We have a Honda Civic Hybrid with 204,000 miles on it. It’s my wife’s car and she commutes fifty miles every day in it.
Late last week her IMA (hybrid battery) light came on. The last time this happened was 7 years ago. The battery pack was under warranty at the time and Honda replaced it. That warranty has since expired.
We are going to take it into a Honda dealer to have the problem evaluated, but we’re trying to do our homework in advance. My wife is worried that she’s going to be told that the battery needs to be replaced. There has been no decline in vehicle performance - yet. She tells me that replacing the battery could cost $3000 bucks and she questions whether we should spend it on a car with over 200K.
She has kept up with her regular maintenance on it and it’s a very reliable car otherwise. We also just dropped $17,000 on a Subaru with 30K on it and were hoping to wait a little longer before buying another car.
So, we have several options.
(1) Ignore the problem and save every buck we can until we reach a point of no return. When the car is due for its emissions test in 1.5 years it’s likely to fail because the IMA light triggers the check engine light.
(2) Invest in a new battery pack and drive the car into the ground (300 K+), banking on its track record as a cheap, highly reliable vehicle up to this point. Use my lower mileage car for long distance travel.
(3) Unload the civic and get a new (or lightly used) car. Not desirable as we just bought one vehicle and were hoping to have some time to save towards another one. We have a good monthly income and are pretty frugal, but like many folks, we have a variety of living expenses.
What would you do?