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Old 12-10-2008   #1 (permalink)
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Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

This is my first winter with my 2008 Civic Hybrid and I am having problems on snow covered or icy roads. The rear end is trying to slide constantly and I have to be very careful not to spin out. We were on the road this morning with both our Odyssey and the Civic. The Civic was having a lot of problems and the Odyssey didn't have a bit of problems. I was wondering whether this is a tire problem or is this problem common to Civic Hyrids?

Last edited by glennwing; 12-10-2008 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Added material
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Old 12-10-2008   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

U probably need better tires. Keep in mind Hybrid Civic's OEM Rims are meant to be extra light so it's bound to slip more on Ice, if ur facing this much problem, I suggest u just get "regular" OEM Rims from and tires/wheel store in ur area just for the winter.
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Old 12-10-2008   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

get some snow tires. the hybrid is such a light car to begin with as are most of the parts on it.
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Old 12-10-2008   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

Any advice as to where to buy rims and tires online. I checked tirerack.com and tires rated for snow with steel rims are about $540. The one thing I am not sure about is tire pressure sensor they recommend having a expert transfer to the new rim or I can buy a set of 4 installed on the new rims for $300. Any advice.
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Old 12-10-2008   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

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Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
get some snow tires. the hybrid is such a light car to begin with as are most of the parts on it.
i dont know bout it being a "light" car... the lil piggy weights 2875lbs...(an 8thgen civic)


our 7thgen weight about 2405(2dr) and 2421(4dr)

most of us drives fine in the snow, you probably just needa get use to it, learn to drive in teh snow, or wt most of us said here, get snow tires.

my civic is only weights aprox 2200 and i do fine in the snow. i really had to adjust my driving foot for the snow...


*note: weight in curb weight
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Old 12-10-2008   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

The problem isn't when I am applying power it is when I ease off the gas That the backend wants to slide. Also I live in an area that gets close to 300" of snow a year and have lived and driven here for almost 40 years. So I have "some" winter driving experience
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Old 12-10-2008   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

i would just upgrade to snow tires. Honda likes to use the cheapest tires possible.

The backs probably sliding out because the rear is the lightest part of the car, so its probably having trouble getting traction.
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Old 12-10-2008   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

yeah snow tires will fix it, no reason to get rims too.
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Old 12-10-2008   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

be aware that the 08 has tire pressure sensors, and that you will probablly either need to swap tires on the rims you have, or get another set of wheels with sensors, and that you also will need to have the sensors programmed.. pain in the rear, but i would suggest trying to add weight to the rear to see if that helps any, otherwise rotate the best tires to the rear..
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Old 12-10-2008   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

slap on some firestone winterforce...amazing snow tire and cheap..
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Old 12-10-2008   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

I am hoping to hear from other hybrid owners who have driven in winter weather. I am thinking the rear end wanting to fishtail may have something to do with the hybrid system. Removing my foot from the gas causes the electric motor to reverse and charge the batteries. When the motor reverses it has a braking effect on the front wheels and I am wondering if this breaking effect is what causes the rear end to want o come around. Also the tires are not much. Easily loose traction and spin and skid on ice very easily when braking. I intend to change the tires but I am not sure this will solve all the problems and I am hoping to find someone that has trried changing tires on a hybrid.
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Old 12-10-2008   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

like everyone one said just get better snow tires or jus put weights in the trunk might help out ,
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Old 12-10-2008   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by glennwing View Post
I am hoping to hear from other hybrid owners who have driven in winter weather. I am thinking the rear end wanting to fishtail may have something to do with the hybrid system. Removing my foot from the gas causes the electric motor to reverse and charge the batteries. When the motor reverses it has a braking effect on the front wheels and I am wondering if this breaking effect is what causes the rear end to want o come around. Also the tires are not much. Easily loose traction and spin and skid on ice very easily when braking. I intend to change the tires but I am not sure this will solve all the problems and I am hoping to find someone that has trried changing tires on a hybrid.
i doubt its the hybrid system...only thing it probably does to add the rear coming lose is the extra weight it adds to the front of the car.

Just upgrade the tires first. Trust me, honda likes to use really cheap tires. I used to hydro plane in light rain in southern california when i was on oem tires. When i upgraded my tires, no more hydro planing.
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Old 12-10-2008   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

probablly more true than you would think.. the dunlop sp31 a/s arent the greatest tire in the world.. ive seen a TON of them wear to nothing in 20k miles.. still suprised they still put them on the hybrids and fits
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Old 12-10-2008   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

I think the Hybrid comes with 15 inch wheels and Dunlop tires which are very slippery when icy or wet.

