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Old 01-30-2017, 07:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Replace Civic Hybrid Battery or get newer car?

So it appears that I need to replace the original Hybrid battery in my 2006 Civic. (Error code P0A7F)

The car is still in good shape and meets my needs well with 132K miles. I was hoping that Hybrid Technology would have improved in 10 years. Looking at new Hybrids I only see about a 10% improvement in MPG, hardly worth the upgrade. I am currently getting 42 to 43 MPG driving 70 MPH on my commute. Please correct me if I'm wrong but I don't see anything other than a plug in that does this well driving at 70 MPH (just normal driving, no pulse and glide or any special Eco skills).

A new Bumble Bee battery is $2200, or roughly 6 car payments. Do you think it's worth just replacing the battery and drive it till the wheels fall off?

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Old 01-30-2017, 07:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The majority of hybrid efficiency comes from basic stuff - aerodynamics and the ability to switch off the ICE at will.

Gains in electrical efficiency will only result in incremental gains on a non-plug in hybrid.

No doubt financially your best option is repairing what you have.

The error code may not be the kiss of death though, I'm sure someone with Honda experience on here will tell us if it can be resolved with battery balancing or the like soon.
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1) Disconnect the 12V for 60 seconds.
2) Reconnect
3) Start and let it charge at idle until it stops charging

Repeat 1-3 for a total of 3 times. See how long that lasts you.

It all depends on the state of your subpacks. You can pull the IPU lid and measure them yourself after an overnight sit. This will tell you if you have a cell failure or are dealing with multiple subpack issues such as excessive self-discharge. Measuring your taps will help you determine if a grid charger is a viable option or if it's just better to get a new battery.

Last edited by S Keith; 01-30-2017 at 08:32 PM..
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You could try refurbishing your battery using a grid charger (like this https://hybridautomotive.com/collections/store, or DIY) to balance the whole pack or take it apart and balance the modules individually and replace any poor performers. Or you could just leave it as is and disconnect the 12v a few days before inspection time to make the check engine and IMA lights turn off. If you're doing mostly highway driving, you shouldn't lose much mileage. That's the saving grace of the Insight and Civic hybrid, even though the batteries like to die, you can still drive the car when it does.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's possible to build a grid charger from scratch for about $50, you can see how in my Insight and HCH threads in my signature. The HCH2 is notorious for battery failures. I don't know why, specifically, but the failure rates are much higher than in the older Civic hybrid and Insight. A grid charger will usually get you a few more years out of it if the cause is imbalance, but it's not a fix for a battery with failing cells.


If you do end up getting a new car, the two that really stand out to me that aren't all electric are the Chevy Volt and the new Accord Hybrid.

The Volt uses an orbital gear system like the Prius, and can run entirely on gasoline or entirely on electric, or in hybrid mode. On electricity, a careful driver can extract more than 50 miles from it, and I want to say that if you shop around, you can probably find one without too many miles and in good shape for under $8,000. I want to say it's good for about 40mpg in gasoline-only mode with your typical American driver, but you'd have to ask someone who owns one what a hypermiler can expect.

The Accord hybrid is a different sort of beast - it's a series hybrid, rather than a parallel hybrid. The Accord uses a 2L lean burn Atkinson engine which Honda claims is the most efficient in the world, and it has no transmission. It's connected to a generator, which powers a 166HP electric motor, so it's basically all-electric to the wheels - with a twist. At highway speeds, there's a clutch which connects the engine directly to the wheels, no gearbox in between. For comparison, the HCH2's electric motor is 20HP, so it's not a slow car. There's also a plug-in version which is probably good for 15-20 miles on electric alone. I believe the EPA rating is 49 city, 45 highway.

Last edited by Ecky; 01-31-2017 at 10:00 AM..
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't believe in buying new. Fix the battery or replace it.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I bit the bullet and bought a BumbleBee battery. Replaced the old one and sent back the core. So far I'm amazed at the power, as well as restored the MPG to 44 MPG.

The battery is suppose to be 8 AH which is larger than the stock 6.5 AH.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post

The Volt uses an orbital gear system like the Prius, and can run entirely on gasoline or entirely on electric, or in hybrid mode.

The Accord hybrid is a different sort of beast - it's a series hybrid, rather than a parallel hybrid. The Accord uses a 2L lean burn Atkinson engine which Honda claims is the most efficient in the world, and it has no transmission.
Are you sure you didn't get those exactly backwards? As I understand it the Volt is essentially an electric car that happens to have its own power generator under the hood, while the Accord is what the Prius would be if it had power, conventional styling and a teeny tiny battery.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
Are you sure you didn't get those exactly backwards? As I understand it the Volt is essentially an electric car that happens to have its own power generator under the hood, while the Accord is what the Prius would be if it had power, conventional styling and a teeny tiny battery.
Nope, what I said is correct.

Gen 2 Volt Transmission Operating Modes Explained - GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt Electric Car Site GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt Electric Car Site





^ Very clearly an orbital gearset, but that's not a bad thing. It's really a great design.


Explaining the Honda Accord's Shrewdly Designed New Hybrid System – Tech Dept. – Car and Driver



The Accord Hybrid has no transmission as such, but it does have a clutch which allows the engine to be directly connected to the wheels through a fixed gear, allowing direct connection to the wheels when above a certain speed.


Arguably, the Volt's setup can be more efficient in certain circumstances (low speed cruising), but the tradeoff is size and weight, and the Accord's engine is simply a lot more thermodynamically efficient. Supposedly the weight saved by going with a set of simple, fixed gears in the Accord just about accounts for the weight of the battery and electronics.

EDIT: Chevy got a lot of negative press when the press realized it wasn't really an "EV with a range extender".


Last edited by Ecky; 02-16-2017 at 09:02 PM..
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