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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • ttomakattomaka Posts: 10
    I strongly agree with you, dhilldiner. Given the severity of the problems we are experiencing with the HCH II's fuel efficiency and lack of power, it galls me when apologists for Honda come on a forum like this and suggest that our problem stems from our driving habits, not the car.
    Just accelerate more gently does not come close to explaining 33 mpg on my 2008 HCH, which is where I am now, after receiving the firmware "update."
    Honda needs to fix their problems, or face continued damage to their brand reputation. I have seen no indication from Honda that they will even admit to having a problem.
  • bobbichenbobbichen Posts: 11
    Just did my first oil change in my new/used 2008 HCH II. I know that the Toyota dealer I bought if from said they changed the oil 1500 miles (6 months) ago. I also know it was black as night on dump out. I used Mobil 1 0w30 (couldn't find 0w20 and most links indicate this should be a fine substitute infrequently). The car revs and runs much more smoothly. Additionally, my battery is charging more actively than before. Best guess is they used 5w20 dino oil which created more drag on startup. I do short trips and my first use was over this winter. Was getting low 30s with conventional tires at 35 to 40 psi. My mileage has started moving up and seems to be running in the 40s now around town, mixed. Odo is about 48k. Still not seeing any of the problems with the IMA systems that others are speaking of but I am watching it. Since I have been driving daily the battery dumps (going down to 1 or 2 bars from a full charge) seem to have dropped off.
  • mabecanemabecane Posts: 46
    edited March 2011
    I just got a letter from Honda, they are recalling my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid to replace a DC to DC converter. The DC-DC converter is part of the IMA system and may experience an internal failure leading to stalling and malfunction of the headlights.
    I refused the IMA update last July, are they going to snick it in this time when I bring my car for the recall repair?
    Are they still installing the update?
  • I'm all for venting on Facebook but please make sure to file a safety complaint with NHTSA. The more complaints that NHTSA receives, the more likely the government will launch a formal investigation.
  • gnatggnatg Posts: 7
    I took my car into the dealership where I purchased my 2006 HCH originally and had the recall work done this morning. I asked the service rep if he could do a test drive also relating to my mileage problem. He said there was no use doing a test drive. My mileage problem was directly related to the software upgrade made last year. This is completely contrary to what my local Honda dealer told me and Honda corporate office in Torrance, CA. He also said Honda is instructing dealerships to do nothing about the complaints. He said he and his dealership do not like lying to their customers. Next step is to talk to a factory rep and then file a formal complaint with the NTSB.
  • yes, the local service representatives just sort of grimace at me now. They, also, lie. They can never "replicate the problem." I leave a garage that is never colder than 50-ish in winter, drive about two blocks, sit at the corner waiting to turn and lose all but two bars. The mileage then starts decreasing and never goes back up. Last week they were unable to have this happen. I left the dealership, drove a block, stopped at a light and had two bars. I feel sorry for them in some respects but if they would fuss a bit also that would help. Every time I go I put my request to check the IMA because one day I am going to get killed with the lack of pickup so it is costing them time and money and they need to take some action also.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    My experience has been that the software upgrade did not solve my milage problem, but it did keep the IMA light from coming on. Since my IMA light had come on before the upgrade my dealer's response was to put in a new battery when I told him that the upgrade did not fix the problem. The new battery did solve the problem. However, since I was a few thousand miles over warranty I had to pay half the cost. That was a cost hit against my milage savings, but at least it restored the car to its previous good milage and pick-up. This was done in October 2010 and it is still working well. Maybe I should not take a chance and trade the car before the new three year battery warranty expires.
  • When I owned by HCH II last fall, I took it to the dealer and the rep was very sympathetic to the problems of frequent discharging. I then dropped it off for 2 days for him to test, and to my "surprise" he said that they had no problems with it when they test drove it. My guess is he called Honda Corporate and said it wasn't working well and they told him to lie. In retrospect, I should have demanded that I be in the car with the dealer while they test drove it.
  • I would strongly consider it. There have been several posts about the defective design (and inadequate capacity?) of the HCH II hybrid batteries that cause them to wear out prematurely because individual cells stop working. I believe Honda's programming to allow them to be depleted to 40% of their charge and hot weather are two factors leading to their early deterioration. The Prius and the Ford Fusion apparently keep their hybrid batteries air cooled to avoid them getting fried during the summer.

