2008 Honda Civic Hybrid

Dear Doctor: Last Sunday I tried to drive my 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid up Lombard Street in San Francisco. There are two steep blocks before getting to the crooked street part. It was busy, so I had to inch my way up the hill behind other cars. After a little more than the first block, my car just wouldn’t go any further. Luckily, the car behind me could back up and I was able to turn around and drive down the hill. Is there anything I can do about it, except not drive up steep hills? Rachel
Dear Rachel: For whatever reason the hybrid battery voltage was too low to move the car. At this point the gasoline engine should have started and there would have been more than enough power to get up the hill. Do you recall if the engine started up? Has the vehicle had all the update campaigns performed? I suggest you get a performance test on both the regular car engine battery and the hybrid battery. There are a few technical bulletins on battery testing. A battery will lose its charge in 10 days or less if the vehicle is not driven. New vehicles sitting at dealerships have a couple of accessory fuses removed to help reduce parasitic drain.

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