1.5t bogs down or hesitates when accelerating from a stop...is this normal?

  1. Ribs33

    Ribs33 Member

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    Hello everyone. I love my new Civic Touring, but am struggling with how it is impossible to accelerate smoothly from a stop. When accelerating, the rpm's increase with gradual and smooth throttle input, then it bogs down/hesitates, then if I don't give it more throttle it bogs down so bad that it feels like the brake was applied. It sounds and feels like the car is way under-powered, but I know that is not the case. It is even worse when there is more than just me in the car, from the extra weight. I have owned dozens of cars, of all various makes/model/styles and have not experienced this with any of them, and have tried many ways of accelerating to find a way around this issue.

    If I give it enough throttle to avoid the bogging down, the turbo boost comes in and it accelerates way too hard, enough to where it spins the tires if it is raining or wet. I've tried the Econ mode, thinking maybe it would allow more throttle input to bypass the bogging/hesitation, and reduce some of the turbo boost to make for a smoother take off...without success.

    Is this a common scenario with this engine/transmission combo, or is there something that could be wrong with mine that could be updated/fixed with a warranty visit? I am just at 1000 miles. I love the looks and feel of this car, but this acceleration thing is enough to be a deal breaker for me.

    Thank you in advance for any input.
     
  2. gtman

    gtman Senior Member

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    It's a combination of turbo lag and the slowish CVT logic. It was the biggest complaint I had about the car. Search for the topic "My biggest beef with the CVT".

    The Ktuner tune has eliminated most of this bog by the way.
     
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  3. jred721

    jred721 Senior Member

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    I get that turbo lag and CVT play a part in the rough acceleration, but it should never be to the point where it is impossible to accelerate smoothly from a stop. When I was test driving the 1.5 vs 2.0 back in March when I bought my Civic, the 1.5 was never rough when accelerating from the stop, quite the opposite actually. There is an easy way to figure out if this is an issue or not though: go to your dealer and test drive another 1.5 civic they have on the lot, if it does the same thing then you'll know for sure thats just the way the car drives. If not, then you have a problem on your hands and you'll know right away.
     
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  4. Rickmeister 48

    Rickmeister 48 Senior Member

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    I had the same issue with my 2017. I'm not one to fool with tuners and all that stuff, but I put in am AEM less restrictive air filter and a less restrictive air intake hose,which by itself did much of nothing, but combined with the air filter,smoothed every thing out and on my 18, I haven't noticed any of that. Might not fix your issue, but do like JRed721 said and try out another to make sure you don't have a bigger problem.
     
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  5. MDB

    MDB Member

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    Owner of Civic Sport 1.5 CVT here and all I can say is that I am pleasantly surprised on daily basis how smooth the car can accelerates whether accelerating hard or easy. There's noticeable acceleration boost when turbo kicks in, but it's still pretty smooth. There may be some hesitation when trying accelerate hard in D after cruising (CVT lag), but that's it.
     
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  6. redstang

    redstang Senior Member

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    Have you tried putting the gear lever in 'S' to see if it makes a difference? I have had a 2016 touring and now have a 2018 EX-T and can't recall what you describe but like a previous poster mentioned, the CVT can sometimes be a little wacky. I have a K-Tuner and it fixes pretty much any response or performance complaints you may have. Hands down it is the best money you can spend on this car. I have no mods other than a K&N filter and the car just hauls now.
     
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  7. silverrascal

    silverrascal Senior Member

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    Try disconnection the car battery for about 30 minutes and let the ECU reset itself and see if that will clear the acceleration issue.
     
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  8. warsaws

    warsaws Senior Member

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    My stock Civic doesn’t have this problem.
     
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  9. l0p3s22

    l0p3s22 Member

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    These types of posts pop up here every now and then from people that are not used to a CVT transmission and turbo lag. It does take some time to get used to. I have had the car for over 2 years and I still occasionally get an unexpected turbo boost that I was not expecting that sends the revs high and might spin the wheels which is not what I intended to do based on how much throttle I gave. I've noticed incline seems to affect these situations as well as if I am making a tight turn. Weight like you mentioned, will also factor in. There are a few spots in my daily commute, where I know I need to lay off the throttle more than I normally would to prevent the behavior I previously mentioned.

    We are kind of at the mercy of the computer that controls the CVT and the turbo. The car does try to learn your driving habits to allow for a more normal experience but it's not going to be perfect. Like silverrascal suggested, you can disconnect the battery and have the computer reset these learned values to see if that helps. Maybe you didn't drive too aggressively due to the break in period and now you are driving your normal way and the learned values don't match up to your current driving style.

    In regards to the not giving it enough throttle and feeling like the brakes are applied, I think you are experiencing the CVT not liking to be at low speeds. Here is another post where people discuss the issues with the CVT at low speeds. https://www.civicx.com/threads/cvt-rough-shift-in-stop-and-go-traffic.28510/

    My suggestion would be to reset the computer and try to learn how the car reacts and try to adjust how much you press/depress the accelerator.
     
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  10. gtman

    gtman Senior Member

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    My biggest issue (and it was repeatable) with the CVT and turbo was this exact scenario...

    I live in a very congested area with some of the most aggressive drivers in the US. Sometimes this means you have a split second to either power out of a situation or to merge into a very small window. The CVT is often slow to respond from a light throttle cruise to a heavy mash of the throttle. This, combined with turbo lag has made for some very dicey situations in traffic.

    https://www.civicx.com/threads/my-biggest-beef-with-the-cvt.16649/

    Thankfully, KTuner has fixed most of this issue for me. My car feels like it has a fairly potent, normally aspirated engine now.
     
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  11. Gruber

    Gruber Senior Member

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    I don't have any issue of this sort and I accelerate smoothly at any selected rate from very moderate, but still ahead of an average commuter, to quite dramatic that would turn attention of most drivers (or the "law") as "racing". Whatever "lag" there is in the first fraction of a second, it doesn't fit what the OP describes. I would recommend turning off the rpm meter and the turbo display for some time, forgetting you have a CVT, and just driving while looking at the road ahead until you get used to it.
    The only thing I do for the CVT is to refrain from mashing the throttle from the spot. I let it roll a foot or so and then start going. Works best for me.
     
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  12. gtman

    gtman Senior Member

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    So Gruber, try this. Make a left hand turn at a busy uphill intersection where you have to quickly accelerate from a full stop into traffic. My '17 bogged quite a bit in that scenario and made things dicey. Quite a few others on the forum have posted about the same issue with the CVT in the past.

    Did something change with the 18's?
     
  13. averagetrackdriver

    averagetrackdriver Senior Member

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    With the tune from KTuner, have you noticed a difference in how your car responds on humid days as compared to non-humid days? My sister has a similar car as yours, and she has complained about the hesitation during humid days. I'm wondering if a tune would help her out. She lives in the DC area and can tell your stories about how aggressive drivers are in her area.
     
  14. gtman

    gtman Senior Member

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    #14 gtman, Oct 29, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
    Humidity and heat kills power in turbo cars and I'm in humid Baltimore. The tune does help though with the adjustments you can do.
     
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  15. Schmullis

    Schmullis Senior Member

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    Listen to GTMan. Get a Ktuner and install the dual/21psi tune. These issues will essentially go away and you'll be shocked at how much the car's performance is improved.
     
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