Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am being given a 2003 Honda Insight that has been sitting, unused, for a few years now. I have seen the car and started it with jumper cables, just to see if it would still run, and it did. The car has around 145k miles and actually had the pack replaced not long before it was parked and not used, but the pack is dead now and I’m not sure if it can be revived after sitting for that long, but I’m sure some of you would have more insight on that.
I’d be interested to see what thoughts are on the best plan of action for this situation (grid charger, cell revival, ICE only?)
Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
Welcome to the forum, lots of good info here.

I am being given a 2003 Honda Insight that has been sitting, unused, for a few years now. I have seen the car and started it with jumper cables, just to see if it would still run, and it did. The car has around 145k miles and actually had the pack replaced not long before it was parked and not used, but the pack is dead now and I’m not sure if it can be revived after sitting for that long, but I’m sure some of you would have more insight on that.
I’d be interested to see what thoughts are on the best plan of action for this situation (grid charger, cell revival, ICE only?)
Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance
Man you lucked out on that one! Is it a CVT or Manual car?
[edit] Note to self: Read the title of the thread. :rolleyes: [/edit

Letting the IMA battery self discharge does not hurt them. But if you want to drive the car for a short distance to get it home etc switch the IMA battery master switch under the hatch carpet to OFF. It will take a 10mm wrench to remove the small cover located on the top of the metal IPU case once you roll the carpet out of the way. Be aware that the 12 volt battery will not get charged while the switch is off so put a charged 12 volt battery in the Insight to get it home.

Right now (assuming you haven't run the engine very long) the IMA battery is in the best condition to do a grid charge/discharge "rejuvenation" to wake it up. If you aren't familiar with that go to my website and read the V2 gridcharger article. You will also see how to build your own grid charger/discharger for less than $100.

Your going to love this car once you get used to it. :)
Click on the description of my car [below] to see the link to my website.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 5S "Turbo"
Joined
·
10,918 Posts
Please include your location in your Profile, as ALL G1 Insighters have done.
Thank You.
Welcome to the ELITE FAMILY.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. That's good news about the dead battery pack. I plan on bringing it home on a trailer, since the tires are dry rotted. I'm on your site now and looking through the grid charger info. I think that is the route I will take to see if I can get this pack revived. Thanks for the response
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,985 Posts
I am being given a 2003 Honda Insight that has been sitting, unused, for a few years now. I have seen the car and started it with jumper cables, just to see if it would still run, and it did.... but the pack is dead now...
A couple questions:

I imagine when you say "dead" you mean something like 'the BAT gauge was empty', 'would not start off IMA'. Is that the case or did you check voltages, such as 'tap' voltages at the battery computer?

When you started it with jumper cables, had you turned the IMA pack switch OFF and started it with the auxiliary 12V starter?

The angle of this questioning is basically this, based on my understanding of 'things', a lot of this stuff isn't very clear: It's possible, maybe likely, that a pack sitting a "few years" could be very deeply self discharged. That's really hard to say because if the pack were indeed just replaced prior to sitting, it might not be, whereas older used packs I'd say it's almost a certainty that it was deeply self discharged, probably all cells.

In that state I think you need to be extra careful when you charge it, using as low a current as possible, at least, to get voltage up, before you charge it at 'normal' currents... I'm thinking this extra caution is needed if cell voltages are below at most 1V, probably more important if cell voltages are anywhere lower. This is mostly based on a patent I read about a forming procedure that helps to ensure as much cobalt as possible gets activated. Normally this is done when cells are brand new, but I think it applies similarly to cells that have been deeply discharged below at most 1V (that's unloaded 'resting' voltage)...

Here's a link to the post where I started talking about that patent: The quintessential Insight NiMH voltage thread

We can't achieve the 'full-on' methods described in that patent - there's no way we can keep voltage below 1V per cell. The 'full-on' method supposedly achieves 93% cobalt conversion. The next best alternative can achieve 80% cobalt conversion - and that's by charging for 5 hours at a C/50 rate, which would be about 130mA for our cells. Typical 'grid chargers' charge at about 350mA... The next alternative can achieve 60% conversion - and that's by charging at C/20 for what I assume is the full charge; C/20 would be about 325mA for our cells - so that's roughly equivalent to a 'grid charge'...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
Thanks for the info. That's good news about the dead battery pack. I plan on bringing it home on a trailer, since the tires are dry rotted. I'm on your site now and looking through the grid charger info. I think that is the route I will take to see if I can get this pack revived. Thanks for the response
That was the best way to get it home. If you are going to go for mpg, buy only the stock RE-92 Potenza tires for the car. If you want to run the engine again then turn the master battery switch OFF so the car can't charge the battery until you are able to grid charge it properly. The master switch is under a small cover on top of the IPU cover at the back of the car. You'll need a 10 mm wrench to get the small cover off.

