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Changing the IMA Battery - Tips

2272 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Rick
Well, the IMA battery on my Insight went south and I found a reasonable deal for another battery at Hap Auto Recycling. I thought I would offer some information about the process for all to enjoy.

1. If you are used to working on your own car and would not have a problem changing rear disc brakes, or something of that nature, I would say you have all the skill it requires to change the battery yourself. As long as you are comfortable working near potentially lethal voltages! I work on aircraft electronics and am familiar with the safety precautions I need to take, so that was not a problem.

2. The Honda service manual leaves out a couple steps necessary from the battery removal procedure, and could give a little more useful details on at least one step I remember.
A- The manual does not mention disconnecting the wiring harness to the MCM and BCM modules, this MUST be done. Maybe they expect you to remove these from the battery module before removing it, but it doesn't say that, and it's easier to do after the module is out of the car.
B- I nearly destroyed a plastic connector that needed to be removed. The manual simply stated to disconnect it, and I needed some more information. Specifically, the connecter slides onto a metal tab on the battery module. Basically it's mounted on a tab, like many automotive connectors are, so it doesn't flop around and vibrate during driving. This connector MUST be removed from this mount before the plug is physically able to be disconnected.

3. You will be removing MANY small bolts. Luckily, most of them are identical and interchangable, but make sure you keep track of them all and remember where those "different" bolts go.

Sorry, I forgot to take pictures until I was deep into the process. It took me a bit over four hours to change the battery by myself, and that involved a couple minor glitches that slowed me down.

I bought this car with 80K miles on it and now it has 121K. During that time I averaged about 45mpg and it recal'd often. This is how I was used to the car being, since I have never driven a new Insight. Today I drove it to work, about a 65 mile drive, and got 62mpg! The battery level is near full, and I can definately tell the difference in acceleration.
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Thanks for the tips. I'm sure the Insight community will be thankful. This is the first "do-it-yourself" account of a battery replacement that I've read. (If there are others, feel free to point them out.)

Do you want to share how much the "reasonable deal for another battery" actually cost.

Feel free to post pics somewhere too. I don't see a pic section here, but I know GreenHybrid has one in their "Share" section.

This page should be bookmarked for anyone thinking about attempting such a job.
First I called my local Honda dealer, they could order a remanufactured battery for me for $2600. That's well beyond my price range and I saw some other messages on this board where Hap Recycling was mentioned and I called them (Forget the online parts request, I never got a response to that) and they offered me a battery with 1400 miles on it for $750 + 150 S/H.

I've still got my old battery, but I'm not sure what I'll do with it. I think I'll tke it apart and see what the individual cells look like. I'm very curious about possibly rebuilding it myself.

I didn't take any pictures during the battery change, but I could probably take some pictures of the old battery and point out that dificult connector and anything else if someone wants to see it.

All-in-all I was rather impressed with the Honda service manual. It's broken down into simple short steps with helpful photo's/diagrams. Better that a Chilton's - almost as good as Haynes.
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I used HAP'S online form last week with no response. I emailed them yesterday and was quoted $1200 plus shipping. I called and they said it had ABOUT 46000 miles on it and it was $1200 icluding shipping.

I guess when you wait a few days, the price goes way up.
Actually I had a similar experience with them. I called them about three months ago because I could tell my battery was going to go bad, and they quoted me a much higher price. I waited and called again about two weeks ago and they quoted me $750. I think it might just be who you talk to.

Try calling and tell them you spoke to someone earlier who quoted $750.
I bought two door panels from them. My original contact was online with whoever does their limited eBay sales. That's how I found them, though I can't for the life of me remember what they were selling. Anyways, I sent a message asking if they had door panels available and he emailed me back said yes, they were $65 each. So I called to get them and they said they'd be $75 each. I said the person I was in contact said $65 and he asked who that was, I gave the email, no name provided and he said ok we can do that. So it seems as though they have some varrying prices here, but I bet they could be worked for a better price.

Then again... supply and demand.
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