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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • This mechanic repairs IMA batteries for far less than buying a brand new set If you read his webpage, he says that the IMA batteries tend to deteriorate early in hot weather. My interpretation is that Honda did not do enough testing of these IMA batteries in hot weather, or should have had a cooling system installed for the battery pack. (My understanding is that the Focus hybrid battery pack is kept at 70 degrees to help it last.) I would be curious if there was data on Civics hybrids with freqent recals and IMA battery replacement by region.
  • I understand there is a cooling fan for the battery. My battery did noticeably deteriorate this summer after about 90K miles. It was a record hot summer.
  • From reading all these posts, it seems like there are more 2006 Civic Hybrid owners complaining about battery & sofware problems than any other model year cars. Got my newest software update on my 2008 Hybrid about 2 months ago, and the car's IMA system seems to be smarter than before. I drove about 2 tanks of gas before the car's computer finally educated itself and kicked in. I had the same complaints as everyone else when I first got mysoftware done. Now, it seems to manage the battery usage better and hold a charge longer. Milage has been about the same in the 40-42 mpg, but it will drop in hotter weather. Using midgrade gas does help the car to get that extra poweer & pep. And yes, I switched back to 1 tank full of regular unleaded, and you can feel a difference in power.
  • I have a 2006 and the new software did not solve my problem. After three weeks the battery was replaced and everything is fine. Plenty of acceleration and milage around 45 which is pretty much the same has it has always been.
  • My 2006 with updated software and a new battery operates like new. It has 93K miles with NAV and all the options, well maintained and well taken care of. The battery has a warranty. I generally average about 45 mpg driving responsibly but not overly conservatively. If I decided to sell it, how much do you think it is worth?
  • $6000, at best.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    $6000, at best.

    That may be a little pessimistic, but not much. It is after all a 5 year old car with 93k miles, even Honda's can't defy gravity.
  • This seems ridiculously low for a well maintained car in excellent shape with a new hybrid battery and warranty. I've always felt that how a car is maintained and taken care of is more important than just the miles driven. Honda's are know for their reliability and durability (notwithstanding the hybrid battery problem). What about another opinion from someone? If it is truly only worth this much, I might as well drive it for another 100K miles at an average 45 mpg and probably trouble free. (The only problem is my wife wants a larger car with more utility, but still a hybrid.)
  • I just checked Kelly Blue Book. Trade in value is listed between $6550 for fair condition to $8350 for excellent assuming you do not have nav. or any other upgrades. Remember this is Trade in Value! There are no 2006 Civic Hybrid selling on ebay for less than $10k. The cheapest is this 87k mile car which has 24 bids and currently bid up to $8k. VE-/130435817397?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item1e5e949fb5
    Selling your car for $6k would be like giving it away!
  • Thanks. This makes more sense. My car is in excellent condition (now) and has all the options including NAV. I was hoping for around $12K, but that might be somewhat of a stretch for this milage, but another trouble free 100K miles for a well maintained Honda is not a stretch.
  • Looked at the ad on Ebay you referenced. Noticed the Battery charge showed three bars. After what I have been through that would be something I would want to know more about. It could be because the car has been started a lot without much driving, or it could be due to something more serious. Now that I have the updated software and new battery, I have not seen my charge level go below four bars. Generally it runs between 5-7 bars. No more eight bar level, even though I believe I could with some deliberate effort get it to go to that level. I think this is part of Honda's strategy to increase the life of the battery. Presently, I average 45 mpg, have plenty of acceleration, and the car is a pleasure to drive. And with the new warranty, I feel secure with the car. However, It might be difficult to impart that take on the car to get top dollar.
  • I also have an '06, going for the software update today. Service manager documented my complaints about recals and loss of assist this past summer. He basically said if you don't get the update and you have a problem with the battery later on, they may deny warranty coverage. Even though the "letter" states that the product update will be available until "July 30, 2013. After that, any applicable warranty would apply."

