New NiMH IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by Mic123, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Mic123

    Mic123 Active Member

    I would like to share my story in the hopes that it will be useful to someone and also in the hopes that someone can contribute more useful information.

    I own a 2006 HCHII that I bought in June 2011 at 79K miles in Houston, TX. The IMA battery was mostly bad when I purchased the vehicle and as time progressed it became ridiculously bad with multiple recals occurring in the course of my 17 mile commute to work. No warning lights ever came on.

    I took the car to a local dealership before it reached 80K miles (still within the original warranty) to have the DC-to-DC converter replaced under a recall notice and at that time I complained about the recals and asked the service rep to record my complaint in his notes. No warning lights were on, but I was persistent and talked with the service manager about my battery problems. The dealership had almost zero experience working with hybrids, so I was basically teaching them about the HCHII using information gleaned from online forums (not a good sign). The service manager asked one of his techs do a quick diagnostic on my IMA system and battery. It showed that it had 18% charge capacity. The manager told me to just keep driving it and as it got worse the light should come on then bring it in.

    Well, over the course of the next five months the frequency of the battery recals increased, but no light would come on. It was obvious that the battery was deteriorating, so I took the car in every month to have another diagnostic done (happily they didn’t charge me for any of the diagnostics) and have a tech look at the charge capacity of the battery, but the results were always the same. It would show 18%, which I knew was wrong, because the recals were getting worse.

    Side note: I would love to know the standards of deviations or error limits for the internal diagnostic system on the HCHII, because I believe they are quite large. I think that the software of the internal diagnostics is only reporting results based off of the most favorable assumptions. I am an experimental physicist and know that with any complex system involving electronics, mechanical components, software, etc. there are always assumptions and approximations.

    The manager told me that the capacity would have to fall below 15% before he could talk with the regional Honda rep about replacing the battery, which by then was outside the warranty. He told me that even though the problems started while it was under warranty I would have to pay for the battery out-of-pocket, but he would try to goodwill as much as possible.

    Finally, in mid-November 2011 when I took the car in for a diagnostic it briefly showed a charge capacity of 13%. Just one minute later the tech ran the IMA diagnostic again and low-and-behold it showed 18%. Crappy diagnostics! Luckily he had saved the data from his first diagnostic and we used that to convince the regional Honda rep that the battery needed to be replaced. They good willed 75% of the cost of replacement, but that still left me $680 out-of-pocket.

    The old NiMH battery was replaced with a lithium battery on 17Nov2011 at 88K miles. I was very happy that they installed a newer lithium battery instead of the old heavy NiMH version. I walked away happy to have resolved the problem, or so I thought. The car and the IMA system were working great for about four months then the recals started again. I have recorded every instance that I’ve noticed, which doesn’t account for the times it has probably recaled while my wife was driving (she drives our HCHII about 30% of the time).

    Battery Recalibrations

    - 12Mar2012 --- 9am, about 65 degrees, AC off
    - 22Mar2012 --- 6pm, 73 degrees, AC off
    - 4Apr2012 --- 6:30pm, 72 degrees, AC off
    - 12Apr2012 --- 6:30pm, 75 degrees, AC off
    - 13Apr2012 --- 1pm, 78 degrees, AC on
    - 14Apr2012 --- 2:30pm, 77 degrees, AC on
    - 16Apr2012 --- 9am, 65 degrees, AC off

    I averaged around 42 MpG with the old bad NiMH battery and around 48 with the new lithium battery, but this has been falling as the recals occur more often.

    Now I’m concerned that I’m going to have to battle with Honda and the dealership all over again to get the new battery replaced, which obviously has problems. They will probably say something like no warning lights are on and your battery has 50% of charge capacity, so we won’t replace it. If that happens, my response will be IT’S A NEW BATTERY! It’s not even six months old and already showing advanced deterioration. I’m willing to fight hard to get this fixed. I dropped the car off at the dealership this morning so that they could examine it and perform another diagnostic. We’ll see what they say.

    Second side note: The class action lawsuit extended the warranty by 12K miles, so happily just a few weeks ago I received my $680 back. But unhappily, my car is now at 95K miles and I was told by a Honda customer service rep over the phone that because I am now out of the new 92K mile warranty that the battery is no longer covered. So even though the battery isn’t yet six months old and only has 7K miles under its belt it is out of warranty and I am potentially liable for any repair costs.
     
