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

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

  1. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    $5400 off the asking price???? what the...
  2. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    One extra bonus is that Chevy dealers have near-zero experience with hybrids unless they had (or have) a Malibu hybrid stuffed somewhere in the back of their lot. So maybe you can scare them with a lot of the same drivel we read in the press ("the pack only lasts for 150k and it's $4k to replace it") and tell them the only reason you are considering it is that you think you can nurse it along for a couple of years and then come back and buy a nice new Chevy (try not to laugh when you say that).

    For tires, be sure to check the tire rack user reviews. The OEM Bridgestones are a sure thing for best FE. But some of the other LRRs on the site have reviews from HCH owners and I remember reading several that said that their non-OEM LRR tire selection being reviewed (FuelMax, EnergySaver, Ecopia, etc) restored the mpg lost when swapping from OEM to other aggressive (or plain cheap) tires that didn't roll well. Owner reviews are rarely consistent and not verifiable, but I find that most people who feel strongly enough about the quality of a tire to go and write about it must have something worth sharing.
  3. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    That's good advice; I'll be using it tomorrow. Wife has approved my desire for hybrid, manual transmission, so that's a super-plus. I'll go into full "Tiger Stalking Prey" mode tomorrow when I talk to them.

    As far as tires, I'm REALLY loving my Assurance Fuel Max. From what I've heard of the B381's, their wet traction/ability is relatively miserable. So as long as they're comparable on all the other fronts, I'd like to put AMX's on it instead of the B381's. I'll have to go back to the Tirerack test...
  4. Mr. Pancake

    Mr. Pancake Well-Known Member

    Replaced the very worn Bridgestone Insignias that came on my car with B381s in March, seem to perform well to me. Mileage didn't go down, handle fine in the rain, no more noisy than the other tires. Most of the new LRR tires aren't available in the proper size.
  5. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    Other things not mentioned yet/new things learned.

    Assurance Fuel Max available in 185/65-R14

    CarFax was done on it RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES! The 3 listed events were: First sale/registration, second owner sale/registration, 2nd owner renewal registration. Everything else was 100% clean. This thing hasn't even had the IMA software update TSB's applied - Where's Manuel Santos WRT those?? MSantos, GET OVER HERE! :p

    I am going to aggressively pursue this car.
  6. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Is it a local car? The CarFax usually lists where the registrations took place. And if it's a native PA car, it probably doesn't have the front plate bracket.

    It's pretty hilly down where you are. Up further north toward Scranton, the valley has nice rolling hills but you'll murder the battery heading up the side of either mountain (1100 feet straight up to head toward Bear Creek or Back Mountain/Dallas). If the car was registered in the more mountainous areas, that battery pack has probably seen some radical charge/discharge cycles. But if it's coming from 50 miles the other way, down toward Harrisburg, or over toward Reading, careful driving and gentle acceleration would need very little assist. See if you can get an idea as to whether it is a local trade or they bought it at auction.
  7. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist

    Hi Nevyn;

    As others have stated I would seek to negotiate a significantly lower price than what they are asking. A few main points I would make:
    1. IMA battery not replaced yet... and no knowledge on how the car was driven/treated since its PDI prep. In my books, this constitutes an automatic removal of $2500 to $4000 off the asking price.
    2. General condition of the car including interior condition. If you don't care about the interior wreaking of smoke then that is not as much of a problem for you as it would be for me. A $500-$1000 subtraction on the asking price is what I would ask.
    3. Look at the condition of the EGR and the emissions package. Since no software updates were ever applied (including the one(s) I am concerned about) I am worried about the O2 sensors and the catalytic converter and what state they may be in. Those are really big ticket items.
    4. As far as software updates are concerned, the HCH-1 is nowhere as dependent on software updates as the HCH-II and HI-II are... but still, it should have all pending updates applied asap. Particularly the one that was released midterm to contain the premature capitulation of the expensive cat converter.
    5. The condition of the EGR valve is something I would put on the list too, just for giggles.
    6. Check the freeplay on the clutch pedal and any excessive freeplay on the linkage since it is an MT model after all. Too much free play indicates some work ($) in the near future.

  8. Gairwyn

    Gairwyn think green

    Here's a link to info about the software update manuel was referring to regarding the catalytic converters and O2 sensors:

    I'm not aware of any updates regarding the IMA on the 2004 model.

    The tire size should be 185-70-R14. In the picture from the dealership the tire size looks correct. The rims seem to have a funny yellow color to them; maybe they sprayed something on to make the tires look shiny, but it made the metal look yellowish. I have some pictures in the gallery of my car, where you can compare the color of the rims and interior if you like.

    I'm not sure why the instant fuel display isn't showing. I was wondering if you just need to toggle through with the knob that appears just below and to the right of where it should be (you can see the knob in the photo of Laurie's dash display that was shown; it says SELECT-something-or-other).

    The price they're asking is too high considering the mileage on the car. My dealer has a 2005 with 66,000 miles on it, and they're asking 10,995. I can provide you with a link to that if you want to use it for comparison.

    If you test drive it, make sure to turn down that defroster knob and the heater setting; they've got 'em cranked up so high in their photo, that poor car won't go into auto-stop like that.
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  9. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    I didn't see where first sell was, but 2nd owner & re-registration were in Orangeville, PA. That's local, but we do have some relatively serious elevation changed they could have been driving on/around.

