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Discussion Starter #1
I need help with a non-cranking engine! I'm an amateur mechanic at best (but old and not as good as I once was). I am used to working on old domestic Big 3 cars; this is the first "foreign car" I've ever owned.

I bought it with 220k+ miles 5 years ago. It ran fine for 2 years with a good IMA and good/new 12v battery. After sitting unused for a few weeks 3 summers ago, I tried to start it but it would not crank (???).

Prior to that, I had occasionally not driven it for weeks at a time without any problem (the IMA would deplete but the 12v battery was always good--I always keep a trickle charger on the 12v battery).

ALL lights come on the dash, the windows/lights and everything else works fine, but the engine will not crank (???). I don't hear any "clicking" nor see the dash lights dim (no starter draw). 12v battery cables are clean. Grounds look ok, and since everything else works, I assume the grounds are good.

I got under it to see if there was any rodent evidence and did not see anything. Fuses look good. I rapped on the starter. Stumped.

Prior to this problem, I had bought a grid charger (it's still new in the box). After the car wouldn't crank, I thought I'd install the grid charger anyway and see what happens. I started on that project, pulled the IMA cover and switched the IMA off. Then it got cold and I didn't finish the installation. Got frustrated, and it's sat ever since.

Btw, I am in KS (50 miles southwest of Kansas City), and most guys here don't even know what this rare car is. My old skool local mechanic bud refuses to work on it (I don't blame him). Is there any "Insight expert" who lives near Kansas City? If so, I'd be happy to pay him to fix my car. It hasn't driven now for 3 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update:
1) I finished installing my new grid charger that's been sitting in the box for 3 years. Seems to be charging the IMA at 175+/- volts, and I'll charge it for 48 hours. I am not assuming a fully charged IMA will start the car, but since I had the grid charger already, I might as well install it.
2) I checked the fuses again and they looked good.
3) Bypassed the clutch switch using a paperclip jumper.
4) Checked the grounds and they were good.
5) Rapped the starter again with a hammer.
Again all to no avail. Maybe the starter is bad, idk.
Also, I hear multiple relay clicks coming from the rear inside the IMA box when I try to start it, and a few seconds after turning off the key, then I hear another relay click. I can't tell exact what relay(s) is clicking (I have no helper to listen or turn the key).
 

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2006 Honda Insight MT
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Does bypassing the electronics and using a jumper wire from the battery to starter work? Assuming the IMA is still off so you can isolate the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does bypassing the electronics and using a jumper wire from the battery to starter work? Assuming the IMA is still off so you can isolate the problem.
TY. Will try that next. Btw, (correct me if I'm wrong), if the IMA is good, the 12v starter isn't even needed, right? My IMA battery has been sitting unused for 3+ years so I am not sure if my new grid charger can get it up again or not.
 

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Right, if the IMA is good it will use the IMA motor to start the car, not the 12V battery. When diagnosing starting issues, I typically disable the IMA to narrow down the problem - if it starts off the 12V with the IMA disabled, but not with the IMA on, then it's likely an IMA issue, otherwise it's something else.

If the car starts with the jumper wire, then it's something to do with the electronics, relays, etc. If it still doesn't start then you've basically reduced the problems down to either a bad starter, bad starter ground, or something engine related. Engine issues can be eliminated from the equation if you can bump start the car.

As mentioned, with the IMA flipped off it does take a couple of seconds to start the car off the 12V starter. I found that sometimes it took 30-60 seconds to start the car until I bypassed the starter relay.
 

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What kind of charge does your 12V battery have? That could be the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update (still stumped):

1) My Hybrid Automotive grid charger did no good after two attempts (48 hours, then 24 hours). I am 99.8% convinced the IMA battery is dead/junk.
2) Rechecked fuses and grounds. Look good to me.
3) I removed the paper clip that I used to bypass the clutch switch (which did no good) and plugged the clutch switch back in.
4) I pulled the wire from the starter solenoid (lying on my back in the weeds at my age isn't easy), and ran a jumper wire directly from the good 12v battery to the solenoid terminal. It cranked! :) I had semi-assumed the starter was bad, so I am happy that apparently the starter is ok.
5) Trying to troubleshoot via the 2000-2006 shop manual I downloaded (thanks to this great forum(y)). Got to this point: "Does the starter crank the engine? YES -Check the following items in the order listed until you find the open circuit: Check for an open circuit or loose connections in the BLK/WHT wire and connectors between the starter cut relay and the ignition switch, and between the starter cut relay and the starter. Check the ignition switch (see IGNITION KEY SWITCH TEST ).
6) I don't know how/where to test for the "open circuit" nor where to look for loose connections (I don't see anything obviously loose). I can't find the "starter cut relay" (where is it?). The diagrams show it being inside the interior fuse box but I see no relays at all there (maybe the 2000 is different?). I hear relays clicking inside the IMA box in the rear. There appear to be 4 in a relay box in the left rear of the IMA box. I can't figure out how to remove them (didn't try to force them and break something). I don't know which ones are clicking. There are also relays in a box near the underhood fuse box. I can't tell if they are clicking, nor how to remove them. I don't know how to test a relay either.

