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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning folks;

I noticed something unusual this morning and I was wondering if this was normal, or if anyone had seen this before.

Up until a few days ago we've had an unseasonably warm winter here in Wisconsin, however starting late last week we've been below zero consitently with it hitting the -15 mark this morning while I was driving to work.

I noticed that no matter how much throttle I applied (ie, floored) I was only getting about 25% on the Assist guage. I've seen this happen when the SOC meter reads only a few bars, but it's been at 100% since I started the car this morning. That's the other unusual thing, it's remained at 100% throughout my 60 mile commute, which is atypical as well.

I'm wondering if at some temperature the IMA conserves its battery power by only allowing 25% assist?
 

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On very cold days, the battery management will only allow a small amount of assist. This is normal...It is trying to slowly bring the batteries up to a more normal temperature. You may also notice at times a small charge being applied (even when the batteries appear "full") to slowly heat them up as well. Sometimes it is background charging and gets to a point where the rare last segment in the charge indicator is lit. Even while braking, the charging system does not apply as many amps to the batteries until they are warmed up. Once they are warmed, it will go back to normal operating conditions. This may take some time based on how cold it is outside. Even though you had a "full" charge at your destination, was the assist working more normally near your arrival?

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info, that was what I suspected but you never know with this car... : )

The assist seemed to top out around 25% but it may have been less during the first leg of the drive (I wasn't paying as much attention at the beginning).

This makes sense. It's supposed to warm up a bit in the next week so I won't sweat it unless things don't return to normal.

Thanks again for the info!
 

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Yipes! If things don't return to normal, we're doomed.

I took my daughter out to meet some folks on Sunday morning. I saw a max of 5 bars on the assist, and the clutch pedal seemed ... reluctant, let's say, to fully return to the disengaged position.

Had to drive to work today, and, since it's colder (forecast high of -4 degrees Fahrenheit, which, if I correctly recall my high school chemistry conversion formula, is about -273 Celsius) it was even worse, with the car really never warming up. Thank god for Mobil One. - Pat in Madison, Wisconsin
 

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now that'scold!

tubesguy said:
(forecast high of -4 degrees Fahrenheit, which, if I correctly recall my high school chemistry conversion formula, is about -273 Celsius)
FYI: 4 below in Fahrenheit would be -20 Celsius! You'd need to be on Pluto (or some other asteroid) to reach -273C ... which would void Honda's warranty :lol: LOL
 

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If it gets much colder, you'll also see the car use the regular 12V starter to spin the engine over instead of the IMA the first time you start it in the morning. This is also the time you will find out your 12V battery needs replacing...
 

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That's definitely been the case for the last several mornings (and afternoons) around here. Luckily, mine is still good, although it is not the first 12v battery in the car, a 2000.

By the way, one of the guys in my office has an '06 HCH, and he said he didn't notice any limitation on his electric assist when he drove it yesterday. FWIW, though, he's not a Forum-ish, crazy-ish obsessor, he just drives the car. ;)
 

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The last couple of mornings, with a temperature of about 3 degrees F (-16 C),
I have noticed that the engine started a bit roughly after several cranks...definitely not normal for my ultra smooth starting Insight ;)
I have been wondering what was going on. Now I realize it must be due to the backup 12V starter kicking the engine over instead of the IMA starter motor. :oops:
 

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yeah...

Aaron Cake said:
If it gets much colder, you'll also see the car use the regular 12V starter to spin the engine over instead of the IMA the first time you start it in the morning. This is also the time you will find out your 12V battery needs replacing...

That's when my IMA went caput!
 

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The first time I heard the 12 volt starter was after a dealer servicing. The car had been sitting outside in extreme cold. I was so shocked I rushed into the service department and insisted that there was something horribly wrong with my car. :shock:

How quickly one gets used to an IMA start. :D
 

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I've yet to have my Insight use the 12V starter even in below 0F temps. 3 degrees F 2 days ago and started just fine. This is with 6 year old OEM battery.
 

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Been pretty cold here as well.
The battery cooling fan does not appear to turn on until the battery gets hot. It would make sense to turn it on when trying to warm the batteries up on a cold morning, once the cabin temp gets to normal. I have found that it can take a 20-30 minute ride to get the batteries out of the frozen zone, if the fan was on, and the cabin at 70-75, that should go much faster.
 
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