CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Driving 2006 Civic Hybrid with a dead IMA / hybrid battery

My 2006 Civic Hybrid IMA light and check engine ligh came on. Per Autozone/Advanced Autopart code reader, IMA battery is deteriorating. I am the original owner; it has only 98K mileages. How long can I drive this car with a dead IMA battery? My mechanic said If I turn the IMA battery(under the back seat) off, then I cannot drive the car very long because “starter” is connecting to the IMA battery( or if the switch is turned off, then starter does not work and car 12V battery looses charge). So, turning the IMA battery off is not an option.

Honda replaced the IMA battery in 2011 because the first one deteriorating. I don’t want to buy a battery for $2K because I don’t drive more than 6000 miles a year. You guys are experienced, knowledgeable and smart. I need your suggestions. Should I keep it or sell it? I will not buy a Hybrid again in my life. I would keep it if I can drive it with a dead IMA battery.

Honda hybrids have proven less reliable and long-lived than, for example, Toyota. And the technologies are improved since 2006. There must be some Honda hybrid discussion groups - someone here may direct you there. Good luck and please let us know what you find out.

To be honest I think that may be the problem. With that low yearly mileage maybe you should consider something other than a hybrid.

1 Like

@PvtPublic, thank you for your prompt reply. My question if I can drive this Hybrid car with a dead IMA battery. I am not worried about less MPG. If I sell it, I would get almost nothing. I would rather keep it if I can drive it a dead IMA battery. Thanks.

Thank you @shanonia

Google Civic hybrid forum, folks there should know.

At 6000mi/yr I suggest you let this 13 y.o. hybrid go and get a non hybrid Civic, if that’s your fancy.
I drive about 5000mi/yr and I paid about as much for insurance as gas to feed my previous Toyota Matrix that averaged ~28mpg.
Current Hyundai Tucson averages 24mpg and I’m paying more for insurance than gas due to collision coverage.

I’m guessing you’re gonna have to find someone who’s has a lot of experience w/Honda hybrids to get an accurate response. We just don’t get many repair questions here about hybrid powertrains. It’s a very specialized field. Is there a drivability or starting problem now? Were it my car, and no answer was forthcoming from an expert, I’d be inclined to just keep driving it until/if a problem appears. It seemslike you are only getting about 5 years out of your hybrid batteries. That seems unusual, and something you should make clear when you find someone w/the needed expertise.

Sadly, that is not unusual for a Honda Civic hybrid

I’m speaking from experience, as we have lots of Civic hybrids in our fleet from the same vintage

And the battery life is pathetic, compared to our fleet’s Prius cars

George . . . you’re not cynical enough

Good info. I learned that if I’m going to buy a Honda Hybrid version, for the purchase to make sense, I have to get a big enough discount on the purchase price to pay for a new hybrid battery at the 5 year mark, otherwise better to buy a Prius.

If you want a hybrid, just buy a Prius