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Thread: Hybrids = Scam

  1. #61
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Hi Motortech: Over the

    Hi Motortech:

    Over the years, I've had the opportunity to discuss these things hundreds of times and each time it amounted to dealing with dis-information and bias. So please excuse me if I do not reply in the fullest- it simply gets tiresome covering the basics over and over again.

    Yes, I know exactly how much the stator motor on the Civic Hybrid II weighs and as many here already know I can discuss almost any element of the technology confidently and accurately with the implied and binding limitations I am afforded at a professional level.
    Also I own two HCH (2006 & 2007) and three Prius (all 2007 models).

    Anyhow. The point of hybrid technology is not to create energy but rather minimize the energy losses contained in the fossil fuel when consuming it. That is all in a simple nutshell nothing more, nothing less.

    Regenerative braking is not the only means of capturing energy. Excess engine load is the other. As a matter of fact, a hybrid provides better fuel economy if you brake less and regenerate less. The same applies to eletric assist, the less you use the higher your fuel economy. For people who neither own a hybrid nor understand enough about hybrids this can be a very puzzling thing but it is the simple and unvarnished truth that can only accepted when the basic knowledge of this technology is known.

    However, compared to most non-hybrids the regenerative braking is still a positive asset especially when you really need to come to a stop. This allows them to recover the energy that other cars would normally waste in the form of heat.

    Yes, the electric part of the power plant weighs a fair amount but that weight is offset by the use of smaller and a lighter gas engine. A gas engine that simply CANNOT be used in any other Civic because it is too small and underpoweredl. I hope you understand what this means?
    Also for your information, the Civic hybrid does NOT use more aluminum than the regular Civic at all and... the electric motor is not rated at 10 HP but 20 HP (15 KWH).

    This 1.3 Liter gas engine also uses technologies and manufacturing techniques and materials that another non-hybrid car would not be able to justify. This is because the gas engine was designed to accommodate the presence and help of an electric motor which is beneficial to not only help power the wheels but also to smoothen and cancel the vibrations produced by the gas engine when it switches ignition, cam modes and cylinder de-activation modes.

    Lastly, I paid a small (if any) premium for the hybrid technology mostly because I not only got the government tax rebates which placed the hybrid at the same cost level as that of a similarly equipped Civic but also because I can no longer justify the purchase of car technology that is inferior in fuel consumption potential and also with poor environmental performance for myself, my kids and the society I live in.

    We all have a moral responsibility to consume less fuel and pollute less... and doing the best each of us can is no longer an optional choice left anyone who chooses to purchase a new vehicle.
    It is a duty for the environment and our future generations to do the right thing and while hybrid cars are just an intermediate solution (as are the upcoming clean diesels) it is up to us to make a difference.

    That is why, there will never be another gas-only car on my driveway. My conscience will not allow it, and I support anyone who does the right thing whether they understand the personal and social benefits of hybrid technology or simply because they want to save on fuel as their financial bottom line.

    Hybrid cars are not a scam... and whether the statements of mediocrity and ignorance agree with it or not, almost every car manufacturer will begin producing hybrids because Toyota and Honda hybrids work... and there are over 1.4 million of us (and growing) on the roads to prove it.

    You are free to believe whatever you want. But if you truly want to make a difference I suggest you don't just "talk the talk" but also try to "walk the walk". Once you learn a bit more about these hybrid matters you'll understand that there is more science and engineering behind these Honda and Toyota hybrids than what most old time gear heads can even dream of.



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  3. #62

    Kudos to MSantos for

    Kudos to MSantos for replying with balanced and informed posts.

    I don't doubt that an occasional hybrid will have drivetrain or mechanical problems that show up as poor MPG -- just like a non-hybrid. Ranting that one car's problems says something about the total fleet is unreasonable, and certainly does not fix the car in question. First things first though, the driver has to be taken out of the equation. A total 30 mile easy jaunt back and forth on the highway without braking at 60 mpg should do the trick. Results less than 50 mpg (US) should be investigated further unless a windy day explains the results. Start with tyre pressures and the emergency hand brake.

    My family owns a Prius since 2004, and I am very satisfied. It fits our mostly (sub)urban use to a tee. Wondering about MPG ? My wife and I are both non-aggresive drivers, but she has more short trips, does not take advantage of 'gliding' (coasting below 41 mph), and anticipates less well than I do. Her MPG is low 40's in the cold of winter, low 50's in temperate weather. My MPG is low 50's in the winter, and high 60's in warmer weather. All in all mid 50's MPG. I use the car these days for one 200 mile round-trip three times a month, and average 59 mpg averaging about 63 mph. It will certainly drop in the winter. The highway numbers are bumped by about 6 mpg by living at high altitude.

    For comparison, my lifetime MPG in a '94 manual Honda Civic was 38 mpg in the same locale, but with more highway driving.

  4. #63
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    I think the auto stop

    I think the auto stop feature is something all cars should have as well as be lighter with a smaller engine.
    The hybrids technology has some good spin offs that could make all cars fuel efficient.

  5. #64

    "I think the auto stop

    "I think the auto stop feature is something all cars should have"

    It would be good, except the repeated restarts require the beefier starting mechanism of the electric motor. Today's starters on conventional engines would be overtaxed.

    One thing that *is* migrating into conventional cars is the mileage monitoring devices.