  2. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    I was under the impression that Honda Lithium battery packs are not compatible with the 06 2011 IMA system. Are you positive you have a Lithium Pack? H
     
  3. Mic123

    Mic123 Active Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    I was under the same impression, but that is what the service manager told me. I was somewhat doubtful even then and asked him if he could confirm that lithium would work in my car. He went to the parts department and asked them to try and confirm that they would be using a new lithium battery. Someone from parts came into the manager's office a few minutes later and said that they had confirmed (I don't know how they confirmed) that it would be a lithium battery. The day I dropped off my HCHII to have the new battery installed I asked if I could see the battery and take some pictures and they said fine. I took a couple of pictures from different angles, but no where did it indicate lithium or NiMH. I did find the serial number and got a picture of that. It is possible that they were all making a colossal error in telling me that it is a lithium battery, but at this point I would tend to believe them.
     
  4. Mic123

    Mic123 Active Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    One more thing. There was a sticker on the battery that showed:
    IMA Battery Type
    PC2

    From what I could see, the outer shell of the old and new batteries looked identical, but when I questioned the tech who installed the battery about it he said that they just made the outer shells look similar in order to fit in the same compartment. I couldn't see the entire battery when I took pictures, because it still had packing styrofoam and cardboard over parts of it and I didn't think that they would appreciate me taking it entirely apart on the floor of their parts department.
     
  5. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    Something sounds very fishy about them claiming it's a lithium pack. I would have to see written documentation and/or a report from an independent company proving it's lithium.
     
  6. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    Welcome to the forums, Mic!

    I'm sorry to hear you are having issues with your HCH. It truly is a fantastic vehicle when working correctly but the battery management system is a real weakness of the system.

    I too believe the service department has made a mistake about the chemistry of your "new" battery -- for two separate reasons. The first has to do with the charge curves and temperature response of the two chemistries; the management systems for the two aren't at all compatible. There is a fellow in Britain who has replaced his Insight battery with a hand built lithium pack and he had to build quite a bit of interface electronics with custom software to get it to work safely with the vehicle's existing hardware/software. The second reason is that your description of returning recals in a short period of time is consistent with what I've seen many other people report after a pack replacement with NiMH NOS (New Old Stock) packs. They will have perfect performance for a while but the battery will fail more quickly than the original did. I'll explain why below.

    The main reason these cars are susceptible to battery "failure" is a lack of cell monitoring/balancing design. Toyota and Ford have designed quite sophisticated systems for their batteries and it shows in the longevity. Honda took a bare bones approach with inferior batteries. They use cylindrical cells (not entirely their fault because Toyota entered into a contractual partnership with Panasonic for their prismatic cells and Honda was denied the ability to purchase them) which aren't nearly as easily thermally controlled. These cells are the size of a standard D-Cell Alkaline battery and are welded together in sticks of 5 cells each. There is no way to monitor per cell performance... only the sticks of 5 (in series). There is no way to monitor per cell temperature, either. There are some sensors spread through the pack but nothing that would indicate with pinpoint accuracy where an issue is occurring. The construction of the pack (with cylindrical cells) encourages "hot spots" and increases the likelyhood of gradients across the cells and hence different performance characteristics.

    On top of this, the monitoring that is done really is quite simplistic. There is a low voltage trigger point (correlated to a generic temperature table in software) which is used to determine when a cell is approaching the dangerous "point of no return" (risking cell reversal)... but again this is only visible on a series of 5 cells level of resolution. If any of the sticks hits this level, the car initiates a recalibration event. Contrary to what the dash indicates, the battery is not discharged in this process -- it is only charged. The computers set the gauge to zero while charging the pack (because it just found the safe lower limit when the low voltage trigger was tripped) and continues to do so until the voltage remains constant for some set period of time. At that point it assumes the pack is "full" and you'll see the gauge peg at the top (or close to the top). This was intended to help adjust the car's concept of the high voltage battery capacity as it ages but it does nothing at all for balancing. Since matched cells will naturally drift apart in characteristics (internal resistance and hence capacity) with age, this is a recipe for disaster because not only does a recalibration not do anything to fix out of balance packs, it can magnify the effect over time -- not all the cells will be completely charged if the pack is out of balance.

