Last post on Nov 24, 2013 at 2:06 PM
You are in the Honda Civic Hybrid
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Honda Civic, Hybrid Cars, Coupe, Sedan
#41 of 1530 Update - NOTHING!
Oct 14, 2008 (2:52 pm)
Since my original post, not much has happened. My condition hasn't gotten worse, but I still have erratic IMA problems. The battery indicator never shows a full charge, and will sometimes drop suddenly. My mileage is still at 38-40 (when I work at it) and if driven without hypermiling, is more like 36, whereas I used to get 44-46.
The dealer had me fill out a questionnaire to Honda's techline, but nothing has been done. My warranty is up in January, and I have a feeling, they're just going to let it ride. My dealer tells me that they will be an advocate for me, but the ultimate decision is in Honda's hands.
This will be the last Honda I ever get, and I've always purchased Hondas. My next hybrid will be a Toyota. This is ridiculous.
Should someone want to start a class-action lawsuit, don't hesitate to contact me at: harothberggmail.com.
==== Original post: ===
Count me in also... I own an '06 HCH that after 26K miles developed the same problem as most of you have referenced. My dealership, Honda of Concord, NC has taken a hard-line stance that they cannot do anything. My battery won't charge to full capacity and suddenly drops for no reason. My mileage has gone from 46 MPG to 38 MPG (if I'm lucky and work at it!).
It is very frustrating. I owned a 2003 HCH and had no problems with it at all. I wish now I would've kept it and not purchased this model.
#42 of 1530 Re: Update - NOTHING! [halanr]
Oct 15, 2008 (5:01 pm)
I have had this problem in my 2006 HCHII from time to time. I have done 2 things that have more or less resolved this issue for me.
First, I try to lay off the Assist. I find that I can completely not use it once the car is at 25mph. I use slow, smooth acceleration. I try to use at least 2 to 3 bars, but sometimes 4 cannot be helped.
Second, I recharge the battery every chance I get. If I'm going down a hill, I allow 1 or 2 bars of recharge bars to show. This has been the key to keeping the battery state of charge up. I try not to rely so much on the battery pips as they are not an exact representation of the battery's state of charge (as stated in the manual). I have been able to keep the pips at 6 or 7 regularly.
I used to coast as much as possible with no recharging and did not use my brakes often at all. This would cause the battery to drain and re-calibrate, causing my mpg to drop and the car to run on the engine alone. When this happens, I stay in the right lane (I drive only in the right lane anyway) and let it do it's thing. Between 5-10 mins later it' s back to normal.
You have to recharge your battery whenever you can, not just when braking to a stop, but even when your coasting. The car seems to suck more energy from the battery, more so than it recharges back into it. You have to look for those opportunities to recharge it.
Try it for a week or so and see if there is a difference.
BTW, I've had my car for 2 years with approx 28500 miles on it. My lifetime average mpg is 54.9 over 52 tanks. My last 6 tanks have been in the low 60's mpg. I have a 30 mile round trip suburban commute which I regularly get 65 mpg.
I live in Charlotte, NC and the summers can get a little toasty with mid to upper 90's w/ 100% humidity. If I use the A/C, I use the Auto A/C set at 78-79. It seems to have less drain on the battery than regular A/C.
#43 of 1530 Re: Update - NOTHING! [halanr]
Oct 16, 2008 (3:27 am)
I too looked into getting a Toyota hybrid, and learning from my current experience I did a lot of research on the Prius in particular, and they have just as many if not more detrimental issues than the civic... Try checking concumer affairs if you have not already done so. The problems go all the way back to 2004.
As far as an update on my situation, I had Mr. Ogawa with American Honda send me a letter in writing that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my car despite my complaint. And when the letter arrived, lo and behold he stated that my dealership had inspected and driven my car and saw nothing to substantiate the claims about my car.
I find that appalling since the dealership clearly saw there was a problem, had my car for over 2 days, felt the need to contact American Honda, had me fill out that ridiculous form and has been in contact with me just about 3 times a week. So how on earth could he basically claim that my concerns were unfounded?!!!!!!
#44 of 1530 Duplicate IMA Malfunction On Demand?
