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  1. #1
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    2003 HCH battery gone kaput

    We have 96K miles on our manual 2003, and just discovered the battery is "overheating" and needs replacing at a cost of $3500. Has anyone ever heard of Honda assisting with the cost of this? Will it further damage the car to continue driving it like this or is it unsafe?

    Our commute is on fairly steep mountain roads requiring a lot of charging/assisting. Maybe HCH isn't suited to this kind of driving?

    Thank you!

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  3. #2
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    It has been reported that Honda has indeed provided assistance in the few cases we know of. It is worth to make a case for it.

    Please note, that most of the permature battery failures occurred mainly on Hybrids with manual transmissions. That is why Honda is now producing hybrids with CVT's because this way the battery management is properly controlled by the computer and not subject to the deep discharge cycles manual transmission users would subject their cars to.

    Since this happens to be an instance similar to the few others we've heard before I would say you stand a good change to get Honda to pick most of the Tab. Just apply the right pressure (kindly) and be persistent.

    Driving the car with a failing or failed battery will not damage it. It will just make the engine work harder.


    Cheers;

    MSantos

  4. #3
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    Honda helps with battery

    Hey there, thanks MSantos for your reply. Honda did indeed offer us the battery at half price, so its on order. We might trade it in for a newer Honda with CVT or a Prius. Since hybrids hold their value well, a brand new battery can only help.

    Cheers

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by singram View Post
    Hey there, thanks MSantos for your reply. Honda did indeed offer us the battery at half price, so its on order. We might trade it in for a newer Honda with CVT or a Prius. Since hybrids hold their value well, a brand new battery can only help.

    Cheers
    They'll probably update the BCM software as well, which should make the new battery last the life of the car and beyond.

    Please note that you cannot operate a Prius with a damaged or failed battery. Your HCH (including the newer HCH-2's) will continue to function like a normal car even if the electric hybrid components sustain a failure. Fortunately the Prius is a very reliable vehicle too.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  6. #5
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    Could you explain this a little more:

    They'll probably update the BCM software as well, which should make the new battery last the life of the car and beyond.
    Do you think a software update could make a difference in how much the battery discharges? Or something else?

    As i've said in a few posts, my IMA system has failed in my car and needs replacing. I wonder if it means it will fail again in another 4 years/70K miles from now, or if this new IMA will last longer. Like singram, I live in a mountainous area as well, and I'm starting to wonder if the HCH is not better suited to being some flatland vehicle.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkr View Post
    Could you explain this a little more:

    Do you think a software update could make a difference in how much the battery discharges? Or something else?

    ... Like singram, I live in a mountainous area as well, and I'm starting to wonder if the HCH is not better suited to being some flatland vehicle.
    Yes, in a few cases a BCM software update could make a difference on CVT equipped vehicles. On vehicles with a manual transmission the problem is not easily solved via software at all because so much is left to the driver.

    I would leave it to Honda to determine what measures are best when replacing your pack. You are definitely not alone on this issue. They may review and update any critical components (MCM, DC-DC,BCM, etc) in order to ensure longer battery life.

    Anyway, I too believe that today's hybrids are not "yet" a good long term choice for routine mountainous driving - mostly because they'll be forced to incur deep battery discharge cycles - that's life. The more of these cycles we incur, the shorter the battery life.

    However, in flatter topographies, hybrid vehicles really excel because the aggressive demands on the battery pack are not so deep and frequent. So yes that would be their ideal driving enviroment and it would be possible for the pack to last and even exceed the life of the vehicle.

    Cheers;


    MSantos

  8. #7
    [QUOTE=MSantos;11399]
    Anyway, I too believe that today's hybrids are not "yet" a good long term choice for routine mountainous driving - mostly because they'll be forced to incur deep battery discharge cycles - that's life. The more of these cycles we incur, the shorter the battery life.

    /QUOTE]

    Greetings from western Colorado, where this belief is being challenged daily by our two HCH's - a 2003 that has been going since October 2002, and a 2005 purchased in early 2005, both with manual transmissions. The older one is sneaking up on 50,000, with no evidence whatsoever that the batteries are getting tired.

    The amount of battery discharge experienced by these cars is regulated by the car's computer systems, intentionally at a level well in excess of full discharge. They are surely slow once the electric assist becomes unavailable, but that doesn't mean that the batteries are fully discharged or at risk. Loss of assist will happen to me at least twice driving to Denver (5 to 7 miles of 7% grade will do that to you), but it's also a trip that I routinely get 50 mpg on in good weather.

    Could not disagree more that current hybrids are not suited to mountain driving. All the Civic/Prius/Escape/Highlander/etc. owners around here would probably back me up on that. Carbondale, Colorado, where my office is, probably has more hybrids per capita than most any place on earth.

    Bill

  9. #8
    Bill,
    Do you have the manual or CVT transmission?

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill042845@aol.com View Post
    Could not disagree more that current hybrids are not suited to mountain driving. All the Civic/Prius/Escape/Highlander/etc. owners around here would probably back me up on that. Carbondale, Colorado, where my office is, probably has more hybrids per capita than most any place on earth.

    Bill
    That is good to hear Bill. That statement coming from an actual Honda Hybrid owner is definitely refreshing... especially when compared to what we hear from Honda's Technical Services and their service bulletins.
    So far however, and in their defense, they appear to have a rather large set of data backing them up to arrive to those conclusions.

    For the sake of accuracy, I should also note that the majority of battery failures recorded thus far all appear to occur at or AFTER 70,000 miles. From a purely statistical perspective I would say while you are doing very well, you are definitely not "out of the woods" yet.

    There's nothing more I would enjoy, than to hear that your batteries will beat the odds in that kind of regimen.

    Take care.


    MSantos

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ex-EV1 driver View Post
    Bill,
    Do you have the manual or CVT transmission?
    Manual in both cars.

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