(Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no problems

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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Aug 21, 2011 1:17 pm

MitchJi wrote: Better Cells are easy to find. How difficult or expensive would it be to have six high quality NiMH D Cells welded, or otherwise fastened together in a satisfactory manner?


With a plug-in booster pack, properly configured I bet you could get a lot of the benefits of the hack (which AFAIK doesn't work with the Civic) of the hack. IE not having the motor start charging the pack going up hill, at least until the booster pack was depleted.
Welding the cells into sticks is not trivial, but the guy at Hybid Pack Repair has a setup that does that. It would be great to get ready built sticks. Where can you get the Better Cells?


You are right, the MIMA is only for the Insight. The Civic version has not been developed yet, but should be possible.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by peterperkins » Aug 23, 2011 10:19 pm

New cells are available from www.hybrid-battery-repair.com they seem to work well I've done a couple of battery rebuilds using them now, and have another two packs worth on order.

I offered to develop a MIMA for the early civics but need someone with a car in the Uk to allow me to log data from their vehicle. Then they need to let me add my gizmo to test it.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Aug 24, 2011 8:54 am

I may need to check into those new cells.

Data logging the signals on my car is still on the to-do list, but have too many other things going on right now.
I'll be tearing into the IMA soon enough though.

Which line did you say to look at?
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by MitchJi » Aug 24, 2011 8:25 pm

Hi,
Mitch wrote:Better Cells are easy to find. How difficult or expensive would it be to have six high quality NiMH D Cells welded, or otherwise fastened together in a satisfactory manner?
fechter wrote:Welding the cells into sticks is not trivial, but the guy at Hybid Pack Repair has a setup that does that. It would be great to get ready built sticks.
Sounds like the Better Battery guy found Better Cells, assembled them into sticks himself and tested them, then arranged to have them assembled into sticks. It also sounds like the Cells are not welded (Bendable welds?!), and it might be difficult to find a better solution:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/hy ... -test.html
Image
05-23-2011
Brand new battery sticks under test

These 8Ah sticks are not made by Panasonic/Sanyo (or Sanyo's NiMH successor FDK).

Here is the second set being prepared for another beta tester.

They are now in the car and functioning properly. I'm going to give them a workout for the next couple of months and test them to death with my MIMA.

These 8Ah sticks are not made by Panasonic/Sanyo (or Sanyo's NiMH successor FDK).
---
It took two years of development and dozens of company's products to get the right cells custom-built...
---
Are the sticks bent or is this due to the way they were photographed
---
The sticks bend fairly easily under their own weight. It's the interconnects that bend
, not the cells themselves. Nothing to worry about.
peterperkins wrote:New cells are available from http://www.hybrid-battery-repair.com they seem to work well I've done a couple of battery rebuilds using them now, and have another two packs worth on order.
Doesn't he charge the same price for a set of sticks as for a complete pack (~$90 per stick)? Individual sticks or only complete sets?
fechter wrote:Where can you get the Better Cells?
What I meant is that there has been a substantial improvement in NiMH Cell Quality since ~2000 and that there are a lot more choices for raw Cells than for sticks. Finding the right quality at the right price and getting them fitted together could be difficult. I'm not sure of the requirements but here's one option that might be a good choice:
http://www.saftbatteries.com/Produit_VH ... fault.aspx
Saft wrote:Saft's VH super high energy and VHT very long life Ni-MH cells are designed for applications that demand fast charge and discharge capability over a prolonged lifetime.

VH Cs, VH D and VH F cells are designed specifically for high energy density applications requiring fast charge and high discharge rates (50 A) and specially target cordless power tools, e-bikes and personal electric vehicles, radio control and professional electronics equipment.
Will button top cells work?
http://sepbatteries.com/vhd-saft-battery
sepbatteries wrote:Saft VH D NiMh Battery - OVERSTOCK SPECIAL!!! - $10.00
Voltage 1.2
Capacity 9500 mAh
Size D
Termination button top
Manufacturer Saft
Literally hundreds of options:
http://www.alibaba.com/products/nimh_ba ... 12876.html
Click here to hide Refine Search options
Refine Search:
Size: D Type: NI-MH
Supplier Location:
China (Mainland) (403) Hong Kong (20) Austria (1) Taiwan (1)
Best Wishes!

