Last post on Dec 09, 2013 at 4:52 PM
You are in the Honda Civic Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Honda Civic, Hybrid Cars, Coupe, Sedan
#1449 of 1535 The Infa mous Battery Issue
Dec 31, 2012 (6:25 pm)
I live in PA and have a 2006 HCH with 116,000 miles. My IMA and battery lights came on intermittently a year ago...took it into the dealership (when the lights weren't on) where I bought it and it passed emissions. The lights would come on intermittently throughout the winter. When the warm weather arrived no lights throughout summer and fall . When it got "cold" the lights started coming back on, the battery light stays lit, the IMA light appears intermittently. Took it to a different dealership and they willl not put the sticker on it, failed emissions. Has anyone ignored the lights, gotten inspected and had no issues? Definitely issues with mileage when it's cold.
#1450 of 1535 Re: The Infa mous Battery Issue [harrilady]
Dec 31, 2012 (6:33 pm)
I live in Florida where it doesn't get that cold, but my problem with ignoring the problem was the poor gas mileage and acceleration. Don't need a car like that.
#1452 of 1535 Re: The Infa mous Battery Issue [bossless]
Jan 14, 2013 (3:49 pm)
Long term, this car sucks.
I have 2005 HCH. ~14 months ago, IMA light came on, battery identified as bad. Dealer replaced it but first required me to do the software update. The software update sucked because it reduced my mileage. The ne program uses the batteries less because they can't make batteries that last.
The real problem comes when my replacement battery is failing after just over 12 months. "sorry, not our problem, have a nice day" is the honda position. Wow. So I'm working on how to live without the batteries because I don't want to pay the money for replacement.
REPLACEMENT BATTERIES - like anything with cars, the dealer is the last and worst place to go imho. I did find a guy here in town (Denver) who sells an aftermarket battery (NOT refurb) he claims is better than the original. It runs around $2k. His comment to me on batteries made perfect sense. He recommended not to buy a refurbished battery because one ends up where I am right now over and over. i.e. get a refurb and just over a year later back in the same place.
So moral of the story i see is dont buy honda hybrid. I'm now in the process of exploring how to live permanently without the hybrid battery. But this is likely an uphill battle forever as Honda relies on the hybrid battery to charge the regular car battery at idle (below ~1500 rpm). Ugh.
Hate to be so negative. I was excited to buy this car new. But my approach is own a car until the end. And the end is way too soon it seems with HCH.
#1454 of 1535 IMA light appeared 1 year after IMA battery replaced
Jun 05, 2012 (9:48 am)
Anyone run into this issue? I have a 2005 civic hybrid with 174K miles on it. I had the IMA battery replaced a little over a year ago when it was still covered under warranty. This morning, the IMA light came on. Any thoughts on what the case could be?
#1455 of 1535 Re: IMA light appeared 1 year after IMA battery replaced [jlevers1]
Jun 06, 2012 (1:46 pm)
Hmmmm. Same thing happened to my 2004. Last October the IMA battery was replaced and this weekend the checkl engine/IMA lights came on. Just got word back from the shop that they'll be replacing the IMA battery again. They claim I haven't been driving it enough. They said they will give me driving guidelines when they return it. I put 4,000 miles on it in the 8 months since the battery was replaced. Mostly local driving (short trips) but they told me that could be the problem. They were saying I needed to drive it for 30 minutes at least once a week. Anyone else receiving similar 'advice'? Sounds screwy to me, but maybe there is something about these hybrids I don't fully appreciate.
#1456 of 1535 Re: IMA light appeared 1 year after IMA battery replaced [jlevers1]
Jul 19, 2012 (8:45 pm)
Ha, I have both of you beaten. I bought a 2009 HCH brand new, Oct 09 IMA light, software update, poor performance (48mpg down to 39mpg). Dec 09 IMA again, Honda replaced battery, still poor performance (37mpg). July 10 "New" battery poor performance. Jan 2011 IMA light, software update, still poor performance (32mpg). July 2012 Check engine, IMA battery bad, Honda replaced.
So, a three year old vehicle is on its third IMA battery. WOW. Yet I still get the Honda song and dance. Great service.
Sep 22, 2012 (4:28 am)
I found this post online if you have enough time & patient to read it , then I thik it will be helpfull
Honda IMA batteries can last a very long time, but they do not typically outlast the car. With the ten year IMA warranty expiring on the earliest Honda Insights, and the warranty void on Salvage cars, I hope this information will be useful to some EcoModders. You can repair your own IMA battery for $100-350 including equipment and replacement cells, instead of paying someone $1000 to do it for you, or dropping $3000 at the dealership.
Warning: This post is longer than most, and parts of it may not be of interest to you.
Warning: High voltage is dangerous. Read the section on safety, and don't work on things you're not comfortable with.
Do I have an IMA battery problem?
