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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • slider162slider162 Posts: 16
    Welp, the replacement to the replacement is on its way. I was told that since I did not fork over any cash for the last one, that it was not under warranty. I was under the impression that I had 3 years/36K miles warranty. So I sit at 98,500 miles on my 2007 HCH with a 3rd IMA battery on the way. Honda is charging a $500 "deductable" for the IMA battery and DC converter. Both will be installed next week when the parts arrive.

    My car has been for sale locally for the last two weeks. The best I can get out of any dealer, which is Honda, on a trade-in is $6,800. The next closest is $6,000. I was offered as low as $4,400 last weekend. I told them they were smoking some good stuff and quickly walked. I had dreams of a Toyota Matrix or a Honda Fit, but I will dump a little more cash into this dead horse if it gets me a couple more years. I am looking at the grid charger that 99mpg is offering. I'm thinking that would do the trick and keep the IMA healthy. I just don't know if I am going to keep the car long enough to get that serious about it.

    The new IMA battery will have a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty and the DC converter is 12 months/12,000 miles. I can't complain much for $500. I didn't even have to submit a video this time. I had one ready anyway.

    2007 Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Replacement
  • Doncha' love how they just make up the rules as they go along and - of course - that the rules always favor them...and you're actually rather pleased that it's only costing you $500 - for a 3rd IMA battery - that would be like a third complete engine for any other car and with only 98K miles. Amazing piece of machinery. I've got a 2005 and had one replacement and I'm praying every time I turn the key to start it. Guess now that the IMA is proprietary the game goes to Honda! So sorry for the situation you are in now. Hope it improves.
  • satyemsatyem Posts: 5
    Thanks Houstondave for the detailed explanation. I went to two dealers, first to the one who replaced the battery and then to another one, but both of them said this is normal. Looks like they just don't want to do anything until the CEL turns on. They said, Honda has changed software to ensure longer battery life and that's the reason I am seeing such a behavior and they can't do anything unless the CEL is on. I would take couple of more videos and contact Honda of America, hoping some better response. :0
  • leslieafleslieaf Posts: 1
    I went in to get a quick cup of coffee and left my hazard lights blinking so I wouldn't get a ticket. As luck would have it, I ran into a friend, forgot I left the hazard lights on and when I came out, 30 minutes later, I needed to get a jump to start the car.

    1. Did the hazard lights deplete the IMA in 30 minutes or the 12v battery?
    2. Is this reasonable? (BTW, I have not had any other problems with the IMA and have followed all recall instructions.)
    3. How will I know when I need to replace the 12v battery?

    Thank you so much for your help.
  • mabecanemabecane Posts: 46
    edited June 2013
    Send me an email.. my id at gmail
  • mabecanemabecane Posts: 46
    edited June 2013
    It was a private sale. The buyer was flying in from Michigan to NYC to pick up cars. He came to look at my car after buying another in NYC then drove back to Michigan flew back to NYC took the train to New-Haven CT where I picked him up. And he drove back to Michigan. Hell of a way to make a buck.A nice guy still
  • slider162slider162 Posts: 16
    I'm by no means happy about it. But the car is paid for and the thought of going further into debt on a different car is not appealing. Trade in value is worse than a regular Civic, even after explaining the new IMA battery, remote start, upgraded stereo, window tint, reverse camera, etc . Best case is I get $6,800 out of it for a 2007 with 98,000 miles. If I am looking at a $15,000 car, the $500 "deductible" does sound really good. If I get another 3 years out of it, I will be in a better position to purchase a new(er) car.

    The replacement was flawless, the dealer even rented me a car for the day. It is the same dealer that did the last replacement. They have been really good to me. They didn't even question me after they were not able to reproduce the issues that I had described about the performance. They were not fazed by the fact that no idiot lights came on. Just a straight up replacement with warranty. I'm back up to 42 MPG with mixed driving and am happy for the moment.
  • satyemsatyem Posts: 5
    After calling Honda of America, I went to dealer again with those videos, they said that its normal because of the new software update. They drove the car whole day but they did not see any issue. In my case actually this behavior is observed when the car sits for few hours, especially when I start in the morning, then I always see this sudden drop. Honda of America then said that if the dealership is saying this is normal, then it’s as designed.
    I don't know where to go now , any thoughts? Or is this really normal as Bossless commented earlier??
  • slider162slider162 Posts: 16
    It might be normal for it to happen once after the software update. Not every day. If it happens every day, or once a week for that matter, the IMA battery has bad cells. I found half of the battle is that they have no idea what they are looking for. That is where the videos help. Or they won't listen to you when you tell them to let it sit overnight before driving it. As long as it starts, doesn't throw any idiot lights, and goes when you step on the accelerator, it is "normal" to the inexperienced mechanic. The fact that you get no assist from a hybrid car doesn't cross their minds as being abnormal. The fact that the car is dangerous to drive while the re-calibration is taking place doesn't faze them. You have to be persistent. Play the "I'm driving a death trap" card if you have to.

    I'm surprised someone hasn't been hurt yet. You expect a certain amount of acceleration from the car and time everything accordingly. When you don't have that extra assist, the car is an accident waiting to happen.

