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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    nothing will be done. Honda will say that this "may occur" per the manual, so it's "normal" operations per their "engineers". which means that you're screwed
  • I agree. You have to get the battery to fail and throw a code and turn the IMA light on.
  • I'm yet to have any problem with the IMA Battery, my mileage is still great, 45mpg all around and over 50 mpg on long highway trip with cruise control. I leave in Connecticut in very hilly terrain, my wife drives a lot of highway miles 2 or 3 times a week, she commutes 11 miles to the office on other days. I refused the patch last time I took the car to Honda. I think the problem with most members on this forum is heat related and not enough highway driving to fully recharge the battery. And also letting the car sit a few days seems to deplenish the battery a bit. I don't see what else would give some cars problems and not others. I do all my maintenance on the car oil, engine and tranny and brake jobs. I only bring the car to the dealer for recalls. A couple so far. My oxygen sensor died the first year I owned the car. Other than that after driving it for 90k+, we're still happy with the car mileage.
  • sak6sak6 Posts: 8
    I sent email for MCM module and still waiting for paypal link to be emailed to me. I would appreciate if you could please check and update me..
  • Sorry about that. I'll check the status tomorrow.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    wondering if anyone has the contact info honda so i can call and complain again. seems i couldn't find it by googling.

    thanks in advance
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    It is in your manual.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    In my opinion, you need to resolve your drivetrain issue before tackling the battery. All the codes you mentioned signify a bad battery, but none of them will keep the car from moving. Check your front axles to see if one is broken. If not, you may have a transmission problem.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    The ECM swap and battery problem are most likely unrelated, but the time the car sat while having the ECM fixed probably tipped your marginal battery over the edge to "bad".
  • givanovigivanovi Posts: 1
    edited October 2011
    im not getting any CVT dtcs , i think if the battery is malfunctioning, the ecm will be put it into a limp/not drivable mode. im also getting P1600- IMA system malfunction which is a serial comm failure, which caused the P700 to trip also, which is a A/T SystemMalfuction code saying the trans lost communciton with the engine/battery.
  • Ogre GEV,

    You seem to be the most knowledgeable poster here, so i direct this to you.

    I am the original owner of a 2007 HCH. My total average MPG (as displayed on the dashboard, aggregate since incept, is 50.9). This display is always conservative compared to my calculations. Every tankful I average between 52.0 and 55.0 MPG. I drive in the 2nd lane from the right on Los Angeles freeways, 25 miles each way to work and back, 5 days a week. I get 500+ miles on a tankful. My total average calculated MPG since incept is greater than 52.4 MPG. I also drive a maximum of 39MPH on surface streets, and 58MPH on freeways. I accelerate gently and decelerate with an eye towards battery charging. My vehicle has never been serviced by anyone but a single reliable (though pricey) Honda Dealer, and I have declined to have the IMA firmware update performed, which was offered about a year or two ago, which is my prerogative. I just crested 60K miles a few days ago. My MPG blows away the numbers reported by friends and family who own Priuses. This makes me smile.

    This morning the IMA warning light came on for the first time. The car exhibited no ill effects, but I drove it straight to the dealer. The IMA is covered by a 150K mile warranty. After investigating, the dealer announced that the IMA battery pack must be replaced, AND in doing so I could no longer opt out of the firmware update. I asked if there was an upgrade pathway that would get my battery pack replaced with the LiIon batteries of the 2012 HCH, instead of the old tech NimH batteries (which were clearly inferior). Nope, same for same, Fine, I tried.

    Now on to my question. So, what can I now expect in the way of changes in performance? It is my understanding that the firmware update essentially alters the algorithm for charging and dialing in/out the IMA, so that the weighting is more toward preserving the NiMH batteries, than maintaining better gas mileage. With my rather sedate driving habits, will I even be affected? I have seen some people post that they saw a dramatic 10% to 20% reduction in fuel economy, but many also posted that they drive much faster, and more aggressively.

    I guess I will find out for myself tomorrow when I get my car back from the dealer, but I just wondered if anyone here has had a similar experience.

