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Old 5th March 2012, 09:07   #271
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Default Re: Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home

Update: The response to the new horn seems to be much better than the earlier one.
New horn produces a 'Phhaaam' sound which is clearly audible. Pedestrians, small and big vehicles seems to acknowledge another vehicle in their proximity finally.

Considering the fact that horns are a very important part of communication between drivers in India -- it is definitively recommended to upgrade the Honda City's horn. You can see drivers cutting abruptly into next right lane when they spot an obstacle in their own lane. No indicators, no blind spot check, nothing. Then a horn is the only mode of communication -- a way to alert the errant driver about the presence of another vehicle in the vicinity.

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Old 14th March 2012, 18:18   #272
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Default Idiot's guide on driving a Honda City for pleasure

To be honest, when doing some spirited driving earlier, the sound of iVtec growl used to scare me as well as the fellow passengers. This noise made passengers believe that the engine is pushed too hard and therefore strained. Ignorance about iVtecs and their working was a reason too. Engine noise creeping into cabin was not helping either.

Me and fellow T-BHPian Raghu used to talk about our long drive experiences and wonder why the Honda City is famed as an enthusiast's car. After all, we could never discover that peppiness in the engine. We used to wonder why the City could never catch up with that zooming Swift diesel, forget the likes of Skoda Laura et al -- and lament over it. Until we discover the secret of Honda meditation !!

After reading the gyan about (a) driving petrol engines in general and (b) high revving nature of Honda engines in a couple of petrol engine threads -- I am discovering new dimensions of driving and it's associated pleasure. The addictive and mantra like sound of iVtec growl is all over me now.

I am sure that many prospective City buyers will go through this thread before finalizing the car. Some would be reading this thread after booking and waiting for the delivery with anxiety and expectation. My personal advice for them is to get the awareness on how to drive one before owning one. Couple of us did not knew it and we lost some years bitching and moaning about a sedate car. Trying to avoid the same happening to new prospective owners. In it's stock avatar, a Honda City is such a pleasure if you know what to do with it.

So, below are the pearls of information. This is from our experience, experiments as well as setbacks.

(1) Get a good set of tyres immediately after you take the delivery. 195/60 R15 Michelins or Yokohomas would be ideal. I went for 195/65 R15 to get better ground clearance though. Upgrade the stock headlight and horn as well. These are not suited for Indian road conditions at all

(2) Drive the first 2000 kms in the guise of an iVtec ignorant (like me for the first 2 years)

(3) Post run-in period, after allowing fellow passengers to board, educate them briefly about revving the engine, iVtecs and the associated growl which they are going to be exposed soon. Though it is music to seasoned enthusiasts and converts it may sound jarring to others.

Without this introduction, they may appear visibly tensed and remind you constantly about unnecessary getting the engine pushed too hard, straining it -- finally asking you not to take undue risk and slow down. Suddenly the loud sound is gone, car appears less strained and passengers are all relieved

(4) Be mentally prepared to comprise slightly on mileage. Ecstasy and mileage do not go very well together

(5) Now comes the crux of the matter: which is to be prepared to press and hold that accelerator pedal without upshifting the gear, untill the RPM counter goes all the way to red line. This is the secret of nirvana

In Honda City, the rpm meter is marked red only from 6800 rpm onward. Boy, that is a long rev range. It is possible to touch 80 in the second gear and 100+ in 3rd and the rpm counter will still be far from red line. I am sure some drivers would have clocked even more aggressive numbers. I have not got the opportunity to go far than this as of now.

On the other side, I have noticed that it is possible to drive in 5th gear at a low speed of 50 kmph also. So, the car is open to drive either ways -- sedate or lively.

If you see the rpm counter of a diesel car (a 2000 cc Optra magnum) the rpm counter is red from 4800 rpms. Tubo charged diesels get the peak torque around 2000 rpm which lasts till 4000 rpm -- after which they will have to upshift the gear and to reduce the rpm and get into the power band.

Top speed marked in both the speedometers are 220 kmph

(6) In highways, if those diesel Swifts, Indicas or Puntos appear badgering, immediately downshift the gear to 3rd, if you are choosing to live up to the challenge. Never try to gain acceleration in the 5th gear as I did and you will conclude that the engine is a dud. If you had to slow down because of a moron driving slow in the passing lane, downshift to 3rd gear and accelerate after passing him. There is no way to compete with a diesel engine otherwise

Also, politely allow cars with 2000+ CC engines to pass. It may be difficult to take them heads-on until you are a very daring driver. City's top speed is limted at 190 kmph via ECU mapping. Some diesels like Optra Magum and Cruze can touch 200 with some effort. With the soft rear suspension, a City would not aspire confidence at that speed

(7) In lower gears, you have two vital advantages -- (a) quick acceleration and (b) better engine braking in case you have to brake quickly. Shift gears up from second gear onward, only on red lining the rpm meter

(8) Rediscover your confidence, in case a Fiat diesel engine had already bruised it. Knowing how to drive is the key for high revving petrol engines. Power is always there but you have to know how to extract it. It comes naturally in case of diesel engines. This is true even for an unaware driver -- because the natural tendency is to upshift frequently based on speed and quickly reach the 5th gear. In diesel, this makes the car naturally remain in the power band for most of the time

(9) Last but not the least, while reversing, never fire the iVetc engine even if you have a reverse parking sensor. The rear corners are not covered in the range of the sensor. Also, the sensors can malfunction as well as it was observed in some cases. Stand outside the car, make a mental note of complete topology and then reverse the car

The kundalini in your spine had been awaken now and you will not be the same person anymore . But as they say, power corrupts and you have to be on guard not to stoop to unsafe driving.