Before you do anything to charge the battery measure and record the total discharged voltage of the pack. Then also measure/record the stick pair tap voltages (if possible to two decimal places with a DVM). Please post the discharged voltage as soon as you can so we can have an idea how to proceed for the grid charge.

If the discharged voltage is high enough you can proceed with the rejuvenation ("reforming") process for at least two cycles. I am also a fan of doing a slow-low current discharge to 12 volts or less. I'm about to try a discharge to zero volts on my 7-1/2 year old Honda warranty replacement battery. I met the owner of a company that provides aircraft battery testing service. He says that with older Ni-Mh batteries he slow discharges them to zero volts and leaves them shorted out overnight before charging them. He didn't know about our reforming-grid charging methods so I shared that with him.

The idea of measuring each of the stick pair voltages after an overnight rest while doing the rejuvenation process the first time is to see how well the battery is getting balanced. Waiting overnight will allow the voltage of each stick to settle down to the resting reading. Post your final readings.

Here is a link to a thread & post #33 by eq1 that shows where the tap voltages can be measured on the rear 20 pin connecter on the BCM inside the IPU case at the back of the car.

Effect of one low battery cell and consequences of...

Since the normal test leads of most Volt-ohm or DVM won't fit into the wire side of the connecter to measure the voltages I just disconnect the connecter and probe from the pin side of the connecter. You may want to make a reverse drawing to more easily find the proper measurement points from the other side of the connecter. You should be able to leave the connecter disconnected while grid charging etc. NOTE: There is a locking tab on the underside of most Honda Insight connecters that has to be held released to get the connecter off the mate.

If your battery happens to be discharged below 12 volts here's how I started to charge an IMA battery that sat 10 years in a parked Insight. That battery had a total pack voltage of 0.8 volt. I connected a variable 0-12 volt power supply to the normal grid charging connections on the battery and at first set the output voltage of the supply (near 1 volt) so the starting charge current was 100 ma. As the current fell off, I slowly kept increasing the current (via the voltage control) back to 100 ma. When the pack got to 12 volts (after about an hour) I left it charging at 100 ma for several hours and then used my V1 grid charger that put out 265 ma for the rest of the grid charge.

I did a total of 2 charge/discharge cycles and the pack was very well balanced (this took 4 or 5 days). Unfortunately the car is in very bad condition and can't be started much less driven (and I did this for free to see if it could be done) so the battery is now taking another long nap in the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The pack was dead in the sense that I turned the key on and had no response whatsoever. I did switch the battery off at the breaker (after lurking on here for awhile before posting), but I haven't taken it any further than that. I was limited on tools and time available when first looking at the car. I might be going to pick the car up this weekend and then I'll be able to open the rear up more and give some more information on the condition of the pack.

I'm hoping that there is no harm to the pack when I'm starting it up and moving it around with the switch off
 

·
Premium Member
2001 5S "Turbo"
Joined
·
10,918 Posts
With the switch off, there is no assist or regen, from the IMA battery. No foul!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Ok. Great. Thanks for all the responses. Hopefully I can provide some better info on the pack once I get the vehicle where I can work on it. Until then, I'll be ordering what I'm missing to put together the grid charger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Finally was able to get the car and towed it home. The battery pack has 0 volts. It was sitting for 4-5 years I believe. I put together the grid charger and tried it today. The meter is showing voltage rise when I turn it on, but then it pegs out and shows dashes. Current is not being shown. Not sure if I have messed the wiring up but it looks correct to me after checking and rechecking. Here is the meter I used:


and I am using the power supply from v2 of the grid Charger.

using a multimeter shows 199v on the output

any ideas? Sorry for the delay, the car was in Pensacola so I was working around the weather there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
Finally was able to get the car and towed it home. The battery pack has 0 volts. It was sitting for 4-5 years I believe. I put together the grid charger and tried it today. The meter is showing voltage rise when I turn it on, but then it pegs out and shows dashes. Current is not being shown. Not sure if I have messed the wiring up but it looks correct to me after checking and rechecking. Here is the meter I used:


and I am using the power supply from v2 of the grid Charger.

using a multimeter shows 199v on the output

any ideas? Sorry for the delay, the car was in Pensacola so I was working around the weather there.
Two hundred volts is the normal high voltage of the V2 charger when it is not connected to a load.

