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Discussion Starter #1
2011 Insight, ~78k miles.

Return leg of a long trip "Check IMA System" shows on IMA display.

Alert is raised for several restarts.Appeared at speed with no change in running, so kept going.

600 miles later no message. Brought to Atomic Auto in Portland, OR where they eventually found a history entry, P0AA6. Called Honda America who verified it is under warranty. (This is a big deal for me; car is branded reconstructed.)

Dealer scheduled appt for diagnostic and service of recall fix for airbags, happened today.

Good news is they will replace the battery under warranty; odd news is, has to have 2 incidents in history. No info on what the diagnostics say.

So they are saying I need to drive it until the warning appears again. Assured me no chance of being stranded, since car will function without the battery. Not too clear on how to document the message if it stops displaying before I get back to the dealer.

Any others' experience with this is of interest. Travis at Atomic Auto said the error means a short or other failure of electrical isolation of the IMA system from the rest of the car causes this error. Wonder how long it might take to get the second instance. They called me about replacement about an hour after I left it. Bad battery seems like a very different fault to me. I do not understand electrical systems.

BTW the battery was reconditioned by Bumblebee last April. I noticed mileage dropping the past few months, but this was conflated with replacing 195-60 Firestone (Civic) tires with LRR 185-65.
 

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Is that the first time that Insight had ever been to a dealer? I wonder if it needed or got when you were there any software updates.

Do check the condition of the 12 volt battery under the hood. We have had a lot of incidents of that being weak and causing problems with the IMA electronics.

By brand reconstructed, do you mean it has a salvage title? If so,
Honda can get out any warranty. But if they don't know that, don't tell them. If it was in a bad accident, you would not be the first person to find that there was damage in the IMA system, but the batteries were actually fine.

In terms of warranty, where was this Insight first sold? If it was in a CARB state, the IMA is warranted to 150,000 miles. (Oregon is a CARB state and was in 2011)

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dealer did software updates when I brought it to them last year following replacement of the starter battery. If I told them it was reconstructed, they appear to have forgotten. In any case Honda America already said it is covered under warranty and they looked up the vin.

Car was originally sold in Hawaii to my knowledge.

They ran a diagnostic, as opposed to reading the codes. For remembering that they did that they charged me $72. I am not in a position to 2nd guess whether they know how to interpret the diagnostic.

Now I've gone from hoping the batt lasts forever to hoping it fails ASAP.
 

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If it's anything like the first gen with a flaky battery and you want an IMA code, let the car sit a couple weeks without driving it. Then take it right out and drive it hard.
 

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It may in fact be fine. Sitting around while being repaired (and shipped from Hawaii) may be the root cause of the codes. With regular use this IMA could last a long time.
I think if there really is an issue, it will come back without any intervention.
 

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I agree.
My Insight did less than 1500 miles in its first 10 months and the hybrid battery was lazy, not going beyond half support & recharge. It became better after a couple of months of daily commutes and was fully functional when I took it to the mountains the next summer. I was surprised about how long it lasted in a steep uphill climb.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have put ~26k miles on it over 18 months with daily use, before the code appeared. That was on the return leg of a 1500 mile trip, over 4 days. The long period of inferred disuse was over 2 years ago.

Don't have the option to not drive for extended period.
 

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But you had it reconditioned by Bumblebee last April. Why was that?
Just as a precaution or was it showing deterioration or such?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I concluded that it was likely that the battery was affected by lack of use while awaiting to be auctioned and the reconditioning would possibly compensate. Calculated risk that it would be cost effective.
 

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I googled a bit and the P0AA6 code does indeed indicate a leak between the 12V and high voltage system.
If your car had been rear ended the most likely place for that is the hybrid battery itself.
If you remove the floor and see the aluminum battery cover plate is dented or not original then something beneath it may be amiss.
The other possibility is a damaged cable. That should most likely have occurred in or around the area where the car was damaged.
Do you know why your car was reconstructed and where the damage was?

I did cause a short between the hybrid battery and the 12V system when I integrated a voltage meter fed by the 12V system and it apparently was not isolated internally; see http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-discussions/73874-portable-parallel-phev-booster-pack-ze2.html. That project is on hold until I have more time on my hands btw.
Sadly I did not record the 2 error codes; it was the first time I used my UltraGauge to check and clear codes. One was the overcharge code I got several times again later on, the other might well have been the P0AA6.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Travis at Atomic Auto (Portland) said the same regarding the meaning of P0AA6.

I am not a mechanic and I am not going to be nosing around in the battery compartment. I suspect that if there was any visible sign of damage to the battery or compartment, Eli at Bumblebee would have mentioned it when he did the recondition operation. I repeat, it has been 10 months and 26k+ miles since he had it out, until the code raised.

The person who repaired the damage and re-titled the car claimed he only had to replace external fascia around the rear bumper, no structural damage.

For those interested in reviving discussion: I have the question about whether there is any cost-effective maintenance procedures applicable to the IMA battery that will extend its life, but more importantly, prevent premature failure. Theoretically, periodic balancing and/or reconditioning should help, but even the cost of acquiring the equipment and doing it yourself has a long payback period.

I drive my car a lot, esp. street commuting, and I noticed a bump in performance after reconditioning that lasted about 5-6 months. I changed from 195/65 to 185/60 LRR tires in November, but the IMA mileage reading is now 4mpg lower than it was last summer.
 

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The charger/discharger investment is a ONE time investment. Yes, used properly it will probably extend the life of the IMA battery.
Your mpg drop can be attributed to cooler temps, and blend of fuel.(Summer vs Winter blend)

HTH
Willie
 

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I suspect that if there was any visible sign of damage to the battery or compartment, Eli at Bumblebee would have mentioned it when he did the recondition operation.
Indeed. But something is triggering the P0AA6. It could be anything; even moisture or even animals nesting that bridges something.
Priuses have P0AA6 codes when partially flooded, f.i..

For those interested in reviving discussion: I have the question about whether there is any cost-effective maintenance procedures applicable to the IMA battery that will extend its life, but more importantly, prevent premature failure. Theoretically, periodic balancing and/or reconditioning should help, but even the cost of acquiring the equipment and doing it yourself has a long payback period.
True. But if you do it yourself you get to see the battery, and maybe you do see something amiss.
That said, do not tinker with it if not 100% sure of what to do.
I read myself in, checked the grid charger harness install procedures of the various suppliers, took all the precautions and only messed up in other areas ;)

I drive my car a lot, esp. street commuting, and I noticed a bump in performance after reconditioning that lasted about 5-6 months. I changed from 195/65 to 185/60 LRR tires in November, but the IMA mileage reading is now 4mpg lower than it was last summer.
That must be 55's not 65's? 195/55 R15 would be about the right size.
If you go narrower you need to compensate with tire pressure to keep the same performance. I run my 175/65 R15 winter tires at over 40 PSI; that improves cornering, mpg and sidewind sensitivity. Spring weather means my commutes at moderate speed now surpass 60 mpg. Even my tank average jumps in that direction, despite having a lot of short local drives pulling it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Travis at Atomic mentioned that it was good that the dealer did not know I had the recondition job done; says they would use that as a reason to void any warranty.

Since it would be insane to buy a charger/discharger without adding the quick hookup interface, seems you choose between maintenance and warranty.

Wondering if there is a middle ground.
 
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