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About a month ago, my IMA light came on. It wasn't unexpected; my car is almost old enough to consent and it's still on the original battery. About two weeks ago, the Charge / Assist meter stopped working, the battery level started acting wonky, Auto Stop never activated even under ideal conditions, and the transmission even started acting weird too. I was so sure the IMA battery was a dead man walking.

Last night, the 12V battery died—I was on my way home when all the warning lights came on, the stereo turned off, and the speedometer went off too. ‘That's an easy fix, I'll just go to Walmart tomorrow,’ I thought.

I installed a new 12V battery today, and magically, the IMA system started working too. The battery charged itself on the way home and everything. It even Auto Stopped when I rolled into my driveway.

Are the two systems more intertwined than I thought? I thought the 12V battery powered the accessories and (obviously) started the car, I wouldn't think the IMA system would be affected by a bad 12V battery.
 

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A bad 12V battery wreaks havoc on a hybrid car. I had IMA issues also a while back that were fixed by a new 12V battery and replacing ground straps. Colder weather will also bring out the weaknesses of a car.
 

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Also worth noting that I replaced the battery with a lawn mower battery. It takes some caveman beating to get the round cable on the rectangular terminal, but it starts up just as fast as the OEM battery did, even with half the CCA rating. And it's not nearly as heavy.
 

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YES! I experienced the same thing around 2 years ago. I thought my IMA was toast, and then when I lost all electrical power and stranded on the side of the road, we replaced the starter battery (only 12 years old at that point...) and everything else came back! However... the IMA light just came on again last week and I lost my electric motor use again. It's not the starter battery, so now I'm exploring my options once more. I hope you get at least another year off that simple fix like I did!
 

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In addition to the usual low-voltage gremlins, a failing 12V can demand a pretty high charge current straining the HV system.

The act of replacing the 12V resets the BCM forcing it to recalibrate. It may mask IMA issues or delay their reemergence.

Don't be surprised if you get another IMA light, but hopefully, you won't.
 
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