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I just bought a used 2000 Honda Insight, very clean, nice Car. As soon as I drove it the IMA battery went. I brought it to the dealer and they replaced it for $2500 (100% out of my pocket). Prior to replacing it I asked them to do an inspection on the car to see if it was worth putting all that money into and they said it was in great shape and it was worth fixing. I drove it 10 miles and then parked it for a month while I was out of town. I returned and the darn thing would not start. It had a key icon on the dash that was flashing. I have all 3 keys, my starter battery is new , but sat for a while. The dealer called me today and told me that I need a new computer for $1000. Are these guy jacking me around? What should I do? Any help out there people? I thought saving a few bucks on fuel having and efficient car that looks great would be a good goal, but I am going broke with this deal!

It is at the dealer right now. One helpful person said to charge the starter battery and try all three keys. I do not think the dealership will let me do that unless I tow it from the property and do it elsewhere.

I am afraid to tow it to another dealer, because I do not believe they will be objective and will probably just concur with the first dealership.

If I should pay the for the computer and another large item goes wrong with the car, do I have any legal rights to hold them responsible? Am I to believe that they know nothing about the condition of my car after I paid them for a detailed dealer inspection?

Wish I could complain about Honda, but right now I also have a Chevy Silverado with a faulty driver's side rear turn signal that no one thus far has been able to fix. Even some pretty fly old mechanics have been stumped. So all cars / light trucks are over designed garbage. Why does Honda need a $1000 cpu in their cars and why does Chevy need a circuit board in their tail lights?
 

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I would run away from that dealer and never go back. I'm suspicious that they knew that the IMA battery was bad when they sold you the car. By disconnecting the 12 v. battery, the diagnostic trouble code that causes the IMA and check engine lights to illuminate is erased and might not be reset until after driving quite a few miles. So they could have erased the codes just before you test drove the car. And then they charge you $2,500 to fix this problem. You could have had the IMA battery rebuilt by a company that is one of this forum's sponsors for half as much. Of course, I have no idea what really happened…

Do you not have any warranty on this car? I thought that used cars typically had a short warranty to make it more difficult for a dealer to cover up known problems.

I don't recall reading about anyone replacing an Insight ECU. I'm sure some must fail occasionally, but not very often. Maybe you're just very unlucky … or maybe this dealer is really unscrupulous.

I have no idea what a flashing key light means. Maybe it's related to the security system that prevents the engine from starting unless a key with the proper security code is used. The ECU is involved with the security system, so if it is bad, the car might not start. Does the engine even turn over?

Your 12 v. battery could have discharged after sitting for a month. I'd certainly have someone other than this dealer check your 12 v. battery before committing to a $1,000 repair job.

Sorry to read about your problems. Good luck!
 

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Cr500R
I agree with Art. Please put your location in your signature and name the dealer involved so other INSIGHTERS will "BEWARE".

Willie
 

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Insight Keys

The ECU stores 3 individual keycodes, the codes are not erased by loss of 12V.

The Key is read by wireless detection, while inserted into the ignition switch or within 2 feet or so of the steering wheel.

When a new or replacement key is added to the quota of 3, all 3 keys should be presented for the ECU key relearn procedure, there is no selection process for the erasure of a lost/defective key, therefore all 3 keys are read and stored during the procedure.

Do you have another key or keys to test with?

You should discuss the problem with a Honda dealer, the Service bay should have the Factory diagnostic interrogator to link into the ECU.

I cannot expalin why the car should fail in this manner after a month of storage
 

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I believe the solution may well be the 12 Volt battery. Sitting
for a month would discharge it to the point that when
starting is attempted, voltage would likely drop well below
12 volts.. Proper operation of the IMA system, starting/etc,
are dependent on having a good, charged 12 volt battery
with good, clean, tight connections..... and low voltage can
cause quite a few odd problems

The small key symbol should come on for a few seconds
when the key is inserted, then go out. If it starts to blink, it does not
recognize the key. Again, a good 12 volt battery is essential,
and low voltage can affect key recognition, as can another
similar key in the vicinity, or sometimes other metal objects.

I expect that you can simply ask the dealer to fully charge the battery.
Also ask them to disconnect the battery and reconnect it after it
has been charged. Then try starting the car..

The dealer may know just little of what they are dealing with, rather
than trying to railroad you......swapping parts hoping to find a
solution is common at any dealer.
 

