Taking her in! Civic Si Sedan for 3rd Gear Problems

I’m finally taking the car into the dealer tomorrow to get the transmission looked at and the front suspension popping noise fixed. I’m starting to feel like I’m damaging the 3rd gear driving my Civic and the front popping noise in parking lots is getting quite annoying. I’ll keep everyone updated on the progress.

2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4 – The GTO of the Millennium

All I can say is, WOW! Dodge designed an awesome car! If you’re into sub-compacts like I am, this is now the leader in the group hands down.

I’ve been a sub compact enthusiast since I purchased a 2000 Honda Civic EX. The Civic was never a fast car, but the size and handling capabilities won me over. I learned quickly that my Civic EX paled in comparison to other sub compacts including the sport model of the 2000 Civic line, the Si.

Sub-compacts have always had a power limit of about 200hp. I always suspected that the car makers didn’t want a sub compact on the market that had more power than their mid size line of cars. I call this the preventing of the GTO effect. Back in the 60’s John DeLorean sneaked powerful engines into intermediate-sized cars (the Pontiac LaMans) when the GM policy was not to put large engines in cars of that size. The result sparked the Muscle Car era, which caused a flury of performance improvements in cars that carried through for years after.

For what ever reason, corporate executives seem to fear that their smaller line of cars could be more popular then their more expensive, larger products. I always question this logic. Lee Iacocca went on a limb with the Mustang in the 1960’s, but he knew what younger customers want to consume and if you impress a young customer, you can keep them as they grow older. Today, Ford and their sport model Focus is a weak attempt to connect with young customers and the Saturn Redline and Cobalt SS Supercharged is GM’s almost well executed attempt. Dodge/Chrysler not only attempted, but they also set the new bar for sub-compacts.

Read a review: http://www.caranddriver.com/previews/10907/preview-review-2007-dodge-caliber-srt4.html

The next high performing Caliber should be called the SRT4 x 4 (four by four) and include all wheel drive. Right now only Subaru and Mitsubishi have fast sporty sub-compact all wheel drive models, this would be a real alternative in that market.

I’ve always been a Pontiac fan. Pontiac styling has always been a touch better than the rest of the GM family of cars. But GM has been screwing with the sub-compact side of the Pontiac line for a few years now. The damage this is causing to the entire line may be permanent, sending Pontiac down the Buick/Oldsmobile road of extinction. I like the idea of a retro Firebird Trans Am, that product will only attract die hard Firebird owners and guys that want to remember the old days. The Mustang may be doing well with this for a few years to come, but someday someone is going to want a re-designed Mustang. I’ll bet money Ford hasn’t even thought about a next generation Mustang, outside of maybe dashboard/quarter panel changes. What Pontiac needs to do in the short term is step it up a notch with the Pontiac Vibe and the G5. The 2009 Vibe styling is great, but the performance with the sport model doesn’t even compare with the performance offered in other cars in the market including the new Caliber SRT4. The best thing Pontiac could do in the short term is create a G5 in both coupe and sedan with a GT model packed with the same engine from the Cobalt SS Supercharged model and make the limited slip differential standard equipment. At least then GM would have a well styled car that could compete with the sub-compact Honda Civic, Scion tC and Nissan Sentra Spec-V.

The first manufacturer to start thinking about sport models tied with hybrid technology is going to grab a lot of attention and maybe even sales. Espeically if they offer it in the sub-compact. I know it’s possible to make a fast hybrid, Honda’s 2006 Accord Hybrid had more power than the regular Accord with a V6. Once they let the genie out of the bottle, I bet we’ll see a whole new revolution of performance parts and modifications for sport hybrids that make regular sport models look boring. History will prove if I’m right on this. Time will tell.

2007 Civic Si Sedan Clicky Knock Popping Noise While Turning in Front Suspension

It appears the clicky, knock, popping sounds in the front suspension of the 2007 Civic Si Sedans may have been solved. On the 18th, 4 days go, Honda announced a Service Bulletin on this very problem for other civic models. It does not include the 2007 Civic Si Sedans though. Since this problem is also occurring in the 2007 Civic Si Sedans, I fully expect to see this same bulletin for our 2007 Si Sedans sometime soon.

From the diagram pictured in the Advisory, it appears the ‘bump stop’ is the culprit. I suspect the rubber is getting depressed when the car is twisted at an angle. I don’t believe the defective bump stop is a safety issue but never the less I expect Honda to fix it as soon as possible.

Thanks to others contributing comments to my blog, I’ve found an array of other web sites that talk about the issue.

Thanks everyone who has posted comments on this issue on my post titled ‘2007 Civic Si Sedan – OH YEA!‘. You can always count on fellow Honda owners comradery.

If you are a Honda owner, I highly recommend you create an account on the Honda Owner Link web site. This account will provide you with recall information along with other information about your car. https://www.ahm-ownerlink.com

Update on September 6, 2007
Bill Pealer has contributed this video which records the popping sound that we’ve all encountered. I would like to say that the popping sound that I observe in my Civic is nearly identical. If you wish to skip right to the popping sound, fast forward the video to about 3:00 minutes.

Thanks Bill for the contribution.

2007 Civic Si Sedan – OH YEA!

I got the car! All I have to say is, it’s awesome!

I contacted just about every Honda dealer between Cleveland to Cincinnati and most gave me great quotes and were up front about fees and other information. I did encounter a couple dealers that had the typical dealer language and price talk. I am not sure why they do that, they just don’t call/E-mail them back.

