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post #1 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Maximizing A Honda Accord's Fuel Economy

Recently my parents purchased me a 1993 Honda Accord DX (Extreme Base Model). This week my parents are going to take the car in to the local mechanic to get the timing belt replaced. What should I, or what should my mechanic do to maximize the fuel economy of the Accord? The transmission is automatic.



-I've already:

-Replaced the filthy Air Filter

-Inflated the tires that have low rolling resistance to maximum capacity allowed.

Also, what is the optimum speed for fuel economy that this car operates at?
Typically the tachometer displays 1500 rpm when I'm moving at 35~40 miles per hour in 4th gear. Does anyone know when exactly you can tell by looking at the front pannel display when the torque converter locks up?

-What is the lowest kinetic viscosity oil I can use for the Accord?

Please feel free to comment and contribute. I really want everyone here to enjoy a nice boost in thier fuel economy, especially with today's prices.

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post #2 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 08:59 AM
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Given what you said, then I would say you would get the best economy around 35-40.

The air filter is a good start. I would be careful with the tires. You may get slightly better economy inflating them that much, but your handling and braking will suffer. I would keep it at or slightly above the manufacturer's recommendations.


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post #3 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information. I typically get around 36 mpg, on "good days", despite the fact that the car is over a decade old, and has an automatic transmission.

With the 4th generation Accord transmission, can I coast in neutral with the engine on?

-I'd love to do this while coasting down a large, long hill to get even better fuel economy.

-Will I wear down the transmission? If not, how should I go about it?

-If it's harmful, why?
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post #4 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierce View Post
What should I, or what should my mechanic do to maximize the fuel economy of the Accord? The transmission is automatic.

-I've already:
-Replaced the filthy Air Filter

I used Wix airfilters which reminds me that I should run down to the Oreilleys and replace soon. I've tried Fram but they don't let as much air in.


-Inflated the tires that have low rolling resistance to maximum capacity allowed.

This is a great great idea. I just bought some Yokos with low rolling resistance(the wheel was exponentially easier to turn) and my gas mileage went up 2 mpg with regular inflation you see on the door jam. I get 24 mpg from my V6 in city driving! That's over 310 miles just to the Low Fuel light. I get about 350 before I fill up and even then I don't use up anywhere near the 17.1 gallons hence why I am getting 24 mpg using 87 unleaded and regular tire pressure from a 7th gen V6 AT-mind you.

Also, what is the optimum speed for fuel economy that this car operates at?
Typically the tachometer displays 1500 rpm when I'm moving at 35~40 miles per hour in 4th gear. Does anyone know when exactly you can tell by looking at the front panel display when the torque converter locks up?

It's great when your car run better because you don't have to use as much throttle to get up to speed. I find 60-65 mph to be the best and realistic on the freeway or any long stretches of road. Not too slow to slow most down in the slow lane and with your enhanced throttle, you can pick up speed fast enough to avoid or discourage disgruntled overtakes. Also, see if you can get your shift points closer to 2400-2500 rpms and still get good thrust to keep ahead of traffic. With the new tires, I am getting that where before it was 3000 rpm shifts.

-What is the lowest kinetic viscosity oil I can use for the Accord?

I use Conoco Phillips 5w-20 synthetic blend.

Please feel free to comment and contribute. I really want everyone here to enjoy a nice boost in thier fuel economy, especially with today's prices.

nice boost enjoyed and reported! now everyone can enjoy! btw, nice car. old school Hondas are the best.
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post #5 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 11:06 AM
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Change your spark-plugs, fuel-filter, and automatic-transmission fluid if they haven't been changed in a reasonable time-frame.

If you feel some bogging or 'lazy' throttle response, look into fuel-injector cleaning (not the gas-additive, but the actual service done at a shop). Or, if you're a D.I.Y. 'weekend warrior', do the Sea Foam procedure (as you're due for an oil-changed anyways).

Weight reduction helps a lot, as well (unnecessary tools, cargo, cheap/lazy friends, swapping the OEM steel-wheels forfor lighter OEM alloys, and even omitting the spare-tire/etc').

I owned (2) Accord of that gen', I never consistently averaged above 30mpg; it was always mid 20's, w/ mixed driving.