    Thanks in advance!
  • With a fresh battery, you should be fine. I lost 1-2 MPG only because my battery is on its last leg. I get no assist out of it for the first 5-10 minutes every morning since the upgrade because it is re-calibrating. At those speeds and on flat surfaces, your on the engine alone anyway.
  • Taking the car in one last time tomorrow. They had it Saturday but I'm sure the techs didn't know what they were looking for and said there was nothing wrong with it. Now that the techs have seen my video, I hope to get some results.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Time will tell, but with your driving patterns, I don't think you'll see any change. You may even see an improvement due to the prior losses imposed by the old failing battery. Please let us know how it does.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    Based on your driving behavior I think you will do as well as ever. I had the update first and then the battery replacement. The update did not fix my problem, but once the battery was replaced, I was back to my before experienced mileage. I think the less conservative drivers as a general rule get less mileage with the update and a good battery. Good luck. Please let us know how it turns out.
  • I'm doing the happy dance right now! They have agreed to replace my IMA battery.
  • muse50muse50 Posts: 1
    How did you get them to replace your IMA; I was told I need a new one and it is no longer under warrenty for my 2003 Honda hybrid after 80,000 miles and will cost over $3,000.?
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Your 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid has an 8 year/ 84,000 mile warranty.

    That is 8 years from the in-service date (date originally sold). If you were under the time and mileage when you went to the dealer, you are covered. If you are under the date but over mileage but still under 88,200 miles, (5% over), then Honda will give you a 50% "goodwill" price ($1500), but only if you get upset and complain (it will take a few days as they "consult the regional rep").

    If you are beyond those ranges, search the web for a replacement battery that is new or refurbished (a pack straight out of a junkyard will die in 8 months due to cell imbalance), or have yours repaired. Any of these options will save you quite a bit of money.
  • I was well within the warranty period at 67,000 miles. The techs had no idea what I was talking about until they saw the video on YouTube. So making a video was the best thing I could have done. It isn't the easiest thing to explain especially since my car had to sit for at least 8 hours in order to reproduce the issue. Once they saw the video they were able to reproduce the issue twice. I still had to rent a car for three days, but that is a heck of a lot better than the alternative.
  • Am I crazy or what? I can read the warranty (thanks to many of your posts that caused me to dig a little deeper online and find my registration info on the Honda site). The IMA is covered 10/50,000 but I get told today that I need a new one and it will be $2500!

    I wasn't able to do anything except get in the rental car and drive home stunned and wondering how I could have been feeling so great about my car a week ago and now wanting to cut my wrists for being such a 'dumb' buyer to buy a vehicle that will need something so costly so soon. The Service Manager assured me the replacement was fully guaranteed for 3 years/50,000, but all I could think was, 'Great - at 3 years + 1 day or 50,001 miles, I will need another one. Seemed my savings in gas was going to be spent on IMA systems.

    Then I began looking online and found a reference to Edmunds and here I am reading so much information about the problem I am having. I will get to the dealer tomorrow morning posthaste to wave the warranty and ask the Service Manager, "What gives?!"

    Should I get a second opinion? After discovering the warranty oversight, I'm a little skeptical about the problem as originally presented to me. Also, a little worried that they might 'mess' with something else out of spite. What do you think? Any other suggestions (that are legal, that is)?
  • UPDATE: 9 months and 9,000 miles later... The "recals" on my 2009 HCHII became more frequent and auto-stop more rare. Then at 50,000 miles the Check engine light goes on. I call the dealer and they tell me that sometimes its the gas cap not being tight enough. Since I always tighten it to 3 or more clicks, I bring the car in and sure enough, I need a new IMA battery.
    A few days later the new battery arrives, I drive it in to the dealer, and 3 hours later, the car is driving good as new! No charge. Mileage is back up, "recals" are rare, and auto-stop is frequent.

    I am sad that a 2009 with 50k miles already needed a new battery. I agree with the other posters that letting your car sit for too long ( I was bike commuting for a few months and driving infrequent) can degrade and unbalance the cells. Glad it is covered by warranty, I just hope I don't need batteries every 3 years and 50k miles...
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I just wonder how often this is happening. My 2006 went at 90K miles and 4 yrs. It would be interesting to conduct a poll on this.
  • selinzselinz Posts: 11
    edited October 2011
    Currently have 175K+ miles on the vehicle, had battery changed at 140K (Honda changed it for free without any request from me after they did a software change and determined that my battery was in need of replacement). FYI, I get my oil changed by Honda every 7.5K miles. I get the transmission fluid/filter changed every 30K miles by Honda. I refused all other offered service.
    I replaced the front disks at 90K, and then again at 160K (although the noise was caused by a rocking getting lodged in a pocket in the caliber). I have never adjusted the valves. I have never changed the plugs. I have changed the cab and air filters when Honda offers (I buy them from the parts department... takes literally less than 5 minutes to change).

