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Discussion Starter #1
Hallo Everyone!

I have a 2000 Honda Insight at 130,000 miles. I just found out that my battery pack needs to be replaced... Even though I replaced the entire battery pack and computer in March 2011, completely out of pocket! The 3 year warranty, however, just barely ended 6 months ago, so Honda will not do anything about it. "Tough luck," they say.

Now I'm faced with needing to replace the battery...again, or trying to sell/ gift the car as is.

I did find a mechanic in San Diego who can rebuild the battery for less than $2000. Is it worth it? My Insight does have some cosmetic damage, but at 130 k miles, they tell me that I can sell it for around $3500. Is that true? Do you think it's worth fixing the battery (again), so that I can eventually sell it again? Or is it best to let it go and move on?

Also, the mechanic seems legitimate, but does not have any reviews, good or bad, anywhere on the internet. Would you trust a mechanic that can repair batteries for thousands less than the dealer?

I am a professional performer, so I definitely rely on my car for gigs. But, I currently do not have much of a means to spends thousands of dollars on repair or a new car.

Any advice, comments, or ideas are much appreciated!!

Thank you!

Cheers,
Ali
 

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Why not get a grid charger? You could probably revive that battery with a grid charger.
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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A grid charger is your best bet. Around 300 bucks IIRR. It can extend the battery for a while.
Where in SD are you located?
Who is the battery rebuilder, maybe someone knows him here on ICN.

For a charger or excellant information,
Maybe contact Scott at this link.

Jue Motors - Covina, CA | Yelp

If you want to chat about the problem. PM me with a number to call.
HTH
Willie
 

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Yes call Scott at Jue motors. He will educate you on the options available. He is honest and will actually help you. You have many options available that can fit your budget and skill level.
 

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If you do replace the battery, buy one from one of the 3rd party vendors on this website. Honda's batteries are rebuilt from previously failed units and in a word 'suck'.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you Everyone!!

I took my Insight to AAA Hybrid Battery Repair in San Diego, and a man named Chris Todorov helped me out. He was incredibly helpful, friendly, and diagnosed the problem for free, so I have every reason to believe that he is genuine. I just find it odd that there are zero reviews out there!

Unfortunately, he said that given my exact codes, the battery cannot me extended with a charger. He did mention that option, but in my case, it will not work. The codes said that a battery cell completely failed internally, possibly due to overheating.

What are your thoughts on continuing to drive without the hybrid working? I've read that you can disconnect it, but how long will that work? The mechanic also said that doing that for an extended period of time will destroy the battery pack even more.

It looks like I can get the battery replaced with an extra fan added that will extend the life of the new one for under $2000 through this guy in San Diego.

I will call Scott at Jue Motors as well.

Thanks again! As always in my experience, Insight people rule!
 

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No code exists that confirms that a single cell has failed, and no code exists that can tell you whether a grid charger will help or not. I'd stay away from any rebuild that cost more than $900 - and since there are none, I'd be staying away from rebuilds entirely (unless I did it myself). If you're gonna spend close to $2000, then get a new pack, period. And if you're going to sell the car, forget buying a new pack. Bypassing the IMA system and running gas-only is completely fine and easy to do...
 

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No code exists that confirms that a single cell has failed, and no code exists that can tell you whether a grid charger will help or not. I'd stay away from any rebuild that cost more than $900 - and since there are none, I'd be staying away from rebuilds entirely (unless I did it myself). If you're gonna spend close to $2000, then get a new pack, period. And if you're going to sell the car, forget buying a new pack. Bypassing the IMA system and running gas-only is completely fine and easy to do...
Agreed. Whoever this guy is, he is lying to you and trying to take advantage of your ignorance. If I was you, I would buy a grid charger and at least try to revive the battery. If it doesn't work, get one from bumblebee batteries and then use your grid charger once every couple months to prolong the life of that one. It would be unwise to go back to that Mechanic.
 

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It would be in your best interest to call Scott at Jue motors as recommended above who is the best out there and in your backyard (worth the drive). He will give you honest choices.
Gerald
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the input!

