Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Honda Civic Hybrid

1262729313250

Comments

  • mautomauto Posts: 75
    I'm not saying Honda techs are incapable, but the IMA is still a rarity, and cannot be serviced by an independant mechanic yet. When hybrids become as popular as non-hybrids, count me in. Until then, I'll be happy to pump in the extra $2/tank it costs me to run my EX over the hybrid.

    I'm still trying to see how the Civic HX fits into the whole picture. It's highway mileage is almost as good as the HCH at a considerable lower price. I had a 97 HX which I liked but had no cruise. So I guess after many owners complained, they added cruise, but in true Honda fashion, took away the power windows.
  • The HCH handles very well on its low-rolling resistance tires. I drove a 1998 Honda Prelude previously. The Prelude won a handling competition in Car & Driver as "the best-handling car under $30,000."

    It's interesting to note that since the Prelude and prior to the HCH, I drove and quickly passed on to my wife a Toyota Camry SE V6. The Camry, even without low-rolling resistance tires, truly handled boing-ily and, especially, numbly.

    The HCH gets nicely close to the '98 Prelude in terms of both raw handling and driver feel.

    And it gets close to 50 miles per gallon in the process..........
  • mautomauto Posts: 75
    Well since the HCH has exactly the same suspension setup and tuning (except for the 14" rims) as the EX which I drive, I can say that my EX is no prelude - not even close. The Civic (all trim levels except Si) isn't a bad handling car, but I'm sure your mentioning "Prelude" in the same sentence will produce a few chuckles amongst the readers of these posts.

    You won't get any arguements about your description of the handling of the Camry.
  • dselldsell Posts: 18
    Ill have to agree with the "HCH handling worse than the Prelude" camp. I have only drivin a 1990 Prelude, but I would trust it much more around a hairpin curve than an HCH or an EX stock. In my opinion, the HCH does corner well with the skinny little tires, but it has a much higher center of gravity than the Prelude had. On the freeways I find the HCH rear suspension a bit spongy over small dips.

    The Camry has never catered to those who want a good cornering car. When I rented a 2000 Camry for a week, it bothered me how much the car pitched front to back when accelerating and braking. I felt like I was driving a Ford Bronco.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778
    Well, this isn't exactly true. Honda has had IMA cars on the market for five years now and they have sold a lot of them. Hardly a rarity at this point. Independants are more than capable of working on them as well provided they have taken the time and trouble to know what they are doing.

    I too, am puzzled as to WHY honda continues to produce the HX! I'll bet it's been five years since I've sold one! By the time A/C gets added they cost almost as much as an EX!
  • Corporate Honda is now pissing me off. They refuse to give me a new car. They are actually thinking of flying in a Technical Expert. My warranty will not last that long with the miles I am putting on it. Just think how much it will cost me to have a Technical Expert flown in to resolve a minor problem after the warranty runs out. For all of you thinking of buying one, I would get a Prius, if I were you.
  • You got that right mauto. I wish I could have read your message before I purchased mine. To all those who think Honda will do the right thing, think again. They are putting me through hell.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    If the battery light comes on it is probably the battery that will last forever. Maybe one of these hybrid gurus can give you the voltage you should see across a fully charged NiMH battery. The Battery is made by Panasonic and should have a part number on it. It is probably an OEM Part number so it will take a bit of research to find the specs on it. The dealer probably does not want to get involved as they don't want to replace a $5000 battery. Isn't your warranty on the battery 100k miles? You cannot have near that many miles yet.
    PS
    DO NOT let them put anything but OEM battery in the car. All batteries are not created equal by a long shot.
  • dselldsell Posts: 18
    If you think a Prius is any easier to understand for a Toyota tech, you are fooling yourself. We all feel for ya man! All I can offer at this point is keep all documentation for this problem, and keep the number for your small claims court handy. Good luck with the Tech Expert... I hope he can fix it.

    Please keep us updated with the news. I too am a high-mileage user of the HCH. 9000 miles since September and no problems yet. <knock on wood>
  • mautomauto Posts: 75
    "For all of you thinking of buying one, I would get a Prius, if I were you. "

    I think everyone IS getting a Prius based on the fact that you can't buy one for many months, but you CAN have your choice of HCH on the dealer lot - same day delivery.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, in regard to the choice of an HCH or a Prius, remember these facts:

    1. Prius is a larger car inside and out, and not in the "compact" class like the HCH.
    2. HCH is usually WAY cheaper and less equipped than a Prius. MAXXED OUT HCH is about 22K out the door, and with the prices Priuses are going, you can easily get up to 30K with a Prius.
    3. HCH looks more like a "regular" car, so if you could care less about advertising your Green-ness, then the HCH is fine.

