Last post on Dec 09, 2013 at 4:52 PM
You are in the Honda Civic Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Honda Civic, Hybrid Cars, Coupe, Sedan
#968 of 1535 Re: Another Unhappy HCH Owner [Ogre_GEV]
Mar 06, 2011 (6:10 pm)
I hit the send button too soon. continued...
While the car is undeniably sluggish without assist, it is not experiencing poor economy because of that. On the open road, the IMA system does not improve economy at all. It only helps in stop and go traffic. What it DOES do is make the tiny little engine FEEL like a normal sized engine, giving you the experience of driving a normal car while actually sipping gas.
Tests of Honda Insights (2000-2006 models) have shown slightly higher gas mileage with the IMA battery disabled than with it enabled in highway and rural driving. In city driving it is slightly less due to the lack of Auto-stop. The Insight has a 3 cylinder 1.0 liter version of the same engine in your Civic. It's engine is basically yours with one of the four cylinders chopped off.
The reason you are experiencing a loss of fuel economy is twofold. The lifetime of 40 mpg or so shows that you drive your car somewhat6 aggressively - meaning that you accelerate strongly and possibly that you drive it fast. The problem is that any acceleration costs gas, and wind resistance takes a severe toll on fuel economy above 55 mph. There is nothing wrong with driving this way - most of America does - but you can't expect stellar fuel economy if you do. It's your choice.
The second reason is that your car is spending most of it's time charging your battery (which eats gas), but the battery is not taking the full charge, so it is being wasted. Your battery will either improve and this problem will go away, or it will get worse and it will fail and Honda will replace it under warranty.
#969 of 1535 Re: Personal remedy for IMA battery problems [ecorobert]
Mar 06, 2011 (6:29 pm)
I think the dealer telling you to rev the engine is the stupidest idea I've ever heard and shows that they don't have any idea what is going on.
I believe that your car is experiencing a recal in the morning due to a high self-discharge rate. The battery charge drops significantly overnight and in the morning, the car detects this and runs a calibration routine. This routine is as follows: the battery gauge drops to zero, one or two bars ( dependson the software) and the car applies a 4 bar charge. After 60-75 seconds, the charge lights go out and the gauge starts to climb to whatever level the battery is at. They make it climb slowly so as not to surprise you.
You are misinterpreting this because you are driving the car and you think the rising battery gauge is actually the bTtery charging. A normal battery will charge at a max of 50 amps for about 5 Ah which means 6 minutes (60*5/50). You see that rise in 30 seconds or so. It's not possible to actually charge it that fast. normal charging is about 1/4 of that rate, so 24 minutes.
To test this, start your car and just let it idle for two minutes. You'll see this behavior without ever touching the gas pedal.
Living at the top of a hill presents a challenge for any battery. The battery is very unlikely to be full when parked and all NiMH batteries are more susceptible to self-discharge based imbalances when they are parked empty than if they are parked full. There isn't a whole lot you can do about it, so you'll just have to accept the fact that your battery will only last 80% or so of what it would if you had a commute with level driving near the end. Things you can do to minimize this are to turn off your AC just before that last hill climb and to take it easy going up to minimize the amount of assist you use. Later, when your warranty is up, get a grid charger and top up the battery overnight. This will eliminate this problem.
#970 of 1535 Re: Software Update for 2009 HCHII. Any 2009 or 2010 owners around? [tj09hch]
Mar 06, 2011 (6:40 pm)
Regarding the software update for a 2009.
2009-2011 cars came from the factory with this upgrade already installed. Whatever they applied was an upgrade,but not THIS upgrade. THIS upgrade just brings the 2006-2008 Civics up to the same (or functionally the same) software as the 2009-2011 models.
Honda (like all car manufacturers) upgrades their software constantly. This is easy to see in the 2000-2006 Insights because one of their computers was not reprogrammable - it had to be replaced. There are no less than nine different BCM computers out there for these cars.
So what you got was a smaller update.
#971 of 1535 Re: Another Unhappy HCH Owner [Ogre_GEV]
Mar 06, 2011 (6:54 pm)
Ogre, Your abundant opinions lack all basis in fact. For example, what do you really know about my driving habits? Show your data.
Free advice, free of value.
#972 of 1535 The gas station is the proof
Mar 06, 2011 (7:04 pm)
There's no point in anybody trying to minimize this problem based on alleged driving habits. When the same driver of the same car sees a sudden decrease in fuel efficiency and erratic support from the IMA, we certainly can't blame the driving habits.
Right now I'm only getting about half of the miles on a tank of gas compared to 6 months ago. My driving habits haven't changed a bit. I blame the car.
#973 of 1535 Re: Another Unhappy HCH Owner [Ogre_GEV]
Mar 07, 2011 (8:01 am)
"On the open road, the IMA system does not improve economy at all"
Maybe not in a fantasy world with no wind or hills, but in the real world where bursts of Torque are necessary to maintain highway speeds, the IMA does make a difference in overall economy.
#974 of 1535 Re: Fairly New Pre-Owned 2008 HCH Owner [bossless]
Mar 07, 2011 (10:56 am)
I believe it has happened 2 or 3 times since I bought the vehicle (about 2 months). The battery had been stubborn about not wanting to hold a mostly full charge the last few days so I sat in park at 3k rpm for about 1.5 minutes yesterday. Wouldn't take a full charge (max 8 of 9 bars, which I believe is the spectrum). I definitely won't say that this is not the beginning of the battery crapping out as it may well be. My dream fix would be if Honda will ultimately replace the NiMH battery packs with LIon (or allow it as a chargable upgrade to a warranty replacement). My understanding is that the next generation of HCH will have LIon packs. One can always hope.
#975 of 1535 Re: Info on HCH Class Action [bossless]
Mar 07, 2011 (10:59 am)
Some of it could be my driving, and the current temperatures (30s and 40s). I have a five mile commute with a lot of stop signs. The engine does not warm up to the point of autostop or regen braking for about 1/3 to 1/2 of the trip as it is so short. I also have conventional tires and not the high mileage version, so that may be a factor. Still, vs 40/45 stated EPG mpg, and given what I paid for it (and still being under battery warranty for another 6 years) I'm not regretting the purchase. With gas jumping into the mid $3 range again I am still only spending about $10 on gas every two weeks.
#976 of 1535 Re: April 1 HCH IMA Service Day [h8_07cvchybrid]
Mar 07, 2011 (11:17 am)
That is a great idea! I will re-post this on our Facebook page.
#977 of 1535 Re: I gave up [smendrick]
Mar 07, 2011 (11:34 am)
Some dissatisfied HCH owners started a Facebook page where they are sharing a lot of useful info.