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Discussion Starter #1
Problem #1:
I replaced the IMA battery sticks in a 2000 Honda Insight about three years ago. It seemed to drive normally for a while, then exhibited non-robust IMA behavior. The IMA light was (and is) not on, and it appears to be assisting and charging somewhat normally, except that it is not very robust and not completely reliable. Sometimes it doesn't assist when it should assist, however charging appears to be normal. Another strange behavior seems to be that in an "assist" type of driving situation, the indicator shows that assisting is taking place, but then the assist bars tick away one by one even though the car is still going up a hill and the amount of force applied to the accelerator hasn't changed. In short, "assisting" seems to be problematic/unreliable/not robust. The IMA battery shows a full charge and doesn't seem to go down at all after driving.


Problem #2:
It dies/stalls while driving sometimes. It seems to die when there is a higher electric load (i.e. headlights on/heat on). It is a gradual process, occurring over 10-15 seconds, where the interior/exterior lights begin to dim and the car won't drive when pressing the accelerator. In one recent instance I was in first gear going ~5mph and the lights began dimming and the car wouldn't move when I pressed the accelerator, then I switched to neutral and all the lights came back on full strength and it drove normally again. Within 15 minutes of that event the lights dimmed again, but switching to neutral did nothing and the car needed to be jump started. After getting jumped the car starts right up. After that event I turned off the headlights/heat and the car drove without incident for 15-20 minutes over hilly terrain.

Question #1:
Could the problems be related? Or is the IMA battery circuit completely isolated from the circuit that feeds the headlights/heater?

Question #2:
Could a faulty IMA installation explain Problem #2, or do the Problem #2 symptoms point to a non-IMA issue?

Question #3:
If I disconnect the IMA battery (run on pure gas) and Problem #2 still occurs, can I confidently say that Problem #2 is a non-IMA issue?

Question #4:
Do symptoms described in Problem #1 sound like a faulty IMA battery installation? Do these symptoms sound familiar or likely to be coming from a particular part of the IMA installation?

Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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Sounds like the classical, 12v battery going bad. Fully charge the battery then "LOAD TEST" the battery and see if the performance of the IMA battery improves. Also, depending on when the IMA battery was fixed, you may be due for a charge from an external source, rather then the IMA system it'self.

Remember, the amount of ASSIST is dependent on the "LOAD" on the engine. Less LOAD, less ASSIST needed.

HTH
Willie

PS Please include your Location in your Profile, as ALL G1 Insighters have done.
 

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Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Welcome to the forum.

For starters check the two thick ground leads under the air cleaner and the leads on the 12 volt battery.

If they look corroded on the ends pull on them to see if they are in fact still connected. If they are bad replace them with cables from your favorite auto parts store.

Do you have any MILs showing on the dash?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks olrowdy1 for the suggestions. I'll check the state of the ground cables. The only MIL that is on is "check engine"
 

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That's a good start. What is the code (s)?

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's a good start. What is the code (s)?

Sam
Thanks for the reply. I have to take the Insight in to a shop to get the code(s) read, (unless there's a way I can do it without special equipment?) I will post the code(s) asap once I have it/them
 

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You can read the codes yourself with a code reader (scanner). Maybe you have a friend with one. Any auto parts store will read them for you for free.

Make sure the ground straps are good first. You might be going to the parts store anyway.

Sam
 

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Thanks olrowdy1 for the suggestions. I'll check the state of the ground cables. The only MIL that is on is "check engine"
That's normally to remind you it's time to change the oil. Or maybe someone didn't reset it after the last oil change.

If you do need ground cables make sure they are long enough so there is some slack in them. As the engine moves around on the motor mounts the cables under the air cleaner need some slack to move too.

If the IMA battery is 3+ years old you can be very sure it is out of balance which will eventually produce an error code. Normally you should start grid charging the battery after ~1 year to keep it in balance. 3 or 4 times a yr is fine while the battery is in good shape.
 

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The one for oil change is Maintenance Required. If the little picture of an engine is lit you need to check the codes.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The MIL code is for the O2 sensor. The mechanic reset it and within a few minutes it came back on, so I assume this is a real issue.

I checked all ground straps and battery terminals and all connections were good. One of the ground straps had some teal build-up, but the connection is tight.

The 12V battery reads ~12V while the car is off, and ~14V while running.

Interestingly if I switch the IMA off (using the switch above the IMA battery), while it is running the car dies soon after. If the car is not running and the IMA is switched off it doesn't start at all.

Went for a test drive yesterday for ~80 miles with no major issues (no dying). Things I did notice are that: 1) the dash battery charge indicator never showed the IMA charge going down, even though it was 'assisting' quite a bit and 2) generally less acceleration force when assisting (could this be a sign the IMA needs servicing? It was sitting around with very light use for ~3 years)
 

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The MIL code is for the O2 sensor. The mechanic reset it and within a few minutes it came back on, so I assume this is a real issue.

I checked all ground straps and battery terminals and all connections were good. One of the ground straps had some teal build-up, but the connection is tight.

The 12V battery reads ~12V while the car is off, and ~14V while running.

Interestingly if I switch the IMA off (using the switch above the IMA battery), while it is running the car dies soon after. If the car is not running and the IMA is switched off it doesn't start at all.
Load test the 12 volt battery. Most auto parts store will to it FREE.
 
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