Common Questions and Answers
What is a MAXX VOLTS charging system and why do I need it?
The unique high voltage charging system we offer has been designed to serve the market of HYBRID VEHICLE owners who invested in Hybrid automobiles with the idea that the high MPG fuel efficiency of this high mpg vehicle would save a lot of money in fuel costs over time. Whether you bought your Hybrid new or used, you probably realized as time passed, or in case of buying a used one that the mpgs started to drop over time. The car started charging itself more often which loads up the engine and drags down fuel efficiency.
The NiMH battery packs in the Toyota, Chevy, Honda Hybrid vehicles consist of individual battery cells wired in series. Through the battery pack, electricity travels end to end + to - until it runs through each of the nickel metal hydride battery cells where the total voltage ends up in the nominal voltage range depending on the state of charge of the pack and its overall battery health. Now the Battery Management System does a fairly good job managing the charging and usage of this electricity but it the pack as a whole singular unit and does not, nor have the capability to manage each individual cell or module. Over time these cells can become out of sync with one another with slight voltage and internal resistance differences. This will reduce the range of effective capacity the battery system has to operate in between charging and discharging (ASSIST) power.
What our charging system will do is give the end user the ability to charge their IMA battery pack at home or the office via the standard USA 110v AC plug you would have in your home. This ability to override the BCM system and will allow you to fully charge the pack without the IMA computer playing referee.
How will this home charging of the IMA battery pack help me?
Our home charging system will allow the end user not only to charge their pack, but also to BALANCE their NiMH battery pack. In most cases this will eliminate the IMA light, the lack of the cars ability to assist and regenerate power to the battery pack. It can help keep off IMA lights and allow you to pass smog inspections.
What is balancing a pack?
The Maxx Volts Charger system allows you to charge your battery pack. This will allow the charger not only to fill, but also to soak charge the weaker cells within the pack. Balancing a pack is bringing all of the 120 individual cells within the same voltage as one another so that their charge and discharge characteristics are as close as possible to one another.
There are experimental Lithium LiFePO4 batteries being beta tested in the market, can a Lithium LiFePO4 battery be grid charged or reconditioned? No, Lithium or any non-NIMH battery chemistry is not compatible with grid charging.
How do I charge the weaker cells?
Charging at a safe charging current (with our Maxx Volts Charger), until the stronger cells with the highest voltage reach capacity, they will transfer any additional energy into a few degrees in temp change while the weaker, lower voltage cells "catch up" and continue rising in voltage.
What trouble codes can the MAXX VOLTS CHARGER help eliminate?
P1447/P1449/P1600 diagnostic trouble codes from the OBD II scan port are the typical codes that our system may help to eliminate with MAXX VOLTS charging system. Each battery has a different history and condition however and you must to start with a battery that is salvageable and not beyond repair in order for the process to be effective.
How will I know when my battery is charged?
Our Maxx Volts charger has a built in voltage and amperage current display. We will provide baseline figures for you to look for as to what to expect and our charging system will also slightly reduce current amperage when it is full or nearing full capacity of the battery pack.
How often should I charge the pack?
This will depend on a number of factors including the overall condition of the pack, the climate and mileage of the car, however our customers have used our chargers anywhere from monthly to each morning as a daily maintenance charger to start the day off on a full and warmed up pack. For those with ailing packs, the car has been FORCE CHARGING itself each morning at much higher amperage just to try to get a little bit of use out of the imbalanced pack. For those that drive their vehicles daily, there are no ill effects to getting a boost in energy to insure you get as much assist as possible on your commute and realize the maximum MPG for the day. Some of our competitors try to use scare tactics and claim that this will harm the pack in some way. Its simply not true and a poor attempt at selling an inferior product with negative marketing because it simply lacks any useful features, including and ON/OFF switch! If our competitor leaves out a $0.50 on/off switch, then what else has been omitted/neglected in the name of profit? Don't invest your hard earned money on such an important tool / investment.
Just like the "ICE" otherwise known as the internal combustion engine that the Insight has which is powered by gasoline, it needs to warm up for maximum efficiency. While the gas engine operates at 180-195*F, the IMA battery pack peak for efficiency is approximately 77*F. If you reside in colder climates or you are in the colder seasons, this can benefit your MPG and useable battery capacity as well as the pack's ability for provide ASSIST and REGENERATION of power back into the pack from the IMA motor.
Why wouldn’t I just buy a new battery from Honda instead of the MAXX VOLTS charger?