Oct 18, 2008 (8:13 am)
My 07' Civic Hybrid has the IMA disease too, and I have filed a complaint with the NHTSB. My car's symptoms briefly; rapid discharge of battery (all bars gone in less than 10 seconds), occurs much more frequently in hot weather, cannot achieve 8 full battery bars anymore, reduced gas mileage (about 10%), less effective braking while malfunctioning (actually feels like the cruise control in on when you let off the throttle).
Living in Louisiana my dealer doesn't see lots of hybrids, so they are at a loss but seem to want to help. My biggest problem; although my IMA might malfunction a few times a day.... or not, I cannot get the IMA to act up when at the dealer. Has anyone been able to come up with a method of getting the IMA to rapid discharge all the bars in less than 10 seconds on demand? If someone can come up with a way to get the malfunction to occur intentionally the dealers would not be able to send you home with the car saying it's working within Honda specifications and we might get some traction for a repair or the lemon laws would get our cars replaced. Has anyone found a way to get the car to malfunction on demand?
#45 of 1530 Re: Duplicate IMA Malfunction On Demand? [freddierap]
Oct 18, 2008 (9:17 am)
Good to hear that you have filed a complaint with the NHTSA. I filed one in early September, and all of us who are having the problem should file a complaint. As far as causing it to happen "on demand", it always happened to me more often in stop and go traffic, and when the AC was needed. The service manager at my dealer explained that in warmer temps, when the battery goes from charge to assist to charge and so on, all in a short time, it causes the battery to heat up. One of the software updates is designed to protect the battery from damage by cutting out the IMA assist and the drain on the battery. The only suggestions given me were "direct the AC vents to direct the cool air back toward the battery" and "take the back seat cover off to allow the battery to cool". Insane suggestions? Here are my unresolved issues:
1) There is erratic behavior of the charge/assist system. Sometimes the system charges under acceleration when it should assist and it assists when coasting downhill and it should be charging.
2) Sometimes the charge/assist indicator will bounce between charging and assisting, and a noticeable “bump” or “surge” occurs. This happens when the car is accelerating, or sometimes decelerating down a hill when it should be charging.
3) Although a new IMA battery was installed and for a couple of weeks it seemed to hold a charge, the battery has become discharged on several occasions since the installation of the new battery. The car then exhibits very degraded performance and poor gas mileage. The battery has never charged the way it did before the first IMA problem. Prior to October 2007 it would often charge fully, sometimes each day. Since the first IMA work in October 2007 it rarely charges fully.
4) Sometimes when driving on level ground or a slight downhill grade, the gas mileage indicator drops all the way down. It stays there for several seconds and then goes back up to a normal level.
5) At times it seems that the engine will race or rev up when I start to accelerate from a stop. The car engine goes to AutoStop when the car stops, but it doesn't’ seem to move immediately when it restarts the engine after I take my foot off the brake. This does not happen really frequently, but occasionally.
6) The gas mileage of the vehicle has dropped almost 15% overall. But the gas mileage has also very frequently been inconsistent. At times the MPG is up to the 50 MPG range or more. At other times it is in the 38 – 44 MPG range on the same type of road conditions, same driving patterns, and no AC use on either occasion. I drive the vehicle 30,000 – 33,000 miles per year for work, so I am very familiar with the normal performance and mileage of the car, at least before the problems occurred after the IMA warning light came on in October 2007.
I have told my dealer that I am considering some options, contacting local and/or national media about the unresolved problem and American Honda's denials, and getting a magnetic sign made for the side of my car that will warn others who may be considering buying a Civic Hybrid. I would name the local dealer and American Honda and state that they cannot fix my car. The dealer has made me a decent offer to trade my car for another, and I could get a pretty good deal on a 2009 non-hybrid. I told them that there are bigger issues than just my dissatisfaction. The weather is cooler here now, so the safety issue is not as big of a problem. I hope other owners file complaints and try to put pressure on Honda. There could be some strength in numbers.
