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I have searched and searched for anyone that has done driving in the mountains. I live in Colorado and this is important to me. Does anyone have experience with the Accord in being able to drive at speed up the passes and going down do you put it in S to use the engine as a brake or just leave it in D??
 

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1st summer I had mine we went to southern CO to ride the Cumbres & Toltec and the Durango-Silverton RRs. Didn't have any problem going up or down the mountains. Plenty of power going up and piece of cake going down. Grade logic works well on steep down hills even without putting it in S, but you can definitely do that too to hold speed even better. Then the next spring took it to Smokey Mountains. Lotsa fun on the switchbacks.
 

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CO myself, Stacey. Normally aspirated I4 is not enough motor for driving at altitude/in our mountains. One, big, reason I didn't even consider it. The 6-spd a/t works well at holding speed on downgrades...S for the steeper ones.
 

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2014 Accord EX-L Coupe
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The 4cyl auto is fine. I travel to CO all the time. But what passes are you talking about as you they vary greatly in CO and some get so high that any car will take a power hit. But most passes and the Honda will be fine including I-70 through Eisenhower. Raton is a breeze.

You don't have to shift to S to use the paddle shifters. They will work in Drive as well but may not hold the gear as long without going back to drive. But the sensor will work great and slow you down back to a similar speed you were going prior to going down a long steep grade. And it will keep downshifting to get there too.

p.s. whatever gas you burn going up the pass will be gained back going down so no worries there either.
 

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most of my driving is I70, once in a while over monarch.... I had a 2004 6cyl and just got the EXL 4 and hoping I did not make a mistake... Thanks you for your information
 

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hey Stacey - since you already have the car I guess you're just going to have to try it out! I thought you might still be shopping for the model you wanted. If it starts to bog down just floor it and it should move just fine. I've always been able to just leave cruise on until the twists/turns get to be too much and it keeps that speed no matter. Also I also turn ECON off driving through these but I would assume the computer overrides that anyhow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No just got it but I still could drive the 2004 if I needed to, so I just wondered how it ran in the mountains. thank you for your answer!
 

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i have a 2015 sport and drove on a pretty windy mountain with the paddle shifters. It was pretty great! Coming from a guy who used to drive stick :)
 

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I live in Summit County Colorado at 9100 feet.

All cars lose performance and horsepower the higher you go.I believe it's 3% loss per 1000' elevation gain,so my 4 cylinder 189 HP Accord Sport is making 138 Hp or so.It gets around fine but is not a rocket ship.Mine's a 6 speed but your CVT will get around good too.If I wanted to climb the 7% grade from 9100' to Eisenhower Tunnel at 11,100' at 80 MPH (20 over the speed limit 60 MPH) it will pull it no problem.I don't like tickets so I generally don't go that fast.Coming down from the tunnel I put in 4th and let the engine brake for me.Not sure how the CVT works on downhills but I would think putting it in S and downshifting to a lower gear will save your brake pads.

In 1990 I had my first new car, a 1990 Civic H/B(Goldie the slug) 70 HP with a 4 speed manual.That car struggled at climbing at altitude in Colorado but always got me where I wanted to go.My wife had a 1983 Civic 1300 FE (Blue Magoo), it was a rolling roadblock unless revved to redline.It got 40+ MPG when you weren't trying to kill it.

We've had
1990 Civic H/B 4 speed
1983 Civic 1300 FE 5 speed
1994 Accord 5 speed
1997 Civic H/B 5 speed
2009 Civic EX 5 speed current ride wife
2014 Accord Sport 6 speed mine

A couple Tacoma's
1998 Tacoma 4X4 XC 4 banger 5 speed (4 cylinders and trailers struggle at altitude)
2000 Tacoma 4x4 XC 6 cylinder 5 speed garage queen



Someday I'll learn how to drive an automatic:wink
 

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I live in Summit County Colorado at 9100 feet.

All cars lose performance and horsepower the higher you go.I believe it's 3% loss per 1000' elevation gain,so my 4 cylinder 189 HP Accord Sport is making 138 Hp or so.It gets around fine but is not a rocket ship.Mine's a 6 speed but your CVT will get around good too.If I wanted to climb the 7% grade from 9100' to Eisenhower Tunnel at 11,100' at 80 MPH (20 over the speed limit 60 MPH) it will pull it no problem.I don't like tickets so I generally don't go that fast.Coming down from the tunnel I put in 4th and let the engine brake for me.Not sure how the CVT works on downhills but I would think putting it in S and downshifting to a lower gear will save your brake pads.

