Back again with more 2003 HCH drama. Last week I got in my car after work (it had been over 100 degrees F that day), and when I turned on the car the red battery light was on. I looked in the book and it said that if that light stays on, the 144V side is not charging the 12V side (i.e. IMA controller or the DC/DC converter). I drove it to a friend's house and we poked around, checked all the fuses and relays, etc. After scratching our heads for a few hours I charged the 12V battery at Autozone and drove the car to the dealer. 4 days and $300 later they finally had a diagnosis, the DC/DC converter was toast. I had given someone a jump start a few days before it broke, and then there was the heat wave, so I know in the future I will be parking in shady spots and never jump starting anyone again (someone told me the converter is only good to 42 amps on the 12V side).

The dealership just called me back, the converter is $1200 and they want $600 to install it (luckily the $300 diagnostic goes toward the repair costs). I found a cheaper one online for $800 and I could probably install it myself, but I don't have the tools or the time so I had to bite the bullet. The car will be ready in two days, so I'll let you all know how it goes. In the mean time, the CVT had been behaving as far as juddering goes (a few thousand miles since the burnishing procedure), but I did notice that when I floor it on on-ramps etc. it slips quite a bit, so I have to "ease on" to the accelerator.

Has anyone else had any electrical problems with the IMA controller or DC/DC converter? I'd love to hear your stories!

-Matt