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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    I have also noticed the battery will sometimes seem to drop very quickly from 6 bars down to 4, in about 10 seconds or less. I haven't actually seen it do it while I am staring at it (seeing as how I am also trying to pay attention to the road), but I look at it one moment and it is at 6 bars charged, and the IMA system is assisting, and then I look back 5-10 seconds later and it is at 4 bars.

    That is called a downward recal. They will start happening more and more frequently. On an Insight, when they start happening daily, a P1447 will usually occur. What is happening is that the car thinks it has a half charge and suddenly detects that it has bottomed out and starts the process of determining the new "empty" point. The reason this is happening is because the capacity of the battery is decreasing. Some of the cells are not taking much of a charge, so they don't have much to give. The car has to go by the weakest cell even though the rest have plenty of charge. Reconditioning all the cells and replacing the bad and marginal ones will correct the problem.

    Your car is heading for a P1433 error. When you get it, you may want to consider rebuilding the battery to save money.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    My God! after reading these posts,why would anyone buy a Civic Hybrid. If you check out the Prius owners comments...they all have been trouble free.To think that Honda has such a great reputation. :lemon:
  • ilikecakeilikecake Posts: 5
    Here's a nice story follow-up to my earlier distress.

    I contacted American Honda and after a review of my case, they declined any assistance, even after saying I was considering replacing it myself, the possibility of electrocution and what the press could do with that. I thought I had laid it on very thick! No good, sigh.

    I located an IMA from a 2005 with (they claimed) 22,000 miles from a junk yard - excuse me - auto recycling center. It was $150. I repeat, $150. Its funny, when I asked who else had bought these in the past, I was surprised to learn two different inventor types bought one each Go U.S.A.! I didn't hear of someone like me to replace one. The salesperson told me, "now you know its $150?", to which, trying to contain myself, I said "that's fine, I understand."

    I took out the old one and put the new one in. I had an owner's repair manual so followed the procedure religiously. Maybe it took 3 hours going slow and safe. I went overboard with rubber gloves so that slows anyone down. I'd guess it should take a Honda mechanic 45 minutes and me shorter too to repeat.

    The battery is about 60 pounds. Later when the car was getting repaired by the dealer (not IMA related), I convinced them to take the old one, which a recycler would pick up.

    The car is fine. No software needs to be reloaded. I get approximately the same mileage I used to, although I think it was less during the winter in the Northeast. When the temperature got above 40 it seems to be pretty comparable. At 132,000, I've put 4,000 miles on the replacement. it seems to be charging fine and the capacity is about the same in the warmer weather.

    So, if you have intermediate mechanical abilities, you should consider purchasing a used IMA battery. As 2003-2005 cars are aging, the lifetime expectancy lessens on this option. But even so, $150 is real different than $2700, so if I get 48 mpg in warm (70F) and 35 in cold (20F), I am way ahead economically.

    Also, this buys me some time until Honda produces cheaper batteries (if ever) with the new Yuasa partnership, plus reuse of an old battery is just a green thing for this old earth.
  • freddierapfreddierap Posts: 3
    Well after 18 months of dealing with Honda service on my 07 Civic Hybrid IMA issues... and getting nowhere, I traded it for a 09 Nissan frontier truck! It's disappointing Honda has ignored us with these problems, however Honda won't have to worry about me in their shops or dealerships ever again. My new truck showed me of how poor the brakes are on the hybrid and with a V6 I actually have a vehicle that will get out of its own way again and driving easy I'm getting just over 20 mpg in town with a new truck not yet broke in... some things are much more important than gas mileage. I do wish good fortune to the rest of you in resolving your issues.
  • jorgenchrjorgenchr Posts: 3
    I need some help!. Am I the only one having this type of problem? I consider myself an experience Honda Civic Hybrid owner. I had an older 2003 Model and I loved it!. So I went ahead and purchased a new 2009 model. What a difference!. It drives and acts completely different from the old model I had. I am told, this is due to all the changes Honda did to the new Hybrid IMA system (Version 2 ?).

    Here are some of the issues I now have. The car has been at the Honda Service, they can not find anything wrong.

    1. The IMA acts more or less random. Sometimes it kick in for a split second then goes away when I accelerate. On the old model it stayed on as long as I applied gas.
    2. The Battery Indicator does not appear to be accurate. I have never seen it do a full charge like my old car did
    3. It often feels like driving a brick. Many times when I drive around 45 Miles per hour and want to enter a 65 miles high way, I have to accelerate to get to that new speed or I will cause an accident. The IMA seems unable to kick in!. I can see the RPM of the engine go all the way up to 6000 RPM when I try to get up to speed, the RED area is 6200 so the engine is working more than overtime. It takes up to a minute to get it up to speed and the IMA NEVER kicks in!.
    4. When I drive in mountain areas or up hills it almost rolls backward!. Well no, but again the IMA does not appear to do anything.

    BUT the IMA does work when I drive slow , but never the way it used to on my old model when it actually assisted the engine when it needed power!.

