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Old 13 Oct 2007, 08:30 am
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Default How can I charging the battery in a Civic Hybrid by braking?

I am anxious not to have to drive aimlessly on the freeway to charge my battery. I have had one suggestion of putting the car in park and reving the engine to 3500 to get a charge. I found this only provides a partial charge. Someone else informed me that Honda is correct in saying that the battery charges when the brake is engaged. Can I go to the top of a long hill in the City by the Bay and and ride the brake to the bottom and expect to get a battery charge? How many times can I do this without having to replace some part in the brakes? Which technique is better for the environment?Edit question. How can I charge...
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Old 13 Oct 2007, 08:32 am
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Go to the Honda website and read about the environmental impacts of charging your battery.
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Old 13 Oct 2007, 08:34 am
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The Civic hybrid does have a regenerative braking system, which uses small generators to provide drag to the wheels and derives a charge from the braking process. Overall, the system should be balanced so that you do not have to "drive around aimlessly" to have a charge. If you are losing charge (or failing to gain charge) and the car is not functional, there is a problem, either with your batteries or with your charging system, and you should have it checked out by a Honda technician.
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Old 13 Oct 2007, 08:35 am
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The regenerative braking system that is installed in your Hybrid is designed to recapture the friction that is normally lost during the braking and use that friction to generate a charge for your battery.During its normal use you should never have to worry about the battery getting low enough to warrant any type of concern.If you are driving the car like a teenager that stole it then you may have the battery level deplete to less than 50 % but again nothing to worry about.This system is designed to recharge the battery during braking as well as during normal cruising when there is little demand on the battery assist mode.I notice that you mention San Francisco and if you use the vehicle normally during your up and down hills travels you should have no problem with charging.If the battery capacity meter shows less than 50% no matter what you do then take the car to the dealership on Van Ness and ask them to do a system inspection to make sure a relay has not gone bad in the charging system.
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Old 13 Oct 2007, 08:36 am
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As you brake, the battery does charge... Look at the gauge to the left of your tachometer... When the green part lights up that means it's charging.I wouldn't recommend going to the top of a hill multiple times to charge your battery... Under normal driving conditions, your battery will charge itself. You don't need to do anything special to charge it.
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Old 13 Oct 2007, 08:39 am
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You ask which technique is better for the environment. Just let the car decide when to charge the battery, and drive as calmly as possible, as little as possible, if you want to do your part for the environment. Your battery gauge will rarely read 100%, but that is ok. The point isn't to have a charged battery, the point is to use less gas going to work/shopping or whatever you do.To understand the hybrid system a little better, consider this: Never rev your engine or drive just to charge the battery, because there are losses in the battery system. It's better to take the power coming out of the engine and directly apply it to your motion than to reroute it to a dynamo, charge your batteries, get it back via an electric motor. The batteries and the dynamo/motor are there just to get some power via regenerative braking that otherwise would have gone to heat the brakes, and to assist an engine that would otherwise be too small for the American driver's expectations.Finally, consider this extreme example:One driver drives her Civic Hybrid from San Francisco to Portland and back, getting 53 mpg. Another drives from San Francisco to Oakland and back, getting 41 mpg. Which person used less gas? The point, again, isn't about getting better mileage, or keeping your battery at 100%.
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