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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 2010 Insight and the 12V battery stops charging shortly after the engine starts. I start out with a fully charged battery (grid charged) and the car runs fine. After several trips it finally won't start and has to be jumped.
I monitored the voltage at the cigarette plug and when I start it, the voltage is around 14.2 or thereabouts and after a few minutes it has dropped to about 12.2 or lower. When it gets much lower (around 11 volts) I know it won't start. I charge the 12V battery up and it goes for another couple of weeks of occasional use until the battery is dead again. The voltage readings always start showing 14+ volts when running, and it tapers down to the low 12 volts. Battery has been load checked twice and its OK.
Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What is the age of that 12 volt battery?
This battery is about 18 months. I replaced the prior battery because I thought it may have been the problem, but the same problem exists with the newer battery. I think I mentioned that I load tested it. I also checked its abiility to take a charge and at what voltage (with a variable power supply) and it checks out.
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I can't say much about the problem with the voltage drop after engine start on the Gen 2.

About the load test, though... I recently took a weak battery to Walmart for load testing. They claimed it was fine even though it would not last long with the engine off. I asked them to do the extended load test and the printout claimed it was OK, but the automated tester rated it as having only 11 AH of capacity. For comparison, a typical small consumer UPS uses a 7 AH battery; you could fit quite a few of these in the space of an Insight 12V battery. In other words, it might have had enough oomph to start a car once, but not enough to keep the car running for much time afterward. Check the printout from the test and see if it lists a tested capacity in amp-hours. Not that it's going to solve the problem of charging stopping after a short amount of time.
 

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Does the battery voltage stay higher/ok if you turn the headlights on?
You could have a faulty 12V load sensor in the fuse box..

But I suspect bad 12v battery at the moment.
 
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