Mitch


The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Two examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here
The cells are rated conservatively by GM at 7.8C, Yabert's tests of Volt packs on the DiyEv car forum suggest a higher C rate, 15+ C!.

$1,400 plus $360 freight. Still over $1k less than new lead!

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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by MitchJi » Aug 24, 2011 9:07 pm

Hi,
Mitch wrote:With a plug-in booster pack, properly configured I bet you could get a lot of the benefits of the hack (which AFAIK doesn't work with the Civic) of the hack. IE not having the motor start charging the pack going up hill, at least until the booster pack was depleted.
Civic MIMA (civic and vs booster pack)
fechter wrote:You are right, the MIMA is only for the Insight. The Civic version has not been developed yet, but should be possible.
I'm sure its possible but a lot more work:
http://99mpg.com/mima/faq/#canmimaworkontheci
The IMA system in the Civic, while sharing many of the same functional modules as the Insight, do much of the control between modules with a high speed serial communication, similar to the Prius. The MIMA modification was made possible by the relitively simple hardware based PWM control that the Insight has between the ECM and the MCM modules.
If Honda released the codes and protocal information on the Civics internal serial control language, we could make a simpler and cheaper MIMA like control for the Civic...
peterperkins wrote: I offered to develop a MIMA for the early civics but need someone with a car in the Uk to allow me to log data from their vehicle. Then they need to let me add my gizmo to test it.
EDIT:
And even for an Insight I think maybe instead of spending the $700 on a MIMA putting it toward a Lithium booster pack might be more cost effective.

Changed to:
The combination of a booster pack with the MIMA should work much better than either by itself.
[/quote]
It sounds like everyone with one of these hybrids should grid charge their pack:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/pr ... tions.html
What Mark meant was that it is likely your current battery can be refurbished with a Grid Charger trickle charger. We have many users here with otherwise severely degraded batteries who's cars are quite drivable with a weekly grid charge.

Another note on grid chargers: The batteries used in the cars are capable of a much longer lifespan than 5-10 years, but Honda's management of the battery is defective. A grid charger is something that you need to invest in regardless of which avenue you choose to keep your battery healthy for many, many years to come.
Your testing method for bad sticks is really ingenious but if you are going to repair other people's hybrids would it be a better idea to install a grid charger that can find bad sticks, send them home for a week or two and have them return with that information, remove the charger and repair the pack?:
http://99mpg.com/Projectcars/gridcharge ... hecharger/
The system can be expanded to a full pack tester that will not only allow charging, but safe smart discharging to allow automatic pack cycling and detection of the weak subpack sticks.
http://99mpg.com/Projectcars/gridcharger/
The Target price for the maintenance charger is $400-$500, and the overnight version for between $500-$600, but cannot firm up the price until I actually build them, and see what quantities your orders will support.

I will be providing two basic models, a 1A overnight charger that can fill an empty hybrid pack (6.5AH)in less than 8 hours, and a less expensive conditioner charger that will be limited to 350ma.

2.(Q) What is the difference between the Maint and overnight versions
(A) the Maint will only have a 350ma output, but the Overnight will have a 1.05 A output.
The maintenance charger will do the balancing job nicely, but it could take 8-25 hours to do the full balancing.
The overnight will do the same job in 5-8 hours.
It sounds like the ability to charge at faster than 350ma might be useful. With nightly grid charging and balancing you might be able to milk a few years out of a pretty marginal pack.
Best Wishes!

Mitch


The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Two examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here
The cells are rated conservatively by GM at 7.8C, Yabert's tests of Volt packs on the DiyEv car forum suggest a higher C rate, 15+ C!.

