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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven’t posted in what looks like maybe 6 years!

I still have my two manual 2001 Insights, one with one of the first turbo mods we ever did in the forums (where a weld has failed) and the other stock.

The problem I have which is common with both of them is that I now only drive maybe once every 7-10 days for much of the year, and the battery pack fails quickly with that infrequent driving. I had the turbo (Edwin) go for a long time (past the 10 year warranty without the pack failing, but it died just after the 10 years ran out - of course!). The stock Insight (Jane) lost her pack in warranty, and I had it replaced back in maybe 2010 or thereabouts. However, because of the very infrequent driving, her replacement pack failed pretty soon thereafter (in maybe less than a year).

I since got a nice used 2007 Fit (which nicely fits 2 road bikes with the wheels still on and a whole lot of gear for touring) and have neglected the Insights. :(

To make a long story short, making no excuses, the two 2001 Insights (Edwin and Jane) have sat now for years with nothing but trickle chargers for the 12V, undriven in the garage for all this time (with some stabilizer in the tanks, for what that is worth).

I would like to resurrect at least Jane (the stock non-turbo, as the turbo has it’s own problems at the moment).

1) I need to pass emissions in CA (annoying, but I have gotten smog requests on them)

2) I need to have them survive the infrequent driving (once in 7-10 days on average)

3) Given that they have sat sat so long, is it safe to restart them without special treatment?

Assuming I can get them going again, given (2), is there an option folks have figured out to keep auto-stop and disable IMA entirely? That would avoid the whole ‘infrequent driving’ batter failure problem and allow me to not try to get the IMA system working again at all.

I am seeing hints of that in the forums, but I have not been here for probably 6 years now and don’t find a clear thread which gives me the CA DMV pass (I have been always required to Smog periodically - due to DMV idiocy).

Do I have hope (as a non electrical engineer) to resurrect my babies?

Any thoughts or threads on this sort of quest? I am searching, but not finding enough info to help me plan what to do next.

p.s. I am in Redwwod City, CA.
 

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Figgy, what a sad, sad story!

Before you start to worry about the IMA, get Jane on her feet first.
I did this procedure on an old Rover that had been sitting for 10 years:
- take out the sparkplugs
- put a few drops of engine oil into the cylinders
- crank her over on the 12V a few times (if the battery is ok!).
- If she doesn't crank, a new battery is due.
- Now remove the negative battery terminal, wait 30 sec, and replace.
- replace spark plugs and start up: let her idle for a few minutes.
- then try 3000 rpm for a few mins and see if the SOC goes up to full. If not, never mind.
So now you have the car running. Your CEL and IMA lights are most certainly lit up (or will be when you start to drive).
So now the only problem is the IMA. For this you need to grid charge. (read, read, read the threads). The point here is, that a dumb grid charger for < 100 bucks will tell you if you have a chance for resurrection. If the lights then stay off for 50 miles, then this is enough to get through any tests that are required.
Afterwards, you can consider deep-discharge/charge cycling and maybe get Jane really up and kicking again! :)
(If you can use a wrench or power tool to open the battery compartment, find a freind or fellow-Insighter to help you with the electrical bit)
 

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I'm not far from you, in south San Jose, just outside Los Gatos. Before you turn the key on either vehicle, you need to grid charge the IMA battery for at least 24 hours first. Both IMA batteries have undoubtedly self discharged from sitting so long. Using the vehicle to force charge them will cause IMA battery failure in very short order. The current delivered by the car while operating is too high for a depleted battery, you need the slow gentle trickle charge delivered by a Prolong grid charger. Also, using the charger anytime the car sits unused for more than 5 or 6 days will keep the battery strong and ready to be used by the vehicle.

Give this a read to help understand what Prolong chargers are and why you need one:
Prolong Grid Chargers - Hybrid Automotive - Extending the life of your hybrid
 

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+1. Grid charge before you touch anything else. There is a good chance that your batteries will work fine. If you let the car charge them they will soon fail.

Sam
 

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Jeff and Sam are right, of course! This aspect didn't occur to me.
BTW. the brakes will also be rusted/clogged up, but you will notice that when you start driving. Brake and pump to get the cobwebs out.
Figgy, good luck :)
 

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I would take the car (after doing as recommended above) and immediately get the brake fluid flushed. And the coolant, and the engine oil, and the tranny fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you guys for the good news | Grid Chargers

It sounds like I have a chance to get them back running again, that's good news.

I've been reading a bit on the grid chargers. I'll try to find more.

Any threads of note? Where to acquire (or borrow) one here in CA, Bay Area?

Thank you for the help here!
 

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Any threads of note? Where to acquire (or borrow) one here in CA, Bay Area?
I'm not far from you, in south San Jose
I offer installation services here at my garage if you'd rather not do it yourself. I don't think you will need that though, if you installed a turbo kit this will be a piece of cake (not to mention you need to do it before starting the car).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I offer installation services here at my garage if you'd rather not do it yourself. I don't think you will need that though, if you installed a turbo kit this will be a piece of cake (not to mention you need to do it before starting the car).
Thank you. I'll likely PM you in the future.

I have done simple things like at the website (solar fans etc) and had to fiddle with the turbo to get it working properly, but I did not do the turbo install myself (a story of its own).

I'll be working on this on and off until i get something (good, I hope) accomplished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Jane Edwin and Bluebell codes Aug 3

JANE (STOCK 2001 MT) and EDWIN (STOCK 2001 MT)

I just checked (not turning over the engines).

Jane and Edwin (both manual 2001, garaged and mint approx 25k miles):

P1449
P1568

No other codes.

I also looked in my log books, and I did start them up (with P1449) in 2013 and periodically ran them a bit with battery charging from the engine running periodically up until then. Was that good or bad to have done that? In any case, neither has been started since 2013. I have not started them now in 2015 yet at all - and I will hold off on that as suggested.

I will be in touch about trying to fix them up with Grid Charger etc.

Separately (maybe needs a new thread):

BLUEBELL (2002 CVT)

My GF has Bluebell (we bought her in Savannah, GA as a Honda Certified used car many years ago) and she just started to throw P1259 yesterday - hence my revived interest in our Insights.

I'll start checking in the forums for that too!
 
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