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  #1  
Old 04-01-2010, 09:16 AM
Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Nathan
Hybrids: Honda Civic 2003
Posts: 3
Question Way to manually charge the IMA battery?

I have a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid and after 3 days of not driving, the IMA battery is dead... the aggravating thing about this is if the battery goes completely dead, the car won't even try to charge it. It just runs like it's a normal/ non-hybrid car.

I have to take it to the dealer and have them manually charge the battery, then reset the computer.

Surely there's a way to manually charge the battery by plugging it in. I haven't been able to find anything online/in the manual. Any ideas?

According to the dealer there's no option and I don't want to replace the battery just yet (It's $3,000... ugh...). It still runs really well otherwise. I get, on average, 40mpg (Depending of course on how much of a leadfoot I have going to work...)
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2010, 05:32 PM
Moderator
 
Real Name: Mark
Location: Central NY
Hybrids: 1) '10 HIH 2) '03 HCH
Posts: 236
Default Re: Way to manually charge the IMA battery?

Quote:
I have to take it to the dealer and have them manually charge the battery, then reset the computer.
This doesn't sound right to me. Are the IMA and/or Check Engine Lights lit?

With almost 220,000 miles and an IMA/CEL on for over a year now I have drained my IMA battery to zero lot's of times and it has never, ever, failed to recharge.

The only time my Civic Hybrid wouldn't start, wouldn't even turn over, was when my 12V battery went dead.

Are you sure the problem is with the IMA battery pack and not the 12V (under the hood) battery?

If you car is totally dead (no lights/clicks at all) when you turn the key, or if you get some lights but they dim and the car clicks when you try to start it you might want to try replacing the 12V yourself or even try jumping it.

If your car starts, and if your IMA battery is truly dead the car must use the 12V battery and starter/solenoid to start, then I have to believe you have more problems than just "manually" charging the IMA battery will solve.

Good luck with it....
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2010, 08:33 AM
Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Nathan
Hybrids: Honda Civic 2003
Posts: 3
Default Re: Way to manually charge the IMA battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkcohen View Post
This doesn't sound right to me. Are the IMA and/or Check Engine Lights lit?

With almost 220,000 miles and an IMA/CEL on for over a year now I have drained my IMA battery to zero lot's of times and it has never, ever, failed to recharge.

The only time my Civic Hybrid wouldn't start, wouldn't even turn over, was when my 12V battery went dead.

Are you sure the problem is with the IMA battery pack and not the 12V (under the hood) battery?
What year do you have? I'm driving the 2003 HCH.

The check engine light comes on and the Battery light comes on when I'm idling or below 2k rpms. The IMA light is on, but orange. For the life of me, I'm not sure if that's normal.

The last time this happened, I replaced the 12v battery and it still didn't work.

The car runs just fine - it just refuses to charge the IMA battery until I manually charge it at the dealership. According the dealer, this is just the way the '03 models behave.
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  #4  
Old 04-02-2010, 06:47 PM
Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Bill
Location: Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Hybrids: Honda Civic Hybrid
Posts: 149
Default Re: Way to manually charge the IMA battery?

I have a 2003 HCH and I asked the dealer if it is possible to charge the IMA battery. He said that only the 12 volt can be chargedand that the IMA battery has to be replaced.
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2010, 11:26 PM
Moderator
 
Real Name: Mark
Location: Central NY
Hybrids: 1) '10 HIH 2) '03 HCH
Posts: 236
Default Re: Way to manually charge the IMA battery?

Quote:
The check engine light comes on and the Battery light comes on when I'm idling or below 2k rpms. The IMA light is on, but orange. For the life of me, I'm not sure if that's normal.
By battery light I assume you mean the icon that looks like a little battery in the instrument cluster. That never happened on my car, but on a conventional car I would suspect a bad alternator/belt if I saw that. The Civic Hybrid doesn't use an alternator however. The 12V battery is charged by a DC to DC converter. If the converter isn't working right or shutting down this might be why the battery light is coming on. Is your 12V battery actually going dead on you? Have you ever had to jump the car? If your 12V battery isn't charging this is bad. And no, it's not normal for the IMA light to be on. But the IMA light would be on if the IMA battery pack is throwing an error code. To be honest it sounds like you might have a bigger problem than just a weak IMA battery pack and might have no choice but to replace the pack and maybe other components as well. I think I would find another place than the one you've been going to though. Something sounds off there. Don't let the dealer charge you to "manually" charge the IMA battery. At the very least go to another dealer and ask about this procedure and your other issues. They don't charge you to talk. Yet. Good luck with it...

---

I have driven my Civic over 75,000 miles with those lights on and for the most part it has acted normally. The mileage never dropped much if at all. But my little battery icon never came on and my 12V always charged. I did have to replace it a couple times, but over 200,00 miles that's pretty normal. And I also have a manual transmission. I don't know how a flaky IMA system interacts with the CVT.