    The Prius and HCH do not really "compete" against one another directly because they are different classes of cars and fit different lifestyles and price ranges.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    While you can raise concerns about IMA and any issues related to it for its rarity (as in: not as popular as non-IMA cars), you could do the same about CVTs (as in Civic HX).

    Electric motors are sturdier than ICE, and are actually easier to work on than any gasoline or diesel engine. It is just a matter of understanding "electrical engineering".
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Prius is a larger car inside and out, and not in the "compact" class like the HCH.

    HCH and Prius are virtually identical on the outside and inside (a small edge goes to Prius). EPA classification of cars based on size (sub compact versus compact versus mid size versus full size) is based off, not only the cabin volume but also the cargo space. So, a sedan with 94 cu ft cabin with 10 cu ft trunk space would quality as a compact (< 110 cu ft combined) whereas a sedan/hatchback with 94 cu ft cabin and 16 cu ft trunk space would get classified as a mid size.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778
    Cars that have problems aren't simply exchanged like you would a toaster. They are REPAIRED under warranty. The fact that Honda is going to the trouble and expense to fly out an expert shouldn't be pissing you off!

    You think a Prius will never, ever have a tough to figure out problem?

    Any car can have problems.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778
    gagrice...how can you state that the problem is "probably" the battery? Even if this is the case, the dealer sure doesn't care since it's covered by warranty. And...5000.00???

    This is how rumors get started.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,371
    Cars that have problems aren't simply exchanged like you would a toaster. They are REPAIRED under warranty

    Yup, and that's why auto manufacturers have such a bad reputation. If a problem develops in a product and can be repaired quickly and permanently, then that is fair. However, if a problem develops, and recurs again after maybe 2 attempts at repair, the product should be replaced and the problem resolved on the manufacturer's time. That goes for anything; toasters, cars, whatever. If someone buys a product in good faith, they deserve better than to have to repeatedly try to get it into the condition that it should have been in in the first place.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • To my understanding that the milage you posted when you initially having the car problem is the milage they go by. Honda can not deny your claim of warrenty problem because you rolled into shop at 0.1 mile over the warrenty while you've had stated your claim long before that. This has happened to my Odyssey transmission, and they took care of it.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    how can you state that the problem is "probably" the battery? Even if this is the case, the dealer sure doesn't care since it's covered by warranty. And...5000.00???

    Very simple. The battery light keeps coming on, that is the complaint. Either test the battery to see if it will take a full charge or replace it if they don't have a mechanic with a volt meter. As far as the battery price, you tell me what the replacement price is for a new OEM battery for that car. I was repeating a price I saw a few months back. Hybrid parts seem to be a company secret that is hard to squeeze out of the dealers. Maybe because they are very expensive.
  • mautomauto Posts: 75
    ... and maybe because if the consumer knew the cost of hybrid replacement parts before buying the car, they would run from the Honda dealer down to their Hyundai dealer to buy a $10,000 Elantra. :)

    By the way. Are those alloys on the HCH butt-ugly or what? I hope Honda designed them for aerodynamic efficiency and not because they thought they were stylish.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,797
    Very simple. The battery light keeps coming on, that is the complaint. Either test the battery to see if it will take a full charge or replace it if they don't have a mechanic with a volt meter. As far as the battery price, you tell me what the replacement price is for a new OEM battery for that car. I was repeating a price I saw a few months back. Hybrid parts seem to be a company secret that is hard to squeeze out of the dealers. Maybe because they are very expensive.
    I am pretty sure the batteries in the HCH are similar to Insight, which were 144 D-cells. Since they are made by Panasonic, both Costco and BJ's sell them for cheap. Those are high efficiency 2300 mAh AA batteries, haven't seen D-cell. I am sure, by the time the warranty is up on the HCH, you can simply go to Costco or BJ's and buy whatever you need to replace the D-cell batteries in DIY setting. There is nothing more complex about the HCH than an R/C toy. And you see kids, including my self building those in DIY settings. There are new Ni-MH batteries from Sanyo with 7500 mAh capacities out there hitting R/c market. I am sure, those can be adopted for HCH.
  • Hi All -

    Does anyone know if the "air cleaner element" mentioned in the HCH Owner's Manual is the same thing as an air filter?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    the air cleaner element is the internal cabin air filter, located under the dash on the passenger side.

    That is a different animal than the engine air filter.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    Since they are made by Panasonic, both Costco and BJ's sell them for cheap.

