Road Trip for battery?

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by Mendel Leisk, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    ^ I looked up grid charging, and found info on manual control of the battery usage, while driving. Plus a video on install of the grid charger, nothing definitive on the grid charger itself.

    Lengthy video on wiring install, I believe for the equalizer:

    And the site with manual control of ima:

    I've gotta research some more. I'm concerned to first remedy the state of current battery, and then maybe look into equalizing.

    Getting the battery replaced, with something more robust/dependable (if that's possible), would be first priority for me. I'm not sure that this vehicle is going to be in our orbit that much longer, regardless of the battery outcome.

    I notice too a bit of pulse when stepping on the gas, as if the CVT is starting to get troublesome. All-in-all, patching up Honda's warrantied items, I only want to go so far.

    And oh: got a call back from Arrows Automotive: their install charge is $300, so going the Re-Involt route is now up to $3000, fwiw.
  2. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    I presume that would be the complete IMA pack, would it not be? H
  3. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Interesting video looks good!

    One thing is if you replace the battery it will most likely eventually fail due to the software that Honda has which is why they don't last in the first place. Toyota has the management down perfectly!
  4. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    How much could you sell that car for today?
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I'm not sure. The software update was supposed put less load on the battery (at the expense of mpg?). But not sure. It may be throwing good money after bad.
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Just looking through our local area in AutoTrader, I see one 2006 for 15K and one for 11K. Quick private sale for 8 or 9?

    I think I see where you're going: the battery swap costs about 1/3 of the car's value...

    One thing the software update does is sort of mask the symptoms of a recal, LOL. Someone inexperienced with the Civic Hybrid probably wouldn't notice or question the recal behaviour. And someone experienced would likely be shopping for something else, LOL.
  7. flyer351

    flyer351 Member

    I had similar problems with my IMA until I bought the grid charger from Mike at At 60K miles I almost bought a new Prius due to the frustrating recalibrations I was experiencing. But for less than the cost of sales tax on a Prius I decided to give Mike's grid charger a chance a year ago. It completely resolved my battery problem. I'm now at 105K miles and the pack is giving me no indications of failure. I also bought the discharge kit so I can fully cycle the pack.

    With the discharge kit, the charger will drain the battery until one cell reaches drop out. It then begins the charging and rebalancing phase in which all the cells are brought to the exact same topped-off state of charge. I do two discharge/charge cycles every couple months with the grid charger and no longer experience recalibrations.

    The total cost was around $1,000 for the charger with discharge add on. It's lengthened my time with the HCH and kept NIMH cells from being recycled earlier than needed. I wish Honda would have included a system like Mike's straight from the factory because I cringe every time I read about people's frustrations with recalibrations. Their experiences are totally unnecessary. These batteries can be fixed but instead they are being scrapped early due to Honda's shortsighted vision.

  8. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Jeramie, you really dont need a discharger since driving the car will take care of that.. a trickle charger (overnight charge rate) to equalize all the cells is a really good idea, while running the ventilation fan to keep things cool
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I was going to say something similar, then decided to just quote you. ;)

    Yeah, myopia is their mission statement methinks. Regardless of the degree of intervention needed to keep the battery healthy, what's in the car now is not enough.

    Still thinking about a short road trip. If it happens we'll likely sort something out with our son regarding the $. Also: Vancouver to Seattle is a decent drive: it will be interesting to see the mpg going down, vs coming back. And the feel.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  10. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    If it were me I would go with that grid charger and be set for a very long time. I bet with that tool you can get to 500k miles out those batteries!
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    ^ I read through the website for the grid charger, quite a bit. A few oddities:

    1. The order form for grid chargers lists all the accessories you might need, and there are quite a few, not cheap. But the charger itself is not listed, or priced, at least not in that order form. Maybe I missed something.

    2. Just putting my self in the average consumer's shoes: how far out on a limb do I need to go, trying to make a "silk purse" out of Honda's "sow's ear". Do I want to pull a high voltage battery out of a car and start patching wires into it? And what does this do to my warranty?

    Yeah I know, buying a fresh battery's in the same league..., at least more straight forward. Wondering too what even putting Re-Involt's battery does to the warranty. It does seem to say "I'm throwing in the towel on any expectation of Honda coming through".
  12. flyer351

    flyer351 Member

    Very true, you don't need a discharger to get a basic pack balancing. Over the last year though I've found controlled discharges do help refurbish the pack beyond what simple topping can accomplish. The stock BCM doesn't fully cycle the NIMH cells. On my HCHII, the IMA pack will measure around 163V when the SOC displays 0-1 chicklets. However, the discharger will bring the pack down to 148-152 volts during the cycling process and has raised my pack's maximum voltage from ~179 volts to ~ 191 volts.

    Leveling the pack got me down to a recalibration about once a month. Adding the discharger eliminated all recalibrations.
  13. flyer351

    flyer351 Member

    Yeah, the website is hard to follow. It's organized like a stream of consciousness vs a business site. The charger price itself is at the bottom of page 1 of the order form; $675.

    The whole processes is not for everybody. In fact, I'd admit it's only for the adventurous. I was at wit's end and only had 10K miles left on the warranty when I installed the grid charger harness. I felt like I had little to lose and much to gain.

    It's just too bad Honda didn't design a better system from scratch.
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Or at least, instead of the software patch, or in conjunction with it, do a recall with something along the line of this Grid Charger harness: installed at the dealership and sanctioned by Honda, have grid chargers at dealerships, and make it part of the maintenance schedule.

    In other words, if this imbalance of cells is the Achilles heel of the battery, acknowledge it, and provide a viable fix.

    I know, this is digressing into an open letter to Honda again, LOL.

    What year/mileage was yours, when you got the GC, if you don't mind?
  15. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    I think the software patch is the fix, it balances the cell at the expense of your fuel mileage.. all they have to do is stop using (or reduce usage) the motor for a while and allow the battery to fully charge occasionally, I'm sure Toyota does the same.
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I don't know: if recaliabration events are happening daily, or more often, it seems to me the battery is "writing cheques it can no longer cover". Recalibration, at least my understanding occur if (for example):


    And of course no warning lights.
  17. flyer351

    flyer351 Member

    2008 HCH; car had daily recalibrations when I installed the GC w/ 65K miles. Car is now at 105K mile with no recalibrations.
  18. Jess

    Jess Well-Known Member

    The charger option is sounding better and better to me. How often does the charger need to be used, once a month? Is it really complicated to do?

  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    ^ I posted a link to a GC harness install in post #21. It's semi-involved, something you can do in a leisurely day, or less. You're looking at around $900 I think, ~700 for the GC, which could be used on other hybrids (I think), and the rest for car specific harness.

    Oh why am I encouraging this, LOL.
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Sorry, just noticed your question on re-read:

    Yes, that's complete pack. It's about attache case size.

Share This Page