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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,
I haven't posted in a while. I have a 2003 Insight bought new and have had no big problems with my car until yesterday the MIL (check engine light( and the IMA lights both lit up simultaneously and have stayed on. We brought the car in to Boch Honda in Norwood where we puchased it and have it regularly serviced. They said the IMA BIG battery needs to be replaced and have ordered it saying it is covered under warranty.

The car only has 20,000 miles on it and the IMA battery needs replacing? That doesn't sound right and can't imagine having to replace the battery every 20,000 miles or so.

The car isn't driven much since we both work from home now. It can go 1-2 weeks without being driven anywhere. Could the lack of use be BAD for the battery?

I believe that the P1449 means the IMA needs to be replaced but what does P1600 and ...." PCM Update for program HMA 130... mean????

The last two times we took the car out the battery charge was only about 3 bars abut after driving for a bit it was fully recharged.

Any suggestions/advice is appreciated.

Murasaki
 

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The car only has 20,000 miles on it and the IMA battery needs replacing? That doesn't sound right and can't imagine having to replace the battery every 20,000 miles or so.

The car isn't driven much since we both work from home now. It can go 1-2 weeks without being driven anywhere. Could the lack of use be BAD for the battery?
VERY bad for the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mike,
Thanks for the reply. Several other people have mentioned the cells being unbalanced too and that not driving the car could have contributed to this imbalance. I was unaware of such problems and have learned a valuable lesson. Boch Honda will be replacing my battery on Friday. They said it's covered under warranty and needs to be replaced. I'm hoping that should turn off the IMA and MIL lights and the P1449 & P1660 codes. I'll keep you posted. I might come visit. The guys at the Honda dealer just say fix this and that and seem annoyed with any questions or opinions that might differ from theirs.
Thanks for your advice and offer.
Murasaki
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had a feeling I might have caused my own problems :(

Thanks for your reply.

Murasaki
 

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I spoke with a guy in Las Vegas that only uses his car for short trips, and he just had his pack replaced for the 4th time, the car is a 2003 with only 25K.
Good luck with the new pack.
I had someone come in with 35K on his 2000 and only 3K on his 5th pack before it acted up. I sold him a grid charger.
 

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The car isn't driven much since we both work from home now. It can go 1-2 weeks without being driven anywhere. Could the lack of use be BAD for the battery?
I worked from home during the first 6 years I owned my Insight and drove only on weekends. Honda replaced the IMA battery twice within less than 20,000 miles of driving. Others have had similar experiences, so lack of regular driving and early battery failure are almost certainly related. This is a serious weakness in Honda's hybrid technology. Most of us want to use less gasoline. A good way to use less gasoline is to drive a hybrid. But the best way to use less gasoline is to drive less. But apparently, both don't work well together, at least for Honda hybrids.

Now that my Insight is out of warranty, I don't want to pay to replace or rebuild my IMA battery regularly. Rebalancing the cells of the IMA battery after having not driven a Honda hybrid for over a week but before driving seems like a way to minimize the problem of cell imbalance caused by differing rates of self-discharge among the 120 individual cells in an Insight IMA battery. I bought a custom IMA battery charger/balancer over a year ago and have been rebalancing the cells in my battery whenever I park my car for more than a week. My current IMA battery seems to be much stronger than the two previous batteries. I don't think that that's a coincidence, but only time will tell for certain.

So if you plan to continue driving your Insight sporadically, want to keep it, but don't want to keep replacing the IMA battery, you might consider buying and using an IMA battery charger/balancer. However, doing so would likely void your IMA battery warranty, so you might be stuck with letting Honda pay to replace your IMA battery until the IMA battery warranty expires. That's probably what I would do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
NEW Honda IMA battery but MIL & IMA lights on again

Thanks everyone who replied to my post.

Well Boch honda just replaced my IMA battery today and after getting in the car I noticed the charge was only 2 bars, then after starting it it went up to a full charge. The charge and assist work. BUT-------------the MIL & IMA lights BOTH came back on.

WHY is the happening again when the battery is brand new????


HELP

Murasaki
 

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Thanks everyone who replied to my post.

Well Boch honda just replaced my IMA battery today and after getting in the car I noticed the charge was only 2 bars, then after starting it it went up to a full charge. The charge and assist work. BUT-------------the MIL & IMA lights BOTH came back on.

WHY is the happening again when the battery is brand new????


HELP

Murasaki
Take it back. They either didn't connect something or the new pack has a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
new battery but IMA & MIL lights back on

The most recent Honda tech guy called back and said I'd have to bring my Insight back and have the first person who originally looked at my car to look at it again...otherwise they'd have to run the diagnostics all over again. Sounds like he is passing the problem off to someone else now.

Maybe they didn't conect something at all or incorrectly...like some of ypou have suggested.

I spent 5 hours waiting for them last week to get the IMA battery in. I'm not sure it's supposed to take that long.....maybe it's a sogn they have no idea what they are doing.

My husband is so upset with this and also with the fact that if we don't regularly drive the car then we'll most likely be looking at several future battery replacements at $3000 a pop or so, and NOT be covered under warranty....and we are only at 20,000 miles. He wants me to trade it in.... I am getting flustered with a bit too. A person shouldn't have to drive their Insight everday/regularly to avoid imbalanced cells....which seems to be a flaw in the Honda battery. Then when I take it in to the Honda dealer and have the IMA battery replaced they can't explain why the lights are back on and can't get them to turn off...Grrrr!!

Do other hybrids out there also have this battery flaw or is it just Honda.

I need to bring it back in next week and have them tell me specifically what the "codes are this time."...as Mike Dabrowski mentioned they might be different...and another point he brought up...grid charging won't do anything for me either if its a new battery which it is. :(
 

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I would have the codes read at an autozone or CAP, so you are prearmed with the code information. If they did something stupid, and they are the ones reading the codes, you will not know how incompetent they are.

A grid charger that you use every week should keep the pack balanced and happy for many years, granted that should not be required, or it should have been built in, but I expect that they had no idea that this would be a problem when the car was designed.
Good luck with the dealer, and your "new" battery.
 

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My husband is so upset with this and also with the fact that if we don't regularly drive the car then we'll most likely be looking at several future battery replacements at $3000 a pop or so, and NOT be covered under warranty....and we are only at 20,000 miles. He wants me to trade it in....
The dealer will not give you what it is really worth with only 20K miles and a recent IMA battery install. You will probably get much more in dollar amount compared to a dealer trade-in if you sold it yourself using this forum or other places like Craigslist. You would also make someone longing for an Insight very happy with such a low mileage car and new replacement IMA battery.

If you end up purchasing another vehicle from a dealership, you usually end up with a better overall deal if you don't trade-in a car.

Just my 2 cents,

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 
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