Where do I go from here?

I obviously am not an expert at troubleshooting, especially on a late model import (I'm used to old Big 3 cars from decades ago). TY to all for any help. Wish I could find a local Honda Insight expert nearby (east central KS, 50 miles southwest of downtown Kansas City). Right now, I have a decent looking red (newish paint) 1900 pound aluminum brick (with cold a/c and cruise)...
 

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I have a bad IMA battery, but sometimes just turn the switch off. I let it sit for a few weeks and it would not start. The IMA was dead and would not turn the engine. I turn off the IMA to start it with the 12 v and it just cranks but no spark. periodically I would disconnect the 12 v battery to reset the computer. did not work. I then read here that to fully reset, you need to disconnect the 12v for at least 10 mins. I did that, started right up again.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have a bad IMA battery, but sometimes just turn the switch off. I let it sit for a few weeks and it would not start. The IMA was dead and would not turn the engine. I turn off the IMA to start it with the 12 v and it just cranks but no spark. periodically I would disconnect the 12 v battery to reset the computer. did not work. I then read here that to fully reset, you need to disconnect the 12v for at least 10 mins. I did that, started right up again.
TY. I've done that many times (resetting) by removing the 12v negative cable for extended periods. Had the IMA turned on, then off, and repeated that many times. No crank, unless I run a wire directly to the solenoid on top of the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Additional info: My OBDII scan tool does not work on it. It won't read any DTCs. Not sure if that would do any good trying to identify my non-starting problem(s). Every time I plug it in, it just shows "linking error" (? :unsure:) . The tool works fine on all my other cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
More (my continuing/frustrating saga with the red aluminum brick):
I looked again at the underdash fuse box and think I finally see the 3 black relays (twisting my 71 year old back into a pretzel, again). But I can't figure out how to remove them (nor the relays inside the IMA box nor the relays in the underhood relay box).

When I try to start it via the ignition key with the good 12 battery, all of the dash lights come on including the IMA & gas gauge bars which light up initially, but then the IMA/gas bars drop to nothing. Is that normal? It's been so long since I drove the car (everything worked fine, including the IMA), that I don't recall. I thought briefly that maybe it was out of gas (though running any car close to empty has never been my s.o.p.). I put 2 gallons of fresh gas in it just in case, and that did nothing to the gas gauge nor start it.

TY again for any/all help. If anyone wants to work on my brick, I would gladly pay to get it going. If anyone wants to buy my brick, I am close to throwing in the towel...
 

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I had a similar problem and what I found was the small wire going to the starter, I believe the solenoid, looked like it was attached because the rubber boot was covering the actual connector. I pulled that off and found that it was not connected at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I had a similar problem and what I found was the small wire going to the starter, I believe the solenoid, looked like it was attached because the rubber boot was covering the actual connector. I pulled that off and found that it was not connected at all.
TY. I pulled that small black wire off earlier to run a jumper directly from the 12v battery to the solenoid to test the starter (it cranked). It seemed tight when I pulled it off, and it seemed tight when I plugged it back. The starter did not crank, so back to square one.

I might try unhooking it again to see if that wire is getting juice, but I will need a helper to turn the ignition key on. I have no idea where the other end of that black wire is connected.

One of the first things I did was to look for rodent damage. I didn't see any evidence. Nothing I could see was chewed, no nest, and didn't see any of their calling cards.
 

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OBDII port: I was helping a friend with a similar problem. A mechanic had worked on it, and had tested all of the fuses. What he didn't do was check if all fuses were in place. We compared the fuses with the diagram on the cubby hole, and one was missing! We replaced that fuse and it started! The OBDII port also worked again. It still doesn't start with the IMA, but the 12V works great.

Have you looked for mouse damage down by the ECU?

Sam
 
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