The V2 power supply has a protection circuit that doesn't allow it to output any voltage until the battery has at least 100 or so volts showing on the meter. In your case you have to come up with some way to slowly raise the IMA battery voltage a little above 100 Vdc using no more than 350 ma.

I would recommend that you use either a variable low voltage DC supply or a normal 12 volt battery charger to wake the battery up. If using a 12 volt battery charger, I would wire a normal 12 volt car low current bulb in series with the positive lead of the charger to limit the charge current to wake the IMA battery up.

[ 10/19/2020 Edited to give detail of 12 volt bulb to wake battery up if completely dead.[/edit]
Most automotive 12 volt bulbs will draw more than 350 ma. Check the bulb part number and use a bulb that is rated to draw less than 350 ma (about 3/10 watt). Don't use a stop light or headlight bulb. They will pass too much current through the battery if it is completely discharged. I kept the 12 volt charge current to 100 ma by slowly raising the voltage over about a 1 hour time.

The bulb should light up fairly bright at the beginning of the wake up period and get dimmer as the IMA battery comes up to 12 volts.

Even a regulated, low current 12 volt phone charger might work without a bulb. Naturally be aware of the polarity of the connections.

Once the battery comes up to 12 volts I would remove the series bulb and connect the charger directly to the IMA battery for another hour or so. There are chemical reactions going on at even that low cell voltage.

Here's an idea that might allow you to get the IMA battery above 100 volts at low current. Build the discharger and temporarily wire it in series with the positive lead from the grid charger to the IMA battery positive lead connection point. The negative charger lead should be connected directly to the normal negative lead connection point at the battery.

Try using two 40 watt bulbs in the discharger sockets. That should allow the V2 power supply to see a starting charge voltage of more than 100 volts (12 volts due to the battery plus the voltage drop across the two bulbs).

The idea is to get the battery to 100 volts so the V2 charger can directly charge the battery without the load in series.

Use another meter to read the actual battery voltage since the charger meter wont be showing the true battery voltage with the discharger load connected.
---

Once the IMA battery is working normally (after the first full grid charge and disconnecting the load) it will bounce back above 100 volts on its own from a normal discharge. My battery voltage normally bounces back to 120 volts or so in less than 30 minutes after removing the discharge load.

You should do at least two full charge/discharge cycles (with a final charge of course). I would definitely read and record the stick voltages after waiting an hour or so after each charge to see how balanced the sticks are.

Please keep us appraised how things work out. We like lots of data. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I’ve been trying to do this with the pack in the car. I think the pack needs to come out and I’m going to try the method with the discharger in series. Hopefully I can get this set up tomorrow and get it going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
I’ve been trying to do this with the pack in the car. I think the pack needs to come out and I’m going to try the method with the discharger in series. Hopefully I can get this set up tomorrow and get it going.
If you can get a charge/discharge harness installed in the car (with no diodes) there's no real reason to take the battery out of the car to rejuvenate it.

You should be able to check that your grid charger is working ok when it's finished by connecting the discharge load to the charging output of the charger using 40 watt bulbs to simulate the battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I managed to break my panel meter. I have another couple on order but the only ones I can find are shipping from overseas so they’ll be 2+ weeks to get here.

I tried to do the approach using the discharge load in series on the positive lead and using multimeters to monitor, but I don’t think I’m having much luck. I’m going to try the low current 12 volt charger approach to see if I can get some voltage back in the pack in the meantime since I have them on hand.

Any other ideas? Thanks for the help thus far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
I managed to break my panel meter. I have another couple on order but the only ones I can find are shipping from overseas so they’ll be 2+ weeks to get here.

I tried to do the approach using the discharge load in series on the positive lead and using multimeters to monitor, but I don’t think I’m having much luck. I’m going to try the low current 12 volt charger approach to see if I can get some voltage back in the pack in the meantime since I have them on hand.

Any other ideas? Thanks for the help thus far.
Ouch!!

To check the charger, connect the dummy load using two 40 watt blubs directly to the discharge socket on the charger. If you don't have a discharger setup, connect the discharge load to the ends of the charging harness.

Set the charger mode switch to "charge" and measure the voltage and current with a DVM or VOM.

I edited my post above about the light bulb 12 charge to use a low wattage bulb so the initial 12 volt charge would be below 350 ma.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top