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Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance, Repair and Concerns



  • Once again Gary (a naysayer) miss quotes info of little or no meaningfull substance. He says..."don't keep a Hybrid after 99,999 miles." Just for the record. There are thousands of hybrids out there in excess of 150,000 miles with solid and reliable service. As to out of date battery info, it speaks volumes to the negitive statements by the same person.Many times "gagrice" has spoken critical of Hybrids (specifically Prius's) and that's fine for testing the waters in the early years b/4 the cars had established a track record that was near impeckable and highly rated by almost every critic under the sun. If the hybrid were unreliable we wouldn't be here todate discussing its' outstanding dependability but alas! It has stood the test of time and critics. I appreciate that there are those who just don't care for the hybrids for their own particular wants and/or needs. That's fine because I would never care to own a variety of "other" vehicles. To each his own. I just want fair and objective scrutiny of the hybrids.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,985
    The jury is still 5 years out on the battery lasting 10 years. The first generation had a battery recall if you remember. Now the current model has just past 5 years on the market. That is only half way to the 10 year warranty on the battery. Mileage is of NO significance for me. Our 19 year old soon to be 20 year old LS400 has never had a major problem. When I see 20 year old Prius running around with no major failures I will be hard pressed to say anything negative about the technology. Though HSD is still not in any vehicle I would own. If they decide to build a Sequoia hybrid that gets 30 MPG highway, I may be compelled to give it a try. So far all the large hybrids have been total FLOPS. I will take a full sized BMW or MB diesel SUV until something better comes along.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    There are thousands of hybrids out there in excess of 150,000 miles with solid and reliable service.

    Can you provide an official source for this statement?
  • I am about 1/2 way into my first tank of gas on my new 2009 Civic Hybrid. The mileage read out is now reading 24.0. So far I have driven mostly city with short (2-4) mile trips and have about 125 miles on the odometer. This number is a long way from the 40 mpg that is on the sticker. Is this normal? Is there a "breaking in" period and should I expect to see my mileage climb significantly over the next few tanks? Or should I be alarmed and contacting my dealership right away? :confuse:
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    With only 125 miles on the car, a service manager might laugh at you if you came in and complained about gas mileage. Give it to at least 1000 miles before you start to worry.
  • Thanks. I had to go to the dealership anyway and the sales manager said it takes about 500 miles to break it in. So I'll monitor. Then he filled up the car for me so I got a half tank of gas for my troubles. That usually doesn't happen :).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,784
    Don't base your mileage on short trips, that won't work. Engines use more fuel when cold and yours barely has time to warm up. Also, your "final" gas mileage won't lock in for at least 5,000 miles.

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  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    At least he didn't laugh at you.... I wonder if he would have you the gas if prices were still at $4. :P

    One suggestion since gas mileage is very important to you. Get a small notebook to keep in your glove compartment to track your gas mileage. It's very simple and will only add 20 seconds to each fill-up. make 5 columns. "Date" in the 1st column, "odometer reading" in 2nd, "Miles" in 3rd (this is the miles traveled since last fill-up; basically the current odometer reading minus the last odometer reading), "gallons" in the 4th and "MPG" in the last column. This will help you keep track of your gas mileage. Also as you put on more miles, it's a good way to check for problems in your car as well as maintenance.

    i've done this with my last 4 cars. I know exactly how much gas I am using. I can also tell how cold weather affects my gas mileage. the onboard computer is normally accurate enough but this way you have the exact gas mileage.
  • Thanks. Yes I definitely plan on tracking my mileage that way. My (over?)reaction stems from the fact that acquaintances with Priuses did not start off with such a significant difference in initial mileage. I will be interested to see the pattern once I get through a few tanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,784
    Yeah but they don't drive the same route, times, speeds, etc as you do.

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  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    My 2005 Prius just reached 100,000 miles this week after 37 months.

    I keep track of everything. My records have records,LOL :shades:

    Every tank except the last 4 or 5 has been entered on the GH database. The lifetime fuel economy is 47.9 mpg. This is the 'real' number, Tot Miles Driven / Tot Gal Pumped.

    So what has this cost me in Maintenance? Don't be shocked by some of the following..

