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Old 06-16-2019, 08:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New (ish) 2000 Insight owner

Hi all!

Well, my dad finally needed the space in his driveway and I have fixed all the problems in my wife's 2001 Prius so for Father's day he gave me is 2000 Insight.

He was probably one of the first buyers, put 165k miles on the car, and really hasn't been driving it for a number of years. So we fired it up (he keeps the 12v on a trickle charger), checked the oil, and I drove it home.

Some issues:
1) Dirty (fixed with a good car washing)
2) Maint Reqd service light on
3) When it's been sitting awhile the IMA battery goes "dead". The car starts with the manual starter, then the 12v battery light is on. Let it run for a minute, shut it down, start it up, and the IMA can crank the engine.
4) The HV battery slowly charges to about 60% of the bars then hops to almost 90% of the bars.
5) IMA assist and regen both work. So the battery isn't total toast. I think Honda replaced it at around 100-110k miles on it under a handshake warranty or something (Dad's like that)
6) Dad reports that sometimes after hitting a bump or something the 12v battery light comes on and the system stops charging the 12v. Then the car has a half hour to an hour before the battery dies. If you shut down and restart the inverter usually kicks in.

7) Really weird: The gas gauge reads no bars with the gas light on. Something wrong with the sender maybe?

Car shudders badly in reverse. Guessing bad motor mount?

What I can see:

The car is dirty. By that I mean the engine compartment is dirty, and the screw from the battery negative to the car is corroded. I'm guessing there is a ground float somewhere which is tripping the 150v to 12v inverter.

Aside from that it runs. Current MPG is about 47, it drives fine enough on the highway (does require some downshifts since I don't want to stress the IMA battery) and I can fit in it (I'm 6'8 as is my dad).

So what should I be looking for, what are good first steps, and the like to get the gas gauge working, the inverter/charger to be stable, and how long before the HV battery goes dead without driving? I would be happy to use it as a semi-daily driver alongside my battery powered S10 pickup.

Thanks!
Chris

Last edited by czach; 06-17-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Off topic, but your S10. Is it white with smooth Moon hubcaps?


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Old 06-16-2019, 08:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yep, but if you're looking for one in S. Jersey it's probably one of my friends who has one with a set of CALB lithiums. Mine is in Baltimore and has a Nissan Leaf pack under the bed.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czach View Post
Yep, but if you're looking for one in S. Jersey it's probably one of my friends who has one with a set of CALB lithiums. Mine is in Baltimore and has a Nissan Leaf pack under the bed.


I saw him in my Insight a month ago then! I saw it go by and saw the “chevrolectric” badge on it and was like no way, followed him and after he parked sure enough it was electric! Sad I didn’t get to talk with him about it, it looked sweet! I’d love to do an electric conversion on something some day.


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Old 06-16-2019, 08:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome. You should get a grid charger/discharger if you don't already have one and go through the HybridAutomotive.com three cycles of charging/discharging. You may be able to save the battery. After finishing the battery cycling, let it sit overnight and read the tap voltages according to this S Keith guide:

https://www.insightcentral.net/forum...ml#post1061778

Report any remaining codes.

OBTW, go to quick links above and click "edit your details" to add a location. This will put your location in your avatar. I realize right now that you are in New Jersery but that info will get lost. Helps everyone, but most of all you
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Last edited by jime; 06-16-2019 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Stomach: Yep, they're US Electricar S10 trucks. GM made a bunch of them with what was pretty much the test version of the EV1 drivetrain. 70kw Dolphin controllers that can take anywhere from 300v to 405v battery packs. Lithuium is great with them.

On to the Insight, I'll hook up a code reader and see what's going on in the car. The Engine fault light is not on just the IMA service one. Glad to see it's possible to read the pack voltages via a plug connector, is it possible to view the status with a Scan-X type tool connected to the CAN bus?
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czach View Post
for Father's day he gave me is 1999 Insight.
What year is on the title? 2000 was the first model year of the Insight. And you might have trouble passing emissions with a battery like that.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Correction it was a 2000. I think the car has passed emissions (MD) which just requires no ECU codes set. Currently the little check engine light is off, so that should be ok.

Anyway, what defines a "bad" battery? In the Prius if the hybrid batteries are working at all they're normally ok. I pulled that pack at 150k and replaced the cells with the Gen II cells and it's got 210k on it now with less than .2v between highest block and lowest (12 cell blocks)

Is it possible to read the cell voltages or the high/low block voltages off the Honda CAN bus? Spotting a >.3 volt difference usually means one cell is going sad.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czach View Post
Is it possible to read the cell voltages or the high/low block voltages off the Honda CAN bus?
No

The insight G1 is not CAN bus, but old style OBDII for the relevant years.
Sadly even with an OEM Honda tool cell tap voltage is not available from the IMA computer system.
IIRC the HCH2 Civic or Accord was the first Honda IMA car with CAN bus and cell voltage tap data.

The Insight G1 computers use proprietary Honda protocols.

With a generic OBDII device you can only talk to the ECM in a basic fashion to get the minimum legally required OBDII information.

To talk to the ECM more deeply, or communicate with the other 5 systems in the car MCM, EPS, ABS, TCM, SRS you need a special code reader. Torque etc can't do it..
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ObdIIc&c, Imac&c, ImaBoost, Current Hacks available. Enqs to 150mpg[at]gmail.com
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czach View Post
Anyway, what defines a "bad" battery? In the Prius if the hybrid batteries are working at all they're normally ok.
One which lights the "IMA" warning light in the bottom right corner of the dash.
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