Unfortunately I think my little Civic might finally be on the way out. New York requires an annual safety inspection which can't be passed if any OBD errors are set. Last year I was able to disconnect the 12V to clear the codes and then drive enough cycles to reset the counters just barely enough to get through the inspection. Unfortunately I can't get more than 15 miles without the lights coming back on so today I threw the code reader on and now in addition to my P1449 (voltage deviation between battery cells) and P1600 (IMA tag) I now have a P0420 which the Googlemachine tells me points to yet another bad catalytic converter. This would be 3. One at about 40K (warranty) and another at 140ishK ($1300). My one real complaint with the car.

Regardless, while I was willing to sink a grand into a reconditioned battery pack and maybe pound another 75,000 miles out of her (I really wanted to hit 300K), I'm not so willing to do that AND another $1300 for the exhaust work. It really sucks because the car still runs f@^%$ great. It's just that d*** inspection sticker. Oh well.

Anybody want to buy a slightly used '03 Civic Hybrid? Just a tad over 215,000 miles. The battery pack probably just has a couple bad cells. P1449 and P1600 and besides occasionally losing assist during recals and the auto-stop not working as regularly as when it was new the IMA system really works mostly normal most of the time. I still easily get over 50 MPG.

New stuff:

- I had a bearing and seal kit installed in the manual transmission last fall.
- I replaced both headlight assembly's last fall. They look cheery.
- I replaced the EGR valve last fall.

Old Stuff:

- I would have replaced the tires if I ran it another winter.
- Nasty noise from left front when I brake - I would have replaced F rotors/pads and left front caliper.
- R front window blows fuses - bad switch or window motor - I don't need it, just left fuse out.

This was easily the best car I ever purchased and it really sucks that I have to get rid of it. And I can only hope my '10 Insight holds up as well now that it's going to be the workhorse. But now that I have made up my mind it probably won't take much for me to part with it.

Make me an offer...

Last edited by mrkcohen; 04-03-2010 at 08:40 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2010, 09:57 AM
Mendel Leisk's Avatar
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
 
Location: Coquitlam BC, Canada (Greater Vancouver area)
Hybrids: 2010 Toyota Prius Touring (& former HCHII owner)
Posts: 729
Default Re: Way to manually charge the IMA battery?

Interesting to see long term, high mileage perspective on Civic Hybrid ownership. Thanks for that.

Regarding your "nasty noise from left front" when braking, maybe a cracked rotor? If you're ambitious you could pull the wheel and have a look with a strong light, might spot something.
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2010, 06:41 PM
Think green.
 
Location: New England
Hybrids: 2004 HCH
Posts: 731
Default Re: Way to manually charge the IMA battery?

Regarding the P0420 code, there was a Honda TSB regarding that code that you might want to look into:

http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/p0420/A07-036.pdf
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2010, 05:06 PM
Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Carl
Location: Florida
Posts: 225
Default Re: Way to manually charge the IMA battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendel Leisk View Post

Regarding your "nasty noise from left front" when braking, maybe a cracked rotor? If you're ambitious you could pull the wheel and have a look with a strong light, might spot something.

This would be my suggestion, too.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2010, 06:39 PM
Mendel Leisk's Avatar
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
 
Location: Coquitlam BC, Canada (Greater Vancouver area)
Hybrids: 2010 Toyota Prius Touring (& former HCHII owner)
Posts: 729
Default Re: Way to manually charge the IMA battery?

My suggestion was due to personal experience: our 91 accord sounded "sick" with every brake depress. Checked it out, saw the crack, phoned the dealership told them what I saw, brought it in, got a call from the service writer:

"We checked it out, your brakes are fine, it's ready for pickup"

I actually believed them for one heady moment, then reality kicked in and I told them, politely, to have another look. After I got off the phone I gradually went into meltdown, and emailed their service manager. He phoned back (with the disk on his desk), and apologized. Very good manager, but he moved on.
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2010, 08:57 PM
Moderator
 
Real Name: Mark
Location: Central NY
Hybrids: 1) '10 HIH 2) '03 HCH
Posts: 236
Default Re: Way to manually charge the IMA battery?

Thanks for all the brake advise folks, but actually it's the least of my worries.

Because the CEL and IMA light are on, and the codes that are set, my car will not pass a NYS inspection. The inspection expired 31 March. My poor Civic Hybrid is no longer street legal in New York State. IIRC the last ticket I got for an expired inspection sticker was $75. But that was years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if it has doubled or even tripled by now!

I will probably pull the wheel tomorrow anyway just to see what's going on with the brakes, but what I really need to do is figure what to do with the car.

Question for Gairwyn: Thanks for the tip on the TSB. Do you know if there is any place I can check to see if my VIN is part of that TSB. And do you know where they would have punched the hole under the VIN if they applied the patch? Is it the VIN on the firewall right behind the engine?

Thanks...

Last edited by mrkcohen; 04-09-2010 at 08:58 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:57 PM
 
 
 
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