Rebuilding a Hybrid Vehicle Battery Pack

Intermediate

Inside this Article

2003 Honda Civic Hybrid
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid
ACCESSING THE BATTERIES (1)
ACCESSING THE BATTERIES - Removing the rear seat. There are three 10 mm bolts, one on either side of the seat (as shown) and one near the middle of the seat.
ACCESSING THE BATTERIES (2)
ACCESSING THE BATTERIES - Removing the seat reveals the main battery box cover.
LOCATING THE MAIN CIRCUIT BREAKER (1)
LOCATING THE MAIN CIRCUIT BREAKER - Remove the main circuit breaker cover. Make sure it’s in the “off” position and remove the red plastic safety cover, breaking off the plastic pin.
LOCATING THE MAIN CIRCUIT BREAKER (2)
LOCATING THE MAIN CIRCUIT BREAKER - Remove the main circuit breaker cover. Make sure it’s in the “off” position and remove the red plastic safety cover, breaking off the plastic pin.
GETTING TO THE BATTERIES
GETTING TO THE BATTERIES - In the car, with the battery box cover and seats out. Note the yellow wire for the external charging port.
ACCESSING THE SENSOR WIRES
ACCESSING THE SENSOR WIRES - The main power connection: The three sensor connectors sit above the positive and negative wires.
FINDING THE FOURTH SENSOR
FINDING THE FOURTH SENSOR - The fourth sensor connector sits below the main positive and negative wires.
THE BATTERY PACK, REMOVED
THE BATTERY PACK, REMOVED - The circuit breaker fuse and the wiring side of the pack.
THE REMOVED CIRCUIT BREAKER ASSEMBLY
THE REMOVED CIRCUIT BREAKER ASSEMBLY - Take care to keep track of the twenty 10 mm bolts and temperature sensor wire routing; note the four round metal spacers—where the circuit breaker makes its electrical connections to the sticks.
REMOVING STICKS FROM THEIR HOUSING (1)
REMOVING STICKS FROM THEIR HOUSING - The orange bus bar and some of the sticks are removed.
REMOVING STICKS FROM THEIR HOUSING (2)
REMOVING STICKS FROM THEIR HOUSING - Each stick is fully charged before starting the discharge/charge reconditioning cycles.
CHARGING A STICK
CHARGING A STICK - A stick connected to the charger to be reconditioned.
FINISHED STICKS
FINISHED STICKS - A pile of finished sticks with final Ah ratings written on each. Note the small metal thermal sensor tabs on each stick.
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid
ACCESSING THE BATTERIES (1)
ACCESSING THE BATTERIES (2)
LOCATING THE MAIN CIRCUIT BREAKER (1)
LOCATING THE MAIN CIRCUIT BREAKER (2)
GETTING TO THE BATTERIES
ACCESSING THE SENSOR WIRES
FINDING THE FOURTH SENSOR
THE BATTERY PACK, REMOVED
THE REMOVED CIRCUIT BREAKER ASSEMBLY
REMOVING STICKS FROM THEIR HOUSING (1)
REMOVING STICKS FROM THEIR HOUSING (2)
CHARGING A STICK
FINISHED STICKS

Reconditioning NiMh hybrid car battery packs is time-consuming—you cannot rush it! However, if you have the patience, reconditioning them yourself can save you more than 90% of the cost of having a car a dealer do the job.

Last fall, I bought my friend’s dysfunctional 2003 Civic Hybrid. It was not something I needed, but it did have only 110,000 miles on the odometer and some nice custom features—and it was cheap! Plus, it had been well-maintained: All the dealer checkups and service had been properly performed.

But besides the car’s computer spewing some error codes, it also had performance issues suggesting expensive battery problems. The car was very sluggish and its mpg had dropped off—from more than 50 mpg to 35 to 40 mpg. It stalled easily; the auto-stop function—which turns off the IC engine when the car comes to a full stop—did not work; and, of course, the “check engine” and integrated motor assist (IMA) warning lights wouldn’t shut off.

The Honda dealership wanted $3,200 to replace the battery pack with a factory-refurbished one (new cells are not available for a Civic Hybrid of that vintage). Replacement battery packs are made from dead packs dealers return to Honda, which recovers the remaining good subpacks for reuse. These refurbished packs include a one-year factory warranty. There is at least one third-party that claims to do the same thing for $1,250, but you have to sell him your old battery pack first, which he uses for salvageable parts. The few online bloggings from DIYers who tried reconditioning their own packs were not very insightful. However, by doing a lot of “reading between the lines,” I felt I learned enough to try my hand at refurbishing.

The root of the batteries’ underperformance had to do with the nickel metal hydride (NiMH) cells getting warm from discharging and charging. After thousands of cycles, the fine nickel powder inside starts to form larger nickel crystals, which eventually impede the electrons from flowing. If the crystals get big enough, they can puncture the separators between the positive and negative sides of the cell, shorting the cell. Reconditioning helps break up these crystals. Although it won’t make the cell like new, it’ll result in a better-functioning cell.

Preliminary Precautions

All you need to recondition IMA battery packs are a few basic tools: a good digital multimeter; the right charger/reconditioning machine (there are several to choose from online); a #30 Torx driver; standard hand tools; and, most importantly, the will and time to do the work right. Because this project can take several weeks of charging, you may need a second car to drive until the project is completed.

Hybrid car blogs published plenty of warnings about getting electrocuted from the batteries. Since this was new territory for me, I took this advice seriously—but there is only one place on a battery pack where any real hazard exists: from voltage across the full pack, which can be up to 180 VDC.

That single location is easily found with a multimeter, and once you turn off the IMA pack’s built-in circuit breaker and start unbolting the individual subpacks, the risk drops significantly since the sticks are only about 8 V each. Honda designed the battery pack in an almost idiot-proof way. The terminal bolts and other fasteners are arranged so that it is easy to avoid touching two ends of any higher-voltage terminals at the same time. Common sense coupled with basic mechanical skills meet most everything else you come across during this task. But working carelessly can still hurt, as well as cause you expensive additional repairs.

Dissassembling the System

Start by parking the car in a place it can stay for a month or two. Finding that you need to move the car after you’ve removed the battery pack is a real bummer, since the car will not move under its own power without a working battery pack.

Next, remove the rear seat cushions (three 10 mm bolts and some plastic clips). Then take off the small cover over the battery box’s circuit breaker (two bolts, #30 Torx), remove its red plastic safety cover and turn off the circuit breaker. The 180 VDC electrical hazard is now gone—the breaker separates about 40% of the sticks from the rest of the pack. Nonetheless, be careful as you work. To get the main cover off, you will need to break off the little black plastic safety snap/pin to the right of the circuit breaker with a large, flat screwdriver.

Remove the metal main battery box cover (six bolts, #30 Torx) and slide the entire cover up an inch or two to release the two metal fingers on the extreme right and left of the cover. You may need to have someone hold the seatbelts to one side to do this.

Once the cover is off, you will find a bewildering array of wiring and connectors. If you disconnect the 12 V battery (yes, there is a standard car battery, too) in the engine compartment, even that small hazard is eliminated. To do this, disconnect the cable at the negative battery post and insulate the end completely with electrical tape or a similar insulating material. This is safer than disconnecting the positive side and less likely to create a short to the chassis. In any case, continue to be careful not to bang up anything since replacing broken terminals or repairing cut wiring is a major and unnecessary chore.

Inside the battery box, remove the three 10 mm bolts that hold the two main IMA power wires and ground wire for the battery pack. Unplug the five sensor connectors from the pack. Then remove the four 12 mm bolts that hold the battery pack in the metal box (two on the top of the pack and two on the bottom). Gently bend any wires out of the way and lift out the battery pack. It weighs about 50 pounds and you will be stooped over in an awkward position, so protect your back and consider having a friend help with the lift.

Use the existing carry straps to lift it, being careful not to get tangled up with any wires. Take a few photos as you go along so you remember where everything goes in a month (or two) after completion.

Preparing for Reconditioning

I set up my work area in the living room, since it is climate-controlled and well-illuminated. Find an organizable work area, because there will be no less than 90 assorted bolts and screws holding the pack together. As you take apart the pack to access the subpack sticks inside, you’ll need to keep a close count of all the fasteners—use a spill-proof container! 

You cannot disassemble the sticks—they are welded together in groups of six cells and tightly wrapped in yellow plastic. These yellow sticks are what you will be “reconditioning” with your new charger/reconditioner machine. Remove each stick from the plastic holding frame to allow for easy judging of how warm each cell gets as reconditioning proceeds. Each stick has a “square” end and a “hex” end. The positive side is the square—mark it as such to avoid confusion. If you do connect the charger in the wrong polarity, it is smart enough to scream at you and display “connection reversed” before any damage can be done to the cells.

Be careful of the small sensor wires attached to three of the sticks—they pull apart easily and are a major pain to put back again. These three sticks can only be removed from the frame by firmly pushing them from right to left (looking at the pack as it would be in the car). The sensor wires are not very long, so carefully bend them so the sticks they are attached to are not pulling on them. Remember (and take photos of) how the wires are routed around the pack and where their little holders snap together. They will only fit in one way without making trouble for you when reassembly starts.

Reconditioning the Sticks

Although NiMh cells were once thought to be “memory-proof,” all nickel-based batteries develop memory problems; NiMhs are just much more resistant to the problem than NiCd cells.

Deep cycling has always been the method of minimizing, and somewhat repairing, memory issues. This is what your charger/reconditioner does, in a very sophisticated way. Its computer brain monitors the cycling cells to optimize breaking up the microscopic nickel “crystals” that form as a cell ages with use. The reconditioning is not perfect and will never make the cell factory-fresh again, but it does go far in making the cell work as well as it can.

