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  1. #11
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    Jun 2008
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    The price may seem high, but

    The price may seem high, but that price isn't that high given the market in CA. For a honda, 34K miles is practically new. I just bought a 2003 HCH with 59K, and I paid just under $15K for it and feel like I got a great deal for my money. It drives like a new car.

    It is hard to negotiate now given the market. I was able to negotiate additional warranties, but had trouble getting the price down. We got our dealer down a couple hundred, but we also got him to throw in a 2-year warranty on the windshield (it had a knick in it so we were concerned), three free oil changes, and an agreement to redo the back bumper any time within one year (it has some knicks on it, and the dealer runs his own body shop so it was easy for him to offer).

    I think everyone else's advice is right on. Have a mechanic check it out and do CARFAX (it's worth buying for multiple vehicles in case you don't decide to buy this one).

    Two last comments:

    (1) The 2004 model from what I hear is very similar to the 2003 one that I'm driving, and I absolutely love my car.

    (2) Try to go on a long-ish test drive and check the mpg. We were able to get 20 miles of driving in before buying the car, and I got a mpg in the 42-46 range. I've been getting 45-ish since buying thecar. Realize that the mpg gague may be off by as much as 3-4 mpg.

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  3. #12
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    Jun 2008
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    Hi HemiSync, sorry, my bad

    Hi HemiSync, sorry, my bad about the miles. I think the mileage on the A & B trip meters was like a few hundred miles or something. At least on one of them it was, the other might have been less. I didn't really pay a lot of attention to that b/c I didn't know it was important. Yeah since the car has been there for weeks, and on top of that I still haven't gotten the carfax he said he was going to fax me, I'm probably going to pass on this 2004 one. Thanks for the advice on waiting 'til next year's models come out; I didn't know they were going to have 4 new ones; that's great! Do you happen to know when they will be releasing them? I'm trying to move for October. I'm at work and that link you sent me is blocked so I can't look at it. I will try to see if I can check it out this weekend. Thanks for all of your help.
    PS Oh I live in CT, not CA.

  4. #13
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    Jun 2008
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    Looking at the number of

    Looking at the number of miles next to the mpg is really important. If I pressed the reset button at the top of a hill I could get my mpg to say 120, but it would only be for a short distance, not averaged into the other driving, so it would be meaningless. If the car was sitting around a lot with the motor running, the mpgs will go down, but the miles will be really low. The more miles on the trip meter, the more accurate the mpg reading will be. A few hundred miles probably is a good estimate, though like I said, they could have had it around the dealership running and it would significantly lower mpg.

    Update on my vehicle-
    They put a new clutch in my transmission (rebuilt it). It feels really heavy now and accelerates much much slower than before. However, the shuddering and slipping are gone (for now). The acceleration is slower, but smoother- I'm guessing that's how it was supposed to be the whole time I've had the car. And I was used to the pause and then skipping first and zooming away in 2nd gear. I'd rather have slow and smooth! I'm hoping this clutch lasts a while. It's not even a manual trans so it shouldn't wear out anytime soon if they really put a new one in. I thought that since it felt heavy my mpgs would be lower, but it was actually a little higher than usual. Confirming to me that they didn't make anything worse.
    Overall I'm really happy now that the dealership finally told me what was really wrong and actually did a good attempt at fixing it. Hopefully it stays fixed this time

    I think you should definitely keep looking for a good one. They aren't all problematic. You've already done well at avoiding this potential lemon. Just keep being patient and I'm guessing you'll find a great car!!

  5. #14
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    Jun 2008
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    as i said, my car is

    as i said, my car is back...

    But the problems have started again.

    This time my battery is messed up. It was only half charged when I took it home, but I figured it would charge as I drove. I gave them a few days of faith, but now it's scheduled to go back on Monday to have them fix the battery.

    My problem is:

    The assist works twice as hard as it used to (almost full bars, instead of just 4 or 5) so it drains the battery every time I accelerate. Then the battery doesn't charge while I'm driving. When the battery gets a little below half drained it realizes that it's low and charges a little bit, but only to half way. I can drive like a SUPER GRANNY and use hills, but I can only get my battery to a little more than half full, and then if I drive normal at all again it goes back to half. When I brought my car to the dealership the battery was full. Every single time I've ever turned off my car it was full. I have never EVER had the battery stay at half full more than a mile! And that was in the dead winter when the battery drained from a light being left on. But it charged up from 0 to full in about 3 miles, maybe 5.

