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
#998 of 1535 Re: Another Unhappy HCH Owner [ttomaka]
Mar 22, 2011 (5:31 am)
The full disclosure of my work is that I repair these batteries (which I have not been hiding). I teach people how to drive efficiently or even how to hypermile if they wish. I also help them with information about related car problems. I also help them get warranty battery replacements when they are not aware they are eligible or have been lied to by dealers.
Email me privately and I'll send you some photos of odometers. 60 highway is doable for most people in a CVT gen1 civic. 63 in a MT. Driving conventionally (with traffic instead of the slow lane), 55mpg.
Does the battery wear out in the Gen 2s faster than it should, yes! Would replacing them all help? No. There are plenty of owners going through 2nd or even 3rd batteries. For those that drive infrequently, 5 batteries are not unheard of. If they changed them all now, the problem would just start all over again and there would be a huge number of Civics with failed batteries in 2015 with no warranties and zero resale value because they're all dropping dead at the same time.
Honda is TRYING to fix the problem, not just put an identical battery back in. The software changes SHOULD significantly increase the lifespan of the Gen2 batteries. The ones that are already gone will still fail and some of the marginal ones will return to health.
The problem is that the only solution to making the battery last longer is to protect it, which makes it unavailable under certain usage patterns (acceleration when almost empty) or significantly reduces fuel economy (keeping the battery from getting empty in the first place). Those who naturally drive without assist most of the time tend to keep their batteries full at no penalty to their mpg, and they therefore have full use of their (full) battery when they need it. That is why some people here are NOT experiencing any loss of economy or acceleration from the updates.
If you are experiencing a loss of mpg, you can try experimenting for a few days to see if changing you driving style will improve your mileage. Simply accelerate gently. I often tell people to imagine there is a raw egg taped to the accelerator and they should try not to break it. most people find that their morning commutes take only a couple minutes longer (I deal with lots of Beltway commuters) and that they pick up 5-10 mpg. The goal is to minimize the use of assist and to keep the tachometer revs down below 2500 when possible (2000 is better).
I'm not telling you to do anything. I'm not telling you that you drive "wrong". This may not even apply to you. I'm just suggesting that you try it. If you do and you are successful, you'll have your old car back WITH the battery-life extending software.
And remember that 75mph will reduce mpg by 10%-25% in ANY car when compared to 65mph due to wind resistance, and that for a 30 mile commute, 75 mph will only save 4 minutes over 65mph. Wind resistance starts to become a factor over 50mph and gets progressively worse as speed increases.
#999 of 1535 Re: Another Unhappy HCH Owner [Ogre_GEV]
Mar 22, 2011 (7:57 am)
I appreciate your efforts to educate drivers on how to maximize their fuel efficiency and repair the dying batteries of Civic hybrids. But I and many others on this forum are well versed in hypermiling and other techniques to get our fuel mileage as high as possible.
When I owned my Civic hybrid, I was driving consciously to maximize fuel economy. The performance and the fuel efficiency of my car deteriorated when the batteries began discharging frequently and it got worse when I did the software update. My driving style did not materially change except when I felt unsafe, such as having no battery when I was trying to turn left against traffic. I did this for four months and complained to Honda and then sold it at a loss. Maybe the batteries would have revived after a few more months of frustrating and stressful driving but I had had it.
The reality is driving especially in the city requires adequate and predictable acceleration and the Civic's crappy batteries and Honda's software update has made them unsafe and unreliable for a significant share of drivers.
#1000 of 1535 Re: Another Unhappy HCH Owner [dhilldiner]
Mar 22, 2011 (9:58 am)
I strongly agree with you, dhilldiner. Given the severity of the problems we are experiencing with the HCH II's fuel efficiency and lack of power, it galls me when apologists for Honda come on a forum like this and suggest that our problem stems from our driving habits, not the car.
Just accelerate more gently does not come close to explaining 33 mpg on my 2008 HCH, which is where I am now, after receiving the firmware "update."
Honda needs to fix their problems, or face continued damage to their brand reputation. I have seen no indication from Honda that they will even admit to having a problem.