Follow the charger manufacturer’s instructions for setting up your reconditioner for NiMh cells. Be sure you understand the instructions. I used an iMax B6 ($55) and the instructions had to have been written by someone whose English was not great—it was difficult to understand at first. 

Do not despair if the instructions are too difficult to decipher. The default settings for each type of battery (which are already programmed into the charger) seem to work well enough. But I changed the minimum cell state on mine to 0.8 V per cell, just to get a little deeper discharge and, hopefully, a more functional battery in the end. Do not discharge them too far, which can cause cell polarity reversal, which means you end up with a dead stick!

Number the sticks with a permanent black marker to avoid mixing them up. Have a pad of paper and pen handy to record the values the screen displays at the end of each programmed cycle to track how each stick performed. Believe me, after a month or more of this, it is a hopeless task remembering it all.

Fully charge each stick before starting the discharge/charge reconditioning cycles. But before the lengthy cycling process starts, set the machine for a minimum of three discharge-charge cycles. My iMax can do up to five cycles automatically, but you don’t really need to spend that much time on each stick to sort the good from the bad. With the good sticks, more than three cycles does not necessarily make the stick perform significantly better. If a stick is somewhere “between” good and bad, then the cycling process often straightens it out nicely.

With the iMax B6, each cycle takes at least 10 hours to complete. Multiply that by 20 sticks and you can quickly see that reconditioning the entire pack will take 25 days of round-the-clock reconditioning. Try to time your “starts and stops” so that the charger alarm doesn’t wake you up in the middle of the night, though the alarm can be turned off.

The iMax B6 is made for small, radio-controlled batteries, and with light loading to keep the cells from getting too hot, the IMA conditioning process is lengthy. But it does get the job done with IMA sticks too, and it is less expensive than similar devices. Other reconditioners use much higher discharge rates and cycle faster. However, the additional heat may also cause otherwise-OK sticks to be heat-damaged.

If the stick is working right, it will feel slightly warmer than room temperature and all the cells will be the same temperature during the process. It should also charge to about 6,400 mAh when full and do it in a bit more than one hour from a minimal state of charge (0.8 V per cell). If all goes well, the final numbers in the display will be about 6,400 mAh charged, and 5,700 to 6,100 mAh discharged. If you have any sticks that vary greatly from these values, treat them with suspicion and mark them as problematic.

It is best that all the sticks in your pack discharge to about the same level. Very odd discharge characteristics in some sticks will drag down the better ones, causing the dreaded IMA warning light to come on sooner than it would otherwise. However, a 100 to 400 mAh difference will not present a significant problem to the car’s computer. None of the sticks will have exactly the same discharge value no matter what you do.

The End Result

At the end of a month of reconditioning, six bad sticks—out of the 20 in the pack—showed up, which explained a lot as to why the car functioned so poorly. Each failed stick was either excessively slow to charge or only at a partial charge after the machine said it was done. During cycling, poorly performing sticks will also get much warmer than correctly performing ones. Heat is one of the items that triggers the IMA warning light on the dashboard.

The next step was finding replacement sticks. I had to replace 30% of my battery pack and the most cost-effective way was to buy a junkyard battery pack and put it through the same charge-discharge process to find its good sticks. This took another 25 days, but was well worth the effort—the car now runs like new, gets 50 to 55 mpg on the highway again, and all the computer errors have vanished. I also have 12 good spare sticks for the next time I need to do this—probably in three to four years, judging by how long the original battery lasted before the computer errors showed up.

Failing IMA packs can also cause seemingly unrelated computer errors, like oxygen sensor failures and a 12 V battery error. The 12 V battery charges from the IMA pack through a DC-to-DC converter—my best guess is that the car’s computer uses it as a reference voltage to judge how well some of the car’s other sensors are working. In any case, all of the original error codes went away after the IMA pack was refurbished.

Access

Michael Lamb s a professional handyman who loves tinkering with electrical things. After 10 years working at the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse as a consultant, he retired to tinkering full-time.

Comments (109)

TomG's picture

I am working on reconditioning my 6 cell sticks for my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. To recondition, I expect that my minimum voltage should be set to 4.8v (6*.8) when I do this, on my third cycle, I get a discharge reading of 1062, and a charge reading of 1133 on my TB6B device. The entire process of three cycles took about 10 hours. My initial reading of voltage on the charged battery was 8.28 volts.

Any help to get this correct would be appreciated.

ralphsworld1's picture

Michael or anyone else that has any insight. I have purchased an original core battery for a civic hybrid- I work at the dealership and when we replace a battery with a CA4 (usually the batteries we pull out are CA1's but the one i purchased is an original with no triangle sticker), what exactly is the software making different? I assume the charge rates. When we switch the batteries we have to update software otherwise the MCM doesn't recognize the new battery and will still display an IMA light after the replacement even after clearing everything out. The software update is the only way to get everything to work properly. My problem here is if I purchased an original battery am I able to mix the cells with a CA1 or a CA4 for my recondition? I assume they are different sticks and the hondas dont take well to mixing and matching sticks.

Let me know any advice or information on this... becuase through this whole forum nobody talks about the different model batteries and I am just wondering if anyone knows the difference between them and the software. I plan to start my first recondition next week when the battery comes in. I currently own 3 civic hybrids and have become obsessed with hybrid batteries. One has a CA4, and two have CA1's. Is this core i purchased going to be useless?

S K's picture

Ralph,

I can't comment with regards to the CAX specifics; however, I can say with 100% certainty that there are not differences in the CELLS.

This is how I understand it - it may be wrong, but it works:

1) 2003-2004 HCH battery packs were built with PTC strips on the Sticks (presumably CA1).
2) 2004-2005 HCH battery packs were built without PTC strips on the sticks (switched mid-year 2004, presumably CA4).

If you have an 03-04 with PTC strips and the "old" MCM, you either need PTC strips OR a 30 Ohm resistor spoofing the MCM or the patch.

If you have an 04-05 without PTC and the "new" MCM, you either need NO PTC strips OR you need to cut the circuit so it shows open circuit - per the Honda TB that shows you cutting an inch out of the red wire.

Sticks from either may be intermixed.

In other words, sticks don't matter... the PTC strips that are or are not present on the sticks and the PTC circuit are what matter.

Where are you located?

ralphsworld1's picture

I am in Phoenix AZ and have seen people need to replace their batteries on a yearly basis with our heat.

OK So we are getting somewhere. When we do a battery pack replacement at the dealership the techs aren't aware of any of these changes. They run new software according to the battery we put into the vehicle in HDS. So what I am assuming from what you tell me we are just changing the MCM's programming to look for or not look for the PTC circuit. You said theres a bulletin about clipping the PTC circiut ... do you have that bulletin number by chance?

In other words a battery pack that will work in an 03 will work in an 05. Just need to run the software applicable to that battery. There are like 5 selections in HDS (honda diag software) that cover the original to each time honda changed the batteries. Theres a chart that you take the triangle sticker code and refer to a part number - I can't remember the models there are but CA1 was being used only five years ago and CA4 is within the past 3 years as the most current battery. When I have a minute at work I can pull it up on HDS and tell you all of the battery codes.

So the real question is with this original battery core i purchased from a guy in Colorado (we never see the originals anymore here in phoenix) that probably has PTC's on the sticks; I will have to either add PTC's to the sticks that come out of the CA4 and CA1 or buy sticks off ebay with PTC"s already on them? I assume all of the cells need to either have them or not have them seeing that this seems to be the only physical change the software accomodates..... you say the "patch" you mean the software? this makes sense - it shows how all these shops are doing these battery swaps without having access to HDS (only honda dealers have access to the updates)

S K's picture

It's small world... I'm guessing your name really isn't Ralph (Mark?), and you recently had a conversation about hybrid batteries with some anonymous guy on Craigslist? If your name really is Ralph, disregard... :)

It's easier than you propose. PTC strips or not on the sticks doesn't matter. You need to present a spoofed 30 Ohms (simple 1/4 Watt resistor) to the old MCM or an open circuit to the new MCM.

In short, you will be able to make the guts of that core battery work with any other 03-05 pack provided you respect the above.

I can't find the one that patches the HCH1 and instructs cutting of the wire, but the wire is discussed in service bulletin 12-048.

ralphsworld1's picture

it is most definitely is a small word. Ralph is my bulldogs name.

I think the HDS updates take care of the resistance change for us - no physical changes like this need to be performed at the dealership when we switched over to the newer style batteries ....just the software updates. sound right? That is how you do the swaps without the software - which didn't make sense to me before.

thanks for the bulletin number. I'll look around for the other bulletin.

S K's picture

Now you have my initials... :)

The HDS update REQUIRES cutting of the red wire if it's an old pack with PTC strips via the SB I can't find (I think I have it at home).

The old version NEEDS about 30 Ohms on the circuit (indicating good PTC), or it codes.
The new version needs OPEN circuit, or it codes.

ralphsworld1's picture

ok so just a slight change to the junction boards. as long as the junction board in the car stays in the car then no physical changes should have to be made right?

S K's picture

heh... we keep cross-typing...

I can promise you that the core battery you purchased will be usable by you in any 03-05 civic in which you choose to install it, or if you choose to break it down and use parts of it to rebuild other packs. You will have to either:

Have the PTC circuit open to satisfy the updated MCM
Spoof with a 30 Ohm resistor to satisfy the old MCM
Update the MCM and make sure the PTC circuit is open

PTC sticks and non-PTC sticks can be intermixed, and having a SINGLE non-PTC stick in the circuit means it's open, so you have to do... nothing to satisfy an updated MCM. You just loop in a 30 Ohm resistor if it's the old... or do the update.

