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 Honda owners who invested in Hybrid automobiles with the idea that the high MPG fuel efficiency of this 66mpd hwy rated vehicle would save a lot of money in fuel costs over time. Whether you bought your Honda Insight 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 Honda Insight Hybrid vehicles consist of 120 individual battery cells robotically welded in series consisting of 20 sticks of 6 welded batteries each. Through the battery pack, electricity travels end to end + to - until it runs through each of the 120 nickel metal hydride battery cells where the total voltage ends up in the 140-174 volts range depending on the state of charge of the pack and its overall battery health. Now the Honda IMA 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 of the 120 battery cells individually. Over time these batteries can become out of sync with one another with slight voltage and internal resistance differences. This will reduce the range of effective usable area the IMA 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 IMA system telling the IMA motor when to start and stop charging the battery pack 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 Honda 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.
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.