Apologies for my ignorance...but I believe that the mechanic said that my battery could not be refurbished - it would need to be replaced. Hence, the grid charger wouldn't do anything for it until it was replaced completely. So that replacement cost comes out $1199 + $500 for the grid charger.

I'll contact Scott today and see what he says!
 

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Buy one with new sticks

Your $2000 will buy a battery with all new sticks from Bumblebee Batteries. Don't mess around with rebuilts. They are a pain in the backside. I deal with them because I do it for my own use, but there is no way I would do used sticks for anyone else.

My 0.02 worth,
Tim Glover
 

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Your $2000 will buy a battery with all new sticks from Bumblebee Batteries. Don't mess around with rebuilts. They are a pain in the backside. I deal with them because I do it for my own use, but there is no way I would do used sticks for anyone else.

My 0.02 worth,
Tim Glover
I agree. I too tinker with old sticks, but it is a fairly futile effort. There are very few sticks available in the wild which are fit to use. From my recent experience, in the routine failed pack there will be maybe 1/4-1/3 even usable sticks.

Against this, the investment of time is tremendous, and the results may only last a year. Not a pretty picture:(
 

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Apologies for my ignorance...but I believe that the mechanic said that my battery could not be refurbished - it would need to be replaced. Hence, the grid charger wouldn't do anything for it until it was replaced completely. So that replacement cost comes out $1199 + $500 for the grid charger.
Yeah, but he also told you that "the battery cannot me extended with a charger", that "a battery cell completely failed internally, possibly due to overheating", and that driving the car without the battery connected would "will destroy the battery pack even more." If he tells you that the battery is already destroyed why would this matter? He's giving you the "company answer", and he no doubt believes what he is telling you, but many here have had different experience.

No matter what you do with the battery, you should have a grid charger. Every Insight owner should have and use a grid charger to extend the life of their battery. So why not build or buy one first and hopefully it will extend the life of this battery while you're saving for a new aftermarket battery? You should use it on your new battery anyway, so the cost of the grid charger is not wasted.

Sam
 

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So why not build or buy one first and hopefully it will extend the life of this battery while you're saving for a new aftermarket battery? You should use it on your new battery anyway, so the cost of the grid charger is not wasted.

Sam
Best advice in the thread :)

Sam
 

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Speaking from one of those individuals who has proven that grid charging can restore a 1447/1449 spewing Battery pack back to useful operation, I am living proof that it works.
My original pack was replaced by Honda right before the 150K/10 year warranty period expired and some time later it also failed. So I purchased a replacement pack at a salvage yard online and replaced it myself. It lasted for about 9 months and then it too started spewing the IMA light/Maint Req/1447/1449 error codes. I subsequently pulled the pack, dismantled it and charged the 7.2 v modules separately. I finally built a 350 mA/176 VDC grid charger and I'm now a pseudo plug-in hybrid - 60 mpg, gas saving, Insight Loving owner. Whenever I feel the need I plug the Insight in overnight, unplug the 12 VDC battery to reset the state of charge and the next day I'm at 20 bars of charge. The 144 battery pack has not produced the IMA failure since I started grid charging (over a year ago I may add) and I figure at about $1.00 each time I charge it, I would have to charge it 2000 times to recoup the money I need to spend for a new battery. I live in Oceanside and I know the terrain out here in Southern California. You need the 144 VDC battery pack to energize the electric motor to help with the hills and inclines. Without it, the car feels like a turtle. So listen to someone with experience, get a grid charger and try that route first. You can make one for about $100 and I have some pictures on how to connect the charge cables to the battery in my photo section. You can use trailer wiring connectors and harnesses since it's only about 350 to 1000 mA.

I've included a picture showing the grid charged battery pack with about 19/20 bars of charge, achieving 60 mpg at 64 mph on I5 and just performing flawlessly as it saves me money at the pump and keeps me away from dishonest, money grubbing people who have no idea what they're talking about.
 

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