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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. folks. new guy here in post and with 2000 insight that I've had for 24 hrs. Has 104,000 + miles, bought from used car lot. First thing on test drive, car bogs and surges, battery indicator dove to 5 bars. Didn't know what to think of that. Thought I was just rusty from not driving manual trans for 10+ years. Drove home 70 miles, 90 degree day, a/c on, headlights later: no problems, all normal. Today, didn't get out of work parking lot before battery charge indicator nose dives to 4 or 5 bars. Then IMA and check engine lights come on. No assist, no charge indication but battery state indicator is now back to peak. Interior of car was really hot. I thought these cars were tested by Honda to deal with extrems of climate, so I'm thinking maybe the cooling fans aren't working. Can't tell from the inside vents. What sort of surprises are under the battery cover (or attached to it)?
So, what I'm seeing here is likely a battery module failure, right? With no warranty to cover, that means I'm out a surprise $1,500 or so?
Just about the time I'm starting to like the little bugger, this happens. :(
 

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Wow, and I thought I had issues quick...

I had my 2000 with 68k miles for 2 months when I lost the IMA system. The repair consisted of a new battery pack, plus BCM and MCM modules. Luckily my work was all covered under warranty, so in a sense it was a good thing for me. Sounds like you might be looking at an expensive repair, though there is a reset proceedure that I'd seen mentioned here that might help.
 

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Check and see if your state has a mandatory return period for used cars. It sounds like the trouble codes the system will probably give would be for a new battery pack. General IMA failure mode is it will give the check engine and IMA light yet the system will work for a little while, then eventually quit working.

BTW, if your in California you have 105,000 miles of IMA warranty (I think), so if this is the case then you might end up with a good deal on your hands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No luck for a warranty fix

I should be so lucky to have a warranty fix for this. :roll:

I saw somewhere in the forum about the (probably temporary) fix / reset by disconnecting the battery. Tried that and went for brief test ride. After no charge state indication at all, but a small charging mode showing, the battery state indicator finally swept up to a full charge. Also as a 'bonus' the assist mode seems to have improved dramaticaly! I will go for a longer drive later.

The used car dealer I got the car from is about 75 miles from home. He has at least stated that he's willing to fix the problem. I informed him of the likely cost if it does indeed need the battery system, and he still says he'll fix it. I guess we'll see, because if the situation repeats, I'll for sure be taking it back, possibly for the Mazda Miata that was parked next to this little techo - babble I brought home. Whatever outstanding gas milage this little wonder gets will be far and away canceled out by the cost of replacing large and expensive chunks of it on a regular basis. :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dead Again!

Well, the little bugger is dead again. Same symptoms as before. The car had a 'reset / recal' or whatever each morning for the past few days, and was doing so well after that reset from the 12 battery terminal removal when I cleaned the posts at the beginning of this thread.

This morning, with a cold start at 4:30 AM my usual departure time, off we go again with the 'recal' thing, I thought. But instead of coming back up to full charge indication again the IMA light comes on and a couple seconds later the check engine light too. Now we have no charge indication at all, and later the SOC gauge drops all the way down to 1 bar. So this is NOT a heat related cause / problem after all.

Now for the really surprising part, I call the used car lot 'Cole's Lilburn Used cars' in Lilburn GA where I bougt the car. Instead of what you'd expect (Sorry, sonny, y'all saw that there AS IS sticker on the winder, so you're outta luck.) he's (so far) willing to tackle the problem! :shock:
'Course, his mechanic doesn't have a clue for repairs and no data in his references about the DREADED P 1449 CODE! This of course is the kiss of death for the IMA battery pack / controllers combination. Esta es Mucho Dinero!!!