Don't get too carried away w/ the 'hyper-miling' techniques, as they can be unsafe, hard on the mechanicals/components of a vehicle, and generally a waste of time (if you actually have a life).
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post #6 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 01:18 PM
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That car looks to be in great shape for a 93. It doesn't even have the typical wheel well rust that is common on those cars.


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post #7 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 01:20 PM
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36 mpg is on the high side. I can regularly get 30-32mpg 60% highway driving. I use 5w30 which I believe is recommended by Honda. Regular dino oil as mine burns too much to afford synthetic. In 4th gear , my rpms are at 3000. As long as you keep the r's at or below 3k, you should get pretty good mileage.
BTW, mine has 220,000 miles.

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post #8 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Wow!

First off this really great that everyone has been providing such great information!
This whole Accord ownership experience has really changed my life, believe it or not.

Now J30A,

When I drive the Accord, I'm always thinking about being gentle to the Accord, and quite heavily about hypermiling and her fuel economy. Now my daily M-to-F 35 mile commute is a little more than 95% highway with posted speedlimits of 50~55 mph, with very few stops or lights, while driving on NJ's Route 22. Now I always drive in the right most lane, typically at 30~45 mph max. I strive to keep the car in 4th gear as much as possible. The tachometer rarely passes 1750 rpm, and I almost never push 2200 rmp. Most of the time I'm at just 1500 rpm.

-I often coax the transmission into shifting into 4th gear eariler by taking my foot of the accelerator petal after pushing the rpms to around 2000. However, when the Accord shifts, I'll feel a sudden and moderately soft "thump". Is this normal?
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post #9 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osiris_x11 View Post
I owned (2) Accord of that gen', I never consistently averaged above 30mpg; it was always mid 20's, w/ mixed driving.

Don't get too carried away w/ the 'hyper-miling' techniques, as they can be unsafe, hard on the mechanicals/components of a vehicle, and generally a waste of time (if you actually have a life).
Thanks for the great tips. I forgot about the transmission oil. Can a novice replace the oil?

Also, which hypermiling methods are bad for automatic Accords?

Is coasting and shifting in and out of neutral one of them? Please share.
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post #10 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 03:16 PM
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That's pretty normal. It seems this gen of Hondas don't have as smooth shifting as newer models. Actually, it is good to have firm positive shifts. Soft shifts build heat in a transmission.

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post #11 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 03:20 PM
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To change the trans fluid, you will drain and refill with about 2.75 quarts of Honda ATF. Drive a couple days and repeat this three times. By that time all fluid should be replaced. I would advise you not to have the trans flushed.
How many miles on your car?

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post #12 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91EX View Post
That's pretty normal. It seems this gen of Hondas don't have as smooth shifting as newer models. Actually, it is good to have firm positive shifts. Soft shifts build heat in a transmission.
Ahh, thank you for that tidbit, I really was worrying this was a sign of something worse to come. However, what exactly then would be a harsh shift for the 4th generation?

Also, I've been told harsh automatic shifts for 4th generation Accords can often be corrected by transmission fuild replacement.

How do you feel about the matter?
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post #13 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondaboy9602 View Post
That car looks to be in great shape for a 93. It doesn't even have the typical wheel well rust that is common on those cars.
Thanks. The previous owner used it for Ski trips. The car has 70,000 miles on it.
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post #14 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 03:47 PM
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I've found the harsh shift something you just live with. My 91 has had it since buying it 3yrs ago. And I had a 97 Odyssey that did the same thing. Never had a problem with either trans. Regular maintainence was done on both with no change.

Nice find with only 70k miles. I bought my Accord with 170k.

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post #15 of 26 Old 09-28-2008, 04:35 PM
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I'm going to give you a nice list of tune-up items, even those you've already done, just for my own simplicity. =P

Air Filter
Oil change + filter
Fuel filter
Spark plugs
Distributor cap and rotor
Spark plug wires
Valve adjustment (most people forget this one...)
Drain and refill ATF with Honda ATF Z1


Also, if you are going for maximum gas mileage, make sure the car is properly aligned.

Nice to see another 4th gen'r. My 93 LX has 258,000 on it now. =D

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