$1,400 plus $360 freight. Still over $1k less than new lead!

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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Sep 13, 2011 8:37 am

As if the pack problems weren't enough, the check engine light came on a couple of weeks back. Reading the code showed a P1420, which relates to the second catalytic converter being below the efficiency threshold. The Civic forums have lots of posts about this problem and many people have replaced their catalytic converter more than once. I reset the code, but it came back after about a week.

Luckily, I just got a recall notice in the mail indicating that the ECU software is in need of an update which will change the threshold for triggering the P1420 error. In addition, Honda stated that anyone who had their catalytic converter or oxygen sensor replaced due to this problem would be reimbursed for their expense. Good to see that Honda is stepping up and admitting that there was a problem and covering it.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by MitchJi » Sep 14, 2011 10:08 pm

Hi,

How much does Honda want for a Catalytic Converter?

Magnaflow CA legal 2003Civic DIRECT-FIT CATALYTIC CONVERTER $1,291.63 :shock: :
http://www.magnaflow.com/02catalytic_co ... tfit=42092

http://www.magnaflow.com/02catalytic_co ... fornia.asp
*NEW CALIFORNIA CATALYTIC CONVERTER LAW
Effective January 1, 2009

General Guidelines:

CALIFORNIA VEHICLE APPLICATION CATALOG INSTRUCTIONS - For California Application look-up it will no longer be based upon G.V.W. (Gross Vehicle Weight) and engine size. Catalytic Converter Application look-up for California ONLY is the only approved method for determining the correct part number. It is illegal in California to select a catalytic converter for installation based solely on vehicle weight, engine size, physical shape, size, configuration or pipe diameter.

For California non-OBD-II vehicles, the application list will identify the vehicle based on the categories below:
  • (PC-1): Passenger cars with single or dual exhaust systems with one catalytic converter per exhaust bank.

    (T-1): Light-duty or medium-duty trucks with single or dual exhaust systems with one catalytic converter per exhaust bank.

    (PC-2): Passenger cars with single or dual exhaust systems with two or more catalytic converters per exhaust bank.
Of course if you decide to have a 49 state shipped to someone in another state and they send it on to you, and you install it on your Civic, you should be safe legally since in CA Hybrids are not subject to Smog Checks.
Best Wishes!

Mitch


The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Two examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here
The cells are rated conservatively by GM at 7.8C, Yabert's tests of Volt packs on the DiyEv car forum suggest a higher C rate, 15+ C!.

$1,400 plus $360 freight. Still over $1k less than new lead!

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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Sep 15, 2011 8:23 am

The factory catalytic is over $2000. :shock:

It has two of them also. The P1420 code points to the second one.
I cleared the code twice and it came back, but now on the third time it is not showing a pending code anymore. Maybe it has something to do with the ambient temperature. I'm still planning to get the updated software.

On some other cars, it is possible to spoof the oxygen sensor signal to fool the ECU into thinking the cat is healthy. About $3 in electronic parts and a little circuit installed near the ECU.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Nov 12, 2011 11:25 pm

It turns out that shortly after developing the P1420 code problem, Honda issued a recall pertaining to that. It seems the software was a bit too 'picky' and threw that code when the cat is really OK. I went in to get the software updated, which was no charge. It hasn't had the code come back since, which is good. A feaure of the new software also relays codes from the IMA system to the ECU so they can be read with a standard OBDII code reader. On the downside, anytime the IMA light comes on, the check engine light will also come on.

The last set of sticks I installed in the pack must have been duff or another one failed immedately afterward and the IMA light came back on. The car is still driveable, but the malfunction indicator annoys me.

