I got my 2000 MT at the end of July 2010. I have browsed Insight Central since then, but never had any questions that didn't answer until now.
The Insight IMA light has been on about 9 days, and today I'm getting engine codes P 1447 and P1449 which will erase, but come back on immediately on starting. Basically, the IMA has some cells so weak that the controller shut it down. It was replaced under warranty in June 2009 (previous owner) at 139,522 miles, and I'm now at about 176,000. As I gather from the threads here, no warranty on a replacement unless you paid for it, and it's beyond that warranty anyway. I drive it 6 or 7 days a week, 10 to 30 miles, sometimes more, except for a week or two at a time in the worst winter weather, when I prefer my 4WD pickup. Rolling to hilly terrain, mostly 35 to 50 mph, sometimes interstate. I get 54 mpg winter, 64 summer.
I need to build a garage this year for my business, so would like to keep the solution as cheap as possible, but am open to suggestions on upgrades or improvements. It seems I need to disconnect the BCM, pull the IMA, and get the proper charger and start checking sticks, and buy a few replacements, then put it back together. I'm not particularly mechanical, but I can unscrew parts and follow tedious procedures. Or would I save trouble in the long run to get one of the improved replacement batteries and sell my old one? Apparently anything I get from Honda will be expensive and only last a few years.
You can keep driving it with the CEL and IMA light on, at some point your battery might get so bad that it will cause the DC-DC converter to actually stop working. If this happens then your red BRAKE/BATTERY light will come on indicating that the 12VDC under the hood is no longer being charged. If that happens you've got about 40 miles before it goes dead and you are stranded on the side of the road.
If it gets that bad you can turn off the IMA switch, pull the IMA battery cover and pull the two plugs on the front of the BCM (Battery Control Module). Once you do that the car ignores the IMA stuff and drives like a regulre gasoline car. A wimpy one but it drives none the less.
If I were you, or you were me, you'd build one of the inexpensive grid chargers and balance-charge the pack - a long, slow, low current charge. Alternatively, you'd buy one pre-made by Jeff649 or something like that. If I were you and I had a comfortable living, I'd buy one of Mike D.s grid charger/dischargers. If I had more money, I'd buy the MaxIMA pack from Bumblebee Batteries...
I don't think I'd go to the stick-level work until I tried one of the grid chargers first. But also, I'd try to do some kind of deeper-than-normal discharging on the pack, along with the grid charge. Not sure how I'd go about that if i didn't have an OBDIIC&C, which allows you to discharge more than usual. We're talking about discharging in another thread, but I haven't thought about that too much at this point; in general, you can set things up carefully and discharge with a light bulb. In that other thread we're speculating that deeper-than-normal discharge is really key to reviving packs...
My location is Flemington, WV, between Clarksburg and Fairmont about 2.5 hours south of Pittsburgh, PA. The Honda dealer is about 6 miles away. I put a location in the profile when I set up the account, but it doesn't show in my post. Now I can't get back to any page that lets me edit the profile and add the signature lines. I have seen a citrus locally and talked to the owner, and the owner of a silver thought I was her husband until I got out of my car. As I like to say, it hauls my ass and everything I can afford to buy in one day. I drive an S-10 pickup when I have to. My wife has a RAV-4. We're a bit out in the country, and she has a 40-mile commute.
I should have mentioned that after the first day of the IMA light being on, it is not assisting or charging, according to the dash light, and doesn't feel like it is either. No zip or regen braking.
Thanks for the advice, guys. I will digest this for a few days and get some prices. I really didn't need another project to putter with. At the moment I'm leaning toward replacement for the sake of simplicity.
That doesn't work for the IMA codes, at least with the two scanners I have. If you disconnect the 12V battery it will clear them. They may stay cleared, or come back soon, depending on the condition of your battery. It will initially show no charge, but just start driving the car and it will relearn the state of charge and start working normally after that. There is plenty of information here about that. Let us know what happens and you will get suggestions as to what to do next. A grid charger will help keep it alive for a while, and will still be useful when you finally replace the battery.
Pay attention to Gilbertguy, it's the truth as I once was stranded the same way, 60 miles from home. I didn't know about that indicator at the time.
Mine would also sometimes not charge/discharge when I started up. If I drove a short distance, turned it off, waited a minute, started again, it would work normally. This may not work for you but it did for me.
Replacing a battery is one thing. Rebuilding a battery is another entirely different animal. Skill and extreme caution are required.
I worked in the satellite business where we had a lot of old spacecraft with a mixture of NiCad and NiMH batteries. Reconditioning prior to every eclipse season was normal. You shouldn't have to do that on a normal basis unless your battery never completely discharges or nearly completely. If you are always fully charged then your battery will forget about depth of discharge and start shutting down when it shouldn't, i.e. go from fully charged (or seemingly so) to little or no charge.
We started "zero volt discharge" ops on particularly old spacecraft with a great fear that pushing the battery to negative volts would cause it to blow up. So be careful with that as well.
2000 Red MT 176651 Miles 49.8 lmpg
Found at auction. Had sat idle 4 years.
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