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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • munkegodesmunkegodes Posts: 6
    edited November 2010
    I own a 2007 HCH with ~34,000 miles on it. I live in SW Ohio where temperatures can range from 90+ and humid in the summer or below freezing in the winter (and, 30+ degree temperature swings in a single day are normal). The first 2 years of ownership I drove mainly highway and averaged ~45mpg. In the past year I've driven mainly local and only averaged ~36mpg. Needless to say I've been less than thrilled with my recent mileage performance.

    On Monday the IMA and check engine lights came on but did not notice any differences in car performance. I called the dealer and made an appointment to get it checked out a couple days later (lights stayed on) and the car returned code P0A7F.

    From reading on the internet I guess this means that my battery is degraded. Honda's fix was to load the new software update (which, I had been avoiding given the mixed reviews I was reading on this forum). The guy at the dealer told me that this should fix the problem and they tested the car and is performing as expected. I've only driven it a little so far and don't really notice any differences. Doesn't seem like the car is charging as much and continues to lose charge quickly (my morning commute is about 1 mile, 5 mins drive. From overnight park appears 3/4 full but by the time I get to work it is only 1/4 full.).

    Any advice on what to expect? Should I expect battery failure soon? I find it hard to believe that if my car is registering battery degredation (ie: hardware problem) that a software patch is going to fix it...
  • My battery started discharging frequently last June and I got the software upgrade in August. The software upgrade has not fixed the problem and the upgrade has made the performance worse with more frequent discharges, and slower and more uncertain acceleration. I have not had on the IMA or check engine light for the entire time.

    The software upgrade on your car may prolong the IMA battery's life but the check engine and IMA light signify to me that your battery is substantially gone and that the check engine and IMA light will come on again fairly soon. You will have a stronger case to make to Honda to replace your IMA battery. But who knows how long this could take and how much Honda will drag its feet?
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I went though the same process, only at much higher milage. The software upgrade did not fix the problem and about a month later the battery was replaced and everything seems to be fine now with good milage and performance.
  • Did your IMA light go on? Did Honda replace your battery and did you have to battle with them?
  • Do the 84 cell battery packs have any more capacity than the longer cell series? Would it be possible to use the 2010 Insight/CRZ battery pack or construct one with less cells for the 2006-9 Civics? Do you think the 84 cell battery would be a big improvement?
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    IMA light went on before the software upgrade but not afterward. Had to open a case with Honda to get them to cover half the battery cost since I was a few thousand miles out of warranty.
  • vidarvidar Posts: 18
    edited November 2010
    Been troubleshooting the problems on the Civic Hybrid. Good results. With the A/C compressor relay removed and the blower fan relay reinstalled, no dead 12 v battery from sitting overnight, for testing for over a week now. No IMA fault lights, ABS or battery faults. Also, the car has 750+ miles on the trip odometer, at mostly interstate speeds, and the mileage indicates 50.1 mpg. Previously, with relays installed and the A/C turned off on the dash panel, mileage at best had degraded to around 43 mpg. So that indicates that the relay was randomly cutting in and out hurting mileage all along.
    I will hook up a volt meter on the relay signal contacts to check on the possibility of random voltage, and not just assume that the relay is bad.
    As an OBTW, I have never gotten the software update that Honda offered free up until June 2010 as a voluntary 'recall'.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    edited November 2010
    "That's great for Honda, but no one else. To me that is unacceptable and is not really a fix for the design deficiency you cited."

    Think more long term. The first 2003 Civics are now coming off warranty for time not distance. 2000 and 2001 Insights are now too old. 80K is great for the person who drives 7K per year.

    From what I know of the updates, it should extend the life of a 15k per year driver to more like 150k (starting with an undamaged pack). It is helping some damaged pack come back to life. Others have problems that can't be corrected this way.