    So why now, the day I bring it home, it breaks? I find it really hard to believe that it's a coincidence. I think that they hooked up something wrong or didn't adjust a computer, something. I feel so sick to my stomach now when I drive my car and see it just draining itself and not running properly. I am so sad that I bought this car. My next hybrid will be brand new, and I will pay extra for a super warranty. Used hybrids are not worth the stress and worry!!!

  6. #15
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    Jun 2008
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    Hi, I am so sorry to hear

    Hi, I am so sorry to hear about your car; that really sucks. I have dealt w/ similar things from car dealerships; they fix one thing but screw something else up. Sometimes I think some of these people got their license to work on cars out of a cracker jack box. Keep me posted as to what happens b/c I'd be interested. I think I'm going to avoid the HCH1's unless I can get a service history, certified vehicle, and an extended warranty, due to your story combined w/ some of the other things I've read on this site. Even tho I'm sure there are many good ones out there too; I don't know that it's worth the risk. I think if I could find a pre-owned HCH2 I'd feel better about it b/c they seem to have made some improvements from what I can tell. If I can't find a pre-owned hybrid I may wait 'til next year and see how much the new ones are going for. I heard they may take the cost down a little, which would be great b/c right now there is no way I could afford a new one! I also may test drive a pre-owned "Mini Cooper" - I hear they get 32 - 40 mpg which is quite a bit better than what I'm getting now. I would rather a hybrid though; here in CT the gas is approaching $4.50/gallon.

  7. #16
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    Jun 2008
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    Hi. I think you're right to

    Hi.
    I think you're right to be cautious. Like you said, there are many happy HCH1 owners- I wish I shared their luck. It IS a pretty expensive gamble though, so I would say the conditions you listed are right on... if they can't give you that, walk. I would definitely try for the 2nd gen, if I could. One thing though, if you do go for a mini cooper be careful too. My best friend bought one pre-owned last year and she thinks it's a lemon. We both comfort each other- both of our first "grown-up" cars and they are disappointing. I haven't done any research on the Minis, so I don't know if it's just her car, or they have some problems in general. It's good that you are doing research as well as getting feedback from owners. You seem like you're shopping really smart for this vehicle... I'll be interested to know what you end up deciding.
    I am dropping my car off tomorrow morning at the dealership for the battery (IMA) problems mentioned above- over the weekend the problem did not improve. I will tell you what they say.

  8. #17
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2008
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    Just wanted to put the last

    Just wanted to put the last update...

    "Nothing is wrong with the car. It is normal for IMA batteries to deteriorate over time. It is completely normal. There's nothing we can do for you." OH, AND: "It is probably just a coincidence that you first experienced this problem the day that we rebuilt your transmission"

    I DO NOT BELIEVE HIM! That would have to be the crappiest coincidence EVER!! Not even I am THAT unlucky! It is literally like I have a completely different car now. My battery has since dropped to NO BARS, though the car itself did not die, but just imagine that stress. It sucks! It feels like I can barely accelerate, I feel like a jerk in traffic because everyone wants to get going faster, but if I do, my battery will get dangerously low. The assist bars now fill completely when I do a slow acceleration- "this is also normal" for my "deteriorating" vehicle. Though deteriorating does suggest that this has been slowly happening, not that it SUDDENLY just lost 1/2 it's power.
    I'm pretty pissed off that Honda "fixed" my car, made it worse, and now is not only telling me it's normal, but that they didn't cause the problem.

    The car has yet to fully charge since I took it home from the dealership- and after my last visit I guess I'm not expecting it to... very sad!

    I talked to my mom a lot about it and she thinks it's cheaper to replace the battery (and possibly more) than it would be to replace the vehicle for a more reliable one- NOT honda. At this point I'm making the commitment to this stupid car. Now that I'm going to be sinking more thousands of dollars into this, I'm going to have to drive it until the wheels fall off- god knows how long that will be :/

    Good luck to anyone else with deteriorating HCH 1s! I hope that you have much better luck than I am.


  9. #18
    Guest

    That sounds like an

    That sounds like an extremely bad deal.
    1. 04 civics hybrids are plagued with transmission problems where the clutch has to have serious work with some every 40k miles--some of these cars develop a 'shutter' with the transmission
    2. the catalytic converters for most go about every 40k at a cost of 2k to repair
    3. the oxygen sensors go about 80k and cost about 1200 bucks (two of them)
    4. The battery (IMA) has to be replaced 80 to 100K miles at a cost of about 4K(unless you go to staten Island where a gent there refurbishes them at about $1500)

    I know....I have one with 204,000 miles and love it....but it is expensive, and the emissions in California and the extra things could make this not cost worthy....over 10K price with only a 12month or 12k mileage makes this a cash cow....

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