    All services done at or near the 5000 mi scheduled interval:

    Oil and filters .................... $ZERO ! (All vehicles get O/F Free for Life)
    4 new tires @ 50000 mi ....................... $275
    2 replacement tires for road hazards ..... $180
    16 tire rotations ................................... $320
    3 rotate and balance............................. $90
    2 sets of wipers..................................... $5
    ... Subtotal: Rubber .......................... $870

    2 engine flushes ( my choice ).............. $150
    1 rear replacement bulb............................... 10 cents
    1 lower grill facia replacement................. $30
    2 air filters............................................. $30
    3 cabin air filters.................................... $90

    3 minor accidents
    broken rims, deer, other driver................ $750 deductibles.

    The next service at 103,000 miles will be the first 'major' service where all the normal service is done plus the engine/inverter coolant drain/replace.

    Excluding the 3 deductibles the total costs for maintenance has been about $1150 almost all of which is for rubber. The Oil/Filters Free for Life is unusual certainly except in this area. It's a significant piece of change since I get 7 or 8 free services every year.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    That vehicle has served you very well. :shades:
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Hmmm... why are "...all the large hybrids have been total FLOPS..."? Can you specify in what way are they flops?

    Our '06 HH has been everywhere from Oregon to southern CA, from desert rocky roads near or below sea level to high mountain icy patches around 7000-ft. It tows our working trailer when working on our ranch and farm, it takes my children and their friends to activities when serving as a "van". It has 45,000 miles on it, with 92% of brake pads intact, has NOT ONE single problem that requires a shop-stay. On average, total lifetime mileage is 26+ MPG.

    So, where is the flop?

    May be we need to separate our individual concern from generalization? It makes sense to worry about the batteries. It makes sense to compare cost and decide if hybrid price is worth one's desire for Mercedes luxuries. What does any of that have to do with "flops"?

    I eagerly await your facts and information! :)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,985
    Our '06 HH has been everywhere from Oregon to southern CA,

    I guess we do not share the same perspective of large. I don't consider the HH or FEH large SUVs. The GM hybrids are the ones I was referring to. For me the 4 runner is bare minimum size. Though Toyota made huge claims of bringing hybrids in every size. I have not heard any complaints on the HH other than high priced. That and its sister RX400h is not recommended for off road at all.

    If I go smaller than the Sequoia it will probably be the X5 diesel. It should have no problem getting 30 MPG on the highway.
  • on my 07 hch, I got rid of my stocker sp3t something or others and got the michelins. Mileage dropped overnight from about 38 to 31.
    Raised pressure to 40psi, no change.
    I didn't see the value in hydroedge as I live in the desert it rains 4 days a year.
    ANy input on mpg and tires?
  • I bought an '08 HCH last January and was impressed with the mpg from the get-go. By August, I was consistently getting an average of 43 mpg for combined highway and city miles. On an 800 mile trip, I got around 50 mpg. Then I was told the tire control arms needed to be replaced (as outlined in one of their bulletins) so I had that work done and negotiated 4 new tires because my others ones were all cupped. Since that time, mpg has sucked. I can't get over 41 mpg on the highway and 32 in town. Anyone else have this problem? I'm beginning to wonder if their mpg ratings were based on the wrong size arms and once the new ones were put on, it won't get anywhere near that.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,985
    I would say the difference is the tires. Are they Low rolling resistance like the originals?
  • Yes, they are the same tires as the originals.
  • I'm considering buying a 2006 Civic Hybrid with 31,000 miles. I've never had a hybrid before. What repair issues should I expect? How long will the battery last? Are there items that might have problems that are NOT covered by the power train warranty? What else should I be thinking about?
  • Any chance this same battery could work as the replacement in a Hylander Hybrid 2006? Toyota parts here quotes just a standard 51R battery at $99 as the replacement for HiHy should the installed battery fail.
  • You might want to call the previous owner and find out why he/she got rid of it. There are some serious issues with the tire control arms that are discussed under a different forum. You might want to read through that.
  • Good point about CR-V. we've replaced the A/C compressor 2 times (i.e.vehicle's third compressor) before 55,000 miles! We are considering buying a Honda-certified 2008 Civic Hybrid for $18K, but now are wondering if cost savings will be offset by high maintenance. Judging by posts on this thread, we're better off getting a regular fuel-efficient Fit or even Nissan Versa.
  • My 2006 has DTC P0A00 which is not listed in the manual. However, it is a generic electric motor coolant code. I checked the 2 sensors, for MG1 and MG2, and find they are OK, about 125K at 40F. The ECU has 5V at the connector with it unplugged from the motor. Is there anything else that can cause this, or is my ECU fried? :sick:
  • As advertised by Honda, I do not feel that my car ever goes to electric drive only . Honda says under 35 mph on a level road with a battery sufficiently charged,engine warm,light throttle.and in city cruising etc.that it does.The service mgr says it is happening but you won't know it and also said that if it fails that an error code occurs.I asked for specifics as to when it will happen and got no answers and no error code involved.In my letter to Honda in California I was pushed back to the Dealer.So I have no answers.Are there any thoughts on this issue?
  • I'd like feedback to that question also. I see the engine go to auto stop when i come to a stop (which is often since i drive short trips in the city. I'm up to about 800 miles and am still only getting about 27-29 mpg. true most of my trips are under 5 miles. is that the main reason? i do notice when i go on slightly longer drives within the city, it goes up to low 30's. but it may be that i am just driving such short distances i will never see a significant increase in mileage. i am going to have to consider riding a bike more often.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,784
    Your overall miles on the odometer are too few yet to accurately calculate fuel mileage and yes, short trips are usually run on a cold engine (resistant from cold fluids) andan enriched fuel mixture.

