Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars


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  #1  
Old 12-03-2017, 09:15 PM
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Default Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid

Hello all,

I came here to ask some advice on a 2005 Civic Hybrid I'm considering purchasing for my girlfriend. We love our Hondas (my 88 Accord and her 01 Civic), but the transmission went out in her Civic, and the repair is more than the car.

She's always wanted an 05 Civic Hybrid, and so I've been looking around for one. Found one nearby in Ohio and we went and took a look at it.

05 Civic Hybrid CVT
175k Miles

The good:
The car started up! (always a plus)
Drove straight down the road, no pulling
Accelerated to 45mph smoothly (no highway near the dealer)
Engine sounds pretty good. Slight lifter tick on cold start.
Everything seems to work.
Very little rust only on wheel wells. Underneath no rust

The bad:
I've done some online research on this issue, and this car has the shudder when the IMA starts assisting right about 5 mph. Once past that, it drives great. I didn't have a chance to check the transmission fluid, which I will next time I look at it. From what I understand, often a simple transmission fluid change and burnishing the starter clutch often takes care of the issue.

I'm familiar with motorcycle clutches, brake pads, and other such friction materials, and know how sometimes things can get glazed over. Based on the experiences of many people who have posted on this common issue, it seems like something which I will be able to take care of myself, but there is the specter of a new purchase. What is a worse case scenario of this issue? Since we are coming from a transmission issue, I don't want to purchase another problem car.

How likely is it that its a catastrophic failure as compared to a simple regular maintenance issue specific to these hybrid CVT transmissions.

If a fluid change and a clutch burnish don't solve the issue, what is the long term damage that would be caused by continuing to drive with this issue?

Any advice from a more experienced person would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Twitch
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid

Run away from this car. You have CVT judder, and you'll have to drop another $2200 on a new battery soon.

Honda Civic Hybrids are problem cars. Period.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid

Is the shudder related to a poorly performing battery? I was under the impression there was a clutch pack that can get glazed over. I have been seeing there are many problems with these cars, I myself have been looking into an insight with a Manual transmission. The problem is my girlfriend seems pretty set on this model year. She is a Honda loyalist, and since her old Civic broke she's set on having her next vehicle be a hybrid. Does the next generation civic hybrid have the issues taken care of, or are these continuing problems across the board. Pretty sure we can talk the salesman down to $1500 with new tires the way it sits.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid

No. The judder is a problem with the CVT. Sometimes the burnishing process fixes it, but it's usually temporary. The only permanent fix is a start clutch replacement, which will cost more than what you're paying for the car. Note that I wouldn't take the car if I were PAID $1500 to take it... well... yeah. I would. I'd drive it straight to the salvage yard and collect another $500.

Their batteries are just bad. Period. You should count on spending another $2200 for a battery in the near future. Most used hybrid purchasers find themselves replacing the hybrid battery shortly after purchase.

The newer generation civic hybrids only get worse until the lithium based 2012 and newer. Those are fine.

Please note that I have owned 2X 06 Civic hybrids, and I still own an '02 and '05 Honda Insight. Of the 4 vehicles, there have been 7 battery replacements. I have also worked on many other car's batteries.

I do not recommend purchasing used Honda hybrids for people who want inexpensive, reliable and fuel efficient transportation. You won't get all three, and often you'll get zero. With only a few exceptions, Honda hybrids are pretty much the worst hybrids out there.

Your money would be better spent on another regular civic.

If you're dead set on a Honda Hybrid, the 05-07 Accord Hybrid (battery is still an issue with these) and the 2010+ Insight are reasonably reliable. I don't remember which years, but I think it's the 11 and 12 Insights that had big problems with their piston rings. Do your research and avoid those.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:51 AM
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Default Re: Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid

Thanks for your insight (pun intended). I'll talk to her about changing her mind on the hybrid for her car. As for me, I have always had a soft spot for misfit cars, and also am an electrician/Maintenance technician and the challenge sounds interesting, but maybe for something I'm driving not something she's driving.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid

Unless you have cars to loan her for when they break down, then no. It's a bad idea for her.


If you enjoy projects and challenges, a manual G1 Insight is a good choice.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid

I actually always keep one extra car licensed and insured for when something else breaks down. It's a 78 Chevy van, but she seems to not mind driving it (though parking is a whole other story.

