Driving a Honda Civic Hybrid without the hybrid battery?

My 2005 Civic Hybrid has been an AMAZING car (160,000) up until last week when I got the news that the hybrid battery was dying :frowning:

From what I’ve read, the Civic Hybrid has a separate starter, so it doesn’t need the hybrid battery to start up. Is it possible to let the hybrid battery die and keep driving the car as a regular Civic?

I’m not so fanatical about the loss in mileage, I’m just trying to hedge my bets on the best way to spend $2800: to replace the battery or bank that money and drive this as long as I can and have a fat down payment on my next ride. At the moment, the car is still driving great, though no one can give me a reasonable estimate of how long until the battery goes belly-up.

Thanks ahead for any ideas on this conversation!


Food for thought . . .

There are other options, besides a brand new battery

There are companies which specialize in this thing. Bring them your battery, and they’ll sell you a battery which they’ve already refurbished. Or they’ll rebuild yours

While some may condemn me for suggesting this . . . the main battery on your car isn’t that hard to get to. If you disconnect the 12v underhood battery, turn off the 144V batery switch, wait at least 5 minutes, and work smart, you can tackle this yourself

But if you’re not at all mechanically inclined, and aren’t brave, pay someone else to fix it

By the way, I assume your IMA software is the latest version?

If the car is in good shape otherwise . . . and not rusty . . . I’d opt for the repair, versus getting another car

I’ve looked into a few companies that do this, and they were pushing replacing with a new battery.

I’m not at all capable of doing that work myself.

I guess I’m back to the original questions: can I drive my Civic Hybrid without the hybrid battery? Is there any danger to me or the the car, and is the only drawback low mileage?

Through the grapevine, I’ve heard of Civic Hybrid owners driving with a bad main battery for years

The only obvious problem seems to be greatly diminished fuel economy

If you want to drive the car a few more years, a new battery is not a bad idea

If you just want to fix it and flip it, get a refurbished

If you don’t have the experience or the safety equipment for working with hybrid batteries, I’d leave it to the pro’s.



You are going to get some dashboard nag lights but the car should remain drivable indefinitely…

Local seller has an AUX 10kv battery pack for a Prius for sale. Says it retails at $10k but he will sell it for 2500. He gets about 85mpg When he uses it in a 20-40mile daily commute. He wants to sell it since he mainly does long distance drives where the pack is not really suited.

The Toyota and Honda packs are completely different. Not compatible…

Yes, Toyota/Honda are different. Thought it was somewhat ironic op has query about driving with NO battery pack vs this instance where you may have 2 battery packs. The Toyota aux stuff has an outboard control box assy and it wires into vehicle. Somehow. Maybe the manufacturer makes an aux pack for Honda stuff.

I’d drive it as is, save up for the new(er) car.

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of course they pushed a new battery. more profit. that doesn t mean you can t still get a re furbished one. you may even find it cheaper to check salvaged parts.

either way, its paid for and if you can drive it as is with a bad battery, you will come out ahead, even with lessened MPG. keep it till you milk every penny from it.

even if you pay the 2800, if it gets you 9 more yrs… depends on how good the rest of the car is.

I think that this situation is the sad future for older hybrids. Now if someone can come up with a cheaper alternative for a rebuilt battery…they will sell them quickly and get rich at the same time. The price has to come down on these batteries or hybrids will be relegated to driving the roads and highways without them.

While Hondas can drive without the battery, Toyota and Ford hybrids require the big battery for starting.

I don’t know how you can “recondition” a battery that has reached the end of it’s service life…These batteries are good for a finite number of charge-discharge cycles…As the cells start to fail, that’s it…Most of these hybrids have an extended warranty on the hybrid battery to cover the replacement of defective batteries. But they don’t replace batteries that have reached the end of their service life…

An option might be locating a USED battery removed from a wrecked car that still has some useful life left…


I don't know how you can "recondition" a battery that has reached the end of it's service life.

Because it’s NOT one big battery. It’s a series of batteries…and they all don’t fail at the same time. You can replace just one or more of the batteries at significantly cheaper cost then replacing the whole battery. There have been cases where the owner gets another 5+ years doing it this way.

When one cells fails in a car with over 100K miles, the other cells can not be far behind…Yes indeed, you can replace a failed cell with a salvaged used cell(s) and sometimes extend the life of the battery for a considerable amount of time…But it’s a matter of LUCK…Like the Lithium batteries found in computers, they don’t last forever…

Besides problems with other older cells going bad after the battery is ‘reconditioned’, I had a problem the last time I checked with the cost of the reconditioned battery vs. a new battery. The total cost, including labor for removal and installation, wasn’t that much less (about 20%, if I remember correctly) for the reconditioned battery vs. a new battery. Not worth the risk, to me.

pull that battrery out and you got a golf cart.

Maybe there would be enough room for my anvil, shoes and tools, then. Then I could putter down the road to my next client. I could call ahead and have them meet me at the bottom of the hill…so they could help push it the rest of the way to their place.


When one cells fails in a car with over 100K miles, the other cells can not be far behind...

Not necessarily. And from experience my relatives had definitely not what friends/relatives I know who had this happen to.

Like the Lithium batteries found in computers, they don't last forever....

You’re right they don’t last for ever…but 20 years is NOT unheard of. The technology changes long before the battery runs out. It’s rare to replace a computer because the battery was no good. And if it is…I guarantee the computer is probably 4-5 generations behind.

The Lithium battery in cars is designed to last well past 100k miles. Many lasting past the 150k mile mark. I know of at least one person with a Honda Civic Hybrid who’s past the 100k mark on the original battery.