Are you experiencing strange IMA system behavior in your Honda Insight or Honda Civic Hybrid? Does your battery gauge behave erratically, suddenly going to empty or full? Has your hybrid system failed completely? We can help with these problems and restore your vehicle's hybrid system back to better-than-factory condition. You have probably realized that the batteries in our beloved hybrid vehicles do not last the life of the vehicle. Rather than rebuilding or refurbishing the batteries with cells that are of unknown origin and dubious quality, we feel it is better to simply replace the old, aging cells with brand new cells. This brings your vehicle back to peak performance and provides you with the best overall experience possible.
Many people don't realize the large gap in performance between a brand new battery and an aging battery. No IMA light means that everything is OK, right? Wrong. The fact is that the Civic and Insight's control systems are designed to use the IMA battery until it is extremely deteriorated - P1447, P1449 or P1433 error codes generally mean your battery has 10% or less of it's original capacity remaining. Since the IMA battery deteriorates slowly over time, it is difficult to identify the gradual loss in performance. The MAXIMA performance IMA battery is a difference you can feel. Guaranteed!
About the Honda IMA Battery:
The 144V high voltage NiMH battery found in the 1st generation Insight and Civic is made up of 120 individual “D” cell batteries connected in series. This takes the form of 20 individual subpacks, or “sticks”, of 6 cells each. However, these are not just run of the mill “D” cells that you could buy at any department store. They are industrial strength, able to withstand both the very high charge and discharge currents the car demands and also the harsh automotive environment. These subpacks are what we replace when we build your brand new MAXIMA battery.
What goes wrong with the IMA battery?
The performance of the IMA battery deteriorates slowly over time, ultimately resulting in an IMA light and hybrid system failure. As the cells age, their key electrical properties change - internal resistance, self discharge rate and overall capacity. Each individual cell deteriorates at a different rate due to manufacturing tolerances and other variables. This leads to what is called battery pack imbalance - this means you have cells at differing levels of charge within the battery pack. Any battery pack can only be as strong as its weakest cell, so this represents the biggest challenge to the operation and lifespan of a battery pack. There are a wide range of variables that will affect the lifespan of a hybrid battery pack. These include, but are not limited to: environmental conditions, driving conditions and driving habits. For example, we know through empirical evidence that the batteries lead a more stressful life in the extreme heat of the Desert Southwest and therefore have a reduced lifespan.
The computers in your car constantly monitor several parameters of the pack’s operation to determine the condition of the battery. When your battery State of Charge (SoC) Gauge suddenly goes empty, it means that your Battery Condition Monitor(BCM) computer has determined that a subpack somewhere in the pack is actually at a lower charge than previously thought, so the SoC Gauge is adjusted accordingly. This is known within the hybrid community as a negative recalibration, or “recal”. Even if the rest of the pack is completely charged - to prevent damage to the battery, or potentially even catastrophic failure, the discharge(assist) must be stopped when that first individual subpack or cell reaches “empty”. The opposite is also true - if the computers detect that a subpack is actually full, the SoC Gauge will be adjusted to full, and charge(regen) will be halted.