Road Trip for battery?

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by Mendel Leisk, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Jess

    Jess Well-Known Member

    I went 4 days last week without using the GC and was recal free. I am gong to see if I can go without it this week. I only use the GC when I've discharged the pack down to 5 bars of SoC. I initially have to climb hill after hill in the morning during the very early part of my commute and I much rather start off with a full charge.

    Lately I've been trying to make the most of the regenerative braking to get my SoC up so when I get home I'm at 7 bars. As a hypermiler, I've always laid off the brakes, but that is not helping my SoC. So when it's appropriate, I've been very lightly using the regenerative brakes.

    So far the pack is working great.

  2. ericbecky

    ericbecky Member

    O.k., while only being able to go 4 days recal-free, I'm glad to hear you are not having daily recalls.

    Topping off the battery is o.k. if the battery can take it.
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    4 recal free days is a milestone. Especially with no topup from your GC.

    Our son reports daily recals with our's, still.

    It could be you're on to something. ;)
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Of late I've been ramping up towards replacing the battery again.

    ReInvolt has been bought out by Dorman, and I've been getting frustrated talking to Dorman. They insist the purchase must be made through a retailer such as Pep Boys, then "drop shipped" to an installer.

    ReInvolt had recommended Arrows Automotive for us, in Seattle (we're up the road in Vancouver, BC, Canada). After no response to an email to Pep Boys I contacted Arrows, and they suggested I contact GreenTechAuto.

    Talking with GreenTechAuto I've learned they offer 3 batteries for the second gen Civic Hybird:

    1. A rebuilt battery with refurbed cells (18 mo warranty)
    2. A rebuilt battery with new 6.5 amp cells (same amperage as original, I believe) (3 yr warranty)
    3. A rebuilt battery with new 8.0 amp cells (4 year warranty)

    The last one is not showing on their web site yet, but is apparently available. It's about $200 more than option two. And of course, that's the one we're interested in, LOL.

    There's a $500 core charge, refundable upon their receipt of the old battery. They pay for shipping of the new battery, and the customer pays return. I believe this involves a reusable sturdy shipping crate, and they typically pre-purchase the return shipping sticker, and deduct the amount from the core refund. The shipping cost is typically around $75.

    Their nearest facility is in Portland OR, they will ship to our guy in Seattle, but WONT warranty the install.

    I've talked a bit to BumbeBee, they also have a closest facility in Portland OR, and I'd expect would be ok with a similar scenario, shipping to Seattle. I haven't gone further with that.

    One big concern: we get the battery swapped, then say a year down the road it goes bad, then what? Flatbed transport the car to Seattle? It's frustrating to say the least, a bit of a gamble.

    Anyway, has anyone dealt with GreenTech? BumbleBee? Dorman? How did it work out?
  5. ericbecky

    ericbecky Member

    I have dealt with all of these companies.
    All are reputable.

    You will not be able to directly buy from Dorman. You'd need to buy at one of the retail stores that sell the battery.

    If you could, would you install the pack yourself?

    If so I may be able to help work something out for you.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  6. ericbecky

    ericbecky Member

    Confirmed, I can get a battery for you in Canada.
    New cells.
    Can we chat sometime? Do you use gmail/Google hangouts?
  7. ericbecky

    ericbecky Member

    Arrrgh, well as soon as I confirm it, they give me some hassle about being in US.
    Sooo,now I'm checking back on Washington state. Hopefully just across the border.
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    About a week back the IMA light came on, then switched to the CEL. Then both off. My son got it into a Honda Service department, they recovered a code, and wrote it up as "battery replacement needed".

    However, their hands were tied: the car was a month or so, and about 25000 km's, out of warranty. He called up Honda Canada, explained things, they phoned the dealership, and...: authorized battery replacement, gratis.


    (code was POA7F)
  9. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    You have been very anti Honda for some time Mendel so maybe they are trying to get you off their case<grin>. Congrats on the new pack. H
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    And I don't think I should stop cold turkey. Taper off gradually...