    The only problem is that it reduces the amount of charge that it allows the driver to use and that leaves some people with an empty battery when they wanted power.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    You'll have to wait it out. A P0A7F may respond to reconditioning which is what the software is sort-of doing. Your battery hasn't failed yet, the car has just notified you that it thinks it will. It will either improve, or it will code again and you'll get a new battery.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    They have much less capacity. The Insight and CR-Z are much lighter cars. Your car is designed for a 158V pack, not 100V.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Goodwill (1/2 price) is usually available for 5% of your warranty (4k miles Oman 80k warranty).
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Great! It was a simple (if obscure) problem that had nothing to do with the hybrid system. Check the ratings on the relay. You should be able to find an aftermarket one for $6 or so. A relay is a relay. It doesn't have to say Honda on top. It's probably a Bosch anyway.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    In most states it is 80K.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    Ogre, now that I have both a new battery and the upgrade software, should I be good for another 150K miles? Mine failed at about 90K miles and I now have 94K miles on the car with everything seeming to work well. Honda only gives a 36K mile warranty on the new battery.
  • Hello all,
    I'm lost and simply don't know what to do about my problem. I purchased a new civic hybrid in August 2007. I'm a retired teacher, not driving much. The IMA light came on in October 2008 at 2096 miles with code P0A7F. The module was replaced. Now, December 2010, the light is on again. The 3 year warranty on the car is up but I'm only at 4880 miles. Will honda pay for another IMA replacement because of the low miles? I've read elsewhere that this can cost as much as $3000. I cannot afford this every 2 years and really thought I'd have this car forever. Thoughts please and thanks.
  • Trade the car and get a gas engine Ford. That is what I did and I could not be happier. Mine was still UNDER WARRANTY and I could not get help!
  • I assume that the replaced "module" you mention was the battery pack? You should start with your dealer (you may already have done this); you are just barely off warranty, and your dealer and Honda should support you as though you were still in warranty. Your extremely light use of this vehicle may ironically be part of the problem (infrequent charging may not be adequate to keep the battery pack charged properly; if and when you do get another replacement, I'm sure you'll get lots of instructions about driving the car often enough to avoid deterioration of the batteries). If you don't get satisfaction from your dealer, ask for a contact with the regional Honda service manager and plead your case. If you're still unsuccessful, there's a process that you can use through the Better Business Bureau, I think (and it may be described elsewhere on this website). I would certainly consult with an attorney if these measures don't bring a resolution.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I think you should still be covered because the original warranty is for 8 years and 80K miles for this item. That should supersede the replacement part warranty.
  • This is my problem with Honda. I say when the software update was installed and they did not extend the 80,000 warranty proportionately to the mileage that you had already on the car, before the update. Obviously the poorer gas mileage and lack of power to accelerate after the update was installed, Honda must be responsible. I am thinking of the pending hit my pocket book will take if the battery fails after the initial deal I made with Honda when I bought the car. I have a 2007 HCH with 60,000 miles on the car when the update was installed. I am now running this battery into the ground to make it fail before the 80,000.
  • Thanks for the replies. Shows you how much I know about cars---I should use it more often to keep the battery charged. Will start with the dealer and go from there. Will let you know what happens. The buy Ford idea sounds enticing.
  • I'm assuming you are referring to the hybrid battery pack? The replacement battery pack should still be under warranty. I would talk to your dealer and see if Honda will honor a replacement. But I would be ready to be turned down by Honda and be prepared to file a formal complaint with Honda Customer Relations, etc.

    We have been sold down the river by Honda on these cars. I just sold by Honda Civic hybrid and couldn't be happier to not be dealing with the sluggish performance and defective batteries.
  • jack000jack000 Posts: 16
    edited December 2010
    I got an e-mail today from an NHTSA investigator asking for the details of the battery "failures" (recals). He mentioned that the e-mail was sent to multiple people.
    Anyone else get this e-mail?

    Also, my battery has been at 4 bars for the last week and never has a "recal." It's like the car reverted back to the old software before the update. Could this be because of the drop in temperature?
  • gregr2gregr2 Posts: 14
    My battery failed after 4 months in my brand-new 2009 hybrid. It was replaced and I have had lower mpg ever since. I did not receive any e-mail
  • Did you file a complaint with the NHTSA? It was only sent to those who had a complaint on file.

    I suggest you go ahead and do that. The more people that complain, the more pressure the NHTSA places on Honda, ad the greater the chances that Honda admits that they knowingly dismissed an underlying issue with the car.
  • Fellow Honda Civic Hybrid sufferers I just received an e-mail from the NHTSA. They wanted me to fill out a questionare regarding the loss of power I encountered after the IMA software was updated in August. If you haven't done so already go to the NHTSA's web page and file a complaint.
  • I filed a complaint with NHTSA about six weeks ago but have not been contacted by them with a quesionnaire. When I filed my complaint by phone, the NHTSA rep said I would receive my complaint in the mail to allow me to correct. I have not received that yet.

    This is great news that NHTSA appears to be responding to our complaints. I sent a letter to my congressman and his office said the best thing I could do was file a complaint with NHTSA. I hope Honda gets raked over the coals.
  • vidarvidar Posts: 18
    Unless something related crops up, this should be the my last post on the discussion I started with this title. The replacement relay for the A/C compressor was an Autozone item, cost of $13.99. Autozone carries two types of replacements with slightly different physical sizes, but same function and electrical contact spacing. So need to check fit into fuse block.
    Anyway, the relay has been reinstalled for almost two weeks, no dead 12v or IMA batteries, no warning/fault lights. Fuel milage has remained around 48-49 mpg at interstate highway speeds..
    This took a lot of troubleshooting, but an inexpensive and easy fix for my problem. A good way to start before letting a dealer look into the matter ($$$). Again, my Honda has never had the software update, so I do not know if that software was a 'fix' to the lawsuit a few years back about Honda odometers fudging on the mileage readout vs. true mileage.
  • Well I just replaced my IMA battery with a replacement from ReVolt. Their cost was $1292 with an unlimited mileage 3 yr prorated warranty vs Honda's quote of $2700 no warranty. So far put on a few hundred miles and no problems. Was surprised how easy it was to remove - my 21 yr old son did the whole thing and he is no mechanic. Anyway - thanks to this forum and to REVOLT for stepping up and giving us hybrid owners an option other than Honda. I will never buy another Hybrid till they get these battery issues resolved. 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid 268K mileage.
  • Please post the web address of ReVolt. Also, did replacing the battery get rid of Honda's so-called "updates?"
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