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TOV Forums > IMA/Hybrids > > Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?

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Cory
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Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-22-2018 12:38
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recently our 2010 Insight EX with roughly 98.5k miles on it has been intermittently showing the "Check IMA System" light. It's come on three times in the past week. The car doesn't feel like it is performing any differently than usual and the mileage hasn't changed.

Here's the timeline

Sunday 10/14 - A short trip to the grocery store. It came on on the way home. I did a little bit of online research and did the following - unhooked the negative terminal of the starter battery, reconnected it and then revved the engine for a short bit. The IMA battery indicator was full. Drove it around the neighborhood and the light stayed off.

Monday 10/15 - took it to the dealership. The light wasn't on so they recommended driving it as usual and coming back if it came back on.

Thursday 10/18 - the light came on again while driving for about 25 minutes on rural roads. When I got home I stopped the car, restarted it and the light was off.

Friday 10/19 - I drove the car on rural roads for about 45 minutes and the light came back on. I went to the dealership where they scanned for codes - nothing came up. They recommended driving it as usual and thought that maybe the upcoming B14 service that includes new spark plugs might help (not sure why).

The car does not drive noticeably different whether the light is on or not and the mileage is normal (mid 40s). The display that shows IMA charge doesn't seem to be showing anything odd. The Check IMA System light is the only warning light that is showing (I've read that if the CHeck IMA System and Check Engine Light are on it almost certainly means that the IMA battery is failing).


My questions are...

1. What do you think the problem is? I know that at this age/mileage the IMA battery could be starting to fail but based on how the car is driving I'm not sure that's the problem (maybe wishful thinking)

2. If the battery is failing what are some options? I've read about "battery conditioning" at a local franchise of The Hybrid Shop. Supposedly it is a fraction of the cost of a new battery and is guaranteed for three years. We'd likely only be keeping this car for another 3-4 years anyway. Would this be a reasonable option?

3. The car already has some costly maintenance on the horizon - the tires will need to be replaced before winter and the B14 service is right around the corner. If we need to put even more money into a new/reconditioned battery or the conditioning mentioned above it would be a big expense that I'm not sure we'd want to spend. We are essentially a one car family so if the projected costs are too high getting rid of the car is a real possibility.

4. If we do decide to get rid of it, what's a good option? I don't want to go through the hassle of privately selling it (especially if the battery is bad). I'd likely go to someplace like Car Max, does anyone have experience with them? Based on the blue book value I'd only expect a couple thousand dollars at most.


TonyEX
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Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-22-2018 15:35
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When we got the check IMA light, the problem was the main battery. The car had 147K miles so AHM replaced it under warranty.

Car now has 175K miles and still running strong.

Have you noticed weird charging patterns of the main battery? As if it will show an almost full charge but in no time at all, it drops down to four bars? When that happened, the battery was still working but it was odd.

Soon there after it stopped providing full juice on acceleration.

At that point we had it replaced (under warranty).

The resale value of Civic IMA hybrids is rather crappy. An '06 Civic EX sedan with 170K miles is around 5000 bucks, down here.... the same for the '06 IMA is about 3000.

Oh, we're on the fourth set of tires and, GULP!!, we've replaced the windshield wipers at least three times.

Cory
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Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-22-2018 15:51
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You're in California, right? Isn't the warranty longer there?

I think that most places it is 8yrs/100k miles. We bought ours in 2009 so it's more than 8 years old.


I usually have the instant mpg readout on display while driving, not the one that shows the IMA battery charge. Lately I've been driving with it on to see if anything immediately looked odd, like an almost constantly empty or recharging battery.

In the past week the battery has typically been between 75-100% charged with it only dipping down to 50% a couple of times. It doesn't seem weird to me but as I said, I hadn't been watching it in the past to get a strong comparison.


I agree about the resale. The KBB value of our car looks to be under $3k. That's a big reason that I don't want to put a bunch of money into it.


TonyEX
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Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-23-2018 19:48
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Cory wrote:
You're in California, right? Isn't the warranty longer there?

I think that most places it is 8yrs/100k miles. We bought ours in 2009 so it's more than 8 years old.


I usually have the instant mpg readout on display while driving, not the one that shows the IMA battery charge. Lately I've been driving with it on to see if anything immediately looked odd, like an almost constantly empty or recharging battery.

In the past week the battery has typically been between 75-100% charged with it only dipping down to 50% a couple of times. It doesn't seem weird to me but as I said, I hadn't been watching it in the past to get a strong comparison.


I agree about the resale. The KBB value of our car looks to be under $3k. That's a big reason that I don't want to put a bunch of money into it.



To be honest.... I think DCR managed to get rear ended to get rid of his "hot rod" hybrid.

We have ours in the family, because it runs fine... but when the IMA light did come on, years ago, it was.... yes it was..... the IMA battery.

(1) 150K miles or 7 years in Calimexistan. Our battery was replaced at 145K miles.

(2) Drive with the left hand display set to show battery charge. If it shows six bars when you get going and suddenly it drops to 3 or 2 then you got an issue.

(3) Also, seat of the pants, "accelerate", does the power indicator show a battery assist? Does the car feel slower than usual? (*)

(4) Is your 12vdc car battery OK?

(5) You might want to take it to a dealer and have them scan the codes.

Do you live near a tall cliff?

(*) I know, that's hard to believe...


