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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The car was totally fine for about 50 or so miles following the sale from a private seller. It's a 2001 Honda Insight.
It seemed totally fine, the charge and assist lights were working, everything. SRS light was on but that was it.
I took it to go get it smogged, and on the way there the car completely shut off at a stoplight. I put it in park and turned the key off, back on, and it was all good, but that hadn't happened before. Sure enough, pulling into the shop to get it smogged, Check Engine light came on and IMA.

Driving it home, it lurched and stopped, lurched and stopped. I pumped the brake at the stops so it wouldn't completely shut off again.
I pushed the gas pedal down hard. It would barely ascend in MPH.

Later I went out and turned it on. The pedal responded much better than before. The car revved much better. I don't know what all of this means.

Midas diagnosed it. It had the single code of P1449, no other codes.
Could this possibly be a minor issue? We are probably gonna try to take it to a Honda Dealer soon, but I am losing my mind. Help?
 

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First off, what's your location?


It seems you got scammed by the previous seller. He pulled the fuse to reset the IMA code just long enough to sell you the car. A P1449 is the code of death for an IMA pack. Be prepared for a 1700-2000$ battery replacement.

If you are in California, you are in luck, it's required by law for the seller to smog the car before selling it to you. So you can contact the previous seller and either tell him to give you your money back, or pay for the battery so you can get it smogged. If he refuses, it's a very easy open and close case in court.

It's very obvios the previous owner did this with malicious intent.

Also, don't take it to the STEALership, they are just going to take 150$ from you just to tell you it's 4-5000 for a battery replacement.
 

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As Balto says..

Good luck though, proving it had a fault before will be difficult if the seller denies it.
Depends who the court believes if it gets that far.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am in California. :)

We were thinking of going to a dealership just to make sure that the battery is truly what is wrong, but we cannot fix this car. We can't afford that.

A civil deal or court are the only things we can really do. Thank you for the reply.
 

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It's possible that the seller didn't know. Would need more info.
If it was parked unused for a long time, and then put into use just now, it's possible he didn't know.
But if he/she was driving it daily, then likely the problem was apparent before the sale.
What was the seller's story?
 

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The lurching and stopping could be a weak 12V. Have it load tested.

Grid charging might keep this pack alive while you're saving for a replacement.

Sam
 

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It's possible that the seller didn't know. Would need more info.
If it was parked unused for a long time, and then put into use just now, it's possible he didn't know.
But if he/she was driving it daily, then likely the problem was apparent before the sale.
What was the seller's story?

in my experience, i find that doubtful.

the 2 cars i got that had been sitting a long while that likely had known IMA faults(and why they were for sale), the slow discharges actually gave the IMA a slight reprieve and the IMA light didn't come on for at least a month after i bought those cars but i also didn't flog on the batteries during a road test, so that was one major mistake i made but i didn't really care about a faulty IMA for the second car anyways.

a car that's been sitting for months/years seems less likely to actually spit out an IMA light/shutdown immediately than one that was recently driven with the known issue and reset has been my experience with the cars. if you get a P1449 and the IMA shuts down due to severe imbalance, cycling the IMA isn't really going to do much. now add in the scenario of that happening, you park the car for 3 months, the battery has had a lot of time to relax and SD. now you reset the IMA and do a force charge on the battery and you might actually be able to drive the car for weeks/months trouble free if you don't push the battery extremely hard.



one big downside to these cars, there's few real good reasons for selling them so i tend to think everyone selling a G1 is trying to pull something over on you. that is why you must be very thorough if you are expecting a good working car. me being a mechanic, i don't mind doing some repairs.
 

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I don't think you will get the code 1449 without getting the 1447 first.

I've gotten the 1447 before with IMA light and no code. The next time I've gotten the 1449 with CEL.
At least that has been my experience. I still haven't figured that out. It's almost like the 1447 is a WARNING, and the 1449 is a FAILURE notification.

All incidents cured with a good service from my REDNECK CHARGER/DISCHARGER with whatever procedure I feel comfortable with..

A civil action is possible, but it s a long drawn out prodedure.

