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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    How is your new battery working?

    Unlike the people who are having problems with the software update, you have a Gen 1 Civic. It has not had this update issued because it is a very different car -no PTZEV mode, no AC during auto-stop, a smaller IMA battery, a lighter car, etc. At 268,000 miles, your battery simply wore out. Most 2003-2005 Civics last 120,000 - 160,000 miles before their batteries die.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263

    Is the problem 100% solved now? Which relay was it?
  • tj09hchtj09hch Posts: 14
    rd5418, I would very much like to hear the particulars of your suit.
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    The forums cannot be used to discuss/organize legal actions so please do not make posts along those lines as they will have to be removed. If you would like to contact another member off of the forums, the best way to do so is to click on the Forum Preferences link on the right side of any forums page, and set your email address to "public". That way other users can click on your user name and find your email address.


    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • tj09hchtj09hch Posts: 14
    My apologies.
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    No problem... just a reminder of the rules of the road is all!

    Hope you had a great New Years!


    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • patk27patk27 Posts: 1
    My Insight was delivered in August 2000 and has 121,000 miles.
    While driving, my IMA and emission control icons lighted. When this was first noticed the IMA charge indicator was on full charge, the charge assist readouts were/are dark. The charge indicator has remained on full charge without variation while driving. No other indicators are lighted. I have not disconnected the 12v battery or pulled any fuses.

    I have driven my Insight at least 150 miles since these things happened. I appear to be obtaining the same satisfactory acceleration that I was obtaining before this happened. My mileage has dropped from 52 mpg to 47 mpg.

    With the IMA switch “off” the car would not start.

    My local garage coded the car at p1449.

    I live up country in Minnesota and need to be able to drive my car. I understand that it if nothing else goes wrong the IC engine should continue to provide power enough for highway driving. Is this correct?

    The owner’s manual and web site do not give enough information for me to understand what I need to know about the system(s) of the Insight so that the IMA battery pack can be disconnected and/or removed from the car while continuing to safely start and operate with the IC motor and an electrical system that will serve the accessories as needed. Some other questions that seem important are:

    1. Do you need to bypass/remove the IMA battery pack so that you can safely drive the Insight on the IC engine?
    2. If yes, how do you bypass or remove the IMA battery pack so that you can safely drive the automobile on the IC engine?
    3. The Honda web site says that the IMA motor acts as the starter, generator, and IMA motor. Will the IMA motor continue to start the IC motor if the IMA batteries are disconnected?
    4. If not, does the 12 volt battery crank the IMA motor/starter or is the IC engine started by an independent starter?
    5. Will the IMA motor continue to generate electricity for the 12 v battery if the IMA battery is disconnected from the system?
    6. If not, does the Insight have another house battery-generator system that charges the 12v independently of the IMA motor?
    7. What components does the interior fuse box IMA fuse disconnect? Should this be pulled?
    8. What components does the exterior fuse box IMA fuse disconnect? Should this be pulled?
    9. What components does the IMA ECU fuse disconnect? Same question for the FI ECU? Should either of these be pulled?
    10. The car will not start with the IMA switch turned off. Why? What components does the IMA switch disconnect?
    11. Does the 12 volt battery always or ever supply electricity to the accessories, lights and other electrically driven items other than the IMA? If so when?
  • vidarvidar Posts: 16
    edited January 2011
    I would say yes, the problem is solved. The relay replaced was for the A/C compressor. It is located under the hood, drivers side, in the fuse and relay box. My mileage is down to 46.5 mpg, which is due to using the window defogger quite a bit this season. Note, I never got the software update that was recommended by Honda. I am going to to a odometer vs. mile marker comparison on the next long interstate run. Since the defogger is run from the A/C in a heat pump mode, finding the problem was a bit of a minor necessity beyond the IMA problem. I currently have 148,000 miles on the car. which is over 10,000 miles since the start of the troubleshooting, and 6,000 miles since the relay was replaced. This may not be the solution to all IMA problems, but for $14 it is a good starting point. To keep people up to date concerning this fix, my car is a 2005 civic hybrid model.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263

    Please contact me privately to discuss how to disable the faulty IMA battery and bypass it in your 2000 Insight. I'll provide you with instructions on how to do it and also diagnostic steps to find out why the car wouldn't start with the breaker off (it should have).


