O2 Sensors on 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid

3 things: My check engine light is on. I failed my emissions test. My 2005 HCH stutters when I press the gas after putting it in drive or reverse. (btw, my car has 90,000 miles.) I took it to my local Auto Zone to see what their computer had to say and they said i have a bad catalytic converter and O2 sensor. They were very vague so i took it to a reputable local mechanic and he tells me that there's nothing wrong with my converter but that 3 of my O2 sensors are out and that it would cost around $1500 to fix. Mostly due to the fact that each sensor cost around $300-$400. Which they have to get from the Honda dealership. so my question is how many sensors does a 2005 HCH have and is it normal for 3 of them to go out after 90,000 miles? Also, would this be the cause of the stuttering I'm experiencing? AND is this a reasonable price for the repairs? any other info you have would be greatly appreciated. thanks a bunch. -chris

by in Nashville, TN on October 07, 2009
4 answers 4 comments
ANSWER by on October 07, 2009
There are three O2 sensors on your Civic. It's highly unlikely that all three have gone bad. There is a code for catalyst deterioration and different codes for O2 issues (depending upon what the O2 is doing). Honda does have a bulletin that applies to some 2005 Civic Hybrids that addresses the catalyst deterioration issue. There is an problem with the software in the PCM that can cause the MIL to illuminate and store the catalyst deterioration code. If your Civic is one that falls within the bulletins parameters a software update is needed to repair the issue and in some cases replacement of the catalyst will be needed. To my knowledge the only place to get the update is at a Honda dealer. The second issue is the stuttering. You didn't mention if the car has and automatic or standard transmission. If it has an automatic then there might be an issue with the start clutch. Honda has a bulletin on this issue also. Other issues besides the automatic transmission could possibly be broken motor mounts or a faulty EGR valve. It also could be a combination of all three. In both cases it's in your best interest to have it looked at by a Honda technician. They have the experience with the Hybrids and should be able to diagnose the problems correctly and repair the vehicle. You might want to check with the dealer to see if your vehicle is eligible for some type of good will repair from Honda. Depending upon the type of vehicle your Hybrid is the warranty could be as high as 10 years 110,000 miles on certain components if they need replacing. Your Honda dealer will have all that information.
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COMMENT by on September 16, 2014
I took my HCH 2005 to Honda and they did the repairs for the shuttering at takeoff for free. I am now having the same o2/catalyic issues. I think the PCM software update is the awnser. I have already replaced all 3 sensors and the cat. The light is still on. Good Luck.. If you do decide to repace the sensors Honda will charge you way too much. They are very easy to change out and you can order them so much cheaper than from Honda...
ANSWER by on September 05, 2010
No I took mine to Honda dealership and it cost me a little more than $700.00 and that was all three. Mine is a Hybird and has CAL. emissions so it takes 3 sensors. Just wait for the Converters. Their is a replacement for the back converter, however the front will have to come from Honda. I am trying to find one other than Honda but haven't found one yet. I am looking for on for Cal. emissions. My sensors went out at 114000 miles. You can look up the codes on line. Good luck.
ANSWER by on September 09, 2010
When you say "stuttering" does it sound like those little bumps in the road that are meant to keep you awake or get your attention on the highway? If so, good news! We recently had this problem and were out of warranty. We took it to a very good mechanic at Pep Boys, who did research for us and found out it's a known problem with HCH, and that it would be covered through Honda. We called Honda Service, who told us that it wasn't, but we fought it & they took care of the problem in a few days. It drives good again. If it's not that, I'm sorry I can't help you!
COMMENT by on September 25, 2012
Do you know what the exact problem was that was causing the stuttering? Also, how exactly did you 'fight' the Honda dealers to get them to take care of the problem out of warranty? I am very interested in following suit if my car is undergoing the same problem.
COMMENT by on March 04, 2014
Be that tick in their fur... Dont shy away just because their a big company. I , myself , had to deal with the IMA battery issue with Honda,. They tried to skate around the issue the first three times but i just kept coming back. Their service and parts are very expensive and , in my opinion, the parts don't last as long as they should for the cost of fixing future issues.
ANSWER by on July 10, 2014
fyi everyone I have owned 3 hch and all 3 of them shuttered...........I was told everything from trans to converter to eng.......all of which was bs...............after hours of research I took my car to dealership and did a burnate minutes before handing over the keys to tech............burnate-start car, put one foot on brake and one foot on gas, put in gear and while holding down on brake give the gas pedal enough pressure to run rpm's up around 1200 for 30-45 seconds......then tell the tech to replace your trans fluid with the newest Honda tranny fluid they have..........85$ my car now runs perfect with no more shuttering.........all 3 of my hch had the shutter prob and all 3 were fixed by doing the above......the dealership didn't even know that would fix the problem.............feel free to call me with any questions regarding this.........don't be fooled by the mechanics!!!!! sean 214 295 0288
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COMMENT by on July 19, 2014
We seem to have a lot of different words to describe the problem and the cure! I myself would call it juddering or slipping in the drive train, often at low speed, for example, when pulling up a steep incline. As previously said, the problem is slipping in the start clutch of the CVT. Honda dealers should be well familiar with this problem on Civic Hybrids, and Honda has issued detailed technical bulletins on how to deal with the problem. The primary remedial action is to "burnish" the clutch, using a similar procedure to that which Sean describes. It is important to get the revs and the duration right to avoid stripping off too much material or to overheat the start clutch. Honda's technical bulletin gives these parameters. The labor cost is about 20 minutes, but as previously pointed out, it is vital to replace the CVT oil afterwards, which is the principal cost. I myself have needed to burnish the start clutch on my 2005 Civic Hybrid about every 60,000 miles. I have now done it twice. Hope this helps. pcaker
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