    Clutch felt good and solid. I don't know what the shift should feel like on an HCH-I, but the pedal and the linkage/throw reminded me of my 97 Escort, which never needed anything.

    I'll take a closer look at EGR.

    Is warranty on these 100k or 150k for the IMA battery? I was reading on GreenHybrid a thread about failures and some of the folks that have had theirs replaced said it was showing 4 bars of regen when they didn't think it should be. This one was doing what I think was exactly that behavior, but then again when I got in it only had 2 bars showing. When I braked, all regen seemed to disappear unless I downshifted at which point it would then max out.

    I turned the control from AUTO to OFF when I drove it; it definitely was auto-stopping. Salesman thought I had stalled it, what a dork. :p

    I did cycle the MFD through; didn't show up. Will try the fix as posted earlier. Either that, or I'll use that against them and say that I have to go to the dealer to get it turned on. :D

    "Tire Black" was sprayed on 'em, which is probably what made the yellow tint. I'll take a closer look.

    Did I miss anything?

    I stopped on my way to work to grab what I could in snapshots. They can be found here:
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  10. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    The HCH-I 5MT is a smooth shifter with lots of dampening in the driveline. Wayne was just slip starting with the clutch because it is so smooth, but I don't recommend that. The suspension is pretty compliant... expansion joints that are super annoying in my Elantra are easy to ignore in that car with the tires at... um... well, way higher than the average driver. My Insight rides like a buckboard on that stuff so the comparison is pretty stark in that situation.

    The regen should be showing any time you get engine braking (and thus usually DFCO). This should work down to about 12mph in 2nd. Close to that speed it is normal for regen to drop out when you press the brake pedal, though if you are gentle you should be able to start applying brake pressure before getting down to 15mph and apply down to 12mph. If you do it right you'll stay in DFCO with regen and you can quickly shift to neutral and hold the clutch down to get it to go straight into auto-stop (my favorite technique). You can do the same trick in 3rd -- it will stop regen and DFCO at 21mph... which happens to be the upper limit for auto-stop. If I need longer slowing I'll get it in 2nd at about 24mph and ride DFCO and regen all the way down to 12mph, then drop to auto-stop.

    The force regen from empty should continue visually up until about 13-15 bars SoC. After that it will continue to background charge up to 18 or 19 bars. To get a good feel for what the car can and will do I recommend "P&R" -- pulse and regen. The short term hit in fuel economy is high but getting that SoC up there as quickly as possible will help. To lessen the impact just regen down any little slope you see. If you keep doing that it will get up to 20 bars and eventually won't take any more. Laurie's car became a completely different driving experience once I got it up to 20 bars. An alternative to this procedure is to get out on the highway (speeds higher than 45mph in 5th) -- it should charge up in less than 10min. Flipping on the headlights also encourages it to charge.

    Searching online for your issue with the gauge I found this:

    "Reading the manual you can supposedly turn it on/off by pressing the reset button 10 seconds with the key on position "II""
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  11. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    Plan for today is this:

    • Take for slightly extended drive
    • Press up tires as part of that drive
    • Get SoC up as much as possible
    • Inspect EGR
    • Attempt lean-burn
    • Poke at getting iFCD turned back on

    Did I miss anything?
  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    About all that you can do with the EGR is see if the car bucks, jumps or lurchs when accelerating. It is a bolt down and the part is probably around $150 if you change it yourself.

    There have been a few successes in cleaning the EGR.

    Lean burn: You will hit the lean burn. Just don't let the salesman see your smile. When you see it do the dance and max out the fcd, you WILL be smiling.
  13. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    :D I do certainly hope so. I'll have to get the iFCD turned back on.

    Going to plug my SGII in and see if there are any latent codes as well.
  14. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    The first gen HCH doesn't do the "dance", but you'll see that instantaneous bar (if you can get it on!) zoom up to stupid numbers. :D
  15. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Dance was a poor choice of words. I wasn't referring to the "Samba".:D
  16. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Hi, Mike -- I got your reference but the HCH-I (at least the 5MT) doesn't do that. It behaves like a heavier gen 1 Insight 5MT.
  17. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member


    Went for extended ride in it. NO SALESMAN! Just me, the car, and the iFCD.

    Got it turned on, thanks. I also found lean burn. 79.4 over 3.2 miles; 59.6 over the whole 9.7 miles.

    I also plugged in my SGII. P0000, P1433 - IMA Battery Pack Deterioration.

    Talked to 'em after the drive. Offered 1:1, had my car appraised. No go. Offered $4500, can't come that low. I said "good luck" and walked out.
  18. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Sounds like you got a good taste of what the car has to offer with those numbers; well done! :thumbs_up:

    Also, good job walking out. Keep an eye on it to see if they'll change their minds. Meanwhile, now that you've had that experience you know what to look for if you come across any more for purchase. :)
  19. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    way to do it!
  20. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    Well, my other (non-)option is a 2003 with CVT and lean-burn @ 133k. I'm not buying it, but I do want to push it one more time to show him what can REALLY be done with it.

    I'll hang onto the Elantra for now, ecomod it more hardcore, and maybe, MAYBE convince the wife to go Sonata Hybrid?

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