Do I put money into my '06 HCH II w/95k miles

honda
civichybrid

#1

So I need to ask the general question on if it’s worth it to keep my HCH with the expectation of 40k or so miles of reliability low cost of ownership ahead.

Background:

I purchased the car used two years ago for $4,600 with 78,000 miles. The original owner had the IMA battery replaced in April of 2014 with 55k miles on it and the software updated. I have not had any IMA troubles that I can report. From what I can tell I’m out of warranty coverage.

I currently have 95k miles on it.

The AC compressor died and I am looking at a $1,200 repair bill to replace that.
The motor mounts are failing and the the problem is noticeable in cold weather (but I’m in FL so that’s not a big deal).
The transmission is jerking a little. From what I can read this is a matter of doing a few flushes.

So all that to say, I am thinking about $2k to get this car up to scratch which I think makes sense if I can get 40k-50k more miles out of it over the next few years. Is that a good idea? If I decide to proceed with the work, should I get a grid charger to prolong the battery life too?


#2

Could you get a better car if you replaced that one and spent $2,000?

I’m guessing not, unless you’re extremely lucky. With a new battery the major expense is taken care of. I’d drive it till the wheels fell off, personally.


#3

I’d first want to know: if the battery fails, will the car still work, although with reduced power and/or MPG?


#4

What is an HCH? Honda Civic Hybrid? Next, what is an IMA? Integrated motor assist? I’ll assume yes, in both cases.

So the situation is; A Hybrid with the battery replaced at 55K, you have 95K on it and are facing about a $2000 repair bill and an uncertain battery future - say another 15K miles if the current battery lasts as long as the first. To put the car into “Good” condition it would take at least $1200 and your trade-in value is $2600 so as it sits, it is worth $1400, at best, in Florida, likely much less.

That you are even considering fixing the AC tells you how important that is in Florida. In northern states, most would ignore the AC and drive it until it died.

What other car can you buy for $2000 that would go 15K miles without any repair cost? The answer is none. If you only get another 15K miles and junk the car the cost is a plus. If it goes 40K, Bonus!


#5

I would think Florida rife with AC specialty shops who can do the job well for less than $1,200. I fixed my Honda Civic’s AC with a used compressor from an auto recycler ($35) and a big can of refrigerant for about the same. Of course I love DIY and taking my chances sometimes. A repair shop might be more cautious, but still…


#6

You’d THINK that… but it really isn’t the case. Florida seems to have a minimum charge to fix AC and that is right about $1200. It is almost to the point of collusion.

Lots of things get changed while the system is open since air dryers are always replaced, expansion valve, too and often both coils plus a flush. They don’t do a halfway job because no one will accept less than ice cold air.


#7

From what I’ve read, these are tricky to use correctly…I’d stay away.


#8

yes, it will

This is a hybrid, with a dual-mode compressor. I’d guess it is significantly more expensive than an ac compressor for a regular Civic. This dual-mode compressor is also connected to the orange high voltage system, so there’s more work involved, because of safety considerations.

The ac system is supposed to get serviced with a rather specialized machine, one which does not extract and inject oil


#9

Good to know it will still work. I wonder how degraded its performance would be with big battery kaput.

Makes sense re: AC. Does the compressor operate by electricity? Internal or external motor? Same motor that drives the car?

I am getting more curious about hybrids and electric vehicles. Lots to learn.