    Before anyone else asks, this can only be done on 2000-2006 Insights, not on Civics or Accords.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    edited January 2011
    Yes, but which relay? I believe there are two related to the AC in that box. This problem is rare and is not actually related to the IMA system, but I have seen it in three other cars.
  • tj09hchtj09hch Posts: 14
    Update -
    So, last I posted, my local Honda dealership told me Honda was working on a fix for the update problems and they should be available this week. Just as I was planning on calling to check on the fix, my IMA and engine lights came on again. Since I was just starting on my list of errands and places I had to be that day, I didn't drive in to Honda service until I had driven 25 miles with the lights on. Interestingly, during that 25 miles, my mpg went up from 27.3 to 28.1 going up and down "hills" where I live. In addition, the auto stop was working, the green charging bars came on when I took my foot off the pedal or depressed the brake, and, while my battery gauge depleted going up a hill (3/10 mile), it recharged within a mile. In other words, the car was acting more like its original performance after the engine and IMA lights came on. Unfortunately, it still didn't have the power back. I was almost considering NOT taking it in, but I didn't want to give any excuse for not covering any warranty issues.

    Anyway, I received a call later that night, and the service rep I had been dealing with from the beginning told me the district service manager had come out to look into my car situation, and he ordered me a new IMA battery. Okay, I'm game. I don't think that's going to make a difference, but ok, it's one more step towards meeting the lemon law requirements if it doesn't work.

    When I went to pick up the car tonight, my service rep informed me that my car was the last software update. Honda was no longer doing the software update because of the problems. Yee haw! He told me that the new IMA battery is installed and, as I understand it, eveything is back to the original status. Time will tell, but on the way home, the auto stop worked, the battery recharger worked, the battery gauge only went half way down going up a long hill, AND I had power in acceleration. We stopped to fill the tank to get a reading on this battery and it currently reads 38.1 mpg. I'm cautiously optimistic.

    SO, those still driving an HCH and experiencing problems, you might want to give your dealership a call and see what the story is now. I live in Washington state (Seattle area), and it may have been a local resolution, but he said, Honda is no longer performing the software updates due to the problems that it caused. I don't know if that means reinstalling the original software, but it's worth a try.

    Good luck, and I'll repost after driving for a couple weeks and seeing if indeed things are back to the original performance.
  • It will be interesting to see if this is a local Washington phenomenon or if Honda has stopped the software update for its operations world-wide.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    This is very interesting. Look forward to your updates. I don't see how Honda can just start undoing the update without notifying those who have it.
  • heather_07hchheather_07hch Posts: 28
    edited January 2011
    I would like to know more about this as well. What about those of us who got new batteries, but still panic when we pull out into oncoming traffic, wondering if we will make it?! Is Honda going to reinstall the previous software version? I have demanded this several times to no avail. The software update was not a fix. I have a new IMA battery with about 5,000 miles on it, and my car is still a piece. I get about 35 mpg, instead of the 42 I used to get.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I guess I am fortunate so far. I have both the update software and the new IMA battery and my milage is what it used to be--45-48 mpg.
  • I brought my HCH 2007 (with software updated and crapy performance after that) this morning to Honda dealership requesting the check-up and demanding that they fix car so IMA assists when going uphill. Anything less is not acceptable and I will consider it as malfunction. I warn them that I have quite often three kids at the back and it is safety issue as well.

    Now manager is dealing with it, since the software is "OK".
    I will keep you updated.
  • I got another phone call. Honda engineering is working on the issue with upgrade and solution is expected within a month. There is nothing they can do now.
  • Yeah, I kinda keep an eye on your posts, as we had our IMA replacement at about the same time and in the same kind of temps. I have a new problem as well. For the past week, the car smells like gas every time I crank it. It is very strong, like an old car that has to be damn near flooded to start. It is awful. And the transmission has skipped on me a few times going uphill in the last 3 months.
  • Just to chime in, my 2009 has 25,300 miles and I just got the call from the dealer. Took it in because the engine and IMA lights were both on - again. Last time, they updated the software. This time, they got the same codes so they're ordering a new IMA battery.
    What a disappointing vehicle.
    I've averaged 38.1 mpg since I bought the car. It's underpowered, overpriced and a huge over promise from Honda. (And by the way, we've owned 8 Hondas, including my wife's current Odyssey minivan.) The good news is, the battery replacement will be covered 100%. The bad news is, I have to go through the headache of selling or trading this car and buying another one.
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