    Many of us have decided to proactively modify our vehicles to help alleviate this issue and extend battery pack usefulness by installing charging systems. I have one such system installed in my vehicle which simply feeds in a low current (350mA) charge for as long as I have it on. The charger turns on the stock cooling fan (which pulls air from the cabin through the pack) to help avoid potentially damaging temperature deltas while charging and essentially performs a "top balance" on the pack. With the cooling fan on 350mA is not enough to cause damage to the cells when they reach "full" and start dissipating all additional energy as heat. If left charging long enough the pack will end up with all cells full because laggards will have a chance to catch up while the rest are just producing (non-destructive) heat. The process won't "fix" a pack with significant cell level disparities in capacity, but it will balance the pack and restore normal functionality if the cells are reasonably well matched.

    Replacement packs from Honda are not constructed with new cells when required but rather have been sitting on a shelf unused for years -- this is why they fail more quickly.

    With the above information in mind I'll let you know that you have a few options... all of which involve out of pocket expense but will get you a more reliable system at lower cost than purchasing another "new" pack from Honda. The first is to have your pack rebuilt by a refurbishing company which actually matches up used cells so that the resulting pack has the same characteristics across all of them. The resulting "pack" capacity will be a little lower than the original when installed at the factory but it won't be much less... and you'll eliminate the recals while recovering much more of the usable capacity for your driving. One such company is http://www.hybrid-battery.com/ and many people have had good (though slow) service from them.

    The second option is a pack constructed from truly new cells. http://www.hybrid-battery.com/ offers such a pack with cells developed in conjunction with a battery manufacturer specifically for this purpose. The new cells are in fact superior to the original chemistry with higher capacity, lower operating temperature, and both higher discharge and charge rates. With such a pack your vehicle will perform better than it did when new and you won't have to worry about cell imbalances for a very long time. This company markets the pack as the "Better Battery" and to all accounts it does live up to this name.

    The third option (which should be strongly considered as an additional measure even if you choose one of the previous two options listed above) is a charger such as the one I described earlier in this post. Mine is a very simple affair without any monitoring of the process, but there is a fellow out in Connecticut who offers a comprehensive, capable, and very safe system for this purpose and he has specifically designed a wiring harness for your vehicle. You can read about it here: http://99mpg.com/Projectcars/gridcharger/ The odds are very good that your current pack can be returned to the performance it exhibited when first installed and periodic balancing charges would maintain it at that level for a good long while.

    I hope you are able to find a satisfactory solution in the above!
     
  7. Mic123

    Mic123 Active Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    Wow, Right Lane Cruiser that was an Awesome and informative post! I really appreciate taking your time to explain the charging process, batteries, and some options. I am definitely going to look into the trickle charger you mentioned. I agree with you that NiMH is pretty much the only thing that would work in the HCHII.

    So, I picked up my car from the dealership yesterday evening and talked with their head mechanic (he was the one assigned to examine the car and IMA system). He was friendly enough, but he gave me a nice heaping helping of BS and some swill to wash it down with.

    He told me a number of things and I didn’t try to challenge him too much, because I didn’t want to offend and I was able to glean some useful information out of him.

    He told me that my battery’s current charge capacity is reading at 75%. This seems very low to me in light of the fact that this battery was installed only five months ago. When I pointed this out, he replied that this is common with all batteries. He claimed that the charge capacity falls off quickly when a battery is first put into use and then levels out. He also claimed that a change in temperature from 70 degrees to 80 degrees could affect the state of charge (SOC) by as much as 50%. The man was just talking through his hat. He really needs to check out the website http://batteryuniversity.com/. I highly recommend this site to anyone who wants to learn more about batteries in general. Whether the new battery is NiMH or lithium the data on this website refutes the head mechanic’s claim that a battery’s capacity decreases rapidly at first and then levels out. Quite the opposite is true. http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/battery_performance_as_a_function_of_cycling

    Additionally, he told me that driving the car softly and only rarely stepping on the gas will lead to carbon buildup in the pistons. What do you guys think about this? There might be some truth to it. I do drive my HCH softly (my wife likes to compare me to a grandpa), but when I’m cruising on the freeway and going up a hill the RPMs get in the range of 3,500 to 4,000. He claimed that he could hear pinging from my engine when he stepped hard on the gas during his test drive and he attributed this to carbon buildup from my soft driving. Thoughts?