The "junction board" traditionally refers to the end piece that houses the master switch, fuses, relays, etc. The change is not really in the junction board. The cut wire portion is under the junction board attached to what I'll call the "bus plate" that ties all the sticks together in series at that end. Of course, you can trace the wire externally and deal with it outside the pack - either cut it or put a resistor on it as needed - technically, you can do it at the connector.

ralphsworld1's picture

sounds good. a little confused but when i actually get into the build I will see what I have. This old battery I bought might need to be modified it being an original - because like I said all of these packs around town are all only a few years old. This one is 10 years old living in Colorado. People have done their 3rd or 4th battery by now. Great to learn and again thanks for the info.

ralphsworld1's picture

bulletin 10-083 talks about the software and compatibility but doesn't say why the newer battery is or is not compatible.

seekash215's picture

Hello everyone, I am new to this site/thread.

I'm thinking of purchasing a 2004 honda civic hybrid with 150k miles, 5 speed manual transmission. current owner says it may need a clutch/throwout bearing, he says it runs and drives, so it could be neither. it's listed for $1200. I spent a few years working at a car shop and learned a great deal, the clutch is a bit out of my ability, but my worries lie in the battery pack because of the age/miles on this car.

finally, my question: Would any of you consider buying it? Why or why not?! Thank you all very much for your time.

Kash

S K's picture

Only if you're okay with spending another $3-4K on it. It doesn't matter if the battery is bad now or not. It will be soon.

seekash215's picture

if the $3-4k is for the battery, i'll hopefully be able to refurbish it myself when it starts having problems. I have a daily driver, 98 Camry with 250k, but my commute to work is about 25 miles one way so I'm beginning to worry about having only one car with such a long commute. A hybrid definitely sounds enticing to me. Would you strongly recommend not buying it? due to mechanical issues with this particular car, difficulty of battery refurbishment, other problems, etc... I'm hearing mixed reviews as I'm checking around, some say they love their civic hybrid, other places say they have one of the worst battery failure rates on the market which makes this a bad car to buy. Not sure what to think

seekash215's picture

Also, in general, are highway miles or city miles better for the battery??

S K's picture

The process described on this page is not reliable long term and requires investment in a salvage yard pack or other source of sticks - which can be a total miss these days and are much harder to find. Reconditioning without replacing failed sticks is typically repeated every 3-6 months. If you want a "permanent" solution, pack replacement is the only option. Grid charging might get you by for a couple years.

The 03-05 had "okay" battery failure rates - way higher than the Prius, but not criminal. The 06-08 were about 1 in 6. The 09-11 were about 1 in 3. You would be better served by a small used 4 banger without a hybrid system attached. Used hybrids are almost always a worse choice than a used gas car if you're worried about money.

The less the battery gets cycled, the better. The less acceleration and deceleration events, the better. Thus, sustained speeds over flat terrain is optimal for long battery life. Stop and go driving, and hilly terrain are harder on the battery.

Michael Welch's picture
Friends, let's please keep this discussion to battery packs, specially reconditioning. To let it get too far off topic will make it more difficult for other readers to find the excellent pertinent info that is in the comments section. Thanks.
jaimenavarro2017's picture
S K's picture

Thanks. Okay. I believe you. I applaud your mechanic's creativity, yet I fear it. :)

jaimenavarro2017's picture

Its been getting me from A to B but its a pain in the butt, belt constantly gets loose and I have to make it home or nearest safe place with just 12v battery. What do you mean by fearing this? Do you think it may cause problems to the engine?

S K's picture

I fear the reliability... :) I don't see that it could cause any harm.

jaimenavarro2017's picture

Oo right i get your point. The vehicle has about 90k miles. In your opinion how much would be a good sales price as is?

S K's picture

$500-1000

jaimenavarro2017's picture

Wow! Im better off selling it for scraps. O well, its a learning experience.. I will definately think twice before getting myself into this hybrid vehicle mess.

S K's picture

$500-1000 is about scrap value. At this point, it's a problem, not a car. You're selling a problem. Your market for your product is TINY - either tinkerers, or people who don't mind spending a lot of money for very little car. Used hybrids out of warranty are either great or a land mine. There's very little in between. With the alternator removed, a fully functioning reliable car with a clean title, now you're talking blue book, especially if there's a warranty tied to the battery.

The fact that the car still runs and can get you from A to B (mostly) is misleading. You have had a major system failure. The HV battery is part of the propulsion/emission system. It has failed. It's as significant as a blown transmission. How much would you pay for a parked car with a blown transmission that you know is going to set you back at least another $2-3K? Not much.

jaimenavarro2017's picture

You are correct. I think i have researched and heard enough from professionals to make a decision. Appreciate all the help SK.

karlt's picture

I speak Spanish, sorry my English is not very good. I use the google tool to translate.

karlt's picture

One question, for what it is, the lining that each battery has. What happens that I send to buy Ebay, the batteries but these are badly armed since the sensor was in different position to the hex nut or block, which has to be screwed.

What I did was remove the lining and as in my country do not sell that liner I put tape to isolate. They could tell me if it is only a lining for protection or the aid to intense heat that they have to suffer.

S K's picture

Karl. What is your language? For 03-05 Honda Civic Hybrid. There are 3 white plastic sleeves over sticks at top of pack when installed in car. these are to keep those 3 sticks from being much cooler than the others. ALL sticks MUST BE COVERED with PVC shrink wrap (usually yellow or orange). DO NOT INSTALL STICKS WITHOUT WRAP. FIRE DANGER!

Michael Lamb's picture

Oh ya. One more thing I want to warn everyone about is the AC compressor on at least my '03. It likes to have pully bearing failures. I have replaced the AC compresor 6 times over the last two years for the same reason: the bearing honda put in the Ac pully is garbage and the grease dries out, heats the little bearing pins and locks up the bearing on the compressors aluminum housing snout. This either breaks off the aluminum snout or serpentine belt.

The fix is to replace the entire compressor. However, DO NOT buy any of the rebuilt compresors you find online. I went trough 5 of them and all failed within a year. I currently have a used compressor I bought from a junkyard, off of a car that had 95k miles on it. Crossing fingers a lot now.

There is also a shorter belt you could use to bypass the compressor if you dont need Ac anytime soon. Dont recall the belt number, but I will post the belt number here later. I recall Autozone stores selling a cheap one for about $10. Keep it in the trunk for an emergency.

Michael Lamb's picture

Hello again everyone.
Firstly let me say thanks to SK for taking the time to give really good advice here! Awesome.

Hi jaimenararro, I live near DC. What part of DC are you in? I sometimes drive that way for other business and so could possibly have a look at what you have going on with your HCH.

I just chatted with Haley at Bumblebee and she said they sometimes have used-refurbished packs available for less money than the usual total rebuilt ones for 2300 bucks.

Also it may be worth relating that I have seen a number of used IMA packs at the Pick-a-Part junkyards in Fredricksburg and Richmond for 140 to 300. If you have the time and patience you could buy a couple of the type your car needs and work the sticks over...Thinking about his idea further I think the Bumblebee option sounds better, as well as a lot less work for you.

I would advise against micky-mousing your car further with non-spec batteries. Could be dangerous.

It is also worth pointing out that at least my 2003 will drive ok-ish without the IMA pack working right. Very sluggish and it does use the 12volt battery for starting the IC engine a lot. But it will get you around town as long as you are very careful not to get into a bad driving/traffic situation.

Many years ago, I also modified my 12volt battery tray so it will accept a normal size car battery. Just measure how much space you can gain by cutting away all the little plastic dividers and stuff Honda put there and loosen/ cut the battery cable straps and hooks so the pos and neg ends have some slack and will reach the new terminals on the normal battery. Works great and allows you to start the car more often when the IMA is messing up too much.

jaimenavarro2017's picture

Hey Michael, i live in springfield virginia but constantly travel to my mothers in indian head maryland. Do you have an email? Also SK i have just taken pictures of engine but im not able to post on this blog for some reason ... now michael how would i be able to contact bumblebee to inquire about the cheaper refurbrished battery pack? Riding down south to several locations doesnt seem like a job im ready to take on I work even on my days off as im a debt collector and if i miss work i lose money. Finally the battery does help the car run sliuggish but battery life is about 1 hour and the first thing sign i get is that the steering wheel becomes really hard i thing its electric power steering. Any ideas how to make my battery last longer?

S K's picture

Post them on Google Drive, DropBox, Flickr, whatever and link them.

Rebuilds are on their "Products" page:

https://bumblebeebatteries.com/hybr...

S K's picture

Just to reiterate, 80% failure rate across 12+ HCH2 packs. Out of the 132 dual-stick subpacks... that's less than 3 packs worth of subpacks, and only one TRULY good one. The other two packs need grid charging every 3-6 months. While BB does reconditioned packs, which I'm confident are among the best, they are still working with very poor raw materials. $2300 for 3+ years or about half that for 1yr. The choice is simple for me, plus new cells should definitely last longer than ones that are 10+ years old.