Thanks for reading and have a safe as well as enjoyable drive. Remember, for pleasure shift late.

Last edited by Technocrat : 16th March 2012 at 03:33. Reason: Only two smilies per post allowed, please read our board rules carefully, thanks
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Old 14th March 2012, 18:47   #273
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Default Re: Idiot's guide on driving a Honda City for pleasure

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(1) Get a good set of tyres immediately after you take the delivery. 195/60 R15 Michelins or Yokohomas would be ideal. I went for 195/65 R15 to get better ground clearance though. Upgrade the stock headlight and horn as well. These are not suited for Indian road conditions at all
Does the tyre upgrade impact the warranty. Heard and read that Honda is a bit picky on any modifications.
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Old 14th March 2012, 19:13   #274
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Does the tyre upgrade impact the warranty. Heard and read that Honda is a bit picky on any modifications.
It should not be. I know some dealers are hysteric about these small things.

My dealer, Whitefield Honda @ Bangalore has a liberal outlook. Again, I consult only with service adviser Manjunath KV in Whitefield Honda. They have told me that as far as I don't tamper the electrical circuitry everything is fine. I have upgraded the bulbs from the dealer itself.
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Old 15th March 2012, 16:32   #275
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Default Re: Idiot's guide on driving a Honda City for pleasure

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Thanks for reading and have a safe as well as enjoyable drive. Remember, for pleasure shift late.
Loved reading your post and can totally relate to it from a 'petrol' head point of view if not from a Honda owner's POV. Modern diesel cars have terrific in gear acceleration ability in higher gears. I would always remember that and rev the daylights out of my Esteem first, then Palio , then Corolla to keep up with them. Of course life is much easier in my Laura TSI. For one many don't know its a petrol . Secondly, the TSI motor accelerates like the diesels in higher gears and still revs up to the redline like the Hondas.

Mods excuse me for drifting

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Old 15th March 2012, 17:03   #276
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Loved reading your post and can totally relate to it from a 'petrol' head point of view if not from a Honda owner's POV.
Thanks Santhosh. It took close to 4 hrs for me to write and edit that post to decent condition. Needless to say, I was remained about the consequences of spending too much time in team-bhp and reprimanded for dereliction of husbandary duties by the better half
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Old 16th March 2012, 19:50   #277
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Default Re: Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home

@B103,really nice post about driving Honda City for pleasure.Well it is quite intelligently written-sure with idiots like me in mind

Really well spent 4 hrs-methinks.Thanks a lot mate.
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Old 16th March 2012, 21:40   #278
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Truly said Biju. I am sure your post will help a lot of people to make a decision towards going for a Honda car.
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Old 17th March 2012, 00:12   #279
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Default Re: Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home

Hey B103, so very rightly said about passengers wondering whats going on when you floor the accelerator.
It just happened the other day, was waiting at the signal at night empty road, had a sudden urge and floored it in 1st and then 2nd. This was enough to scare the passengers
Are you Crazy? They asked, but then, what an experience!!

Kudos to your gyan and writing style.

Cheers
MKPI
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Old 17th March 2012, 03:39   #280
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Well written Biju, I like ripping occasionally and boy the Ivtec roar is addictive.
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Old 17th March 2012, 11:18   #281
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Default Re: Idiot's guide on driving a Honda City for pleasure

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The kundalini in your spine had been awaken now and you will not be the same person anymore . But as they say, power corrupts and you have to be on guard not to stoop to unsafe driving.

Thanks for reading and have a safe as well as enjoyable drive. Remember, for pleasure shift late.

So true, I have seen manual Honda city's being driven like bullock carts and the same ones like rocket. When I bought the Accord, I was aware of the Vtec growl and loved listening to it. In case of any Vtec may it be 1st gen, the dolphin or the current one, cross 3000 RPM and feel your self being pushed into the seats all the way upto 6.5+ RPM, upshift from 1st gear to second at this rpm and enjoy the wheel spin even in the 2nd gear, (Though I cant get the accord to wheel spin in the 2nd gear because its an Auto).

Now while cruising at 80 on a multi lane highway, enjoying my drive in the 5th gear in D mode, all I have to do is stand on the accelerator pedal and see the car down shift all the way to 3rd gear, with the sweet sound of the Vtec, and the feeling of being pushed back into the seat reaching 120 in no time. I LOVE IT!

