What Is Integrated Motor Assist? (Everything to Know)

What is integrated motor assist?  This is a common question asked by Honda Hybrid owners and anyone curious to know what integrated motor assist is and how it works. Or perhaps you saw the IMA light on your vehicle and you are wondering what it is and why it came on.

This article answers various questions you might have about Integrated Motor Assist (abbreviated as IMA) such as what it is, how it works, why the IMA light comes on, How to reset the IMA light, and lots more.

Let’s begin!

The IMA system works with the car battery, fuel engine, and other few car parts to deliver a comfortable driving experience. The IMA is also an electric hybrid system.

One of the moments when just your battery is in charge of your vehicle’s power supply is during low speed. It is also in this situation where the efficiency is highest.

Therefore the IMA system is structured in such a way to improve your petrol efficiency without affecting the entire performance or efficiency of the car.

Regenerative braking is also achieved, which keeps the battery charging while you brake.

You will receive an alert from the IMA light when something is wrong with this system, essentially when it has power-related issues. This is because the system always needs uninterrupted power to function properly.

Also Read: Check Fuel Cap Honda Accord (Causes & Fix)

How Does Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) Work?

During deceleration, there is a tendency for heat loss, but with the IMA system, this heat loss can be captured and used for charging.

It is known as a regenerative braking system. The car can also reuse this power during acceleration. Therefore, this process will result in the following outcomes: regular brake hardware replacement, reduced engine stress, and increased acceleration rate.

It is important to know that an acceleration boost is quite vital. The fuel efficiency variant can be scaled down without affecting the vehicle or making it weak or slow. One of the vital reasons for IMA is for cars to have excellent highway mileage when they are being compared with others.

What Does It Mean When the IMA Light Comes On?

What Does It Mean When the IMA Light Comes On

When your car’s IMA light illuminates, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that your car will break down. However, it is a sign for you to drive it to a nearby workshop so that the hybrid system can be well examined. Do not ignore this sign.

The illumination could be due to a faulty battery, which can affect the fuel efficiency by bringing it down and also affect the car’s acceleration.

When you realize that your car battery is the source of the problem, it is advisable to get a new battery or an overhauled battery from a reputable online dealer.

Can I Drive My Honda Civic Hybrid With the IMA Light On?

It is not impossible to drive your Honda when the IMA is illuminated. However, you are open to damage when you drive with the Integrated motor assist light on.

When you are not sure why your car battery is bad or why your car is faulty in general, you should get a professional mechanic to check it out.

There will be a decrease in acceleration and fuel efficiency when you drive a Honda Civic hybrid with the integrated motor assist light on. Unfortunately, this can also increase the level of wear in other car components.

Also Read: Car Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold (Causes & Solutions)

How Do You Reset the IMA Light?

The only solution is to drive your car to a reputable automobile shop and get it fixed because waiting for the car to reset is impossible without it getting fixed.

The OBD2 code reader will help you search for the error codes in your car; for the new Honda Civic, the port is located above or upper left of the pedal. This will help offer you a proper diagnosis of the problem.

A visit to an automobile or car parts store can help out because such shops can run the diagnosis in a very short period, and they mostly do it for free.

You can also buy your OBD2 reader at a good retail store or online. This is about $50 or less, and they function very well in modern car models and makes.

Check out this video for more tips on how to reset the IMA light

Frequently Asked Questions – What Is Integrated Motor Assist?

What is Integrated Motor Assist system?

IMA system is made up of an electric motor inserted between the transmission and engine. The motor’s primary duty is to help the engine during acceleration, thereby erasing the necessity for a bigger, less petrol-efficient engine.

How long does Honda IMA battery last?

The battery is expected to last up to ten thousand miles or between six to ten years.

What is the advantage of the improved Honda IMA system?

The carbon dioxide emissions are quite low, giving out about 116 g/km; this could also mean that the Civic IMA can easily reach the requirements of the Euro IV. If you should compare this with others, the new modern IMA system offers enhanced packaging, increased performance, regenerative braking ability, and flexibility.

How does IMA battery work?

IMA batteries have nickel metal as one of the most vital components (NiMH units); this battery replenishes or recharges during vehicle deceleration; this process is also known as regenerative braking.

Why is my IMA light on?

The meaning of IMA is integrated Motor Assist; it is a hybrid technology specially made for Honda hybrids. When this light comes on, it means that your battery needs a replacement or maintenance is needed for your battery pack.

What is IMA on Honda Civic?

The IMA is like the combustion engine’s primary backup. There are three distinct kinds of hybrid cars, according to Honda manufacturers. In each hybrid car, the hybrid battery is the source of all or some power needed.

How much does it cost to replace an IMA battery?

About $1,895 is what it will cost you to get a brand new 8 Amp-Hour cell. For a completely brand new battery pack, you will be offered three years Warranty of Unlimited mileage, and there will be no charges for shipping.

Conclusion – What Is Integrated Motor Assist?

Integrated Motor Assist (abbreviated as IMA)is a hybrid car technology developed by Honda in 1999. IMA uses an electric motor mounted between the internal combustion engine and transmission to act as an engine balancer, starter motor, and assist traction motor.

In 1999, the IMA was introduced on the Honda insight model, and to date, it still offers a crucial role in the driving experience.

It acts as an assistant to the traction motor, using an electric motor. It can be seen in both the Jazz Hybrid vehicle model and Honda insight second-generation models. We believe the information above has offered you enough details about the IMA.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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