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Old 1st November 2008, 21:46   #1
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Default Honda Civic 1.8V A/T. EDIT : 9 months / 8,500KM up!

My rather long initial ownership report is here. (A newbie TDs a Civic. EDIT Now takes her home!) But it is mostly a waste of time reading it, so I'll summarize:

Honda Civic 1.8V A/T in Misty Violet.
Bought on Sept 29th, 2008 with a KL-01 AT 97xx plate.
First service on Oct 30th with 999KM on the odo.

The odo now reads 1010KM and the car has come back from first service. The ownership experience of this car has been absolutely fabulous. Let me try to put down here what we've experienced.

We took delivery of a sadly miserable looking car (I wrote about the shabby state of affairs at Peninsular's "yard"). It had swirl marks already all over the place, all glass panels were dirty on the inside and the glue on the little... umm... cloth thing they fixed on the bonet dried and left a nasty goop on the surface which didn't wash off.

Bad news first :

1) The paint is a pain to maintain. Get the white if you want a load off your mind.
2) The mileage is pathetic - 8.5KMPL on the first measure (~180KM on the odo), 9.75KMPL on the second (~850KM odo). (100% AC, 50/50 city/highway, not tankful to tankful because the pumps we use don't have auto cut-off).
3) Scary to park tightly because I still don't have an absolute measure in my mind about how far it extends to the side and front and therefore I end up parking very wide.
4) It will beach on a 5 inch stone slab if you have 200 kilos of bananas in the boot, three wrestler class dudes in the back and two fat people in the front. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Sounds bad doesn't it? Well, even my mileage conscious Sunday-driver Dad has become "Go Fida!" after traveling in this car. It has a truly infectious personality. "Is that the best you can do?" "Oh come on, the rest of my 100 horses are sleeping!" and so on and so forth. It surely does communicate to you. In spite of me trying my best to stick to the running in norms, I've hit redline a few times doing the kickdown dance. I'm sorry, I'm a weak, weak man and I cannot resist the temptation.

As you can probably guess, it goes like stink. Sure, it isn't much for the MB or BMW owners in this club, but for someone whose previous car was a Premier Padmini, this is quite a serious step up guys.

The interiors are fabulous, the AC is absolutely chilling, the OEM stereo isn't bad and the engine is a devil. The A/T saves me from insanity in the city and the paddle shift allows me to have some degree of control over the 'box on the highways. There is rear leg room even with the front seats fully set back and I have a great driving position. The latter is a great boon because I'm 6'3" and it is hard to find an accommodating car for me. The brakes are phenomenal and the steering is direct.

Of course, the legendary Honda service experience had me very frightened. After a rather rough and dirty long distance journey (~700KM in the pouring rain over pathetic surfaces), my dad decided that the 3M paint coating is a good idea. So we were looking at a ~5K bill for that plus any service costs. They called us up a few days before the 1 month mark to remind us and we fixed up an appointment for the 30th. We got there, met up with our advisor and I told him the list of things I wanted checked out. There were a few:

1) Suspected leak at the front door beadings. The fabric at the roof was seen damp a couple of times in a 5cm radius where it met the door.
2) Roof fabric thing seems loose at the point it meets the windscreen.
3) One underbody hit I wanted checked out.
4) One front bumper scratch I wanted touched up which I have absolutely no idea how it happened. Suspected biker attack.

He said it'll be done by that evening. But in the afternoon he called up and told us to come the next day as they wanted to wait until the next day so the bumper touch up was done properly. We got there at 9AM. The beadings checked out under washing. He said they'll replace it if the problem persists. The roof fabric was fixed properly. There was no under body damage and the scratch was touched up. The shade matched, but the lack of clear coat was quite obvious. Not much they could do more other than repaint the whole thing which he recommended against.

But the 3M coating job made it look fantastic. I suspect the car came without a wax job because it looked better than it ever did! It has that slick feel on the paint now. All the scratches are gone (even the ones my cousin's dog made on the rear doors). I told my dad that this could be accomplished at home with the proper stuff. Of course, he told me I would make a hash of it, so he won't let me. Oh well.

The total damage came to Rs. 5051 and all of it was for the paint coating. Everything else was free including the touchup.

There you have it. 1000KMs done and the honeymoon is still on. Fingers crossed until the 5000KM mark!
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Old 2nd November 2008, 08:12   #2
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Nice review ImmortalZ. Why didn't you get the engine oil changed? The Honda A.S.S said that its not required but I got it changed.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 09:07   #3
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Thanks shuvd.

I was in two minds about the oil change. I wanted to force it, but then decided against it. In one of those moments I thought "If one of the foremost automotive makers in the world think their engines don't need an oil change at first service, why should I?" and decided against it.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 14:33   #4
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Hi Arun,

> 1000KMs done and the honeymoon is still on. Fingers crossed until the 5000KM > mark!

Good. Is the next service at 5000? I was given to understand that the Civic has a 10000kms oil change interval!
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Old 2nd November 2008, 17:34   #5
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It does have a 10K oil change interval. But the second service is 5000KM/3 months.

Also, I forgot to mention in the first post that trrk kindly lent his time in answering several of my questions over PM. I will repost them here so others can benefit from the knowledge.