    Seriously, we had deteriorating mileage/performance for at least 4 years, all fine with Honda and their IMA software. About time that damn light went on.
  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I'm glad Honda is trying to take care of their earlier hybrid customers.
  12. Jess

    Jess Well-Known Member

    Congrats Mendel! I know this has been a long time time coming for you.

  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    We were geared up for a road trip to Seattle, discussing specifics with Greentech. They offer two all-new cell replacement batteries, one with that is 6.2 amp (per stock?) and the other 8.0 amp. There's mention of more solid/robust construction/welding.

    The deed would involve meeting a mobile installer, I'd assume in a mall parking lot, in decent weather.

    Anyway we'll give this a go. Maybe with behind-the-scenes advances in battery technology this new battery from Honda will fair better, coupled with the new software. And the price is right.

    But I'm already thinking we should be looking at an exit strategy from Honda's IMA, sooner than later.
  14. mmrmnhrm

    mmrmnhrm Well-Known Member

    Keep us posted on mpg... so far I've been entirely unimpressed with my replacement battery, though in Honda's defense, the weather's been crap and my commutes are only 5mi each way. At least I haven't heard the 12V starter at all since the new pack went in, so that's a plus.
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    The battery's been at the dealership for about a week, and they set up an appointment for the install, for tomorrow (Wed). But my son got a call today, they have to postpone:

    Apparently the new batteries require another software update (beyond the infamous one). They'd done another Hybrid over the weekend, and ran into trouble, dealership talking to Honda, and so on.

    Hopefully it gets sorted soon.
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    The new battery's been in about a week now. True to their word, Honda picked up the tab for the battery. We did have to pay the install labour, around $160, very reasonable.

    The mpg seems to be about the same, just seat-of-pants observations from my son. It's got Nokian WRG2 all weather tires on. They have LRR in their description, but I've always found they imposed a bit of a penalty and we've been having a cold snap. No recalibrations (better not be...), and I think that's the main thing. ;)

    They went for a run out to Vancouver Game farm. Mostly freeway with 100 km/hr speed limit. And I'd suspect he honoured that, at least. The dash showed 5.8 liters/100 km.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    My son just mentioned: he's seen a couple of recalibrations lately. This is with a battery from Honda, roughly 15 months and 24000 km's back now. It's got the latest software update.
  18. jbart

    jbart Well-Known Member

    Any updates? I had a very similar experience, however I had the light come on just before end of warranty (extended now) at 148k KM and 7.5 years. Replaced with Honda refurb at dealership for no charge for any appointments. Considering grid charger to ensure this battery doesnt deteriorate quickly. I have read a bunch of threads on GreenHybrid that make sense to do grid charge a few times a year and even drain and fill the battery using the grid charger and discharge modes.
    We had been happy with Honda in the past, less so with HCH :(
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Our's just past 200,000 kms. I drove it a few times recently, and noticed a "soft" recalibration once, just not as precipitous as the bad old days. I don't know about grid chargers: yes a good idea, but maybe flogging a dead horse.
  20. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    Recalibrations are the first symptoms of imbalance. A few a year are just the car adjusting the SoC. If you've seen more than a few between 12V resets, grid charging is warranted, and it absolutely will prolong the life of the battery possibly for a very significant period.

    Imbalance is the first step leading to cell failure. The 132 cells begin to diverge in their respective SoC, but they are only monitored in groups of 12. The recalibration is always triggered by 1-2 weak cells at very low SoC in a single subpack. Repeated dips in SoC from loads that trigger recalibrations accelerate cell damage. As those cells deteriorate, the likelihood of high current polarity reversals increases, and these can be VERY damaging.

    Preventing these cells from discharging to those low SoC levels with periodic grid charging (1-4/year) can greatly prolong the life of the pack. IMHO, it's almost mandatory to ensure longevity for any Honda IMA pack manufactured after 2008 given their dramatic drop in quality (30%+ failure rate in 3-4 years) - even more true for the Honda refurb packs.

Share This Page