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You are in the Honda Civic Hybrid Maintenance & Repair
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Honda Civic, Hybrid Cars, Coupe, Sedan
#41 of 109 Civic Hybrid 2003 IMA Battery Replacement
Apr 06, 2010 (5:39 pm)
I haven't spent any time reading the posts here. There was another thread I was following before on IMA battery issues that I haven't been able to find my way back to, so if I repeat information that's been stated here I apologize. I purchased a used 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid back in 2007. It had roughly 30K mi then, and is now at 111K mi now. I had my IMA light come on before and they did some updates that took care of the issues at the time. This time when the IMA light came on, they told me it was because I needed a battery replacement. I went in thinking it was going to be serviced for updates and that it would be no big deal. Even after he said I needed a new battery, I thought no big deal. Then he told me it was a $3000 repair. I told him I'd take my chances and do some research. HERE IS WHAT I CAME UP WITH: 1. Check out your local junkyards. I've heard people getting a replacement battery from $150-$600. I got mine for $500 and a 6 mo warranty. 2. Repair it yourself! Yes, you are dealing with electricity and you must be careful, but this is a simple repair. I'm not a car mechanic by any means, and I fixed it without instructions in little over an hour. If you want some pointers, send me a message and I'll be glad to oblige. I reset the lights, charged my battery and it works like a charm. My final option was to see if they would do a partial repair, but I didn't need to get to this. I believe Honda replaces the entire battery and that's why it is so expensive. From my research online, it seems that there are only a few cells in the battery that go bad and causes the IMA light to go off. It is possible to test, charge, and replace these cells individually. I'm not sure if Honda would do this, but it never hurts to ask. Hope this helps! ">
#43 of 109 What is the peril?
Apr 23, 2010 (7:15 pm)
I have a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid with 108,000 miles on it. What I would like to know is if the hybrid battery dies, will I still be able to start and drive the car? I often drive to remote areas and in the back of my mind I worry about getting stranded. Any help? Thanks in advance.
#44 of 109 Re: What is the peril? [reberrowdy]
Apr 23, 2010 (10:14 pm)
Honda hybrid is a combined gasoline engine and electric motor which
drive power train to save fuel and there are two battery in hybrid car one standard 12 volt conventional battery for starting system and some and most of the 12volts electrical components on the car except charging system but hybrid battery drive and energizes the electric motor for power drive plus other components that depend on it like the steering system and voltage on hybrid system is as high as 158 volts which can cook meats within seconds! hybrid battery when it goes bad it's most of the time one or few cells and you will get the warning way before it totally goes out but vehicle still can be started and driven with cautious still to get you to the repair shop to fix it and standard battery can be jump started unless it's totally dead and I hope this answers your question with 30 years of experience and by the way mini copper beats Honda on gas mileage without having hybrid system and thanks to German car and engineering which is superior in quality built power trains, technology, safety and plus body more rigid and more fun to drive and prestigious to own but you don't ignore German car on maintenance other wise they break down more often just like other car!
#45 of 109 Re: What is the peril? [reberrowdy]
Apr 24, 2010 (8:29 am)
My experience when my battery pak failed at 98K was the car started OK, but with the small engine there was hardly any power available for anything above 40MPH. If your driving in back roads and hilly, you could have some serious problems.
Apr 24, 2010 (9:27 am)
Thanks for the answers on my battery question. I am 6'6" so a mini cooper is not an alternative for me! Frankly I doubt I will buy another hybrid. What I have gained in gas mileage has been more than offset by the higher costs for repairs. For example I needed the catalytic converter replaced. It would have been $400 for a Civic, but was over 1200 bucks for the hybrid.
#47 of 109 Hybrid-Battery-Repair.com a life saver
May 02, 2010 (11:18 am)
I wish I would have read this thread before purchasing a used Civic Hybrid. I am seeing a consistent message throughout, CVT failures and high cost of replacing a battery pack. Anyway, I just purchased a 2003 Civic with 119,000 miles [from a used car dealer] and thought I was really getting a good deal as I paid a couple of thousand under what most 03ís where going for. I drove the car and it seemed to drive well except for the transmission shift leaver being hard to move. The dealer took off an additional $500 because of the shifting problem. A CarFax report said the CVT was replaced at 18,000 miles.
