HCH I-Specific Discussions Model Years 20032005

Failed IMA Battery Owners!

Old 12-04-2012, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 12
Default Re: Failed IMA Battery Owners!

I put a battery from Bumblebee in mine... it was throwing IMA lights, which were resettable by disconnecting the 12v ground from the battery under the hood, but would come back after a couple weeks... drives like a new car .

Cost me $2100 + shipping, but the install was very easy... just a bunch of machine screws on the access hatch, and a bunch of plugs to remove, but they are all different sizes and only plug in one place/direction, so it was the work of about an hour to get the new battery in myself.

I probably wouldn't get a salvaged battery, as it'll have been sitting a while and have become imbalanced (and will give you another IMA light sooner rather than later).

There are three reputable resellers of the new 8ah cell IMA batteries now:

Bumblebee Batteries (my favorite) http://www.bumblebeebatteries.com/products.html
Hybrid ReInvolt http://www.re-involt.com/
Adoptapart http://www.adoptapart.com/
Old 12-04-2012, 04:26 PM
Think green.
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 733
Default Re: Failed IMA Battery Owners!

2004 HCH with CVT

To answer the original poster's question, I don't use AC much unless it's really hot out.

Unusual symptoms appeared at a little over 66,000 miles; age of car: 8 years, 7 months. Once, and for the first time, the car started with the conventional starter rather than the IMA battery; weather was not very cold that day. No check engine light or IMA light. Service manager said to continue driving a bit longer to see if any malfunction indicator lights appear. (This happened after the car had been sitting idle for a few days while I was out of town.)
I noticed the charge/assist behavior was becoming very different than what I'd been used to since owning the car.
IMA light and Check engine light came on a few days later. Car continued to drive fine, but with strange charge/assist behavior. IMA light went out, but check engine light stayed on. Took car in for diagnosis and they read code P1433.
IMA replacement battery was ordered and arrived within 1 day. Installed the following day.

The service adviser had just received a memo from Honda that the IMA warranty had been extended 12 months/12,000 miles above the original warranty.
My original warranty was for 8 years/80,000 miles whichever came first.
With the warranty extension it was extended to 9 years/92,000 miles whichever comes first.
The IMA replacement was covered by Honda since I was still within that 9 year window. Car is back to normal behavior.
I'm very glad that my service adviser and the service manager were aware of the warranty extension. Good timing. Good service. Good car so far. I hope the replacement battery works out alright.

(Price listed for the battery itself was about $2300 not counting shipping, tax, and labor.)

Last edited by Gairwyn; 12-04-2012 at 04:38 PM.
Old 02-18-2014, 07:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
Default Re: Failed IMA Battery Owners!

Made a username simply to thank JohnfromVirginia for his insight (pun intended) on that 100A fuse. It was what was wrong with ours too! As a (humble) ASE master tech, I theorize that the IMA system attempted to fast charge a severely depleted battery and in turn pushed an already well worked fuse over the limit. John, thanks again!
Old 02-18-2014, 08:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 37
Default Re: Failed IMA Battery Owners!

Glad you were able to benefit. Your theory sounds solid to me.
Old 05-23-2014, 12:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6
Default Re: Failed IMA Battery Owners!

2003 HCH

1. CVT and it failed at 162,500. Opted for new transmission $3300 for trans, $800 for labor to install at independent garage. Cheaper that going to dealer.

2. I use A/C in summer. Batteries like same environment as humans. I learned you need to keep the interior temperature cool in the summer. I installed rain vents on windows made by WeatherTech to keep interior cooler. Made a big difference.

Here in VA if the lights are illuminated on the dash you fail inspection, however if you make a good faith effort at repairs you can get a 2 year waiver. I believe you need to spend about $750.00. So I had brakes done, transmission flushed, and some other minor work til I hit the $750 threshold. I have been driving on a waiver for 2 years now and will have to fix battery before next inspection. I have had slightly lower MPG but the car is still drivable.

I have been leaning toward Bumblebee Batteries as a battery source since they are half the price of my local Honda dealer for replacement battery. Additionally, the Bumblebee batteries appear to be higher performing than the Honda supplied battery.

Anyone have experience with Bumblebee Batteries?
Old 07-07-2014, 04:07 PM
privatejoker's Avatar
Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 72
Default Re: Failed IMA Battery Owners!

I've been scouring craigslist and ebay looking for a used battery, but all of them are outrageously high. I looked on alibaba and you can buy new chinese made sticks with the same ends and specs plus a two year warranty. Min order is 20 and I'm waiting to hear back from the seller as to what constitutes a "set." Has anyone gone this route?

first IMA light at 108k btw

Last edited by privatejoker; 07-07-2014 at 04:08 PM. Reason: addition
Old 07-08-2014, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 40
Default Re: Failed IMA Battery Owners!

You are much better off getting a set of tested 3 year warranted sticks from a local supplier.

Lots of good ones in the US, bumblebee, hybrid revolt etc etc and we/they all use the same far eastern supplier for the high spec sticks.

Are you going to send your sticks back to China if they fail?
Old 09-04-2014, 11:53 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 497
Default Re: Failed IMA Battery Owners!

2005 HCH1 MT at about 90,000 miles.

Started out as an extreme hypermiler getting 80+ MPG in the Summer using no AC (of course). Now driving "traffic friendly" and using AC if needed.

Not in California so no warranty. Replaced the traction battery with one from Bumble-Bee. Happy with that choice so far but the new battery is still only a couple months old so time will tell.

Amped-Hybrid is advertising pretty good prices on packs rebuilt with new cells...
Old 09-10-2014, 11:28 AM
RVer Hybrid Toad
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Los Angles Area
Posts: 10
Default Re: Failed IMA Battery Owners!

My first IMA battery failed at about 50,000 miles. Under warrantee. Honda made some changes to the program to be more gentle to the battery. It slightly reduced fuel economy. That battery failed at about 75,00 miles (not much). Replacement would cost about $3,200. Fortunately, after discussions with the parts manager, she was able to only require 10% or $320. I was mostly happy but not understanding of the short life. I got a lecture that the battery dies faster if left for long at low charge. For the record I worked on Hybrid cars at JPL some 30 years ago and am quite familiar with their operation. Of course then we used lead acid batteries.

After installation on the new batteries my fuel economy plummeted by about 4 mpg. However the charge level was maintained much higher. I assume that they installed a new program to extend battery life. I am not happy with this.

Has anyone experienced this phenomena?
Old 09-10-2014, 05:22 PM
Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 197
Default Re: Failed IMA Battery Owners!

Originally Posted by mtrummel View Post
I got a lecture that the battery dies faster if left for long at low charge.
The battery does not actually 'die', when left at low charge (unlike Lead Acid). HOWEVER, its left in a state that the -vehicle- cannot restore to normal on its own.

When the battery is in this 'temporary dead' condition, it needs to be charged to 100% (car cannot do this, it can only go to 80%), then drained down to 0%, then charged back up to 100%, then back to 0% (about 50V this time) and held for a while. Then back to 100% and install in vehicle. Somehow doing this double cycle on an NiMH battery works.

Unfortunately you need electrical/electronics/technician skills and a couple hundred dollars for the charger.

Nobody should have to do this, Honda dropped the ball by not understanding how NiMH batteries work.

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