Now I have a Diesel Innova and Swift DDIS both awesome highway cruisers and fun to drive but the sweet sound of Honda Vtec will leave you wanting for more everytime.
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Old 17th March 2012, 12:38   #282
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Default Re: Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home

From what I have understood, in layman terms, bhp stands for the weight or load a car is designed to lug around. It is measured at a particular engine RPM. This unit has its historic origin from comparing the load bearing capacity of steam engines to horses in the time of industrial revolution.

Torque is the twisting force the engine can generate at a particular RPM. Unlike load bearing capacity related to bhp, torque indicates how quickly an engine can accelerate from stand still. Many of us would have learned in college about using electrical engines in suburban trains -- due to their torquey nature. In metro railways, this will help the engine pick ups speed rapidly after stopping. A metro will have frequent stations and electrical engines are ideal because they generate more torque than diesels. So for torque, first choice is electrical engine then diesel (only if turbo-charged) and then the petrol.

I was checking the torue figures of two 'fun to drive' diesel and petrol cars. Data is like -- Cruze: 32.5 kgm at 2600 RM, Optra: 30 kgm at 2600 RPM, Civic: 17.5 kgm at 4300 RPM and City: 14.5 kgm at 4800 RPM. These two diesels are turbo-charged but the petrols are not. Not only are the torque numbers lower, they are generated at higher RPM for the petrol.

A diesel can generate this figure of torque only when it is turbo charged. Turbo charging means more engine parts in a diesel engine which already has more moving parts than a petrol engine. At the same engine capacity (CC), diesel cars would have more weight to move around because of that. These parts may be heavier also because the turbo-charger compresses the diesel oil before exploding it. I remember Maruti used to make aluminum petrol engines to keep overall weight low. I am not sure if a diesel engine can be made with a light metal like that. This is an advantage for the petrol engine because the engine weight will be definitely lower than the diesel engine of the same cubic capacity (CC).

Though many people are unaware, there are turbo-charged petrol engines also available in India. Skoda has a model or two. These engines can generate more bhp than a similar sized diesel, but I think the diesel wins in case of torque.

I have seen videos in Youtube where the Honda City does around 180 kmph and the RPM counter is still around 4000 RPM only. The car would be in the fifth gear, for sure. In the normal highway run, when City is doing close to 120 kmph, the RPM counter will be around 2500 RPM. As written in my previous post, when downshifting to third gear at this speed, the engine RPM will suddenly increase to around 4000. This is where City gets the max torque and it can stay in that peak torque band all the way upto 6800 RPM without any damage to the engine. This has to be used for driving pleasure and competing with the diesels

This is precisely something which a diesel cannot do. As I wrote earlier, torque peaks at 2600 RPM and fizzles out after 4000 RPM. In fact, RPM counter is marked red after 4800 RPM. Needless to say, when the RPM counter is 4000, driver will have to shift a gear up to reduce the RPM and reach the peak torque band again. However, this is our natural shift pattern and no unlearning and relearning is required. For driving the petrol enthusiastically, the driver has to unlearn and then learn to drive a bit differently.

Finally, I am taking this post as an opportunity to crib against the Union budget. I don't have any complaint against not raising the diesel prices but I am sick at the decision not to impose a one time tax against high end diesel cars and SUVs. Wait and see, the Government will increase the petrol price again very soon. The poor two-wheeler and medium segment car owners will have a significant part to play in subdidizing the diesel for those high end diesel vehicles.

Petrol cars may become extinct in India and be available only for display in Museums since no one will be interested in owning one because of the prohibitive fueling costs. And it would be required to travel to West to drive one. Jai Hind!!

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Old 19th March 2012, 12:08   #283
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Default Re: Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home

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Petrol cars may become extinct in India and be available only for display in Museums since no one will be interested in owning one because of the prohibitive fueling costs. And it would be required to travel to West to drive one. Jai Hind!!
Petrol cars will become scarce in the short term. But I don't see how this price difference between petrol and diesel will continue in the long run. Currently the Govt. finds it easier to hike petrol price as there is less resistance to it, and are able to recover some amount of the under recoveries due to subsidised diesel and LPG. As a result the industry is now in the process of moving towards an almost 100% diesel industry. Once that happens,what will the govt do? At that time even if they increase the price of petrol, they will not recover anything since nobody is buying petrol. So the Govt. will be left with no choice but to increase the price of diesel and bring it close to cost of producing it. THe gap between the selling price and cost will be so high by then, that it will be a case of doing too little too late. Our fuel policy is going to make things real messy in the days to come.
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Old 19th March 2012, 14:41   #284
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Default Re: Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home

I managed to touch 100 kmph in second gear today. RPM counter was getting close to 6000 RPM at the point. I think, it will be possible to reach 110 or lightly more in second gear itself without redlining the RPM counter.
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Old 28th March 2012, 21:07   #285
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Default Re: Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home

Please see kdadi's thread on race chip for his Linea MJD:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...race-chip.html

Honda City was not featuring in the list of cars mentioned in the race-chip.de web site. I sent a mail to technik@racechip.de asking specifically if they have a chip set for Honda City, but they replied in negative.

The experience however was better than sending an email to Honda, India. I sent a mail one month back to Honda India asking whether they have plans to launch an AT version of Brio. No response till date!! Cool.

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