    As far as what the car is worth, in excellent condition, according to KBB,
    Trade In: $8,400
    Private Party Sale: $10,470
    Retail: $12,370
  • My experience was that the software update did not fix my ailing battery. It did prevent the IMA light from coming on again during the three weeks I drove it. After that, I replaced the battery (Honda payed 50%) and everything is fine.
  • I tried to trade my 2007 w/86000 miles to the dealership that replaced my battery last week for an Accord. They offered me 7500. I owe 15000, so I told them no. They refused to budge. They were offering 5500 off the Accord, so I assume that's why they wouldn't give me even a little more. I am beginning to really hate this car.
  • I don't hate mine because it is now performing well. However, I don't generally trade my cars because I keep them in excellent shape and do better selling them on my own. I've done that lots of times. Don't know if that will work for this one, though.

    Can't understand why yours doesn't perform better with a new battery.
  • Me either! I am taking it back next week. I have allowed them 1000 miles to see improvement, but no such luck. I don't want to trade it and lose that much money, but I can't sell it to anyone. It wouldn't be right. I don't know if it's worth the gamble to keep driving it. It's not safe. I saw someone on here say that they got a new battery and then Honda installed the old software. That's about the only way I'd be willing to keep it.
  • Maybe they did not install the new software properly. I have the new software and new battery and everything is fine so far. I understand it may be a problem to uninstall the software. There should be some way to reset the computer to original setup.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    edited October 2010
    This seems ridiculously low for a well maintained car in excellent shape with a new hybrid battery and warranty.

    I agree with you, but that's the way it is. Heather_07hch's experience at a dealership getting a trade-in number above tends to confirm it though. KBB does not buy cars, dealers do.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I thought KBB values were based on actual sales and trades.
  • Hi there - I am a 2005 HCH owner, in the state of CA. My car has 98K miles on it, and the IMA light came on the other day. I took it to our local dealer to get the diagonistic test. It came back with a failing IMA code, and was told my IMA battery would need to be replaced for about $3k.

    Now I am in the state of CA, and my car is certified PZEV and SLUV (Tier II). Therefore, my IMA battery should be under warranty until 10/150,000. The dealer tried to convince me that I was wrong, my battery was NOT covered, and my car was ULUV only and did not meet the state requirements.

    I had a pretty good feeling that they were trying to trick me, so I contacted Honda America. The customer service rep I talked to was very vague, but said there was absolutely nothing in her records (based on VIN) that would tell me whether my car was covered.

    So since neither Honda entity was going to help me, I did some reseach on my own, and determined that my car was indeed covered.

    I called Honda America back again, and my complaint was escalated to a "case manager". He immediately tried to convince me that, yes my car was PZEV, but based on my VIN it was not covered. He said that even though my car was certified PZEV in the state of CA, it really didn't matter. Some cars were covered, some were not, and it was all based on VIN and some info he had in his database. He then goes on to say, "your car is NOT covered, but Honda wants to keep you happy, so would you be satisfied with Honda covering half of the $3k?" Heck, no - they should cover it all. By law.

    After talking to two California state departments (Bureau of Auto Repair, and CARB) they encouraged me to file a complaint, because what Honda America (and the dealership) was saying was not true, and they felt I was being duped.

    I called back my case manager, and requested my denial of coverage in writing, along with any support he had based on my VIN and the Honda database. My husband followed up with a call, basically saying that we knew my car was covered, and we weren't going to go away.

    Literally, an hour later, I got a call from the dealership saying my IMA battery would be replaced for free.

    I wanted to share my experience ASAP, because I feel that this a shady tactic from the top of the company, down. If we hadn't been persistent, and had just TRUSTED Honda, we would be out $3k. I believe that Honda is most likely pulling this scam on a lot of people, and I wanted to tell people to talk to your state board, and stay on them. Don't believe everything they tell you. And if this has happened to you, please feel free to contact me. I think it's time to shine light on this bad business practice.
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