Dont' know about HCH1 compressors but the hybrid pulley/electric one on the HCH2 can go out. Ours failed and the dealer wanted $2K. I replaced it myself with a salvage yard unit for $120. I had to re-shim the clutch to get it in spec, but the total out of pocket including the magical compressor oil you have to buy and an A/C vacuum pump was under $400.

jaimenavarro2017's picture

Oh wow sounds great and not to mention the warranty sounds even better. Only problem, i was kind of looking to spend less then $1500. Would there be another alternative? Im in the DC area and as of right now my honda is running with the regular 12v battery and alternator. Problem is that idea that my regular mechanic happened to come up with decreases acceleration plus the AC is disabled. Also i have to constantly get belt tightened because lack of space made the installation of alternator very difficult. Any ideas? Ive even considered buying a couple deep cycle batteries to get the vehicle workig until my tax returns are in.

S K's picture

I'm surprised it's even possible to install an alternator on an '06 Civic. I can't imagine that was cheap. Actually, I would love to see pictures of it. I'm almost certain it's not possible as the 1.3L engine was purpose built for the HCH1/2 and was never in a non-hybrid vehicle. If I still had either of mine, I'd go look.

Unfortunately, what you are looking to spend isn't relevant. The ONLY solution to the HCH2 IMA battery failure is replacement if you're looking to not deal with it again for years. I have personally touched more than 12 packs with a 80% failure rate in reconditioning. They are junk. I know enough about what Bumblebee does when building new packs vs. what others builders DON'T do, to never spend my money with anybody but BB. There are others, and they are somewhat cheaper, but IMHO, you're just throwing the dice.

Sorry to sound so negative, but the batteries from 06-08 were horrible. The only worse ones were the 09-11. Failure rates were almost criminal.

jaimenavarro2017's picture

Ill post pics asap stay tuned. Does BB sell battery cell packs? As far as im aware and correct me if im wrong, I would need 22 individual cells or 11 pairs (06 honda civic)

S K's picture

BB sells full packs. You order, they ship, you install and you return ship your pack.

jaimenavarro2017's picture

Im completely, not tech savy so alot of these instructions sound like a foreign language to me. Does anyone know where i can get the battery packs already set and good to just install on my 2006 hybrid honda civic, with dead ima battery? Or would it be cheaper to just buy the whole thing?

S K's picture

I always recommend bumblebeebatteries.com. $2,295 with a 3 year warranty. If you're in the Phoenix area, I could help you.

Michael Lamb's picture

Hi karlt

It sure sounds to me like your IMA pack is near its end. Your choice as to how, or if, to fix it. Read over what others here have done and pick your path.

Since your fluid is recently changed I am guessing here that your trans may be up for a rebuilding. Not my field of knowledge though. How many miles on this car? If over 150k and the fluid was never changed before it may be time. Try to find a trans guy who is honest (long shot there) and who understands Honda CVT's. Some years ago I recall finding rebuilt CVT's online for about 1500 bucks with exchange (core) charge for old trans. Probably add on shipping too. Junkyard trans go for about 300- 500. Be sure you are dealing with a good yard though, lots of scammers in that line of business. Check the miles on a used one with your own eyes.

Your trans is smart enough to store codes on itself. Find a trans guy with the right kind of scanner.

karlt's picture

I tell him, every day. Do not go up 2 bars the battery. Uploads all but after 10 seconds the download and only stays with 1. then this last disappears and appears the battery of 12v.

I then turn off the vehicle, and start charging again, but still showing only 1 bar and CHRG bars, not full charge. The ASST.

In March last year perform the change of transmission fluid. But I was like 3 months without a vehicle because I was doing the recalibration. But I've been driving less than 10K miles.

A friend of mine has a scanner that allows to enter the functions of the hybrid, and in the functions of the IMA, I set it to leave high values and from there the load became very slow.

Do I have to change the transmission fluid?

Thank you for all your time.

Michael Lamb's picture

Hi karlt,
I know what is going on, since SK does not seem to know I thought I'd spend a little time on this blog today. BTW, SK you are doing a fine job here. Please continue. You are a real asset to everyone! I appreciate it.

karlt, What you are seeing is called a "major recalibration." The car computer does this when the IMA pack is getting really wonky. It is not very dangerous unless you need a lot of power in an emergency situation. At such times you are going to probably only have the 1.4 liter gas engine for power, which doesn't do very much for acceleration. Also your MPG will probably be suffering as well.

Also, it sounds like you have a CVT type of transmission. The "blinking D" means the trans is slipping too much and the computer is unhappy. Be sure you change the trans fluid in at least every 10k miles otherwise it is likely to slip a lot and eat itself to ruins. I see lots of these cars in junkyards with destroyed CVT trannys. It is not very hard to do yourself if you are mechanical in nature. Cost you about 70 bucks in fluid. A shop will charge you about 400.

BTW, I always thought it interesting that the 5 speed manual trans doesnt have anything like this maintenance problem. Mine is at 225k miles now and doing find. I get lots of recals now but I ignore them since I understand what the computer is up to. It is annoying, true, but replacing the IMA pack again is much more annoying for such an old car. I see IMA packs of the proper vintage in junkyards a lot these days. They cost between 150 and 300 bucks. But judging from what SK has related here it is probably not worth the effort for me to change all this again. Cells get worse with age, not better. So many of the packs in the 'yards are not going to be much better than what you currently own.

The line battery charger does helps. But I need to do it most every night to feel a real difference in performance.

Enjoy your car for as long as you can. I will sorely miss mine when it finally dies someday. Still at 50+ MPG!! Go team.
Mike

S K's picture

Welcome back Mike. HCH1 and HCH2 have 1.3L engines. Identifying it as you have, I can see how what he's describing could be a recalibration. I just couldn't make sense of it.

By "line charger," are you using what is more commonly referred to as a "grid charger"? Does your charger properly drive the IMA cooling fan while charging? If it does, you might be surprised what a pack-level reconditioning cycle can do provided you haven't actually had a cell failure. It essentially does what your article describes, but it takes less than a week.

karlt's picture

Hi, thanks for your answers.
I want to comment, I did the calibration just like you did. But I worked differently. I want to describe what happened.

The part where the green load bars are located at the time of going fast previously should be filled completely when braking. But in my case it only shows 4 bars. The charging battery goes up. But at the moment of accelerating it is downloaded very fast. In less than 1 minute it has been downloaded. And only leaves a bar or none.

Lately it is too much of a revolution, and then D begins to blink. I turn it off and it works normal.

Sometimes it does not show the battery charge bar.

It shows me the following errors.

Error code: 12 = MPI

Error code: 58 = load and discharge balance failure

FF, 27.4e 00

Thank you for your answers. please help me. I do not understand how the system works and I worry about the malfunction. I measured the battery with a tester and it tells me that it has 155V

S K's picture

I'm sorry. I'd like to help, but I can't make any sense of your post. Good luck.

chrislk1986's picture

Good to see this thread is still somewhat active. I'll spare the back story, just have a quick question I hope might be easily answered.

I have a HCHI with broken CVT belt, going to scrap car but take IMA batt out. Have HCHII that started throwing constant IMA light about a month ago, getting bad enough that 12V doesn't always charge. I know the HCHI-II have 144-158V respectively, but can the NiMH sticks be swapped? The IMA on the HCHI was on for the 3.5yrs we drove it but 12V never died. 12V on the HCHII has died 6+ times since August.

S K's picture

03-05 HCH1 sticks are only compatible with 03-05 HCH1 (and G1 insight, sorta)
06-08 HCH2 subpacks (welded dual sticks) are only compatible with 06-08 HCH2 subpacks
09-11 HCH2 subpacks (welded dual sticks) are only compatible with 09-11 HCH2 subpacks

chrislk1986's picture

Thanks, save me a lot of disappointment.

Looks like I might go for a Bumblebee pack and splurge for a 5yr warranty.

Do you use a Bumblebee battery or know of anyone who does? I'd like to get minimum 3yrs out of this 2007 HCH, and possibly sell it and get out of the Honda Hybrid game unless the Li HCH is a major reliability upgrade.

Thanks again.

S K's picture

I only install Bumblebee batteries in customer cars - 2X '07 HCH2. Performance was exceptional. I monitored Pack SOC and tap voltages as well as battery current on both test drives - the SoC barely budged, and they delivered 100A assist and 50A regen like I've never seen before.

I know the owner, and I have detailed knowledge of the process they go through to test and match the new incoming sticks from China. He builds packs based on matching down to the CELL level.

ADiaz's picture

Thank you for your post. i have been working with my 2007 civic battery for 2 months trying to figure out the conditioning process and what settings to use , i have a bought 6 pair sticks on ebay figuring that some would be bad. i first checked the the voltage on the new ones and it ranged from 7.9 to 7.4 volts per 6 cell. the ones from car were around 5volts thats when my car wouldnt start. I also changed the 12volt battery. . So now trying to recondition them using imax b6. my setting are now at charge 3.5 amp to 6400mah. 150 minute time auto. discharging at 0.7amp to 4.4volt limit . Last time using this setting 6 of 6 batterys charged to 6400mah with 8.5 volt reading. placed them back in car and ima light came on again. when charging some timed out and i restart and continue the charge for the remainder of the 6400mah.. I noticed when starting charge process the volt would jump to 8 volts within 100mah. on some . I would appreciate some feed back on settings and how to know whats good or bad.. Also how to check the mah in the battery.. cause i think the imax b6 will continue to discharge or over charge. before 6400mah is reached.

S K's picture

Please read all my posts in these comments. You are trying to diagnose a cancer patient from across a room using nothing more than the chart showing smiley/frowny faces rating pain from 1-10. You do not have the tools to do the job.

ADiaz's picture

Thank you.. there is so much information.. I gotta take lots of notes . you prefer the reaktor then the imax b6. and i should get the 360 power supply and cba battery analyser... . .

