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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    I'm well aware that it will only help some batteries, but it does take time to work. Same-day results are not possible.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I gave it about a month.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Yes, but slider162 didn't even give it a day.
  • utcarolutcarol Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 hybrid. I usually get around 45 mpg. The car battery has been failing for two years (IMA light on steady for a year, but I've been assured it will run okay but with less power once the battery fails). I'm not against getting it fixed, but I don't have that kind of money right now. The car usually runs fine and with 130,000 miles I have been out of warranty for a long time. The car always passes emissions. Auto-stop didn't work most of the winter when I ran the heat on high, but most of the summer it has run okay on econ with the air on. This car has lived in California, Phoenix, and Utah.

    Last night the battery light came on, the IMA was down to two dits, and it neither charged nor assisted. I had the regular battery checked today and it is fine. I just replaced the radiator a couple of days ago - I suppose some wire may have been knocked loose. Today it runs fine, charges, assists, etc. I will watch this for a couple of days and I will probably get the electrical system checked.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? Any ideas about what is going on? Suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!
  • You sure are lucky. My 2007 barely gets 30 mpg. Right now it shows 29.8 mpg.
  • I didn't realize it would take time. I can understand the theory though. It will be a couple of weeks before I can get it back in there. I spoke to the service department today and got the run around that I expected to get. I spoke to the service manager and told him that if I bring it back, that I expect someone to drive it under real world conditions. I needed them to drive it until the battery was fully charged, let it sit over night, and then drive it in the morning. I wasn't going to bring it back if a tech was going to drive it for 5 minutes and tell me nothing was wrong with it because no service lights were coming on.
  • How did you get them to replace it?
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    Since the IMA light had come on before the software update, the service manager used that as the basis for a new battery after I told him the update did not fix the problem. I was fortunate to have a service manager that was pro customer. He told me before the update that he doubted it would solve the problem, but for me to try it for a few weeks and let him know. That is all it took for me. However, I had to pay half the cost because I was about 8000 miles over warranty. Maybe that made a difference. I don't know, but I do believe that service managers can make a big difference. My car has performed as good as ever after the battery replacement and with the software upgrade. I do notice a more aggressive charge regiment. Very seldom does it go below 4 bars or reach 8 bars. I never lose all of the assist until I get to two bars which has only happened a couple of times in really hot weather with the AC running full bore and driving after the car had gotten really hot inside from sitting for a hour or two in the hot sun.
  • I wish I was as luck as you. I think you're absolutely right about having a service manager on your side. I was not so lucky. Everytime I take it in they just keep telling me that the software updates will fix it. Half the time the battery is charging. I've went from around 42 to 34. It puts more strain on the engine. Frustrated - I will never buy another Honda again.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    What error code is your car experiencing? When the IMA system shuts down, you have a 50/50 shot of retaining 12V battery charging (alternator function). It all depends on how your battery fails when it finally does.

    Auto-stop doesn't work below about 40 degrees if you have the climate control on. This is normal.

    When you got the 2 bars of battery and the battery light, the IMA system had shut down. When the guy checked the 12V battery, he disconnected the battery which reset everything. At some point it will happen again. Resetting the system will correct it, but it will happen more and more often until it eventually can't be reset.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    It may be miserable to drive, but the engine can handle the load and will not be harmed in any way, so don't worry about that.
  • utcarolutcarol Posts: 3
    Thank you for your reply. I do plan to get a new IMA system battery. The car is running fine right now - good to know that checking the battery reset the system. I am considering ordering a replacement battery from the place in New York. Has anyone on this forum done that? Thanks!
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    I AM that place in New York.

    You should know that Insights and Civics have virtually identical batteries and IMA systems but Insight owners are more vocal about their cars, so if you don't find anything here, search for Insight comments on
  • After one week I'm second guessing myself that the battery is bad enough that I can prove it to the dealership. My gas mileage is the same if not 1 MPG better. It still recals at least once a day but it is not predictable. Sometimes it does it first thing in the morning, but that is not always the case. It is performing well enough now where if I take it in, they will still tell me that there is nothing wrong with it. Still no IMA lights. I'm at 65,000 miles.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Honda's definition of failure is the IMA light. There was one insight owner who successfully got a replacement just from recals so search google. He videotaped his dash.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    couldn't find his video, but i've taken a video of my dash multiple times. i even had a BBB arbitration hearing. unfortunately, the arbitor had no idea what an IMA was and since i had to explain the situation to her, i was bound to lose since she couldn't get past the point that even though the "recal/drain" MAY happen - per Honda - the difference is, is that my recal happens ALL the freakin' time.
    i tried to show her a video of how it drained 4 times during my 25 mile commute. she didn't bother to watch it.
    i went on a trip this weekend, the battery literally recal'd/drained every 10 minutes over an hour and a half stretch. i have a 25 min video of what happened.
    i am contemplating calling the lame Honda rep that dealt with my BBB hearing again and complaining again. i don't want to as all i will get from them is that it's "normal". to me, there is a difference when Honda says it "MAY" happen, vs. i can guarantee that it WILL happen and often.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    If you could get the IMA light to come on, say by abusing the battery, then it should be a slam dunk. Have you tried that? By severely discharging it you might get it to do that. Can you get it to go to no charge bars?
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    i was contemplating covering the battery cooling vents. but i wasn't sure if that was going to do some other type of damage that was not "covered".
    any suggestions?
  • I also have similar issues. What's fishy is that my IMA light came on and I took it in, and they applied software updates and voila the light is off yet I still have the problem. Now I am waiting for the light to come back on.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I would not go that far. However, there should be a sensor to shut the system down if it overheats to avoid a fire, but it might give a different code other than battery failure. The best plan would be to get it to discharge to the point the light comes on. You have to have bad cells for this to happen.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    yup, only if i could get the light to turn on..... i did hear that if i let the car sit for like 6 months unused, that would damage the batteries. not sure about that as all it does is a gradual natural reduction of charge. wonder how many days it would take the battery to completely drain due to just sitting?
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I would hate for you to let the car sit that long and still not get the IMA light. It does appear that it is more difficult to get the light to come on after the software upgrade. I would just keep stressing the battery and maybe enough cells will go bad that the battery will not ever reach a satisfactory charge and then you can get Honda to agree that you need a battery replacement even if the light does not go on.
  • sak6sak6 Posts: 8
    I have a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid Automatica at 106085 miles on it. I moved to OK few days before and here it was record heat of 115. Until last week everything were fine and when i started my car i did see Check Engine light/IMA Light and Battery light ON. I took to AutoZone to check the codes and they were P1600 and P1570. Next day i took it to dealer for diagnosis and they said P1600, P1601, P1435 and P1570 and they are saying MCM module is bad. When I start my Car, I see Charge indication starts and stops immediately and IMA light comes on. As per dealer procedure they need to replace with known good MCM to test if it clears error, but they don't have any MCM and they wanted charge me for New one 2400 (Parts + labor). They also don't gurantee if this will go off.