Issue #1:

During the first night drive, the windscreen fogged up intensely and the wipers did nothing to fix the problem. It was fogging up on the inside and the outside at the same time. All the dirty residue left behind at the factory became visible and it was impossible to see out.

As suggested, I figured out the optimal defogger temperature settings (pretty much equal to or greater than the outside temp. display as on the instrument panel) and then a cleaning of the inside surface fixed the problem.

Issue #2:

An oil patch was noticed one day under the car. I thought oil leaks were a story from the last century! Turned out it really was. A friend's Amby created the patch, but I only noticed it after I parked the Civic over it.

Mysticeyes also corresponded with me a bit. He asked for the mileage I was getting. It is mentioned in the first post as per his request.

I am hoping it would improve over time. Corollary : The fuel guage is very non-linear. One cannot assume things like "one dot = 1.5L" because it isn't.

Issue #3:

I had my doubts about tyre pressures. The front looked less inflated than the rear tyres. Before we went on our highway trip, we got it checked out and the pressures were rather normal. The front left was over inflated, but the others were normal. Even so, the man fiddled with the pressures and made sure they were perfect. He even knew the required pressures for the Civic!

The ride is still rather rough though. Gotta get better rubber when this set runs out. I hear the stock Goodyears are pathetic. OT, but the ANHC at Peninsular was shod with Bridgestones. Weird.

Last edited by ImmortalZ : 2nd November 2008 at 17:48.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 20:47   #6
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if the ride is still a bit rough then bring it down 2 psi. 28-30psi should be fine.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 22:20   #7
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@ ImmortalZ - When did you get the car? I thought all Civics are coming with MXV8s these days. Which GoodYears do you have currently?
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Old 3rd November 2008, 12:00   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvd View Post
@ ImmortalZ - When did you get the car? I thought all Civics are coming with MXV8s these days. Which GoodYears do you have currently?
Booked the car in the middle of September. The tyres are Goodyear Eagle NCT 5.

Is there any way to find when my car was made?
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Old 3rd November 2008, 12:11   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
Is there any way to find when my car was made?
Yes it is; the year of make - you can then roughly figure out the month of make with some approximation.

Get the VIN of the car (VIN = Vehicle Identification Number), the manual should tell you where it is written in the car. Once you have the VIN, you can use a VIN decoder to tell you a whole lot of things, including the year of manufacture - check out Vehicle Identification Number - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You know that Honda India makes its cars only at one plant (atleast till a while ago) in India. You know the monthly sales figures from t-bhp site. You can use it roughly to find the month of manufacture.

If your dealer registered the vehicle and was honest (now that's asking for a lot ) and then the RC Book has the month of make.

Cheers
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Old 3rd November 2008, 12:11   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
Booked the car in the middle of September. The tyres are Goodyear Eagle NCT 5.

Is there any way to find when my car was made?
IIRC, you can find the VIN plate when you open the front LHS door. And, the date of manufacture is stamped there.

Last edited by shuvd : 3rd November 2008 at 12:12.
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Old 3rd November 2008, 12:41   #11
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Hi ImmortalZ,

> It does have a 10K oil change interval. But the second service is 5000KM/3 > months.

Ok. The City and the Civic both use the same oil and the City has a 5000kms oil change interval where as the Civic has 10000kms interval.

> The fuel guage is very non-linear. One cannot assume things like "one dot > = 1.5L" because it isn't.

At almost 20000kms, I have not figured it out yet in my City. If the needle comes off the Full mark before 100 kms the mileage is around 13. The other positions have fooled me a lot.

> The front looked less inflated than the rear tyres.

Norm in radial tyres.

> The ride is still rather rough though.

Reduce pressure. Rough slow speed ride is City's forte and not Civic's!

The last tow mileages in my City were 12.15 and 17.44. I would be at Penisular Cochin on Wednesday for my 20000kms service!
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Old 12th November 2008, 22:05   #12
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Latest mileage calculation over a fuel quantity of 40L is 10.6KMPL, 100% AC, 100% city drives.

I'm rather happy at this sort of mileage from city runs, that too with a young engine. I attribute the improvement to the engine loosening up and me coming to terms with the nuances of the auto box and the car itself.
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Old 12th November 2008, 22:35   #13
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10.6kmpl aint bad for 100% AC + City in a A/T.
Nice review.

Do you face any jerks while changing the gear through the paddle shifters.
A friend bought the M/T because he faced jerks in the A/T test drive car.
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Old 12th November 2008, 23:10   #14
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To be honest, no. I'm experimenting with them at the moment really. With full city driving during the last month, I've been in D mode most of the time. Two long highway trips coming up for the coming weekends, and I plan to give the S mode a thorough workout.

Will post results afterwards!
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Old 13th November 2008, 12:39   #15
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.gupta88 View Post
Do you face any jerks while changing the gear through the paddle shifters.
There was no jerks while using paddle shifts when I test drove the Civic AT.

@Immortalz:
> Latest mileage calculation over a fuel quantity of 40L is 10.6KMPL, 100% AC, > 100% city drives

That's a great mileage!

Slightly OT: The Hybrid is going for 13.36Ex showroom Delhi, until December!
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