So, supposedly he's going to take it to a local Honda dealer (they, of course, Also don't have a clue) and will get their collective clueless heads together and see what they can figger out. And he's claiming, so far that it's not going to cost me anything. I'll keep ya posted on that! And to top off this unbelievable scenario, he gave me a loaner car. 8)

It was a tense long ride for the 70 plus miles, and hot too, with no A/C. I had no idea how long the car would go on with 1/2 the system dead, so I was running with absolute minimum electrical consumption.
I did note that you can get wowzer MPG ( like 65 - 75!) when you draft / tailgate an 18 wheeler. If you don't mind the risk of sudden stops [could probably / possibly out-brake the big rig if you stare unblinkinly at the stoplights] or a road 'gator (that's what we call the huge chunks of cast off 18 wheeler retread that will absolutly tear the oil pan right off a low car like an Insight) popping out from under the back end of the truck. And not seeing your exit until whoops that's where I shoulda got off!

Well, I'm betting the car will be out of commission for at least a week or two, so I'll be posting the ultimate results as soon as I get it back. I'll be looking with a 'professional eye' at evidence of what work DID in fact get done, and will post that too.
 

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Re: Dead Again!

Wayne M said:
This morning, with a cold start at 4:30 AM my usual departure time, off we go again with the 'recal' thing, I thought. But instead of coming back up to full charge indication again the IMA light comes on and a couple seconds later the check engine light too. Now we have no charge indication at all, and later the SOC gauge drops all the way down to 1 bar.
This is pretty much EXACTLY what happened to me. Same P1449 code too.

Wayne M said:
Well, I'm betting the car will be out of commission for at least a week or two, so I'll be posting the ultimate results as soon as I get it back.
Mine was at the dealer for a little over 2 weeks. They got the battery quickly, but it took a while to get the control modules. I'm finding that with the new modules the car is acting differently than it did before. Been meaning to post about it. Basically, it's utilizing the IMA system more than before, which wouldn't seem lika a bad thing except it uses up the stored battery charge quicker, and it doesn't seem to be having a net positive for my fuel mileage either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Iggy was under warranty?

devin1955, Lucky Iggy was under the 8 / 80,000 warranty on your fix!
Do you have a guess as to $$$ for the repairs?
Milage now vs then?
 

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Re: Iggy was under warranty?

Wayne M said:
devin1955, Lucky Iggy was under the 8 / 80,000 warranty on your fix!
Do you have a guess as to $$$ for the repairs?
Milage now vs then?
Okay, dug out the paperwork. When I picked up the car it was late and my service advisor was gone for the day, and they hadn't officially closed out the work order so I got no paperwork then. Turns out when the parts finally came in they got them installed right away and he called me to have me pick it up, but then Honda wanted to send someone down to inspect the car regarding their paying for it. Can you say... Oops! :D

Anyway, he sent me the paperwork a couple days later. It indicates the code was #P1449 and that they called the Tech Line and gives a reference number.

It says: Replaced battery module, MCM assy and BCU assy.
Part# HON 1K000-PHM-060 CONTROL UNIT $459.34
Part# HON 1K100-PHM-A01 CONTROL UNIT $1010.96

It does NOT list the battery module part number/price!

Cost was:
Parts 2058.42
Lab-Mechanical 165.00
Total 2223.42

It's interesting because I can't make sense of the numbers. If you subtract the 2 control units from the parts total, which you would think would be the battery, it's not enough. But we know about what new batteries cost anyway.

As far as mileage goes, it's hard to tell. I'm still on my first full tank of gas after the repair, and this tank I'm running right at 60mpg whereas the previous one was 65mpg, but the weather has turned hot on the last week or so, over 100 degrees, so I've been running the AC. If you factor that in, I'm guessing the mileage hasn't really changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Should I take it back? (update)

Well, folks here's the news. The car's at the local Honda shop with a staggering estimate for the whole system r & r. $5,000 +

In my situation, the used car dealer (Cole's Lilburn Auto sales) has been incredibly helpful and willing (up to $2,500 at least) to cover the expense of the battery failure. However, the local Honda dealer has NOT. The initial estimate started with the $1,200 battery pack, which is all the diagnostic code pulled had indicated. I researched this code in the official Honda service manual for the Insight, and except for testing one other component, it all revolved around heat failure of the battery pack. The Honda dealer wants to CYA and throw in both the control modules and jack the price up to about $4,300! By the time the labor is added in, its up past $5,000.

