Purchased a honda Fit seeing their reasonable price and good engine power. However I have a lag between me pushing the pedal and the engine responding. I constantly have to downshift to get any power out of my engine.

Intersections on hills are other challenging areas where I have to burn the clutch to attain higher revs before pulling away. The engine never responds when I immedietly need power.

Why is a drive by wire any good when it forces us to downshift in motion and burn the clutch during pulling away?

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    I don't have a clue why they program them this way, but believe it has to do with not allowing the driver to over rev the engine. You can take your vehicle to a tuner shop and get the CPU retuned to improve your throttle response (as well as your gas mileage). Feb 16, 2014 at 22:04
  • lol are you sure it's not just your Honda Fit? Asking b/c Wikipedia says Response times are improved for drive by wire systems through elimination of mechanical linkages.
    – MDMoore313
    Feb 16, 2014 at 22:26
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    @MDMoore313: That wikipedia article reads like a manufacturer's advertisement for the "feature"; someone should really fix it. Especially the claim of increasing safety is preposterous. Feb 16, 2014 at 22:29
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    Oh, it's been noted all over the forums about lag time of DBW systems. I don't know who would have written it, because when you are attached directly by cable, you are directly attached. When DBW has to have the input of your foot, then transmits to the computer to tell the throttle body to open, if it decides at all that it should be opening (due to engine load or whatever) ... I don't see how the DBW could be more responsive. Feb 16, 2014 at 23:37
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    @Paulster2: An encyclopedia is never a valid reference, wikipedia or otherwise. However a proper encyclopedia cites references for all the non-obvious facts it includes, so you simply go to those sources for your citation. Feb 18, 2014 at 3:30

3 Answers 3


To improve exhaust emissions (clean air laws), some modern cars with drive-by-wire throttle have the lag you have noticed. Aftermarket devices known as "throttle controllers" or "throttle boosters" can reduce this lag. You may be interested in reading this: http://www.fitfreak.net/forums/1st-generation-gd-01-08/50073-throttle-delay-hesitation-noise.html

However the lack of power on hills is a separate issue. The Fit has a small engine, so it will need to be revved harder to accelerate.


Because the Honda Fit is meant to have great fuel economy and having sluggish throttle response helps. Get the car to a shop that can reprogram the operating software. With mechanical systems, it was as simple as decreasing or eliminating the accelerator's free travel, which you could do with a set of pliers and some cuss words.


I constantly have to downshift to get any power out of my engine.

A mechanical throttle wouldn't fix the other problem you're stuck on. DBW or not your car has a 1.5 liter engine that just isn't going to let you tackle a hill in any gear you please.

Plan ahead for hills. Focus on shifting concisely and smoothly to prevent clutch wear.

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