The EX models comes with 16 inch wheels and either Goodyear RSA or Bridgestone EL400. The Goodyears RSA is a better tire in terms of wet and winter traction. (in my opionion)

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Old 12-10-2008   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

better than the earlier firestones we got stuck with. lol. have you tried driving in lower gear?
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Old 12-10-2008   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

civic are great in the snow if you know how to drive them they tend to like acting like tractor trailers if you lock it up in tractor trailer on ice or snow it's going to jack knife. Mostly cause you have a load in the back and when you try to stop it is going to want to go the path of least resistance which is not going to be forward cause your braking so it's going to try to go left or right depending on the balance of the load and which wheels have traction or no traction.

The hybrid has a lot of weight in the back because of all of those batteries (lead bricks). And since you don't have an LSD whenever you brake it is going to pull ever so slightly to one side and all it takes is a couple of inches to get that momentum started and set the back in motion and all that weight from those batteries is going to help carry that momentum around and before you know it bam(like the pepper weasel) your doing a 180!

The suspension on the back of the hybrids is a little heavier duty to support the weight of those bricks it has stiffer spring rates if the back gets too stiff on a front wheel drive car it will spin any one that's good at tuning a suspension for FW for the track will tell you the same. but you can't mess with the suspension so that's kinda a mute topic. but basicly the hybrid is going to have more of a tendency to come around than a normal civic.

Throwing weight in to the back of the car will lower the back end and in-turn help to unseat the front giving you less traction up front and making the car harder to control. you want weight over the drive wheels (the wheels putting down power). Get your self a 25 or better yet a 50 lbs bag of salt or sand and stick on the floor in front of the passenger seat try to get it as far forward as you can. It will actually help the balance of the car out a lot and give you more traction which will help you deal with it wanting to spin.

Also tires will help. But if it starts to spin you have to ease on the gas to stop it. The common reaction is to hit the breaks but in a front wheel drive car it will only make it spin faster you have to learn to power it out drop it down in to 3 or 2 to slow it down while lightly giving it gas. another reason why manual is so much better than automatic better throttle response
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Old 12-11-2008   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

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Originally Posted by sl33pyriceboi View Post
my civic is only weights aprox 2200 and i do fine in the snow. i really had to adjust my driving foot for the snow...
I heard that its going to snow in SoCal tomorrow.
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Old 12-11-2008   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

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better than the earlier firestones we got stuck with. lol. have you tried driving in lower gear?
OMG gears? tehy dont got no gears.. its a cvt... all the new hybrids have cvt's no gears to choose from
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Old 12-11-2008   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

The tires were the problem with 15000 miles it was very surprising to see how worn out they were. The rear tires were worn quite a bit more than the front, which seem odd as the front is doing the work. Drives great with new tires. I will make sure and stay away from Dunlop tires. Thanks for the advise.
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Old 12-12-2008   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

wow crazy. the older hybrid had cvt or regular auto. and my stock firestones were bald and falling apart (noisy, shaking, hydroplaned all the time, etc) at 20k miles with light driving.
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Old 12-12-2008   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by glennwing View Post
The tires were the problem with 15000 miles it was very surprising to see how worn out they were. The rear tires were worn quite a bit more than the front, which seem odd as the front is doing the work. Drives great with new tires. I will make sure and stay away from Dunlop tires. Thanks for the advise.
its not really an issue with the tires themselves, its the weight of the IMA unit that causes the rear toe/camber to wear the tires more.. they were probablly getting noisy, if its an 08 it SHOULD have the updated rear upper control arms on there already.. you can tell if its updated cause theres a "C" stamped on one of the sides of it.. if not, see if your dealership can replace it


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wow crazy. the older hybrid had cvt or regular auto. and my stock firestones were bald and falling apart (noisy, shaking, hydroplaned all the time, etc) at 20k miles with light driving.
umm theyve always had a cvt.. altho the older 7thgen hybrids had a manual as an option.. or something.. never had a regular automatic
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Old 12-12-2008   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

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Originally Posted by plastics View Post
I think the Hybrid comes with 15 inch wheels and Dunlop tires which are very slippery when icy or wet.

The EX models comes with 16 inch wheels and either Goodyear RSA or Bridgestone EL400. The Goodyears RSA is a better tire in terms of wet and winter traction. (in my opionion)

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And don't the hybrids have special tires with extra low rolling resistance?
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Old 12-12-2008   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Honda Civic Hybrid on Icy Roads

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And don't the hybrids have special tires with extra low rolling resistance?
well yes and no.. the civic hybrids really arent that great when it comes to gas mileage.. ive seen customer cars get about 28mpg for a hybrid thats just not right.. altho there are a lot of factors that come into that, mainly driving habits, tire pressures, load, type of driving

now not to say that tires dont play a role, but the dunlops arent really "specially formulated" for lower rolling resistance, they are just lighter than other tires to decrease rolling mass, which in turn helps with the mileage, altho the tread pattern does decrease rolling drag, the wear rate vs mpg is pretty negligable when compared to others.. would you rather save a few $ at the tank now, or save a few $$$ on tires 15k down the road
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