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I am having an urgent problem with my 2006 Insight's IMA batteries dying. Here is a summary. I gratefully welcome all sound input.

I bought my beloved 2006 Honda Insight in 2010 with 20k miles on it. In July 2011, with about 22000 miles, the car died on the street-all power gone. Dealer said the IMA battery needed replacing. The battery was covered by warranty.

In 2015, the charging indicator gauge wasnt lighting all the bars. Dealer said battery was weakened but not enough to replace at that time. Of course, it was past the 3 yr warranty.The IMA light did not come on.

A few days ago, I arrived home after a long business trip, during which I had someone start the car every few days & drive it short distances, since someone said not driving the car would weaken the IMA battery.
The car seems to be running ok but a little off. The battery indicator gauge isnt lighting up much & the check engine light stays on. The IMA light is not on.The car has 55,000 miles now.

The car is at the delaers now -hence the desperate tone in my fingers. The estimate is $2000 for replacement ( they said "new" ) battery.

So, I have questions. So many questions.
This 2nd battery is only 5 yrs old & 30k miles. Is this unusual? Could the battery have been defective when it was installed? If,as I've read here, the dealer installs refurbished batteries, could this be the reason it is dying so soon? If so, do I have any recourse? How much does the car actually need to be driven to keep the battery healthy & how long can it be parked for? Should I try a grid charger before replacing this battery? I have more business trips coming up, what can I do to save my car? I dont want to sell her but at this point I am feeling like I'm not worthy of a car that has given me up to 70mpg. Do I have to buy a:confused: "regular" car? Thank you in advance for your assistance.
 

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My guess is that you just need to start using a grid charger. 30,000 miles in 5 years isn't a lot of driving, and these packs seem to need more use to stay in shape than you'd think they'd need... I can't remember the 'official' figure for how much you have to use the pack to keep it relatively healthy... Not sure what kind of replacement pack was installed - some say the dealer replacements either have or had used cells; they were truly 'refurbished'. But there's never been any hard core evidence, as far as I've been paying attention, which has usually been pretty close attention... As far as recourse is concerned, it doesn't sound like you'd have any...

You should get a code reader and/or 'blink' the codes, find out what code is triggering the check engine light. I'd get the car back from the dealer asap, based on what I've read around here about dealer service for these cars, and start reading up on 'grid charging'. Grid charging - simply charging the pack to a true full with an external charger - is probably the least costly but tried and true method for pack recovery around here. Can't say your pack is the problem, but grid charging it would be a good start to determining whether it is, or keeping it from being, the problem... Also, check your 12V system grounds - two under the air box, one attached to the 12V battery - and make sure they're solid. They fail easily and can cause a lot of problems...

You might want to try a computer reset and a 'rev charge' before you buy a grid charger - if you're really needing to get the car going. Disconnect the 12V battery ground for about 30 seconds. Reconnect. Start car. 'BAT' gauge should have no bars and, most likely, the car will try to charge the pack. Hold engine speed at 3500 RPM until the BAT gauge repopulates to 19 bars. It may go up a few bars and then jump relatively quickly to the near top. It may take a while (or it may not do anything if there's a more serious issue). This should reset the IMA system and make sure the pack is as charged as it can be without an external charger...
 

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Agreed with above.

Go to the link here: https://hybridautomotive.com

Buy their battery prolong system. Discharge/recharge your battery and then do it once every 6 months. You will probably get years and years to come out of your current battery.
 

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Personally, I'd do the rev charge about 3 or 4 times. Pulling #16 fuse (30 amp) under the hood and leaving this fuse out for about 15 seconds will reset the CEL and allow you to rev charge once you start the car. Same as pulling the NEG on the battery if you don't have a 10mm handy.

Each rev charge should take about 2-4 minutes.
 

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All sound advice, but I'm skeptical.

CEL w/o IMA light makes me want to know what the codes are. IMA can go OFF and leave the CEL on, but CEL w/o IMA at all is generally not battery.

With Honda's HCH2 (06-11) abysmal battery life, I'm extremely skeptical of any battery Honda installs. Rumors about new vs. refurbished are still uncertain. Our '05 has a "new" battery from Honda as of 4/15 (we bought it that way), and I will be surprised if it lasts the warranty period.

In short, I have yet to see evidence that Honda batteries are anything besides garbage. Older batteries (pre-2006) seem better than the newer ones.
 

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In 2015, the charging indicator gauge wasnt lighting all the bars. Dealer said battery was weakened but not enough to replace at that time. Of course, it was past the 3 yr warranty.The IMA light did not come on.

The car seems to be running ok but a little off. The battery indicator gauge isnt lighting up much & the check engine light stays on. The IMA light is not on.The car has 55,000 miles now.

We need the CEL code.

The car is at the delaers now -hence the desperate tone in my fingers. The estimate is $2000 for replacement ( they said "new" ) battery.

All the dealer can do is plug in their code reader and read codes. If your IMA light is not on they can't read any battery codes. They're trying to sell you a battery without being able to diagnose anything.

So, I have questions. So many questions.
This 2nd battery is only 5 yrs old & 30k miles. Is this unusual?

Five years is actually pretty good for a Honda replacement battery. Many of them don't last that long.

