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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems

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Comments

  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    >Use google to find someone to repair the battery? It costs far less than a dealer.

    These people seem to be far and few between. I found one in New York and one in Arizona. Then you have the problem of car downtime, even though one offers to ship you an under par loaner while yours is being re-conditioned. I can get one from Ebay for about $600 with a six month warranty and have it installed myself. These come from wrecked cars with relatively low mileage. Wonder if Honda would ever cover replacement up to say a 100K miles. I'm well within the time with my 06, but over the 80K.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Oh you're a hypermiler taught personally by the "king" of such irresponsible driving. That explains everything ( i.e.your unhurried approach to every day driving) then. I'm sure you apply many of these principles in your every day driving even if you do not take it to the extreme. Quite a few are simply dangerous. Yes, there are others that are not, I'm sure but the concept of hypermiling is irrevelent to most owners. I'm sure people drive these for fuel economy but are unwilling to give up safe and unstressful travel to do so..it still is a people moving module just like any other and owners expect it act like one.
    Am I chiding you for not breaking the law? Nope...you are probably one of the couple of hundred in the country who at least admits to doing everything right but my argument is and always has been about avoiding the dimwits who insist in doing everything wrong and trying to get out of their way when they do the stupid crap they invariably do. Stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time with not enough power to do anything about it. In spite of your insistance to the contrary virtually every post and report I have read the two main complaints in this debacle are 1) decreased fuel economy and 2) loss of power which reduces the vehicle performance from adequate to unsafe. Ask any of those who posted here, I guess you don't have to they already commented about just that time and time again.
  • mabecanemabecane Posts: 46
    edited August 2010
    The reason I'm comfortable in knowing I have over 4/12 more years in the battery warranty is that the battery will more likely fail by then, and I will be covered. At the rate we are driving the car will have over 140k by 2015, and let's face it the IMA battery will fail, it does on other ones with less mileage. We can only baby the battery so far eventually it will give us problems, then we will get the update (before 2013 when the update expires) or by then Honda will have the problem resolved.. a new battery installed or a class action suite that is likely to come out of all this .. a new battery installed
    There's a problem with the IMA battery that's why we have these discussions.
    I don't see Honda coming up with an other more battery restricting update, the recent one was a shot in the foot for the company, making the battery even less responsive would be suicidal.
    I'm just in a better position than most, I want to keep the car. I like it.
    Honda has the watch and I have the time. ;)
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    > Could be it has changed (lowered) the thresholds for the IMA error codes making it impossible to ever come on again.

    This isn't really all that possible. There are many different battery conditions that will cause an IMA light. Almost all of them will get progressively worse if you continue to use the car and the rate of deterioration accelerates as it gets worse, so lowering the thresholds would simply delay the light.

    Some conditions can be corrected by conditioning the battery. From what some people here are saying, it sounds like that is happening in some cases and that would be directly attributed to how the new software is making the car use the battery.

    The IMA light will go out initially because the dealre will reset the system. Until the car has tested the battery, no light will be illuminated. Some errors will come right back on (and for those errors, the dealer replaces the battery first instead of trying the software fix), but others can take a few days or a week.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    > I can get one from Ebay for about $600 with a six month warranty and have it installed myself.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. I have recorded more than 25 cases of cars that have sat for 90 days or more due to storage or collision or whatever. In every case, the battery has died 9 months after the car is put back into use. A junkyard pack is no different. The time between the wreck and the salvage auction is at least 45 days and junkyards are notorious about lieing about the arrival date of a car. It could have 3 feet of grass growing through the car and they'll say that it arrived last week. In short, unless you at least recondition the battery, it will die in about 9 months - just after the 6 month warranty runs out.

    As the batteries are used, the self-discharge rate for each cell changes (how rapidly the cell loses it's charge while it sits unused). They don't all change in lockstep with each other. Some will drop faster than others. Once the battery has sat for a while, the cells are at widely different charge levels. Once you start to use the battery, the more full ones never get discharged and the less full ones never get fully charged. This causes the battery to work the lower ones far more than the full ones. This amplifies the discharge rate issue and every time you park the car, the cells get further apart. After about 9 months the battery tears itself apart and you wind up with (in a 2005+ vehicle) a P0A7F error and an IMA light.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    > Oh you're a hypermiler taught personally by the "king" of such irresponsible driving. That explains everything ( i.e.your unhurried approach to every day driving) then.

    No, I am not a hypermiler. I was taught how to hypermile but I do not drive like that unless I am in a mileage race. I simply drive the speed limits on the highway and avoid full throttle acceleration. Basically, I drive with traffic in the right lane most of the time.

