Awesome - I wish there were such an affordable, efficient new car option TODAY!
An O2 sensor at about 150,000 miles.
Other items were normal wear - CV boots, brakes and tires.
I haven't been on this site since fall 2006 so I am just getting your comments.
You can still get the BF Goodrich 175/70/13 Control T/A tires but this time I opted for Yokohoma Aegis LS4 tires in that size. I was perfectly happy with the performance of the BF Goodrich tires (even when they had very little tread left) but I was unhappy with their political contributions during the last presidential elections.
My new Yokohomas have seen almost no snow (I live in MA and it's been a dry winter) but they seem to be great in wet road conditions - probably saved me from a front end collision during a nightime panic stop in a rainstorm last fall. They did seem to have less precise handling at first but now either I am used to it or they have improved. I got them with nitrogen - the pressures seem to stay consistent and they remove the moisture from the nitrogen - better for the rubber. This may be a bunch of hype - I don't know. Although I have yet to test these new tires in warm weather, I seem to be getting about the same mileage with them as the old BF Goodrichs - mid to high 40s in winter, over 50 in summer, all mixed driving.
You probably didn't find these tires because they are not the 165/70s that you were looking for. I am very curious about where you are getting your rolling resistance info on tires - could you post that info? I would be interested in a high gas mileage, good traction tire the next time I replace these (in another 80K).
You also mentioned that larger tires should not improve fuel efficiency. The heavier weight and (perhaps more significantly?) larger frontal area of the tire is at least partly offset by the slightly lower RPM of the engine with the larger diameter tire. But I suspect Honda already put the optimal size on there - given all the other tweaks they did to this car (like no speedometer cable) that seem a lot less significant to me.
I only wish they had installed some sort of bleed down device for the AC compressor (with a shut off/override switch) so that it unloads the compressor whenever you are accelerating. I do this all the time during city driving - I barely notice difference in comfort but I am probably wearing out the AC clutch. Do you know if that is a mechanical or electrical clutch? - never heard of one needing replacement.
RE: the January 1993 Road and Track article: I have a copy of it and would be glad to send it to you. Perhaps the moderator can put us in touch with each other - I authorize him/her to give you my e-mail address.
Good points on the warming of the car: Click and Clack (from NPR's Car Talk) show agree - get the oil pressure up and proceed slowly. That is clearly better for the environment and probably better for the car, especially if yours is still carbuerated. Here is why: overly rich fuel mixtures wash the lubricating engine oil off the cylinder walls and into the crankcase, diluting the oil in the process. Starting the car and driving off once oil pressure is up heats the engine up quickly and results in less time in the rich mixture burn mode, which is not good for the reasons I stated.
I am also concerned from the ecological perspective: the more time a car spends in cold operation, the more air pollution they produce. Get that car up to temp as quickly as possible.
For the same reason I change my oil every 5K to 6K now. My dad taught me to do it ever 3K but oils have gotten so much better in the 30 years since he gave me that advise. Also, another Consumer Reports article tested a bunch of NY City taxicabs with 3K versus 6K mile oil changes. They tore the engines down completely after 60K miles and found no difference in engine wear at that time.
My car now has 183K miles on it. The oil pressure gauge I installed shows 70 to 80 psi within a second of startup and the car consumes less than a quart of oil in 5-6K miles between changes. I still have the original clutch and still get over 50 MPG during warm weather.
One other thing: to the guy who gets only 35 MPG. Other than tire pressure (and of course an incorrect transmission), driving speed has a huge effect. I rarely go over 65MPH and one time when I drove at no more than 55MPH, I got several more MPGs. Wind resistance is the CUBE of the wind speed so a slight increase in car speed means a lot more air resistance to overcome.
I am an energy geek - I work in energy conservation and solar photovoltaic installations - that is why I am so into this stuff.
Thanks for the great forum and comments.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th January, 2007