Honda doesn’t sell new hybrid batteries for any NiMH packs. For an average of about $2,800.00, they will sell you a “refurbished unit” and gladly take your existing pack to refurbish and sell to someone else. In the end you will be out the money spent and still have a used/refurb battery pack. Panasonic made the hybrid batteries and they no longer make these units so they are not available as new. So for a fraction of that cost you can have a personalized MAXX VOLTS charger to command at your will to take a charge, balance the high end of your battery pack and potentially have a good working car again without the IMA lights and with improved MPGs again.
There are more than one charger on the market, how is yours different from the others?
There are various chargers in the marketplace, but none as feature rich, available for purchase to the general public and painstakingly built by us clearly demonstrating our quality, attention to detail and how well thought out our systems are. Because just like you, we actually own and drive these everyday. We currently own 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Honda Civic Hybrids, 2001, 2003 Honda Insights, 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid, 2003, 2004, 2005 Honda Civic Hybrids at this time. So what this means is that every unit built has been thoroughly FIT and TESTED through quality control we can apply while fitting these systems to an actual car and not a "jig".
An overview the features and benefits of ours and allow you to decide who is building a quality engineered and well thought out unit at a reasonable price.
Some Specifications on our Maxx Volts Charger:
v Built in DIGITAL LED VOLTMETER!
- No guesswork or dangerous poking or prodding of high voltage electrical terminals with a crappy voltmeter to try and figure out the state of your battery charge/volts.
v Built in DIGITAL CURRENT AMPERAGE METER!
- Allows you to monitor/calculate the energy going into the pack and determine when current tapering (FULL PACK) is occurring.
v Modular construction with CPC locking connectors.
-The charger and the car's wiring harness uses connections complete with locking Tyco connectors!
-Clean installation, safe connectors with female port on the harness side for safe use.
-There are NO high voltage wires hanging out of the charger unit to tangle or trip over and no exposed high voltage wires or prongs to accidentally touch together.
v Material construction quality and engineering
-Charger high voltage purpose use cables are rated for 600V and not some inferior and potentially dangerous 12v rated automotive wire.
-Battery pack to charger reverse HV electrical flow protection built into battery harness.
-Positive electricity from battery pack cannot flow from high voltage positive in our wiring harness back to the charger.
-HV current can only flow from charger to battery pack, even if the car was started accidentally!
-Connections are soldered, heatshrunk and many connections potted for electrical connection protection.
-MAXX VOLTS charger power cables from car to charger are CPC male twist and lock connection. No loose connections and a securely and surely locking connection that won't pull out.
Strain relief plug ends protect wires from bending, wearing out and pulling out of harness.
-Brand new power supply cases designed for ventilation and cooling.
-Slow blow arc quenching high voltage fuse at battery connection.
-Internal power supply fuses
v High visibility LED power supply cooling fan
-Protects power supplies from overheating.
-Doubles as an audio and visual indicator that the charger is powered on and charging. Even from inside your home you can tell if the charger is on.
-Forget that the charger is still on and ready for a drive? With a LED powered fan in your rearview mirror makes driving off with the charger on and attached virtually impossible.
Significant improvements have been obtained with nearly every NiMH Honda Hybrid battery we have tested and reconditioned but YMMV. You must have a recoverable IMA battery in order to fully benefit from any grid charger’s use. The majority of our customers also report significant improvements when using our charger. Most clients have a check engine light before buying a our charger. With regular grid charging, the check engine light can normally be eliminated and battery life significantly extended. Some have extended their battery life well over a year or more by using the grid charger.
Unfortunately, in any one specific case, it is not possible to say for sure how much the charger will help. The amount of improvement depends on the condition of your existing battery pack itself. If the cause of the problem is a major physical failure such and internal short or high internal resistance, the charger cannot help, those failed battery sticks must be replaced. If the problem is the more common nickel metal hydride battery pack imbalance, then our charger is designed to alleviate those issues.We make no guarantees that this product or any external charging system will fix your IMA battery, however more often than not, the charging and balancing of an IMA battery will alleviate many common symptoms of an out of balance hybrid battery.
Under the worst case scenario if you had to replace your hybrid battery, our grid charger is still an imperative maintenance tool as it can prevent the new hybrid pack from prematurely deteriorating and becoming imbalanced. Those who have chosen to replace their IMA battery have benefitted from the use of our systems to virtually eliminate the imbalance problem helps contribute to IMA lights and premature battery failures.
Can I have documentation, instructions, installation guides or access to videos and PDF's prior to purchase?
For several reasons not limited to insuring each user reads the warning and safety information contained in the package, protecting patents pending and proprietary information, the installation guides and access to QR codes are sent in the package and will be the first thing you see when you open the package on top of the charger or discharger system. None of our instructional guides are found on our website because they will come in the package after purchase.
