Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Washington State
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Although not a Civic Hybrid driver, it is well known that CVT transmissions are not nearly as robust as traditional fixed ratio automatics. I would have expected the variable expanding bands in the transmission to be the weak point, however I don't believe the HCH has a torque converter, and therefore uses some kind of electronic clutch. So, that could also be a weak point in the system.
The Prius behaves like a CVT because of the power split device and the use of 3 different power sources that sometimes work opposite each other to create a certain ground speed. However, the weaknesses of flexible bands to create varying gear ratios is not there. Neither is a clutch.
I wish you the best of luck. I hope this is covered under warranty and that you receiver quality warranty service. I would strongly recommend being religious about servicing the transmission and replacing fluids. Beyond any changes you might make to your driving style, replacing transmission fluids is about the only other thing you can do to protect your transmission.
I honestly don't believe that added battery weight is the issue as the HCH is only marginally heavier than a regular Civic. This sounds to me like it might be a design issue, but it would be helpful if you provided us a little bit of a picture of the driving envrionment you are in.
It has been said:
Hybrid drivers come in 3 flavors, greenie, techie and cheapie. Pick any 2.
2005 Prius, Millenium Silver Metallic (color code 1C0) over gray, package 5 (AI)