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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone!
I wanted to get come technical advice / general advice about my 2000 Honda Insight.

I purchased my Insight from the original owner’s nephew back in 2017. When I got it, I knew the Hybrid (IMA) battery was bad, and I was willing to work with that since the car would run and drive. At the time, I had another car that I had just purchased that was not great on MPGs, and then I got promoted to a new job that required a lot of travel. Not waiting to put wear and tear into that car, I did a lot of research, decided I wanted an Insight, and waited until I got a good deal. I used the car for about 7 months, and due to the Hybrid battery being bad I would charge the 12 volt on a charger every night, and then I changed careers. My new job did not require me to travel as much, but my dad does have a job that requires him to drive everyday. He was super excited to give the Insight a try, so I let him borrow it and he fell in LOVE. He used it everyday for about 2 months and then had to take a business trip for about 2 weeks. Upon his return, the car would no longer start. He charged the battery and could see that there was power but car would not start. After thinking on it for awhile, my dad decided to have my sister sit in the driver’s seat and he pushed the car down the street for about half a mile and was about to get the car to start and run. And it ran fine, up until you parked it, and then it wouldn’t start again.

Since that is not a practical way to start the car every time, I decided to put it in my carport to fix it later. Well, it’s now been a year and later has never arrived.
I am at a point to where I don’t know if I should find a way to fix it (I have no mechanical know-how), or if I should just let a junk yard come pick her up.

i would hate to see her junked, but I have to be realistic at this point and make a decision, and I wanted to see if you all had any suggestions on the mechanical issues before I proceed with getting rid of the car.

Thanks in-advanced for the help!
 

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It sounds like a bad 12V starter, along with a non-functioning IMA battery, as you indicated. Frequently, if the IMA battery is bad, or badly imbalanced, the car will have to start on the 12V starter, after the 3-4 second switch delay. Sounds like you were doing the 12V starts before the failure. Since it apparently doesn't crank on the 12V starter, the starter or the starter wiring are suspect. There are three ground wires which frequently rot away while a car sits. If you look under the air cleaner, two are connected to the frame down there. The third ground cable is of course the battery ground cable. Grasp all three and give them a good hard tug. Bad ones frequently come apart in you hand. Also check the 12V battery one for corrosion.

The question about viability of a fix is kinda mixed for different people. I assume you would be paying someone, so it mostly depends on personal loyalty to the car, and the overall condition of the car. If the car has reasonably low mileage, say below 200k, and is well preserved - good paint, good interior, good motor, good transmission, good tires - then it would possibly be reasonable to pay a bit to get it fixed. A starter would cost several hundred dollars if professionally installed, but on the other hand you say your dad loves the car. In general, these old cars are not well served in the hands of non mechanics.

Even if the car isn't worth paying to fix, some Insight lover with mechanical skills would probably buy it. If you should want to sell, post some pictures, a description, and a price in the "for sale" section here. That is always better than letting a salvage yard crush it.:)
 

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i would hate to see her junked, but I have to be realistic at this point and make a decision, and I wanted to see if you all had any suggestions on the mechanical issues before I proceed with getting rid of the car.
These days I doubt a junkyard will give more than $100-$150 for your car. Ideally you would list it on Ebay and get maybe $1000 depending on condition like this non-runner: 2000 Honda Insight | eBay If you don't wan't to deal with the hassles of selling, you might try one of the salvage auctions like https://www.copart.com/sellForIndividuals/ but don't expect more than $300 or $400.
 

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Did anyone ever turn the IMA pack switch OFF? If not you'd end up with 12V issues and possibly 12V starting issues, even if the 12V battery were charged...

My initial read is just that the IMA battery went dead and then the 12V wouldn't charge and went dead, too. If this is the case then I'm thinking either the IMA needs to be properly bypassed to use the car gas-only (and the 12V battery probably has to replaced), or, after having the IMA battery sitting a year and self-discharging (=good), you could probably just get it charging, either in the car or better yet with an accessory 'grid charger', and regain functionality...

