The UK/EU Honda Hybrid IMA Expert.
Please read this document carefully.
At present I only deal with UK/EU Honda IMA vehicles, specifically the Generation 1 Honda Insight 1999-2005 and the Generation 1 Honda Civic Hybrid HCH1 2003-2005.
I do not currently deal with the Generation 2 Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda CRZ, Generation 2 Honda Insight or any other make of hybrid. This may change as I get more time after June 2014.
I own both a Honda Insight and a Honda Civic Hybrid, and I have researched the electronics and IMA systems in these vehicles for several years. Most people contact me about failing IMA batteries. This is now a common occurrence, as these early hybrid vehicles are around ten years old and the IMA batteries are at the end of their natural life. The Honda IMA cars are great vehicles with lots of life left in them, and will most likely have given you a lot of pleasure. You will have saved a considerable amount of money over the years with excellent reliability, low fuel consumption and cheap road tax. However when the IMA battery fails its time to re-invest some of that money saved in a replacement.
Unfortunately there is no cheap solution if you need a replacement IMA battery.
Honda Dealers are not especially interested in fixing these vehicles, and most are not very knowledgeable about them. They are rare, with only around 250 Insights and 1000 Civics in the UK, and most dealers wont see very many. Dealers follow a set diagnostic and repair routine and dont normally think outside the box for solutions. They are not well placed to tackle quirky IMA problems. You will find if you do some internet research that, apart from US based companies, I am virtually the only person dealing with IMA batteries and problems in the UK other than Honda themselves. The generation 1 Insight is a delightful lightweight, aerodynamic futuristic looking collectors car capable of insane mpg. Its a marvel of determined engineering, and they are rapidly appreciating in price and look likely to become a good long term investment.
So what services do I offer?
1) I rebuild and fit replacement IMA batteries using brand new high spec Nimh cells with a higher capacity and performance than Honda cells. (Insight & Civic). I do not use second-hand cells, reconditioned cells or sticks, or cheap low spec cells from e-bay.
Working closely with others in the USA, we have sourced a supply of excellent new cells to repair the IMA batteries. These are used to rebuild IMA packs, which are then charged and tested before awaiting fitting in customer cars. I charge considerably less than the Honda UK dealers (£2,270 one year warranty) for this service. I also use higher specification cells and provide a three year unlimited mileage warranty. The installation process takes about two hours, so involves minimal vehicle downtime. The benefits of a new high power IMA battery are increased mpg, increased performance, lower emissions, cleared fault codes and longer and stronger assist and regeneration.
The cost of the IMA Battery including installation is £2,000 exchange. UK/EU Only.
2) I build and fit a special high voltage IMA battery charger. (Insight & Civic)
I have developed a special low current IMA battery charger which can in some instances help to rebalance and recover a failing IMA battery. This is a much cheaper option than a new battery but carries no absolute guarantee of success and is not a magic bullet. If your battery is really bad and unlikely to be helped I will tell you on the day and you can then decide if you wish to go ahead with a charger or fit a new battery. The charger fitting process takes about one hour so involves minimal vehicle downtime. The benefits of an IMA battery charger fitted to a suitable battery are increased mpg, restoration of IMA performance, lower emissions, cleared fault codes and longer and stronger assist and regeneration.
The cost of the IMA Battery charger including installation is £200 Insight, £250 Civic. UK/EU Only.
3) I build and fit a manual IMA control system IMAC&C (IMA Command & Control) for the enthusiast driver
wanting total control over how the IMA system works. (Insight & Civic)
This involves the fitting of a specially developed control circuit to the car and additional wiring to enable the manual control of the IMA system. This allows the user to control how and when the car assists or regenerates, so the driver can help a weak battery last longer. It also enables the sporty driver to use more assist for extra performance on demand. The cars own computers still have final control, and the IMA system remains within safe limits even when modified. The fitting process takes about eight hours in the Insight and two hours in the Civic. Over 100 of these are now helping owners worldwide get the best from their cars. The benefits of the IMAC&C system are manual IMA control, increased mpg, increased performance, lower emissions, stronger assist and regeneration and better management of the IMA battery condition.
The cost of the built and tested IMAC&C device including installation in UK is Insight £600, Civic £300.
The bare pcb for the device and software licence is available worldwide by post cost £35, $55 inc p&p.
4) I build and supply a special Honda IMA dedicated OBDII diagnostic and vehicle monitoring tool
OBDIIC&C (OBDII Command & Control) which displays a large range of vehicle parameters on a dedicated dash mounted instrument. (Insight & Civic)
It enables you to monitor in real time a huge list of system parameters, read and clear vehicle error codes and it has a number of exclusive IMA related functions. Over 200 of these are currently in use helping owners get the best out of their cars. The benefits of the OBDIIC&C system are real time system monitoring, increased mpg, lower emissions, cleared fault codes and better management of the IMA battery condition.