Cory
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Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-24-2018 09:23
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(2) No sudden large drops in the battery indicator. It hovers around 75%-100% charged I saw it go down to 50% once. It doesn't look like the battery is constantly being charged by the gas engine.

(3) It does seem to use battery and gas when accelerating from a stop but not always. For the most part this display looks like it shows normal use.

(4) I'm not sure but will have that looked at when it is next in for service. I think that it is the second battery we've gotten for this car so it could be nearing the end of its life.

(5) I did and nothing came up.




Cory
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Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-05-2018 12:51
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Update - I've been driving the Insight regularly this past week and the Check IMA System light has not come back on.

- I have noticed that the charge indicator (which is a picture of a battery, not the six bars like the HCH has) typically starts full or almost full and then fluctuates between roughly 75% and just under 100% full while driving (typically 7-15ish miles in town or rural roads).

- The indicator shows periods of assist when accelerating and going up hills. It shows periods of charge when I am coasting, going downhill or braking. The gas engine doesn't seem to be running a strange amount of time.

- Auto Stop works.

-The mpg at the end of most trips is the mid 40s that I am used to.

I'm wondering if perhaps the 12v battery is starting to go bad. I've read some conflicting ideas about whether or not that could cause IMA warning lights to come on. I think that the battery has been replaced once but it would have been quite some time ago both in terms of time and mileage. I know that I could stop at an auto parts store and get this checked but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Any opinions on what the 12v battery could be doing in regard to the Check IMA System light?


Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-06-2018 12:52
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My opinion is that it's too complicated to have an opinion.

It's well-known in Legend circles that an ageing battery will easily re-start the J35, but will cause bizarre things to happen to the electrickery and you lose AFS, SH-AWD, VSA and the dash lights up like that of one of Owe's company cars at close to stall speed.

So a dodgy 12v upsetting the hybrid system would be of no surprise to me, if it turned out to be a fact.

TonyEX
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Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-08-2018 14:56
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Cory wrote:
Update - I've been driving the Insight regularly this past week and the Check IMA System light has not come back on.

- I have noticed that the charge indicator (which is a picture of a battery, not the six bars like the HCH has) typically starts full or almost full and then fluctuates between roughly 75% and just under 100% full while driving (typically 7-15ish miles in town or rural roads).

- The indicator shows periods of assist when accelerating and going up hills. It shows periods of charge when I am coasting, going downhill or braking. The gas engine doesn't seem to be running a strange amount of time.

- Auto Stop works.

-The mpg at the end of most trips is the mid 40s that I am used to.

I'm wondering if perhaps the 12v battery is starting to go bad. I've read some conflicting ideas about whether or not that could cause IMA warning lights to come on. I think that the battery has been replaced once but it would have been quite some time ago both in terms of time and mileage. I know that I could stop at an auto parts store and get this checked but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Any opinions on what the 12v battery could be doing in regard to the Check IMA System light?




Yes, that could also cause strange issues. The 12V in our 06 Hybrid was good for about five years....

Your hybrid battery seems to be working well.

BTW, we just changed the 12V battery in our '16 Civic Touring... second one. The first one was replaced by the dealer within two weeks.


DCR
Profile for DCR
Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-12-2018 20:05
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I hit a parked car with mine. When my IMA light came on they replaced the front battery and the hybrid battery system.
JeffX
Profile for JeffX
Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-12-2018 20:13
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TonyEX wrote:
Cory wrote:
Update - I've been driving the Insight regularly this past week and the Check IMA System light has not come back on.

- I have noticed that the charge indicator (which is a picture of a battery, not the six bars like the HCH has) typically starts full or almost full and then fluctuates between roughly 75% and just under 100% full while driving (typically 7-15ish miles in town or rural roads).

- The indicator shows periods of assist when accelerating and going up hills. It shows periods of charge when I am coasting, going downhill or braking. The gas engine doesn't seem to be running a strange amount of time.

- Auto Stop works.

-The mpg at the end of most trips is the mid 40s that I am used to.

I'm wondering if perhaps the 12v battery is starting to go bad. I've read some conflicting ideas about whether or not that could cause IMA warning lights to come on. I think that the battery has been replaced once but it would have been quite some time ago both in terms of time and mileage. I know that I could stop at an auto parts store and get this checked but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Any opinions on what the 12v battery could be doing in regard to the Check IMA System light?




Yes, that could also cause strange issues. The 12V in our 06 Hybrid was good for about five years....

Your hybrid battery seems to be working well.

BTW, we just changed the 12V battery in our '16 Civic Touring... second one. The first one was replaced by the dealer within two weeks.




nothing to do with IMA but another data point for 12V battery failure. The battery in our '16 CR-V was replaced last week under warranty. I went out to the car that morning and put it in "on" mode for about 2-3 minutes before starting it. Then when I went to start it, it wouldn't turn over.

I bought the CR-V in late September of 2016 so the 12V battery only lasted about 25 months.

TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Check IMA System light is on - what could it mean?    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-13-2018 14:51
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DCR wrote:
I hit a parked car with mine. When my IMA light came on they replaced the front battery and the hybrid battery system.


Our hybrid survived three hits! One in the rear was rather severe but we didn't want to total the car because it had the Car Pool stickers. Because of that, the car could not really be priced. So it got fixed!

The IMA battery lasted 145K miles, it was replaced by AHM then (warranty in CA was 7 years or 150K miles).



 
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