    Not sure how to proceed from here? Any Help? Is any others seen these codes?
  • P1570 is a low voltage on one of the pairs of sticks of battery cells. While it can be caused by a broken wire or a bad socket in the MCM, it is usually caused by a worn battery and is triggered either by the car sitting for days, or by heat. The procedure to test it is to check all the voltages on the sticks and make sure they are above 7V. If they are, then try a "known good" MCM module to see if the problem goes away.

    The problem is that after the error occurred, you started your car and it charged the battery up a little bit and now they all are above 7V. When the car applies a load, they drop down and trigger the error but bounce back up once the car is turned off.

    Replacing the MCM will not solve the problem and $2400 is highway robbery for an $800 part and 20 minutes of installation labor.

    If you still want to try an MCM before biting the bullet and repairing or replacing the battery, you can get one at a junkyard for $100 or contact me and I'll lend you one. I have instructions (with pictures) on how to install it. It is easy to do with hand tools (easier than changing a car stereo).

    P1435 is a "Charge/Discharge balance problem". The instructions state to fix any other codes first before looking at this one (because it almost always goes away). If not related to an IMA battery error, then it is a problem with the battery cables that go to your 12V battery. The likelihood of that being the case in combination with the P1570 is extremely low. The P1435 will go away by itself.

    P1600 = IMA light on.
    P1601 = IMA error without IMA light on.
  • sak6sak6 Posts: 8
    Thanks for the Quick update...
    I got the Diagnose detail for P1570 from dealer and as per diagnosis, the tested voltage and everything where above 7V. Since they fon't have known good MCM, they wanted to buy new one and so they are charging me 2400 ( 1970 part + labor).
    if replacing MCM didn't solve problem what other reason could be?
  • As I said, under load the battery is dropping way below 7V, but when you turn off the car, the voltage pops back up. The voltmeter that they are using is a very light load.

    You have one or more bad sticks in your battery, but if you want to be sure, contact me by email and borrow an MCM. DO NOT SPEND $2400 for something you don't need. I have NEVER seen a bad MCM and I've handled dozens of batteries with P1570 errors.
  • Hi all. I have a 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid that I purchased new in April 2009. In a nutshell, I've been having problems with the autostop feature disengaging frequently when I'm at a full stop. The car often rolls backwards when I remove my foot from the breakpad, so I have to be quick to accelerate. It is also very sluggish upon initial acceleration from a stopped position. I've taken it to the dealer many times and, just today, the mechanic was able to recreate the problems I've had. He charged the battery (said this was the solution because he thought it might happen when it dropped below two bars) and the autostop engages...for now. Unfortunately, the dealer pretty much said, yeah, you've got a problem, but we don't know what is wrong and cannot advise. They gave me my keys and I feel like I should be preparing my car for hospice. I'm wondering why the battery drops below two bars in the first place and what can be done to fix that problem, assuming that is the root cause. Does this seem like a battery problem, electrical, both, something else? Please advise :) :confuse:
  • Fellow sufferers, I will update this post when the problem is fixed. I do have an understanding customer oriented service department so I'll be lucky since both the IMA battery and ECM have to be replaced.

    My vehicle is a 2005 model with 5 speed manual transmission. The problem begun when the ECM had to be updated. Now the IMA doesn't hold the charge and the IMA light plus the check engine light are on constantly.

    Will keep you posted.
  • Here is the update on my problem.

    First, the emissions warranty under Federal law covers the IMA and all related items for 8 yrs/80,000 miles whichever comes first. If your vehicle is an Ultra Low emissions model, in California and other states the warranty is 15/150!!

    Second, because the IMA failure indicator came on while the battery was completel
    discharged, and the engine failure indicator simultaneously lit, there was no question about replacing the IMA battery under warranty, as well as the failed ECM.

    So it helped to have a customer oriented service department to make this as painless as possible.
  • After a month now, I can say that the gas mileage isn't any better after the update. It isn't any worse either. The meter recals if the car has been sitting more than 6-8 hours. It recals in the morning when I leave for work and it recals on my way home from work. I'm going to take it back one of these days and have the dealer keep it overnight so they can see what is happening.
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