S K's picture

You're not going to fix your problem with a $15 Chinese knock-off Imax B6. You're still not likely to fix your problem with hundreds of dollars worth of high quality chargers.

Since my more active period of posting in these comments, I have processed 12 HCH2 (06-08) packs. Of those 12, only 3 were operable. One was a very strong pack that I expect little issue with for many months or even a couple years. One was workable with grid charging every 3-6 months. The last was marginal and needed grid charging about monthly.

Yep. That's over an 80% failure rate. The 06-08 battery packs were bad - way worse than the 03-05. The 09-11 battery packs were hellish with 3-4 year failure rates of 30% - yeah... 1 out of 3 packs failed within 3-4 years SINCE NEW. They were so bad, Honda extended the warranty on 09-11 Civic Hybrids to the CARB state warranty of 10yr/150K miles.

The only real and lasting solution is a new pack - either new from Honda (the same company that supplied all the failing packs) or an aftermarket. I have detailed knowledge of what Bumblebee Batteries does when building their packs with new sticks, and I vigorously recommend them.

Alternatively, get yourself 3-4 spare packs from salvage yards and you might be able to build a good one.

Good luck,

Steve

ChrisM's picture

My reconditioned battery is still going strong, and most likely because of it's unique circumstances. It was barely used, from barely being driven for 12 years. I have a 2004 HCH1 with 40,000 miles on it... Most insane, so knowing that the imbalance most likely came from lack of use doing this work made sense to try.

I synthesized S K's methods from various sources. Keep your NEW 12V battery out of the car while reconditioning the IMA battery, no sense in having it possibly parasitically drain from some random component in the car for a month while you do all this workto have the cars computer throw error codes when it doesn't like the 12V charge.

I did this in my fridge - freezer cold garage over night for a month in October... 3 days per stick with four iMax's at the same time after confirming three sticks were now good to go.
If you are in a warmer area of the world, use a box fan for extra cooling.

I did not use autocycle presets, I manually stared each step and made sure it finished before proceeding to the next one.

Give the battery sticks time to cool between charges and discharges.

1. Get a carbon pile battery tester from Harbor Freight or some other source. Good sticks will pass a load test of 90A for 10 seconds and stay above 5.4V.
I had one good stick out of 20 when I started.

2. Note with iMax B6 you can test internal resistance, I had readings anywhere from 30 - 120+ mOhm. I also checked between each of the following steps and logged the data in a spreadsheet. Since all my sticks came back to life, I don't know what readings would indicate a bad situation.

3. Hook up an iMax B6 or equivalent to one stick at a time. (legit models are $50 - $60 on Amazon), Set NiMH sensitivity to max (15mV was what I had, 20mV is good too), and discharge at 1A to 6.0V per stick. This can take a minute to an hour depending on the condition of the stick.

4. Set mAh limit to 9600mAh, no time limit, and Charge at 0.6A until done. Takes 12hrs - 16hrs.

5. Reset mAh limit to 6500mAh, no time limit, and Discharge at 1A to 0.2V. Also takes a long time.

6. Discharge again at 1A to 0.1V. Again takes a long time.

7. Charge at 5A (or 6.5A), no time limit until done, takes about an hour and a half.

8. Turn off mAh limit, no time limit, and Discharge again at 0.3A to 4.8V (4.7, 4.6) per stick.

9. Turn mAh limit on to 6500mAh, no time limit, and Charge at 5A (or 6.5A) until done.(Sometimes up to 9.5V and will settle lower, usually around 8.4 - 8.6V) Again, another hour and a half.

10. Let the sticks rest at least 1hr until cool, they should only be luke warm after charging at 5A to 6500mAh. Really hot will indicate a bad stick from what I gathered.

11. Load test with carbon pile tester at 20A, good sticks will stay between 6.4 - 8V. When you crank down the load V should go back up to around 8.2V. Wait a few seconds before second load test.

12. Load test at 90A, V should again stay above 5.4V, the lowest mine got were around 6.2V.

13. Put the battery back together and top the whole thing off with a grid charge overnight. I used the 0.5A @ 200V LED power supply suggest by S K. I left it charging for about 8hrs, final pack voltage around 167.5V, settled to like 162V.

14. Put NEW 12V in car, put IMA battery back in car. Make sure to seal the compartment back up so it's air tight, as that's what will help create the space for the cooling fan to work properly.

15. Car should start with no errors and no IMA light, unless you have other codes and issues.

ADiaz's picture

Thank you so much for the step by step. I need that alot. I will go to freight harbor and pick that carbon pile tester up... but since my car is a 2007 with HCH2 158.4 Volt 5.5Ah will the parameters be the same. like charging to 9600mah. or discharging to 0.2V seems really really low.. thank you

S K's picture

Chris,

While your process can be applied to HCH2, the results will be atrocious. HCH2 cells are of notably worse quality than HCH1. They are also lower capacity at 5500mAh.

The only potentially cheap/effective solution is the grid charge/discharge option I link further down. In the vast majority of cases is at least as effective as what you did with individual sticks and can be done in far less time. The only thing it can't do is quantitatively identify bad subpacks; however, tap voltage monitoring during discharges can show outlier behavior.

To summarize - you grid charge the pack with the LED power supply providing adequate cooling (removed from car, forced air) for 20-24 hours. Exit air should never be more than 100°F. You're done at that point.

Bulb discharge with 2X 200W bulbs in series to 158V. Swap bulbs out with 25-40W appliance bulbs and continue discharge. Voltage will rise and then fall back through 158V. Discharge for about 5-7 hours AFTER it has passed through 158V.

Repeat the charge/discharge 3 times. You should note that the initial 200W discharge to take longer to get to 158V and the final voltage with the 25-40W bulbs will be progressively lower.

Grid charge for 6 hours, install and start car. Allow battery to be charged by car until it reads full. If charging stops before battery shows full, disconnect 12V for 30 seconds, reconnect and repeat in-car charging.

Remove pack from car again, supply cooling and grid charge for 8 hours. Install pack and go.

ADiaz's picture

Thank you SK for everything so quick to respond. Can you get me a link or type of grid charger u recommend. thank you

S K's picture

In my most recent message, I indicate I posted it further down, which tells me you haven't read this page or even my message, or you have read it, and you're too lazy to follow directions.

Please read this entire page. It won't take you that long. The 30 minutes or so it will take you to read this whole page may save your hours, days, weeks.

ChrisM's picture

Thanks Steve,

Right, I don't know if my methodology makes sense for the HCH2 pack... Grid charging/discharging is obviously faster. And if that doesn't fix the problem then you will need to get a new IMA battery, and as I understand it possibly a new battery control module computer... Very expensive.

Yes I read that the HCH2 battery pack is worse than the HCH1 as well. I am not sure how Honda made the same mistake twice and made the second gen worse than the first when they had to know the technology wasn't that great to begin with.

Anyhow, I wanted to make sure all my sticks were good before grid charging because I had started the stick work before vetting the grid charger thoroughly enough to realize I should have done grid charging in the first place.

ChrisM's picture

Thanks to this article and especially S K in the comments and on other forums out there, GreenHybrid.com (terribly slow with ads), InsightCentral.com, and 99mpg.com

I used the incredibly slow but effective iMax B6 charger setup and got an '04 IMA hybrid battery that was barely used to come back to life. It is working great now with an '03 computer and DC-DC converter.

After a couple weeks of troubleshooting I was left with error codes, 1570 and 1600. 1570 clearly means you have an unbalanced hybrid IMA battery.

Following S K's recommendations I load tested the sticks with a generic carbon pile load tester before and after. I had 2 ok sticks out of 20 in my pack before I did anything. After reconditioning all of the sticks are operating at the same level of performance. Yes, even with four running at the same time using the iMax B6 took a solid month. 3 days per stick using a synthesized methodology derived from the sources listed at the beginning.

S K's LED power supply "grid" charger is super easy to make and use. I will most likely be putting it in a proper box with IEC fuse socket for safety in the future.

S K's picture

Please post a follow-up as to how long your repair lasts.

ChrisM's picture

Will do sir. Thank you for sharing what you know about these packs with us.

karlt's picture

I have a question, I'm from Guatemala, have a civic hybrid 05 but I began to check the light of IMA.
I'm doing a repair test equipment batteries with AC Imax SKYRC v2. I want to know what kind of settings have to put it to the test and evaluate the burden of my batteries. You can help me. to give me instructions to place settings.

I currently have him Descharge Charge 0.6 A and 1A 4.8V configuration and stop charging to 6500mAh. I want expert help you can help

my email is: carranza.karlt@gmail.com

Thank you

justevan's picture

SK or anyone
what is the best (and cheapest) way to set-up pack charge and discharge. I am a electronic tech. so I can build one. do u know of any proven ways to do so?

joncountry's picture

Does anyone know if this would work for a Toyota Prius ? Thanks.

YPATY's picture

Has anyone in the Washington, DC area tried this?

lmlisak's picture

OK...
Can someone give me the measurements of these cell sticks?

35mm x 385mm... along those lines

S K's picture

Aftermarket modules off Alibaba are:

34.0±0.5mm dia at their widest
382 ± 2mm length

I have used aftermarkets in packs, and they fit as well as the OEM, so I trust those numbers.

Curious. Why?

lmlisak's picture

I thought about buying a set of 20 from one of the Shenzhen companies... they have a 20 stick min order...
I have Chinese speaking managers where I work, so I can ask for their assist if their is a language problem.
Parameters from the vendor
Voltage: 7.2V.
Capactiy :10000mah( Original 6500mah)
Size: 35mm*384-394mm
Continue Discharge Rate: 100A
Support 50A charge rate
6 Cell per stack with both ends stainless square and hexagonal standard electric car battery nuts

So It sounds like you've done this route also...