    Most hypermiling techniques are dangerous (pulse and glide, excessively low speed, rolling through stops, drafting, etc.). I don't recommend them on public streets with traffic.

    > I'm sure but the concept of hypermiling is irrevelent to most owners. I'm sure people drive these for fuel economy but are unwilling to give up safe and unstressful travel to do so

    But driving the slow lane doesn't have to be stressful. Just leave enough room for the total idiots (you know-the ones that swerve across three lanes of traffic) to get around you. Most other drivers that are in a hurry will simply pass you just as you will pass someone who is going 5-10 mph lower than you.

    > but my argument is and always has been about avoiding the dimwits who insist in doing everything wrong and trying to get out of their way when they do the stupid crap they invariably do. Stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time with not enough power to do anything about it.

    But my argument is that if you are driving defensively, then the car at its weakest is still much more responsive than other cars are at their best. So how is that unsafe if those other cars are not considered unsafe?

    When I was in college, I was rear-ended by someone as I waited to make a left turn. I didn't see her coming. Her 1983 Grand Fury hit my 1971 Charger at about 40 mph and shoved me into oncoming traffic. The fact that I had a 7.2 liter, 8 cylinder engine in the car made no difference. If it had the available straight six, the outcome would have been no different. What saved me was that I had not turned the steering wheel yet. If I had, she would have spun me into the oncoming lanes and I would have blocked three lanes instead of the one that I wound up in.

    All I'm saying is that if the car doesn't have enough enough power (at its' weakest) for an emergency maneuver, then I think you are cutting it too close, because it has the same emergency level of power as the other vehicles that I mentioned (like the Prius).
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    > I don't see Honda coming up with an other more battery restricting update, the recent one was a shot in the foot for the company, making the battery even less responsive would be suicidal.

    I've been getting the impression that the latest one is a big step down from original but a step up from the earlier ones. Some of the people getting it had previous updates and others did not.

    I just talked to a gentleman in Florida with a 2006. He had an intermittant IMA light and took it in for this update about 3 weeks ago. He said that it seemed to get a little better but then stopped improving. His IMA light isn't coming on any more, but he is still recal-ing every morning when he starts the car (this is a cell self discharge issue). It is still better than it was, but it isn't all better. He had had the earlier updates and found no difference in power, just that the battery gauge only drops to 2 now instead of 1 as before.
  • mainiaxmainiax Posts: 12
    ogre GEV

    >Some conditions can be corrected by conditioning the battery. From what some people here are saying, it sounds like that is happening in some cases and that would be directly attributed to how the new software is making the car use the battery.

    I went back and read every post to Aug 1 and I only find 6 posts mentioning anything good about the upgrade software and of the 6 posts, 1 person posted 5 times (487,449,426,416,404) so where do you find the people you mention? Surely isn't from here and can't be from your business because the people contacting you need a battery replacement so the upgrade didn't help them. I lost count with all the HCH-II complaints and posts about the new software not helping.
  • las2002las2002 Posts: 8
    This supplements my previous posts and the recent software update. 2008 Honda Civic, 24,000 miles, Las Vegas summer environment

    My mileage is up by about 4 MPG to about 42 MPH - however, my battery doesn't hold a charge very long. I leave my house with 5 or 6 bars and going-up 1 fairly mild hill brings me down to 2 bars rapidly. Then after a while, it goes back to 4 (sometimes 5) bars, and kind of remains there. At 2 bars, idle cut-out is disabled and acceleration is really negatively impacted. When its 100 deg or more, idle cut-off often disables even with 4 bars and you have to really push the gas to get any assist.

    I'm getting concerned about the frequency of situations where there's no assist available. I wonder if this will improve when the weather cools in September.

    What I can't figure-out, is why my mileage is going-up when I seem to be relying on the gas engine significantly more than before. I'm starting to think my battery is degraded - wonder if it will come back over time?????
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    edited August 2010
    > I went back and read every post to Aug 1 and I only find 6 posts mentioning anything good about the upgrade software and of the 6 posts, 1 person posted 5 times (487,449,426,416,404) so where do you find the people you mention? Surely isn't from here and can't be from your business because the people contacting you need a battery replacement so the upgrade didn't help them. I lost count with all the HCH-II complaints and posts about the new software not helping.

    In this thread alone, I find seven people who had the update who also had previous updates or are new to the car. I'm not counting those that didn't have the latest update or those that had never had any update before.

    Of those seven,

    3 say the battery improved
    3 say the battery stayed the same
    1 says the battery got worse

    2 say mpg and performance improved
    2 say mpg and performance stayed the same
    3 say mpg and performance got worse

    Obviously, the improved battery is coming at the expense of mpg/performance. I consider an improvement to the battery to be an accomplishment, now they just have to get it to perform a bit better. If they can keep the battery charge up, they can improve performance, but it will likely impact mpg for some drivers.

