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Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: Problems & Solutions

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  • pinoypinoy Posts: 1
    Re: Lurching or bucking of HCH. I have an '03 HCH and its at the dealership right now for the third time. The first time I noticed the lurching when accelerating or even decelerating. I brought it in and the dealer replaced the catalytic converter which they said was the culprit. Then after about two weeks, the same thing happened. The dealer then said they had to replace the other catalytic (there's two of them it turns out). This time it happened again and I have'nt heard from them. Please, HCH owners, give us your input re this phenomenon. I was the one who convinced my wife to get a bybrid and now she won't use it, preferring my 94 Toyota Camry over it.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I'm no car engineer, but I can't see how a catalytic converter can affect the drivetrain. Did find this in the Forums:

    "You should have your service tech check the EGR valve. Many of us who have had "Bucking Civic Hybrids" have had it replaced and it stopped the bucking at low speed acceleration. I had it done on my 03 hybrid and it cured the problem. I would have thought they would have this in a technical bulletin by now"
  • As Larsb said, have the EGR valve checked. Replacing it cured my HCH and a number of other drivers have reported the same fix.
  • rtoddrtodd Posts: 2
    I have two problems and would like advice.
    #1 I just had the "software update" and this caused my "check engine" light to stay lit. The dealer told me that I needed to replace the ECM and this was done. I had finally started driving 55-60 MPH and had reached 50MPG. Since the "operation" I can only get 44 MPG and my batteries don't recharge as effectively. Can this be fixed?
    #2 My wife cannot start the car with her key now. My key still works. HUH???
  • I own a 2003 Civic Hybrid. I have 39,000 miles on it and ever since day one I have been experiencing a problem that when I accelerate the car will shake. It does not happen all the time
  • This is my first time on these forums. I have been experiencing a problem with the transmission that when I accelerate for a traffice light the car will shake. It does not happen all the time.
  • Did not explain whole problem before. Car sometimes has a tendenacy to shake sometimes when accelerating for a traffic light. Have brought it to dealer can not seem to pin point it.
    Has anyone heard of this please help.
  • beep1beep1 Posts: 2
    my HCH started lurching when i was driving at a constant rate, then it started shaking or grinding when i accelerated from a stop. A few days ago it let go. I had to drive 2 mph to get to a safe stop. Anything over 2 mph would get me up to about 5K rpm's. I took it in and the dealer said the transmission fluid had broken down, so they flushed and replaced it. They also said if it doesn't work I need a new transmission. The car seemed to need the flush, as it has fixed the grinding/shaking when i accelerate from a stop. But i have noticed the lurching at a constant speed is still there. It feels like slipping in the transmission. I am really worried it's going to fail again.
    Has anyone had a similar problem, or have any advise other than a complete replacement?
  • vix4vix4 Posts: 52
    My CVT (in a Honda GX) sort of surges back and forth when starting out from a stop. It feels like the cars is going faster/slower/faster/slower etc, eventhough I don't change the accelerator setting.
  • Well, I had the same problem with my '03 Civic Hybrid about a year-and-a-half ago, and they had to replace the CVT. I had about 96,000 miles on it at the time (I have a 140 mile round trip commute, all interstate 70 mph), but luckily Honda was nice and all I had to pay for was the labor (about $400). Now, the stupid transmission is doing the same thing at about 130,000 miles, and I'm still trying to convince the dealer it's the transmission. They changed the EGR valve and it did nothing (but I paid for it). Then, they hooked the computer to it and had me drive it home so they could record the surging. That was 2 weeks ago, and the dealer says they haven't heard back from Honda. Now, to top this all off, the IMA light came on. Took it to the dealer and they said the battery is going dead. That's about $2800 to replace. Truthfully, I wish I had never bought this car.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    My'04 began shaking with acceleration at around 28K miles. The maintenance at 30K requires the CVT fluid to be replaced which has fixed my problem. It's at 53K now and still going strong.
    Has everyone here with this trouble kept maintenance up to date?

    Brentbridge I'd request a meeting with the regional service manager, as he has more pull than the regular dealer manager.

    What did their computer record, since they say it wasn't the transmission?
  • vix4vix4 Posts: 52
    My transmission problems started at 15,000 and I'm not due for service for many more miles.

    Recently the transmission has been making a moaning type noise when I come to a stop. Passengers can feel the vibration when the transmission makes the noise.

    The dealer has been of little help.
  • vix4vix4 Posts: 52
    Does your transmission ever make any strange noises, like a low moaning noise?

    Sorry to hear about the battery problem, ouch!
  • Not really a moaning sound, but I have noticed this car make a strange noise at times, almost like that old "beeewwwuuuup" sound you used to hear in cartoons.

