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Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: Problems & Solutions

kjhansenkjhansen Posts: 11
edited March 20 in Honda
I am really wondering why Honda did these 2 goofy things on the Civic Hybrid;

1) When pulling the CVT Transmission's shift lever from the Reverse position toward the rear of the car, it doesn't stop at "D" position (like every other automatic transmission on the planet) but instead stops at "S"! So, I have to push the lever forward to "D", being carfull not to pop into "N".

2) Anytime you select defrost for the windshield the air-conditioner comes on and can't be turned off until you sellect something other that defrost!

The dealer seems to have no opinion about these 2 items which I feel are very annoying and should be changed on future models. The dealer suggested I contact Honda Customer Service, "they listen to customers" said the dealer. I called them and they weren't interested in feedback from me at all. After all, I'm just a customer, what possible recomendations could I have?

Does anyone else find these 2 items annoying?
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Comments

  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    My '00 Civic hatch turns the A/C on when defrost is used (most cars do) now for the CVT default being S I don't know why that is, seems it should go to D (drive) ?
  • Yes, My 1998 Accord did have the AC come on in the defrost position as well, but with that car you could turn the AC off, without moving off the defrost position??

    I looked a a new civic hybrid on the lot (I had bought mine used) at it does the same goofy thing with the shifting? Go Figure.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    2) Anytime you select defrost for the windshield the air-conditioner comes on and can't be turned off until you sellect something other that defrost!

    The reason Honda did that is that when you want to defog the windows you need dry air. A/c removes water from the air, and is better at defogging in the summer months. In the winter, the A/c pump is not engaged when the outside temperature is bellow 45°F-50°F.
    There is a work around this "feature" search the forums, I posted it a few years ago, and some other people did too. If my memory serves me correctly, "With the engine off turn all the knobs to the left (lowest setting), hold the A/c and "recirculation" buttons while turning the key to "on" position. The a/c light should blink, this will disable the "feature" on pre 2004 models. On 2004 and after, this will disable the a/c light, while the pump would still engage at 50°F and above when defog is selected.

    This will allow you to turn off A/c when in defog, even though it would turn on by default, still.
  • "it doesn't stop at "D" position (like every other automatic transmission on the planet) but instead stops at "S"!
    2) Anytime you select defrost for the windshield the air-conditioner comes on ===========================================

    My Dodge Shadow, Dodge Avenger, and Plymouth Caravelle all do *exactly* the same thing. What you describe is standard operation (in my experience).

    Troy
  • Thank you! I will try this. Any work around for the CVT shift lever stopping at S, instead of D?
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Thank you! I will try this. Any work around for the CVT shift lever stopping at S, instead of D?

    There has to be an indicator on the dashboard, use that as a guide. If you are really inclined to change the shift lock out. You can definatley take out the shifter lock out, drill new holes and move it up. This way it would stop at D instead of S, before you have to press the button. Since it is a CVT, there really no gears, the S is probably a computer program. If you hook up OBDII controller to the OBDII port, you can re program the D to S and the vise versa. It is all a matter of how much effort you want to put into it. Best solution of all, get a manual transmission. This way no computer or lock out mechanisms is dictating what gear you are in. You choose your own gears. :-)
  • Thank you! I will try this. Any work around for the CVT shift lever stopping at S, instead of D?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,628
    You WANT the A/C on with your defrost for the reason someone else stated. It's not going to blow cold air. It'll dry the air so your windows don't fog.

    As far as the shift lever? I've never heard of this before nor have I noticed it. I'll have to look next time I'm in a hybrid.
  • I found out at about the break-in period that my battery light came on in the morning between 10 minutes and a half hour. Originally it came on for about a second and now is on for up to five seconds. I video taped it because Honda would not believe it. The local dealer cannot resolve the problem and the Technical experts don't know what to do. Honda is still refusing to replace the car and may fly in a Technical Rep to work on it rather than replace it. The car is devalued for life even if they fix it. I put 1500 to 2500 miles a month on it and the warranty will run out. Can you imagine what it will cost to fix even a minor problem after the warranty and nobody will want to buy it. Beware of Honda. I went with them because I thought I would avoid this type of treatment. Lemon laws do not protect you. You end up getting what you could trade it in for, because most states allow them to charge you a use fee.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    The car is devalued for life even if they fix it.

    How do you figure it is devalued? It is devalued the second you drive it off the lot, not because it has been fixed. It is only devalued if it was in a wreck.

    Honda is still refusing to replace the car and may fly in a Technical Rep to work on it rather than replace it.

    I think they are doing what they are supposed to do, fix the error. If they can't fix it, then you have a case against them. You should, however, insist that they pay for the rental or give you a loaner while they have the car. And if it takes them 30 days or more, cumulativley, to find the cure, then you have a lemon case.