#46 of 1530 Re: Duplicate IMA Malfunction On Demand? [lectricman52]
Oct 24, 2008 (9:18 am)
Thanks for the reply. I know our problem seems to be worse with heat, however the weather is cooler here now and although not as frequent it's still happening with my car. Couple thoughts; as for the gas mileage loss I really believe this is due to reduced battery voltage from it being damaged during the rapid discharges. I have some knowledge with rechargeable batteries and rapid discharges are their death. I have seen them vent or explode when rapidly discharged. Once they have experienced this brutal discharge, and it only takes one time to damage them, their output voltage under load is reduced and for us this means less assist from the IMA therefore more gas engine required to do the same amount of work. The heat caused by the car sitting in a parking lot for example might reduce the the batteries output voltage if plotted on a graph, but is not enough to be felt to the driver and is not gong to be the cause of the batteries suddenly dumping their capacity. Which gives me my greatest concern, our IMA batteries contain a lot of stored energy, when they rapidly discharge.... where is the stored power going?? To see all your bars click off in under 10 seconds requires nothing less than some form of dead short... can anyone say dangerous. I seriously doubt any system in the car is capable of using that much power in that brief period, therefore a short circuit that could cause an explosion concerns me.
#47 of 1530 IMA update
Oct 29, 2008 (11:34 am)
Several of you have been very helpful and are therefore familiar with the IMA assist problem occurring in our vehicles.
After almost 4 months of getting the run around from American Honda, they finally attempted to be rid of me by sending me a letter stating that there is nothing wrong with my car, and that (contrary to actions taken by my dealership) Duval Honda found no evidence to support my claims that the vehicle was malfunctioning.
They have since stopped taking or returning my calls. Going so far as to hang up when I call the service manager direct.
I have gone to a new dealership.
As of yesterday my car threw a check engine light, while accelerating, the car will buck and jerk and is really quite terrifying to be driving. This behaviour is inconsistent and I had initially thought the problem to be the O2 sensor. It will turn off my cruise control when the irradict behaviour starts up as well.
However, (as I am sitting in the dealership now) I have just recieved information that this dealership thought a rat had damaged a single 2" area of my wiring harness. I of course being moderately familiar with cars, and not at all stupid went to see for myself this "rat damage"
And wouldn't you know, this must be the best rat ever, because the casing around the wires was rather neatly "chewed" and almost no plastic was missing at all. Only a single black wire from within that casing was damaged, and it was almost perfectly cut.
I of course took my stance that there was no way a rat came into my car decided to cut my wire casing and neatly cut a single wire. There is no evidence of any damage anywhere else in the car.
FORTUNATELY, my service advisor understood my concerns, and my conspiracy theory against my last dealership and took it up with the manager.
So now I am getting the wire fixed and new diagnostics done on the car, with the oil changes etc. for $90. They said they did not want to be associated with being at all like Duval Honda and did not want to behave like Duval Honda.
While still not perfect, it is much better than the original cost, but I don't feel like they did the damage, and I am not taking it back to Duval Honda to try and argue that they did it, so I will be moderately content to part with the $90.
I had never thought to check and see if my old dealership had "accidently"
damaged any part of my car.
But this is where I am now on the IMA issue, I hope that this fixes it.
#48 of 1530 No Longer A Hybrid?
Nov 28, 2008 (11:32 am)
I have recently had some work done to my 05 HCH and ever since then the mpg have dropped by 5-10.
My day started out with a flat tire. It was time to get new tires so that's what I did. I took it to a tire store and while they were under there they noticed the front brakes were 90% worn so I had those replaced and the 50,000 mile check-up. Starting that day after I left the tire store I'm averaging 34-36 mpg instead of 42-46 mpg. Does anyone have any insight on why this could be? It is really bothering me. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
#49 of 1530 Re: IMA issue on 2006 HCH [highmpg]
Jan 01, 2009 (5:54 pm)
I experience 36-41mpg all the time. I was wondering if you are still seeing high 40's after your O2 sensor replacement? Also, which sensor did your replace as there are 2 (one at the front and one further back). Thanks!
#50 of 1530 Re: IMA issue on 2006 HCH [sholmes717]
Jan 02, 2009 (12:02 pm)
After the O2 Sensor was replaced on my 2006 HCH (front one nearest engine) the erratic situations stopped entirely. Mileage is better also typically 41 to 44 range in town, better on highway but we use another car mostly for highway. Use of cruise control - even when you usually would not - and lowest fan speed position seem most helpful. The car want to control everything itself and to have you use least electrical power so it can allocate power where it wants to. This car is not as good mpg as another #2 HCH 2006 I drive at times - as it will always do 10% better under identical conditions. Car 2 has the orig. factory tires and car #1 with less mpg has newer Sumitomo hi-perf. low rolling resistance tires. Factory tires are slightly lower rolling resist. and have less wet traction.