    Actually the service manager has been pretty good about helping. He hasn't charged me for all the diagnostic work they've done (after the EGR replacement didn't work). Last I talked to him early this week, Honda hadn't gotten back to him with the results of their analysis on the computer.

    By the way, the car only does the bucking and kicking thing on the interstate, usually about 70 mph and greater at about 3,000 rpm when you are trying to accelerate. If you press down further on the gas, enough to get it to go to 4,000 rpm, it usually comes out of it. However, it seems like it is starting to do it down in the 65 mph area too, now.
  • Every "first freeze of the season" my 03 HCH has appeared dead and required a jump start -- even a few minutes later at the dealer, they haven't been able to find anything wrong.

    Generally the problem has gone away every time I took the car to Honda, and not re-occurred again until the next warm-to-cold temperature shift.

    After 5 or so events, they told me the 12-volt "standard" battery was dead -- by being adamant, I got them to do it gratis.

    It's doing it again this weekend. I'm going to take it to them and leave it overnight (once I find jumpers long enough -- I've got it nose-in in the garage, and can't get it out of park)

    Tomaay, what was the outcome of your exhaustive trace?

    --gaffer
  • beep1beep1 Posts: 2
    well we have the exact same problem, please keep us informed of anymore news. maybe a class action suit could fix the problem - lol.
  • By the way, regarding the battery. I had them reset the IMA trouble light after they checked the code and found that the battery was going. It didn't come back on immediately, but after a few days it did. Then, a couple of days ago, it went out again on its own (this is about 3-4 days after it came back on). All during this time, the system has seemed to operate normally.

    If the battery does go, I doubt I'll get it fixed right away. I think they said it was about $2300, and that's with Honda paying for 25% of the parts. Or, I'll get it fixed and then sell the car.

    The service manager has said that if the transmission is the problem with the surging that he can't imagine I would have to pay for it as it started up again after only about 35,000 miles (about 1 year). He wouldn't promise anything, but that was his opinion of how Honda would see it. We'll see...
  • We've got a 2003 Hybrid. The emissions engine light will come on for a couple of tankfulls of gas and then go out. We're told it could be due to the gasoline cap not being secure. We secure it, wait a couple days and then make an appointment to have it checked. Once the appointment is scheduled, the silly light goes out. Any help or comments appreciated.
  • IMA light back on this morning. Still seems to operate normally. Sigh...
  • The one time that happened to my '03, I just finished the tank. The light went off with the next fill up. It does appear to result from not tightening the cap, so now I grit my teeth and crank it at least twice. So far, so good.
  • vix4vix4 Posts: 52
    I think I'll take the car back to Honda and have them check the transmission again, I'm getting really concerned about the reliability of this tranny. I'm still well within warranty so hopefully I can get the problems resolved.

    How much does an fluid change cost for the CVT fluid?
  • Am I the only one who is bothered that I can't tell when
    my 06 HCH is running on just the electric motor. Does
    anyone know more info on this. I guess the tach won't drop
    to zero because the engine is still turning when just
    on electric power and I am guessing the auto stop light
    dosen't come on either. Very dissappointing.
  • IMA light went OFF again this morning. Who knows?
  • Your car is a partial hybrid. It will not move the car on just the electric motor. Jim
  • No, thats what makes the 06 HCH different from the 05
    under certain low speed cruise conditions it will run
    on just the electric motor. Believe me I researched
    it thoroughly, check out the Honda website. Although
    its hard to know what those conditions are if you can't
    tell when its doing it.
    Den PGH
  • I went to the website. It says the electric motor can propel the car up to 35 miles per hour. I don't see where it's like the prius that starts out as an electric and then the ice kicks in on the fly. It's says when the car stops the idle stop, turns off the ice and when the brake is released the ice starts up. That would indicate that it is ice first and electric second. See what the dealer says, I would like to know also.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    You might want to read about the electric motor starting here through post #1536:

    tunes77, "Honda Civic Hybrid" #1504, 3 Dec 2005 9:05 am
  • I read all those posts. It looks like you are correct. If the right conditions are met, the new civic can run on electric only. Jim
  • The Civic is different then the Prius, it
    definitely won't start out from a stop with just electric
    the new feature is when cruising under low load conditions
    the gasoline engine will shut down. The Prius electric
    motors are much more powerful. The thing that upsets me
    is Honda must think buyers are stupid and don't care about letting the driver know what mode the car is in so they
    can adjust their driving habits accordingly.
  • Watch your instantaneous MPG gauge it will go to max (100
    mpg in an 06)and stay there, when the ice starts back up it will drop. The engine restarting is so subtle as to be almost undetectable but it does do it and the temp here was only 10 degrees F.
This discussion has been closed.