    One interesting bit of information was how to manually get the HCHII to go into recalibration mode and he even gave me a print out of the instructions. Basically you get the engine warm, with the SOC indicator showing at least three bars. Accelerate to 37 mph and then release the accelerator and let the car decelerate for at least five seconds without depressing the brake pedal (i.e. let the car coast). The mechanic thought that I might have been inadvertently doing this and putting the car into its recalibration mode. There is a slight possibility that through shear dumb luck I could have done this accidentally once or twice, but highly unlikely to have happened so many times. Also, my driving habits haven’t changed or in other words I’m driving just the same way now as when the car wasn’t experiencing recals.

    The mechanic told me that he recalibrated every part of the IMA system that he could, including some sensors on the engine and made sure that the software was up-to-date. He recommended that I continue to drive the car and let him know if I experience more recals. At the end of our conversation he said that he believes whatever is going on is not connected with the IMA system or battery. I tend to disagree with him, but I suppose we’ll find out in the near future.

    I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or ideas about what might be causing the recals with a five month old battery.

    Returning to the discussion of whether or not the dealership installed a new NiMH or a Li-Poly battery.
    Does anyone know what the battery’s PC2 designation means? When I Googled “PC2 battery” and “PC2 IMA battery” the pages that popped up seemed to indicate that PC2 might be connected with lithium batteries.
    I was looking over the pictures I took of my new battery before it was installed and found one of a sticker that says:
    “AEV68040
    1E100-RMX -0132
    Serial NO. xxxxxxxxxxxx (I’m replacing my 12-digit serial number with “x”s)
    Matsu****a Electric Works, Ltd.
    Made in Japan”

    Here is an auto parts website that is selling a HCH battery with the same sticker as mine, http://en.varaosahaku.fi/?link=item&post_id=29550720.
    Any thoughts or ideas???

    I am currently attempting to contact Panasonic Electric Works (formerly named Matsu****a Electric Works --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panasonic_Electric_Works) to see if they can tell something more about my new battery.
    A woman in the customer service department for their Electric Components Division (800-276-6289) tried to transfer me to someone in Chicago named Himal (847-637-4638). I left a message and hope he calls me back.
     
  8. Mic123

    Mic123 Active Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    That's funny. The fourm is deleting part of the manufacturer's name because it could be a curse word. I'll try again, the manufacturer is M-a-t-s-u-s-h-i-t-a Electric Works.
     
  9. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    As you've determined, a 10F drop in temperature does not equate to a 50% drop in capacity -- particularly not at warm temperatures like that. The pack in my Insight likes to be at 60F or higher before it will allow full charge and discharge rates, but that's about it.

    You may or may not have "carbon build up" in the engine but if you have regular episodes of reasonable rpm (say, 2500 or so) it is highly doubtful.

    I've never heard of a "recalibration mode" for any Honda Hybrid. What is the behavior? A recalibration event typically consists of the charge light illuminating while the state of charge meter lowers to zero, then after a bit of charging it starts climbing again. Depending upon the actual state of charge this process may not last long and the charge light may go out with the meter still climbing afterward. If the car's concept of the real state of charge is incorrect you may see a rapid jump in the meter after steady charging for a while (ie, the car thought the battery was not full but after some charging found the state of charge was not increasing at all... so it then redefines or resets the meter at full).

    Occasionally Honda Hybrids can get "confused" and recalibrations don't work as intended. In this case you can trigger a recalibration event manually by disconnecting the 12V battery negative terminal for a few minutes. This will cause the computers to "forget" everything (because their backup capacitors end up exhausted and volatile memory content is lost). The next time you start the vehicle it will assume the battery is empty (showing the state of charge as zero on the dash) and charge the battery as described earlier until it is satisfied that the state of charge is not going to rise any further. That's as close to a "recalibration mode" as you are going to get (to my knowledge -- which doesn't exclude the possibility of a battery degradation scenario allowing a set of conditions to predictably trigger a recalibration event. Weak packs will often recalibrate immediately after a heavy current demand from assist for example due to excessive voltage sag.)

    A label listing that manufacturer is essentially the proof of an older battery pack.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  10. Mic123

    Mic123 Active Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    The recalibration mode that I mentioned is exactly what you just described, just a basic recalibration event or recal. I agree with you about the manufacturer sticker as being pretty good evidence that this is a rebuilt battery pack, because Matsu****a Electric Works officially stopped using that name in 2008 and started using Panasonic Electric Works. Although, the customer service woman on the phone said that some divisions within their massive company are still using the name Matsu****a instead of Panasonic.

