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Thread: Battery life

  1. #1
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    Battery life

    I'm about to buy my first new car. (!) I'm leaning towards the 08 Civic Hybrid, but have been cautioned by a few friends with regard to the battery. I've been told that the battery doesn't last anywhere near the 8 years the dealers claim it will. How long DO they last? What are consumer reports about the battery life? I've looked around for some, but am not satisfied with what I've found/read. (Most complaints seem to be about mileage, not the battery.) Thoughts?

    M'sa

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  3. #2
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    schwartm: Welcome. The

    schwartm:

    Welcome. The Civic Hybrid II (2006+) and the Prius II (2004+) are second generation hybrids and use battery packs made by the same manufacturer. These battery packs are designed to last the life of the car and are warrantied for 8 years and even more depending on the state (up to 15 years).
    The first generation hybrids had some issues with their battery packs because neither Honda not Toyota had the experience and knowledge about battery management. But in all of those cases Honda and Toyota simply paid for their replacement even when the cars were outside their warranty coverage period.
    With that said, there are now countless second generation hybrids going well over 300,000 miles without a single issue. Your friends advice is neither valid nor worth the concern you have.

    The vast majority of the fuel economy complaints occur because the owners expect to get the advertised fuel economy by just driving off at the turn of the key. That is definitely not so as these cars are VERY sensitive to the way one drives. Because of this, these cars have hybrid specific instruments and displays that empower their "willing" owners to close-in to the EPA rating and even exceed it (as many of us do). In other words if you are not willing to change your driving attitude and embrace learning about the car (as its engineers intended), then a fuel efficient hybrid is not for you. On the other hand, if you do you homework and you're willing to learn then these cars will reward you in more ways than just financially.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  4. #3
    Guest

    MSantos: I also have a

    MSantos:

    I also have a concern about battery life. I live out here in Arizona where the temperature can reach well into the upper 1teens...normal car batteries tend to die off well before their 'due dates' here and I was wondering if any tests have been done with the hybrid battery packs in that kind of extreme environment?

    This will be my first summer with the HCHII so it will be interesting to see how the air conditioner works in the heat. I have experienced air conditioner with a low battery (4 bars) and it blows warm air. I do notice, however, the more charge the battery has when I am stopped with the auto-stop feature kicked on, the cooler the air becomes inside. Will the a/c harm the pack with the more frequent charging and usage of the battery over time?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  5. #4
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    There's no doubt that

    There's no doubt that extreme environments *may* have an impact on the expected service life of the battery pack.

    However, these battery packs also have nothing to do with the technology found on todays lead acid batteries either. Unlike the lead acid batteries found in most cars today, we are not only dealing with a different chemistry but we are also dealing with a battery pack that is aggressively managed by the Battery Condition Monitor module... which in addition to managing the charge and discharge cycles, also monitors & manages the thermal operational parameters of the cell modules as well as their cooling.

    You will notice that if the temperatures are too high (or too low), the basic IMA functions will be suspended simply because the BCM regards the health of the battery pack as having the higher priority. Under these circumstances the gas engine will be the primary and only means of powering the car and its systems. Yes, your FE will take a hit for sure, but so will that of any other car anyway. But if it is any consolation, at least you know the battery is also being protected as a guarantee of a longer service life.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  6. #5
    Guest

    You stated above that the

    You stated above that the cars come with specific instructions on how to drive them. Where can i find these on line? I'm thinking of buying a prius or a civic and am trying to make an informed choice.
    thank you!

  7. #6
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    Hi OliviaH: For the Civic

    Hi OliviaH:

    For the Civic Hybrid you may want to check this first. This is the one and only thing you need to read if you choose the HCH-II:
    http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1306

    For the Prius check here:
    http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1224

    Again, please ask about any of the details if you have any questions and we'll be happy to explain.

    Cheers;

    MSantos


  8. #7
    Guest

    it is expensive to replace

    it is expensive to replace hybrid batteries—it can cost in the neighborhood of $3,000 for a full hybrid battery replacement. But on the other hand,according to some <a href=http://automechanics.wordpress.com/>Auto Mechanics</a> hybrid batteries have proven themselves to be extremely reliable. And as long as they are not abused and the vehicle charging control system operates effectively, they can be--not unrealistically—expected to last for nearly the life of the vehicle.

  9. #8
    Guest

    We had a 2003 Honda Civic

    We had a 2003 Honda Civic Manual and then sold it to a familiy member. Shortly after the sale, at about 75,000 miles, the Honda dealer said the battery was not charging and was not so useful. Replacement cost would be ~ $3000. However, the dealer said that the car could be continued to be driven, just that the hybrid mode would not work anymore. Then a few days later, Honda called back and said that it was a warranty item and they replaced the battery free of charge!!

    It is any wonder that Honda creates lifelong customers?

    Note that peace was also preserved in the familiy!!

  10. #9
    Guest

    I'm considering purchasing a

    I'm considering purchasing a hybridl, although I don't drive much, as I live in the city. Only driving is done on weekends and even that is very little usually. While I understand my infrequent driving will inhibit me from recouping my purchase price in fuel costs, we still want to go the hybrid route for environmental reasons.

    My question is: does such infrequent driving / recharging harm the hybrid battery lifespan?
    Thanks for your help.
    Russ

  11. #10
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    Hi Russ. Quite the

    Hi Russ.

    Quite the opposite.

    The more frequent the charge and discharge cycles, the shorter the life-span of a battery. The NiMH battery pack in today's hybrids are no different in these regards even though they are manufactured to very high standards and managed very aggressively throughout their operation.

    As long as you drive the vehicle a couple of times a week all should be fine since there's a lot more to a Civic Hybrid than a battery pack and an electric motor.


    Cheers;

    MSantos

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