Honda Civic Hybrid Battery

hybrid-repair
civic
honda
batteries

#1

I’ve just had to replace my 2003 Civic Hybrid IMA battery at 128,000 miles. Cost was about $3,000 including parts and labor. Anyone else have any experience with these?



- Steve


#2

I can not address your specific situation, but I bought a 2006 Civic Hybrid new at the end of July 2006. Now, 23 months later, I find that the rate of discharge (and recharge) of the IMA battery seems to have increased. I don’t know if it is a temperature-dependent phenomenon or if the discharge-recharge rate characteristic changes with use (there are 16,200 miles on the car).

For example, on a given 100-mile round trip now (hilly, modest acceleration rates ? I have a light foot on the accelerator), the IMA battery monitor might go down 2 “blocks” or units on half of the trip and recharge that same amount on the other half. However, for the first 9 to 12 months, that same trip would cause only a one-block fluctuation of the charge rather than two. I have not documented this carefully, but I keep being surprised in recent months by how much fluctuation there is on the charge monitor. The instantaneous rate of charging or discharging, as shown by the other monitor seems not to have changed.


#3

You did well with that many miles before the battery went. Some do better.


#4

I’ve never been able to determine how accurate the charge monitor is in my car, but my impression is that it isn’t particularly accurate. So I’m not sure that there is a significant difference between a one and two block fluctuation. In my case, I didn’t notice any change in IMA performance for years. About 6 months before the IMA battery failed I started noticing that the car was less responsive on acceleration and that the idle auto-stop feature didn’t operate as frequently. This was all corrected after the battery was replaced; the car now runs like new.


#5

Richter, unlike the Prius, the Civic hybrid only uses the electric motor to assist the gas engine when more power is demanded. Is it possible your light foot has gotten heavier over the years? On a 100-mile trip, your electricity usage should vary based on the type of driving. If the trip is mostly highway driving, there should be very little battery usage since you would cruse at a constant speed. In stop and go traffic, or in hill country, you would drain the IMA battery faster. Is it possible you were kinder to the accelerator in the beginning?


#6

I also have a 2003 Civic Hybrid. At about 70,000, the IMA battery struggled to stay above 1/2 charged. My gas milage dropped,especially around town to about 26 - 28 mpg. I brought the car to 2 different dealers, and one said the condition is normal for a battery this age. I asked if I came in with worn ball joints, would they say the wear was normal for the milage? No arguing made and difference.

The car now has 83,000. Condition is about the same. Almost never above 1/2 charged. This causes the engine to constantly charge the battery, not just down hills or when braking, all of the time. If the charge gets up to 3/4, just a couple of uses of the assist causes it to drop to half or less. In various city driving conditions, I ran out of IMA battery completely.

The battery issue, along with constant transmission bucking (transmission was replaced once at 46,000 miles) makes this car a potential disaster. My only hope is that the battery will fail completely before my extended 100,000 mile warranty expires next year.

While I saved quite a bit on gas in the early days, especially when I was driving 100 miles/ day, if you consider the overall cost of paying an extra $2,500 initially for the car, and potentially $3,000 for a new battery, I could have bought a regular Civic (my wife has one), that gets good milage, (30 highway, 20 something in the city), I could have drived the first 66,000 miles and not spent a dime on gas for the extra costs of the Hybrid if you use an average cost/ gallon at $2.50 for my 6 years that i owned this car. Now, my Hybrid gets only 2 or 3 mph better than my wife’s Civic in the city. Highway, where you don’t use the Assist very much, the Hybrid still gets about 40 mpg.

I would really think hard about buying another Hybrid.


#7

I have had a 2003 Civic Hybrid for 121,000 miles so far. The IMA battery works as well as it did when new, only going below half a few times a month. I live in southeastern PA, and currently get 52+mpg during warmer months, +/-42 in the winter. I have always driven this car very gently, as gas mileage suffers drastically if not. Accessories are only used if really necessary, and use good tires inflated to 2 pounds over Honda’s recommended cold pressure. I generally turn on the AC only when going down hills if possible. I believe keeping the charge higher on the IMA helps the fuel economy, as well as the life of the unit. The only drawback is the CVT started slipping when accelerating from a stop about 70,000, and was recommended by the Honda dealer it needed to be replaced at 103,000 (which I chose not to do). My goal is to get 200,000 on this car without all the “major repairs” so many write about. These may be somewhat fragile vehicles, and yes the only thing they can pass is the gas station, but I like the extra $45 a week in my wallet.


#8

I’m just now facing this problem… my car has reached 140,000 miles and the IMA light has come on. Honda is telling me that I need to replace that battery but that it will cost 3500. That is a little more than half the trade in value of my car. I am trying to find out if there is anyway to get the battery for cheaper… any thoughts on this?


#9

Geez at 128k that seems reasonable. I was thinking of getting a Honda Hybrid and they say after 80 or 90k the battery goes. Overall, I wonder if the 2009 is better by then, but again, it lasted until 128k and considering I just spent $1000 on getting that darn Air bag light fixed !!! $3k for the battery doesnt seem bad.


#10

Just an update. It is now at 134,000 miles, the IMA battery is still working as it did when new. I did have to change my 12 volt battery this month though, it was six years old. As for the transmission issue, it is repaired for $189! One Honda dealer previously quoted me $3500! Just picked it up from Roberts Automall in Downingtown, PA, and it runs great with no slipping!


#11

hi,

my transmission is slipping too. been kinda of worried but repair costs. what did they diagnosis with your transmission? thanks.


#12

You can have the battery repaired 1/3 of that price (or less).


#13

Well, my IMA light just went on, and I took it in - and they are telling me it will be about $3200 to fix that, plus I have a few other things I need to fix. I am not too happy about it - thinking that that is a pretty major expense for a Honda (and knowing that eventually you also have to do the transmission, etc, etc.) I had no idea I would have to be replacing such an expensive part when I purchased my car!

We did some research - and we have a hunch as to maybe why some of the IMA batteries go out earlier than others though. They have found that if the car was exposed to high temps (we are talking over 150 degrees) that the battery tends to degrade more quickly. I had had a car accident a few years ago - and some body work was done on it - thus exposing it to high temperatures. maybe this is why the battery is giving out so soon?

Anyway - the day I was at the Honda place learning of my car’s impending doom - another girl was there with the exact same car - and the exact same problem.

I was told that unless I fix my car, one day, it is just going to stop on me. Since then, the IMA light has gone off on its own, and the car seems to be running fine. I am saving my pennies for a new car, and will drive this one until it ‘stops’ on me. My next car will most likely NOT be a hybrid.


#14

Where did you get this done and are you happy with the results?


#15

My hybrid is 2004 116,000 miles and still getting 40-45 MPG in the summer and some what lower in the winter. No battery problem but the Air bag light was fixed for $200. They did not replace the whole unit which would have been about $500 for the parts. There were som pins that conect the unit that were “staightened”. It fixed the problem. I am considering trading in for a new one before the battery goes bad. Anybody here anything about the 2010 model?