The cost of the built and tested OBDIIC&C device is £200 including worldwide postage. Case not supplied.
The bare pcb for the device and software licence is available worldwide by post cost £35, $55 inc p&p.
5) I can diagnose and repair difficult IMA related problems and carry an extensive stock of expensive Honda
IMA parts. (Insight & Civic)
My hourly rate for this service is £75. Parts extra. UK/EU Only.
6) I provide an IMA check up service when I will examine your car, take readings, and drive it, to give you an
assessment of the battery state of health and advice on any other issues or problems.
My hourly rate for this service is £50. UK/EU Only.
7) Other Services.
I work with Steve Retchless at Auto-Tech Thirsk Ltd an independent specialist garage, who does my general hybrid repair and servicing work. I've known Steve for over 20 years and he now works on a lot of my customers Honda IMA Hybrids. He has my backup for any IMA or Hybrid problems, access to my diagnostic tools, stock of expensive spares, expertise and my full Honda workshop manuals. He can provide a courtesy car, and services the cars of a lot of customers who come to see me for IMA work.
Steve and his mechanics are familiar with the quirky issues that affect the Honda Hybrids (We have worked on them together for several years) and they can tackle a number of mechanical problems that a lot of Honda dealers or other garages wont. For example the common Insight MK1 gearbox input shaft bearing failure.
Contacting Steve at Auto-Tech is only possible by phone on 01845 526192. He does not use the answer phone or e-mails, so you have to ring until you catch him. Its a good way of killing two birds with one stone. Many visitors now book in with Auto-Tech for general service or repairs, stay overnight in the area and come to see me the following day for IMA work.
The rate for these services is determined by Steve so contact him for details and availability. UK/EU Only.
Terms & Conditions.
Due to the high voltage and danger presented by the IMA hybrid system I do not supply batteries or chargers for others to fit. All the work is done by me personally. This guarantees the standard of workmanship and enables me to offer a no quibble three year return to base warranty. If anything I fit or supply fails within three years then I will replace or repair it free of charge.
Payment is strictly via bank transfer before the fitting appointment or cash on the day.
I also accept Paypal for the OBDIIC&C and IMAC&C HCH1 device for postal sales.
To manage the high volume of enquiries I receive you must include your full name and address, Insight central username (if you have one) and your vehicle registration/identity number with any further communications.
To book my services once we have agreed the work and a suitable date, I require a non refundable deposit of £100 by bank transfer or Paypal(+5% to cover their fee). If I cancel for any reason your money will be refunded. If you cancel because you do not want the work doing anymore then the deposit is forfeit. If you cancel because the date booked becomes a problem then we will rebook a different date. Because my spare time is limited cancellations and no shows mean others have to wait longer for my service, thats not fair on them or me. Parts ordered at your request for your vehicle will attract a 100% restocking fee if you cancel completely.
I'm probably one of the few people left who dont regularly carry a mobile phone, so only provide a number for emergencies. Everything is done by e-mail.
There is a huge amount of information on the internet about these cars, and I am an active member of www.insightcentral.net. This is the best forum for discussion of all relevant technical topics pertaining to the Honda IMA vehicles. I strongly recommend you peruse the site.
For unsolicited testimonials this link covers a number of people who have had IMA batteries supplied and fitted by me. http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/20319-uk-betterbattery-upgrade-thread.html Feel free to Google me for hundreds of other links and information.
You can check Honda pricing for any UK parts using these useful links.
YouTube contains lots of my videos and project details. This link takes you to my channel.
If you need help in the US/CAN or outside the EU there are a number of very reliable US based companies who can assist with IMA problems and batteries.
Eli at http://www.bumblebeebatteries.com/ Batteries and OBDIIC&C/IMAC&C
Matt at http://www.hybridrevolt.com/ Batteries
Eric at http://www.evpowers.com/ Batteries & Sophisticated Chargers
Jeff at http://hybridautomotive.com/ Simple Chargers
People travel from all over the UK and continental Europe for my specialised Honda IMA Hybrid services.
Finally a little about me.
I retired from the Police in June 2014 and have been working on expanding my part time Honda Hybrid consultancy service for several years to take its place.
Im very well known in the hybrid and electric vehicle communities, and have been driving an electric vehicle or hybrid of some sort for the last 30 years.
Peter Perkins (The UK/EU Honda Hybrid IMA Expert)
Hull, East Riding Of Yorkshire , HU68BJ. 07984519638