HTH
Willie
 

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that is also not 100% true, but it seems to be the most common case.

my current '01 gave no 1447 but rather one day out of the blue it just completely shut down with a 1449. the '00 also has done it on more than a few occasions.



it is possible that the IMA just failed at that particular time, but i highly doubt that considering the very very small window it happened in. most IMA batteries last 5 years? but yours failed the very day you bought it, which is less than 1% odds of being just bad luck.
 

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Willie,

Your experience is typical of a progressive failure where cell imbalance is the initial issue.

A failed cell or GROSS imbalance detected in very short order can easily throw just a P1449 after a 12V reset. A progressive failure will usually result in the P1447 code first as the resting voltage of the taps isn't completely out.

I can't remember the criteria for P1449 (78), but Peter has posted it.

My gut say this car was grid charged or 12V reset multiple times prior to test drive/purchase. The likelihood of a P1449 hitting 50 miles after it changes hands is extremely improbable.
 

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Where in CA are you? If you opt for trying to get the car working/passing smog, someone local to you may be able to assist.

Sounds to me like you may want to contact seller and see if they let you return the car, as this isn't something you signed up for. Otherwise if you anticipated some work purchasing a 16 year old vehicle, you are in luck, there are crazy fanatics on this site willing to help you get it pass smog and operating well.
 

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Willie,

Your experience is typical of a progressive failure where cell imbalance is the initial issue.

A failed cell or GROSS imbalance detected in very short order can easily throw just a P1449 after a 12V reset. A progressive failure will usually result in the P1447 code first as the resting voltage of the taps isn't completely out.

I can't remember the criteria for P1449 (78), but Peter has posted it.

My gut say this car was grid charged or 12V reset multiple times prior to test drive/purchase. The likelihood of a P1449 hitting 50 miles after it changes hands is extremely improbable.
most likely, because my batteries used to throw the 1447 but now they just tend to skip that bit and go into full failure 1449 without much hesitation once the supplement wears off.
 

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Getting enough life out of a Battery with a P1449 to pass smog is almost impossible without a grid charger or calpod (if it's a manual).
 

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such a pain that they had to put the IMA codes with the engine and emissions, it doesn't affect emissions...
 

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such a pain that they had to put the IMA codes with the engine and emissions, it doesn't affect emissions...
Pretty impossible to support that statement when a failed battery will cut city mileage by 20-25%.

You're acting like the hybrid system has nothing to do with the fuel economy... which is directly related to emissions.
 

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I would never recommend for anyone that can't fix their car themselves to buy an older, out of warranty, hybrid of any kind. You can count on needing expensive repairs if you keep the car any length of time.
 

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Only if by hybrid you mean Honda IMA hybrids.

You're more likely to run into many other issues with any used car before you run into hybrid battery failure in Toyota Prius G2 and newer. Same with the Volt. In fact, I have yet to hear a single case of battery failure on the Volt.

The only other vehicle with questionable battery reliability is the Leaf. Apparently they've addressed some early issues, increasing robustness. Honda is unique in going backwards with G2 Civic hybrids.

I don't know much about G2 Insight reliability. I haven't seen stories in the news about it so I assume they finally made it quite robust, and similarly made the CRZ IMA equally robust.
 

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Pretty impossible to support that statement when a failed battery will cut city mileage by 20-25%.

You're acting like the hybrid system has nothing to do with the fuel economy... which is directly related to emissions.
nope, it doesn't. most cars run 100% of the time, so the hybrid part of these cars actually saves emissions, take that away and you have a normal car, not one with excessive emissions.


in fact, sitting at a stoplight and cycling the engine after the cat cools can increase emissions, but only under certain rare excessively long stop cycles. so i'm not quite using that as an additional argument for it.

the hybrid was given the higher standard because it was built with ULEV and offered benefits for being the first to meet that level of emissions. but it's still too bad that now some have to deal with the repercussions of it being mandated into the testing process. of which we cannot even be sure, honda may have just programmed it that way because they could. some things that have virtually no effect on emissions will set emissions codes on various cars, for what reasons? some are set by the EPA and some are set by the manufacturer.
 
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