Why does my Civic Hybrid only get around 30-35 mpg? It's supposed to get 43!

Jim Connor asked:
Why does my Civic Hybrid only get around 30-35 mpg? It's supposed to get 43!

Answered By Justin Cupler, Contributing Writer:
First thing to remember is that the fuel economy numbers are only estimates. They can be a little misleading at times, especially with hybrids. 
A lot of things come into play when calculating fuel economy especially when calculating it on a Hybrid Vehicle. The Civic Hybrid is an Integrated Motor Assist style of hybrid meaning that the electric motor only does a small portion of the moving. According to Honda, the electric motor can accelerate the civic from 0 to 35 mph on its own, but heavy acceleration and stop-and-go traffic can greatly decrease the fuel mileage. I would be extremely light on the gas pedal, avoid stop-and-go traffic and then recalculate your fuel economy. 
Keep in mind your calculation process as well. If you are calculating it based on the total capacity of the fuel tank divided by the miles driven when you fill up, you are going to see a low number. You get a low number because your gauge might read empty, but there could be a few gallons still in the tank, as no gauge is 100% accurate. 
How I calculate fuel economy is I start with a full tank and reset the trip meter. I drive the car until I get to about half a tank and then I fill the tank up. I divide the gallons I just filled it with by the miles I have driven since the last fill up and that will give you an accurate mpg rating. 
Justin Cupler
Contributing Writerwww.carrepairbeat.com
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