Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

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Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:06 pm

My car's[1] hybrid battery pack is dying after 8.5 years and 157k-miles. Replacement will be about 75% of the car's actual value, and apparently just ignoring it isn't an option because the car lacks an alternator, instead charging the engine battery through the hybrid system.

I'm leaning towards replacing the battery pack eventually (probably in a year or less, because it's down to about 15-20% capacity) because despite the cost it'll still be cheaper than buying a good used car, not to mention the time and hassle involved, plus I know this car's otherwise trouble-free (really, it's the best and most trouble-free car I've ever owned; my next car will very likely be a Honda) and has been taken care of pretty well, and I don't have any other motivation to sell the car so its resale value has little meaning.

Anyone have thoughts on which way I should go?


[1] '05 Civic Hybrid, owned since it was new.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:10 pm

I would call around to the salvage yards and see if anyone has one.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:29 pm

Rockauto has that battery pack at $1,610.79 (plus a refundable core charge). I presume you were looking at the official Honda price for replacement so this might make it more cost effective.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:32 pm

This is a toughie. I would consider going with the dealership if and only if they have some sort of a warranty on the battery pack. Its worth looking into.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:33 pm

Definitely buy the pack and do the work yourself (or have a reputable shop do it). I highly doubt the cost of replacement at the dealer is worth the massive premium.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:09 pm

cjcerny wrote:I would call around to the salvage yards and see if anyone has one.


I'd be leery of trusting a mechanical part from a wreck of this vintage, let alone a battery that's got a definite shelf life.

notfred wrote:Rockauto has that battery pack at $1,610.79 (plus a refundable core charge). I presume you were looking at the official Honda price for replacement so this might make it more cost effective.


That would be a /lot/ cheaper once the core charge is taken back off. The dealership wanted around $3300. Thanks!

TheEmrys wrote:This is a toughie. I would consider going with the dealership if and only if they have some sort of a warranty on the battery pack. Its worth looking into.


I think the Honda pack has a 3 year/36k mile warranty on it.

Waco wrote:Definitely buy the pack and do the work yourself (or have a reputable shop do it). I highly doubt the cost of replacement at the dealer is worth the massive premium.


The only value-add would be the warranty, yes.

edit: Rockauto's part has a 3-year warranty as well, so I think the Honda dealership lost a sale. :P
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:18 pm

Interested in seeing the results of this as there are going to be many many failing battery packs on hybrids in the coming years.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:20 pm

Nobody's tried to get me to just buy a different car yet, so I'm feeling better about this decision.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:42 pm

Does that pack have liquid cooling connections that must be drained, broken, remade, and bled? Might increase the difficulty factor a bit if so.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:01 pm

lilbuddhaman wrote:Interested in seeing the results of this as there are going to be many many failing battery packs on hybrids in the coming years.


Reliability data that Consumer Reports has says that batteries have not been an issue at all for Toyota but have been an issue for Honda.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:10 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Does that pack have liquid cooling connections that must be drained, broken, remade, and bled? Might increase the difficulty factor a bit if so.


Doesn't seem to. Looks pretty easy if you know your way around high voltage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... 3N_bnJl3SM
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:25 pm

cjcerny wrote:
lilbuddhaman wrote:Interested in seeing the results of this as there are going to be many many failing battery packs on hybrids in the coming years.


Reliability data that Consumer Reports has says that batteries have not been an issue at all for Toyota but have been an issue for Honda.


I picked that up from browsing a couple car fora, yeah. Still, I knew going in that batteries don't last forever and I got pretty far past the warranty period. On the gripping hand, it does make the Hondas less of a good deal WRT cost/fuel mileage calculations.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:47 pm

Dealer service will always be double-ish the cost of third-party shops, since the parts and service center usually provides the majority of profit for the entire operation; the sales section just exists to keep the brand's products cycling onto the road.

The one advantage of a dealer service is that the parts will always be OE, and the techs usually have rigorous training and continuing education standards, plus access to all of the manufacturer-specific specialty tools. With private shops you have to go by reputation and their willingness to stand behind their work. Even then, I bought a (used) car from a dealer that had the clutched replaced by a tech who air-wrenched the front wheel lugs, so anybody can do something stupid.
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:36 pm

Consumer Reports wrote: A Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) published in late 2012 extends the warranty on the IMA drive battery.

Cars that were previously covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles are now covered for 11 years or 137,000 miles, while cars originally sold with an eight-year, 80,000-mile warranty are now covered for nine years or 96,000 miles.

Customers who’ve already replaced the drive batteries are also extended a warranty, though only for three years or 36,000 miles.

Honda claims that a software update (for 2006-08 Civic Hybrid models) helped to extend IMA battery life, and the automaker promises it will “continue to provide the most updated technology to our customers as it becomes available.”
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Re: Replacing my hybrid's battery pack

Postposted on Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:18 pm

I'm still well past the new mileage offer, sadly, though I suppose it couldn't hurt to contact Honda and ask.
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