well, with the manual, I've heard that their batteries fail sooner. Probably because it lets the battery discharge more deeply. And then I have heard the same of driving in the mountains. When I drive, I charge it up going down, and then totally discharge it going back up, and then some.
But who knows...it seems like the computer system could be programmed to keep the car from discharging the batteries completely.
#1 Manual transmission IMA is driven harder for better acceleration and better gas milage. If you notice, you get a couple of more HP from the manual transmission HCH than the Automatic.
#2 Batteries like the same temperatures we like. Overheating the batteries can cause them to go bad quicker. There is a lot of time and money spent by the auto companies on battery pack thermal management. I think that AC use saves battery packs.
I came to these conclusions trolling around the Honda Insight chat rooms. It seemed when a battery pack went bad, the owner of the car had manual transmission and did not use AC. You really could get some great gas milage with the manual transmissions, but they were hell on batteries. This is why Honda no longer offers a MT in the Civic Hybrid.
Ford (I own a Mercury Mariner Hybrid) has deticated AC for the battery pack. I have heard their testing shows the battery packs last a really long time with the deticated AC in the battery compartment.
Wish I could get more owners to come forward, but hopefully this means there are not many failed battery packs.
have a 2003 HCH manual at 143000+ miles. Purchased it used somewhere around 90000. Original battery still going. I don't use air unless it is really hot and I drive to try and keep from draining the battery all the way (though it happens now ande then).
My 2003 HCH flipped on its IMA light on Monday at 108k. The dealer says its a P1447 "battery module deterioration". Oh, and by the way, that'll be $6,000!
I live in Texas, am the second owner and drive very sensibly.
I spoke with a civil but unhelpful person at American Honda who basically said, "Sorry. Nothing to do about it."
I've seen the note that battery pack prices are expected to come down tomorrow, so I guess the timing is good. But I still feel like I've got a balloon payment due on this car I didn't even know was looming! (Sure, I knew "someday"... but 108k? On a Honda?)
I honestly can't buy a new battery pack right now. So to all of you who are wiser than I am, I ask: Can I drive it anyway? Will I get stuck somewhere when the battery level drops to nothing? (Last check it was about 45% but it's been parked for four days.) What options do I have?
Anything and everything anyone has to say gratefully appreciated!
Newsweek (May 28, 2008) said:
"Despite eBay's booming battery bazaar, Toyota, Honda and Ford all say hybrid battery failures are extremely rare. Out of more than 100,000 Honda hybrids on the road, the automaker says fewer than 200 have had a battery fail after the warranty expired." http://www.newsweek.com/id/138808/page/2
Anyone else out there upping this total to over 200?
Greenyule, am new to the forum here, but whatever happened to your car? Could you get Honda to help you out? My IMA light has been on for 2 months, and I have 120,000 miles on it. I have been waiting to see if I can get Honda to help out, as the cat converter also needs replaced (I am on #3 cat converter now!). Honda said they can't help me out because I'm out of warranty but I'm not giving up yet.
My battery is still charging and is OK, but I also wonder if it will just die one day.....from reading the columns it sure doesn't seem like IMA battery failure is rare!!
Well, I'm sort of 'waiting' as well! I'm at about 109,000 and 1,300 miles and two months past the point where my IMA light came on and my car was diagnosed as having 'battery failure'. While it's slightly more sluggish and it shows four green bars of charging when it probably shouldn't, it's otherwise charging, assisting and auto stopping as usual. I'm getting 41mpg with the A/C on in hot Texas, which is probably only one or two mpg less than before the light came on. The price I was quoted for replacing the battery was $6480 the end of May. Apparently, there was a price drop on June 1 as Newsweek reported, and the estimate I got in early July was $2475.
American Honda told me flatly that it was out of warranty and no go even though I drew a parallel to the Honda Insight batteries and driving in a hot place like Texas. (I've also had the catalytic converter replaced, at maybe 88k, and I only had to pay about $100 in labor not the $1700 quoted.)
At this point, I really can't afford to replace the battery and I figure 41mpg is better than anything else I can come up with. I've tried to get past a fear that it'll just stop somewhere (and when the charge dropped to two bars yesterday, that was reignited! but it carried on and charged more so it wasn't a problem).
Maybe if we band together and find others with a similar problem we can get American Honda's attention?