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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    2003 HCH - IMA Light & Check Engine Light On

    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?

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  3. #2

    I have a 2003 civic hybrid ,

    I have a 2003 civic hybrid , the IMA and chk engine lights have been periodically off and on for over a year. The car has over 100,000 now and like yours was trouble free until the IMA code.
    I have half decided to replace it, and it would be helpful to hear from others who have already done. Was it was worth putting $3000 in to the car?
    I would also like to know if any one has replaced the IMA after driving with an IMA light for over a year, and if the delay in replacement caused any additional problems.
    Aside from the battery charging and discharging rapidly and the decline in MPG, my car has been charging going up hills for years, but since there was no IMA light/code, that was not considered an issue by anyone but me. Now the car will charge going uphill even if the battery is nearly full.

  4. #3

    Too funny I was listening to

    Too funny I was listening to NPR story about New Cars when my IMA light & Check Engine Light came on today. At first Battery Charge went way below half way mark and I was very concerned. 20 miles down the road battery charge went all the way back up after a long down hill coast. I think the IMA is a electronic glitch due to cold and lack of use over past 2 weeks and am going to wait to take in to dealer as I have 99,960 and already have issues with the stater clutch surges and other posts on here saying dealers will charge you $100 to read check engine light and clear it and tell you nothing is wrong. I can't justify $3k into my car based on all the other issues posted on here. Let us know what you do or others that have replaced batter please post comments

  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

    My 2003 HCH with 144000

    My 2003 HCH with 144000 miles check engine and IMA lights are on. The honda garage told me I need a new battery. The assist and charger works good. I am getting 45.3 miles per gallon. I very good acceration. I live in PA and can not get it inspected with the check engine lite on. It must light without engine running and go out when engine starts. What do I check besides the gas cap? Help

  7. #6

    My 2003 HCH with 93,000

    My 2003 HCH with 93,000 miles is experiencing this same problem: check engine light and IMA light are on. At times the battery light has gone on intermittently. I've had this happen about 2 times over the past year. Each time, the garage says nothing that they can find is wrong. Luckily I just got my PA inspection, so I'm good until next fall.

    I haven't seen anyone mention what I'm sure has set this off for me: if I turn the ignition incompletely, this triggers the lights to go on. I'm quite sure this is the trigger for my car.

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