    Almost everyone here is still under warranty, so I would not have any interaction with them. Those that are not will not contact me until their battery has failed, so I still won't see the success stories.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    > What I can't figure-out, is why my mileage is going-up when I seem to be relying on the gas engine significantly more than before.

    The most likely reason is that your car used to spend a large amount of energy charging the battery. Now that it is functioning better, it accepts more of the charge and therefore costs less mpg to charge it.

    Time will tell, but recals don't only happen when a battery gets worse, they happen whenever the capacity is different than it was. If your battery is gradually improving, it will recal whenever it discovers this. Let's see what happens in the fall.
  • Do not have the update installed. I did only to find that the gas mileage and battery assist is greatly reduced. Today, 8/20, my honda was back in the shop because of the adverse affects of the upgrade only to be informed that "even our regional honda corporate guy is upset with the upgrade on his company car". When the service tech approach the regional rep about my car and started to tell him about my complaint of power loss, he responded "and I guess his gas mileage is also affected".
    The dealership explained to me that unfortunately they cannot do anything about the issue and that they have to write on the service report "car is performing as per specifications".

    Time to sell the HONDA!
  • mabecanemabecane Posts: 46
    Is Honda still keeping quiet?

    They must be having some heated meetings about this problem. I'd like to think that they won't bury their heads in the sand and keep us stranded. I don't see any winners with this scenario. If they don't improve the IMA battery then they are doomed, doesn't the Insight car use the same type battery. Toyota is coming out clean, Honda should follow suit. Man! if you can not trust your Honda, then we are doomed. You know you get crap when you buy Chinese products, Japanese is supposed to be quality.I'll go back to GM, at least parts are cheaper and more available. my 2 cents.
  • las2002las2002 Posts: 8
    If we file a complaint with NHTSA, I wonder if that affects the trade-in value of our cars via the VIN number? As previously mentioned, my mileage with the update has improved, but the non-availability of assist, is at times, very disturbing. I'm also wondering how much my battery deteriorated in the almost 2 and 1/2 years prior to the update?

    I was hoping to keep this car for a long time and am concerned that Honda battery participation goes down to (I believe) to 60% of the price after 3 years.
  • I had my car in multiple times and finally decided to take the loss and trade the vehicle. I did not feel comfortable selling the car outright, and did not really feel great about trading it either but decided that was the way to go. The acceleration was simply unacceptable without the IMA working, which was happening EVERY time I drove the car. I took many videos of this happening and gave a copy to my dealer here in Cleveland. Hopefully they passed it on to the "factory rep." Even if they had replaced the battery, I cannot afford to do so out of warranty every couple of years!

    As I was about to trade the car to another dealership, the dealer I bought the Honda from called and said they would prefer to buy the car back. I got high trade in value, which was a little better than I would have done, but still a far cry from private sale value and even further from retail.

    I cannot tell you the relief I felt once I was done with this ordeal. I figure it cost me about $450 per month to own this car. Shame on Honda!

    Be sure to check out the LA Times article from August 13th. The Emissions Board in California is going after Honda for issuing the software update (which affects mileage and performance) without consulting them. I guess that with the updated software, these cares may be in violation of emissions standards. So much for GREEN!
  • Did you get your full purchase price, and did you have to buy another Honday?
  • mainiaxmainiax Posts: 12
    edited August 2010
    Motorcarshybrd

    I think all States have their own lemon law repurchase rules but here in Maine it is: Provide your original purchase agreement with all mandatory fees (including doc fee and sales tax) and from this amount deduct the lowest of either of the following 2 calculations: 10% of the total purchase price OR (.55 cents / 3) x mileage at time of arbitration. I had less than 10,000 miles on the car in the 34 months before arbitration so my deduction was just a little less than $1,800! The 55 cents is the amount IRS allows per mile for business use. The 10% allowance would have been around $2,500 so it was the $1,800 used for the deduction from the total purchase price. I am VERY happy with the repurchase payment and also of having the experience of owning a hybrid. I will NOT purchase another hybrid or any all electric vehicle for many years to come. I have not purchased another car yet, want to see what the Chevy Cruse is all about.

