Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 2001 Hybrid has always been serviced per, the maintenance manual, since I bought it in 2001. It has just over 70,000 miles, has never seen salt/snow as it has been in storage the end of October through mid April each and every year. For 9 years this car has come out of storage with almost a full battery. I have never had any concerns about the battery pack whatsoever until a Safelite Auto Glass technician decided to let my Insight run for over an hour with the A/C on trying to cool the windshield on a hot summer's day last July. He left the scene giving my keys to my son, not even having the decency to speak to me about him cracking my windshield or about the batteries that started at full charge but after his visit, ended at half charge. In all of the years I had this Honda, the battery pack was never below 3 lines less than full charge. I immediately took it to the Honda shop, explained the situation, explained that I was concerned about the charging unit and battery pack since when I was actively driving, there were three charge bars displaying and those should only display when I take my foot off the gas or when I brake. They did a process, put it in neutral or park don't know which, and revved the engine for approx 4 minutes. Over the summer and fall, I made several trips to the Honda shop because my car would straighten out for a day or two then start charging at the wrong time again. I asked if they could diagnose why it thought it needed to charge when I was driving -- instead of breaking as it had never done that before the Safelite incident. I was told to charge the small battery when needed and drive the car on the thruway, at a good speed, for an extended period of time. I did, it did not help. A couple days after that, the battery pack was depleted again. I did drive it until October, periodically charging the small front battery, knowing something was not right and Safelight believed they had no part if damaging anything having to do with the charging controls. They did, however, pay for a replacement small battery since my one-year-old battery was drained so low that day they worked on the windshield that it would not recharge. The car comes went into storage and back out of storage April 13th and immediately I find the battery pack has two bars for a charge. I drove it to try to charge it and the two bars turned into one. Again, I had to charge the front battery in order to make it to the Honda shop where it continues to sit. This time they said there were codes they had not seen before, and all of the charging system and batteries were in need of replacement. Over $5,500 in parts alone. I stand solid in my thought that since I had no problems with the charging mechanism prior to that hot July day when the car was left in idle with A/C running full boar, that this must have been pushed over the edge by Safelite. Does anyone have any good advice or previous experience with a hybrid of this vintage sitting idle and causing damage? There was a service bulletin for those Insights that had problems with the electrical system -- 8 years, 80,000 miles but it was just a bulletin and not a recall. As my Honda customer service manager explained to me, unless the car is presenting codes stating the mechanism was faulty, it would not be replaced under the bulletin. I had no issues with the car prior to Safelite's visit and they have absolutely no record of any instances when I brought the car in stating charging problems before the day Safelite worked on my car. Of course, Safelite has washed their hands of the entire situation telling me the battery was installed improperly and that was the cause of the damage. That is a bunch of bogus crap because the battery was NOT installed improperly and it ran from July to October fine ... except when I had to not drive it because the windshield had multiple cracks in it and it was not replaced until SEPTEMBER! Talk about good service from Safelite, NOT. I would truly appreciate any and all help people can offer. Thanks for your time.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 5S "Turbo"
Joined
·
10,656 Posts
All your questions can be answered if you "search" this forum.
Inactivity of the IMA battery can cause deterioation.
I see nothing to blame the glass installer.

HTH
Willie
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
2,009 Posts
I agree with Willie that letting your Insight idle for an hour with the A/C on would not damage anything, including the 12 v. battery and the 144 v. IMA battery. As Willie stated, parking an Insight for extended periods of time causes the IMA battery to deteriorate until it finally fails. My 2000 Insight is on its 3rd IMA battery with just over 40,000 kilometers driven, probably because I have driven is so little. You are very lucky that your IMA battery has lasted as long as it has considering that it's parked each winter.

Honda extended the 8-yr/80,000-mi warranty on the IMA system to 10 years and at least 150,000 miles for all early U.S. Insights. So if your car was first sold less than 10 years before your Honda dealer diagnosed the IMA battery problem, Honda will replace the IMA battery under warranty at no cost to you. Many dealers aren't aware of the warranty extension, so you might have to contact American Honda if your car was less than 10 years old when the IMA problem was diagnosed.

