be slightly accelerating, thats burns MPG badly. if you want to go faster - hit that gas to 85% load and go faster - once you are there, maintain and/or preferably extremely slowly bleed off speed.

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