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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Premature IMA Battery Failure ( P1433 Code )


    I'm a newbie here and have a 2004 HCH Manual that just turned over 85,000 miles. I bought the car in 2006 with 53,000 miles, from a local Honda Certified Used Car dealer. The car has seen mostly urban driving cycles the past 2 years, with the occasional bi-monthly highway trip. A/C does see seasonal use in May-Sept.

    On a side note: I recently replaced the under-hood 12V battery (this was NOT really necessary, I just wanted the peace-of mind with winter fast approaching),

    And as far as I know the IMA (144V) battery module has never been replaced. The car performs well and typically gets an indicated 38 - 42 mpg in city use and close to 50 mpg highway. (We do live at 5000 ft ASL, which reduces mileage and power.)

    About a week ago the IMA and CHECK Engine lights came on. (P1600 and P1433). At the time they come on the SoC dropped from 75% to roughly half that. Throttle response becomes noticeably sluggish, but the REGen/ASSist meter still works. And the SoC gradually moves up and down. The most I have seen it come back to is about 67 % when the codes are thrown.

    When I clear the codes, I observe the following: REGen/ASSist immediately at idle shows (GREEN) charge and the SoC rapidly comes up to 100% within a couple of minutes. When the car is driven, throttle response is crisp and instrumentation shows "like-new" REGen/ASSist and SoC behavior in urban driving.

    Then, usually with a day or so (usually less than 20-miles) the same codes return (P1600/P1433).

    To the best of knowledge, the ECM has NOT been re-flashed or "Upgraded" by Honda.

    1) Is there a way to determine the ECM Version level? Especially, from the factory built original version?

    2) If a Honda dealer flashes the ECM, will it potentially mask the P1433 code? Making AH less likely to replace the IMA battery of DC-DC converter under warranty?

    3) What is actually happening when the P1433 code is thrown? It seems to put the system into "LIMP" or "LAME" mode? This obviously affects the performance (Power and fuel economy) and places greater wer and tear on the ICE powertrain?

    4) Does anyone have experience with Honda's Certified Used Car POWERTRAIN Warranty or Third-Party Warranties, with respect to premature IMA failures? I still have mileage and time remaining on my AH Certifed Used Car POWERTRAIN Warranty. Is the IMA Battery considered a POWERTRAIN component, or excluded because it is a battery?

    5) Have any other Honda Civic Hybrid owners here joined the Class Action Suit against American Honda? See: http://www.hchsettlement.com/default.htm

    Any advice (or dare I say Insights?) would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2

    check with your dealership

    check with your dealership supposedly the battery is covered for 150k miles or 10 yrs. from factory

  4. #3

    Just got back from the

    Just got back from the dealer today again and they are replacing at no cost. My IMA light came on yesterday and I took it (2006 Honda Accord Hybrid) to Honda and they told me the IMA needed to be replaced at about $4600.00 including labor. When they told me that, I descided I was not going to pay and have it fixed and woudl look at other alternatives such as trading it in as it is for anoht non hybrid with them or another dealer. They brough a slaes person over for me to talk to about this. They wouldn't even give me a trade in estimate unless I picked out the car I wanted to trade it in for; so I left. I looked at the warranty mannual today and saw that the IMA is covered 8 years or 80k miles under the Federal Emissions Warranty or if you happen to live in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New York or Vermont it is is covered for 10 years or 150k miles. Each model may differ in warranty coverage so I would check your warranty mannual if you have one or find someone you may know with the same car and review thiers.

  5. #4

    I was able to make the IMA

    I was able to make the IMA and check engine light go away!! Disconnect your car battery.

    See step/recommendations below:

    1. Make sure you have your Radio Code so you can enable your Radio.
    2. Make sure you think these indicator lights are just a glitch ie: your car is working fine, you have not driven the car in a while, or the weather is cold.

    3. I had the IMA and Check Engine lights come on after not driving the car for a week and cold weather here in VA.
    4. I read several of the blogs on here and confirmed I did not have an actual engine issue.
    5. I remembered that when the regular battery had gone almost dead that my service advisor recommended I charge the battery and if the IMA light and check engine light were on after the charge that I would need to disconnect the battery to reset the indicators.
    6. So if you are still with me disconnect you car battery and see if this solves the problem. I did it on Thursday and it worked, I did not drive the car all weekend and on Monday the lights did not come back on.

  6. #5

    I bought a honda civic 2003

    I bought a honda civic 2003 hybrid yesterday. when I came home home the ima and engine sign was on.Do you guys help what should I do to engine sign goes away. or where should i replace the batteries affordable.I live in sacramento,ca.Thanks

  7. #6

    Hi Usman, I am in the same

    Hi Usman,

    I am in the same situation now, How did you got rid of this problem ?


  8. #7

    The IMA battery is a

    The IMA battery is a problem, a big problem and Honda is aware of it. My battery has been replaced twice and needs to be replaced a third time. The dealership offered to replace it for $250.00 with a warranty of up to 12,000 miles or 6 months. The problem is the 3 batteries collectively are covered for 150,000 miles.

    The reason for the 150,000 or 10 year warranty is because they are aware of the IMA battery premature deterioration problem and this has been noted in a company internal memorandum.

    Do you think Honda will live up to its reputation of honesty, integrity and dependability?

  9. #8

    I have the same problem. I

    I have the same problem. I couldn't get my car inspected due to the CEL. If you don't have any other problems, I had to change my Air Filter, sparkplugs and O2 sensors, then you can reset the codes by disconnecting the Negative battery terminal for a few minutes, then when you drive the vehicle try not to let the IMA battery do much assisting or charging until you get the minimum miles and get into the inspection station. The IMA light probably won't come back on for a while, until the battery is charged and discharged a few times, which will eventually trigger the CEL and give the p1600 and p1433 codes. Hope that works for you guys too!! (p.s. I only expect to get maybe another year or so out of the car with 190,000 current miles so I don't intend to replace that battery, but rather get the last drop of function out of it.)

  10. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    It happened to my old Honda,

    It happened to my old Honda, the usage patters was pretty much the same with slight differences but when I took it to auto service Philadelphia they told me they have to change the battery. The engine also had some issues that had to be fixed. Once the battery is gone it's gone forever.

  11. #10

    Disconnecting the car normal

    Disconnecting the car normal battery sets the lights off for a while i guess, did it ever came up for you since then?

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