Edmunds Answers



  • karjunkie 10/24/08 4:26 pm PST

    I believe there is a recall or technical service bulletin on this that requires you to take the car in to the dealer to reflash the powertrain control module (PCM). I believe it relates to the battery pack overheating ocassionally. The Hybrid IMA system consists of all the modules that are enclosed by the IPU (sitting behind the rear seat back), the hybrid specific cabling and harnesses, Motor/stator and other minor components and systems that bridge the hybrid to the legacy system. The CVT transmission, MICU, emissions package and PCM are not usually considered part of the IMA system (although exceptions have been made in the past), but the PCM ties in the two systems.Do go to your local dealer and ask them as they should reflash the PCM for free. Good luck!

  • john276 10/31/08 1:29 pm PST

    I have a 2003 Hybrid civic as well 78,000 miles. Last week the chack engine light came on. I took it in to Honda dealer one of the catalytic converters is bad. They ordered one and I took the car home waiting for the part to come in. The next day the IMA light came on for two days then went off. I took it in today for the Cat to be installed and told them about the IMA light that lit up for two days. They checked it and said the battery is bad. Catalytic converter $1500.00, battery $3,000.00. I am so glad these were under warranty still. That is a lot of money!!!

  • egpinca 11/09/08 7:14 pm PST

    I have an 03 Civic Hybrid as well with very similar dealer on numerous occasions to have the code checked and then they just re-set it. I've also gone through three different catalytic converters in under 150k miles. Seems extremely excessive to me. The light came on again this week, brought the car to the dealer and now we're being told we'll have to replace the battery pack to the tune of $3000, plus labor. This has been a pretty good car, but has cost a ton of money in maintenance. Good luck with your car. Let me know what you do.

  • madindeland 12/27/08 9:42 am PST

    I also own a 2003 Civic Hybrid.  My IMA light came on at 82,000 miles.  I took it to the Honda dealership in Deland, FL and they told me the battery had failed - and since I was only 2000 miles out of warrenty they would replace it at half price - a mere $2,000.

    Since my battery indicator never goes below 3/4 charged, I chose not to have it replaced, and a week or so later the light went off.  It now goes on for a week or so at a time - off for weeks at a time - on again - off again.  I'm still getting 45-50 MPG. Anyone else with this issue?  Could it just be a short?  If so, why would Honda try to get me to replace a perfectly good battery?  I'm now at 97,000.

  • tommyb3 10/28/09 11:06 am PST

    My IMA light came on yesterday. I called Honda in Memphis they diagnosed a bad battery pack. During troubleshooting the check engine light came on and several codes showed up. I was informed that damage could have been done to drive system if I continued to operate the vehicle. 2003 w 50000miles still under warranty.

  • longcommuter 05/29/11 3:02 pm PST

    My 2003 5-speed HCH IMA light came on at around 83,000 miles - early 2008, 40,000 miles ago. The dealer told me at that time I should replace my battery, but it was still charging. I was driving to work 100 miles one way into the mountains, and couldn't do without it. Figured I'd drive it til it dropped. It still charges and discharges, and the light is still on. (The only other problems I've encountered with it were winters 2003 and 2004, when it was new. It had to go in three different times because under the (truly) coldest of mornings, it would not crank or make an attempt, although it clearly had juice - and the IMA light was on. The dealer performed electronic upgrades the two latter times. The first time, they still didn't have a clue, but it worked OK 2-3 days later when the weather improved.)

    Reading entries above, I guess I need to take it back to the dealer again and see if maybe I'm running a risk of it getting a heat injury, or worse. I had given up on them when they told me to get a new battery. Thanks for the heads up. I'd buy another 5-speed HCH, used or otherwise.


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