    Once you hit about 3,000 miles or so, go on a freeway trip for 100-200 miles and I bet you'll see a big jump.

    As your car breaks it, even short trip mileage should increase but 5 mile trips are not easy on a car's fuel economy. If you were driving ALL DAY in the city, that would improve things because the car's properly warmed up.

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  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "As advertised by Honda, I do not feel that my car ever goes to electric drive only . Honda says under 35 mph on a level road with a battery sufficiently charged,engine warm,light throttle.and in city cruising etc.that it does.The service mgr says it is happening but you won't know it and also said that if it fails that an error code occurs.I asked for specifics as to when it will happen and got no answers and no error code involved.In my letter to Honda in California I was pushed back to the Dealer.So I have no answers.Are there any thoughts on this issue? "

    The HMA system uses electric motors in the drivetrain, to assist the gasoline engine. To my mind that means there is no way for the car to run on electric only (it would essentially be running the engine, which is connected to the drivetrain - unless they somehow uncoupled the automatic transmission). The Internet articles I've read indicate the IMA cannot run on electric only.

    The advantage of this system is that it doesn't require a lot of hybrid-specific changes to the vehicle (it is essentially an add-on to the current transmission), and therefore costs less than a "two-mode" hybrid, which is capable of running on electric (for a short distance), hybrid-electric, or gasoline.

    I had thought that the IMA only turned off the engine at stops.

    Anyone else?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I believe that you are correct ^^^^.

    The IMA has an electric motor attached to the engine output shaft which 'assists' the motor to run more efficiently, ergo the Integraged Motor Assist ( IMA ) nomenclature.

    AFAIK it is not possible for the IMA vehicles to drive on electric power alone, except maybe at startup from a dead stop for a very very short distance ( meters ).

    OTOH the very elegant engineering solution that Honda has created is less expensive and more compact than Ford's or Toyota's or GM's so it's well suited to smaller and less expensive vehicles, the Civic hybrid and the Fit hybrid ( Insight II ).
  • dberdber Posts: 1
    My 08 Civic Hybrid with 35K miles has burned through the OEM Dunlop tires averaging just over 50mpg (calculated using overflow fill-ups). Mileage was increasing with tire wear--the last 4K miles on them averaged just over 53mpg.

    I have replaced with the Dunlops with an 80K mi.Yokohama tire running at a little higher pressure and my mileage has gone in the tank--averaging 46mpg over first thousand miles. Is it these tires, new tires, or can someone offer some other arcane explanation?

  • xkmail1xkmail1 Posts: 3
    I replaced the stock dunlops with costco michelin x radials, my mpg dropped from 40~ to 32~ overnight.
    With 3000 miles break in I have no improvement
    running 32psi, then 40psi.
    Run the dunlops
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