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Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: Problems & Solutions



  • kstrandkstrand Posts: 3
    Our 03 was the same. At around 2000 miles you should see improvement, perhaps due to engine breakin (and/or better driving habits). I should point out that at 20,000 miles I can get around 55 MPG (at 65-70 MPH) on the flatter highway trips, however when my daughter drives around town it seems to average about 38 MPG, so terrain and "heavy foot syndrome" all contribute to the overall fuel economy.
  • hipfliphipflip Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 civiv hybrid with mostly hwy miles- and I'm at 105 miles on the car. I complained of the "lurching" prob coming from a stop and have now been told I need a new transmission. The problem: the cost of the transmission 6,000.00- yup 6 grand for the part alone and another grand- yup- one thousdand dollars for labor. Is this right or am I getting ripped off?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,080
    Welcome to the forum. $7000 is a big hit on a vehicle that is not worth much more than that in trade. I am assuming you have 105,000 miles on this car. Until hybrids become more popular the dealers will have you by the throat after the warranty is up. If you are in CA you may be able to get the State Attorney General to look at the case from an emissions standpoint. I doubt you have much recourse other than bite the bullet and take a big loss. You are not alone getting big bills to repair out of warranty hybrids. Take it to another Honda dealer and try to get a quick trade.
  • 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
  • sachybridsachybrid Posts: 1
    As I was driving down the highway this weekend, I apparently ran over something with my rear tire and not only blew out my tire, but punctured the alloy rim. The dealership told me that a new rim would cost about $400. I have looked all over the net for Civic Hybrid rims, but have found nothing. Does anyone know where I can find a Civic Hybrid rim for less than $400? I'm looking for a legitimate dealer, not 'my cousin Fred knows some guy...'. Thanks for your help!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,080
    Your comprehensive insurance should cover that. Depending on your deductible. I know my deductible is $120. That is better than $400 plus the tire.
  • dons2dons2 Posts: 1
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,715

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  • My 2001 Honda Civic is having a problem with the A/C. It seems to run fine at times (compressor cycling and cold air blowing), but at other times the A/C compressor clutch does not engage at all. I originally thought it was low on R134A and that the low pressure switch was preventing compressor engagement. However, I bought a recharge kit with a pressure gauge and the gauge states that the charge is fine.

    Has anyone else had this sporadic problem?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
  • hybrid_brihybrid_bri Posts: 15
    My wife and I have driven three different HCH's from two dealership in the last few days. I think the car looks and drives great. My only concern is with the front seats. The side bolsters seem too tight against my ribs. Now I am an average sized person, 5' 10" and 190 pounds. I have spoken to several people about this seat issue, one of them suggests that within the first 5-6 thousand miles the seat foam will stretch and the problem will go away. The tight seat pressing on my rib cage is the only point holding me back from signing the deal. I have had thoughts of bringing the car to an automotive seat repair store to have them remove the seat fabric and shave a 1\2 inch of foam away from both sides of the seat so I don't feel like I'm driving a fuel efficient corset. After reading many of the owner messages posted here I have not seen one similar comment about the seat. I would like to hear some opinions and solutions from those who currently own a HCH.
  • polymorphapolymorpha Posts: 16
    Toyota may well have reported zero battery failures in its Prius's, but I would not believe it. I ran into a Prius owner at a campground in northern New England in the summer of 2003 and was asking him about his vehicle. It was one of the earlier model years, but I forget which. He said his battery pack failed during the warranty period and was replaced without charge by Toyota. It may be a rarity, but there are at least some failures.

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Those Prius batteries are "modular" meaning individual battery modules can be replaced as required. There are other components involved too that the consumer might classify as "the battery." The control units and such, some of which might be attached to the main battery unit.

    Replacing an "entire battery" is an extremely rare event. That would mean NOT that the individual battery modules have failed and CERTAINLY NOT that ALL of them had failed, but that at least one other component which is physically attached to the main battery unit has failed.

    It's like when "any other battery powered device" fails - do you throw away your flashlight, or do you just replace the batteries? Cell phones? Batteries in the Prius are similar to that - modular.

    It's not like it's "one big battery" and when that "fails" it gets replaced. :D
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "It's like when "any other battery powered device" fails - do you throw away your flashlight, or do you just replace the batteries? Cell phones? Batteries in the Prius are similar to that - modular."

    Follow your analogy to the logicial end. When you replace any battery pack (like two or four AAA in a remote), the instructions say to replace all batteries. The Prius pack is modular because that is how the batteries are produced. I very much doubt that Toyota would recommend replacing individual modules, even assuming one could figure out which battery modules are bad. I think that the battery modules run in series, which tends to hide specific module failure.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The diff here is this:

    One or Five "dead individual modules" in a Prius battery chassis is not likely to lead to a "declared failed battery" situation, because that situation is not likely to occur ( multiple individual modules failing, I mean.) These modules are rated for 200K miles !!

    I have seen the number of modules that are in there, and there are a lot of them.

    I'd bet the house that almost ALL of the Prius battery chassis replacements (all 5 or 10 of them out of 300,000 Priuses sold worldwide since 1997) have NOT BEEN because of "battery components" dying but another piece of the system that has needed replacement and they had to pull the battery chassis because of it....

