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05-15-2011 07:31 PM #281
I have a 2006 Civic Hybrid.
I have a 2006 Civic Hybrid. I too have had problems with my IMA battery going bad. The battery seemed to last about 2 years and I was averaging over 50 MPG with no problems. Then the car started to regen about once a week where it would drop to 2 bars and slowly regen to full. Last year in May, my wife and I visited my daughter and her family in Arizona. We live in North Carolina and drove round trip. While traveling with the A/C on, and outside temp being close to 100 degrees, I noticed that the charge would be down to 2 bars and the car was very sluggish with little power to climb hills. I had to shut off the A/C just to have the car charge up. Needless to say, the wife was not happy traveling in the heat with no A/C. When we returned home, we had a notice from Honda about the firmware update. I elected not to have it done. Then the Recall for the Voltage Converter came in, I had that done. At the same time I talked to the sales person who imformed me that Honda will be replacing our current battery with a lithium-ion battery on the new 2012 models. When I got home, I faxed Honda asking if the new type battery will fit into the older models. I received a call back from Honda and the person stated no I can not utilize that battery in my 06. I beleive this is BS for I do not beleive Honda would change the whole Hybrid system just for the battery. I think it is just the opposit, they changed the defected battery with a newer one. Oh, by the way, right now my car regens atleast once if not twice a day. It would go down to 2 bars, start charging, and when it got to halve way up the scale, it would suddenly climb to full charge. Mind you I would not have any assist till full charge was met. I also received a Honda customer service survey in the mail and answered it in a very negative way. I disagreed with the outstanding quality and service that Honda provides and deffinately will not recommend to anyone to purchase a Hybrid from Honda till they get the system streight. Awaiting class action lawsuit, sign me up.
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05-17-2011 03:18 AM #282
I took my Civic to the
I took my Civic to the dealership Sat for service. I mentioned the problem I was having with my hybrid assist and that I had a new battery installed the first of the year. First thing they mentioned was the software update they did last Aug and this morning I found out what that update actually did. The service center told me that they "lobotomized the computer" and loaded all new software. I understand this changed the entire hybrid operating system in a way that favors use of the combustion engine more and the hybrid system less. They told me this would fix the system when they installed it. However, this update this was not meant to fix the system, it was designed to make our batteries last longer. The weather was cool today and my car almost ran the way it should.
I got an email from Consumer Reports this morning in response to a report I sent them on my civic and it was very encouraging. I know they have heard about this and they are forwarding information they receive to their testing and editorial editors. We all need to report this problem to as many people as we can (Consumer Reports, http://www.autosafety.org., http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov, and your State Attorney General's Office)
I called this law-firm Fri night.
I just wanted a quick consult. I talked to them for over two hours. I know this is going to take time, so we need to organize.
We need a Facebook page where we can all get together.
Let's do this.
05-17-2011 11:09 PM #283
The IMA and Check Engine
The IMA and Check Engine light came on and Brickell Honda is telling that they have a recall on 2006-2007 Hybrid for electrical system, not the battery. Also, i have been losing MPGs for a couple of years now (barely 30MPG)
05-18-2011 01:09 PM #284
05-27-2011 02:03 AM #285
Well, folks the first time I
Well, folks the first time I read this forum I had no idea how current the information was as the recent posts appear at the bottom of the page, rather than the top.
I just got back from the local dealer, Blount Honda in Leesburg, Florida. I own a 2006 Civic Hybrid which I purchased used from the estate of a client. The car had only 3000 miles on it. As with most of you, I was in love with the car at first. As many of you have expressed, the MPG in the beginning was good, although I expected much more from a hybrid. I was averaging between 41 and 42 MPG. Most of my driving is local. I did achieve 48 MPG on a long trip.
At the same time I noticed a big drop in battery performance and MPG when the weather turned really hot outside. As the weather cooled and the MPG picked back up, I became a bit more forgiving about the performance of my HCH.
After a 1 1/2 year of driving and relatively good MPG, I received a letter from Honda advising me to take the car to the dealer for a software "update". Since I wanted to take the car to the shop anyway to have them check the "slippage" I observed while doing some hard acceleration recently, I thought it would be a good time to take care of both. Of course, they could not find anything wrong with the car. Almost immediately I noticed a drop of 4 MPG after the "update".
The cars MPG has continually trended downward.
I have taken the car to the dealership a couple more times for routine maintenance. Each time I did so, I would tell them about the poor performance of the IMA system. There was another software "update" made during one of the later visits. This last time I asked them to inspect the electrical and mechanical components of the system (rather than simply plug it into the computer). Once again, the can find nothing wrong. Of course, they claim the battery was fully charged and the system was operating as designed. The blame the drop in MPG to the new Michelin tires I put on the car.
Needless to say, after I left the dealership and drove a couple miles on a flat road, the batteries were nearly completely drained which prompted me to revisit your site.
It is interesting that the comments posted here come from all over the country and yet many of you have similar stories. It is also interesting to hear that many dealerships have the some attitude and response to this problem with the Civic Hybrid IMA and the battery pack. It seems rather obvious that Honda Motor Company is doing its best to "encourage" its dealers to avoid confronting the IMA and battery problems. I am perplexed why the dealers refuse to address the problem. After all, you would think that HMC would cover the cost of any parts and batteries the dealers had to replace while the car is under warranty. My dealer just billed HMC $825 to replace a part related to the IMA under a recall notice.
I am looking forward reading the results of the Consumer Reports investigation should they take up the issue. I believe I will write HMC and complain.
Do any of you know any local (Florida) non-dealer shops who have experience with the HCH and could do an independent evaluation of the IMA system and batteries? I think our best bet is to have the problems we have identified verifed by a third party; then present it to Honda.