    General observations:
    Mileage: If I go 55mph or less, I can get 50mpg. If I go 65mph I get closer to 45mpg and if I go 75mph I get closer to 40mpg. Around town stop and start I get around 43 the way I drive. The mileage tends to degrade as I get closer to the 7.5K mile oil change. And it gets even worse when I get close to the 30K transmission fluid change. I immediately notice the difference with the tranny fluid changes. The oil changes are more difficult to detect but the engine gets a little quieter. Because I take the same commute routes every day (for the last almost 5 years) I have pretty good data. I reset the mileage after each tank fillup. I used to log it manually but found that the speedometer mileage was a bit more pessimistic than the actual but a whole lot easier to keep track of.

    I almost never take the RPM's above 3500 and NEVER take them above 4000. Why? It adds so little to the horsepower but consumes much, much more gas. I contend that anyone who never takes their RPM's above 3500 and gets their transmission fluid changed regularly with will get more than 40mpg. I have had only two tanks since I owned the car get less than 40mpg. One was driving through the desert going 80+ with AC on (115 outside). The other was when my wife drove in 100+ weather driving around town with the AC on.

    I think that around town miles will be impacted most by a poor battery. Highway mileage is more a function of the driver.

    One adder. I have not had any power steering problems since they changed the IMA battery. I presume that means that the battery was the source of the problem.
  • I have to disagree. I have a 06' Civic Hybrid. I bought it in spring of 2010 with 36K on it. Last winter the IMA light came on and they issued the update, that I didn't want. It of course didn't really fix the problem, it just masked it. Ever since then recals have become more and more frequent. I've complained, and complained, and complained to Honda however, without an IMA light they just told me nothing was wrong. Long story short, recals got as frequent as every 8-15 miles. Honda will be replacing my battery next week. I'm axious to see what it will be like. I'm betting 60-65 MPG. Anyway, back to the reason I disagree. I hate recals, HORRIBLE!!! I was having, as I said, one every 8 miles, sometimes more often. I was able to maintain 50-53 MPG. That's with a highway commute of 72 miles a day. Stop and go was harder but still was able to get 47-50 in those cases. It's really just about how you drive. When I first got the car, when it was performing better, I couldn't get over 45. It was when I really studied hypermilling technicques that I began to understand more about how to drive. One of the biggest things IMO is do your best to keep it under 2000 RPMs. Makes a MAJOR difference! I'm not a hypermiler, but the car has always given the mileage it advertised. With proper technique, even better. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I agree that keeping the engine rpm as much as possible below 2000 is an excellent guide. I do that and get averages anywhere from 48-53 mpg depending on driving conditions. I have a replacement battery and the SW upgrade.
  • I had to talk! My 2006 gives me the PoA7F code since yesterday. No warning, out of nowhere.
    My mileage was still above 40mpg and the car ran fine , the engine stopped at stop lights and such. I hope refusing the update last year won't affect my IMA warranty.
    If I'm well informed CT has a 10 year/150k warranty on the CVT low emission hybrid.
  • Good for you to consider yourself a well-informed consumer. That may help and, then again, it may not matter. I just finished being offered 'a great deal' to pay 1/2 of the total cost for replacement of the IMA battery that I never authorized to be replaced in my vehicle. Most of my complaints have to do with the dealer service; however, Honda has monopolized the battery replacement arena by not allowing anyone but Authorized Honda Dealers to do anything with the IMA problems. I wanted a 2nd opinion and a chance to have the work done where the estimate would be lower, if possible. The dealer service removed my battery before the one they ordered arrived and sent mine back for refurbishing. You may receive my refurbished battery! That's why they own the game and why the warranty is only 3yr/36Kmiles and only good at Honda authorized dealers.

    Beware of what may be ahead; call one or two dealers if they are available in your area and just ask for an guesstimate of IMA replacement for the year and model of your hybrid. Don't give away too much about your car, refusal of software, etc. Just ask for an estimated quote. Keep in mind that they quoted me $2500+ and then, after one screw-up after another for 5 days, they offered to pick up 1/2 the cost. I paid $1377. An independent repair shop told me that would be about what they would charge if they could do the work and they knew they were still making a profit.

    I wish you luck. BTW here is the 800 number for Honda 1-800-999-1099 (hours M-F 6am-5pm PST). They have an "out of warranty assistance" department if you should need to ask for assistance. They do work hand-in-hand with the dealer, but there may be some response if you tell them how unhappy you are with HONDA (if that becomes the case, as it did for me). I advise contact them BEFORE the work is authorized by you if you think you are having a difficult time.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    You got a better deal than I did. It cost me about $1800, which was supposed to be half price.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    so jj,
    you said that honda claimed you got no right to a new battery cuz it was "normal". so how did you "get a new battery"? your own $$?
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I think he paid half. That is what I did.
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