    You end up getting what you could trade it in for, because most states allow them to charge you a use fee

    I don't see your logic, if you can rack up the miles, that means the car is working. If you don't drive it because it is not working, then you don't get nicked for the miles. I think, currently they can charge $0.36/miles as per IRS calculations. This way if you do have a lemon, you only pay for what you used.
  • I need some help please. i took my car to get inspected and when they went to hook it up to the computer, nothing showed up on the computer. so they failed me and i have no idea whats wrong. Can you all help me on this please? i have no idea why nothing showed up on the computer.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,897
    Tom,
    Welcome to the Forum. You got into the Civic hybrid thread. You may get more response in the regular Honda Civic threads. See if you find what you are looking for in these links... Good Luck.

    /WebX?ed_displayMakeModelRelatedD- iscussions@@.ee6b280!make=Honda&model=Ci- vic
  • My Honda Civic Hybrid only averages about 40mpg when it was estimated to average 48-50 mpg. Is anyone else having this problem? Any solutions?
  • jifjif Posts: 23
    the epa estimates for all cars are done in a lab under ideal situations. your real world mpg will depend on your driving habits as well as your environment. BTW i used to sell hondas and have logged many miles in the hybrids and 40mpg sounds about average for real world fuel economy.

    to get the optimal efficencey try driving w/ no a/c and the windows up w/ gradual acceleration
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,897
    Welcome to the forum. Your mileage is at the low end of the spectrum. If you check out greenhybrid.com you will find others that get mid 30s to high 50s in their HCH. If you are around town that is probably an OK figure. Out on the highway you should get high 40s.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    After 31K miles the only thing I am having problems with are rattles.

    They made the HCH the quietest riding Civic with extra padding, sound dampeners in the frame and all which makes a nice quiet ride.

    Minimum road noise is nice but for the various rattles.

     

    I've had it in the dealer 3x now for LOUD rattles on the top dash near the passenger airbag, 2x for rattles in the exact opposite side of the dash, and 2x for rattles in the passenger door.

    The car bagan to rattle as I was driving it home new.

    I seldom listen to any radio at all and sometimes it is just annoying.

    I've even tape-recorded the rattles and played them for the Honda tech and it's either that they just don't care or their repairs for this just don't work.

    Now something is rattling in the back. Hopefully it's just the spare jack.
  • jifjif Posts: 23
    This is a problem you sould not be having in your new HCH.

     

    unfortunately it sounds like your service advisor is slacking on you for some reason.

     

    my advice try another honda store.

     

    you can get warranty claims taken care of at any honda dealership in the USA.
  • The Honda Civic Hybrid has a high-compression engine and anti-knock sensing. Honda recommends that you run regular gas which probably is on the edge of knocking anyway. If the gas in your area or at your local station ain't so great, the engine will retard timing to prevent knocking - making your engine less efficient, less powerful, and lowering mileage.

     

    Try using the next grade up of gas.

     

    I was running 47 mpg on regular (86 octane here) and when I put 88 octane in, my mileage jumped 7 mpg to 54 mpg.

     

    This could be the source of a number of reports of lower than expected mileage.

     

    At $2.00 gas and with the difference between 86 and 88 octane being only $0.10 here, I end up saving $0.20/gallon by the increase in mileage. ($0.30 gross savings less the $0.10 price difference).

     

    Please try a higher grade gas and let us know if that fixes it for you.

     

    It seems that the hybrid people in general are now able to tell which gas stations are selling good gas and which aren't - just by monitoring mileage.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,897
    the engine will retard timing to prevent knocking - making your engine less efficient, less powerful, and lowering mileage.

     

    Pretty amazing technology IMO. I read where the Toyota Sienna gained several HP by using Premium even though they say to use regular unleaded. Something else to consider is gas does lose octane just sitting in the tank. I wonder if an octane booster would give the same effect as buying the next grade of gasoline.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I can't believe that moving up to higher octane fuel can provide a 7 mpg jump in an HCH.

     

    Other sites which montior these Hybrids closely and have virtually every tip ever discovered have NOTHING about this being true.

     

    Not to mention the hundreds of articles I have read reviewing and discussing Hybrids cars, none of which has mentioned this "trick."

     

    I ran a Google search and could not find ONE POST on a forum ANYWHERE that confirms, with multiple users, that this would happen. I found a lot which said higher octane fuel has NO effect.

     

    For the sake of discussion, I will test it myself though. I'm going to fillup my HCH tonite or tomorrow and I will "bite the bullet" and spend an extra dollar or two to try higher octane fuel and I will post my MPG for this last tank and my next tank. I *WILL* notice a 7 mpg increase if it occurs....
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,897
    I can't believe that moving up to higher octane fuel can provide a 7 mpg jump in an HCH.

     

    I think he only went up to mid-grade unleaded. It is probably worth a try. I have never noticed a difference in larger engines like my Suburban. That automatic sensing to prevent knocking is intriguing. What will they come up with next?
  • 7 mpg is high, but an increase with higher octane is not surprising. The hybrid engine is high compression & can run more efficiently on high-octane fuel.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    That automatic sensing to prevent knocking is intriguing. What will they come up with next?

     

    How about adjusting Valve lift, Timing and duration Electronically Controlled depending on the engine load? Oh, wait a minute, Honda has had it since 1991 in the infamous VTEC system!

