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Old 09-04-2012, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bought a 2005 Civic hybrid 5-speed - IMA light with 2 yr old replacement battery :(

Hi everyone!
About a year ago I started looking for a really efficient car for my family. I really wanted an original 2000-2006 Honda Insight but being that it was only a 2 seater my wife and kids wouldn't be able to ride in it together. After researching a bit I figured I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a prius with a ton of miles on them so I kept looking and found out that the honda civic hybrid came in a 5 speed so I checked out ebay,craigslist and the newspaper. I had a road trip coming up in february from pennsylvania to georgia and wanted to get something for the drive but eventually ran out of time searching and had to drive our 08 Honda Odyssey the 743 miles each way. It averaged 26 mpg with me keeping it at 65-70 the whole way there, which was 12 hours-Ugh. Used 2 tanks down, 3 back including the driving around while I was down there.

I was down there for about a week and then drove home but knew I would be going back 3 weeks later. So my goal was to find a hybrid in 3 weeks...and I did 2 days before I left

I bought a 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid 5 speed in late February 2012 with 155,000 miles on it for a really good deal locally. The seller claimed the battery was replaced less than 2 years ago under warranty by Honda but other than that it's all original- including the spark plugs, clutch and honestly, I think the air filter too (I noticed that once I brought it home) The day before I left for the PA-GA trip I replaced the air filter and cabin filter and changed the oil and filter with OEM Honda goods. I went to check the tire air pressure and noticed something weird. They were MUD & SNOW tires! Who puts M+S tires on a hybrid? I didn't know how much air to put in them so I just kept them at 34psi front and rear. I filled the car with my luggage and took off at 6am the next day. My goal was to make it to Georgia on 1 tank of gas.

I had a 2000 Acura integra 5 speed that I use to take on long trips and was always able to pull 40-42 mpg out of it by keeping the speed at 62mph and under so I decided to do the same with the civic. Traveling from Pennsylvania to Georgia at 60 mph takes a looooooong time but it was comfortable and fun watching the instantenous MPG guage and trying to keep it at 80-100-120 when coasting down long grades. The best of all,
I made it all the way there on one tank of fuel!! The computer mpg showed I was at 65 mpg at the beginning of the trip and 71mpg when I went to fill up and after calculating it, turns out it was accurate.
I was SUPER excited that I would be reimburst over $800 for using only 36 bucks!

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Now fast forward to a week ago after a hot month of August. My wife has been driving the civic to work because her commute is ~10 miles where as mine is less than half a mile. The civic constantly gets 55mpg with her driving which I'm happy with. She called me when she got to work and said the check engine light came on and the IMA light is on and the battery guage went from full to zero bars. Over the next few days of driving the mpg went down to 48 and has basically stayed there. The IMA battery continues to charge up fully and discharge when you stomp on it but I'm guessing the battery is going bad?

How do I go about healing this thing? I've read about a "super brain 989" and grid charging and taking the batteries out of the civic and charging and discharging them but I really don't know where to start or how to do it. Can someone shed some light on this for me as to what to start with and what to buy? I appreciate it!
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Anyone?
I'm figuring that I'll pull the IMA battery out tomorrow in preparation for it's tear down.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Are you still running 34PSI in the tires? I would pump that up to the sidewall max, should give you a bit better mileage and help make up for the M&S tires.

I would check some forums that are more Civic Hybrid oriented for help with the battery. Sometimes its just something simple that needs attention.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05HCH5speed View Post
The seller claimed the battery was replaced less than 2 years ago under warranty by Honda
What is Honda's warranty on the replacement battery?

Considering the original battery had a substantial warranty length, you would think there must be something on a factory-replacement.

I would sure pursue that path before pulling the pack out (potentially invalidating any warranty).

Other threads to learn more on the subject of "failed" Civic/Insight packs. There's quite a bit of information (lots of reading to do) in these:

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ems-13610.html

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...0-a-19975.html
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Who puts M+S tires on a hybrid? People who drive in mud & snow, of course :-)

It doesn't sound like your battery is going "bad", it just may need to be reset. On the Insight this is done by pulling one of the fuses and waiting a few seconds. Check your manual for the Civic.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm going to contact a buddy who works at Honda and see what they can do. I'm also going to look into a grid charger to start off. I left the battery in but removed the backseats so hopefully I didn't void any warranty.

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