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  1. #1

    Civic Hybrid Battery IMA Problems II

    Since I see that my original thread is still quite active, I thought some might be interested to hear how my fight against Honda went. Thanks to the BBB Autoline Arbitration process, I eventually beat Honda and got a new IMA battery - but it wasnt' easy and required loads of patience.

    Honda fought to the bitter end, delayed things as much as possible and had an attorney represent them at the arbitration. While this attorney seemed somewhat ill prepared on the facts, he hurled plenty of personal attacks my way. I guess if you have no case, attack the person? He also carefully reviewed my tires - I think he wanted to blame everything on them but I had brand new top end Michelins.

    I prepared a presentation (I'll try to post a PDF here) that helped sway the arbitor but he was not familiar with hybrids at all and, even after a test drive and more time waiting on my part for his decision, decided he needed an expert to examine the vehicle before making a decision. So I waited some more and an insurance adjuster type drove my car and submitted a report to BBB. He confirmed the car did not drive properly. At the end of a grueling three-month process, BBB Autoline found in my favor.

    Once the decision was made and the jerks at American Honda gave the ok, my local dealer (Pompano Honda, Florida) went out of their way to be pleasant and even washed my car. Unfortunately, they put someone else's damaged IMA battery they had recently replaced into my car. WTF. I got about two miles from the dealership and the IMA light came on. I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry! I turned around and headed straight back to the dealer and they were not happy to see me and I was not happy to see them either. The service manager eventually figured out their mistake when they realized the brand new IMA battery was still in its case. This time I stood in the service bay and watched as they pulled the newly installed defective IMA battery and finally put in the new one.

    I'm glad to report the new battery works pretty well. There are differences with the software and the battery no longer does much below four bars unless the car is "floored." However, the mileage is about 36-37 in mixed driving, which is about the 37-38 we used to get.

    I've hung onto the car for now, although I'm tempted to dump it since the battery may very well die again in about two years due to the Florida summer heat. Based upon posts here and recommendations from Honda, I've had the windows tinted to help control the heat. Combined with Honda's new software that seems to limit the extent of battery usage and charge/discharge cycles (which generate heat), I'm hoping the heat won't kill the IMA battery so quickly.

    As for Honda, no more. The treatment I received, their unwillingness to stand behind their products even under multiple warrentees and the fact they are not American made has all combined to ensure I'll never again be a Honda buyer. As the saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

    DON'T BY A HONDA HYBRID


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  3. #2

    Congratulations on your

    Congratulations on your outcome, but what an amazing struggle. Besides the automobile, I can't think of another product where you can had over such an amount of money, and then get treated like dirt when it breaks down.

    I'm not sure at what corporate level Honda is instilling their current adversarial attitude, whether it's North American Honda(s) or the parent company in Japan, but it is short sighted in the extreme.

  4. #3
    Guest

    Hey folks, Just bought a new

    Hey folks,

    Just bought a new HCH recently - wish I read these forums on the battery life before hand.

    Anyway, is it normal to start off with a brand new car with the bars for the battery showing only half way up - does it eventually go up to full over time?

    Please advice...

    Thanks

  5. #4

    Half way up bars are the

    Half way up bars are the norm. In my experience they climb/drop quite a bit. Very occasionally they'll top out, if you happen to run down a very long hill, for instance. Neither extreme necessarily means the battery is fully charged or depleted, from what I've read.

  6. #5
    Guest

    Hi, I have a 2003 HCH that

    Hi,

    I have a 2003 HCH that has about 130,000. Generally speaking, I have loved the car. My IMA light just came on, and like many of you, my dealer told me that in some amount of time, the car will stop charging, leading to the $2500 replacement deal that many of you have had.

    My question is, how long do I have before that happens? Will it take days, weeks or months? My dealer could not tell me (or did not want to). I don't want to rush my decision-making about replacing the battery or buying a new car if I still have 3 months left to decide.

    Also, has anyone had any luck finding the battery pack somewhere else for less?

    thanks!

  7. #6

    Carmen, > My IMA light just

    Carmen,

    > My IMA light just came on, and like many of you, my dealer told me that in some amount of time, the
    > car will stop charging, leading to the $2500 replacement deal that many of you have had.

    > My question is, how long do I have before that happens? Will it take days, weeks or months? My
    > dealer could not tell me (or did not want to). I don't want to rush my decision-making about
    > replacing the battery or buying a new car if I still have 3 months left to decide.

    Did your dealer tell you what codes you are getting? There are more than one problem that can happen, and what happens to your battery next will depend on which failure is happening.

    Some problems will get worse and others will not. Typically, a P1447 will progress to a system failure in a few months. A P1433 takes longer than that and a P1449 will either fail now or possibly never. I had an Insight customer with a P1449 for 200,000 miles.

    > Also, has anyone had any luck finding the battery pack somewhere else for less?

    My site has information about what to expect from a junkyard pack, and if you want to repair your battery yourself, there is a wealth of information there.

  8. #7
    Guest

    I have a 2003 Civic Hybrid

    I have a 2003 Civic Hybrid (automatic) with the same Check Engine and IMA lights on. My Mechanic found a 601 error, any ideas what this error leads to?

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    0

    Abrar I wouldn't worry about

    Abrar I wouldn't worry about it. The fact is most people come to these forums when they have problems that need fixing. The majority of people posting here are having some kind of trouble or are not happy about their car. Some are just looking for a soapbox and audience to decry how bad these cars are. Look around out in the world. There are lot's of HCHs on the road running fairly trouble free. We bought our 2003 with 78K on it 2 years ago and we've had no trouble at all. I came here just because I was curious about how they operate. If we can get 150K+ out of car itself I'll be pretty satisfied. Even if I have to buy another battery or have the current one refurbished, it's the cost of maintaining a car. The gas savings adds into that as well. We seem to average 40+ mpgs.

    The bars I don't think matters a whole lot. I've driven up mountain passes wondering what will happen if I completely drain the battery but it never happened. I get down to a bar or two and it never seems to drop below that. Then down the other side it doesn't take long to completely charge it back up.

  10. #9
    Guest

    Yes, you got it right, most

    Yes, you got it right, most of us on here do have a problem with our cars and hopefully you will get the 150k miles out of yours. However, not all states are created equal. You may be in a state that gives a 10 year/150k mile warranty, but for the rest of us our warranties expired at 8 years or 80k. How many miles do you have now? Good luck!

  11. #10
    Guest

    I have the same Problem

    I have the same Problem P1600 and P1433 in HCH 05 which I beileve they tied together. Dealer told me $2900 for the replacement battery. Car are running fine execpt the anoying IMA and CEL light.
    I was just wonderring if california required smog check for Hybrid? If so do I have to fix the problem before getting SMOG I know my I have 5 years on the car now but I'll find out next year if they will require a smog.
    I reset the Light with a OBDII scanner so far light hasn't come back.
    I'll Keep everyone posted

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