The Straight Facts About Honda Hybrid Battery Replacement
By Bumblebee Batteries
If you’ve been enjoying the fuel savings and low maintenance of Honda hybrid ownership, you aren’t alone. But you also aren’t alone if you have a nagging voice in the back of your mind reminding you that at some point, you are going to need to replace your hybrid’s aging battery. Just as range has been a worry of early adapters of electric vehicles, anxiety over a costly reinvestment in a high-tech hybrid battery is often a worry of early Honda hybrid owners.
Your objective in finding a Honda hybrid battery replacement should be to at least bring your Honda hybrid’s performance back up to its former level, while avoiding the trap of paying too much for a low-quality battery.
When Replacement is on the Horizon
According to the New York Times, federal regulations call for hybrid vehicles to provide a minimum of a 100,000-mile, 8-year battery warranty, though some state regulations are even more strict. However, driver habits can have significant impact on battery life. If your car is less than 5 years old or you’ve chalked up fewer than 100,000 miles, you probably don’t have to start worrying about battery replacement yet.
Edmunds points out that most automakers claim their hybrids’ battery packs will last a good 10 years or more. Edmunds adds that there are a great many hybrid taxis in large metropolitan areas that have logged well beyond 150,000 miles without replacing the battery.
But according to the Times, once you’ve passed the 5-year mark or you’ve racked up more than 100,000, you probably should begin budgeting for battery replacement.
Keep Costs in Perspective
As pointed out by MSN, Honda brought the first hybrid to market with the Insight back in 1999, making some of the earliest hybrids about a dozen or so years old, and that means many owners have reached the 100,000 mile mark. If you are one of them, or you have a an aging Civic hybrid, you know the nickel metal hydride battery is probably beginning to show its age. Does this mean it’s time to get rid of your dependable hybrid?
Not at all. Replacing your battery can keep your old dependable vehicle on the road. Most hybrids, including earlier models, are extremely reliable and haven’t had the costly power train problems of their more conventional cousins. While it will cost you a bit over two grand to replace your battery that’s a far cry from the cost of replacing a transmission or two.
Avoid Costly and Inferior Replacements
Your first reaction when the integrated motor assist (IMA) warning light or other indicators of battery problems begin to appear, may be to take your vehicle to the dealer for a battery replacement. But unless your battery is under warranty, you could end up paying more than necessary and may not even get the highest quality replacement battery.
Many hybrid owners are surprised to learn that their dealer is more likely than an aftermarket supplier to provide a refurbished battery instead of a new one. Just as surprising, you shouldn’t expect a dealer’s refurbished battery to cost you less than replacing your hybrid’s old battery with new battery cells.
Your Honda hybrid’s battery pack is actually made up of 20 individual subpacks comprised of six industrial-grade D cell batteries per subpack, connected in series. Rather than replacing your old battery with a refurbished model from a dealer, an aftermarket supplier like Bumblebee Batteries will completely replace your battery’s subpacks with all new cells.
Because Bumblebee Batteries specializes in providing brand new hybrid system batteries for first generation Honda Insight and Civic hybrids, you can also be reassured that the professionals servicing your vehicle understand the unique mechanics of your car. For about the same price as you would pay for a refurbished battery from a dealer, and in some cases less, you can have high-quality, brand-new cells that should last the rest of your vehicle’s lifespan.