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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I have 2 questions.

This is my first winter with my 2003 Insight which I purchased new in April 2004. During the spring, summer, and fall my battery would rconsistently read only a few bars from the top, but now it registers at less than half each time I drive it ( 9 & often less bars). My car has only 3000 miles on it and I'm still driving the same way, on the same roads, not braking or accelerating abruptly, and not even using the heater much. It's not the recal thing going on. Is this "normal" behavior for the battery in winter? I get nervous seeing it go so low sometimes and I wonder if it will not have any bars/ charge left at all. So a few times I've force charged it when I get home ( 3-4 rpms for a few seconds while parked.) A Honda dealer said to do this if the battery gets too low. I'm wondering if this will hurt anything over time.

Also, do people religiously shift when the shift-up indicator comes
on? I notice when I up shift then the assist comes on. Perhaps I'm driving in too low a gear and sucking up too much battery. I do a lot of non-highway type driving in 4th gear or less.

Murasaki
 

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If your doing a lot of slow city driving it will deffinitely drag the battery down significantly. And no you do not have to obey the up shift lights, think of them merely as a suggestion. In fact sometimes mpg's are better if you disobey them.

Also, you are getting regenerative braking correct? That is you leave the car in gear with the clutch out while slowing. If nothing else it sounds like something is going on here. You might try resetting the MCM, this is very simple. Get a 10mm wrench and disconnect the ground cable from the 12 volt battery under the hood for a few minutes then hook it back up. The car will start showing no IMA charge and will then reset itself once it's done doing it's own self diagnostic on where the pack really sits at. There is also the head light trick which causes the car to enter a more aggressive charging sequence (hidden charge) and should result in a more charged IMA battery.

Hope this helps.
 

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I think it is normal. In the winter, there is more restriction to movement of the car (colder temp so stiffer rubber on the tires, grease becomes thicker, the snow on the roads make it harder to push the car) so the engine works a little harder.
As the IMA is in the balance of things, it works harder too and there can be more assist. Resulting in a lower SOC.

Also, the tire pressure gets lower with lower temps (harder to roll the tires). Check that.

When I want to make the SOC higher, instead of doing it while stopped, I simply change gear at a higher RPM. And sometimes, stay in a lower gear while cruising. This raises the SOC to any desired level.

There is no problem to do a force charge like you do. If you get a "power steering warning light", it will be turned Off once you drive the car on the road.

ADDITION: I forgot, when the temp control is to Auto instead of Econo, the system will charge more and the SOC will rize
 

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murasaki said:
Hi All,
<snip>
So a few times I've force charged it when I get home ( 3-4 rpms for a few seconds while parked.) A Honda dealer said to do this if the battery gets too low. I'm wondering if this will hurt anything over time.

Also, do people religiously shift when the shift-up indicator comes
on? I notice when I up shift then the assist comes on. Perhaps I'm driving in too low a gear and sucking up too much battery. I do a lot of non-highway type driving in 4th gear or less.

Murasaki
Such a forced charge simply wastes gas (driveway @4000 RPM). Try the headlights on trick. Yup its that simple, just keep'em on when driving. However, depending on the driving specifics it may be insufficient. I'd then try maintaining a lower gear longer.

You can then "compare" the techniques, their MPG impacts and report your findings here! :)

"Lugging" the engine by using too high a gear _will_ draw down the IMA SoC and has _long term_ _potential_ consequences for the IMA battery pack. Simply stated the more charge / discharge cycles the shorter its life. There are several other "wear" factors that aren't as easily addressed. And as always YMMV.

HTH! :)
 
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