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Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: Problems & Solutions



  • This weekend, for the first time, I tried to parallel park my two-month-old '05 civic hybrid on a moderately (not very) steep hill, car pointed downhill. When I attempted to reverse up the hill in order to straighten out, fully in gear, I had NO power and rolled forward, right into the parked truck in front of me, denting my hood in the process. Only after gunning the engine and spinning my wheels for a few seconds was I able to back up and park, awkwardly--and the only reason I was able to do that was because my car was literally touching the car I'd hit, giving me leverage.
    This is huge, and dangerous. I live the Bay Area, and I don't feel comfortable driving on hills now. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there a solution? I'm actually considering trading it down for an EX.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    "Only after gunning the engine and spinning my wheels for a few seconds was I able to back up and park"

    If the wheels are spinning but you are still not able to move there must have been something obstructing your movement.
    Was your parking brake set?
  • I am new to this Honda forum, but am wondering about something. I am going to be getting my transmission fixed on my 03 Civic, its a manual, but was wondering if problems in the transmission can cause a severe, about 25% I figure, loss in gas mileage? I used to get close to 40 on the highway, driving 75-80 and over 40 on some back roads going 50-60, now I get around 28 maybe on the highway and interestingly enough about the same around town. It also gets a lot worse when I take it over 70MPH, which is the speed limit on the freeway around here. The engine is running as smooth as ever, the air filter is new and a K&N, the plugs are new, the engine oil is always changed on time, etc. I do not notice any loss of power, whether in town or climbing hills on the freeway. The car only has 48K on it. The noise coming from the transmission is a low grinding sound only heard at 1-3K RPM in 1st and 2nd, though it probably isn't heard after that because of general road noise. Thankfully I have an extended warranty on it which should pay to fix the transmission. So my question again, does a transmission problem drain gas mileage, because I have had manual transmission problems before where they did not drain the mileage, any help would be appreciated.

  • I bought my 2005 HCH this past July. Over the past few weeks the morning low temperature here in Connecticut have been in the high 20's and low 30's. I drive 18 miles each way to work. It seems that it takes forever for this car to warm up to normal operating temperature, (six bars on the thermostat indicator). My point is that I am freezing in my car for the first 18 minutes of my morning commute. I have been experimenting. If I begin my drive with no heat on the temperature gauge will indicate (six bars) a normal operating range within 5-6 miles from home. As soon as I see all six bars light up I turn the heat on full blast. In the next few minutes the coolant temperature indicator drops back down from six bars to four bars and remains at four bars which produces virtually no heat for another ten minutes unless I completely turn the heat off.
    I have two theories why this is happening. Either the thermostat is partially sticking open or that the car burns so little fuel that it just takes a very long time for the engine to warm up. I traded in a Ford F-150 pick up for this car so I could save some fuel but I don't want to freeze this winter. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • vix4vix4 Posts: 52
    I also have a rattle on the right side of the dash. I think it might be the passenger side air bag. I'm afraid to have it worked on because I don't want them to screw up the air bag, but then maybe the air bag is already messed up ???

    Didn't Honda recently have a recall for defective air bags or something to do with the air bag system?
  • I fixed my right-hand dash rattle by sticking a small piece of wood (a redwood chip from the garden) between the dash and the right front windshield piller. I recommend it -- and it's lots cheaper and more time-saving than having the dealership try to track it down.
  • wanawana Posts: 1
    Ditto. I use a toothpick on mine...About 4 inches up from bottom of windshield.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    This may have been addressed in this forum before. If so, please guide me to the posting. We do our own oil changes. The service interval light is on and I want to turn it off. Is there a simple mechanism to turn it off?? Can someone lead me through this?? Is there a reset tool to purchase??


  • rtoddrtodd Posts: 2
    I've been wondering why I've missed out on the
    "lurching," then realized I haven't. As I slow to a stop without foot on the clutch, my speed eventually reaches about 20MPH at which time the regenerative charging disengages. This causes the energy to revert back to the drive train creating a "lurch." This has been easily controlled and now expected. The "lurch" occurs just before the gas engine shuts down at about 19MPH.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Yep, I get that too. Completely normal behavior.
  • 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.
This discussion has been closed.