I'm working on a better, or more objective testing process that stands a good chance of working yet doesn't take weeks to complete. I've been playing with a couple of RC chargers that are readily available, courtesy of MitchJi, who also has a pack that needs work. I'm testing on a couple of packs from another member (penguinguy) who was able to leave them at my place long enough to do some experimentation on. In the process, I'll hopefully learn something, and penguinguy will get a working pack for his Insight.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by peterperkins » Nov 13, 2011 3:02 am

I've stopped reconditioning old packs with used sticks now as it's not time effective and takes ages. (days/weeks) I simply replace all sticks in packs with new BB cells mentioned earlier. It's very difficult to match old sticks closely enough to get reliable results long term. Cut your loses and buy new sticks and build a grid charger to keep them in balance. :wink:

I now have access to a UK HCH 2003-2005 civic so hope to start work on mima for it quite soon. You might want to look at at the OBDIIC&C thread on IC which I'm also going to modify to support the civic. Peter
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Nov 13, 2011 11:35 am

I agree that rebuilding old packs is extremely time consuming and hard to get good long term results. It's my only option right now, as I can't afford a set of new sticks. I wish I could find a cheaper source for replacement sticks. I have the grid charger covered though, so I should be able to counteract effects of uneven self-discharge.

Good news on the Civic MIMA project. It will be interesting to see if it can work.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Dec 11, 2011 12:40 am

The latest round of cell replacement seems to be working well after a month of driving. Based on testing several packs worth of cells, it seems the capacity measurement taken at 10A gives a fairly reliable indication of cell health.

My latest test procedure was as follows:
1. grid charge the pack at 300mA for about 24 hours to make sure all the cells are fully charged.
2. Run 2 charge/discharge cycles with the RC charger and record the discharge capacity from the last discharge. Charge and discharge current 10A. Higher current might be better.
3. Try to make a matched set of sticks that are all over 7,000 mAh.
4. Grid charge again to get full charge.

I was using a MuchMore Cell Master Platinum RC charger and 12v power supply. Of the sticks I tested, the lowest was around 3,800 and the highest was over 8,000 mAh. I think charging and discharging at relatively high rates will bring out the differences in good/bad sticks better as the voltage sag from high IR will cause the capacity measurement to be lower. When I was testing with the Cadex, there was not as much diffference between sticks due to charging and discharging at a lower current.

Anything over 7,000 is probably good. 6,000 to 7,000 is marginal, and anything below 6,000 is probably toast. I had quite a few that were around 7,200, so that seems to be a norm for good sticks.

I tried all kinds of impedance measurements and none of them really correlated to cell health. What did correlate was the voltage swing during a 10 second charge of 10A. Using a voltmeter with min/max measurement, I did a 10 second high rate charge and subtracted the min from the max to get a voltage swing number. This number seemed to correlate well to the capacity measurment, with a larger swing on the weaker sticks. If one wanted to come up with a 'quick and dirty' way of testing, this shows some promise.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Apr 19, 2012 8:40 am

Update:
Since the last pack rebuild, I've logged about 10k miles. The pack is still performing the same as when I installed it. It has not recalibrated once nor has it thrown any codes. I can tell the new IMA programming has significantly reduced the amount of assist and regen, but the overall gas mileage is pretty close to what it was new. I'm measuring a little over 40mpg on my hilly commute. I suspect the wimpier programming will help the pack last longer, so may be worth the hit in gas mileage at this point. I can buy a lot of gas for what a new pack would cost.

I'm considering doing a balance charge sometime soon just as a preventive measure, but I have no reason to think it really needs it.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by Toshi » Apr 20, 2012 2:44 pm

fechter, how many miles does your Civic Hybrid have on it now? My wife's and my parent's Prii have about 100,000 and 125,000 miles on them, respectively, and are still chugging along at 42-46 mpg day in, day out without anyone having ever cracked the pack to rebalance (let alone replace!) cells.