To prevent battery deterioration problems on your new battery, you need to build or buy a custom IMA battery charger/balancer and use it prior to driving your car after it has been parked for a week or longer. Yes, it sucks that Honda wasn't more open about battery deterioration occurring for those who don't drive regularly, but Honda has been very generous with its warranty replacement policy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Gentlemen for your thoughts. Unfortunately, this happened 9.5 years into the car's life for the 80,000 or 8 years no longer applied. I find that it is too coincidental that the battery pack was at half charge for the first time the very same day this technician left my car running. Too coincidental. I read somewhere on the net that if you let your battery pack get down to 40-60% rather than almost full, there will be damage to the IMA charging system. My thoughts were that with this running, if the battery pack did go down to 40-60%, and I believe it did by my guage, then it was caused by the person leaving the car running. This car was taken out of storage April 2010 and ran fine, full battery display, until July 12, 2010, the day the vehicle was left to idle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
My Honda dealership told me that 2001 was 8/80,000 and they could do nothing to change that. They said they called Honda and Honda Corp has graciously agreed to sell them the parts at 50% retail to me (and my dealership is telling me they will do all the labor for free) so it is better news today. I will check out the warranty because the car was bought in June 2001 so .... if, as you say all 200-2004 were changed to 10/100/157, then it should be covered and I would certainly owe the two of you a really huge thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Here's a dumb question -- can I call Honda myself bypassing my dealership? I know I can but do they talk to individuals? I will have to try to find the number just in case.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,394 Posts
Yes, you can call it, many of us called it to ask about whether our cars have had the emissions recall taken care of or not, in-service dates, and warranty history. For convenience, the USA Honda phone number is under your hood.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 5S "Turbo"
Joined
·
10,656 Posts
"SS" is right. Anyone can call Honda USA. BUT..........Do it diplomaticaly (sp) not DEMANDING. You will get better results.
HTH
Willie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
My Honda dealership told me that 2001 was 8/80,000 and they could do nothing to change that. They said they called Honda and Honda Corp has graciously agreed to sell them the parts at 50% retail to me (and my dealership is telling me they will do all the labor for free) so it is better news today. I will check out the warranty because the car was bought in June 2001 so .... if, as you say all 200-2004 were changed to 10/100/157, then it should be covered and I would certainly owe the two of you a really huge thank you!
I don't know why but my radar is up on this one. I'm not convinced your dealership is being 100% honest with you. Fact of the matter is you are still under warranty, the dealership is telling you are not but offering a "sweet deal" instead... I wonder if they are planning to just pocket your money and still submit the warranty claim to Honda to get the money from them as well.

Perhaps that's paranoid but I really don't trust car mechanics and "stealerships" are no exception.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone. I will go find my car tomorrow and look for the number under the hood. What have I got to lose? Once it is fixed, it will truly be a sweet car for someone else, auto with air, 74,000 miles and always serviced to the max. No accidents or aftermarket anything (not that I don't do that with my other older vehicles, because I have to!) and, as we know, garaged Oct to April. I have seen a few brave people in these light cars in the NY winters and I just would never be one. 1,800 pounds .... I'm just chicken so it will be for sale. Thanks again all. I sincerely appreciate your help whether Honda covers completely or not!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
.....drumroll please..... Honda Corp rep had never heard of such an extention to the warranty but she did ask and came back with 10 years/157,500 miles. She gave me the info I needed to provide to the st(d)ealership as listed above :eek:) and they did a little research themselves. They knew of the first one resulting from the class action suit (I read about on the web) listing the 7 states involved. They did not know there was another one issued the same day grandfathering in the rest of the 43 states. Now they do and have verified that no only will the parts and labor be covered under the warranty, the IMA Pack gives more parts than they had originally said I needed. Effectively, the d(st)ealership told me I would have essentially a brand new car with regard to all of the important expensive pieces. Now, if anyone has any interested in offering advice further about how to safeguard the vehicle with having it sit 5+ consecutive months a year without being driven, I am all ears. Please keep it simple so I can understand. Take care all and to all who posted, a Very Sincere Thank You!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top