05-28-2011 10:42 AM #286
I have a 2005 HCH with about
I have a 2005 HCH with about 100,000 miles, bought in CA. The check engine and IMA lights both went on about 6 months ago. We are stationed at a military base in Italy and the Navy car dealers charged me $200 to reset the lights (came on again) and then tell me to take it to the dealer.
We called American Honda (who refuse to use email, even though we are on opposite time zones) and then took it to a local Honda dealer, who said there was nothing wrong, and reset the lights, which came on again 2 days later.
After many unsatisfying calls to Honda, they said it was going to cost $7,000 to get a new battery to Italy, and they would not cover it on warranty because we took the car out of the US. Hello - Honda is an international company. Further, its not like we had a choice - my husband has served 20 years and is in a war zone right now. Like we need more stress.
My question is - what happens when the battery dies? We have no way to replace it. Without Honda America's help, Honda Italy won't have a clue how to replace this battery. Honda America helped them do the software patch, so they could help if they wanted to. But I have little faith in Honda Italy because they told me that there is nothing wrong with the car when even I know that having the engine and IMA lights on for 6 months indicates that something is wrong. The car drives fine, the lights are the same as ever on the battery and it gets about 40 mpg.
Has anyone just refused to pay the $3500 and let the battery die? What happens - does the car not start or die on the freeway? Or is there anyway to revert to a petrol car? I don't care about the mileage, I care about having a reliable car. I have two kids and a deployed husband. For $7,000 I can buy a Fiat that I can get serviced here.
05-28-2011 10:28 PM #287
I have a 2006 HCH, and up
I have a 2006 HCH, and up until a year ago I have LOVED this car. But after the IMA light came on I took it to the dealer and they did a software update to "fix" the problem. But this only caused more problems, and it seams to only get worse. It will not go up a hill at all. If you stop at a stop sign that is on a hill, or better yet live in SF like I do and have to stop at a light on a hill it will not go! I live on a hill and there are many streets I can not drive on because it simply will not go up them, I almost got stuck on one when the car would not go forward, I was really lucky that there was no one behind me and I could just let it crawl up the hill. But at one point I thought I was going to roll backwards. I took it to the dealer and they told me to call honda, so I called honda and they said they have never heard of such a problem and that they couldn't do anything for me. From reading all the posts I can only assume that my battery is starting to fail. The only problem is I don't have the 3K to fix it. I would never buy a HCH again, and I am thinking of selling it and buying something else.
05-31-2011 07:22 PM #288
My wifes 2005 Honda Hybrid
My wifes 2005 Honda Hybrid IMA and check engine light is coming on with increasing frequency. You appear to have a cheaper solution - we live in Washington, DC area. Please contact me with details.
06-01-2011 10:30 PM #289
I live in Georgia and drive
I live in Georgia and drive an '04 Honda Civic Hybrid at around 145,000 miles (bought it 4 years ago around 80-90k miles). Within the past 4 months, I've had to replace the catalytic converter, IMA battery, and the compressor (and belt). Add to that, replacing the brakes and 4 new tires this past month, it has indeed been an expensive year. The catalytic converter was around $1300 (labor fees & taxes included), and the compressor & belt will be around $1000 (labor & taxes included, but it's still in the shop, so I may be able to talk them down a little). The IMA battery was originally $2800 (labor fees & taxes included), but Honda contributed (when asked) and knocked it down to about $1900 (labor & taxes included). DEFINITELY ask/insist the dealer [to] check with Honda about warrenties on the battery because I believe they should last 150k miles, and as mine was not quite 145k, Honda stayed true to it. I think my car would have been worth about $4,000 without repairs, but there's no way I would have been able to afford a new hybrid vehicle, so I decided to replace everything.
With regular maintenance and upkeep, it seems at 7 years old and 145k miles, the parts begin needing replacing, so sell it BEFORE then if you don't want to deal with all of that. However, I've had no troubles with it until now and continue to get around 40 mpg. I LOVE driving, and it's been a great car for all the traveling to Colorado, Maryland, etc. I've done and will continue to do with this car. It SHOULD last me another 50-150k miles, but you will certainly hear from me if it does not.
Take Away Message:
- Great, reliable car
- Parts last 7 yrs/140-145k miles
- Ask dealership about warrenties from Honda on parts (ESPECIALLY the IMA battery)
06-02-2011 04:25 PM #290
OK, This is a huge posting
This is a huge posting page, so I don't know how many people will read this, but I know exactly what the problem is, and why it's hard for the dealership to diagnose.
The hybrid battery is made up of "sticks" of what look like 6 D-cell batteries (There are 72 sticks I think) soldered end to end. The sticks are then inserted into the battery carriage and wired together to form the whole battery.
The cause of the problem is that like any rechargable battery, the individual cells crystalize over time, and the ion channels get blocked. When this happens, the cell no longer functions as a batttery and can't hold a charge.
The result of this problem is that the owner sees fast discharges and lower "full charge" displays on the dashboard (sound familiar anyone???). The problem gets worse over time as more individual cells fail.
The problem with the dealerships is that they can't (won't) pull each stick to identify bad cells within each stick, they only look at the whole thing. They're tester will show voltage (which will be more or less correct) and aperage (also will display more or less correct unless there are LOTS of bad cells), so they deny that anything is going on beyond normal operations. Meanwhile you've got bad cells and more failing over time.
Unfortunately, there's no way to reverse the crystalization process. If you're good with electronics, you could pull and test each individual stick and replace each one that has bad cells. Over time you're going to wind up replacing the whole battery if you take this approach.
My advice is to avoid purchasing ANY used hybrid, and sell yours right around the end of the battery warranty. Sorry, that's terrible advice, but it's the reality of battery performance.