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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 03 will not crank or attempt to start the motor when I turn the ignition fully to the start position with the clutch engaged. Basically when trying to start the vehicle you hear a faint whir of what sounds like a fuel pump. Other than that the lights flicker as if the vehicle is attempting to start but nothing happens. No starter sounds, no cranking, just a very light whir of a fuel pump. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
To clarify: this vehicle was given to me free of charge from an older gentleman who had owned it from new. It's an absolutely flawless little insight minus the motor not starting. He claimed he thought maybe he ran it out of oil, but after checking the oil (full and clean) and hand cranking the cam, I can verify that the motor is not seized and appears to be ready to fire. Due to the absence of any regular starting sounds or feelings, I am convinced something within the electrical ignition may be problematic. Can post pictures, she's a beaut.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The plugs wouldn't have anything to do with it not cranking. Battery is brand new, just cleaned up all ground straps and terminals. Looking for something I may be missing, the general stuff has been covered. I'm asking because this is the first hybrid I've worked on, not sure if there may be something hybrid related that I'm missing or if it's just something else I have yet to check. Thanks for the reply though!
 

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With the Gen1 Insight, fact it is a hybrid has virtually nothing to do with the basic 12V starter or the flickering dash lights. Even though the battery is new, it may have self discharged. Take it out and have it checked at an automotive store like Advanced, NAPA, or O'Reileys. The symptoms you describe are strongly indicative of a failed battery, or 12V wiring.

If the battery test doesn't turn up anything, then get out the trouble light, or a voltmeter, and start following the test points in the direction of the starter. If there is 12V at the starter, then the mystery deepens.

I assume you know about the 3 second ignition delay when using the 12V starter.

BTW, the critical battery cables and the engine/transmission grounds have been know to corrode away inside the plastic insulation. Give them a good hard tug. There may be a break that isn't visible.

Get back to us:)
 

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Assuming the vehicle has been setting for a very long time?
Then the IMA battery is probably very low. Do like Jimmy says hold the starter in the start positiion for at least 10 sec
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. Doing some work today including an inspection of the clutch switch. The previous owner told me the car "stopped and wouldn't start back up" at a light so I'm very much thinking that this may possibly be a clutch lock switch or wiring as they are a common failure on the older Honda civics. I'll check everything mentioned above, and hopefully we have another great insight back on the road by the end of the day. Thanks again for the help!
 

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When you first turn the key to ON, what does the IMA battery gauge show?
Include your location if you want help. Some of us make house calls for repairs
 

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Discussion Starter #9
With the Gen1 Insight, fact it is a hybrid has virtually nothing to do with the basic 12V starter or the flickering dash lights. Even though the battery is new, it may have self discharged. Take it out and have it checked at an automotive store like Advanced, NAPA, or O'Reileys. The symptoms you describe are strongly indicative of a failed battery, or 12V wiring.

If the battery test doesn't turn up anything, then get out the trouble light, or a voltmeter, and start following the test points in the direction of the starter. If there is 12V at the starter, then the mystery deepens.

I assume you know about the 3 second ignition delay when using the 12V starter.

BTW, the critical battery cables and the engine/transmission grounds have been know to corrode away inside the plastic insulation. Give them a good hard tug. There may be a break that isn't visible.

Get back to us:)
Would you recommend switching the disconnect to the IMA battery off during this process? The IMA is complete toast, it's been sitting over a year. I can't imagine it would work again, however I may be wrong. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
When you first turn the key to ON, what does the IMA battery gauge show?
I will check this and get back. I have the top end of the motor torn apart currently for new seals and spark plugs. If I remember correctly it was at a zero state as the pack has sat unused in the car for over a year.
 

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WHAT DOES THE Gauge show!
IGNORE, DIDN'T TYPE FAST ENOUGH.
Now is a good time to check for spark.
Forget it. Won't turn over!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
WHAT DOES THE Gauge show!
IGNORE, DIDN'T TYPE FAST ENOUGH.
Now is a good time to check for spark.
Forget it. Won't turn over!
Which is the odd part for me - if it just wasn't getting fuel, spark, air, etc I would be a bit more confident. The only time I have seen this is with a failed clutch switch. Once I have the top end back, I will inspect battery, leads, and clutch switch. Will report back within the next few hours. Thanks again, I've heard great things about this community, I was not disappointed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Would you recommend switching the disconnect to the IMA battery off during this process? The IMA is complete toast, it's been sitting over a year. I can't imagine it would work again, however I may be wrong. Thanks!
I don't think turning the IMA battery off is going to do anything but do it anyway(see below). Your problems are somewhere in 12V system. The car doesn't even need the IMA battery to crank on the 12V starter. Weak and blinking dash lights, no cranking - almost certainly a 12V volt problem.. Even a bad clutch switch would not have an impact on the weak dash lights.

GET THE 12V BATTERY CHECKED, THEN START MAKING VOLTAGE MEASUREMENTS. Having an assistant operate the start switch would probably help. You might try a jump start;)

If the battery was good when it was parked, then it still has strong potential, BUT recover it carefully. Turn the IMA switch off (rear hatch) and try 30-36 hrs. of grid charging til the battery voltage doesn't rise any more. Some will disagree, but that is MY recommendation. Make sure the battery fan is running. It is a conservative way to try to recover the IMA battery.

Show us some pictures of the car when you get the chance:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't think turning the IMA battery off is going to do anything but do it anyway(see below). Your problems are somewhere in 12V system. The car doesn't even need the IMA battery to crank on the 12V starter. Weak and blinking dash lights, no cranking - almost certainly a 12V volt problem.. Even a bad clutch switch would not have an impact on the weak dash lights.

GET THE 12V BATTERY CHECKED, THEN START MAKING VOLTAGE MEASUREMENTS. Having an assistant operate the start switch would probably help.

If the battery was good when it was parked, then it still has strong potential, BUT recover it carefully. Turn the IMA switch off (rear hatch) and try 30-36 hrs. of grid charging til the battery voltage doesn't rise any more. Some will disagree, but that is MY recommendation. Make sure the battery fan is running. It is a conservative way to try to recover the IMA battery.

Show us some pictures of the car when you get the chance:)
Thanks Jime. Will do!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Alright guys, new battery in + new leads, new ground cables, new spark plugs, she is now turning over. Great news, ALL electronics work and I don't even have a bulb to replace. However, I am not getting it to start. It is cranking now on the 12v starter but does not sound as though it is attempting to fire. It's been sitting over a year so we are throwing in a half tank of gas now to see what that does. I am showing 3 bars on the gas gauge but not sure if there is actually gas. I do notice a maintenance light but have not had a chance to pull codes. Will do that tomorrow and list my findings. Thanks again everyone, you're a top tier group and I'm happy to have joined the Insight owners club.
 

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The maintenance light is just a timer to tell you to change the oil. It has nothing to do with anything else. Don't worry about that one.
Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The maintenance light is just a timer to tell you to change the oil. It has nothing to do with anything else. Don't worry about that one.
Sam
Okay, great! Thank you. I'm going to run codes as again, it's not trying to fire. Any suggestions there? (Fuses, etc) I cannot imagine that the fuel pump is bad, with only 165k on the car
 
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