Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I haven't seen this described before, so here's my experience.

Over the past year, I've seen an average of one IMA reset per 100 miles. For the past few months, the IMA has refused to reset anymore. The battery meter will show full or close to full. I can floor the pedal and get assist for a few seconds, then it will taper down to nothing at all.

So the IMA needs to reset, but just won't do so. And it will take it a week or more to figure it out.

Each time it does figure it out, it's because I'm in auto-stop and the whole car just dies (12 volt light, oil pressure light, no auto-stop light) and I have to start it with the 12 volt starter. And that will barely crank the car over. At this point, the battery meter shows a flat battery again. Driving it will begin to charge the pack, then the IMA performs an upwards recalibration (the meter quickly rises to full) and then the problem starts all over again.

So there's the details. Here's what was wrong.

1. 12 volt battery was nearly flat. It took 36 hours to charge it up. But that solved the problems of the car dying while in auto stop. It seemed that the 12 volt battery would get so low that the IMA relays would open, making the car think that it just hadn't been started yet. Solution to this will be to replace the 12 volt battery with a decent one. For now, putting the 12 volt battery on my Battery Tender is keeping it alive.

2. The IMA battery is toast. The following is all guesswork.
The battery pack has gotten a bad case of memory, and is not charging up to full anymore. It will saturate and behave like a full pack very early on in the charging process. Thus the upwards recalibaration. But now the meter indicates full, but the battery is far from full. So there's very little IMA assist available.

Why the IMA doesn't figure this out and recalibrate is anyone's guess. I'd only see it recalibrate when the 12 volt battery's failure would finally "reset" the IMA by denying it power.

The good news. Took the car to the dealership. Mechanic couldn't find a problem (of course). Took one of the service managers for a drive. By the time we got back, he was saying,"It's got to be the battery." Honda Techline confirmed this.

New battery is in the mail to the dealership. Hopefully I'll have Pod Car back sometime before the new year.

Hopefully this will help out somebody else with a similar problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,448 Posts
Awsome, and good to hear they're going to fix it for you. I would imagine in such a case if the IMA shut down your DC/DC would shut down as well so you'd loose 12 volt charging ability. This in turn would have a looping effect on the whole system shutting things down as others died.

Keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,291 Posts
fscott said:
2. The IMA battery is toast. The following is all guesswork.
The battery pack has gotten a bad case of memory, and is not charging up to full anymore. It will saturate and behave like a full pack very early on in the charging process. Thus the upwards recalibaration. But now the meter indicates full, but the battery is far from full. So there's very little IMA assist available.
NiMh batteries don't have a "memory" effect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Aaron Cake said:
NiMh batteries don't have a "memory" effect.
But they do seem to have a "useless dead weight above the gastank" feature. :p

If it wasn't memory, then something else was reducing capacity. I'm betting on the heat here in Texas to be the major factor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Fixed, and a new problem.

I got Pod Car back yesterday, and all is well again. It's back to embarassing ricers and Mustang owners at stoplights.

But now the AC doesn't work. I don't get this. They changed out the IMA battery and did the headlight recall, which is just a matter of replacing the high/low switch in the steering collumn. I don't see how this could have killed the AC. The climate control behaves normally, heat works great, but the compressor doesn't come on, even when I hit the windshield defrost button.

The dealership is being very apologetic about this, and I have no doubt that they can and will fix it. But it's a 50 mile drive to the dealership and I'd have to miss some work, so I'm hoping to find the problem myself. Having checked all the fuses, and swapped the AC relay with another identical relay in the relay box, I've run out of ideas.

I'm open to suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Wait Wait Wait....Battery Memory issues...

Ppl might be surprised to hear this, but laptop users have had to deal with battery memory issues for a long time.

The first Ni-Cd (Nickel-Cadmium) batteries had notorious, unrecoverable battery memory problems. Had to charge them all the way up, or they crap out. Had to use them all the way down before you charge them, or they crap out.

Ni-MH batteries, like it or not, suffer from the same problem, although not as dramatically. With these batteries, even though you may begin to charge the batteries up before they are completely drained, you will not lose all of the battery capacity that you'd normally lose if you were using a Ni-Cd battery, but you WILL INEVITABLY lose some. It is possible to recover the battery capacity that was "lost" IF the battery is drained properly afterwards, and then recharged. However, if the pattern of "not-quite-drain-and-then-recharge" behavior continues, then those Ni-MH batteries will lose their gusto over time, just like a Ni-Cd.

Now, as to how it applies to Honda's IMA: Depends on how well the recharge circuitry is working. If its not working properly, then no matter how many times you replace defective batteries with new batteries, you're gonna have the same problem. Not to say that there is no such thing as defective battery packs. I've seen my fair share; I work on laptops everyday, and batteries are a prized commodity....:D If you replace your battery pack, and your IMA give you more crap in a few weeks/months, then you need to consider faulty charge circuitry (in addition to another battery :p ). If replacing the battery solves your problem, then Kudos, your problem is solved!