  6. #65
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Hi All. I'm new to this

    Hi All. I'm new to this forum, but I've owned an '03 HCH since I bought it new in '03. I also own an '05 Escape Hybrid, so I have different hybrid experiences.

    My wife has done most of the driving of the HCH. At first, I thought that the hybrids were a scam as well, since we were getting only around 40mpg. However, I have since learned that a)one's driving style needs to change to maximize fuel economy (and this doesn't mean driving like an old lady) and b)my wife has a lead foot. I drove the HCH for a week and averaged 58mpg(US) for the week. After showing my wife some of my techniques, she's managed to maintain about a 46mpg average for about the last 3 years.

    MY_MPG_55, I wanted to reply to a couple of your points:

    I, too, noticed an extremely obnoxious rattle coming from under the passenger side dash. After much hunting, mostly while my wife was driving, I found that it is actually coming from the bottom edge of the covering on the passenger side front windshield post. This might be your problem as well. If you still have your HCH, try having a passenger hold the bottom of the post very tightly and see if that's your issue too.

    Second, I also found I was having transmission issues about 3 years after buying the car. It finally got to the point where the RPMs were racing to keep the car in the 40mph range before my wife notified me of the problem. When I took it to one dealer, they wanted to replace the transmission for about $4000-5000. Having done no research, but not trusting this, I took it to another dealer and they suggested burnishing the clutch for under $300. This has 95% resolved the problem. The RPMs no longer race and the transmission is almost back to factory standards, but as a bit of a perfectionist, I can still feel a tiny bit of the old laggy-ness in there that shouldn't be. The bad news for me is that I had to pay for this issue out of pocket. The good news for you, if you still have the car, is that Honda has finally instituted a program to reimburse HCH owners for this fix. If you have had this done, you can fill out some form(s) and Honda will reimburse you. If not, have it done by a dealer you can trust and Honda should pay for it.

    Regarding your battery issue, MSantos posted in a different thread how to do a power reset. This just might help your car recalibrate a bit. At the very least, following his suggestions, you should be able to tell if the battery is charging or not. Skim down about 3/4ths for MSantos replying to Rikfre where he explains how to do a power reset here: http://www.hybridcars.com/forums/col...d-battery.html

    I've been reading some other threads here, particularly with Honda Canada and the poor training of several dealerships there. While it's entirely possible that you got a lemon, I think some of your issues might be more dealer-related. If you still have your HCH and haven't tried a different dealer, I think this might really be worth your time.

    I hope these suggestions help.

  7. #66

    Hi, I have had a persistent

    I have had a persistent intermittent problem with shuddering/bucking when I accelerate. Twice it was very dramatic. When I take my foot off the gas it stops, but sometimes resumes as soon as I begin to accelerate. I have not been able to duplicate the 'symptoms' on demand. I bought the 08 HCV as used. It had less than 1,500 hundred miles when I bought it. When I drove it off the lot it registered 41 mpg. That is the highest so far. Driving around town the mpg's drop significantly. It now has about 7,500 miles and has been taken in for its first service. I explained all of this to the service manager and they found nothing, yet it has continued.
    Am I alone in this? I have read about the earlier models have some difficulty but not the recent models. Does anyone have a suggestion or a similar concern?

  8. #67
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Hi Lann; There have been

    Hi Lann;

    There have been reports such as yours and although their numbers are relatively low compared to larger population of HCH-II owners... they do come up now and then.

    I would suggest you visit another dealership and see how far they are willing to go in at least validating your claims. If this does not materialize any progress for you please write to Corporate Honda and explain in as much detail as possible the symptoms and measures you took. Please CC the letter to the service manager at your dealership. More often than not, this alone provides very good results, since unless the service department can experience the shuddering they will be reluctant to expend time on their billable cycle.

    You can also choose to change the CVT fluid earlier and see what that nets you. In some cases this alone was found to resolve the shuddering.
    By the way, frequent Jack rabbit starts in traffic have a way to worsen this symptom. Smooth accelerations and decelerations are ideal for your CVT.



  9. #68

    Hi MSantos, I'm a friend of

    Hi MSantos,

    I'm a friend of Lann, thanks for your kind advice.
    I've experience the shuddering effect, once without her in the car at low speed making a corner while accelerating, and it reminds me of the effect of a harmonic imbalance and/or something related to trouble with motor mounts. I'm not sure, however, that it's what she has experienced as I haven't been in the car when she's experienced it.
    Lann is not one to jack rabbit start, so it's not that.

    Thanks again, Barry

  10. #69

    Thank you for responding so

    Thank you for responding so quickly. I will follow through on your advice.
    Fingers crossed it will be resolved quickly. On another question I hope someone can help with has to do with the auto stop...sometimes it comes on other times it doesn't...is there a method to encourage its frequency?
    Thanks again,

  11. #70
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Hi Lann and Barry: Regarding

    Hi Lann and Barry:

    Regarding the Autostop: If your engine is warmed up, you can encourage the autostop to return provided that you reach 7MPH after your second stop. If in a Stop-n-Go scenario you cannot reach or exceed 7 MPH the autostop will be suppressed.

    This behavior is by design, but you can override it by switching the transmission to "N" and then turning the engine off by hand. When ready to move forward, you turn the engine back ON and then you switch the transmission back to D to move forward. This is normally called a "forced Autostop".



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