In 2006 I bought a used 2003 HCH Hybrid. It came with 43,000 miles on it. I've happily driven the car for 4 years and put 64,000 miles on it in that time. Its never had any problems. Currently, I use it to commute to/from work and in/around my local area.

Once I reached the 103,000 mile mark or so the IMA light came on. I did nothing. A week or so later it went off. A few weeks after that, the check engine light came on. I took it to the dealer and they charged me $100 to tell me that they couldn't find anything wrong with my car, but they did turn the check engine light off. Another few weeks passed and the IMA light came on again. After reading some posts on various forums, I knew that I didn't have $3,200 to spend on a new battery, so again, I did nothing. And, like the last time, the IMA light went off of its own accord.

Now, at 107,500 miles the check engine light AND the IMA light are on. The car still runs fine. It isn't getting 45 mpg anymore (its averages about 35 mpg) and I'm not going to win any drag races, but it serves my purposes for local driving and commuting. The battery still charges as normal, although I have noticed that it loses charge pretty easily, but it never gets below one or two bars under 1/2 charge.

I'm just wondering if I should take it to the dealer and have them tell me its going to cost $3,200 to replace the IMA battery (which I can't afford) plus whatever else they want to tack on (remember, they charged me $100 to tell me nothing was wrong with my car the last time) ... or if I should just let it ride until it finally gives up the ghost. Its pretty much paid off and my plan was to drive it until it dies and then get another used car. I'd just rather have that happen later rather than sooner.

Also, I live on the East Coast and ever since mid-November its been pretty cold. My car is parked outside and uncovered. Could the cold weather have something to do with it?