    How about we forward or retard timing depending on the throttle position and speed? Oh wait, Honda developed i-VTEC which does just that!

    Maybe they should make the cars run on hydrogen extracted from Ethanol? Oh, Honda developed FCX a couple of years ago that does just that!

    How about we create a humanoid robot to help with house hold chores? Wait a minute, Honda created AZIMO back in 2001 just for that, and has finally taught it English so it can be showcased in US!

     

    Welcome to the world of Honda Engineering.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,897
    Don't forget the i-CDTI one of the most advanced diesel engines available. And don't forget my favorite HES II. I want to be the first on the block to have one.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    So far, only about 5 REAL problems on this forum in about 50 days.

     

    That seems to indicate a pretty solid car.
  • verjoeverjoe Posts: 1
    Hello all,

     

    I just took my hybrid (2004) in for it's 10K service and since I've had it back for two days now it won't shut off when I come to a stop. The button is selected for the car to shut off, and it worked fine prior to going into the shop. When I called they said the temperature can have a lot to do with its shutting off. But the temperature is the same now as before I dropped it off. The only things done were the normal 10k service, and front end alignment. They said they did nothing that would have caused this, and to bring it in.

     

    Any thoughts, suggestions?
  • Maybe they disconnected the thermometer? Without that, it won't turn off.

     

    troy
  • I'm thinking about buying either a 2005 hybrid Civic or Accord. I have a few questions.

     

    1. Is there any disadvantage to the manual transmission in the hybrid? The Accord hybrid doesn't offer MT but the Civic does.

     

    2. Other than size/luxury/price tag, are there other advantages/disadvantages to the Accord vs the Civic?

     

    3. With either vehicle is there any problem with the vehicle discharging if left standing for a month?

     

    Thanks for the info.

     

    Roxanne
  • mautomauto Posts: 75
    Since Honda uses a more primitive hybrid system (mild) unlike the more advanced (stong) system in the Prius which can run on battery alone, the discharging problem shouldn't affect the Hondas. If the hybrid battery is dead in either Honda hybrid, the engine will quickly charge the pack.

     

    Personally, I wouldn't buy the HCH, not becuase it's a hybrid, but because it's a Civic and thus not a very rewarding drive compared to, say, a Mazda 3. The HAH (Accord) at $30K is simply overpriced and apart from its decent power, also suffers from a less than sizzling driving experience. I'd go with a Mazda 6 V6 and forget hybrid technolgy for now.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    "Honda uses a more primitive hybrid system (mild) unlike the more advanced (stong) system in the Prius"

     

    If you are confusing more complicated with more advanced you are right. Prius uses many more parts to get about the same average MPG as Honda's simpler system.

     

    "Personally, I wouldn't buy the HCH, not becuase it's a hybrid, but because it's a Civic and thus not a very rewarding drive"

     

    There are plenty of Civic write-ups and reviews showing a nice, comfortable ride and stable driving. Civic's even have a superior double wishbone independent rear suspension.

    In regards to roxannelsm's quest for HCH vs Accord info, I'm not sure why you are trashing the Civic and glorifying Prius other than trolling for conflict.

     

    I know the Prius is known for blowing in a cross wind, a ride provided by it's cheap trailing arm rear suspension, and steering wander on the highway.

     

    I'm not saying Prius is a bad car, it's really quite nice and mechanical marvel.

     

    roxannelsm's question was in regards to Civic or Accord.

    1. I am not aware of any disadvantage of a MT. The Accord has a traditional 5 speed auto transmission, while the Civic uses the CVT which doesn't shift and is smoother. I drive the CVT version but wish I had a MT for more control. It's personal preference.

     

    2. I went over the hybrid Accord features at:

    http://automobiles.honda.com/models/specifications_full_specs.asp- - - - - - - - ?ModelName=Accord+Hybrid&Category=ALL

     

    I looked for features that are not on the HCH.

     

    Accord will have a better ride, as it has double wishbone suspension on all 4 wheels (More advanced rear double wishbone).

    It has Dual-Stage, Dual-Threshold Front Airbags,

    Side Curtain Airbags, Traction Control System.

    Dual-Zone Hybrid Automatic Climate Control System (Civic is single zone),

    Available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition,

    Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel,

    Illuminated Steering Wheel-Mounted Controls,

    Telescopic Steering Column,

    HomeLink® Remote System,

    Premium Interior Accents,

    Illuminated Vanity Mirrors,

    Sunglasses Holder,

    Electronic Remote Trunk Release,

    Leather-Trimmed Seats and Door Panel Inserts,

    Heated Front Seats,

    8-Way Power Driver's Seat,

    120-Watt AM/FM/6-Disc In-Dash CD Changer Audio System,

    XM® Satellite Radio,

    Remote Power Window Control,

    Chrome Window Trim.

     

    Over at green hybrid's MPG database 5 Accord hybrids are entered, and averaging 24MPG.

    Not very many to go on, but that's their average.

    HCH gets better MPG. There are 63 Civics entered and the average over all of them is 47MPG, almost twice that of the Accord.

     

    3. No problems with parking it over a month's time.
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