Could the battery have been defective when it was installed?

My word would be "substandard". They seem to make them to last "just long enough" to pass the three year warranty. Some make it, some don't. Yours did.

If,as I've read here, the dealer installs refurbished batteries, could this be the reason it is dying so soon? If so, do I have any recourse? How much does the car actually need to be driven to keep the battery healthy & how long can it be parked for? Should I try a grid charger before replacing this battery?

Yes. It sounds like your battery is imbalanced. Grid charging at this point will keep it fresh and extend its life.

I have more business trips coming up, what can I do to save my car? I dont want to sell her but at this point I am feeling like I'm not worthy of a car that has given me up to 70mpg. Do I have to buy a:confused: "regular" car? Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Summary: You haven't seen an IMA light. Your battery might be weak, but it's not dead. Temperature may be playing into your observations. Grid charging will always extend the strength and life of an Insight battery.

When you DO get ready to replace it, don't get a Honda battery. Get a superior one from one of our vendors such as Bumblebee Batteries. https://bumblebeebatteries.com/

Give us the CEL code. It probably has nothing to do with the IMA, but indicates that you do have some other problem.

KEEP YOUR INSIGHT. We are all worthy!

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@S Keith The dealership gave me these codes: p570 &p1446(individual voltage input problem), P0158( charging 7 discharging problem), P0138 ( oxygen sensor high voltage). Does that shed any light?
 

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71mpg, You have a P1570 not 570. You need to invest in a grid charging system and get your car out of the dealership.
 

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Agreed with above.

Go to the link here: https://hybridautomotive.com

Buy their battery prolong system. Discharge/recharge your battery and then do it once every 6 months. You will probably get years and years to come out of your current battery.
There are three different types of chargers available on their site:
(#1) Prolong™ Battery Reconditioning Package
(#2) Prolong™ 'Discharge Ready' Battery Charger
(#3) Prolong™ 'Standard' Battery Charger

Are you recommending that the OP purchase the #1 system on the above list? I just thought there would be a one-charger-fits-all, so I'm not sure which one to pick for myself.

I don't have any problems with my 2002 Insight or 2013 CR-Z's IMA battery at the moment, and want to get the longest useful life out of both of them, but not sure which one to pick. They also have a separate listing for each car, which sounds like I'd need one for the Insight, and another for the CR-Z. I'm posing these questions to the company right now too, but would appreciate your comments as well.

[email protected] hope you get the problems solved, but I had the IMA replaced in my Insight in 2013 through the local Honda Dealership, and it's still running strong. Of course, if I was on this forum back then, I would have taken the advice and experience of the forum members here. Live and learn.:)
 

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#1 all the way. There is no reason to buy the other two anymore IMHO.

Check with HA. In most cases the higher voltage charger with will work with both. You'll just need a dedicated harness for each.
 

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#1 all the way. There is no reason to buy the other two anymore IMHO.

Check with HA. In most cases the higher voltage charger with will work with both. You'll just need a dedicated harness for each.
Appreciate the advice. I'll let you know what their reply is too.
 

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#1 all the way. There is no reason to buy the other two anymore IMHO.

Check with HA. In most cases the higher voltage charger with will work with both. You'll just need a dedicated harness for each.
Thanks again, for the advice, and here's their reply to my own inquiry:

Hi Jim,

Thank you very much for your note. Unfortunately, 2013+ Honda CRZ batteries are lithium and we currently don't support those types of batteries yet. Thank you for bringing that up so we can correct our website.

For your 2002 Insight however, I recommend the full reconditioning kit. Here's the link for the reconditioning kit for it...
https://hybridautomotive.com/collections/store/products/prolong-battery-reconditioning-package

Though, your vehicle doesn't show any problems at the moment, it's still a good idea to do regular maintenance on it, but reconditioning it. By reconditioning it 2x a year it'll definitely help extend the lift of that battery.

Hope that helps,
Arn
...sounds like I'll finally pay some attention to battery maintenance as much as I do for the standard mechanicals/fluids.:cool:
 

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I'm sorry. Even though the words were right there, it didn't click.

Lithium batteries do not benefit from the reconditioning treatments for NiMH, and their battery management systems take care of balancing because they have to. Lithium operating in the over charged or over discharged condition are prone to combustion.
 

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I'm sorry. Even though the words were right there, it didn't click.

Lithium batteries do not benefit from the reconditioning treatments for NiMH, and their battery management systems take care of balancing because they have to. Lithium operating in the over charged or over discharged condition are prone to combustion.
I'm not a battery guru, so it's nice to know that particular difference between the NiMH and Lithium batteries (and even lead acid batteries.) Time to start googling and learning.:)

From what I think I know:
All 1st Gen Insights have 144 V nickel-metal hydride (NiMH)
All 2nd Gen Insights have 101 V nickel-metal hydride (NiMH)
2011-2012 CR-Z has 101 V nickel-metal hydride (NiMH)
2013-2016 CR-Z has 144 V lithium-ion (Li-ion)

If you had to choose what battery system the Insight had/has, would the NiMH get your vote or would the Li-ion? Crazy CR-Z--they made a battery type change in 2013, and then a bunch of interior/exterior changes in 2016, the last year of production. Hmmmmm....
 
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