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I bought my 2000 Insight (1887 last 4) with 23000 miles on it. I now have 128,000. I noticed that around 80,000 miles, the real-time mileage and strength of the IMA motor seemed to weaken. When you push the pedal down in 5th gear, the mileage drops to about 35mpg instead of the original 49mpg. The deal, of course said there was no adjustment. The only strangeness I've noted and pinned down was that if you idle for awhile with the air on, shut it off and start driving, the 144v will discharge and have to recharge, but I'm mainly concerned about this electric motor weakening. If anyone has ideas on what I can do, please feel free. I fix computers on the road so I do about 200 miles a day. - Dan
 

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The motor is brushless and should last the life of the car, whats likely weakening are your batteries. What you describe sounds like recalibrations. If the battery SOC suddenly drops to nothing and force charges back up. This behavior seems to be in some 2000 Insight's, especially at higher mileage like yours. Unfortunately your completely outside of warranty so your best bet is probably to just drive it till it dies completely. A replacment will run you about 3 grand from Honda unfortunately. Eventually you will probably get a IMA light once the pack gets weak enough that the car decides it's no longer usable. This of course could be a long time though.
 

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the battery, not the motor

Dan,

the motor can't weaken. But the battery can (which might cause the BCM to allow less power to be supplied to the motor).

However, when you drive up a hill full-throttle, the instantaneous mpg reading has nothing to do with the electric motor or the battery. If the engine uses more gas, the problem needs to be looked fore there!

But to compage to my car: at highway spped of 55mph, with the "pedal to the metal" in 5th, my car has always showed right around 35mpg. Are you sure you got 49mpg with full-throttle at the same speed as you are comparing to now? That would be quite impressive! I drop to 50mpg as soon as I leave lean-burn, without much pressure to the pedal at all!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
pedal to the metal

Yes I'm sure it was around 49. The best mileage I've ever gotten from it babying it and drafting, even when it had 23,000 miles, was 67.7 I've never averaged 85mpg like some of these people. Any idea what the Honda part number is for the battery pack? I'll search the parts yards. Is it easy to get to? I have an electronics degree and fix computers....
 

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Sounds like the battery or control electronics. Your best bet to get a battery pack will of course be from a wrecked Insight. My background is a lso Electronics with experience in power conversion. There is a chance that only one of the cells in your pack is bad. If that is the case you could replace it with 3 Nmh penlight cells in parrallel. I would not recomend this to anyone but a seasoned Tech or engineer who is used to dealing with high voltages. It sounds like you might have the equipment and experience to tackle this. Let us know. This sort of thing will become important as the fleet ages.

Kip
 

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b1shmu63, 3 NiMH penlight cells in parrallel could handle 90 amps?


As far as a part number I think you have to call Honda. At the dealerships it's listed as call the tech line. They have to get approval to order one. You may have to call to get that info. The problem is they don't sell just the battery pack, you have to get an all new BCM and MCM so that why the price is so high.
 

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Rick, the cells that make up the pack are just "D" cells rated at 6 amp/hour. State of the art penlights are rated 2.2 amp/hour each. Three in parallel gives you 6.6 ampere/hour and should fit in about the same area. If the IMA pack is toast and the waranty expired, what do you have to loose? They go for $14.99 CDN a pair at the local Wallmart. Hey, give the cat a canary and put 4 in parallel for $30.00 CDN. Of course, if you had to do the whole pack that way it would cost 120 X 30, or 3,600 dollars. :shock: Perhaps Wallmart would give us a special price if we came in and asked for 480 rechargeable penlights. :wink:

Seriously, don't even think of attempting this if you don't have the tools knowlege and experience.

Kip
 

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The problem with pulling that kind of current from standard batteries is that the interconnects (terminals between cells) are the weak point. This is why the Insight pack is made of custom "D" cells that screw into each other end to end...
 

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I was thinking about building an auxilary pack and found this supplier:

powerstream.com

They sell minimum $200, but can do custom packs and even have some huge bad *** lithium ion cells (100Ah). I looked at the D cell NiMH and they are selling them for around $800 for 100. Maybe they will build a custom pack for the insight. What do you think?
 

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Nice hunting Sunhunter. That sounds like a great way to rebuild a battery pack. I was not aware that the cells screwed together, so the penlights probably would not be that great an idea. With such a low price on the "D" cells it wouldn't make sense to use any thing else. There soon will be hundreds of thousands of hybrids on the road and someone out there is going to get rich rebuilding those packs. :idea:
 

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Interesting find sunhunter. The only thing is it says discharge rate is only 30 amps for that cell :?. I don't quite think that would hold up to a 90 amp peak. Now don't get me wrong, I would love to have another option for battery replacement, but one issue I have with it is the fact that panasonic makes a dang good battery. Most of the OEM EV's used panasonics. GM used them in both their lead acid and and NiMH vehicles, and if you kept the charge above 50% DOD they would last for 50,000 miles (PBA anyways)! Panasonic batteries are not cheap, but from what I've seen boy do they deliver. Now if a guy could get just the battery sticks, or even the pack with the cooling assembly and all without a new BCM and MCM that would be great. It seems to me like that could knock off a grand off of the cost right there for their little magic boxes and just get nicely matched cells.
 
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