The Honda Civic Hybrid FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by msantos, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Dennys

    Dennys Member

    it has 107k miles and I'm not sure if it's the original battery because I'm never thought the battery will start to fail so soon and I just bought the car from the dealer
  2. Dennys

    Dennys Member

    At the end of the day I see 7 bars but today I saw 6
  3. Dennys

    Dennys Member

    Hahaha thanks bro
  4. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    While this would seem to be a reasonable expectation, the Honda IMA batteries were the worst across all manufacturers. The 06-08 were only slightly better than the atrocious 09-11.

    Given that you're seeing frequent recalibrations without an IMA light means you're just dealing with imbalance/deterioration. It's possible that your battery might respond to whole-pack reconditioning with a Hybrid Automotive Prolong Reconditioning package.
    Dennys and all_about_the_glide like this.
  5. all_about_the_glide

    all_about_the_glide Well-Known Member

    Rebalancing might get you to 150k and be worth the effort. You need IMA to light up on your dash to get Honda involved or 2300 for a Bumblebee.
    Dennys likes this.
  6. Dennys

    Dennys Member

  7. Dennys

    Dennys Member

    Thanks for the help. I notice today the check engine light came on and didn't go away. At first it was every other day but not anymore. I was planning to drive for 3 hour this week somewhere. I also wanted to know if it's a good idea to do it or not?
  8. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    First, you should check your codes to understand why the CEL is on.

    If it's just your HV battery and your 12V is charging, there is very little risk. There is a red 12V battery light that illuminates with ignition on, but then goes out once started. If that light is off, you should be fine. Folks have driven for years with their IMA light on. Most here in AZ don't replace it until they have to get through emissions... then they're desperate!

    The biggest risk is the negative impact the recalibrations have on your mileage. They can pull you down into the low 30s.
    Dennys likes this.
  9. Dennys

    Dennys Member

    Oh ok. Thanks for all your help. I never got a hybrid before and I'm starting to learn all about it and I really appreciate all your help
  10. Dennys

    Dennys Member

    I still don't understand about the recalibration? What does it do? And what do you mean they will bring it down to your 30s?
  11. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    As the battery ages/deteriorates the battery pack's capacity decreases. A recalibration is when the computer intentionally charges the pack until it stops taking a charge, then it bleeds that charge off. The computer then uses that information to determine the current pack capacity.
  12. Dennys

    Dennys Member

    Alright and when you said they will bring it to 30s? What does that mean?
  13. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I think that means the fuel economy drops into the 30s (MPG) versus the expected 40s (MPG). You'll be running with less battery support and lose some extra efficiency through charging up the traction battery with some or a lot of that energy being tossed away. I'll fix/remove this reply when someone posts a more definitive answer.

    Edit: Thanks, S Keith!
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
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  14. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    There are two types of recalibrations - positive and negative.

    Before I continue, you need to understand how the battery is managed. In a nutshell, the pack voltage is monitored every 12 cells. In the HCH2, there are 132 cells, so there are 11 different voltage readings. The computer manages the battery based on these 11 voltages and how they respond to current (charge and discharge) and temperature.

    Yes. Those 11 voltages should be VERY close to each other, particularly at rest and under moderate loads (about 20A). I mean VERY close. They tend to be in the vicinity of 16.00V, and they should NOT vary by more than about 0.20V between the minimum and the maximum.

    A negative recalibration occurs when ONE of the 11 voltages hits a lower limit while the car is assisting at the current temperature. Essentially, it's an "oh crap" moment where the battery notes that ONE (or more) of the voltages is not like the others. The recalibration process disables IMA assist and force charges the battery. This continues until ALL voltages have risen to what the computer believes is the normal range.

    A negative recalibration presents and an abrupt drop to 0 assist, forced charging and the SoC gage "marching" down to 2 bars at 1 bar/second.

    A positive recalibration is the opposite. The HIGHEST voltage during regenerative braking or forced charge operation exceeds a given upper limit for the current temperature. This terminates all charge operations, increases the tendency for assist and the bars "march" to 8 bars at 1 bar/second.

    A sure sign of a severely ailing pack is a negative recalibration followed immediately by a positive one like this:

    Negative recal
    0 assist
    force charge
    SoC "march" to 2 bars at 1 bar/second.
    continue force charge
    Positive recal
    charging terminated
    SoC "march" to 8 bars at 1 bar/second.

    This means that a cell or cells on the weakest of the 11 voltage readings is at or below the low limit of the pack, and the strongest of the 11 voltage readings is at or above the high limit of the pack - your usable capacity between high and low is almost non-existent.

    I have a version of HDS (Honda Diagnostic System) that reports these data during live driving. There is an actual "capacity" value expressed in %. I have seen failed packs or packs that are recalibrating like mad around 10-12% capacity.

    The net effect of the loss of assist and the forced charging is usually a drop into the low to mid 30s from low 40s mpg for typical in-town stop-and-go driving as well as periods of GUTLESSNESS!
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    The 06 Civic Hybrid taken over by our son had the original hybrid battery replaced in January of 2014, around 159K km's, for free thankfully, apart from $150~ labour charge by a dealership. Considering that the car has a new battery and the latest software, I thought we were out of the woods, at least for some time.

    Not soon after, maybe within a year, it began doing occasional recals again. The car's at 212K km's now, and I had it for a few days while him and his wife were on vacation. I drove it on grocery runs a few times, then out to the airport yesterday morning.

    At least once for every use there was a recal, what you'd call a "positive" recall I guess: a somewhat "soft" recall, not much impact on performance. Basically drop to two bars, auto-stop disabled, constant 2~4 bars of charging when stopped, no charging when braking (I think?), limitted assist when accelerating. Culminates with "full" charge, all the bars lit, big whoop. :rolleyes:

    The car's front end sounds severely creaky/groany, I really should try to figure out how and why. Also, the AC condensor is sort-of disintegrating, lol. Still holding charge though.
  16. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    What you describe is a negative recal followed by a positive recal - basically indicating reduced capacity and/or self-discharge issues.

    One per use is about the limit of what won't affect mileage. They can limp along recalibrating every 5-10 minutes/miles, and your mileage will suffer greatly.
  17. all_about_the_glide

    all_about_the_glide Well-Known Member

    2007 - Replaced original battery 15 months over 20k miles ago with an aftermarket Bumblebee. I've only driven it sporadically since October, but in all my miles I've only seen 2 bars twice. It can still assist at high levels from 0 to 70 mph with 5 or 6 bars still showing once I drop back to 62 to 68 mph interstate cruising speeds. 2300 out of pocket for that performance. AC quit -- the kid will have to work that out if he wants.
  18. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    You can use the climate control interface to report trouble codes. My clutch field coil went out, and I was able to trace it with the diagnostic tree and the climate readout. I bought a shim pack and liquid gold compressor oil ($65 for 50mL) from Honda, a salvage yard compressor, a vacuum pump and a new set of manifold gauges for < $400. She was blowing chilly in AZ heat when I was finished.

    Snaking that effing orange power cable for the compressor out and back in was a real pain in the tushy.
  19. Dennys

    Dennys Member

    What type of oil is the best that I Should use for my 2008 Honda Civic hybrid?
  20. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    0W-20 per the owner's manual
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