S K's picture

No, I have not done this, BUT I have worked with one of the main battery builders for Insights/HCH1. He uses 8Ah sticks from China, and I have recently measured some for re-shrink wrapping used ones from 2012.

I would vigorously discourage you from the 10Ah version. It's an inflated/gimmicky rating. The technology doesn't exist to make the cells with that capacity in this application. The 8Ah rating is also a little gimmicky as it's not truly a capacity increase for the car, but it's a decrease in internal resistance that enables more capacity at currents well below the car's requirement. I have personally tested the 8Ah sticks at 20A discharges, and they test around 6000mAh, which is a little better than Honda.

Additionally, to give you a reference, MOST of the 20 sticks in the Insight pack from the battery builder are showing issues that will inhibit long-term trouble-free function, but will likely function well with periodic grid charging and discharging. These sticks were subjected to worst-case Arizona heat and extended periods of sitting

The effort associated with rebuilding a pack is very high. It will require minor modification if your pack still uses the PTC strips as new sticks typically don't include them and newer models don't use them.

If your IMA system has recently failed, and you still have partial function, grid charging and discharging could enable another 1-2 years of good function.

If you're still going the China route, avoid anything that looks anything like "KingKong" batteries. Their quality is very spotty. Additionally, don't expect any warranty to be honored.

Thanks,

Steve

lmlisak's picture

Hi Steve:
My check engine and IMA just started showing up a few days ago. I was a Bench tech for a decade, and I still dabble in my skills. so I believe I will not have a problem with the pack...in my 2007 I may be surprised when I open it up..if you say KingKong is one to avoid, I will need to be carefull buying from across the pond.
I cannot afford the retail and my thought was to just find the cell packs....
this Ali-thing doesn't support that many vendors in this type of battery... ( sigh )

S K's picture

First, get the code read. It's usually the battery, but it can be other things.

Second, check out your 12V battery (make sure you have your radio/navi codes before disconnecting). A weak 12V can trigger a marginal IMA issue. Have your 12V battery LOAD tested. If it tests at less than 80% capacity, replace it. The act of disconnecting the 12V will reset the BCM and IMA light. This will trigger a forced regen. Allow the car to idle and charge until the SoC gauge reads full. If it terminates charge before full SoC, do it again. Repeat the 12V disconnect and IMA charge to full SoC a total of 3 times (the last one usually takes under a minute). This process can often get an IMA light to go out for months. It doesn't fix it, it just improves the issue a bit and puts the light off for a while.

There are no viable Chinese replacements for 2006-2011 due to the fact they the Honda sticks are welded in pairs. Hybrid ReVolt and Bumblebee Batteries have fabricated replacement pairs from Chinese single sticks in their replacement packs, they are notably cheaper than Honda, and they come with a 3 year warranty on which you can count.

Again, I encourage you to to pursue grid charging. The HCH2 responds pretty well to them. I have 2X '06. You can build your own grid charger/discharger for about $90. Since the HCH2 fan is PWN controlled, you either need to devise a way to run it or charge/discharge with the pack out of the car. It can be done in a weekend, and you'll likely get another 1-2 years of life during which you can save for a new pack.

Steve

S K's picture

All, I vigorously encourage you to abandon stick work. It's generally a waste of time.

Chas, Per my comments below, the Turnigy Reaktor 300W. Cells should never be too hot to comfortably touch. 100-120°F is the realistic maximum. Get them hot enough, and you damage them.

Justevan, congrats on your results. Your success or failure will be determined in how long it takes before you start to recalibrate again. If it's more than 2-3 months, great. Don't expect it though. Insight G1 and HCH1 sticks almost never rejuvinate for a significant period of time due to increased IR and self-discharge of 1-2 cells in a stick.

All, I encourage you to pursue grid charging/discharging before you ever consider doing stick work. Here's a DIY BOM for a charger and a discharger:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...

This must be done outside the car; remove the pack and take it in the house.

The reward vs. effort of the above process is 100 times higher. You'll have about 1.5 hours total time invested, and you'll know 100% if your pack will refurb at the end, and it gives as good or better results than stick work in a single weekend with nothing more than occasional monitoring.

So, Chas, grid charge/discharge/charge the spare pack and balance them all in one shot in one weekend, eliminate 99% of the voltage depression and recover 20-25% capacity. Here's my before/after sheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...

Lastly, here's all you need to know about grid charging/discharging:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=honda+grid+cha...

The only time you should do stick work is AFTER a pack has started to misbehave following a grid charge/discharge/charge. You can then discharge your as-removed sticks a single time and know exactly which ones are shite.

Steve

justevan's picture

Chas Seligman,
make sure after charging and discharging as S K stated below.
then do another charge, make sure it reaches at least 9.4 to 9.5V.
if not try deep charging to 4.2, just remember when discharging past 6V that u do it at 0.3A. also make sure the hybrid battery fan turns on when the battery charges. as when u slow down and stop, the fan should still run for a little. my fan was located in the trunk behind the black felt paneling

Chas Seligman's picture

Justevan
Which Turnigy did you use? The Imax just doesn't seem to get it. When I nwent a couple of the sticks never got hot enough to 'not touch' just pretty warm. Did you replace yours from the spare battery pack. I've purchased a spare and went trough it again with the Imax and didn't really find any bad ones. I purchased another total balancer online and it seem to work the first couple of times but lately the IMA came back on and the 'charger system' doesn't act right.
I have two of these cars that I love (getting in excess of 40 mph on both) so I have a vested interest in figuring out how to fix this problem.
Since I have a spare battery pack I want to start on that one and get it all re-balanced or identify the bad sticks.
Thanks for all your imput!

justevan's picture

i just completed this task. it was successful! i have a Honda Civic Hybrid '04. i bought a used battery pack conditioned each rod (20). 4 were suspect. i removed my own and recond. 4. installed and passed emmisions. i used the IMAX B6 charger and the Turnigy (it is faster).
follow discharge and recharge instructions below. some sticks will be
very hot , to hot to touch. these are bad, maybe more conditioning may be required. USE FANS!!. i used a 10A 12V powersupply for both my rechargers, this will get hot too. good sticks will charge upto 9.5 to 9.6V and start to get warm around 9.3V(aprox.), but not super hot.
i also used 12AWG copper wire with screw on each end so not to damage the treads of battery with a clip

S K's picture

How long did it last?

gpa2042's picture

Justevan, did you run your imax in auto recycle mode? I tried to run for 3 cycle automatically but every time when it charges 6500mAh it stops and do not start to discharge automatically and i have to start it again for discharging . I do believe the batteries are rated 6500 mAh for 05 civic hybrid but my charger just keeps charging and stops exactly at my capacity cut off set of 6500mAh. Am I missing something that is not allowing it to recycle automatically?

currentchallenged's picture

Does anyone have definitive information what to set the IMAX B6 units for to process the reconditioning? I had bought a junkyard unit and it failed after 6 months. Now I just want to try to recondition the sticks to see how many I can come up with that are good. I have seen lots of posts and pages, yet cannot find anything posted as to what actually is used.

justevan's picture

follow the comments. when u start the charging process. go to setting. then NiMh sensitivity and change it to 20 (defalt is 4).
only for the .6A charge step (will take 16 hrs), after that change setting back to default. then 1st discharge is at 1.3A. then its full
charge and discharge to 6V. below 6v u must discharge at .3A (5.4, 4.8, 4.2)/ charging and discharging inbetween .
i did this , took a month , but it does work.

justevan's picture

follow the comments. when u start the charging process. go to setting. then NiMh sensitivity and change it to 20 (defalt is 4).
only for the .6A charge step (will take 16 hrs), after that change setting back to default. then 1st discharge is at 1.3A. then its full
charge and discharge to 6V. below 6v u must discharge at .3A (5.4, 4.8, 4.2)/ charging and discharging inbetween .
i did this , took a month , but it does work.

S K's picture

Did you read any of the comments? The IMAX is completely worthless for refurbishment. It can only drain 5W of power from a stick, and it takes a week to do a pack. The car subjects these sticks to 100A. 0.8A isn't going to give you any diagnostic value whatsoever.

I recommended the Turnigy Reaktor 300W charger. It can charge 6X faster than the Imax B6 and it can discharge 4X faster natively, or it can discharge 75 times faster in regenerative mode.

What I really recommend now is that you investigate grid charging and deep pack discharging. You can do it in a weekend, and your pack will likely improve significantly. Results in the Insight community have been great.

Check out:

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum...

You are pursuing efforts that have been demonstrated to be very ineffective and represent a very large time investment with very low payoff.

EDIT: To answer your question... If you insist on pursuing...

Disable all timers and capacity safeties.
1) 1A discharge to 6.0V (1.0 V/cell)
2) 0.6A charge for 16 hours (you'll have to monitor it and restart it if it stops). You can stop before 16 hours if all six cells are comfortably warm to the touch (about 100°F).
3) 1A discharge to 0.2V
4) 0.5A discharge to 0.1V
5) 5A charge to termination. Cells should be warm or very warm but not uncomfortably so, and they should all be about the same temp (< 120°F)

The above process deep discharges the stick to wipe out any voltage depression and will restore 20-25% capacity for a given discharge. Yes, you will reverse cells. No, there is no way to damage these very robust cells from reversal at these low currents.

What you can't fix is Internal resistance and excessive self-discharge. You likely have many sticks that exhibit this condition.

