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Old 11-12-2015, 12:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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new IMA battery, recognized by car, but not charging?

Quick overview: my 2003 HCH IMA battery died for a second time around 165K miles. We then drove it until it wouldn't go anymore -- the 12V was no longer being charged so it wouldn't make it far even if we got it started. We got 20K more miles out of it after the IMA light came on, not too bad.

I have a manual transmission. First battery died at 65K but was replaced under warranty. I bought a battery from Green Tec Auto (via ebay) and had our local mechanic install it. He hasn't worked on civic hybrids before.

New battery installed, and the IMA light went away, and the car runs again. The 12V light comes on everytime we cruise or come to a stop but it is getting charged or whatever while pressing on the gas.

Anyway I don't think the IMA system is working, as in, I'm not getting any battery assist when driving. The battery level shows no bars, the charge light only came on once briefly when I tried revving the engine once (then stopped). I can't feel the regenerative braking, and the car is very underpowered.

We've driven it around and tried revving it to 3500 rpm while parked. This morning my husband tried S Keith's advice from another thread to disconnect the 12V, wait 30 sec, reconnect and start the car and rev to 3500. He said it didn't charge.

I tried S Keith's advice from another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
If the IMA light is out, the car recognizes the battery. The BCM just has no idea of its state of charge as resting voltage does not correlate to state of charge, so it shows zero. If the IMA light is still on, you have other problems.

There are no issues with shoving a fully charged pack in a car. If you can, it's best to let the voltage stabilize over 30-60 minutes (maybe overnight), but two weeks is excessive.

Disconnect 12V for 30 seconds. Reconnect. Start and rev to 3500rpm and hold until you read full bars. You will need to drive it as you will show DTC not ready when you go to emissions, which will be the case no matter how you reset the codes.
Does anyone have any other suggestions? If I can't find a few other things to try I'll take it to the dealer or to a hybrid tech (I just found one in ABQ but that is 100 miles away from me, dealer is 40 mi away). I feel like I'm in the book Strega Nona where we just don't know the secret to stop the magic pasta pot.

One last thing: I don't know the state of charge of the battery. Definitely worth mentioning. I'm guessing it's mostly charged. The battery I bought was through a third party. They bought the new battery for their 03 HCH, but something else was majorly wrong with the car so they junked the car and resold the battery. I'm trusting they were telling the truth. It is definitely better than my old battery, though. They didn't know the state of charge, but I'm thinking it shipped fully charged.


Last edited by rpearson; 11-12-2015 at 01:05 PM.. Reason: found a hybrid tech in my state
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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OK I have a possible answer to my problem. I called a shop that works on Hondas and they told me I have to take it to the dealer to have the system reprogrammed. So we're taking it in Monday to do that and have the airbag recall dealt with as well. I'll post an update afterwards if that does the trick or if it's something more than that.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you haven't had your 12V battery LOAD tested to confirm it is good, you need to do that too. Measuring its voltage is not sufficient. Most auto parts stores will test them for free.

Do the IMA, 12V and Check Engine lights (all three) come on when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position before starting?
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpearson View Post
OK I have a possible answer to my problem. I called a shop that works on Hondas and they told me I have to take it to the dealer to have the system reprogrammed. So we're taking it in Monday to do that and have the airbag recall dealt with as well. I'll post an update afterwards if that does the trick or if it's something more than that.
Too late now, but you should have had the trouble codes read prior to purchasing another battery. There are specific codes for the hybrid components.

I doubt having the dealership update your software will have any effect on the battery problem. Sounds like you have charging system component failure which I'm sure the dealership will charge quite a bit to repair (hopefully I'm wrong).

A little more unsolicited advice: Honda should have sent you mail regarding the airbag recall. The air bags in your car are the Takata brand ones, the ones in the news that can potentially injure or kill if they deploy during an accident. If you receive a recall notice it is best to take care of it as soon as possible, especially for something serious. Recall work is performed free of charge by the dealership.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The car was diagnosed as needing a new IMA battery by the dealer in January 2014. I suppose something could have gone wrong with another component since then.

When I get the 12V checked at Autozone I'll go ahead and get them to read the error codes for me as well. Fingers crossed the other IMA parts are ok! That would suck.

So Honda did send me plenty of mail about the recall, but the car has been sitting dead in our driveway, hence why I've not dealt with it yet. The dealer is 40 miles away, so I didn't really want to tow it in and then back home again for that. Also we were out of the country for 6 months...which is part of why I've taken so long to fix the car! The weird thing is I remember a long time ago they had an airbag recall and fixed them (I thought for the exact same issue). Did they replace them with other defective airbags? Anyone know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Pancake View Post
Too late now, but you should have had the trouble codes read prior to purchasing another battery. There are specific codes for the hybrid components.

I doubt having the dealership update your software will have any effect on the battery problem. Sounds like you have charging system component failure which I'm sure the dealership will charge quite a bit to repair (hopefully I'm wrong).

A little more unsolicited advice: Honda should have sent you mail regarding the airbag recall. The air bags in your car are the Takata brand ones, the ones in the news that can potentially injure or kill if they deploy during an accident. If you receive a recall notice it is best to take care of it as soon as possible, especially for something serious. Recall work is performed free of charge by the dealership.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good advice, thanks. I'll head over to Autozone in a bit and find out. and check the lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
If you haven't had your 12V battery LOAD tested to confirm it is good, you need to do that too. Measuring its voltage is not sufficient. Most auto parts stores will test them for free.

Do the IMA, 12V and Check Engine lights (all three) come on when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position before starting?
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Old 11-13-2015, 02:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you have an active IMA malfunction, it will return almost instantly, so you should still be able to pull them. Please confirm that the IMA light, Check Engine light and Red battery light all come on with you turn the key to the ON position (not started).

If you have bulbs that have burned out, you'll want to know.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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OK, 12V is only at 25% charge but they said it is OK.

When I turn the key to the ON position without starting it up, the 12V battery & check engine light show up but the IMA light does not.

Engine Code P1639. I just looked at the service record from Jan '14 and the code back then was P1449 (followed by the note NEEDS IMA BATTERY). No P1639 back then.

when I google P1639 Honda I get "MOTB signal circuit malfunction"
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hmm just saw the note about Load testing. I'm not sure if it was load tested or what. I kind of spaced out on that part when I got there (I haven't had enough caffeine today or something). There was a test she said she couldn't do because of the low battery level, mumbled something about the alternator, and we replied, there is no alternator. and then we moved onto the engine codes. I can take it back again, but I'm thinking I can have the dealer check on it on Monday as well.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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a 12V at 25% is NOT OK. If they said it's at 25% based on more than just a voltage reading, they load tested it.

Your IMA light is burned out from running with it lit for so long. The new IMA battery has NOT corrected your issue unless the faults are caused by your 12V.

Your 12V is your top priority. A weak 12V battery can cause multiple IMA codes that make it seem like the sky is falling. From what I have heard, the 151R that the dealers offer is usually competitively priced. I prefer to install a larger 51R, but whatever works best for you. If it's reasonably priced, and your battery is more than a couple years old, replace it. If it sat for awhile and went flat, that can kill it.

Please indicate the red battery light status (on/off) for each:

1) idle for 10 seconds
2) hold 2000 rpm for 10 seconds
3) hold 4000 rpm for 10 seconds

Steve

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