What is the difference between a 2004-2009 and 2010-2015 Toyota Prius Charger? Can I purchase a 2004-2009 and use it on a 2010-2015?
No, each charger and wiring harness is engineered specifically for the year make and model vehicle it was designed for and each vehicle is unique in its voltage range, cell count, battery cooling system, wiring terminals, harness routing, lengths and connections.
Are you accepting any inquiries for being an authorized dealer?
If you think your shop or business would be a good candidate to be an authorized installer or dealer of our products, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Existing customers familiar with our products take precedence.
What product do we recommend?
We always recommend the EL-1 Series Charger System as a base for the start of your reconditioning journey. For maximum results, the Complete Reconditioning Package is recommended.
Can I grid charger a Hyundai Sonata?
Hyundai Sonata is a lithium ion battery vehicle and this battery chemistry is NOT compatible with grid charging. In rare cases a mechanically inclined technician has carefully used our system for a brief time to boost the voltage of this type of battery so that the factory BCM of the vehicle could take over and start the car, but grid charging to a high state of charge is not supported and would be dangerous as a lithium ion battery needs individual cell monitoring that only the factory vehicle BCM can safely support.
Looking for manual, guide or instructions?
For several reasons not limited to insuring each user reads the warning and safety information contained in the package, protecting patents pending and proprietary information, the installation guide and access to QR codes are sent in the package and will be the first thing you see when you open the package on top of the charger or discharger system. None of our instructional guides are found on our website because they will come in the package after purchase.
If you are an existing owner who has lost the instructions provided in the original package, send us an email at email@example.com and we will try and provide another copy (please allow 24-72hrs)
AI bot was unable to assist you through chat?
Our AI chatbot is constantly learning through programming. Sometimes it is unable to fully understand what you need. If this occurs, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and a real human being can assist you further.
What does it mean when the instructions read ALWAYS HAVE CHARGER PLUGGED INTO 120VAC AND AT FULL VOLTAGE OUTPUT PRIOR TO INSERTING WIRING HARNESS INTO THE CHARGER OUTPUT?
Electricity flows like water. It has to flow from a higher voltage to reach a lower voltage so your charger has to be plugged into the wall outlet and with its voltage higher than your hybrid battery voltage in order for the energy to flow from the charger into the hybrid battery. Most hybrid battery nominal voltage is 100-330vdc depending on your vehicle and battery configuration. So with the charger powered up and reading either higher voltage than your hybrid battery or in some instances will read "1. " this means the charger is at full voltage output and has maxed out the 300vdc voltmeter. This is normal. Once you plug the wiring harness into the charger, the voltage will equalize to the hybrid battery voltage and start to transfer energy.
If you plug in the wiring harness into an UNPOWERED charger or a charger with the O/I switch in the O position, your charger voltage will be lower than your battery voltage 0vdc and you run the risk of creating an electrical arc or backfeeding high voltage electric into the charger which can damage individual gauges or the ammeter/voltmeter that measures the current flow. So be sure to follow the instructions engraved on the back of the charger.
Can I use a Maxx Volts charger on another vehicle besides the vehicle in which I originally purchased it for?
Possibly. It will depend on the year, make and model vehicle you purchased it for and the vehicle you want to use it on. Not all vehicles are interchangeable and more importantly, you will need to purchase a vehicle specific wiring harness for the additional vehicle.
Here are a few common requests to utilize one charger on more than one vehicle:
2004-2009 Gen2 Toyota Prius Charger wants to use on 2010-2015 Toyota Prius Gen3 vehicle? Not cross compatible.
2010-2015 Toyota Prius Gen3 charger wants to use on 2004-2009 Gen2 Toyota Prius:
Yes, backwards compatible with Gen2 but requires its own wiring harness found here: https://www.maxx-volts.com/products/el-1-series-wiring-harness-vehicle-specific?_pos=1&_sid=5ece77a98&_ss=r
2000-2006 Honda Insight Hybrid wants to use on 2004-2009 Toyota Prius Gen2:
No, the two vehicles have different battery cell counts and nominal voltage ranges that require their own specific charger engineered for the vehicles hybrid battery voltage operating range.
How long or what is the average discharge time for a particular vehicle using the Maxx Volts Pro Automatic Discharger?
Because no two batteries are the same capacity, condition and state of charge at the time of discharge, there is no way to provide an average time for discharge as there are too many variables. Will will say however to plan to set aside 24hrs for the discharge process as the Pro Automatic Discharger is linear in its discharge in order to protect the battery.
Can LiFePO4 lithium iron phosphate such as in nexcell be grid charged?
