31mpg HCHII going in for work...fingers crossed

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by ematzen, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. ematzen

    ematzen Well-Known Member

    Well, the dealership in my new hometown, Carlsbad, CA, has agreed to take a close look at my 2006 HCHII.

    They are going to park the car this Friday, and let it sit until they open up on Tuesday. At that point the head service representative will start the car, drive it for 5 miles or so, and give us a diagnosis.

    If the car behaves like it has, the service manager will see:

    1: At first start, engine will turn over like a regular car (e.g. chug chug chug) because the battery totally died while sitting.

    2: The SOC will be high, but quickly drop to 2 bars (used to drop to 0 bars before the latest update).

    3: The car enter forced recharge, have really reduced acceleration, and charge to 4 bars

    4: The SOC will jump from 4 bars to full, regardless of whether it is charging or not.

    5: Car will drive fine while SOC is high, but battery will drop to two quickly and force another recharge.

    6: Every time they start the car from that point on, it will enter a force recharge.

    Hopefully that, coupled with 3k miles averaging 31mpg, will be enough to convince them that there is a problem. If not, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

    Fun fun.

  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    If your car starts with the 12 volt & conventional starter, that alone should convince them! Good luck.
  3. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    My 2006 has never started with the starter. It would scare the H out of me if it did!:D H
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    By design it's only supposed to used the conventional starter at some god-forsaken freezing temperature: maybe -20 Fahrenheit? Ours has never started that way either. Thumbs down to Honda if they manage to call that normal behaviour.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  5. hunter44102

    hunter44102 Well-Known Member

    What is really disturbing is that you are getting no error codes at all, but your vehicle is using the backup starter? It just doesn't seem right. The mileage alone indicates a serious issue. You should not be getting worse mileage than a standard Civic.
  6. ematzen

    ematzen Well-Known Member

    Yup. Hopefully it will perform for the dealer as it has for me. The conventional starter is used probably about 50% of the time if the car has sat over the weekend. We'll see.

    My plan B is if they tell me the car is perfectly fine, then I will ask them to pay me full trade-in value, which is about $11.5k. Hell, I'll even buy a conventional civic from them. If I were a dealer, I wouldn't want to have to resell my hybrid, because even if they won't "admit" a problem to me, they shouldn't feel good about giving it to someone else as is. But what do I know.

  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member


    Geez, I'm really death-to-Honda today, LOL.
  8. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    I hope things take a turn for the better for you ematzen. The HCH-II is a great car.

  9. ematzen

    ematzen Well-Known Member

    Well, the dealer acknowledged the start with conventional starter, acknowledged the constant battery recal, and acknowledged the poor gas mileage, but told me that Honda North America told them that all of that is normal.

    The interesting tidbit they did provide me is that Honda North America is telling them that the IMA battery had been replaced previously, apparently before we owned the car, which means it was replaced before the 3 year 36k warranty is up. I called Honda North America, and the dealership that did work on the vehicle, and was told that the IMA WAS NOT REPLACED, rather, the 12 volt battery. So we are getting mixed signals.

    I pushed it back on the dealer to provide me with solutions for a car operating at less than 80% advertised efficiency. Also told them that if Honda NA was saying that my car operates normally, they should be ashamed to sell the hybrid. I have NEVER owned a car that degraded this much. A minivan is still a minivan after 4 years of ownership. My 1981 Chevy Cavalier still operated as it should after 10 years of ownership This is absurd.

    We'll see what the dealer comes back with. I feel bad forcing the issue with them, as it is technically not their responsibility. However, my needs to not be screwed over comes first.

    Strike 2 Honda.
  10. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    Is there another dealer you can go to?
  11. Jess

    Jess Well-Known Member

    Wow...that is really disturbing.
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I'm finding that a head-shaker too. I don't think Honda is our friend anymore...

    And will have to think long and hard, no matter what they have in the pipeline: this kind of treatment is not right, purely adversarial...

    To the OP: they have got to come to their senses in your case:

    1. This wouldn't stand a chance in court.

    2. Didn't they learn anything from the recent Toyota debacle: denial will come back to bite you.

    Just keep records of all discussions/statements, stay polite, but let them know what you think, and good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  13. ematzen

    ematzen Well-Known Member

    Update: Honda NA apparently wants the dealership to take two electronic snapshots of the vehicle (I assume plugging in some machine to the computer) while the car is starting with the conventional starter motor.

    This means the dealer must keep the car for at least another week, as to be on the safe side to ensure that the conventional starter motor is used, the car should sit for 3 or 4 days.

    However, the dealer is unable to provide us a loaner car, so we will have to pay for a rental.

    My current hope is that the dealer will be able to convince our third party warranty company that they should pay for a rental, because the dealer will need to keep the car for an extended period of time. I doubt that will work.

    Plan B will be priceline I guess. Not a fan of paying another $300 for this car.

    BTW, it was confirmed that the IMA was replaced at 27K miles on 9/6/2008.
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Rent a Prius? ;)
  15. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Yes. Be sure to tell them all about it, too.
  16. Sledge

    Sledge I like owls with captions

    Or just buy one like I did :D
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Just coming by to gloat?...

    I've often idly thought that a HCHII driver, going to a Prius, would get phemonenal mileage for the first little while, till complacency set in.

    Seriously: I've heard that it is much easier to get good round-town mileage, due to the more robust battery, and inversely: harder to get good highway mileage.

    How does the Prius feel to you, coming from HCHII, any impressions to share?
  18. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    My HCH2 is great, but I did purchase a 2006 Prius with 19,500 Kilometers on it yesterday. With all this going on at Honda I couldn't buy another! I hope the Prius treats me as well as the HCH. I might add that my first 100 kilometers netted me 3.2 ltr. per 100K with the Prius <grin> H:Banane07:
  19. ematzen

    ematzen Well-Known Member

    As an owner of two used hybrids, a 2006 civic (hence this thread), and a 2008 prius, my experience is that it is much easier to get 40+ MPG in the prius with what I would consider normal driving.

    I have been able to coax the civic to much better FE than the prius. When driving aggressively, the Civic shows much lower FE than the prius, similarly aggressively driven.

    But man, on the highway, that civic is impressive.

    Now, on the HCHII debacle - My wife has agreed to bike to work, so the dealership can have my HCHII for an extended period of time. They will get it next Friday to make the first "snapshot," and the following Friday for the next one.

    The dealer is getting mixed signals as to whether the IMA was replaced at 29K miles. Honda NA said it was, the dealer who supposedly replaced it says it wasn't. My dealer is going to ask Honda NA Warranty department to try to get a definitive answer.
  20. Jess

    Jess Well-Known Member

    Harold, did you replace your HCHII or just bought an additional car?

    My IMA light, 12v battery light and emissions malfunction light all came on this morning. I keyed it off an turned it back on. My IMA and 12v battery lights went out, but my emissions malfunction light did not and still remains. I'm taking her in tomorrow to address the issue. Whatever it is, it hasn't hurt the car's performance at all for I pulled a round trip commute of 30 miles at 69 mpg and a one way of 15 miles at 76mpg.

    But, boy was I scared when I saw that IMA light come on. That was a first for me.


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