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Old 11-03-2013, 12:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Engine "stumbling"/Bad IMA battery...

Greetings everyone,

I just got home from an 800 mile drive after picking up my 2000 Insight MT on Friday! It's red, in excellent condition with 89,500 miles, one lady owner. It drove fine during the five mile around town test drive. All systems worked, including Auto-stop.

So, 25 miles down the interstate the CEL and IMA lights come on. Bummer! No more bars on IMA and no charge/assist. I get to an Auto Zone and they show only a p1449 code (no sub code). So, battery problem...

I return the car and negotiate a hefty reduction in price – all parties are satisfied. After looking on the forum, I flipped the big switch and disconnected the plugs to the IMA battery so I could drive it home, which I did... She cruised comfortably at 75 mph and returned 54 mpg – yay!

However I could help with some of your knowledge out there:

1) CEL and IMA lights were on all the way home – is that to be expected?

2) If I occasionally needed to go over about 3500 rpm, battery and brake lights came on, stayed on for about 30 seconds, then went out.

3) The engine “stumbles” on deceleration and makes the car buck a little. It feels like a cylinder is misfiring – as it only has three, that's an issue! Any suggestions? It's fine cruising along, but lift my foot off and it's rough. It seems fine going up through the gears...

4) Idle is 1100 rpm. Is that normal?

I will order a grid charger and put that to work. Next month I will have time and a place and may try to “rebuild” the battery pack. I've seen some instructions on line how to do it.

Besides these issues, what a neat little car! I've owned a lot of “exotics” (classic Bentley, Morgan, several older MG's, Bugatti replica and about 50 more) over 40 years, including a Prius. But this one just makes me smile when I drive it and see it parked!

Thanks in advance

Jon
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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All standard stuff and issues.

Bad battery need a new one or grid charger/ self rebuild.

Yes charge light comes on at low or high revs when battery off. Avoid those extremes.

Bad egr valve or blocked egr passages likely causing the stumbling.

It's all covered on here in great depth. Time for a bit of searching and reading.

Idle problem may be due to egr or an air leak in the intake side.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Jon:
short answer.
1....Yes
2....Yes
3....Check for possibly a loose plug.
4....Idle should be at 950. Check for a leaking vac, line. Possibly will cure #3.

HTH
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Gentlemen,

Thank you both for your prompt and comforting responses! I'm glad the electrical and warning light issues were to be expected - I thought they might be.

I will check the gasoline engine over the next couple of days.

Cheers, Jon
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default More codes!!!

I decided to get another scan just now after having driven the 800 miles.

Shows:

p1449 (IMA battery, already confirmed)

p1648 (I believe that will show because I disconnected the IMA as per suggestions on this forum)

p1491 EGR valve (Insufficient Lift Pull). According to the forum, I need to clean the carbon off the EGR plate which is behind th manifold. I can do that.

p1163 I've studied the forum posts and am a bit confused. Is it the EGR valve which needs repalcement, or the o2 sensor? If I remove the electrical connection on the EGR valve and drive the car and it stops the 'herky-jerky', then I should replace the EGR valve, right?

Again, thank you all for your guidance...

Cap'n Jon
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Suggestion, clean the EGR plate first and clear codes & test drive. Don't just throw parts at the car, if you can do the cleaning, disassembly/reassembly yourself it cost you nothing other than your time. If the codes and driveability are still a problem then test & or replace the valve.

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Old 11-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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So, I just disconnected the gray plug that goes into the EGR valve. The car drove smoothly, until I hit 3500 rpm, then it started bucking like crazy. Drop back under 3500 rpm and lovely and smooth...

Does this imply bad EGR valve?

Cheers

Jon
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Twit!! (me)

I realized I had disconnected the plug on a small sensor, not the EGR valve - duh!

So, I disconnected the correct plug on top of the EGR valve and, wow, the car runs sweet and smooth. No herky jerky, a bit more power. Should I replace the EGR valve (there's no emission testing here). Will it damage anything if I drive it a bit like this until I get the new valve (assuming I need one)?
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default OK, thanks...

My friendly mechanic answered my question about the EGR valve. Cheers, Jon
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Not sure what your friendly mechanic said, but a correctly functioning EGR valve is much more important to an Insight that a normal car. You can drive without one with zero driveability problems in any car including an Insight. However unlike most other cars the Insight will take a big mileage hit because it relies on lean burn mode to give it it's full efficiency. Improper EGR function can inhibit lean burn and drop a big chunk of your MPG's. Most cars lose .25-1mpg without a proper EGR function, the MT Insight could easily lose 10mpg if you use lean burn.
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