Absolutely not. Lithium iron phosphate is a chemistry suited to solar storage and pure EV applications and is a terrible application for use in a hybrid internal combustion engine, but more about the why:
Lithium ion battery types require a individual cell level voltage monitoring system such as its own battery control module which insures all the individual cells are kept in tight balance. Since Toyota/Lexus/Honda/Chevy all have their own factory BCM designed for nickel metal hydride and LiFePO4 is NOT the factory battery chemistry type, it should not be used in the vehicle.
The companies selling these kind of batteries have their own additional piggyback bcm in additional to the factory bcm to try and prevent thermal runaway and fires but none of the cell level data is accessible to the OBD2 system nor to any external charging system for monitoring. Grid chargers and wiring harnesses are independent of whatever frankensteining the LiFePO4 company has done with their own bcm and this chemistry is not tolerant to high state of charge balancing. Could lead to fires and permanent damage to both the charger system and the battery if damage to more components.
Isn't LiFePO4 Lithium ion nexcell type battery superior to NIMH factory Toyota Battery?
Absolutely not, and whats worse is the puffery in the marketing they use in order to try and convince you that Lithium iron phosphate is an "upgrade".
Here's what they aren't telling you:
The nexcell battery is NOT the same voltage as OEM NIMH, in fact its the equivalent of adding 3-4 modules to the factory battery.
What would happen if you hypothetically added 3-4 modules to your existing battery pack? What would the battery meter read on the dash?
It would give the appearance on the dash meter that the battery was always nearly fully charged and provide a false sense that your hybrid battery was performing way better than the NIMH you replaced it with. This is the exact result unsuspecting buyers get after swapping battery types and not understanding what is actually happening.
Does the Nexcell LiFePO4 battery use a different BCM in the vehicle since the battery they just replaced was calibrated and engineered for use with a 201.6vdc nominal voltage and the nexcell is 224vdc nominal voltage?
No. This is one of the many scams with buying a LiFePO4 lithium battery such as nexcell. All of the data from the factory BCM, the OBD2 port and what is displayed to the user multimedia touchscreen is inaccurate data as the battery is no longer the chemistry or nominal voltage level that the bcm computer responsible for displaying this data was calibrated for.
Is the state of charge accurate then if the voltage of the nexcell is the equivalent of 3-4 modules being added to an OEM pack?
No. This information will also be obfuscated due to the non apples to apples nature of both batteries that are not compared on the same scale. Again, the factory BCM is calibrated for use with an OEM NIMH 201.6vdc battery, not a 224vdc battery so all of its mathematically calculations that end up in the battery metrics sent to your multi-function display on the dash and to your phone app displaying battery characteristics will be inaccurate and misleading. Is that by design? You be the judge.
Why did you think you needed to replace your hybrid battery in the first place?
If it was because you used the Dr Prius app and its display made it look like tiny variances in block to block voltages looked like huge peaks and valleys, you're not alone. The graphical display of block voltages almost looks like its purposely exaggerated to make you think your battery needs to be replaced. Conveniently within the same app, there are links to nexcell to buy their battery. Do you know why this is? ITS BECAUSE NEXCELL OWNS THE DR PRIUS APP, the mousetrap is complete and you've just been ensnared in it. Don't fall for the mousetrap.
What are the charging specs on the Maxx Volts charging and balancing systems?
Maxx Volts uses a proprietary charging rate and current in line with Battery University's best scientific method for the battery chemistry and type of battery cell used in the hybrid batteries compatible with our charging systems.
It's important to note that a hybrid vehicle is NOT an EV and it defeats the purpose of the balancing and charging procedure if the amperage is not specifically engineered to operate at a specific rate that allows the battery cells to balance without overheating, venting, off-gassing, caustic alkaline electrolytic fluid out of the pressure relief valves or if they become stuck (common) they can blow the tops off the modules altogether, rendering the modules useless and permanently damaged.
Which is why you should never buy any grid charging system where someone claims they have a (fast charger) or has no method of cooling system support for the battery while charging (such as 100% of all Maxx Volts systems do).
I have a Mazda Tribute, do you have a voltage boosting charger for my application?
Since Mazda Tribute and Ford Escape Hybrid are basically the same vehicle with different trim and badging, a Mazda Tribute owner would want to check out ouf Ford Escape Hybrid Charging System here: https://www.maxx-volts.com/products/ford-escape-hybrid-low-voltage-recovery-high-voltage-battery-charger-booster
Does Maxx Volts make a charging system for 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid?
Since 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid does NOT utilize a Nickel Metal Hydride battery, it is NOT compatible with grid charging. Attempting to grid charge a Lithium Ion battery can lead to fires and damage to the battery and vehicle. Lithium ion hybrid battery chemistry is NOT compatible with grid charging, ever.