2006 Honda Civic Hybrid - to change transmission or sell?

Hello All:

I have been agonizing about the following issue with my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid which I bought new in San Diego and which has been driven entirely by me in Southern California in its 160K mile life so far. The car has had all maintenance done at my local Honda Dealership, as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. So, about six months ago when I began hearing a crackling noise coming from the ‘engine’ I took it to the dealership. They mentioned I needed a transmission change and it would cost me $5K. I looked up the KBB value of the vehicle which was estimated between $5K ~ $8K. But the dealership offered me $3K for trade in. I took it to an independent mechanic who recommended I fix the transmission/ replace it.

So, now then, I am asking myself a fundamental optimization question:- should I spend the $5K and get the 3yr/36Kmile warranty or just sell/ trade it in? One item I am unfamiliar with is the remaining life of the hybrid-batteries? Considering replacement of the batteries won’t be cheap, I am looking to my friends on this forum for some advice. Any reasonable estimate of how many more miles I should be able to drive the hybrid with a new transmission, given the batteries last that long? If the batteries fail, what would be the signs? Currently, my dealer tells me my batteries are very good. But then, on the same token, they did not foresee or forewarn me about the transmission issue. So I am not certain I can trust everything they are saying. Finally, if the batteries fail before the ‘new’ transmission, would the 2006 civic hybrid CVT still drive? I would very much appreciate a quick response as I depend on this vehicle which needs to be fixed right away.


Even at 60K miles, your dealer would not be good at predicting whats next to fail, so at 160K miles, don’t expect any valid prognostication on your battery. I know the Prius battery has gotten much cheaper to replace and they usually end up not needing a whole new battery. Might want to look into some Honda hybrid forums to see what others are doing.
As far as the transmission, I say get a few diagnostics and quotes from reputable shops. The warranty you get is only on the transmission. Then see how many payments on a new car that translates to. If your car is well maintained and otherwise in good shape, it might be better to fix it.

I’d fix it. Don’t forget that your choice isn’t spending $5,000 or not. If you trade it in without a working transmission, you’ll lose money on the trade-in value, as you’ve seen. It’s the difference between the $5,000 and the money lost on the trade-in value that you’re really spending here. For that amount of money, you’ll come out ahead even if the car runs for only another year or two.