#1001 of 1535 Oil Change #1 Performance Impact
Mar 22, 2011 (11:20 am)
Just did my first oil change in my new/used 2008 HCH II. I know that the Toyota dealer I bought if from said they changed the oil 1500 miles (6 months) ago. I also know it was black as night on dump out. I used Mobil 1 0w30 (couldn't find 0w20 and most links indicate this should be a fine substitute infrequently). The car revs and runs much more smoothly. Additionally, my battery is charging more actively than before. Best guess is they used 5w20 dino oil which created more drag on startup. I do short trips and my first use was over this winter. Was getting low 30s with conventional tires at 35 to 40 psi. My mileage has started moving up and seems to be running in the 40s now around town, mixed. Odo is about 48k. Still not seeing any of the problems with the IMA systems that others are speaking of but I am watching it. Since I have been driving daily the battery dumps (going down to 1 or 2 bars from a full charge) seem to have dropped off.
#1002 of 1535 06/07 HCH recall
Mar 22, 2011 (11:57 am)
I just got a letter from Honda, they are recalling my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid to replace a DC to DC converter. The DC-DC converter is part of the IMA system and may experience an internal failure leading to stalling and malfunction of the headlights.
I refused the IMA update last July, are they going to snick it in this time when I bring my car for the recall repair?
Are they still installing the update?
#1003 of 1535 Re: Facebook page for unhappy HCH Owners [materas]
Mar 23, 2011 (10:47 am)
I'm all for venting on Facebook but please make sure to file a safety complaint with NHTSA. The more complaints that NHTSA receives, the more likely the government will launch a formal investigation.
#1004 of 1535 Re: 06/07 HCH recall [mabecane]
Mar 24, 2011 (9:35 am)
I took my car into the dealership where I purchased my 2006 HCH originally and had the recall work done this morning. I asked the service rep if he could do a test drive also relating to my mileage problem. He said there was no use doing a test drive. My mileage problem was directly related to the software upgrade made last year. This is completely contrary to what my local Honda dealer told me and Honda corporate office in Torrance, CA. He also said Honda is instructing dealerships to do nothing about the complaints. He said he and his dealership do not like lying to their customers. Next step is to talk to a factory rep and then file a formal complaint with the NTSB.
#1005 of 1535 Re: 06/07 HCH recall [gnatg]
Mar 24, 2011 (9:42 am)
yes, the local service representatives just sort of grimace at me now. They, also, lie. They can never "replicate the problem." I leave a garage that is never colder than 50-ish in winter, drive about two blocks, sit at the corner waiting to turn and lose all but two bars. The mileage then starts decreasing and never goes back up. Last week they were unable to have this happen. I left the dealership, drove a block, stopped at a light and had two bars. I feel sorry for them in some respects but if they would fuss a bit also that would help. Every time I go I put my request to check the IMA because one day I am going to get killed with the lack of pickup so it is costing them time and money and they need to take some action also.
#1006 of 1535 Re: 06/07 HCH recall [gnatg]
Mar 24, 2011 (10:11 am)
My experience has been that the software upgrade did not solve my milage problem, but it did keep the IMA light from coming on. Since my IMA light had come on before the upgrade my dealer's response was to put in a new battery when I told him that the upgrade did not fix the problem. The new battery did solve the problem. However, since I was a few thousand miles over warranty I had to pay half the cost. That was a cost hit against my milage savings, but at least it restored the car to its previous good milage and pick-up. This was done in October 2010 and it is still working well. Maybe I should not take a chance and trade the car before the new three year battery warranty expires.
#1007 of 1535 Re: 06/07 HCH recall [hybridpatsy]
Mar 24, 2011 (5:00 pm)
When I owned by HCH II last fall, I took it to the dealer and the rep was very sympathetic to the problems of frequent discharging. I then dropped it off for 2 days for him to test, and to my "surprise" he said that they had no problems with it when they test drove it. My guess is he called Honda Corporate and said it wasn't working well and they told him to lie. In retrospect, I should have demanded that I be in the car with the dealer while they test drove it.