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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Apr 20, 2012 10:08 pm

I have 144k miles now. My original pack started throwing codes around 120k.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by reagle » Apr 21, 2012 11:57 am

My 07 HCHII has around 68k miles, and while it's not yet throwing any codes, I get the recalibrations daily, and mileage frankly sucks.
Fought with the dealers/Honda for a bit trying to get the pack replaced under warranty, they claim all is well.
I did manage to get them to print a screenshot from the diagnostic tool, and it shows IMA battery available capacity as 37%. The IMA light comes up around 10%. How's that for industry standard?!
Everybody else thinks battery is toast when it's down to 80% or so of original capacity, but not Honda.
Interestingly enough, the screenshot shows a few other parameters- Continuous and momentary power limits for assists and regeneration

On a related note,I"ve had conversations with a large battery supplier, who can produce replacement sticks , using any cells- including brand new Panasonic. Problem is, initial tooling costs money.

Does anybody know if Better battery sells just the sticks for DIY type people as opposed to complete packs and for how much?
Edit- never mind- they are $100 each , and make little sense as opposed to just getting a warranted pack from them
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Jun 11, 2012 10:17 am

P1449 came on yesterday (146k miles). Bummer. I was hoping to get a little more out of the recycled pack, but no luck. I guess I'll have to start looking around for another pack.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by dnmun » Jun 11, 2012 12:06 pm

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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Jun 11, 2012 3:22 pm

P1449 is a deteriorated battery module, which can be triggered by several conditons, all which indicate one or more sticks is toast.

The pack I'm running now came out of a wrecked Insight of unknown history. Right now, pull outs from wrecks are about the only cheap source of cells. A new pack from Honda was around $2300 last time I checked. Aftermarket rebuilt pack from ReInvolt runs $1875.00 plus shipping. Another place called www.hybrid-battery.com recently went out of business and apparently ripped off a bunch of customers.

Building a pack from cells is nearly impossible as they are welded together into 6 cell sticks and there is not really any good source for suitable cells.

Determining the condition of a used pack is very difficult. I had to tear it down and test the 20 sticks individually. Even then, they didn't last very long. For sure, if a pack sits around for a long time without being used, the cells will self-discharge to the point where it won't work. This can be overcome by doing a balancing charge (constant current 350mA for about 24 hours).
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by dnmun » Jun 11, 2012 6:59 pm

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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Jun 12, 2012 8:30 am

350-400mA is low enough that the cells don't get excessively hot during extended charging, but it's best if the pack has some cooling. If the pack is removed from the car, it's no problem at that rate. This will ensure all the cells reach maximum charge and are as balanced as they can get.

Determining the health of the cells is much more challenging. There are several failure modes, but from my testing, the capacity of the cells at fairly high charge/discharge rates seems to be the best indicator. At 10A, the best sticks would deliver over 8,000mAhr.

Last time I looked around, used packs (of unknown health) went for around $800 from wrecking yards.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by Ykick » Jun 12, 2012 10:06 am

Rebuilt $2k or new $2.5k? Easy for me to say but if they last 8 years and 100k miles if the car's still in good shape why not just go with new cells? $250-$312.50/yr doesn't seem too bad. $800 and you know they're old and unknown capacity sounds kinda risky to me.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by dnmun » Jun 12, 2012 10:22 am

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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by fechter » Jun 15, 2012 8:25 am

The testing process is extremely time consuming (to do a good test). I tried coming up with faster measurments, but none of them seemed to be very reliable. If there was a way to slam the pack with 100A charge and discharge currents while measuring all the stick voltages, that would probably be good, but would require quite a tester.

I'd really like it if there was a source for new cell modules (sticks) that are OEM quality. I wonder where the Hybridbatteryrepair guy was getting his from since he went out of business. I know they were from China. Hmmm... maybe they didn't last and that's why he went under?

I hesitate to dump $2500 into a car with 150k miles on it. My luck and something else would fail.
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Re: (Was) Honda Civic Hybrid goes 100,000 miles with no prob

Post by Ykick » Jun 15, 2012 9:25 am

Repair or replace? CA cars often give me 300k or so without too much major mechanical work. The bodies always hold up well and it's not as if they operate in below freezing temperatures very often. But yeah, easy for me to say! Tough choice - although $2500 is probably about the sales tax of a new one...
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