2006 Honda Civic Hybrid - Vehicle Speed Control/Acceleration (Transmission? Software?) Issues


I have a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid with about 105,000 miles on it. At around 80,000 miles I had the IMA battery replaced. Since then the car has had less power, which was expected. However, lately it seems that there are bigger issues going on. When the gas pedal is depressed the vehicle’s acceleration is very slow responding to command…particularly while accelerating from a stop. I will practically floor the gas pedal in these situations but it still takes the car a bit longer to get moving. This is disconcerting to say the least, especially in situations when, for example, I am trying to make a left hand turn in front of on-coming traffic. I have to be very careful to leave myself plenty of time to cross through the intersection…very dangerous problem.

I don’t know much about cars, but I am guessing this could be an expensive problem to have. Is the problem with the transmission? Or maybe the software? Will this cost an arm and a leg…and maybe a kidney or two? Is it normal to have issues like this early on? (Well, it seems early to me. I have had two other Honda’s prior to this and neither ever had major issues and both had long lives.) Apparently there have been lots of problems with the 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid and folks are fed up. Should I just sell the darn thing and get something more appropriate for my lifestyle? (I do live in Wyoming…rough winters, you know.)



When you floor the gas pedal, what happens? Does the engine rev but the car moves slowly? Or doesn’t the engine rev in the first place?

A weak link in your CVT (like in my Insight CVT) is the “start clutch” (you don’t have a torque converter). If you definitely feel like initial acceleration is significantly slower, the start clutch could be slipping. I guess you could do a 0-60 mph pedal to the floor test. If it takes more that 11 seconds or so, that clutch is probably slipping.

@lion9car: the engine revs but the car moves slowly.
@insightful: thanks for the tip…i will look into it.

@insightful: i have been reading some of the online forums regarding honda civic hybrid issues with the start clutch, but most people describe some sort of “shudder” associated with the problem. i have not noticed any kind of shudder…just takes forever to get moving and takes longer to get up to speed than it used to.

So, other people have had this same problem, apparently, and the issue does seem to surface after the replacement of the IMA battery.

(And just for the record, I am a good driver…NOT a speed demon…and I take good care of my vehicles.)

Yes, the “shudder” issue is different. I can only guess that your computer was reflashed to reduce IMA assist to extend the life of the battery. Sensing slip in the start clutch might be difficult with the CVT. Possibly, say accelerating at half throttle, the tach should hold a steady or slowly dropping RPM as the car gains speed. If RPM varies up and down, it might mean a clutch is slipping. There is also a “forward” clutch, but I’ve never heard of that one slipping.