Choices, CHOICES! Another HCH-I contestant enters my area!

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by Nevyn, May 4, 2010.

  1. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    So, my wife had the girls to the doctor yesterday and we went out for lunch as the doctor is only about 1/2 mile from my workplace.

    Driving back up the hill, I'm in the passenger seat, looking around, telepathically willing her foot to lift and let the transmission shift and all that. :p

    Chevy dealer on the left, bla, bla, bla, used civic, bla, bla, bla, WAIT OH MAN OH MAN THOSE WERE CR-V RIMS ON IT OH MAN ITS A HYBRID WHAT'S IT DOING THERE!? :eek::eek:

    So I get back to my desk, my heart racing. I call down. It's only been there a couple days, hasn't even been fully gone over/cleaned out.

    2004 Honda Civic Hybrid, pale blue, 110k miles, MANUAL TRANSMISSION!

    Be still my heart! :Banane41: I take a quick look after work. Battery is kind of dead (2 bars when I put the key in), smelled like a smoker's car (but that can be taken care of), Douglas Xtra-Trac II's on all four corners, nearly brand new (BARF! Those are crap tires, not LRR, and the same ones that I lost my escort in!).

    No price determined on it yet; it's that new on their lot.

    I have them checking on the battery history on it, to see if it was ever replaced under warranty.

    Trip A/B MPG's showing 41/42 MPG over ~800 miles.

    I took it for a small spin, basically to charge the battery and get it ready for a "real" drive. Sales guy didn't know much about it (What's with people in my area? Do I have to do the work for ALL of them?), so I was able to inform him a bunch. He seemed grateful and very interested in everything. Over 5.3 miles I turned 46.7 MPG with a battery starting at 2 bars! I left it about halfway up the gauge for 'em; something like 12-15 bars. :D

    I couldn't find the iMPG readout...maybe I'm dumb? I think I remember hearing that the 5MT's didn't have one though.

    Help with how to drive the HCH-I 5MT?

    I just got a new job! Better pay, INSANELY great benefits. Only problem is, my commute is going from 14.2 miles to 67.1!!!

    My wife even said that I could have the stick shift for the drive if it was worth it. I now have my choice of 03 HCH-I CVT or 04 HCH-I with 5MT!

    I really don't want the CVT. I don't trust it. However, the 5MT is a definite possibility. What do I need to know/should I know?

    And where's the blasted iMPG gauge?
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Nevyn:

    ___You can find the iFCD on the bottom of the Speedo. IIRC, it can be turned off but all HCH-I’s have them.

    Laurie’s HCH-I “in action”.

    ___Lean burn is the key to the 5-speed MT equipped HCH-I. If it’s not a PZEV rated HCH that is. You will see the needle jump a touch and you should be hanging in the 80’s when it is in. If you have an SG-II w/ X-Gauge, you can see it through an X-Gauge as well.

    ___MT is definitely the way to go for longevity.

    ___The rims and tires however are going to be a nightmare. If it’s a Honda dealership (probably not given the miles), have them install the OEM B381’s and you are almost set… About those rims. WTF did the original owner o with them.

    ___Finally, 110K on the clock is a large number for an HCH-I. Do NOT Overpay!

    ___Good Luck

    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  3. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    What Wayne said. :)

    I wouldn't go with the CVT, that's for sure. Driving Laurie's car (except for the lack of room for my 36" inseam :rolleyes:) was fantastic on the highway. The '04 model will allow a clutch mod so you wouldn't have to worry about tanking the battery around town.

    2 bars SoC is not good. Either it went through a recal or the car was left sitting way too long. The battery is probably out of warranty though you can get rebuilt ones a lot cheaper than list price from Honda if you just can't afford that route...

    The tire/wheel combo is critical. Budget getting that fixed because you'll just be throwing fuel out the window if you don't. Laurie's car would cruise at 80+mpg at 47mph or so in 60+F weather when I had it out on the road. Around town she easily maxed out the instantaneous in 5th at 35mph. FASing isn't a concern in the car and it does like to roll free. :D

    Keep us updated!
  4. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Congratulations on the job! I heard you took that trip for an interview. This is an excellent outcome!