The easiest thing to do would be to charge (again) or replace the 12V battery, and while you're there make sure the ground wires are nice and clean/solid, then try to start it and see what happens. When you check your grounds or replace the 12V battery, you also reset the computers. The car should try to start off the gas engine with auxiliary starter, and then maybe(?) it will try to charge the pack - not sure if it tries to charge or not when the voltage is super low... If it doesn't, then the alternative is to get a hold of a grid charger and charge the pack.
 

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If the IMA battery is dead, it's likely the 12 volt battery isn't getting fully charged (since the starter battery is charged by the IMA). Search "How to remove the IMA battery completely" for a $20 solution that will keep the 12 volt battery charged. Note that you need to hold the key down for 5 seconds before the "backup" 12 volt starter will start the car. You can remove that delay by bypassing the starter bypass relay.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Everyone, me again.

Just wanted to post a little update - so here is what I have done since my last post.

1. Checked the ground wires, everything appears to be intact. The previous owner did tell me he replaced them, but I didn't really believe him before since he didn't have the car long. But since it's a 20 year old car, and they looked solid, I guess he really did. Should we still go ahead and re-replace them now, just to see?

2. When we bypassed the IMA, we followed the instructions from Bumblebee instructions on how to bypass. This would have been about 3 years ago when we got the car. Should we do something now to update / make it more efficient?

3. My dad, who again LOVES this car, is not super mechanically inclined, so he might not know why something isn't working, but if he can find the right part, he can replace it. So he ordered a starter, and took the old one out today. That being said, the company sent him the wrong part, but while he was in there, we cleaned it out and "knocked it around" as I had seen a few suggestions on the forum recommend, and put it back in.

4. After we put the original starter back in, connected the 12 volt up (which we keep on a charger every night, but replaced with a new one to be safe, anyways). The car is doing the same thing - You turn the key, the entire dash panel lights up (so it appears the electrical is working), but the motor doesn't to crank.

5. Today, when we had the hood open, I could hear a "clicking nose" when the key was turned for the first time. So when you turn the key to start the car, the power comes on inside on the dash panel, motor does not crank, and then this is a "clicking" or "tick-tick-tick" like sound in the upper right corner, around / under what I assume is the fuse box under the hood.

All that being said, does this give anyone any additional ideas on what to try now? My dad is in the process of sending back the wrong starter and is going to try a new one, as he still believes that is the issue. But while we are waiting, I am willing to try any other suggestions.
 

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Even though you charged the battery, the way it has been treated it is probably bad. Probably the easiest thing to do would be to jump the battery from a good battery in a running car.

The multiple tic-tic-tic sound like what I've heard when a battery is bad and can't take a load. If it starts on a jump, let it sit a while on the jumpers, then the battery is bad - even if you did charge it.
 

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Run a jumper cable from the +battery post directly to the starter and see if the starter cranks. Make sure the 12V is fully charged.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thank you for the suggestions!

We tried both suggestions and neither method was successful.

However, after doing both of these, the "Clicking" and "ticking" sounds are gone, and now once you start the car and keep the key turned (as if trying to start it) there is a very distinct "HUMMMMMM" coming from the car.

EDIT: edited for spelling errors.
 

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That makes it sound like the starter itself is bad particularly if the grounds are good. They have failed before. If you returned the wrong one, maybe you could get a used one from a seller here. Several cars are being parted out.

If you have an multimeter you might check the resistance from the engine/transmission case to the chassis. If the grounds are good, it should have zero resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey everyone!

Time for a new update -
We returned the incorrect starter and got the correct one (took some advice and got one a little cheaper this time by getting it from someone junking out their car, and it was verified that it works before I purchased).
And it was installed this evening, and the car is doing the same thing. The motor / engine don't crank but there is still full electrical power. So, you turn the key, the entire display system lights up, the music starts playing but the engine does not start.

While doing this today - my dad swears he is hearing some "Clicking" near the pictured box (of what I assume is fuses?). I am curious if we should replace anything in this box? Or if anything there could be causing this issue?

Not really sure where to go from here since we thought for sure it was an issue with the starter. I am open to any additional tips or trucks up your collective sleeves

Thanks!
Hailey
 

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Forgotten exactly what your situation is, and don't have time to review, but another guy posted similar stuff the other day - and it turned out to be a bad/broken clutch switch (clutch interlock, need to press clutch to start). So if you have a manual transmission, make sure your clutch switch is intact...
 
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