I purchased the car from Hank Osborne at Superior Honda in Cincinnati. He was the most up front and to the point in E-mail and on the phone. Hank used to work in the tech industry, which may explain why I found it easy to work with him. So if you are a computer guy like myself and want to deal with a dealer who understands how you think, Hank is the man.

Here are some pictures:

Civic Si Sedan 1

Civic Si Sedan 2

Civic Si Sedan 3

I will be removing one of my complaints about the rear visibility. I believe the other Civics I test drove had the seat adjusted too low. I currently have the seat adjusted high enough that when I turn my head back I can see the rear spoiler on the trunk.

I am still at shock dealing with the 6 speed transmission. My original thought was the first 5 gears would be about the same as my previous car. That assumption was wrong. I am finding myself putting the car in 2nd gear at 15mph, 3 gear at 22mph, 4th gear at 30mph, 5th gear at 37mph and 6th gear at 45mph. This was in traffic. To me if traffic is moving slow, why rev up the engine. When merging onto the highway I followed the recommended shift points by Honda. Here are the recommended shift points noted in the owners manual:

1st to 2nd: 17mph
2nd to 3rd: 29mph
3rd to 4th: 37mph
4th to 5th: 43mph
5th to 6th: 49mph

So far I am pretty happy with the car. So far I am babying it to see what kind of gas mileage I can get being conservative with the gas pedal. It is so hard though, this thing really wants to get up and go!

UPDATED ON July 22, 2007

Thanks everyone who has posted comments on the suspension issue in this post. I’ve made a new post in light of the Advisory that Honda posted on the 18th of July, 2007. Click here to read more: 2007 Civic Si Sedan Clicky Knock Popping Noise While Turning in Front Suspension

2008 Pontiac Trans Am, I hope so!

Check out the last 3 sketches found here: http://www.transamcountry.com/what_if.htm

If you know me, you know I am nuts about Trans Ams, specially the 1978 Trams Am with the WS6 performance package with T-tops, black paint topped with a gold screaming chicken! Now these sketches aren’t bad! I like the look, except the rear window just doesn’t match the sexy front end. I am aware that if GM builds a retro 1969 Camaro, then the Firebird will have to use the same body panels. This is a typical practice for the Big Three over the past 25 years. Their Japaneese counter parts are not afraid to make different body panels and windows for their different brands. If the decision was mine, I would share many of the car components where possible except where it cuts into the beauty of the car. Everyone knows the mid to late 70’s Firebird had a wrap around rear window followed with a steep Ferrari styled rear trunk topped with a whale tail. If GM wants to sell the hell out of this car, they have to keep that styling with a retro touch. Taking the soon to be released 2007 Camaro with it’s retro 69′ styling and throwing a 77′ style Firebird grill on the front will not cut it.
Hopefully Pontiac will get the magic back and soon. My 3rd car is reaching year 7. Let me tell you, these past 130k miles have been great ones and the Civic is as reliable now as it was when I drove it off the lot. GM/Pontiac will really have to work hard to make a car that can win me back. GM, give me a call if you want some design tips/suggestions. 🙂

2007 Civic Si Sedan

Check it out: http://world.honda.com/news/2006/4060208CivicSiSedan/

I have herd this rumor for a few months now and now it is a reality.

I wonder which plant they will produce the Sedan in. Currently, all Coupes are made in a plant in Canada, while all Sedans are made near Marysville, Ohio. If they make the Si Sedan in Ohio, it will just give me another reason to buy a Sedan over a Coupe.

There are a few other advantages to the Sedan. I suspect car insurance would be cheaper and the utility of the car would increase. It is a lot easier to drive people around in a 4 door than in a 2 door.

Honda Civic’s have a lot of potential

I just got a pre-painted rear bumper to replace my current cracked bumper. I did a quick search on Google to get some details how to take the bumper off and came across this article:

1989 Honda Civic Si

This is one fast little car. What makes it very cool is that it is meant for driving daily and gets almost 30 mpg. I tell you what, I would gladly give up my 33 mpg for 29 mpg to have that kind of performance.

Now when is Honda or some other manufacturer going to make a sub compact sport model coupe with a high performance hybrid engine? Looking at the stats on the Accord hybrid, it seems such a hybrid sport would be extremely popular. Especially if it had lots of computer controls for us nerdy peeps!

Future Camaro, but no Firebird?

Check out the Chevy Camaro Concept.

The design has some nice lines but looks like they are trying too hard to make it modern looking. My opinion, simplify the fenders and remove the arrow shape in the front of the car and you have yourself a pretty close to a classic Camaro.

Now, will they build a Firebird from the same chassis and/or body? Chances are they will, but everyone knows the best selling years of the Firebirds where when the Smokey and the Bandit movies were released, mainly 1978 and 1980 were the highest production years for the Firebirds/Trans Ams. Now if they share the same chassis but have different fenders, that would rock!

Hopefully they will manufacture a Trans Am that looks similar to the 1978. If they do, I will shit myself. Then I will get a loan and buy myself a black one with T-tops and a screaming chicken on the hood!

Ohio Route 1

I have updated my Ohio Route 1 web site.

The state of Ohio has many state marked roads. Ohio does not have a Route 1. One day I was surfing the net and came across a web page on the Ohio Department of Transportation that has every state issued map available for download online. I downloaded every year and found myself studying the original routes and how they have changed.

One interesting fact is that Ohio reuses its route numbers. For example, back when the original route numbers were issued, State route 58 was a short East/West route that followed Fenn Road in Medina County. At some point it was decommissioned. The route number was later reused for as a North/South route near Amherst, OH.

Find out what I learned studying these maps at my Ohio Route 1 web site.