The G1 Insight is what I was looking at. I enjoy two seaters, and it's one of the few cars built after 1990 which I find aesthetically appealing.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhorse2347 View Post
Is the shudder related to a poorly performing battery? I was under the impression there was a clutch pack that can get glazed over. I have been seeing there are many problems with these cars, I myself have been looking into an insight with a Manual transmission. The problem is my girlfriend seems pretty set on this model year. She is a Honda loyalist, and since her old Civic broke she's set on having her next vehicle be a hybrid. Does the next generation civic hybrid have the issues taken care of, or are these continuing problems across the board. Pretty sure we can talk the salesman down to $1500 with new tires the way it sits.
I have a 2003 HCH. I would not suggest that anybody buy a 2003-2005 HCH. The CVT transmission is just a poor design, requiring expensive and frequent maintenance. The batteries are not a terrible design but at least in hot LA they just do not last. Replacing a CVT will run around $3K at an independent shop and a battery is about $2K if you install it yourself. Even if they paid you $1500 to drive it away it would be an expensive car to maintain. (For mine I'm waiting for the next big failure and then it is off to the junk yard.)

If she loves 2005 Civics buy her a conventional one. Since you mentioned rust you might want to see if you can bring one in from California, Nevada, or Arizona, where cars basically never rust. (Maybe a little bit if the car lived right on the coast, from the salt air.) Although at that price point the transport would be nearly as much as the car.

If she must have a hybrid get a Prius instead. I hate the driving experience but they are ultra-reliable and historically quite inexpensive to maintain. Just be aware that in any hybrid the big battery is an expensive disposable item, so you have to budget for that. Buying a used old hybrid is likely to make that purchase a sooner rather than later event.
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid

Quote:
Originally Posted by pasadena_commut View Post
If she must have a hybrid get a Prius instead. I hate the driving experience but they are ultra-reliable and historically quite inexpensive to maintain. Just be aware that in any hybrid the big battery is an expensive disposable item, so you have to budget for that. Buying a used old hybrid is likely to make that purchase a sooner rather than later event.


This so hard.


Toyota knocked it out of the park with the Prius. Even the first gen is better than any Honda NiMH hybrid. Period. The Insight was a technological marvel on several fronts, but they should have gone with the prismatic modules instead of the sticks.


Based on my sample of about 110 packs, most Prius battery failures occur in the 140-180K range with outliers at both ends (lowest 77K, highest 290K). About 1/4 of the packs I've replaced have been for people that have owned their Prius for less than 6 months.


Reaching a little further... hybrids have two propulsion systems with MORE potential failure points - all of which are usually expensive. If the goal is inexpensive, reliable and fuel efficient transportation, a used hybrid is RARELY a good choice.


Trust me. I've owned 8.
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Considering purchasing 05 Civic Hybrid

Quote:
Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
The Insight was a technological marvel on several fronts, but they should have gone with the prismatic modules instead of the sticks.
My understanding is that they looked at them but they cost more than the sticks, so Honda cheaped out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
Based on my sample of about 110 packs, most Prius battery failures occur in the 140-180K range with outliers at both ends (lowest 77K, highest 290K). About 1/4 of the packs I've replaced have been for people that have owned their Prius for less than 6 months.
Never done it myself, but reportedly it is relatively easy to swap out just the worst couple of prismatic cells in a Prius pack. That gave owners of those cars the options of doing partial repairs, which would keep them on the road for a while. This would have been an older model Prius. It isn't a good idea to muck around with the newer Lithium ion batteries on the current generation of hybrids. There isn't really anything you can do to fix the new cells, other than replace the whole thing. I would be really afraid to attach my current grid charger to a car with the newer batteries - with no control electronics active to keep an eye on those always ready to burst into flame lithium batteries it is a disaster waiting to happen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
Reaching a little further... hybrids have two propulsion systems with MORE potential failure points - all of which are usually expensive. If the goal is inexpensive, reliable and fuel efficient transportation, a used hybrid is RARELY a good choice.
There are Prius transmission failures but they are said to be quite rare. If it does go then probably it would cost just as much to replace as a CVT. The difference being that the Prius transmission would then deliver another 200K miles of service, whereas the new CVT would still require its expensive fluids and is likely to fail in a much shorter interval. I wouldn't expect a big problem with an HCH or Prius motor until they just wore out, maybe 300K miles? I would expect to have replaced all the pumps, belts, hoses, etc. before then. But not the starter motor. (Does a Prius even have one?)
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