You can tell how much usable capacity the Insight's battery has by observing the range of its state of charge (SoC) gauge. A healthy battery will move through the entire range. As the battery degrades, it will move through fewer LCD bars on the gauge. A check engine light will come on with the P1447 code once the battery's capacity is reduced to about a third of what it was when it left the factory, which corresponds to a battery that moves through only about 5-6 bars on the gauge. You may want to repair your IMA battery even if you don't have a check engine light, just to obtain longer-lasting assist and regen.
What goes wrong with IMA batteries?
Battery imbalance: Honda IMA batteries consist of a large number of NiMH cells in series. Due to unequal rates of self-discharge, some of the cells will have a higher or lower state of charge than others. This is easy to correct, but failure to do so results in diminished battery capacity, and can damage the cells that are too high or too low.
Cell degradation: One of the treatable problems that diminishes the cell's capacity is the formation of nickel dendrites in the cell. Rapidly charging and discharging a cell through its full range can help restore its performance.
So how do you fix an IMA battery?
Battery state of charge imbalance is easy to treat. If you take a NiMH cell that is fully charged, then continue to apply charging current to it, it will convert the extra current into heat. Provided that the current is small so the cell doesn't overheat, this doesn't appear to damage the cell. Thus if you apply a little charging current to an imbalanced battery, the cells that are high will peak first, and begin to convert the current into heat while the other cells catch up.
You can build a grid charger/balancer for around $100. Insight guru Mike Dabrowski came up with this design, which is an adjustable 174V-210V, 350mA constant current power supply. Leave it charging your battery (with the battery fan running) for 36 hours or so, and it will top off ALL your cells, restoring state of charge balance. You can do this without removing the battery from the car, and it may be enough to get you back on the road.
You should occasionally have the car run the battery through its full range of SoC. Go heavy on the gas until it's depleted (an assist/regen disable toggle switch, or some hills, will help). Then let the car charge the battery until it's full. Do not do this with an imbalanced pack.
If these things are not sufficient, you can get a more thorough repair by removing the battery from the car and disassembling it. An Insight's pack of 120 NiMH D-cells breaks up into 20 sticks of 6 cells each. Using a battery charger/discharger/analyzer like the MRC Super Brain 989 ($150), you can charge and discharge each stick through its full range. Write down the discharge capacity of each stick, and keep cycling each stick until the capacity stops improving. Once you have finished cycling each stick, charge it fully and write down the date and time. Come back in a week and charge it again, and record how much energy it took to charge. That is that stick's weekly self-discharge rate.
You'll probably find some of your sticks have an abnormally high or low rate of self discharge. These are the sticks that are causing the pack to go out of balance. If you grid charge monthly, you can live with that problem indefinitely. You may also find that while most of your sticks have 5500-6500mAh capacity, there may be one or two that are stubbornly lower. These weak cells will hold back the entire pack. You will need to replace the weak sticks. A professional repair involves building a pack out of used sticks whose capacity and rate of self-discharge matches.
I pulled a battery from the junkyard and cycled each of its sticks. The chart at the top right is the most important one. You want all your cells to match as closely as possible in terms of self-discharge, and the performance of the pack will be the same as that of its weakest cell. This particular junkyard pull was probably a fairly new battery that didn't need anything more than a good, long grid charging.
You many be wondering what settings to use on the Super Brain 989. You want to go as fast as you can without overheating the cells, so I chose 7A charge, 10A discharge, and I didn't need to run the battery fan, with ambient temperature at 62°F. The Insight's cells are 6500mAh nominal, I used 5mV per cell peak detection, and 0.9VPC cutoff.
How to access the Insight's battery
First, remove the key from the ignition. This de-energizes the power cables leading from the battery to the inverter and DC/DC converter. Second, remove the rear carpet from the car. Remove two bolts from the little door at the center of the IPU lid to access the service disconnect switch. Throw that switch to Off, which means the battery is no longer a complete circuit. There's still dangerous voltage differences under the plastic covers on the junction board, so treat the whole battery with respect. The IPU lid is held on by a dozen T30 bolts and a dozen 10mm hex head bolts. Remove it, and you'll be looking at this:
The battery module is on the right, with its fan in the foreground, its computers on top, and its junction board on the left. If you wish to attach a grid charger, you must attach its + terminal to the "hot" side of the high voltage relay or bypass relay (that's the bottom), and its - terminal to the battery's - terminal.
If you want to remove the battery module, it's held on by six bolts, four cables, and six wire harness connectors. You'll need to move the car's center bulkhead aside to get at some of the bolts, which involves removing some interior trim. If you'd like to disassemble a battery module, it's pretty self-explanatory, but remove the contact grid (which puts the cells in series) from the side of the battery opposite the junction board before you do anything else. Once you do that, the battery is pretty much safe, with no more than 17V anywhere.
Warnings and Safety
Foremost, know what you're doing, and don't
#1458 of 1535 Re: problems :( [snauman]
Oct 18, 2012 (6:53 pm)
MR SNAUMAN question .do you know any place who can do this kind a job for me i have a honda civic 2005 hybrid and the light IMA shows in my car i dont have money to expend 2000 in the battery