Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can someone remind me at what temp the starter is activated on gen1 mt insights? It's 15F now and going subzero for the next couple days. My starter never activates under any circumstance and it's difficult to diagnose except when it's colder than crap. Last summer I pulled the starter and it tested fine and I checked the wiring so I think the problem is with the ECU. Does anyone know how to test further? I'm not real crazy about buying a second ecu when I'm not sure that it will be any better. Is there a relay or something inside the ecu that can be bench tested? Or as an alternative can if I install a remote switch to activate the starter and if I do will the ignition be activated? As-is my car is worthless whenever it gets really cold.

Thanks, Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Have you tried jump starting the Insight in cold weather, or tried replacing the existing 12V with a fully charged up new one?

I can't tell you at exactly what temperature the 12V starter is supposed to be activated. However, we had a couple days recently, one was about 1ºF and the other about 5ºF in the morning when I started the car.

Both mornings, the car started quickly using the 12V battery even though the hybrid pack was only one bar down from max charge.

I had just replaced my 12V battery with a new one, of the spec'd Group 51 size. For whatever it's worth, mine is an AGM type and the rated CCA is a bit lower than what's shown on the oem Honda battery that's been kicking around on my workbench for a couple years. I replaced it because I had been using an undersized AGM in the car - which clearly was used up by now. I bought the small, lightweight AGM used, then used it myself for several years. It never was able to start the car on a cold day but now it also couldn't even keep the car's computer running below about 25ºF; in the morning I'd find the dash display had shifted from Trip A over to the Lifetime Mileage display.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Bruce. It's not a battery issue. Since I know the battery, starter, and wiring is fine I'm pretty certain the problem is in the ECU. My car started life in Minnesota so prior to failure the starter was probably activated more often than most. You lucky people who live in milder climates could probably remove your starter all together and never miss it. I'm just trying to figure out a work-around so I can still use my car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Hmmm.
My Gen 1 had an ECU recall. I only found out because I called American Honda to see what information they had on my car. I think the recall was from 2007 and it had never been done when I called Honda in 2017 or so!

800-999-1009
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,728 Posts
What happens when you turn the IMA off?

Sam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Run a wire to put 12V to the starter solenoid. Run it through a momentary contact switch on your dash. That should get the starter to turn. If you use it to crank the starter after putting the key in the "run" position it should start - if all else is as it should be.

or -

You can try a push start. Rolling at 5-10 mph, put it in fourth and let the clutch out briefly. Out and back in. Just enough to spin the engine a bit. It should catch. It doesn't need to be cold to do this but if spark and fuel supply are OK at frigid temperatures, it should start your car on a frigid day. Don't put it in a low gear; the car will lurch and buck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Ok, so if I splice a piggy back connector and a wire from pin 2 of C102 (under middle of dash) and connect momentarily to a low current 12v source (like the cigarette lighter plug) the starter solenoid should activate. Right?

http://www.indoorphin.com/insight/starter_sch.jpg
http://www.indoorphin.com/insight/starter_photo56.jpg
http://www.indoorphin.com/insight/starter_view148.jpg

edit: btw I already swapped the starter cut relay so I know it's good. seems to be the ecm that isn't cooperating.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,728 Posts
What happens if you connect the 12+ battery terminal to the big terminal on the starter solenoid? I'm just trying to verify that the starter will turn over *IN* the car.

Sam
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
It's cold here with snow and ice all over so I'm not real crazy about laying under the car today. Last summer I pulled the starter and tested it on a bench and it was fine. I don't think there are any shims on it or if it is even possible to install it incorrectly so it doesn't mesh with the flywheel correctly. I'm going out in a little while to try the jumper I mentioned above. My wife just called and her Mini roadster spoiler has frozen today and the darn warning blooping sound and dire warning flashing dash display won't stop which is driving her crazy. Guess I'm gonna have to buy a real winter car :rolleyes: I hate winter.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
860 Posts
What happens if you connect the 12+ battery terminal to the big terminal on the starter solenoid? I'm just trying to verify that the starter will turn over *IN* the car.

Sam
if you do this, make certain the car isn't in gear.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,728 Posts
Luckily the starter is on top and neither of my suggestions require going under the car. First, just open the hatch and turn the IMA off. This will either force it to start on the 12V or it won't start at all. Don't forget to hold the key in the Start position for a couple of seconds.

Sam
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Luckily the starter is on top and neither of my suggestions require going under the car. First, just open the hatch and turn the IMA off. This will either force it to start on the 12V or it won't start at all. Don't forget to hold the key in the Start position for a couple of seconds.

Sam
IMA off & key on for couple seconds and hear a relay. Broke into the Blk/Red wire under console that goes from starter cut relay via C102 to starter solenoid. 12v only gets a click sound out of starter. Must be bad solenoid or poor connection maybe at C102. Starter worked fine when I bench tested it. Getting too darn cold to do anymore today. Light snow on top of ice slicker than..... Already did the splits once on the drive :(

edit: btw it's impossible to get to the starter from the top without removing the air box first. too darn cold today. Will have to drive my 2wd truck tomorrow and hopefully I don't get stuck or have a wreck. I hate winter.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,728 Posts
Right. You DO have to remove the air box. What is the battery voltage when you turn on the key, and when you go to the Start position?

You're a better man than me to work outside when it's that cold!

Sam
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Right. You DO have to remove the air box. What is the battery voltage when you turn on the key, and when you go to the Start position?

You're a better man than me to work outside when it's that cold!

Sam
Didn't measure voltage, but the car has had this problem for a long time. Since it only rears its ugly head when it gets really really cold I have mostly ignored it. Your suggestion of turning off the IMA battery to see if the starter worked was the way I should've gone last summer when I looked at it. When it warms up a little I will try connecting a jumper wire to the solenoid terminal directly to bat+. If it works then I know I've got a wiring problem/corrosion or something causing a significant voltage drop either in the blk/wht wire from the solenoid to C102 or in the connector itself. I'm guessing it's the solenoid inside the starter, but I'm going to try the jumper first to make sure before buying a new starter. At least I'm making progress and have ruled out the ECM.

Something else I was wondering about. Is the IMA battery draw significant when the IMA battery and motor starts the engine? I was wondering if adding a momentary switch to manually engage the starter would save any significant IMA capacity.

Edit: It's been a long time, but I do remember a VW Jetta that had a problem getting sufficient voltage to the solenoid once the car warmed up. The fix was to install a second relay in the solenoid line to reduce the voltage drops.....I'm probably getting ahead of myself here. Will let you know how it does with a direct jumper from Bat+ to starter solenoid on the car.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,728 Posts
Starting the gas engine uses very little of the IMA's capacity. That shouldn't be a problem. If you can get through this cold weather we can figure out what's really going on.

Sam
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top