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Hi All,

Recently gifted a 1st Gen. IMA light came on within a day of taking the car over. Looking to try rebalancing before doing anything more drastic. Looking to buy a grid charger. Or, perhaps one of you knows of a place within the Pacific northwest that does grid charging as a service. I didn't find any in Spokane that weren't dealers. Thanks for reading.
 

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You'll probably have to buy a device and do it yourself, it's not really the sort of thing a garage could do or would do. The 'harness' that you have to install (a few wires) typically stays with the pack and, in general, grid charging becomes a routine maintenance sort of thing, so you want to own the charger.

Probably the most popular units are the ones built by Hybrid Automotive, a small business started by one of the longer-term members at IC. I think there's a charge/discharge version that goes for something like $350. You'll have to search around here or online for them.

If money's an issue you can build your own for like $50 or so. But I think that's probably more for the seasoned DIY'er. At bare minimum it doesn't take much more than an LED power supply that outputs the right current within the right voltage range, such as a Mean Well LPC-100-350 (~$35). That bare minimum would require that you either power the pack fan on your own, with your own 12V power supply, or monitor the charge closely so you don't overheat cells. Additionally, discharging is usually a key component of the process, if not the more important one, so you need to rig-up a discharging load, such as a light bulb, too.

All this is discussed in countless numbers of threads around here, so if you search a bit you're bound to find one that helps... Try to read one that wasn't started more than a couple years ago, though, or always read the later entries in older threads...

Over the last couple months I've been helping one person try a different method - balancing by discharging through the pack's 'voltage taps'. You might want to see what that's all about, here's a link to the latest post in that thread: P1444, Zero HV battery voltage, current to chassis
 

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The auto stores will read codes, but they aren't very successful with IMA codes.

It might help if we had the secondary codes, or the blink codes, from the car. Folks can refine recommendations on troubled batteries if they know the blink codes. Refer to this link for instructions:


It is pretty difficult to find help on this sort of thing. Grid cycling is kinda the last gasp. In some cases it provides a few months to a year of additional use, but it isn't a cure by any means, and it takes several days to go through the full routine.

Beware of the red battery light coming on. That means that the dc-dc converter isn't charging the 12V battery and the car can stall fairly shortly, particular if lights are used.
 

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Eli of Bumblebee Batteries is located in Gresham, OR and may be able to steer you in the right direction.


Short term, you can reset the IMA by pulling a fuse. I tend to prefer the #15 fuse in the driver’s footwell because it doesn’t reset the radio memory. Look for the fuse panel on the left side. On the bottom row of fuses, count to the 5th fuse back from the door opening. Use a needle nose pliers to pull this fuse for about 30 seconds, then reinstall it. When you restart your car and go for a drive, the IMA will recalibrate itself and charge the battery for the first few minutes.

This may buy you a month, a week, or 15 minutes before the IMA trips out again. The longer it lasts, the healthier your battery.


Long term, a cycle of grid charging and discharging will help rejuvenate many old batteries. There are a variety of commercial chargers starting around $150 and going up.

Or you can build your own if you’re comfortable with some light soldering. OlRowdy01 has a nice, simple design. This thread is my illustrated build of his charger/discharger and concludes with a description of a week-long battery reconditioning process...


My car’s IMA battery goes about 6 months between these deep cycling operations.

Enjoy!

- Park
 

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Oh, forgot about this... if your local tech school has a hybrid auto class, they may do a battery reconditioning on your car for free as a class exercise. That’s how I first got my battery serviced.

- Park
 

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Schven;
Please include your Location in you Profile, as ALL G1 Insighters have done.
 
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