    I think it's safe to say at this point that the dealership and whoever they talked to for confirmation of the battery pack being lithium are idiots. It's basically a slam dunk that the battery is a refurbished NiMH based off of the sticker and its lack-luster five month performance.

    What type of trickle charger are you using and where did you get it? The guy in Connecticut wants $675 for the charger, $135 for the HCHII power harness, $60 for the SOC reset device, $135 for the pack discharger, and $25-$50 for shipping. $1,030 seems like too much money for a charging/discharging system. If you just want the charging system you can minus $135 and the total would be $895.

    Do you think that there is any recourse in aggressively pushing Honda to provide me with a new and better battery pack even though the warning lights haven't come on? In relation to this, the head mechanic yesterday was adamant that because the warning lights weren’t on that there was very little likelihood of having a bad battery or problems with the IMA system. I wish I could quote him exactly, but I’ll do my best, “I’m not sure what the public thinks, but there’s a lot they don’t know. We were taught in training that there are so many sensors in the IMA system that if there is a problem the warning lights will come on.” From my perspective, any man, woman, or child will know more about the IMA system then the average Honda mechanic just by reading through these forums. I attempted to explain how one of the major points of the class-action lawsuit was how Honda had manipulated the software updates to turn the warning lights off without actually improving anything and make the car rely more on the gasoline engine. He just got this glazed look in his eyes and said he didn’t know much about the lawsuit.

    I had only had good experiences with Honda vehicles before this hybrid. It really is a shame that Honda’s battery and IMA system are so poorly designed and failing so quickly. I wonder if the new lithium battery IMA system in the 2012 models will be much of an improvement.
     
  11. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    I've got no real information to add... however, it's threads like this that make me glad I went with the Prius over the HCH ;).
     
  12. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    Mic, I wouldn't call it a refurbished pack because Honda doesn't actually build refurbished units. The pack you have now was built with new cells... and then sat on the shelf waiting as a spare part for a situation like yours. It has likely sat for over a year waiting to be used -- not necessarily a bad thing for the cells but definitely a good chance for them to drift out of balance.

    The unit I have for my vehicle was built by a fellow down in Florida for a reasonable price but it contains no safety controls or monitoring at all. It is based off of the bare bones schematic Mike Dabrowski has listed as a PDF (http://99mpg.com/Data/resources/downloads/gridchargerstuff/basicgridchargerv1.pdf) on his site using Meanwell power supplies and fit into the casing of a desktop computer power supply. If you are handy with a soldering iron and multimeter you can acquire the parts and construct one yourself but remember to look up the requirements of the HCH pack (the schematic is for the first gen Insight and the two cars have different voltage and capacity specs).

    With that said, you should be aware of two things:
    1. Mike is an incredibly talented and conscientious engineer who designs to a very high level of durability and safety as well as flexibility. His offering is geared toward programability, flexibility, and pack cycling to achieve the best performance/health benefits. It is capable of being used to charge multiple vehicles belonging to the owner with just a few button pushes and it has lots of failsafe mechanisms in it. In other words, this is a fully production ready, industrial strength and durable charger. Mike produced the testing and charging apparatus used by http://www.hybrid-battery.com/ in their business -- he's really that good.
    2. Mike has a charger he lends out for a deposit fee (to cover potential loss -- most of which is returned when the charger is returned) so that potential customers can determine if a charger would benefit them. This was developed for the first gen Insight where connection points are generally considerably easier to reach (and he has spring clip, long shank probes attached to the loaner so you can attach in the tight quarters presented by the installed pack) but it would be worth contacting him to see if he can offer a similar service for your HCH. The harness is a lot more involved so you'd likely need to purchase that regardless, but at least a test balance charge would confirm usefulness.

    Aside from the above points, the SOC reset device is a nice to have but not necessary component (without it the car will just do a "positive" recalibration where the state of charge meter progresses to the top once it figures out the pack is already fully charged), and of course the discharger isn't necessary unless you wish to do stationary full reconditioning of the pack. Yes, still expensive... but depending upon your needs it could be worth the cost just for peace of mind that your pack won't go up in smoke if you don't monitor it while charging.

    In practice, I don't worry much about mine while charging because the current input is so low and because I have two charging fuses as well as two more on the power input side of the charger. You'll have to decide what level of risk you are willing to take. (Note that the fellow I purchased from is no longer building chargers and hasn't ever built one for an HCH anyway.)