Cole and myself are both just flipped by the cost and the attitude of the Honda dealer. Cole's is willing to give me back my $$ and wash out the whole thing. Now I got the car at a great price, about a grand less than the private seller 'book' price. So, if I factor in 1/2 of the cost (my share) of the battery fiasco, then it comes up to the average 'retail book' price for the car in Atlanta market. But then, what's going to fail next on a 105,000 mile car? I know it saw loads of stop and go driving, because the brake and clutch pedal pads are worn thru to the metal. That takes a whole lot of foot work to wear like that.

Optomists, chime in here ______ :wink:

Factored into 100,000 miles (if it lasts another 100k) the battery failure "only" adds .05 per mile cost. Then the average clutch job for one of these is, what, another $800 or $1,000?

I'm really hesitant to throw in the extra $2,500 and be saddled with even more problems for my trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dealer playing CYA

Nope, no proof from local Honda dealer as to wheather or not the contol mods are fried or not. Or if they are the 'updated' units specified in an early recall. They just want to cover thier @ss (cause they don't really know what they're doing with Insights) and jack the $$ to the max. After viewing the Honda training video for r & r of the battery module, the whole thing could easily be done in time for lunch with an early start in the day.

I've got my own copy of the factory Insight service manual, and researched the P1449 code on page 12-91 trhu 94 of the IMA system section. It only indicates heat related failure of the battery module in 3 of the Honda sub-codes (72,73 & 78 ) and for the fourth (74) if you follow the test proceedure for various voltages in the BCM connector, you again get 'replace the battery module' if it fails that test. However if it passed this proceedure, you'll need a 'known good' BCM to use as a tester. If the problem goes away then, you need a new BCM and leave the battery module alone.

This heat related failure code may be caused by something as simple as the d-cells in the module starting to unscrew from one another. As that happened, you know, you'll get a hot spot, high resistance connection. (honda code 73?) Could it be that something so stupidly simple as a loose d-cell in one 'stick' of batteries could cost $5,000 to 'fix'!? :!: If the freakin' little batteries didn't have to be screwed into each other end to end, I'd go buy a wheelbarrow load of Duracells and reload the pack myself. Which is probably exactly why NoOne but Honda corp has these modules. :evil:


Anyone have a 'known good' BCM in their junk drawer? :roll: How about a Honda Insight independent repair shop? :lol: If I could bring down that kind of jack a week, I'd leave the airlines and open my own shop again! But of course, once agian, we're reminded that you ain't gonna get any parts from anyone but honda. Even these guys http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/aut ... ATTERY-ECU don't have the blinkin' battery module, even though they have everything right down to the harness screws.

P.S.: How many Insights are in the metro Atlanta area and would the owners be willing to drive some distance to get the car serviced by a 'specialist' at an independent shop?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
All fixed again

Well, I'm back on the road again, with a complete IMA pod out of an '04 salvage car. Took a week to get here from WI, but was worth the wait. For $1600 including shipping, we have everything in the box behind the seats. Cole's guys swapped out the complete bay, and the car now runs like I suppose one should. Much more pep, more assist in 5th especially and more assist across the gears plus a decent MPG increase (about 10-12MPG). Hopefully the 'updated' guts will last much longer than the original. 'Charge management' of the system seems different as well, goes into a 'fixed' charge when the SOC guage is about level with the battery symbol, and so far, no recals. And even with the improved and more active assist, seems to never get below that point. :)

Seemed to be such an improvement, I went and got a tint job done to help with the cabin cooling to help keep that nice IMA bay stay cool down here in Jawja. :wink:
 

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When my IMA battery was replaced at 104,000 miles (under warranty).
The Tec indicated that a different MCM and BCB module was installed and that was "part of the package".

Everything was received from Honda in a container that "looked like a suitcase from NASA."

Not one recal in 50,000 miles now and you almost have to force the battery to get below "half", even with a lot of mountain driving.

My personal opinion is that the problem was in the design of the BCM.

I mostly cruise in the 2500-3200 rpm range, keeping the IMA battery as full as possible. that will give the IMA battery a full life and i still get good mileage .

Remember, the CVT's normally run in that rpm. Any CVT'ers to verify that?
 
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