The BEST way to truly diagnose bad sticks is to:

1) grid charge pack for 24 hours
2) deep discharge to < 1V using 2X 100W lightbulbs in series (yes, the whole pack down to <1V)
3) grid charge 24 hours
4) Install and run until recalibrations become excessive or you get an IMA light.
5) disconnect 12V battery, reconnect 12V battery (clears the State of Charge from the BCM)
6) start and rev car to 3500 rpm to force charge battery until battery shows full.
7) remove and discharge sticks to 6V at 10-20A loads.

Good sticks will give you >3000mAh.
Okay sticks will give you >2000mAh.
Crap sticks will almost never reach 1000mAh

Good luck,

Steve

B Styles's picture

Steve,

Thanks for all the info!

I just purchased the Reaktor. What is a good power supply for this charger? The iMax chargers I currently have are the dual power AC plugs. I was using the wall plug as my power source for them but I won't be able to do that with the Reaktor.

Also, what would the best settings be to use for reconditioning the the sticks with the Reaktor charger?

Once again thanks for all your help and advice. Hopefully I will be able to recondition a decent battery pack for my HCH.

Brandon

S K's picture

EDIT: I just received my Reaktors... they are NICE. Finish and interface is MUCH better than any of the Chinese knock-offs I referenced.

EDIT #2: While the 20W discharge rate isn't fantastic, it's pretty good. I've gotten accustomed to 10A and 15A discharge rates with other pricier devices. The Reaktor also has an internal resistance measurement feature, and it comes with temp probes, which I highly recommend using.

This should drive one more than sufficiently. I have 3 of these running my farm of IMAX B6, the reaktors and a iCharger 206B knock-off:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...

360W. I've run them at 300W for extended periods with no issues.

Initial:

1 cycle at:
mAh limit, 9600 max
no time limit
Set NiMH sensitivity to 20mV, so it doesn't shut off prematurely
60 minute rest period
0.6A charge rate (will run until it reaches the 9600mAh cut off @ 16 hours)
1.3A discharge rate to 6V

For subsequent cycles:

Reset NiMH sensitivity to default
6.5A charge rate
Max discharge to 6V
Manually discharge at 0.3A to X

X shall be 5.4V, 4.8V and 4.2V for the 3 cycles. When going below 6V, do this MANUALLY at no more than 0.3A. You're driving cells down below voltage depression thresholds and causing reversals at LOW current for relatively short periods. This will not harm these robust cells. Deep discharge and reversals under low current have demonstrated substantial capacity gains.

4th time:
6.5A charge rate
Max discharge rate to 6V/stick
That will be your final capacity.

After these efforts are complete, I highly recommend you build your own grid charger for less than $75 or so.

Good luck!

S K's picture

My guess is you purchased the non-genuine SKYRC IMAX B6 for $25 each or a bit more for the AC models. I have several of these, and I have exactly the problem you describe. Some do it most of the time, some do it almost never. This problem is all too common with the Chinese knock-offs. These sellers get the same stuff from the same manufacturers. I fully believe there is a defect with these chargers.

You may get more success by pumping it up to 5.0A charge.

Lastly, the chances of you refurbing the sticks from a 2004 are very poor. At 10 years, you're looking at 10-20% deterioration from age alone. I am in the process of analyzing a pack from a 2003 (mileage unknown), and the bulk of the 6.5Ah rated sticks are coming in at 4.6-4.8A AFTER cycling.

I'd return all 4 of those chargers for a refund and place an order for a couple of these:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...

They have a 20W discharge capability compared to the 5W of the B6, so they can literally discharge as fast as 4 B6. If you rig 2 sticks in series, you could use the regenerative discharge to test two at a time at 20A discharge. I just purchased 2 of these, and can't wait to get them tomorrow.

Good luck,

Steve

B Styles's picture

Hello Micheal Lamb,

First I would like to tell you that your write up is excellent and I was able to remove and dismantle my hybrid battery with minimal difficulty.

However, now I'm having troubles and I figured this forum would be the best place to ask for help/advice.

I have a 2004 HCH. The IMA light has been on for a few months now and my gas mileage has went from 42 to 30 MPG, so it was time to get a new hybrid battery. After doing some research online I came across a few ways to recondition the battery myself. Using this site and your experiences as my guide, I started the steps to recondition the battery.

Since I knew I was probably going to need another hybrid battery, I bought another one off eBay for about $350, along with 6 iMax B6 chargers. I decided to take apart the spare battery and test the sticks inside first.

Now this is where I am my troubles. On the initial charge a lot of the sticks were not taking full charges that made sense. The iMax would read the charge was full in about 20 minutes and I would get reads of 29 - 410mAh.

These are my settings:

Timer - Off
mAh Limit- Set to 9600mAh
Charge - 0.6A

The weird thing was there were times when I could have 3 or 4 chargers going off at the same time with the same "full charge" reads with low mAhs (30-250mAhs). I thought maybe I had some bad iMax chargers but I bought them from 3 different sellers so I don't think that is the case. I also thought all the sticks in the spare battery were just bad but I don't think this is the case either.

I just want to know if you came across this problem when you were charging your sticks and if so what did you do to fix this?

Also, if anyone else in this forum has come across this issue please feel free to give you advice/fix. I just want to do this right the next time when I try to recondition the hybrid battery that was in my car.

Thanks!

S K's picture

I have done this on 4 HCH2 (2006, 2007) packs. The IMAX B6 is a poor choice as its discharge current is limited to 1.0A up to 5Watts. Testing stick pairs is not a good idea as the B6 will be limited to about 400ma discharge current and may take the better part of 15-16 hours. Single sticks are limited to 800mA, and considering that these cells are rated for 100A loads, 800mA isn't a good representation of performance in the car, but it's better than nothing.

A critical factor in stick cycling is ensuring the cells are balanced within the stick from the start. This is best accomplished with a 600mA 16 hour timed charge (controlled by setting mAh limit to 9600) for your first cycle (okay to charge pairs like this as it's faster). Discharge sticks to 0.9V/cell and then repeat twice more with 5A charge and 1A discharge cycles to 0.9V/cell. Repeat a 4th time to 1.0V/cell and consider this your final capacity from which to determine replacement or reuse.

Limiting your current isn't a good idea as charging efficiency isn't 100%. HCH2 sticks are rated at 5.5Ah or 6.0Ah depending on source. I use 6.0Ah, and when I charge with delta V cut-off criteria at 5A, the IMAX reads about 7700mAh pumped in.

This is a laborious process. I recommend the purchase of multiple non-genuine IMAX B6 from eBay (about $22 each). I have 15 of them. It's nice to be able to sort through a bunch of sticks in just a few days.

I also use a CBA III battery analyzer (CBA IV is currently in production) to discharge test the sticks at 14.5A to get a more accurate reading of their capacity at higher loads. Discharge takes only about 25 minutes, so I can do a whole pack in a day.

P.S. Regardless, nice write up of your experience.

Michael Lamb's picture

Hi Irfan ul Haq,
The answers to your good questions are as follows:
DIsable any timer limits on your iMax.
Charging the sticks first then begin cycling is a good idea.
The iMax has a 5 cycle limit, but you should get a good idea how each stick set is doing after about 3 cycles. If they are doing ok continue with 5 cycles.
The cycling Amps should be as high as the iMax will allow. I think this is 5 amps.
Doing all 12 cells at one time should not be a problem. It will just take longer than my 6 cells per stick did.
One more tip: set the charging limit at 6400 mAH. I think this is correct for you 2006 HCH. Mine was 6400 anyway. I suggest you do some additional research on that issue yourself. Set the charging limit accordingly.
Best wishes
Mike

iuhaq's picture

Dear Mr. Michael Lamb, Good Day!

After reading your article, I thought of giving it a try with my Honda Civic Hybrid 2006. I bought a battery pack from junkyard so as to keep the car running while reconditioning my battery pack.

I now have a HCH Battery pack, and have dismantled. It has 22 sticks welded together in pairs making 11 pairs. Looking at the welds, I will not be able to remove sticks from pairs therefore I thought to get the performance data of the stick pairs and remove the bad pair sticks and replace them with good one (as I have two battery packs available).

For reconditioning, i bought a new charger/discharger i.e. iMax B6 AC (Dual Power) 80W, which can charge NiMH up to 15 cells, as written on its box.

I tried charging one pair of sticks, but the charger stopped at 140 mins, and when i checked the settings, I came to know that there was a time limit defined for the charging as 140 mins, which I disabled.

The instructions which came with the charge are difficult for me to understand, therefore I am writing to you to take help to setup my charger for reconditioning the stick pairs.

My questions are as below:

1. DO I need to charge stick pairs before starting discharge/charge cycle? If yes, then what will be the settings of my charger? Current, time limit (if any) etc.
2. How many discharge/Charge cycles do i need to do to get performance of sticks so as to decipher between good and bad stick pairs.
3. What will be the settings of discharge/charge cycles i.e. Current for Discharging, current for charging, time limit to be removed?, and other settings on my charger to successfully get performance data.

Each stick has 6 cells, and a stick pair means 12 cells and as per charger specifications it can charge up to 15 NiMH cells. Therefore, I would like to do the process on stick pairs rather than individual sticks, does this make sense?

Kindly reply to me on above so i can start the reconditioning of my HCH 2006 IMA Battery Pack.

Kind Regards,

Irfan ul Haq

kilog's picture

All my congratulations for this comprehensive and wonderfull job.
Can I do the same for the RX400H lexus of my brother?
The HV Batt are down
and from here (Douala - Cameroon) in Africa there is no other solution than trying to refurbish the HV batt and start the car.

