My wife was driving our 2003 Honda Civic hybrid (125,000 miles) and the electronic power steering went out. She managed to get it parked, called me, and when I arrived everything seemed to work fine. (She said the yellow EPS light came on, but she didn’t know what that meant.) I drove it for a while and had no problems. A few days later my daughter was driving and the entire car shut down. I jump started it and everything worked OK, but I took it to the dealer for a diagnosis. They could find nothing wrong (no codes). However, the next day the car once again would not start I replaced the ‘starter’ battery (the lithium-ion man battery pack had actually been replaced at around 79,000 miles–right before the expiration of the warranty!). Now it seems fine, but my wife and daughter refuse to drive it, and I’m not sure if the problem is fixed. Here are my questions:
- Since this is a hybrid, once the car is running a failure of the ‘starter’ batter should have no effect on the EPS, or anything else, right? It all runs off the main lithium-ion battery pack. However, replacing the ‘starter’ battery seems to have solved the problem–or at least a dead ‘starter’ batter is temporally (if not causally?) connected with the other failures. This might be just a coincidence, since seems odd to have the ‘starter’ battery part of the larger electrical set-up. The dealership had no clue and I can’t figure it out.
- The first time just the EPS went out, but the second time the entire car shut down. This doesn’t make much sense–especially since the dealer couldn’t pull any codes. The car’s auto-stop shuts the engine off all the time at speeds below 10 mph (this is a semi-hybrid), so why the total shut down?
- Why didn’t the dealership tell me the ‘starter’ battery needed replacement? I’ve checked my records, and it seems to be the one that came with the car in 2003 (actually fall 2002). Should I give up on these guys?
I’d appreciate any advice about the EPS on hybrids–and especially the relationship between the ‘starter’ battery (in this car it’s 500 CCA) and the lithium-ion battery pack.