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Old 18th September 2008, 23:52   #1
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Question Honda Civic: How do you manage in traffic or 1st gear.

Mods: I have seen this topic on threads but didnt get an answer as to what to do. Please move it incase you find a better place.

Hello guys...
Of late, I am experiencing some discomfort in my new Civic when I have to drive in 1st gear for a long distance.

In stop and go traffic, it really takes a lot of leg movement to drive the car. I have to raise it to atleast 1K RPM to be able to smoothly move the car from standstill and then very..very slowly release the clutch. If i let go the clutch fast in an attempt not to drive in this half clutch for those 2-3 seconds, there are serious jerks in the car.

Also, If i just let go the clutch slowly and not pump in any acc, it starts knocking the engine and its very slow to move. I have read in this forum that this car has very less low end torque but then I would like to know how do u guys manage to move this thing smoothly.

Also, I have noticed that some days there are lots of jerks in the car the moment I take the foot off the accelerator in relatively lower speed bands of the gear, but some days its just real smooth giving a good experience.

In general, stop and go situations and starting from standstill either gives me lot of jerks or knocks the engine on some days. And on the rest of days, its really smooth.

Can gurus here, give me some gyan about this. The car has done abt 2K kms and is due for 2nd free service in about a month.
Since this is my first car, I lack the rich experience you guys have.
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Old 19th September 2008, 13:17   #2
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Don't know the car, but below 1000rpm is barely idling. I would not expect my Swift to pull away smoothly at 1,000, and low-rev pulling is the speciality of diesel.

Don't worry about the rev counter, drive by feel, and give the car some more revs; it really sounds that that is what it is asking for. Not doing so will stress your engine and clutch.
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Old 19th September 2008, 13:25   #3
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Hi have you been switching from petrol pump s and fuel s ?? and do u drive it on low petrol for long !! But that should nt be a problem as your car is almost new so i dont suspect dirt in your tank . Dont check on diferent fuel s just stick to one which you rely and same brand it need s just regular unleaded .You will surely find a comfortable bandwidth to drive in traffic it s one of the best cars to drive in traffic and when roads open it s fun to see everyone eating your dust !! {No i aint encouraging you to do it }
Regards
SaaJAn
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Old 19th September 2008, 13:47   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by araje View Post
In stop and go traffic, it really takes a lot of leg movement to drive the car. I have to raise it to atleast 1K RPM to be able to smoothly move the car from standstill and then very..very slowly release the clutch.
Standard fare with the Civic. As you rightly pointed out, lack of torque @ lower rpms is the culprit here. In fact, most Honda engines are exhilirating near the red line but conversely lack in juice @ lower rpms. You need to wring power out of them.

It will only be a matter of time before you get used to this and alter your driving style (giving more revvs and releasing the clutch later).

Quote:
but some days its just real smooth giving a good experience.
Could be due to bad fuel. Stick to a company-owned company-operated pump (I love IOC). "Pure" petrol will greatly improving your driving experience.
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Old 19th September 2008, 23:26   #5
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Try driving another Civic (may be call a vendor for a Test-Drive) and see if another Civic gives you the same driving feel.

Get the clutch adjustment checked at an authorized service station or may be you could go for an early first service.

And as suggested above, drive by the feel & sound of the engine and not by looking at the tachometer.
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Old 19th September 2008, 23:43   #6
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As GTO has rightly pointed out, it is due to the lack of torque at low rpms that hampers the start from standstill. You will get used to the nature of the car. She's a treat to drive especially at speeds.
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Old 20th September 2008, 14:07   #7
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Also Araje, don't go in for performance air-filters & the regular free flow exhausts. They will only lessen the low-end torque.
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Old 20th September 2008, 15:07   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Also Araje, don't go in for performance air-filters & the regular free flow exhausts. They will only lessen the low-end torque.
Rush,

Will have to disagree with you on this. All depends on how the exhaust is designed. We have done exhausts for 4 civics(including 1 auto) so far and all the cars have improved torque/bottom end and are peppier than stock civics.

No other mods have been carried out on the cars wrt performance.

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Old 20th September 2008, 17:13   #9
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If you thought Civic has less torque, then what about the other smaller cars that people drive everyday ?

Hondas have one of the best clutch mechamism, that are easy to drive.

The fact that you are driving only in 1st gear means you are confined to drive very very slow - which means you are stuck in traffic - which means you dont really need speed or torque at this point.

Just release the clutch immediately but softly, and everything will be fine.
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Old 20th September 2008, 19:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viper View Post
All depends on how the exhaust is designed. We have done exhausts for 4 civics(including 1 auto) so far and all the cars have improved torque/bottom end and are peppier than stock civics.

No other mods have been carried out on the cars wrt performance.
Without a change to engine mapping etc., how would you improve low-end torque? The only way I see is by smaller dia pipes and I would never want the exhaust to be more restrictive than stock.

Quote:
If you thought Civic has less torque, then what about the other smaller cars that people drive everyday ?
Just because an engine is smaller doesn't mean it will feel any less peppier. Look at the 800! Great to drive in the city....it feels very sprightly from low rpms itself.
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Old 20th September 2008, 19:56   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Without a change to engine mapping etc., how would you improve low-end torque? The only way I see is by smaller dia pipes and I would never want the exhaust to be more restrictive than stock.
Rush,

I repeat car is bone stock no other performance mods.Out of the 4 cars 2 are bone stock the auto(mikem) has a conical filter and the other is running a stock replacment K&N(vikram18). The pipe diameter is in fact larger than the stock and the exhaust is in no ways restrictive which is what a free flow is all about.


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Old 20th September 2008, 20:36   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viper View Post
The pipe diameter is in fact larger than the stock and the exhaust is in no ways restrictive which is what a free flow is all about.
Viper, a bigger diameter will only result in better mid - high rpm performance. In fact, it is known to reduce low-end torque!! I simply can't understand how wider pipes can increase low-end torque!
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Old 20th September 2008, 20:53   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Viper, a bigger diameter will only result in better mid - high rpm performance. In fact, it is known to reduce low-end torque!! I simply can't understand how wider pipes can increase low-end torque!
Rush,

All I can say is drive the car and see the diff in performance. Remember the catalytic converter is removed and the muffler design is less restrictive which is what improves the performance.

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Old 20th September 2008, 21:25   #14
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Things are getting too technical for somebody's first car!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by araje View Post
In stop and go traffic, it really takes a lot of leg movement to drive the car. I have to raise it to atleast 1K RPM to be able to smoothly move the car from standstill and then very..very slowly release the clutch. If i let go the clutch fast in an attempt not to drive in this half clutch for those 2-3 seconds, there are serious jerks in the car.
araje, 1K rpm is pefectly fine to get the car moving, do not worry much about it. Releasing the clutch slowly is something to gain with some experience - just get going and you will soon enjoy your drive!

Stop and go traffic is not something exciting for anyone, so do not consider this as any discomfort unique to you. Low tourque on Civic is again a much discussed topic, but again no need to worry so much for something as basic as getting the car moving (it is not so bad).
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Old 20th September 2008, 22:48   #15
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Quote:
I have to raise it to atleast 1K RPM
I'm going to say again that I think a petrol engine will barely run the AC at less than 1000rpm.

(well I'll say it a little differently!)

I don't think there is anything wrong with the car, and I don't think anything needs changing, just that the driving style needs to fit.

Not giving enough gas was an early driving fault of mine that I well remember one of my instructors shouting at me for.
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