    The IMA light is supposed to come on if the pack is ailing and has a sufficiently severe issue... but its definition of "sufficiently serious" is (as you have noted) rather more tolerant of undesirable behavior than most people would wish. The newer (more restrictive) software can in fact improve the health of the pack in some circumstances but on the whole seems to have been a disaster for recipients.

    It really is a shame that more effort wasn't put into pack monitoring and maintenance efforts because when the system is working properly and the driver is aware of the strengths inherent in it the fuel economy is absolutely outstanding in non-beep'n'creep driving (where the so called "full" hybrids really excel due to pure EV capability).

    As for recourse... I'm afraid you won't get much traction without an illuminated IMA light (official corporate policy) and even then, if you can get the pack replaced at a reduced price outside of warranty I suggest you don't expect an experience much different than what you saw with the last replacement (unless you are proactive about balancing) because none of the replacement packs is balanced before install and pretty much all of them are going to have run up significant calendar time on a shelf somewhere.

    Please keep us in the loop as you work through this!
     
  13. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    Does Honda have a procedure to "wake-up" these new packs that have been in storage for years?.. usually you need to cycle them slowly a few times before putting a full load on them.

    You never balance nimh, just a slow charge overnight will do the trick to equalize all the cells.
     
  14. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    As far as I am aware the procedure is to install, then use the over 3200 RPM in neutral trick to get the car to charge all the way to "full." That's it.

    I was referring to overnight trickle charging as "balancing" as that is essentially what it accomplishes.
     
  15. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    Thats what it does.. there is a similar procedure for lead-acid batteries.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    The muttering is that one of the changes the latest HCHII software does is to make it nigh impossible to trigger the IMA warning light. Corporate Honda's head-in-the-sand attitude is not winning them customers.
     
  17. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    Well something sure is hurting Honda. Kind of sad to see! H
     
  18. Mic123

    Mic123 Active Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    Himal from Panasonic contacted me back and informed me that the battery is definitely NiMH. I would love to know why both the service manager and the parts department people at that dealership thought that I was getting a lithium battery.

    I agree that the HCHII drives great when the battery is functioning properly.

    Got another recal yesterday. It looks like they will continue even after head mechanic recalibrated sensors. I suppose I should attempt to build or acquire a trickle charger soon. I do have a fair bit of experience with a soldering iron and electronics, but where would I go to get information for the HCH-II to change Mike’s schematic?

    Concerning the manual recalibration that I mentioned in an earlier post, the print out the mechanic gave me is titled, “2006 CIVIC HYBRID – Start Clutch Pressure Control Calibration Procedures.” It gives details about three different methods to put the IMA system into a recalibration. The first is using a dealership HDS. The second is similar and also uses the HDS, but is called “Calibration Procedure with SCS mode.” The third method is titled, “Calibration by Driving the Vehicle” and is the method I described in that earlier post. Maybe I’ll try scanning the two page document and attaching it to my next post.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    That would be great!
     
  20. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Re: New Lithium IMA Battery in 2006 HCHII Experiencing Problems

    Mic, I can't give you terribly specific directions but I can tell you that the nominal voltage for the HCH-II is 158V (as opposed to 144V in the first gen Insight) and it tops out at right around 192V (as opposed to a max observed on my pack of about 175V -- lower for higher temperatures). My charger is set for a max voltage of 177V to make sure it gets topped up completely with "balancing." You could do the same by setting your output voltage around 195V after chaining in one more Meanwell RS-25-48 to Mike's design and adjusting each of the 5 supplies (including the current limiting LPC-20-350) to 39V each. Alternatively, using his design unchanged and tuning all supplies to max output should get you 192V and possibly a tad more depending upon manufacturing tolerances, but I'd go with adding one RS-25-48 personally.

    You may need to adjust the resistors around the LED to avoid burning it out. You can run the fan from the RS-25-12 just as in the Insight, but unlike that vehicle you'll have to use some extra electronics to drive the fan because it uses a PWM design rather than a simple DC on-off. Mike worked out the specifics (obviously) but I'm not aware of any posted schematics for that control. It would certainly be worth contacting Mike to see if he'd sell you a circuit board just for the fan control -- he is extremely helpful with requests of that nature. Just tell him what you are attempting to accomplish and he will at least offer advice and answer questions about component specifications.

    You'll be able to see connection points in Mike's YouTube channel videos here: http://www.youtube.com/99mpg

    Good luck and keep us updated!
     

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