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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2000 5 speed (new to me) and I assumed the guy that sold it to me did so because the warranty was running out. However, after more than 3,000 miles of driving, I am discovering that maybe there is a bigger issue. The battery just does not seem to hold a charge (almost always in the bottom 1/3) even though I always try to keep it in gear, etc. I always reset the trip meter, and my mph keeps getting worse with every tank (I am getting 50 mpg now, and I was getting about 58 when I first bought it, and about 55 after 1,000 miles). If I drive on the hwy for long, the charge will get up to 2/3, but will drop almost immediately after driving in the city (not to zero or anything like the recal issue - it just won't keep its charge above 1/3, or so, and is usually way down at 4 bars from the bottom).

The seller made a telling comment when I test drove it: "I took it out to try and charge the battery before you got here." It was at about 50% when I test drove it.

It only has 1,000 miles before the warranty expires (or did it expire when he sold it to me?) and the battery seems to be failing. I keep telling myself it is my imagination, but... it keeps getting worse.

I just sent him an email to see if he can confirm that this started before he sold it. I am not trying to get him to admit to wrong-doing, but rather, just find out if this is unusual. Is the battery failing? I fear he will say he didn't notice anything, even if he did indeed notice it. He averaged 58.2 mpg which is about what I got on the highway (driving behind semis most of the way from Detroit to Omaha), but I expected to get over 60 on the highway... blah blah blah

I have searched this site for about an hour and decided to just go ahead and post this. The car has almost 79k and I was about to make a 1,000+ mile trip (round trip) to Chicago. Now I might drive a different car. If the battery is indeed failing, I want to get it to a Honda Dealer before it hits 80k

comments? thanks, btw
 

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It appears to get the maximum life out of the batteries you have to drive the car easily, using the IMA as little as possible. Sounds like the guy that had the car before you drove it pretty hard if he only got 58mpg with a 5 speed. That's about what I get with my CVT.

To really get good mileage you need to run in lean burn mode which takes effort. My CVT (which lacks lean burn) has about 85k miles and the battery still has a ton of capacity(I just took it across the Blue Ridge Parkway), but I've driven it lightly over the life of the car.

You may want to look into getting the battery replaced before the warranty is up, then read through the forums about the best way to achieve lean burn mode for maximum effiency.
 

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You don't indicate whether the assist/charge is functioning normally, although I guess it probably is or you would have said. Still, it would be interesting to know.

Is it "force-charging" while you are driving? If not, and the charge/assist seems to be working normally, I don't see how whatever battery issue you may be experiencing would be affecting your MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The assist/charge seems to be working fine to me (I have not experienced a recal during the 3,000 miles I have driven the car, btw), but keep in mind I am a newbie. His comment about trying to charge the battery as much as possible before I drove it (I could tell he regretted admitting that the second it came out of his mouth) makes me believe he was noticing this for some time before selling it. I know he tried for six weeks to get it sold before I jumped on it. I am trying to read a ton of stuff on the forum and learn as much as possible in order to get the maximum mpg, etc. I do what I can and I will try and do more to improve it – for example, I keep it in gear until the charge bars disappear (when I dip under 25 mph) and I try to drive kind, etc

My main concern right now is that it appears to my inexperienced eye that possibly the battery is simply not holding a charge as long as it should - and like laptop and phone batteries, this might be an indication that the battery is very near the end of its life. Since I am about 1,000 miles from the 80,000 mile warranty, I feel like maybe I need to first try and get the battery replaced, then learn what all I can do to improve the mileage. I can’t afford a $1,500-$2,000 new battery without the warranty. If it is failing, then I will need to replace it in a year, or so, anyway, so I’d rather address the issue right now.

Is there anyone on this forum that has actually replaced the battery pack? Can you direct me to anyone that has experience with actually having this done?

Thanks SO much for your quick responses. I greatly appreciate it! I will try and check in every day
 

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Shriner:

There are a couple of folks with replaced IMA batteries, perhaps they will chime in.

FIRST: Has the 12v battery been replaced? If not, do that first. A dying/dead 12v battery has been the source of many supposed IMA battery problems.

All else:

While the IMA is important, it is not a big factor in MPG (although it does help in some situations). It is first a performance solution, to help make up for the relatively low output of the ICE, and make acceleration tolerable. You should be able to get decent to excellent MPG without using the IMA assist at all.

You can force charge the battery if you want to check it out. I would reset the system first, which will cause a "recal", then do the charging yourself. If you replace the 12v battery, you will need to do this anyway. It will also recal whether you like it or not, since the system will be de-energized.

In the end, you very well may have an IMA battery with reduced capacity, but if it still assists/charges within reason, then it's really not a big deal at this time. I don't know enough to tell you if there is no way to predict if/when it will be a problem.

Lastly: You can have the IMA battery tested by your dealer service if you like. I would ask them how much first. (I would also be interested to know the charge for this if you do)

Sorry so wordy... :roll:
 

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Why the hesitation to take it to the dealer?? I'd have been there yesterday so that at the very least the problem is recorded before 80K. Just go in with the position that the battery is not performing as it should be and since you are in the warranty period (if indeed you are), you expect it to be replaced. Firm but friendly, you know the drill.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks so much for such quick replies. Luckily, I have another car, so I am going to stop driving the Insight (basically for the next couple of weeks to keep it under 80k) until I can find out something about the battery and the warranty (if indeed it is still under warranty).

