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I have a 93 with about 3,000 miles. A couple days ago both the charging system battery light and brake system light came on when I started up the car. I had just been driving on the highway and had stopped for a few minutes. I read the manual and checked the braking and it seemed fine. I also noticed when I started driving that the battery was indeed recharging. I drove it to the dealer yesterday and they didn't have time to run a diagnostic. I've driven several hundred miles and have had no problems. My limited knowledge of cars suggests that this might be an error with the lights (loose wire?) and that nothing is wrong. What could this be?[/quote]
 

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Hi Carl,

You don't say what kind of car it is - this message board is for HONDA INSIGHTS. Insights weren't available in '93. Any ten year old car with only 3,000 miles probably has any number of things wrong with it unless it has been meticulously maintained.

If you're getting a brake warning light, it could be something as simple as a switch, but it could also be much more serious.

I suggest you take it to the dealer and get it checked out.

Regards,
 

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Well welcome to the group Carl.

Your best bet is make an appointment at the dealership and let them handle it. If your charging light is on it would pertain to the 12 volt system, not the IMA battery. If this light is on it would make me think there might be a malfunction with the DC/DC converter (a $1500 part, aren't you glad this car has a nice warranty?) in which case your accessory loads are being drawn off of the small 12 volt battery under the hood. In the mean time it might not be a bad idea to check the voltage on it because if it goes dead the car will not start. If you've been driving with the battery light on for a few days now might not be a bad time to put it on a battery charger if it's low.

As far as the brake light this coule have something to do with the low 12 volt. The only time I've seen it is when I have the parking brake set or when the car is doing it's self diagnostic start up thing. Your not driving with the parking brake on are you? I highly doubt loose wire would be the cause of such a problem. Something is wrong. Let us know what the dealership finds.
 

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Thanks. I'll make the appointment tomorrow.
I had to fly to Dallas to get the car... it was the only red Insight in the U.S. that my car finding service could find. I drove it back here to Atlanta. While in Dallas, I had a great stereo system installed with top of the line Boston speakers, amp and great Kenwood receiver and Sirius satelite receiver. Is it possible that the installer did anything that the dealership could claim created a problem? I found it interesting that when I contacted HiFi Buys (Tweeter) about installing the system, they said it was company policy that they would not install in Hybrids.
 

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Ewww, that might be a problem. If it were me the factory stereo would go back in the car before I took it in simply because the issue is with the charging system. A problem arrises with hybrids when installing high power stereos because you only really have about 30 amps to play with on the 12 volt side of things. I suppose it is possible you blew out the DC/DC if they put a really high power amp in the car. As long as they hooked the main power feed in to the 12 volt battery it probably wouldn't be a problem unless you put a really high powered system in it.

Still, better safe than sorry. If they say your system caused the problem you'll probably never get it fixed under warranty. If it were me personally I would remove at the least any evidence that the amp was ever there if not the whole system. But thats just me.
 

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I could probably disconnect the amp but getting the receiver out may be difficult. The installer told me he had trouble installing it and the way he fixed it in there, it would not come out again. Also, the doors were modified to install the tweeters.

The amp is an Alpine MRV-T320. I have no idea what the amps are on it. It is 4 ohms at 12 volts. 2 x 50 watts.

I guess I could just remove the amp if you think it's absolutely necessary, but wouldn't they figure it out anyway.

I appreciate your suggestions.
 

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Ok if it's only a 100 watt amp your well within the capacitites of the stock electrical system, however, there is still the fact that Honda might not agree with you. If you just disconnect the amp its not really gonna help because the evidence that it was there would still remain. If it were me the wires and everything would come out. I don't really think the head unit alone would cause them to try blaming your modifications, but I've heard of it happening.

I kinda wish you had come here first, we could have talked you through installing your own stereo. It's a lot easier than you'd think and I don't know what the installer did that makes it so the head unit will never come out again. The Insight's iso din mount is so easy and universal to aftermarket stereo stuff I don't have a clue what he could have possibly done that could cause the head unit to be non removable.

Up to you, but I would remove mine for a charging system problem.
 

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Well... I made a decision that uninstalling my system was out of the question. So I decided to be as informed as possible before bringing the car into Honda. I wanted to know how many amps the system draws and compare it to the allowable from the battery. When I called, the national Honda information had no idea how many amps were officially allowable.

I called the manufacturers and determined that my receiver required minimal amps. The amplifier has a curcuit breaker that trips at 30 amps. This didn't tell me what was actually being drawn.

So I brought the car to AutoZone and had them hook up the car to the battery meter. With the car not running I turned on the stereo at high volume to read the draw. I then turned on the A/C and the headlights. The total draw was 20 amps. However, when I first turned on the head lights it spiked up to 31 and then back to 20. I can't recall, but I think the lights were about 15 amps, leaving the stereo to be only 5 amps.

I brought the car into Honda and they immediately called me back and said I had a bad computer and that they would replace it. I asked what could have caused it and they said perhaps it was bad from the factory. I'm excited that everything is covered under warantee and I should have my car back soon.

My question now is, is it likely the stereo system could have caused the problem? I certainly don't want the computer to go bad again and have Honda look for other answers.

Thanks,
Carl
 

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Well thats good. If your running a 30 amp fuse you shouldn't have any problems. Sometimes parts are bad and they pass quality control. It's just a good thing that they didn't try to pin it on the stereo. It would only be a problem if you were running like a 1000 watt system.
 

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The plot thickens...
I just got a call from the dealer. They installed the new computer and the indicator lights are still on. That said these seems to be a very odd problem. They are calling the national tech center to figure it out.
 

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I went to visit the car today. It's in peices and there were two techs trying to figure it out, on the phone with other technicians. They said they found some loose wires on the drivers side that looked like someone had installed and removed a security system, in a way they should not have... and while they had not confirmed this was the problem, they suspected it was.

It's possible that the Honda dealer I picked the car up from in Dallas, had installed an alarm and removed it when I showed up. It did take more than a couple hours for them to "clean the car."

I got my rental car today and am in it for the long-haul.
 

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Geez, not quite the way you want to start out having a new car. I hope they fix it properly for you.
 

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Well, I got my car back last week and it's running great! The mechanics at the dealer could have used your help as their final diagnosis was the DC/DC converter. Perhaps this experience of pulling my car apart and keeping it for two weeks will make them more knowledgeable the next time I have to bring it in.

They said they did not think it was the stereo, but that they would "recommend" it be removed if it happens again.

It might be my imagination... but it seems I'm getting a better mileage now. Perhaps I'm just clouded by the happiness of having my baby back.

Thanks for all your help!

Carl
 

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Wow, well your lucky that happened now rather than outside of warranty. Thats a $1500 part like I said. You could maybe possibly be getting better mileage, if it was pulling more current than it should have then the ima motor would have been dragging off the engine more. Then again maybe your car is just getting broken in more too. Glad to hear that all went well.
 
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