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I believe the solution may well be the 12 Volt battery. Sitting
for a month would discharge it to the point that when
starting is attempted, voltage would likely drop well below
12 volts.. Proper operation of the IMA system, starting/etc,
are dependent on having a good, charged 12 volt battery
with good, clean, tight connections..... and low voltage can
cause quite a few odd problems...
I do recall reading several years ago that ground cables that are loose/bad can cause this issue.

I would also think that a good 12 V battery would discharge over a months time, but not to the point that the car would not start.

The 12 V battery powers up the electronics including the dash when the key is inserted and turned to ON. Then the high voltage battery should turn over the gas motor and start the car.

It might be wise to check the 12 V battery with a voltmeter first, and if readings look low, put a trickle charger on it to charge it.

Hope this helps, Jim.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update

First of all:

Thank you to everyone who has helped me so far.

Here is where I am with it right now:

I picked it up at the dealership and brought it to my buddie's shop and charged the starter battery all the way. It did not start with that done.

The dealership says it needs ECM 37820-PHN-355 Control Module
and PCM 39730-S04-G02 Immobilizer Parts. I was told by them that these
are burned out. ( Just a few miles after they replaced the IMA )
I do know know much about these cars so I cannot say if it is their fault
or not, but I think I am justified be curious.

I have a great mechanic here that will help, but I need to get him started. The ECM eBay parts for my 2000 Insight have different part numbers. I did not see the PCM. If I were to get the parts, how do I program the keys? The car is now located in Cranston, Rhode Island.

Thanks for any tips and if anyone needs help with Caterpillar or other heavy equipment, let me know. I have knowledge and resources. Happy New Year
 

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First of all:
Thank you to everyone who has helped me so far.
Here is where I am with it right now:
The dealership says it needs ECM 37820-PHN-355 Control Module
and PCM 39730-S04-G02 Immobilizer Parts. I was told by them that these
are burned out. ( Just a few miles after they replaced the IMA )
I do know know much about these cars so I cannot say if it is their fault
or not, but I think I am justified be curious.
Did you get any kind of warranty with the car like 30 day or something or was it sold @ over 100K miles with an AS-IS warranty....

I think that you are getting screwed and the dealership may have known about the IMA battery soon to fail. A simple reset would clear the IMA codes for awhile. Even an AS-IS sale implies that the car is in good working order from the dealership and with so many problems within the first 10 miles or so is extreme. It might as well have been the test drive.

Is this a Honda delership that you originally bought the car from?

The problem is that you don't know if the "dealership" diagnosed the problem correctly for you and taking it somewhere else to fix what the dealer says is wrong will not help you if they were wrong. From what you describe, it may have to do with the immobilization system but to have to replaced a couple of different parts at the same time does not seem right.

This part typically does not fail but having the failure after the IMA battery replacement is a bit suspicious.

I would see what legal course you may have with Rhode Island used car purchases from a dealership before you go much further in your attempt to repair. You are operating at a huge loss with so little miles driven so far.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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I would see what legal course you may have with Rhode Island used car purchases from a dealership before you go much further in your attempt to repair.
I agree completely. See if Rhode Island has a "lemon law". I know Connecticut does.

Keep in mind that even if you signed an "as is" document, it may not negate your rights in this area.

A famous disclaimer manufacturers often make is that their warranty is "in lieu of any other warranty, express or implied." Well, too bad for them, there is ALWAYS an implied warranty that they cannot avoid: the law holds that any item must be suitable for the purpose for which it is sold. You may be in a similar situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Did you get any kind of warranty with the car like 30 day or something or was it sold @ over 100K miles with an AS-IS warranty....

I think that you are getting screwed and the dealership may have known about the IMA battery soon to fail. A simple reset would clear the IMA codes for awhile. Even an AS-IS sale implies that the car is in good working order from the dealership and with so many problems within the first 10 miles or so is extreme. It might as well have been the test drive.

Is this a Honda delership that you originally bought the car from?

The problem is that you don't know if the "dealership" diagnosed the problem correctly for you and taking it somewhere else to fix what the dealer says is wrong will not help you if they were wrong. From what you describe, it may have to do with the immobilization system but to have to replaced a couple of different parts at the same time does not seem right.

This part typically does not fail but having the failure after the IMA battery replacement is a bit suspicious.

I would see what legal course you may have with Rhode Island used car purchases from a dealership before you go much further in your attempt to repair. You are operating at a huge loss with so little miles driven so far.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
Any hints on how to solve the ECM PCM problem? That is my main concern at this point.

I did not buy the car from the dealership, but they installed the battery and did a complete inspection.

Thanks again
 
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