    The first time I had the IMA battery replaced, the mechanic sent my video to Honda for review. Their engineers confirmed that this is not normal. If Honda America is telling you that they are going to agree with whatever the dealer tells you is not acceptable. The dealer can have an engineer review the video and make a determination. They all have an Internet connection and access to YouTube. Don't waste their time though. If it is a 15 minute video, tell them what the important parts are to look at. If the battery goes to 2 bars (because it will never go to zero after the update) annotate it within the video after you upload it. When the IMA gauge magically shoots to full five minutes later, annotate it within the video. They should be able to launch the video and see what they need to see in less than 60 seconds.
  • Glad to hear of your good experience and good results. My best for continued success.
  • satyemsatyem Posts: 5
    The videos I created are pretty small, the problem is that they want to hide everything behind software update. I even showed them one video where the SOC went from 5 to 8 in 30 seconds without any green charging bars. IMA Battery Charging
    Again their plain response "Software Update".
    I got two civic hybrid as part of rental last month, those cars did not have such issue. When I told them about that, they said those car wouldn't have the software update. :)
    Okay, I said I don't want the software update, their response "the new battery wont run without the s/w update". :)

    I have contacted Honda of America again and they said that they will me on Tuesday. Let's see.
  • soroushsoroush Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 HCH. 5 months ago the IMA battery light came on, I went to dealer and was told that IMA battery was overheated. I replaced the battery with a refurbished one. Everything was great for 2-3 months. But 2 weeks ago, the check engine, IMA and 12Vbattery lights came on and the hybrid battery was not charging (there were no drive-ability issue). I brought the car to auto zone and got the error codes: p1570 and p1600. I continued driving it for a while, until one day I couldn't start the car. I jump start the battery and suddenly both the IMA and 12V battery lights went off, the hybrid battery started to charge, and only the check engine light remained on. Then, I replaced the 12V battery with a new one, and for a week, the check engine light was gone too. The only issue was when I turned off the car, the battery gauge showed full charge. But next time I turned it on, (like after 12 - 15 hours) the charge dropped significantly and the IMA started charging even when before I run the car. 2 days ago, all 3 lights came back on again. I'm not sure if the problem is DC to DC convertor, or MCM or ...? Can anybody help plz?
  • xlntmpgxlntmpg Posts: 8
    You described the classic symptoms of a failing, and then completely failed hybrid battery.

    1) Refurbished Honda batteries
    Refurbished Honda batteries will generally not last. I would recommend you consider a new, third-party one. Definitely do not get one directly from the dealer. When I rebuild Honda batteries I use only new cells. For example, the pack I rebuilt this week uses cells that came off the assembly line in April.

    2) P1570
    This codes means there is low voltage on some of the hybrid battery. Because of this low voltage, the car will throw a code and eventually prevent you from using the hybrid battery. This includes assist, regen, and eventually use of the 12v battery, too.

    3) Your 12v battery died.
    Your car does not have an alternator; it has a dc/dc converter. If the hybrid battery is in poor health and shuts down, the dc/dc voltage converter will eventually shut down as well. Without the dc/dc converter, the 12v battery drain continually since the dc/dc converter is not charging back up. This draining happens especially quick on old, weak 12v batteries.

    This means all electronics functions( headlights, wipers, fans, speedometer etc. ) drain the 12v batteries until it dies. Then you'll need to charge up the 12v battery wil a battery charger every time you drive the car.

    3) Resetting the dash codes
    When you unhook the negative terminal, it often makes the car "forget" about the codes and clears the codes. It also makes the car "forget" how full or empty the hybrid battery was. But, eventually (sometimes right away) the car figures out there was a problem, and sets the codes again. Unhooking the negative terminal will not "fix" the problem of course. It just masks it for a while.

    You need to deal with the root cause of your problems: your refurbished battery has failed.

    If you are in the Madison, WI area feel free look me up and I can talk with you in person or on the phone about it.

    Eric Powers
    EV Powers
  • I am looking into getting a HCH (used probably 2006-2008) but now that I have read a few of these posts I am reconsidering. Got any advice for someone who has not yet purchased a HCH? Is it just a bad idea? My reason for getting the car is for good gas mileage and my goal is 40+ in the city. I dont drive incredibly fast but I also dont want to have to drive incredibly slow. Would I be better off looking into a prius or perhaps a Jetta/Golf TDI? I dont really want a diesel... Anyways, thanks for any advice you can give me.

    Have Fun ^_-
  • Stay clear. Go with Prius. Costs more but u get what u pay for. Well not me. I bought the hch and could've had a Prius. This car is a nightmare. Hch 2007 owner.
  • I also would recommend staying away from used. You'd have no idea what you're getting in terms of the state of the battery. Odds are against you, though.

    I'm not sure what the word is on the latest model of HCH that uses the lithium-ion battery. I'd check into that first.
  • Don't do it. Get a Prius around the same price range.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    It is a great little car, except for one big item: the battery fails prematurely. Unless you can get some iron clad assurance on the battery, like an extended warranty, stay clear.
  • gmanusmcgmanusmc SoCalPosts: 436
    I have to join the previous few posters - lucky for me, my 2009 was a 2 year lease and was still under warranty when they had to replace the hybrid battery. Needless to say, they got the car back at lease end. My two sons each bought used Prius's as commuter cars and they are running great. Look for a used Prius with as few miles as you can find - it will give you good value.

    Bill G
  • DON'T DO IT!! I bought my 06 HCH brand new and had a nasty go around with Honda a few months ago regarding the battery. Honestly, after how poorly and unethical Honda has behaved with the major issues the 06-08 HCH has had, I won't buy another Honda. I've been doing a lot of research on the TDI diesels and I'm about 98% sure that's my next car. The golf tdi is getting amazing reviews. A coworker has a 2011 golf tdi and gets right around 50 mpg. My HCH is NOWHERE near that. I average 32 mpg with my new battery. Guaranteed, you will not get 40+ mpg in an HCH. Once upon a time before Honda did the software update to extend the battery life beyond the warrenty it did. That all changed in 2010 for us with the HCH.
    Do. Not. Do. It!!!!
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