Recommendations: I dunno how well charged the batteries are when the car is delivered to the buyer, but it needs to be charged all the way up before using a hefty chunk of the boost. (Note that this is true for most laptop batteries, and for most other consumer items such as cordless/cellular phones and radio control cars; most companies recommend charging the battery for 24 hrs. prior to use.) In addition, when boost is used, use it ALL up. More specifically, try to manage your boost use so that the brake/recovery system doesn't charge the batteries back up until a good portion of the boost is used up. (Incidentally, for the type of battery used in hybrid engines, this is a good way of trying to recover some of that lost battery memory, but it probably only works if you haven't lost too much battery capacity. If the charge control circuitry is cutting you off after 10 secs of boost, then your batteries are pretty screwed, no matter what the real problem is.)

What would REALLY be nice is if someone made a 144V Li-ion (Lithium-ion) battery with a similar amp-hour rating as the current Ni-MH batteries. They're expensive as crap, but they are FAR more forgiving when it comes to battery memory issues.

For the record: Lead-acid batteries do not suffer from battery memory issues at all, simply due to the chemistry and physics involved. The problem is that a lead-acid battery would have to be so big, and therefore heavy, it would be impractical and inefficient to use.

Hope this has cleared up some of the cloudiness of the whole "why does my IMA suck balls and his IMA works just fine" issue. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,448 Posts
The way I understand it only early NiCad batteries really had a memory effect. The memory effect was more a skapegoat for manufacturers. The worst thing you can do with NiCad's is to overcharge them. Overcharging them essentially rips the fairly fragile cadmium and causes tiny internal shorts. One way to build a cheap charger for batteries is to just put one on a timer, say this is how much capacity would be needed for a dead battery put X amps in for X time. Tell them they have to totally discharge their batteries before charging or they'll have problems. Likely the problems people had was cheap chargers that cooked the batteries.

A small group of battery electric drivers have splurged for NiCad packs for their EV's, and these large packs never show any sort of memory effect. NiMh is a more advanced technology and fixes many of the shortcommings of NiCad's (at a slightly higher cost). When a pack is dying it can act charged, that is showing plenty of voltage under light load, then once current it drawn voltage drops sharply and boom we get a recal.

The main culprite here is probably the pack's inability to periodically get equalized. Remember, the pack is only as good as the weakest link in the chain. So you could have 119 perfect batteries that will act at the capacity of the one weak cell (another reason Litium batteries are great, fewer cells for the same voltage).

As many of you know I had my theory that 02 and later had different equipment. I kind of retracted that when I had a few recals this past summer. But I'm still convinced the software is at least somewhat updated. I have a copy of one of the tsb's at Honda dealerships talking about recal's and it says on 00-02 Insight's the battery capacity is not taken directly and thats why we see recal's. So my new wounder is would a 03 simply show less battery capacity as it deteriorates? Or would it have the same characteristics of our older cars if it in fact does read battery capacity directly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
the same thing happend to me 3 years ago when my batts were having ~60 000km. They finaly decide to change it. A year later (~120 000km), my electrical engine stop to respond. One of the phase was giving a to high voltage They finaly change it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,658 Posts
Reviving this thread because I am also experiencing "upwards recalibrations" at the moment. I am not using my Insight a great deal at the moment (about once a week at weekends) and when I start her up I get an instant recalibration. After about five minutes of driving with forced charging (to about four bars), the IMA meter then quickly completes the rest (within 10 seconds) to one bar from the top. This has happened five times in a row.

I am also experiencing the auto-stop "stalling" intermittently. Before posting on the upwards recalibration I searched and found Fscott's original post at the top. It is not clear from his post whether the 12V battery or the IMA batteries were replaced (?). I have recently replaced my 12V with a generic make; if Fscott had solved his problem with a replacement 12V, then it would confirm my previous suspicions that I have put in the 'wrong' 12V. Let me know please!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The Citrus Smoothie said:
I am also experiencing the auto-stop "stalling" intermittently. Before posting on the upwards recalibration I searched and found Fscott's original post at the top. It is not clear from his post whether the 12V battery or the IMA batteries were replaced (?). I have recently replaced my 12V with a generic make; if Fscott had solved his problem with a replacement 12V, then it would confirm my previous suspicions that I have put in the 'wrong' 12V. Let me know please!
I wound up replacing both batteries, actually. The small 12 volt was at the end of its life and wouldn't hold a charge for very long. Before having the IMA pack replaced, I charged the 12 volt battery with a Battery Tender and went out for some more test driving. This corrected the problem of the car dying while in Idle Stop. See, now it had a good charge on the 12 volt battery, which kept it from having the total electrical failure that it was having before.

However, this did not correct the IMA issues, so I knew that I had another problem.

The eventual solution was to replace the IMA battery under warranty, and then as soon as that was done, drive across town and buy an Optima battery to replace the 12 volt battery.

The car's been happy since. Although it turns out that Howdy Honda didn't perform the headlight recall after all, so now I have no low beams.
Avoid this dealership, folks. They are very good at screwing up.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top