My wife has a 06 HCH that we bought from an individual owner January of last year. It's been running fine, until Jan 5th of this year. It seems the IMA battery is degrading, but that shouldn't cause the issue we are having. Randomly, the instrument panel goes bonkers, lights flashing like a christmas tree. That's odd, but the worst part is, at this time, power steering and brakes fail. The engine is still running, but very low RPMS. Almost dead, but if you gas it, it revs back up.

I turned the IMA battery off (factory switch behind back seat) and obviously it drives very odd in that mode, but the panel didn't go nuts. A week later, I turned the battery back on, and it seemed to drive 'as normal' for one whole day before acting up again.

After research, it seems that you should be able to drive the HCH with a failing/failed IMA battery mostly normally, but no accel. assist.

Could this be a bad fuse somewhere? [Which? I've never seen a car with this many fuses..] Bad IMA controller board? Just a bad ground somewhere??

I'm pretty good with mechanics...and computers, but this is a different ball park for me...

Additional Info:

  • ~143,000 Miles
  • Prev. owner 'replaced' IMA battery at unknown time frame (via dealership)
  • From above, I would hope it also received the firmware update
  • Lil'battery has been tested OK by O'Reilly's and charged up just in case [Lil, it's the size of a powerwheel's battery, sheesh..]

I'm going to be looking more into any corrosion on the Pos/Neg leads on their respective grounds, but they look ok at a glance.

Any help at all would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • great detail in your question! Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


I did some research regarding your symptoms.

Mind you I was a Honda MC mechanic and have NEVER worked on a hybrid.

But since this space is blank I'll fill it with what I discovered.

All of the posts I could find point to your main battery having an issue. Is that the battery you had checked at the auto parts store?

I would look at the connections to the battery as well as the batter itself.

Here is a post on checking/testing your main battery with a multimeter.

Everything I found with your systems had resolution with a main battery replacement. Mind you, I'm not telling you to do that so much as I'm trying see if there are a couple of breadcrumbs for you.

I would also validate that you have a good ground off of your batter and check the lead to your negative and make sure it has a solid connection.

Best of luck.

  • That's what I'm going to check on, after we get weather permitting.. Thanks for validating what i've assumed. Will mark or comment again upon my findings!
    – Trae
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 16:06
  • Old post, but I'm having the exact same problem with my 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid. When you say "main battery," are you talking about the battery that starts the car under the hood or the hybrid battery under the back seat?
    – Jeff
    Commented Jan 9, 2022 at 23:38

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