In 1990 I had my first new car, a 1990 Civic H/B(Goldie the slug) 70 HP with a 4 speed manual.That car struggled at climbing at altitude in Colorado but always got me where I wanted to go.My wife had a 1983 Civic 1300 FE (Blue Magoo), it was a rolling roadblock unless revved to redline.It got 40+ MPG when you weren't trying to kill it.

We've had
1990 Civic H/B 4 speed
1983 Civic 1300 FE 5 speed
1994 Accord 5 speed
1997 Civic H/B 5 speed
2009 Civic EX 5 speed current ride wife
2014 Accord Sport 6 speed mine

A couple Tacoma's
1998 Tacoma 4X4 XC 4 banger 5 speed (4 cylinders and trailers struggle at altitude)
2000 Tacoma 4x4 XC 6 cylinder 5 speed garage queen



Someday I'll learn how to drive an automatic:wink
ah, the debate...people say it's better to brake normally so you only have to change the brake pads instead of braking from engine and wearing it down. But then it's safer to have working brakes...lol
 

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I have searched and searched for anyone that has done driving in the mountains. I live in Colorado and this is important to me. Does anyone have experience with the Accord in being able to drive at speed up the passes and going down do you put it in S to use the engine as a brake or just leave it in D??
I have the I4 Accord Sport CVT. The torque kind of sucks in mountain driving. You really have to have a heavy foot when driving in the mountains (straight ascending hills, winding curvy roller coaster hills etc.) You really have to get the RPMs up in a higher range to get sufficient power sometimes. However, the torque is great when driving in a flat city or leveled highway. When I take a trip to the lake, I drive up into the mountains. While Ascending the mountains, I usually leave it in D and if I need ultimate passing power I use S. D usually does the job just fine. Just don't drive with Econ mode on or else you will strain your transmission badly for power. When descending, I just leave it in D and use the brakes when it is absolutely necessary. With a CVT, it's better to use your brakes in D than it is to put your car in S and simulate lower gears. Think of it this way: it is cheaper to replace the brakes than it is to replace a continuously variable transmission.
 

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[...] and downshifting to a lower gear will save your brake pads.
I'm sure you've forgotten more than I'll ever know about mountain driving, but downshifting (even in an automatic) down long downhills is more about not overheating your brakes than not wearing down the pads. They still teach that to kids in drivers ed here in (relative to you) flat country.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The reason I asked about down hill is on my 2004 6cyl I would get to over 90 very quickly going down the passes if I didn't really watch it and when that happened my braking felt like there was something wrong with the brakes. I took it in and we determined it was the antilock brakes that made the vibration. I found by putting in D2 going down the passes is had just enough drag from the engine to slow it down and I never had to brake or use the gas at all coming down the large passes. That is why I asked about S on the CVT if it acts as and engine brake or because it is a different type of transmission does it just allow you to continue to pick up speed until you have to use your brakes? I don't know if I explained it very well but I tried!
 

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The reason I asked about down hill is on my 2004 6cyl I would get to over 90 very quickly going down the passes if I didn't really watch it and when that happened my braking felt like there was something wrong with the brakes. I took it in and we determined it was the antilock brakes that made the vibration. I found by putting in D2 going down the passes is had just enough drag from the engine to slow it down and I never had to brake or use the gas at all coming down the large passes. That is why I asked about S on the CVT if it acts as and engine brake or because it is a different type of transmission does it just allow you to continue to pick up speed until you have to use your brakes? I don't know if I explained it very well but I tried!
I think you explained it well. I believe CVTs can hold rpm to engine brake, which is almost always advisable going down long steep grades.

That “something wrong” you felt in your 2004's brakes was probably brake fade. Under heavy use brakes get extremely hot. Going down steep mountain passes there are several reports of brake discs actually glowing red! That occurs around 900°F. Granted that is extreme but demonstrates the type of heat generated.

Brake fade is induced by excess heat. That heat can affect the amount of friction between brake pad and disc. (When disks and pads get superhot they don’t grip the same way.) The heat can also cause brake fluid to boil. Once the fluid becomes vapor it can compress making the brakes feel spongy. If the disks get superhot they can also warp and cause vibrations when the pads squeeze them. This is what might have happened to your brakes. Sometimes when the brake discs cool they return to normal shape; sometimes they don’t.
 
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