    We can never know that for sure, so it's pure speculation, but it's LOGICAL and EDUCATED speculation at least !!! ;)
  • Thanks to all who helped - I posted the problem and it is the ERG valve. I'm over warranty but got Honda to fix it for free (otherwise about $475). Alerted national Customer Service that a lot of postings showed trend in cars around 50K miles - I think they may deal with this globally. My dealer's service department seemed prepped for it. No more lurching. I'll see if my mileage goes back up (fell from around 45mpg to 42 mpg around same time).
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,080
    One or Five "dead individual modules" in a Prius battery chassis is not likely to lead to a "declared failed battery" situation

    Others have mentioned this exchanging individual cells in the battery. It would not be difficult to do that. However my experience with all types of batteries is that when one cell fails the others are soon to follow. If Toyota is changing just failed cells they are setting the car owner up for a big fall after the warranty is over. ALL types of battery cells deteriorate with age and use. If it was my hybrid and I had access to the battery, I would make some distinguishing mark on each cell. I would not trust Toyota, Honda or GM dealers to rebuild a failing battery string.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    quote gagrice-"ALL types of battery cells deteriorate with age and use." -end quote

    Yes, that is true. But there have NEVER been any reports of Prius battery replacements due to "battery old age" as far as I have read, and you know I have read a lot of data.

    Any "hearsay" replacements of batteries I have heard about were not due to old age but to Toyota deciding to replace the module or the entire unit because of other types of problems.

    Even that Canadian cab chap had no Old Battery issues after 160,000 miles.... :D
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,080
    Like was mentioned, Toyota, Honda or none of the other manufacturers are going to give out information on what has failed in any car. They only do it when forced by a recall or outcry from owners. You keep mentioning old age. Most of the batteries in Prius are less than 2 years old. They did not sell very well until the Prius II came on the scene less than 2 years ago. None of the Prius in the US have reached the 8 year warranty. Though a few are past the 100k mark.

    Speaking of Civic Hybrids. How would you know in your car if the battery was deteriorating?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    In the HCH, it would be indicated by the battery not charging fast enough or full enough based on past experience of knowing how fast and full the battery charges under normal circumstances. Driver/Owner experience. For example, I know that under normal circumstances, the battery will fully charge at highway speeds within 5-7 miles.

    It would only be logical to assume also that the Honda Techies at the dealerships would have a way to test the battery charge capability.

    Remember - there have been 300,000 Prius cars sold worldwide in the last 8 years. Batteries ARE deteriorating, and we have not heard hue and cry of upset owners. So I think all the "sky is falling" paranoia about the battery being a big issue is just that - PARANOIA....... :D
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,080
    sold worldwide in the last 8 years.

    We do not have ANY data on those early Prius sold in Japan. The Prius has been in this country less than 5 years. Only a handful were sold prior to the 2004 MY. If the batteries were replaced under warranty on one would scream. It is the stuff that is not covered under warranty that we hear about. And being stranded on the highway when the car stalls. I don't think the battery is a big issue in CA where it has 10 years and 150k miles. That is a fair warranty. I would like to get a 10 year comprehensive warranty on my hybrid GMC. All they offer is 6 years.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary in today's world of instant worldwide communication, you would be remiss to not think that if the 1997-2000 Japanese Prius cars were having "old age" battery failures left and right that the USA Prius owners would not have gotten wind of it !! :D

    There is NO questioning the fact that had that been happening WE would know about it. There are Prius groups around the World on the web who frequent the Japanese Prius forums and keep up with any and all news.

    The old age thing is NOT happening - I personally would know about it with all the Prius stuff I have read and so would you..... :shades:

    Just because Japan does not have a Consumer Reports company which you can disregard does not mean that this data would not have made the news... :D
  • kstrandkstrand Posts: 3
    My dealership found the solution to be the same. Replace the EGR valve. After injector, transmission, they tested the EGR (primarily because of the postings here that I took with me) and found it out of spec. The low speed lurch has gone...finally! Yeh, so where is the technical bulletin? Would save everyone alot of time and money.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    ....I had to check the title to make sure I was in Honda Civic Hybrid: P&S. It you want to discuss Prius issues, please do so in the appropriate topic.

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  • youpiyoupi Posts: 1
    Since 107,000 km I am having dealer do an oil consumption. I check the dipstick and there is no indication on stick to what is the oil level. Most times when there is no indication it means that there is no oil. Eg. 2000 km used approx. 1.5 litres of oil. Is this common with Honda Civics? The year of the car is 2000.

  • 107main107main Posts: 33
    I have an 05 HCH and am 5 10 1/2, and 212 lbs. The seat fits perfectly. I do not slide back and forth from side to side like other cars (non Honda). I do delaer transfers and drive many different new cars and none are better that the Honda seats.
  • markdelmarkdel Posts: 56
    I am a HCH owner (2005 CVT) and I love the feel of the seat holding me in place. I have a back problem and in a regular seat I find it most uncomfortable. In the HCH I can drive 300 miles at a time and not hurt nearly as bad. :)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    Sorry, I accidentally said "Toyota" replacing batteries, and off they went. FWIW, I meant "Honda" replacing batteries.. :surprise:
  • I have a 2004 Hybrid and my transmission has been acting up lately. I have 2 problems:
    1. The car "lurches" (jumps forward with high RPM) sometimes when I'm acceleration from standing still.

    2. The transmission all of a sudden automatically downshift to the lowest gear possible with REALLY bad consequences. This has not yet happened on the freeway thank god, but if it did, I guess the transmission will come flying out of the car.

    Anyone else having these issues? :lemon:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Time for a trip to the dealer to get that fixed under warranty........ :D
This discussion has been closed.