    HCH1 with 5mt? THAT is one of the all time great cars ever made, right beside the Insight (1, not 2), Prius-II, iCDTi and only a few others.
  5. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    I would see if the dealer would do a CarFax or I would do one myself. If it has been in a fender bender it would help with negotiations along with the miles/out of hybrid warranty.
  6. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    I'll take this in parts:

    Rims are the "normal" rims (the CR-V style ones), but with barf tires. I didn't check size; I wonder if my LRR's from my Elantra would fit. I'll check today.

    iFCD I knew *should* be there, but it's not. How do I turn it back on?

    I think the car has sat at the dealer all week. Probably part of why SoC was low. Was it Honda or Toyota that had the speedometer warranty thing going on?

    Any other questions?
  7. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    185-65-14 tires
  8. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    So the rims are the correct ones? That's good news. The tires from your Elantra would be unlikely to fit -- you'd be better off (performance wise) with the stock rubber anyway.

    The gauge may be controlled by a similar procedure to what can be done in the Insight. I'll have to look it up again...

    Here you go:

    Holding down the FCD button (when not displaying the segment gauge!) will turn off the readouts. Hold it down again to turn them back on.
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  9. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    Bummer, they're 14's to my 15. I'll turn the iFCD back on today if I get a chance to get down there.

    You folks really think the B381's would be better than some of the other newer LRR tires that have been/are being discussed?
  10. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Well, we know the B381s were designed specifically for the car. I've read a few accounts of people trying different tires but never any that got better mileage. IIRC, all lost at least a little mileage from the switch. The first gen Insight is particularly sensitive to that and will drop 7mpg or more with non-stock tires.
  11. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    Yum. Looks like they want too much for it.

    CarFax shows 3 records, but wants money to tell me more than that.

    AutoCheck (by Experian) shows NINE records, but they want money too.

    I won't pay for a background on the car until/unless this is more of a serious consideration for purchase.

    Was it Honda or Toyota with the odometer recall that made them extend warranty? If it was Honda, I might be able to fight for pack replacement under warranty if it didn't have one.
  12. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Honda was the one, though I don't think it was all that much different. IIRC it added about 9K miles to the 150K extended warranty for the Insight?

    Yeah, that price is too high.
  13. pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut Well-Known Member

    Doesn't mean you have to pay them that much. Use edmunds and kbb to find out what the thing is really worth. Have the dealer show you the carfax. If they won't, you don't want to deal with them.
  14. Mr. Pancake

    Mr. Pancake Well-Known Member

    Let them sit on it a while and I bet the price comes down a lot. Its a used hybrid which will scare off most buyers and it has a manual transmission which nobody wants (these statements refer to the general population, not hypermilers, of course). I wouldn't pay anywhere near what they're asking for it. Really great car though. Looks really familiar for some reason, hmm....
  15. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    You seemed quite interested so I'm sure that had a lot to do with them jacking the price of the car up there. Like the Pancake said, let them sit on it...or you can put in an offer of 6.5k and see how long it takes for them to get back to you.
  16. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    Price was up before I stopped, actually. Guy I talked to said he was thinking they had it pegged in the 9k area but didn't know.

    IMA battery never replaced.

    IMA software never updated

    Odometer thing only added 5% to the mileage; so that'd be 105,000. Just barely out, grr.
  17. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    That is the asking price. Go in armed with knowledge and persistence and offer about $5000.
    Does the floor and seats have stains?
    The tires are nasty.

    Here is the ballpark of what they may have given for trade-in.

    Excellent $4,650
    Good $4,200
    Fair $3,425
  18. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    Haha, wow. At that rate I could almost "hot-swap" it for my Elantra!

    Bash it for maybe needing an IMA battery, bash it for tires. and ding, we have a winner?
  19. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I think that's what you ought to do. Before you go to the Honda dealership for a battery also check out this site:

    He does HCH-I battery refurbishing as well. Before doing that I'd just drive it and see how it behaves first, though. High mileage doesn't necessarily mean the pack is bad. If most of the miles were highway that pack would be barely used.
  20. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't be too concerned about the IMA level. Every used hybrid I have driven off the lot has has a very low state of charge. The 05 Prius that I purchased had 1 bar. I test drove it and got the charge up about 1/2. I bought it and started home with it and it did a full recal. After that, I never had another issue. Put about 6000 miles on it and sold it. The new owner is still loving it.

    BTW: I got them down $5400 off their initial "asking price".

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