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Discussion Starter #1
What battery group size does the Insight use? Any recommended brands for replacements?
 

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i put in a group 51 optima yellow-top. no worries about running the stereo for hours with the car off.
 

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Indeed if you want any engine-off 12v capacity the group size 51 fits perfectly and is well oversized (in capacity).

If you want to go in the opposite direction, ultra light weight for maximum MPG then see:

Swap to a 13 AH Hawker
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=529
(Been running a similar one in my Insight (Odyssey Genesis) going on 3 years now. ;) Read the link for more details)

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I think my 12V is starting to go (for the 2nd time). I got 3 years on this one (a Honda replacement) and 4 years on the original. The replacement seems bigger than the original but it was a while ago so I can't be sure. I'm basically looking for a fairly lightweight battery that is going to last the longest. I don't need a deep cycle like the Yellow Top.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That earlier thread was an interesting read. I was surprised to see how the Insight's charging system works. I took a voltmeter to the battery and it was just under 12.5V. I then hooked up a Battery Tender that then proceeded to charge it for several hours. When it finally went into trickle mode, I disconnected it and the battery was reading 12.9V. It looks like the Insight really isn't charging the battery up fully. I'll keep tabs on it this week and see if the symptoms of a dead 12V subside. When I do eventually replace the battery, I think the Hawker would be a good fit.
 

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ok.
go get a battery.
 

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Kapps, you should be seeing something between 13 and 14 volts across the battery with the engine running, so yes it does sound like it is not charging the battery at the right voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
New updates and still no new battery. My dad is the one driving the Insight and he doesn't want to replace the battery until it really dies :( . From what he tells me, the IMA battery drains about halfway down every day and it then goes into force charge mode. He doesn't want to take the time to get the battery tested (I'll probably do it next week when I have time). From what I've tested at home, the battery is getting 13.8V when the Insight is on. It settles to around 12.7 or 12.8 when off. Turning the headlights on will drop it down to 12.25V with the car off. With this data, it looks like the battery is ok. I'll wait to make a definite decision after getting it tested with a real battery test machine.

Now, if I do get a new battery, the Odyssey seems like it's what I'm looking for. Where can I get the terminal adapters for those types of batteries? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Doh :roll: . I finally found it in that link. I actually did search google but I must have not been specific enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I finally took the battery up to have it tested and it came out fine :? . My dad says that it's only draining in the afternoon now (when there's more traffic and a few back-to-back acceleration zones as well as heat). It seems like this sort of battery drain might be normal for his commute but he says that until recently, it wasn't happening. He's getting 65 mpg even with the forced charging.
 

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The type of 12v battery failure that is theorized to interact with the IMA system _and_ cause more recals _must_ be tested with a charging voltage applied to the 12v (13.8v - 14.2v) _and_ sufficent _available_ amperage.

A "standard" clip on the battery posts tester will not reveal some types of 12v "failure".

Its the most uncommon type of 12v failure - low internal resistance. What you should expect to see is that the charging amperage will begin at its normal higher rate - building a surface charge. But instead of tapering off it remains _abnormally_ high. There are degrees of how much is abnormal and since this is yet to be proven theory the "degree of failure" and the critical point before the "interaction" is evident is _very_ unclear. (although the anecdotal evidence supports the primary conclusion)

For most alternator equipped cars this rapidly progresses. Higher current running through the 12v produces more heat. This condition rapidly runs away past the point of lead-acid technology tolerance. Testing and the values resulting are rarely in the gray zone. Why the Insight seems to violate this "rule" is still unclear. But its possibly related to some type of thermal limiting for the DC-DC converters protection. To make this theory fit this anomaly reads something like this: So the 12v battery is "bad", initially drawing a wee bit too much sustained charging current. The DC-DC converter gets a bit too warm and sheds some load (reduces charging current) so the 12v never is quite fed at a "meltdown" rate.

The initial charging current amount and final full charge current varies according to battery capacity. Which makes interpreting the results with an Insight's "smaller" battery a bit more difficult. (you've gotta be able to read the numbers a bit more precisely. A "cheapie" ampmeter simply won't be accurate enough to give any meaningful numbers.

Complicated :?:

Yup :!: (I'm through trying to explain it so don't ask ;) )


Proven :?:

Nope. Although its a known type of 12v failure in an alternator equipped car the Insight symptoms don't exactly fit the mold. Even with a conventional 12v charging system its somewhat "rare". Ricky Suiter found some information related to EV's that use 12v lead acid batteries supporting the assumption that our DC-DC converter charging system will likely _cause_ _more_ 12v low internal resistance failures than a conventional alternator charging system would. IIRC theres an old post of his in here somewhere on this point. Its just not clear that IF your Insight's 12v IS failing this way it will also contribute to more recals.


Even IF the Insight's 12v fails this way does it cause more 144v recals. :?:

Pure theory right now. All we have are several anecdotal posts to support it.


How can I know if this is the cause of my recals :?:

Try an IMA reset first (disconnect the 12v for about 60sec then reconnect and run the engine to refill the 144v's). If the problem does not recur within a few days of normal driving then your done. The MCM/BCM needed to be forced to refresh their learned parameters (uncommon success, but "free" :) ).

Lowest cost: DIY a known good 12v battery. Or "upgrade" the Insight to a Hawker while your at it. ;)

Just remember with 144v batteries more frequent recals are one type of symptom expected due to _normal_ aging. And driving technique / conditions _will_ have a significant effect of IMA SoC / Recals.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the info Trekker. The only thing is that it's not exactly having a recal. The IMA battery drains down to the point of constant charging and then it charges back up to full. The IMA battery was replaced about a year ago along with the associated circuitry that is supposed to eliminate or reduce recals so maybe this is what's preventing a true recall.

I don't think I have any way of testing for this type of battery failure. Unfortunately, none of my other cars use a battery as skinny as the Insight. The current one is a Honda replacement that's about 3 years old so we might just end up replacing it. I understand that the more cycles the IMA goes through, the lower it's lifespan will be.
 

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kapps said:
I understand that the more cycles the IMA goes through, the lower it's lifespan will be.
And remember too the the SoC gauge only displays the middle range of _true_ SoC . Cycling in this range is a _minimum_ wear and tear issue. IMO there are probably others more significant.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think I may mess around with it this week. I have a Battery Tender Jr. that I use for another car. I've hooked up to the Insight a couple times already to charge the 12V up. Even after 6-8 hours, it was still charging (750mA per hour) and it was past my bedtime :lol: . I found this odd because on my other car, it would finish charging and go into float mode after only an hour (and this was after sitting a week unplugged).

I wonder if this is would go with your theory of low internal resistance causing the charger to keep pushing current into the battery. I may try hooking it up every night and see if a trend developes in terms of how long it takes to switch from charging to float mode. If it takes a long time night after night, then there is definitely a problem. If the battery does have a resistance issue, the constant charging should reduce it's life drastically.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
[mod edit: removed entire quote in immediate reply]

Yeah, I kinda figured that much. We'll see how it goes.
 
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