Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Recently my car has been failing to turn over from a cold start if I leave any of the accessories on with the car off for just a few minutes. The car (and battery) is only four years old, so it seems strange that the 12v battery would be dead already. Plus, the last time this happened, I looked, and the battery showed a blue ring (usually it has not).

I just bought a new battery from Sears. Of course they didn't have the little Insight battery, and I'd read on this forum that a Honda Civic battery should work. Hopefully it will.

Haven't had any other wierd battery issues except a couple of times when the big battery has drained all the way down (on a series of big hills, for example) and then refused to charge up, but sat at three bars for a while (like a half hour or so).

Anyone have any other experience that this might tie into? Any warning signs I should be aware of? Was buying the Civic battery a mistake - do I need to take it back and get a different battery (haven't installed it yet.)

Worth noting - I have made no modifications to the car. All factory installed everything. Am I supposed to get some new software for the IMA or something?

Oh, and by the way, I've checked in here a couple of times over the years, but this is my first post.

Thanks!

GO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
12 Volt Battey

Think of the 12 Volt battery as the power source to bootup the computer systems in the car. If it does not have the power in it to complete the boot process, the car will not start-can't even do a push start.I have had to replace the 12volt battery 3 times over it's lifetime(a 2000 with 87,000 miles)all 3 times no warning,a no start condition.

You should be allright with your battery selection,just make sure the battery cables reach both terminals on your new battery. Good luck...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
the sight gages on batteries only show you the specific gravity of one cell out of six. the odds are pretty good one of the other five cells has died. the best way to test a battery is to charge it overnight and load test it in the morning.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
Hi GoClimb and welcome to the forum :!: :)

GOClimb said:
The car (and battery) is only four years old, so it
seems strange that the 12v battery would be dead already.
IIRC Industry wide a 12v lead acid cells service life is 4.5 years. And
in an Insight where the 12v is "charged" by a DC-DC converter there is
strong anecdotal "evidence" that the expected service life will be even
shorter. Must be something about the charging algorithm used.

Get it load tested. But plan on replacement. A standard Civic group size 51 will work. But if you want the ultimate MPG (light weight, with some trade-off's)

See:

12V Battery Voltage Question
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=2399
(Installed Hawker pic :!: )

I'd check the condition of the ground connections too. Salt spray or ocean salt air is known to "invisibly" degrade the conductivity of these points.

See:

Ground Cables Connection Mod
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=3196
(Upgraded cables are optional ;) )


HTH! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Re: 12 Volt Battey

tuna1 said:
...the car will not start-can't even do a push start.
Um... unfortunately (it was either that or call AAA) I can most assuredly tell you that you can push-start it. Runs like absolute hell, though!

I have had to replace the 12volt battery 3 times over it's lifetime(a 2000 with 87,000 miles)all 3 times no warning,a no start condition.
Wow, that's a lot of battery replacements for a six year old car! I guess my four and a half years isn't so bad, then.

You should be allright with your battery selection,just make sure the battery cables reach both terminals on your new battery. Good luck...
Yup, it's starting fine. Not only do the terminals reach fine, but it looks as though the car was designed to have the civic battery in it - the pan it sits in is exactly the right size, (unlike the old battery which swims in it) and the top metal bracket fits over it exactly!

I guess my only remaining fears are
1- that the additional power would screw up the computer or other electrical/electronic components designe for a smaller battery, and 2 - it may draw a bit more juice from the system to keep it charged - juice that could otherwise go into charging the big battery, and from there into driving the IMA.

Thanks for the welcome, InsightfulTrekker and others! As for the 13 volt battery mod, unless anyone thinks I may run into a problem with the Civic battery, I'd rather not deal with the hassle of returning the battery I just bought, getting a custom battery, getting it to fit, etc.

Doubt it's the ground - otherwise I'd get nothing or a full start, and it wouldn't matter if I left the lights on.

Oh, and if anyone cares, on the poor roads of Boston I'm getting 57mpg over the life of the car (~65 highway, 35-45 (depending on the season) city).

Thanks again, and happy driving!

GO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
To help ease your fears, I installed the exact same battery 6 months (7k miles) ago to replace the dead OEM 12v.

I have had no issues with it at all, everything has been performing just as it did with the stock battery. 8)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
Re: 12 Volt Battey

GOClimb said:
I guess my only remaining fears are
1- that the additional power would screw up the computer or other electrical/electronic components designe for a smaller battery, and 2 - it may draw a bit more juice from the system to keep it charged - juice that could otherwise go into charging the big battery, and from there into driving the IMA.
Don't worry, be happy :!: (Its a non issue :!: :) )

But the battery terminal corrosion is still a "worry". Remember the Insight's 12v's starting current demand is minimal compared to a conventional car (until IMA battery thermal management defaults to the conventional back-up starter in winter). Higher than minimal resistance across these points has been proven to be a problem in an Insight. Dissimilar metals coupled with salt exposure multiply the corrosion factor.

Push / roll starting and Insight is at best an "iffy" proposition. There must be sufficient current available to pull-in the high voltage contactor (engage the 144v pack) else the DC-DC converter won't supply additional 12v current.

Been there tried that and had to walk back up that looong steep hill. :p

HTH! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Re: 12 Volt Battey

Insightful Trekker said:
But the battery terminal corrosion is still a "worry". Remember the Insight's 12v's starting current demand is minimal compared to a conventional car (until IMA battery thermal management defaults to the conventional back-up starter in winter). Higher than minimal resistance across these points has been proven to be a problem in an Insight. Dissimilar metals coupled with salt exposure multiply the corrosion factor.
Hmm... well the connector from the negative terminal to the frame looks fine, but the other ground wire, the one they suggest you clip to with the jumpers is extremely frayed. I guess I'll bring it in to my mechanic at some point, but is that one actually part of any circuits?

GO
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
Re: 12 Volt Battey

GOClimb said:
I guess I'll bring it in to my mechanic at some point, but is that one actually part of any circuits?
It ain't there just for "looks". ;)

And its _UNDER_ the eye crimp connectors that corrosion _will_ be "invisible".

Remove the bolt and burnish both the connector and the bare metal that it contacts. Then reconnect and cover with a anti-oxide coating. Silicone grease works great.

Corrosion can also happen in the crimp. If the copper looks frayed / etched then a new cable / repair is in order. Cover all exposed areas with an anti oxide coating. Ultimately you'll be glad you did :!: :)

KTH! :) (Know this helps ;) )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Revisiting...

Just an FYI to say that the new battery from Sears worked fine... for another 4.5 years. It just died, so I just got a new one. Hopefully this should last me the next 5 years or so!

GO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,211 Posts
:confused:

Your battery lasted four and a half years?

Let's see... it's now 2009, October... take away 2006... hmmm... :cool:

My calculations, using my trusty and very expensive TI Scientific Calculator, came up with three years almost to the day... but I could be wrong... :rolleyes:

Eh, but enough teasing for now. Thanks for reporting! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Oops! Thanks for the correction. Clearly my calculator isn't as good as yours, and wasn't capable of doing the fancy math required.

Or something...

GO
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top