Car battery depletion is a common incident. Your Honda Civic hybrid is not an exception. Recharging the auxiliary 12 V battery is not too hard. But what if you need to recharge a hybrid car battery?
Do you know how to charge Honda Civic hybrid battery?
The Honda Civic hybrid battery does not need to be charged manually. That’s because the IMA battery is self-charging. However, there is a slight chance that your IMA battery might have died, which is very rare. In that case, you can find out which cells are bad and charge them individually.
The whole detection and charging process of the Honda Civic hybrid battery is complicated. So, it needs some explaining. This is why we have explained the whole process in the following sections.
When Do I Need to Manually Recharge the IMA Battery?
The Honda Civic hybrid battery is self-charging and no matter how many times it gets depleted, it will recharge itself. So, if you are suspecting that the hybrid battery is not charging, it might be a false alarm.
Or did you mean charging the auxiliary 12 V battery? If so, then don’t worry. The procedure is pretty simple.
But there must be a problem; otherwise, why would you even suspect there is one? That’s why let’s consider some scenarios to diagnose and solve the issue.
Scenario 1: Honda Civic Not Turning On
You suspect your hybrid battery needs to charge, maybe because your car is not turning on. If that’s the case, you should get your auxiliary, under-the-hood battery checked or replaced.
The 12 V auxiliary battery is used to start the engine. So if your Honda Civic is not starting, then there is something wrong with it.
Now, you have two options,
- Replace your battery, which is not a problem. 12 V batteries are very common and easy to replace. Here is a video you can watch, How to Change the Battery Honda Civic 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
- Try jumpstarting your car, it might fix the problem. You can even jump start a dead battery.
Scenario 2: The IMA Light is On
So, if your car is up and running but the IMA light is on, that means there is a serious issue with your car. That issue is probably with the IMA battery.
The IMA light usually turns on when your battery is not working properly. This indicates an urgent problem that needs immediate attention.
That doesn’t necessarily mean your battery needs to be charged. But that is also an option.
Before we tell you how to work on the IMA battery, let us tell you how it works first.
The IMA battery is made of a huge number of individual cells. One hybrid battery pack has at least 120-240 individual cells. So, when the battery is having a problem, that does not mean all the cells are bad. The chances are, only some of the cells are faulty.
Take Out Your Hybrid Battery
So, what you can do is take out your hybrid battery and check it module by module to determine which ones are malfunctioning. Then either try recharging them or, if that does not work, replace those cells.
Here is how you can take out the hybrid battery from your Honda Civic.
First, take out your hybrid battery from your car. Disconnecting the battery from your car can be a hassle. That’s because the battery is behind your backseat.
After you remove the backseat, you will find a huge metallic cover. The battery is located underneath that cover.
Now, before we proceed to take out the hybrid battery, you must also disconnect the auxiliary battery.
You will find a black switch on the cover of the hybrid battery. You must turn that switch off before removing the cover. That will disable the battery, and it will then be safe to remove it.
When you are done, grab your T30 screwdriver, and we will take out all the screws in that metallic panel. After removing the panel, you will find the converter, compressor, and computer on the left side and the battery on the right.
The converter and the computer are connected to the battery, you will see some thick red wires. Disconnect those cables, which will disable their connection to the battery.
There are two sets of 10 mm screws attaching the battery. Removing the screws will completely detach the battery from the car.
There is a handle on top of the battery. Hold the handle and pull out the battery.
You can also find the instructions in this video,
How To Remove Honda Civic Hybrid Battery 06-11 IMA
Check Which Cells Have Gone Bad
Now that you have taken the battery out, you need to test the battery. First, you have to measure the voltage of the whole pack, and then you should check the voltage of all the individual cells.
To perform this task, you need a multimeter.
You’ll see there is a small black portion on one side of the battery. That’s the negative terminal. Touch the tip of the negative cable of the multimeter to the negative terminal. Make sure your hands do not touch the terminal.
Then touch the tip of the red cable on one of the opposite corners of the battery pack. The multimeter will then give a voltage reading; note that.
Now, touch the red cable on the other corner of the battery pack, do not move the black cable while doing this. That will give you another voltage reading.
The two combined voltage readings should be equal to the total voltage of the battery pack. If that’s not the case, your battery has a defect.
Now, we will tell you the method of testing each module to find which ones are problematic.
You can easily distinguish each module just by looking. So, put the red cable of the multimeter on one edge of it. Then, at the same time, put the black one on the opposite edge.
That way, you will get to see the voltage level of the module. The optimal voltage reading should be 7.5, not less than 7.2. The modules that have a voltage lower than 7.2 should be either recharged or replaced.
For a better understanding of the instructions, you can check out this video, HOW TO TEST A HYBRID BATTERY PACK OR CELLS BEFORE PURCHASING.
How To Manually Charge Honda Civic Hybrid Battery?
There are two ways you can charge your Honda Civic hybrid battery. The easier and better way is to take your car to the shop and let the experts handle it.
However, you can try it yourself, which we do not recommend.
By Making a DIY Charger
Now that you have the modules that have a lower voltage, you can recharge them using a 12 V battery.
To do this, you must have a fully charged 12 V battery.
First, connect all the modules in parallel. Then connect the negative terminal of the module pack to the battery’s negative and the positive terminal to the positive. That’s it.
Keep a multimeter connected to the module pack to keep track, as it shouldn’t take a long time. Overcharging the modules might also damage them.
Here is another video for reference, how to charge a hybrid battery with a 12v battery
By Taking It to the Workshop
This is the easiest and most recommended method of getting your battery fixed. You don’t need to take anything out, measure anything, or do anything at all. Just take your car to the shop and leave it in the hands of the professionals.
What To Do If Honda Civic Hybrid Battery Not Charging?
Even after charging the modules, your car’s hybrid battery is not working. That is probably because that battery is not charging. If that happens, there is probably no other way to fix it other than replacing the battery.
The car might not start with a fully-charged battery. If so, then you get your car checked.
But still, have your car checked and get a second opinion, as there might be other issues that you haven’t been able to detect.
The IMA battery is huge and consists of hundreds of cells. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to replace the whole battery pack. Instead, you can identify the modules that are not working and just have them replaced.
Unless your mechanic recommends you replace the whole pack, that’s what you should do. Replacing a whole battery can be expensive, as they cost thousands of dollars.
Can a dead car battery recharge itself overnight?
No, a dead car battery can never recharge itself. The cells of the battery cannot produce power by themselves. So, unless there is an external power source, there is no way a battery will charge.
How do you tell if a battery is completely dead?
There are quite a number of symptoms to look for. First of all, your check engine light would be on. Besides, your car might have trouble starting, or may have a slow start. Also, when you inspect the battery, you might find it swollen with an odd smell coming from it.
Do car batteries charge while driving?
Yes, car batteries are recharged while you drive. In older car models, the car battery is charged by a dynamo. In modern cars, the alternator replaced the dynamo.
What is the fastest way to charge a dead car battery?
If the car battery is completely dead, you have to jumpstart it and use a dedicated battery charger. You must connect the battery immediately to a charger after jump starting it.
Honda Civic hybrid batteries are self charging. The battery charges itself while you drive. Even after depletion, it should be able to recharge itself.
If your battery is not charging itself, there might be other issues with your Honda Civic. You have to be certain that recharging will fix it. Only then knowing how to charge Honda Civic hybrid battery will be beneficial for you.
But still, it is advised that you take your car to a mechanic, because the whole process is long and involves complicated steps.