    Getting them at Costco may be a stretch. If they are the only "D" size NiMH 6500 Mah cell that Panasonic lists on their website. They can be purchased from Digikey part # HHR-650DA08. I have used Digikey for Panasonic UPS battery replacements. They have as low a price as any place I have found for batteries on the web. They have them in stock for $18.75 each. It may save someone a lot of money vs buying from Honda. That is still $2700 wholesale for that battery.

    http://www.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?KeywordSearch

    http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/battery/oem/images/pdf/Panaso- nic_NiMH_HHR650D.pdf
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Could you take a guess about how can automakers afford to charge only $2-3K premium for the hybrid set up if battery pack itself costs $5K?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, for one thing, the manufacturer does not pay anywhere NEAR $5K for the battery from the supplier.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    That has been a big question mark from the start. We have heard all different prices for the battery. I am sure Toyota & Honda do not pay $18.75 a piece for those D cells when they buy them by the 100s of thousands. I would like to see one of the batteries as it is used in the hybrid. I would imagine that the cells are tied in series with straps that are spot welded on each end of the cell. If they are spot welded it will be difficult to change one cell if it goes bad.

    In your research have you ever seen the price of that replacement battery from Honda?

    They do save money on the smaller ICE. I am sure that is taken up with that electric motor that cannot be cheap. Plus all the electronics that make it work together. I think they are still building them at a loss or very thin margin.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    How much money do you think Honda would save over a more specialized (lower volume) 1.3 i-DSI compared to a higher volume 1.7? I would say, hardly, if at all. Then add the costs of adding IMA, battery pack and all the controls that are needed. Besides, HCH has nicer interior and more sound proofing to go with it. In the end, the premium is nowhere close to $5K which is the often rumored price from sources that want to make a hoopla about something. Remember: when you go to a store that has sale, you are often quoted &#147;as low as&#148; price, never &#147;as high as&#148;. Reverse the logic, and you get the point.

    As for the batteries themselves, I&#146;m sure Honda/Toyota get it cheaper in bulk than a typical customer would. However, $5K price tag is just too far fetched IMO. To get real numbers, you&#146;ve to ask real people who deal with it on an everyday basis, or have at least owned a hybrid for a relatively long time. As for pricing, just wait and see, how competition creeps in, likely not unlike after market stuff that people spend money on.

    And no, I don't think Honda/Toyota are losing money on hybrids.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,797
    Getting them at Costco may be a stretch. If they are the only "D" size NiMH 6500 Mah cell that Panasonic lists on their website. They can be purchased from Digikey part # HHR-650DA08. I have used Digikey for Panasonic UPS battery replacements. They have as low a price as any place I have found for batteries on the web. They have them in stock for $18.75 each. It may save someone a lot of money vs buying from Honda. That is still $2700 wholesale for that battery.

    http://www.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?KeywordSearch

    http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/battery/oem/images/pdf/Panaso- nic_NiMH_HHR650D.pdf


    $18.75x144=2700 retail. Figure the store marks it up 30%, then wholesale is $12.18. Volume buyer like Honda probably gets it for under $10.00 $10.00x144=$1440.00 for the battery pack.

    Figure competition from Sanyo, that has a 9000 mAh battery out (in C size cell) will drive the prices lower. And then Chinese manufacturers, who just recently entered Ni-MH market with their "Powerizer" battery, will drive the prices further down. I just bought 24 "Powerizer" AA 2300 mAh cells for $25 with free shipping at http://www.batteryspace.com. I tested them at work. Fresh they can hold almost 3000 mAh. A D cell from them would probably be close to 9000 mAh, and cost about $3.

    Even if the batteries are spot welded, they can be replaced. There are lots of R/C places that match cells and spot weld them into packs.

    Edit Just found the D-cells from "Powerizer"
    http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&Pro- dID=711&HS=1 comes out to $4.50/cellx144=$648 to replace the whole battery tray in HCH with higher capacity 9500 mAh Ni-Mh batteries, today. By the time the batteries need replacing in most Hybrids the prices will be lower and capacity will be higher.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    Just found the D-cells from "Powerizer"

    Sounds like you have had better luck with off brand batteries than we have. We went through a phase of ordering "off brand" cellular batteries. Most came back from the customers in short order. It made me a firm believer in OEM high quality batteries. If they were that great do you think Toyota and Honda would pay top dollar for name brand? We are the retailer and buy from Digikey. If you can find a cheaper wholesale price for Panasonic batteries I would be interested. I would be more concerned about what I put in my transportation vehicle than my radio controlled toy car.
Sign In or Register to comment.