    Please help me, this is driving my crazy
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    > I located an IMA from a 2005

    Most IMA batteries that have been sitting in junkyards will fail within their first year (usually at the 9 month mark) with P1447 or P1433 errors. This is due to the fact that they have been left sitting for 90 or more days without being charged. If this happens to you, you should not replace it again (because it will happen again) but have it rebalanced to correct the damaged caused by the extended sitting.

    BTW, $150 is very cheap. They are usually $250.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    You should take another 2009 for a test drive. If it acts differently, go back and yell at the dealer. If it acts the same, then you'll have to get used to it.
  • timaztimaz Posts: 7
    I also have a 09 hch. I never drove an older model so I can't speak of how they compare, but I have had similar experiences, most notably that the IMA seems more or less random and reluctant to assist on steep hills, especially at higher speeds. Initially I thought something was wrong with my car, but increasingly I think its just how the IMA system is programmed. I found the following article to be helpful:
    It describes some of the factors which can affect how the IMA system will respond. This gave some logic to the seeming randomness of the system. I don't know if I changed or the car changed but it seems to be doing better now, after I hit about 4000 miles. I think I mostly got used to the way it drove.

    Also, there is a software update for the IMA system so you might want to check with your dealer to see if your car has been updated or not. I only bought my 09 hch less than 2 months ago and it hadn't received the update, so it is quite possible that your car also might have been manufactured before the latest software update.
  • amjad1amjad1 Posts: 1
    i just bought my 2003 hch car 1 week ago ,the ima come on all of the time ,& the MPG is too low around 23mpg ...plz help me what i have to do
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    You first need to find out if it is the battery or some other component of the IMA system. Get your codes read, either by a mechanic or at autozone. Post them here and the state you're in and the mileage on the car.

    The warranty is 8 years/80,000 miles on the battery.
  • jorgenchrjorgenchr Posts: 3
    Does anyone know what that software update is called? My dealer told me Honda never had any updated available for my car
  • Software update is called a PCM update (powertrain control module update). I just had it done on my 2006. Fixed a problem I had with acceleration.
  • jorgenchrjorgenchr Posts: 3
    What i meant to ask about is, what is this specific update that was made available for the 2009 Civic's? My dealer tells me that car does not have any updates available.
  • timaztimaz Posts: 7
    My receipt from the dealership says "updated PGM-FI WITH LATES SOFTWARE 37805-RMX-A130, ALSO UPDATED IMA BATTERY CONTROL UNIT WITH 1K101-RMX-A110 OP#125517A"

    Not sure what everything means, but hopeful that can help.

    I had the work done 4/14 and I have an 09 HCH delivered to the dealer in 11/08. I don't know if possibly my 09 was manufacturer earlier than yours. I would guess the cars being manufactured after the updates were released would already come with the latest software, so perhaps your car already had the latest updates when it was delivered.
  • bp_madmanbp_madman Posts: 1
    You are not alone in regards to this matter. I thought I had purchased a great car. I've had my 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7 months now. The first 5 months I experienced no problems with it. Now, there is a notable difference in how it accelerates…or should I say lack of acceleration, to the point of being dangerous! To top things off, the dealership from where I purchased my Hybrid, GREG MAY HONDA, in Waco, TX, refuses to acknowledge a problem actually exists. I would NOT recommend this vehicle to anyone.
  • ulrike1ulrike1 Posts: 1
    I have had my 2009 Civid Hybrid for 6 months and am experiencing the exact same problems with the IMA that have been described here. This includes the frustration with the dealer telling me that this is a known problem at Honda, but no plans to really do anything about it. And being told that the problems are because of the heat here in Texas. I also would NOT recommend this car to anyone. I am trying to figure out a way to get rid of mine without too much financial pain.
  • ilikecakeilikecake Posts: 5
    I recommend registering your frustration with American Honda. I've found they listen, investigate, and sometimes react favorably. If something good comes out of it, be sure to come back and let others know (and to avoid this forum just being complaints without the other half of the story).
  • joek11joek11 Posts: 2
    I am having the same problem in my 06 Civic hybrid. I took the car to the dealer and they couldnt find anything wrong with it (using computer error code read outs). So I told them to leave it out in the 103F heat all after and then drive it for 5 minutes around 3pm. Sure enough the problem replicated itself while the tech was in the car with the computer hooked up for error reading. Much to my suprise Honda took the problem very seriously. They took a computer snapshot and sent it into Honda regional office for further diagnosis.
    HOWEVER after about 2 days of waiting Honda came back and basically said, "Sorry this is a known issue. Nothing we can do. We will call you back when we have a fix for this problem." The official documentation I received from Honda said, "heat issue".
  • kamckamc Posts: 2
    I am having the same problem. I took the advice to call American Honda. After a detail explanation of the problem, the operator refused to help me. She was trying to be nice since I was very polite to her. The final answer was - too bad, you got a Honda, and I was not going to help you. I am not sure why Honda is not listening. I am sorry that I have not find this site before I got my lemon. Now, I don't know what to do? Please help me. I can't afford to sell the car, and buy another one. Last Honda for me. I am going to Saturn.
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