Michael Lamb's picture

Judging from what you wrote, I would have to guess that the HCH and Insight packs are similarly controlled and will likely act the same disconnected. However I would not advise doing so myself. Be careful, best of luck.

repurposedartifact's picture

It is only being driven on rural roads during daylight hours. I was concerned that there may be some sort of additional electrical problem with having the cells removed as opposed to just having the battery breaker flipped off. We have been driving our 1st gen Insight with the battery breaker off and it is totally fine performance wise for our normal use. It is important to my wife that both cars are drivable.

Michael Lamb's picture

Possibly, but like I said I never tried to do that. The closest thing I have experienced that might be like having the pack out, is me driving when my Honda HCH does a "recalibration" on its own. If I am tring to accelerate during one of those, the car is a real dog and has a hard time getting out of it's own way. During hot weather (and when the air conditioning is on) this sluggishness gets pretty hairy in traffic. If you really must operate the car in such a state, be very very careful. None of this is worth risking your life over you know.

Michael Lamb's picture

I have never tried to operate the car without the pack installed. Off hand though I would not advise doing that since it could make the car unsafe in traffic.

repurposedartifact's picture

Thanks for responding Michael. I don't know how you mean that the Insight would be unsafe with the battery sticks removed from the pack. Would this be any different than running the car with the battery cut off switch turned off when batteries are in place?

repurposedartifact's picture

Is it possible to put the battery pack back in the Insight without the battery sticks? I'd like to drive the car on just the IC engine while the batteries are conditioning over the two week period.

Michael Lamb's picture

Hi mortonarts,
The Imax comes with directions on making multiple cycles. Please be sure to read the instructions carefully. Also read the rest of the comments here for more useful tips.
mike

mortonarts's picture

Hey all. So I bought 20 sticks of stripped batteries(No heat shrink) and I bought 2 iMax B6 chargers online. For some reason the battery tender will not do more then one cycle through. I have to switch it from discharge to charge to charge to discharge. Does anyone have better directions on how to use these chargers? Also they came in the mail with no power chargers. I used a few laptop power converters I had laying around. Any help would be great as I cant afford 3 grand on a new battery.

S K's picture

Under no circumstances should you install sticks without heat shrink into packs. This has been known to cause fires in Honda Insight battery packs. The mounting rubber is conductive enough to heat up and burn.

Chas Seligman's picture

Mortonarts
Let's be honest about the instructions included with the iMax...they suck. I read them and reread them and couldn't make heads or tails out of them, so I just played with the buttons to get an understanding on how to work the darn thing. The best thing about the iMax is it's smart and won't let you do anything too stupid or ruin the batteries.
If I remember correctly in order to change the number of cycles the system had to be in the C/D mode with number of cycles flashing. While that number is flashing press the green button and that should increase the number of cycle the charger will cycle through.
I agree with the author that you don't need any more than three cycles because the batteries do not improve any more than during the third cycle. I tried five cycles and the difference between a five cycle charge and three cycle charge is very minimum

Michael Lamb's picture

Hi Chas
The best values for D and C are "the more the merrier." All the chargers you will find have a max D and C setting. Choose the highest one. This is far lower than the car computer will have zipping though the cells when the car is in operation so do not overly worry about the cell overheating during reconditioning. The charger will automatically keep things in a safe range. I believe many chargers also have an external temp probe you can buy just to be certain, but I did not find this expense necessary. Also if the cells get a bit too hot they are gonners anyway. A good cell will never get much over room temp if it is working correctly under load.

Michael Lamb's picture

Hi everyone! I am the author of this article and will try to answer the concerns I read here. First off though let me ask you to re-read the entire article until you recall most of it when you have a conversation with someone. Most of the questions I have seen all relate to things ALREADY outlined the the article. I really hate repeating myself so please do me that little favor. Thanks.

A couple questions I have been asked that have not been touched on are:

1) Can I use some other type of battery pack (i.e., LiPo, homemade NiMh etc) The short answer is NO!! Not just NO but "you are crazy if you do" type of NO. The reason is: Honda makes the pack in such a way that the computer actually communicates with it and if the computer doesn't like the conversation nothing works right.

2) Can I use more than one charger to speed the reconditioning up? Yes you can. Use any of the charger made for reconditioning NiMh cells, you do not necessarily have to use an IMax. I used an IMax because it came with the car when I bought it.

3) Where can I buy used sticks? The best I can say is that they are getting rare to find and the ones I have heard other people finding online and at junkyards are not a lot better than what they already own. I suggest that if you cannot find good sticks then make the best of the ones you do have by carefully reconditioning them. Do not rush the process. Chemistry is at work in the cells and believe me it doesn't like being rushed.

Chas Seligman's picture

Michael
This was a very useful article and I used it to recondition my 2004 Honda Hybrd also with the iMax that cost around $65. It took about 3 weeks to recondition all the stick and a couple of them I reconditioned to make sure they were within 10%. One question I never really figured out was what were the optimum values of the charge value (volts and amps) s well as the discharge values of the same. As another person asked and I also have searched out these numbers and could not find any information on this subject. Any insight on the optimum values would be a great help because I do not think this will be the last time I go through this process. Thanks for your time.
Chas.

currentchallenged's picture

One question I keep seeing, but never seeing the answer for (and I have been searching a number of threads and sites.

When using the B6, what are the values used. From charging to discharging, voltage and configuration? I know very little about electricity and am probably not the best person to be trying this, but I am good at following directions, as long as they are in layman's terms.

I went and purchased 4 of the Imax B6 (clones most likely) and a junkyard HCH battery. I have had issues with the charging and such of my 2003 HCH but never got anywhere with it. I average 40 MPG and until I can find a replacement hybrid, I have to get this one to pass emissions.

So at the moment, I have 2 batteries, one in the car, one on a bench. I just need to start the recondition process and could use some hand holding while getting it started.

Computers I can understand, Anything that Nikola Tesla could have thought up, not so much.

S K's picture

settings:
Disable timer
set mAh limit to 9600
charge manually at 0.6A until it shuts off (about 16 hours)
discharge to 0.9V/cell at 1A (it will never read 1A, will peak at 0.8 or 0.9)

Set c/d cycles to 2
set charge rate at 5.0A
set discharge limit to 0.9V/cell
set discharge to 1A
run 2 cycles

Conduct single charge discharge per above except to 1V/cell. This is your final capacity.

Wolf Baginski's picture

This process is lengthy enough that you have to wonder if a vehicle like this is designed for a long life. Most of the total energy cost is still the manufacturing. And, from my own experience, a Honda Civic may reaching its mechanical limits after two battery packs. I'd certainly want to look closely at the rest of the vehicle, to judge how much time I could get out of it.

There are alternatives to Honda battery packs, still expensive, and this process is trading time for cash. I would consider buying more than one battery reconditioner. Spending another $55 to halve the time, if your domestic wiring is good enough, is almost a no-brainer.

I understand current models use Lithium-Ion cells. You may count me as nervous about the propects of that. Not just the reputation they have for fires, but a general feeling we don't have enough experience of the technology to feel comfortable. These machines could warp the whole used-auto market, you can see a $3000 bill on the horizon. The price ought to be lower, but will it be?

I think we are all still learning.

Michael Welch's picture

Some further info from the Author Michael Lamb:

During my HCH rebuilding ordeal I tried many different settings but found that the following worked out ok:
Set the Charging and Discharging settings to as high as the Imax will allow.
Disable the timer setting.
It is your choice to disable the alarm. I had mine "on." It would often wake me up at odd hours of the night, but I was in a hurry to get the work done so I put up with it.
The other settings the Imax has can be left on the factory defaults. They worked well enough in my opinion.
Make certain your Imax is set on "NiMh."

Yet More from the author:
A junkyard is about the only place I would find a used IMA pack. Mine cost me about $300 (noted in the article.) However I have been seeing them get a lot more expensive since there are fewer of them available as time goes on.

I sometimes see them on Ebay too, but I have heard some seriously negative things about Ebay sellers selling really messed up sticks as "working." Good luck getting your money back.

I wish you the best of luck locating used sticks (or packs) that are still worth spending money on. As these cars get older, so do the cells/sticks that are in them. Batteries do not get better with age either.

It may also be worth noting that I ended up "buying" a "cheap" Honda factory refurbished IMA pack from the Honda dealer where the car was originally purchased. This was some 20 months after the article came out. Check with whoever originally sold that car new for any deals they may be offering.

Also there is a Class Action lawsuit settlement going on right now. Look at https://hchsettlement.com/ for more details on this.

There are also a number of small claims actions around the country if you care to take your chances in a courtroom for yourself. Check out http://autos.yahoo.com/news/woman-w....
Her case may give you some pointers on how you can proceed if you care to do as she did.

The author on a related subject:
I also sometimes like to caution owners of Honda hybrids which have a CVT transmission (which is most HCH's) to change the tranny fluid every 12,000 miles (or with each engine oil change) to avoid early transmission failure. Following Honda's service advice on the trans WILL cause the owner problems much sooner then necessary. I find lots of dead HCH transmissions in the junkyards I frequent around here. BIG money replacing a CVT! Costs more than the entire used car does currently. Search online to find some graphics that show how to change the fluid yourself (saves about $400 labor by DIY).

akvenkatesh's picture

Hello Michael L,
Can you please explain the charging amp/volt used .
When you say that the batt was discharged, was imax-b6 used to do this job.
Thanks
AK

Show or Hide All Comments

Advertisement

X
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
Loading