    Your other option would be to be prepared to replace or recondition them and this could happen after the warranty expires. Even if you are within the warranty period, there is no guarantee Honda will pony up as we all know.
  • Amen, ttomaka. My fantasy is to make the head of Honda, senior managers and customer reps and anybody connected with Honda that says the problems are due to the way we drive required to drive our HCH IIs for several months in a variety of stressful and challenging driving situations with it all secretly recorded on video.
  • tj09hchtj09hch Posts: 14
    I took my 09 out on the highway, finally, since the 02-01-11 TSB update. I had four trips of about 40 miles each and got about 44 mpg (that's a lot of 4s). :) On that tank there were also a couple short "around town" trips. That's a little less than pre-IMA trouble mpg, but I was encouraged that it was close. I know mid-40s doesn't sound acceptable to some, but remember, I live in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. If I can get upper-30s to mid-40s, I might be able to like my HCH again.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    edited March 2011
    what was your mileage when you had the IMA light turn on and subsequent replacement of IMA?
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    when i asked Honda rep about what i can do to save gas while a battery drain occurred, there was complete ignorance on that side of the line. i do not know what your driving habits are, each person is different. NO DRIVING HABIT can recover the lost gas that is used during a battery drain. the engine is ALWAYS running, which contradicts the purpose of a hybrid system. if i'm driving city, 70% of the time, i am driving an underpowered, non-hybrid vehicle that is always in constant regen mode. i start the car, the drain occurs within a minute. i go somewhere, all the while trying to regen past the 4.5 bar level. i park the car. i come back. i start the car. i drive for 2 minutes. the battery drains again and the routine starts over. though it MAY drain once in a while in the owners manual, it has instead become it WILL drain at any time during the day, night, location, temperature, speed, driving condition, weather, moon location relative to sun. it doesn't matter, it's become a broken record, repeating the same problem over and over again.
    i drive mostly freeway and can utilize the CA carpool lanes for another 3 months. that's how i hypermile it. i get mid to high 40's in summer. but i get low 40's in the winter. yes, formulation is one thing, but the drain is the big culprit.
    then there's the lack of power issue. i showed that acceleration with ima vs without ima (during battery drain) was significant - about 3 seconds difference from 0-40 (ok, not official, but works to show the point). just imagine that you had to pass a semi, or get on an inclined on-ramp (like i did in Vacaville). well, you all can imagine what goes through your mind when you see cars coming at you at 70mph, let alone 75-80mph when you can only muster 40-50. so for anyone to say that there isn't a difference, i welcome you to drive my car and put your kids in the back and tell me that there isn't a problem. it's easy for anyone to say that someone else's car has no issues, but when it comes to your own life, you would tell a different story. you can't comment unless you've been in our shoes (car).
  • Has anybody noticed bizarre behaviour by the IMA while on cruise control?

    This weekend, while I was cruising at about 40 mph, the stupid IMA would assist when I would go downhill and charge when I'd go uphill.

    Since the car was on cruise control, nobody can blame my "driving habits" for this nonsense.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    My IMA light came on at 91,140 miles at which time the software update was done. The IMA battery was replaced at 92,737 miles. The milage was actually somewhat less because Honda agreed to a 5% odometer overstatement error on this car. My IMA warranty was 80,000 miles.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    edited March 2011
    too bad you did not purchase your car in cali. 10/150k is the extended per state requirements.
    i'm hoping that my light pops up before then. only 45k left before i lose my warranty. :mad:

    by the way, did your car exhibit the daily drain or even multiple drains in a day?
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    "by the way, did your car exhibit the daily drain or even multiple drains in a day?"

    Yes. It started well before the IMA light came on. It would be charged up at night and in the morning it would re-calibrate and recharge. The car also began starting off the 12 volt system instead of the IMA. This all happened before the IMA light ever came on. After the IMA software update the light never came on again, even though I continued to have the same problems, even though not quite as bad. The car continued to get less gas milage and had less pick-up. After the battery was replaced, the car was back to normal with gas milage averaging between 45-50 mpg and the pick-up was good again.
  • i live in Calif. I have the 150K warranty. I got the iMA update in Sept. 2010. My mileage immediately went south to about 32mpg. Honda America says my battery is performing "as designed". I say no it's not, I bought a car that was supposed to get 45 (which I expected to be 40 because the EPA numbers are always high). I was getting 40 mpg until the update.
  • Please go to this FB page started by disgruntled HCH owner with same problems (very recently - about a week ago). It's very informative and great advice. There are sample letter copies we can use to write our own letters. If we ALL write letters to BBB, NH Safety Board, Honda America, etc., etc., maybe Honda will finally get sick and tired and give us all the new batteries we deserve to honor their warranty and give us the mileage that WAS THE REASON WE BOUGHT THE CAR IN THE FIRST PLACE! Sorry, I'm shouting now :-)
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    actually got my BBB decision just yesterday and they denied my claims. they quoted Honda's manual as already stating that the battery "may" drain. so that in itself is Honda's over encompassing BS excuse. also had filed with NHSTB about 4 months ago. they sent a questionnaire, but haven't heard anything more from them.
    been posting on FB as well regarding my problems and BBB updates.

    however, there will no recourse for Honda since they haven't anything to gain from giving everyone new batteries. their software has degraded our mileage. the battery drain is normal as they call it. their comments about driving habits are insulting. i mean, what do we think they're going to do?

    it was actually kind of a slap in the face when the Honda rep said to the arbitrator in my hearing with regard to the software change. "these things that are being described were things that we informed about regarding the software change." wait a second, yes, you informed us, but you also said that if i didn't do my upgrade, you will not honor the warranty. so you forced us to upgrade it in the first place.

    just circular logic from a bunch of denying goons
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