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Old 10-30-2012, 11:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question I'm new here and I have questions

I've been lurking on this board for a long time and just decided to join. I have a 2002 Insight with around 120,000 miles. The previous owner had the batteries changed and IMA work done under warranty. Recently, I started getting the infamous IMA/check engine light situation. From everything I've read my batteries are getting weak. Here are my questions.

1. How long can I drive the car with the IMA system shut down because of weak batteries? Will the 12V battery weaken, or is it being charged like a normal battery? Do I have to disconnect the IMA system?

2. Does anyone in the Austin area have a grid charger? I would like to charge the batteries once to see how they do. At that point I might purchase a grid charger. But they are awfully expensive. For the $650.00 you spend on a charger, a person could apply that to Bumblebee batteries.

3. I see people talking about seeing engine codes. Where do you see them? Do you have to have special equipment to detect them? I would like to see what my check engine/IMA codes mean.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome.

Austexcat wrote:
"1. How long can I drive the car with the IMA system shut down because of weak batteries? "
Indefinitely if you disconnect the BCM. Car is a dog off the line afterwards but gets great mileage anyways. Search for recent BCM posts with pics.
"Will the 12V battery weaken, or is it being charged like a normal battery? "

Yes. it will go flat and then the car will quit; IMA will not work with a low battery either.
"Do I have to disconnect the IMA system?"
Disconnect the BCM under the rear cover you need remove for access after switching off the red capped 'on/off' switch first under the plate beneath the carpet in the rear beforehand. Wait five minutes before touching anything for safety sake.
"3. I see people talking about seeing engine codes. Where do you see them? Do you have to have special equipment to detect them? I would like to see what my check engine/IMA codes mean."
Check here:
HONDA INSIGHT 2000-2006 OBDII DTC FLASH CODE ETC. SpreadSheet for INSIGHT 2000-2006
and
How to read IMA (and other) diag codes without a scanner.

Search: 'OBDIIC&C Gauge' for the best code reader suited to the first gen insight.
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Cdn. 2000, OBDiiC&C, MIMA+FAS, GC01+D, Rostra, Fumoto,^IAT
Current Gasoline Economy@ 229,000km : 4.3 L/100km LMPG
* 2.8 L/100km covering approximately 525km @ 83kph *
36 km/L * 84 u.s. mpg * 101 imp.mpg @ 52 mph
*Fuel Consumed is Wealth Lost Forever*

Last edited by AbCaRed00; 10-30-2012 at 11:32 PM. Reason: wait 5 min for capacitors to decay their stored high voltage charge
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What is your in service date? You are under the 157K milage for the warranty and you just might be under the 10 year date depending on your in service date. Call Honda right away and find out, the car may have sat on the dealer lot for a long time and might not have been sold until 2003. Don't clear the codes until you get that date as they will not replace the IMA battery if you qualify unless you have the codes present.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default In Service

Gilbertguy---I did call the dealer and they said there was only a 3 year or 36,000 mile warranty for the replaced batteries. I asked why so short of warranty and they said it was because they are remanufactured batteries. Are they not being truthful about the warranty?
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austexcat View Post
Gilbertguy---I did call the dealer and they said there was only a 3 year or 36,000 mile warranty for the replaced batteries. I asked why so short of warranty and they said it was because they are remanufactured batteries. Are they not being truthful about the warranty?
They are apparently ignorant that the extended 10-year/150,000-mile (157,500 miles for some Insights) applies to regardless of how many times the battery pack has been replaced or how long it has been since the last replacement. We have heard others complain recently about similar attempts to avoid warranty coverage. Be firm or call American Honda's service line if your car's IMA warranty is still in effect.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Here is a link to the thread on the warranty.
US IMA warranty 10 year extension UPDATED to all 50 states!
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default In the same place, sort of

Good to see there are others with this issue & great advice as well. The advice about disconnecting the BCM was great. I just joined in hopes of getting a handle on a similar situation.

My shop told me it is $3K to replace the battery on my 2001 w/ 110K miles (I don't think I'll be under warranty). Seems a bit steep. I'm still getting ~45mpg on my first tank w/out the IMA battery. This would be a long payback period for the best 11yr old car I've every owned.

Can IMA batteries be replaced more inexpensively. I don't do my own work?
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, they can be replaced more inexpensively, with brand new and better cells to boot. Give us a call and we can discuss your options.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyChan View Post
Can IMA batteries be replaced more inexpensively. I don't do my own work?
Andy, please add your location to your signiture block. There might be someone that lives close to you that can help you pull and install your IMA battery.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Bad battery

I spoke with Honda America today and they told me the warranty on the battery change in 2009 was good for only a year. That's because they paid for the battery. If I had paid for it the warranty would be good for 3 years or 36,000 miles. I'll be damned if I buy refurbished batteries from Honda. The batteries I have are only 3 years old and around 70,000 miles. To me that's a ridiculously short amount of time for batteries to fail. For the time being I will have to disconnect the IMA.
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