What I didnít notice, however, was the shudder at low speeds. My local Honda dealer replaced the shift cable ($175) but the shudder at low speed was a separate matter. This required draining and flushing the transmission twice and burnishing the clutches ($87). This did fix the shudder problem but the 30+ year vetran Honda mechanic said I should probably change the fluid once more in about 7500 miles.
Next step, the check engine light was on and the dealerís diagnostics said I needed both O2 sensors and a new IMA battery. Honda only sells the O2 sensors as a kit (installed price about $600) so I deferred this repair for later. You can get these parts at a auto parts store for around $200. For the IMA battery the technician had to personally talk with Honda Parts and they sent a loaner MCM to be installed, Honda required a dealer employee to drive the car as long as their loaner part was installed so one of the technicians drove the car home and back a couple of days, about a hundred miles, and they would then perform more diagnostics (the MCM was $1700 if I would have needed it).
Before I spent more money on diagnostics I talked with a company called Hybrid-Battery-Repair.com and gave them the error codes from the diagnostics, they were pretty sure that the MCM was not the problem so I purchased a refurbished IMA battery from them for $1600 including shipping which is at least a $1000 less than a refurbished battery from Honda. I replaced it myself in about an hour using their instructions and a couple of phone support calls. I drove the car about 30 miles and stopped at a local parts store and used their diagnostic tool and everything checked out fine including the O2 sensors. I donít fault my Honda dealer as they were just following the shop manual procedures but if anyone is having IMA battery problems do contact this company because they will save you a ton of money. All in all I still only have in the car what NADA sayís it is worth so I didnít really get hurt. By the way, if the MCM would have been bad Hybrid-Battery-Repair sells these for only $100.
#48 of 109 Re: Hybrid-Battery-Repair.com a life saver [bigredone]
May 02, 2010 (12:04 pm)
FYI: You don't buy a hybrid to save money! Sure you get a few more MPG's, but even after 115,000 miles that has not come close to offsetting the difference a lot of repairs cost. To wit: I had to have the catalytic converter replaced. Had it been the regular Civic, the cost would have been $400. The hybrid? $1200. And now I worry each day about having to buy another IMA battery.
If you have the money it is fine to be greener. Personally I won't own another one.
#49 of 109 How-to article describing Civic hybrid battery pack rebuild
May 03, 2010 (3:53 am)
The June/July issue (#137) of Home Power magazine has all the steps and tools described for replacing the battery pack of a 2003 Civic Hybrid. In it Mike said "The Honda dealership wanted $3,200 to replace the battery pack with a factory-refurbished one" yet in the end he did it for $380 using a "Used battery pack from junkyard ($315), Charger/reconditioner, iMax B6 ($55), Torx socket, #30 ($6) and Electrical energy (10Ę per kWh) ($4)". It took him about a month to work through the testing of all the battery sticks using the one "iMax B6" charger but it was time well spent I'd say. It was also pure brilliance to think to use a charger from the R/C hobbies world for this purpose; I cannot think of any group of people who are more picky about proper care of batteries than the ones with big $$$ tied up in models that can scream along at several hundred MPH.
#50 of 109 Re: How-to article describing Civic hybrid battery pack rebuild [massey4]
May 10, 2010 (3:33 pm)
>The June/July issue (#137) of Home Power magazine has all the steps and tools
>described for replacing the battery pack of a 2003 Civic Hybrid.
Mike seriously misquoted me in that article and has some factual errors, but he's mostly right. If anyone wants to fix their own battery, they should contact me for corrections before they start.
> It was also pure brilliance to think to use a charger from the R/C hobbies world
> for this purpose
You mean, like this? (No, he didn't think it up.)