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mjm8401's avatar

Is a used Honda Civic Hybrid a safe buy?

Asked by mjm8401 (167 points ) December 13th, 2012

I am intrested in buying a used Honda Civic Hybrid. Something probably between 2003 and 2005. They are in my price range of around 4–6 thousand, plus I like the boxy first generation body design better then the more curvy 2006— present models. My concern is the battery. If the batteries of hybrid cars are anything like that of a ipod after about 5 years they do not hold a charge like they used to. The car is usually no longer under warranty after around 100 thousand miles. A new battery for a hybrid car is supposed to be 6 thousand. So I need feedback from hybrid car owners. Is a used hybrid a safe buy?

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6 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

Make sure you know the status of the timing belt. The manufacturer recommends changing it at 110,000 miles. 60,000 miles if driven in cold weather.
That is an interference type engine. If the belt breaks, the valves crash into the pistons and you will need an engine job.- or junk the car. The belt is relatively cheap. It is the labor that will cost you. Usually when you are replacing the belt you change the, blah, blah, blah. Look at the manual. If you take it to an authorized Honda dealer it will end up costing $500 to $1000 by the time you get out of there.
I do not have info on your specific battery. But if it was driven in a cold climate it would be safe to assume it is on its last legs.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Honda makes quality products of all sorts. I“m on my fifth car with a Honda of Acura badge.

One possibly critical problem with the Civic Hybrid:

It bears a very close resemblance to the non hybrid civic.

If, like most hybrid buyers you intend to have every passerby know that you are a righteous, green, fuel sipping saint then you should opt for the Honda Insight, A car that screams hybrid from every angle.

zenvelo's avatar

I’d echo what @LuckyGuy says about checking the dealer, but ask them what the expected battery life is. And check Kelly Blue Book to see if there is a huge drop off at 100K miles. I’d also look on CarTalk.com to see if they have a discussion board on used hybrids.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The original warranty was for 8 years ( transferable through Honda dealer ). Cost is just short of $3200.
A friend’s daughter just had to replace her battery on 2003 Honda Hybrid. she bought used, about 4 years ago, and did not get the warranty transferred.

OUCH

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