I'll update you when I learn more, and I will check back to see if anyone responds who has actually had his/her battery replaced...

thanks again
 
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Hi Shriner:

___I have a refueling outage in progress at my current profession so I have not been able to post much as of late …

___Because you do not really know what you have in terms of battery pack capacity/capability, why not first, replace that std. 12V battery as mentioned above. Your local Honda dealer is going to shove one of those huge Civic batteries in there which is OK for now. Do a search on battery replacement and you will come up with all kinds of great choices with the Hawker/Genesis lines being highly recommended. After that, try and bring her up to 19 bars on your SoC gauge with a nice and easy 50 + mile highway cruise and turn on your headlights during said cruise for a small amount of hidden charging. During this highway cruise, absolutely, positively, DO NOT USE ANY ASSIST AT ALL if you want to know what you have in terms of pack damage or not. I wish you had read some of the tips and tricks that our senior moderator Rick put together before purchasing a used Insight a few weeks ago. You would have had a better idea as to what to look for before purchase is all.

___And as a general tip, lay off assist under almost all circumstances anyway. Not only is your fuel economy going to increase tremendously, the pack itself might still have a chance. With 60 + thousand and 19 + bars 99.9% of the time, pack capacity/assist capability is always readily available just in case I need an emergency boost because of a 18-wheeler tearing into my little beauties hind quarters or similar.

___As for taking the little beauty into your local dealership, by all means do it as soon as possible. Ask the dealership to verify the latest ECU update as well as the parking brake and wiring harness updates/recalls have been performed. I cannot say that the latest ECU update includes a more aggressive charging scenario given it was an emissions recall that brought about the last 3 updates IIRC, not a SoC or forced charging recall that I know of? I did not notice anything different from a driver’s perspective between ECU update #2 and #3 in my own situation if that helps …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2bhecq3s][email protected][/email:2bhecq3s]

 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks, again. Is there a post somewhere here on this site that explains the benefits of a new 12 V battery? I just assumed that battery was only there to start the car, and everything else (including the 144) took over after that....)

yeah - I know what they say about the word ***-u-me

thanks again!
 

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Shriner said:
thanks, again. Is there a post somewhere here on this site that explains the benefits of a new 12 V battery? I just assumed that battery was only there to start the car, and everything else (including the 144) took over after that....)

yeah - I know what they say about the word ***-u-me

thanks again!
Yeah, you got that right!! :wink:

The 12v battery doesn't even start the car, it's the IMA that takes care of that. (Unless the IMA is dead, that is, then it does start the car by use of a separate starter motor).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
the 12V isn't even responsible for the starting of the car? Odd. What exactly is it responsible for?

thanks again!
 

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Shriner said:
the 12V isn't even responsible for the starting of the car? Odd. What exactly is it responsible for?
Three things:
1. Turning the computers on so the IMA can start the engine.
2. Acting as a large capacitor for intermittent 12 volt loads.
3. Powering 12 volt loads if the DC/DC converter or IMA fails.


Unfortunately the design is such that if the 12 volt is dead the car won't start. And unfortunately since there's no warning like a weak just barely starts the car battery (it barely takes anything to turn on the computers). Now speaking of which I really do need to see how my little Hawker is holding up.
 

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Shriner,

You can charge the IMA battery without adding any miles (although you'll waste fuel). I forget the exact procedure, but it is something like keeping the engine RPM above a certain point while parked. I've never tried it, but someone on this list should be able to help with more specific instructions. At least this will tell you if you can reach full charge.

If you are getting assist with only 1/3 charge, then you are probably driving too aggressively to get decent mileage. Instead, the IMA should be force charging at this point (i.e., charging whenever you're not using a lot of throttle).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This is so weird. I don't feel like I am driving aggressively at all. One bummer is that I don't have the opportunity to drive on the interstate at all, really. Either way, it just seems like the battery should hold a charge longer than it does. The guy who sold me the car is avoiding all questions about the history of the car, which is making me nervous......

thanks, again
 

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If it was my car I'd drive it down an interstate in 3rd gear. No stops. 10 miles later it should be one bar below full.

If not, something's wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I might not be stating the problem very well. I can get it to charge, if I force it in any of the ways mentioned. However, the charge quickly falls back off and it is very difficult to keep it above the 1/3 level, or even the 1/2 way mark. It seems that it should be holding the charge well enough to be easy to keep it above 1/3 charged - or from what some people are saying, even above 3/4 charged.

Maybe I should ask:

Has anyone noticed that their battery doesn't hold its charge as well as it used to (someone who has at least 75k miles)?

Hope this makes sense. It just seems like it is behaving poorly
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yowza. I need sleep and I need to type slower (or at least read what I am typing). I mean, it seems like it should be easy to keep it above the 1/2 charged mark, at least. And, it seems like most people's batteries hold their charges well enough that it is easy to keep them above 2/3rds charged, if not 3/4 or even 4/5 charged.

Has anyone noticed their battery pack doesn't seem to hold its charge as well at 75k then it did back at 25k? or, has eveyrone just gotten so good at driving-to-charge that they don't even notice?

Thanks again!
 

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Shriner,

with just under 70k, I think I have only seen my battery gauge up near the top maybe 4 times since May. As soon as it shows almost charged, it'll recal. I'm sure the battery pack is failing. The gauge usually hangs around the lower right corner of the battery - some of the time it's around the center - rarely above. I'm hoping for an IMA light within the next 10,000 miles.

I replaced the 12V battery early last summer - didn't help a bit.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks, Jim:

This is exactly the kind of experience I am looking for. So, you have noticed that it is holding less of a charge and fades more quickly than it used to? Am I reading too much into what you wrote? Basically, does it seems like your battery is not doing the same job it was doing 50k ago?

Just want to make sure I not misinterpretting what you wrote.

thanks, again
 
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