    For those of you having battery problems, SoC recals many times a day and you still have time remaining on your 36 mo/36,000 bumper to bumper warranty then I would get an application from the Better Business Bureau Auto Line (phone # in your consumer info manual) and start a case against Honda. In my opinion, Honda does not have a leg to stand on. The car is not operating the same way it did when you purchased it and it becomes unsafe when in recal mode with no assist. The BBB process is not fun but it was worth it. You do not need an attorney but you will have to present your case yourself at the hearing. If you do file with the BBB make sure you insist that you want to go to arbitration.
  • The civic owners may have to know the following things:

    1. What are the mpg and power capability after the software being updated.
    2. What kind of possible damages to the car battery cell/pack may have occurred, and to what degree.
    3. Any way to test or prove if the battery degradation is within normal levels or not. Some degradation is recoverable but some are permant. And normal battery degradation won't affect mpg too much.
    4. How to affect the driving ability typically in cold-weather, like winter time in Cleverland or Cananda.
    5. Details about the software update: such as the possible changes in battery regen/accelerating power limits, battery cell rebalancing functionality, cold weather drivebility, shallower battery charge/discharge cycling.

    The car owner may also be curious about other information like: the labelled mpg/power stick to the windows of the 2011 model civic hybrids, which have the same battery and updated software pack, because reduced usage/power of battery pack may affect mpg, as some old posts indicated.
  • pmzpmz Posts: 26
    Congrats! I did the same thing, traded in my 2006 HCH at the dealer where I bought the car for much higher than any other offer I had. They are currently reselling my old car with 72K miles for about $14,500. I wonder if they replaced the battery?
  • hch2008hch2008 Posts: 2
    I own a 2008 civic hybrid and brought the car in for the battery computer replacement a few weeks ago. Not only did I have a drastic decrease in mileage, the car has decreased in power going up hills. It failed on me driving up an incline inwhich I lost total power and was going downhill backwards while it was in low gear. I had my family in the car and it scared the heck out of all of us because this has never happened before. I am grateful to the person behind us when she saw us coming down she backdown immediately to give us room until I could get control of the car again. I am now driving farther to avoid hills in this car and am really disappointed with the performance. I took the car back to the dealership and the technician said that it is normal for the car to be slow going up hills because of the small engine. During a test drive we took the car up the same hill and it barely made it at 5mph. I did have four of us in the car when it failed. But before the computer change the car use to go up that hill at over 15mph. And now I have to avoid it. I hope others do not experience what I am going through right now, but if they do I hope they make sure that they check behind them for cars before they go uphills. I wish I have never bought this car and got a regular civic since I am getting the equivalent mileage as one. All the extra money I spent was wasted on buying this hybrid. Honda should be up front about these problems before people start getting injured and fix these problems immediately. Toyota did!!!

    :mad:
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    Obviously, your are not getting battery assist going up the hill. Since the new software requires a higher state of charge (SOC) before allowing the battery assist, you need to make sure your SOC is 7 or 8 bars before taking on a steep hill. If it is four or less bars you will get no assist. Before, you could get some assist down to two bars.
  • pmzpmz Posts: 26
    So before you go up the hill, put the car in park and idle at 3500 RPM until you get 6 or 7 bars. Proceed.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    Don't stop and idle at the beginning of the hill because then there is no room for a running start.
  • shonda3shonda3 Posts: 42
    Better yet, call a tow company and have your car attached to it for the ride up the hill. You will be astounded at the improvement in your mileage!
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    What about the tow truck milage which you will be paying for?
  • I sympathize with your loss of power and Honda is to blame. One possible workaround is to put your transmission in "S" to keep it in low gear as you climb the hill.
  • My situation is similar to the Floridian with the 2006. My IMA light was not on but it was recal-ing at least once a day. The software update seems to improve the situation a bit, but my 2006 continues to recal almost every morning and sometimes 2x a day. The difference is it recals at 2 or 3 bars instead of 1 bar with the previous software.
  • I have a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid with 70,000 k on it. My warranty is good for another 3 years and the warranty on the battery is for another 4 years. Why would I want to get this upgrade that labotomizes my car's IMA system. I have had no problems with the car. I have had the once in a blue moon recals done but not like what other people are saying. I really liked that car until I started reading online how much people have had trouble with the battery. When I bought the car I thought surely Honda would stand behind there warranties. I refuse to get this new software update. I called Honda's Customer Relations line and they say that if I don't get the update it does not effect the warranty that came with the car when I bought it. When I called back to get them to fax me that in writing (Because Portland Street Honda my dealership was unaware of this) they said no "no we are unable to provide you that promise in a letter". So basically saying you'll just have to trust a CSR from Honda Relations saying that it won't effect the warranty if I refuse the update. I have launched a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and suggest anyone on here with a HCH do the same thing. The only way something will get done about this is if we get a higher power involved.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    If you are planning to keep the car beyond the warranty period, I would recommend that you get the update. If your battery is good, I don't think you will notice hardly any difference in your milage with the update and you will give the battery longevity.
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