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This forum has been great. I'm glad I found it because it is just what I need right now.

I have a 2001 Insight and was told that my IMA is bad & needs to be replaced. At $3K, I need to save up some money. I was told I could drive the car on gas alone. My first tank of gas I'm getting about 45 mpg, but of course my 12-volt battery is now about to give up the ghost. I'd like to drive on gas till I find a less expensive way to replace the IMA.

This forum has said how the BCM can be disconnected and the car set-up for gas only. I called my shop, but they told me disconnecting the BCM would effect the emissions & could cause "problems". I was told no licensed shop would do the work. I was advised to do the work myself or find someone else. The last time I worked on my own car it was a VW van.

My question is either:

a) How tough is it to switch a 1st gen Insight to gas only. Are there instructions, manual, or Youtube? Any special tools?

b) Is there a good shop/ mechanic in the Berkeley, CA area who can do this? This is the preferred tip I hope for.

Thanks.
 

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We can replace your battery for considerably cheaper than $3k - with a higher performance battery to boot. :)

In the mean time, simply turn the switch off and disconnect these three connectors:



As you've found out, no shop knows anything about these cars, so you've come to the right place. ;)

To remove the IPU cover you need a 10mm socket, a T30 Torx bit and either an allen wrench set or an 8mm box wrench for the little bolt above the switch.
 

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As an aside, for as many times as this question has been answered, it would be great if someone could do an actual video of the process required. The pic definitely helps, but it doesn't address the switch and cover removal.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the help

Thanks for the great help to Stuevo & Eli. My one question that the picture from Eli shows the single connection toward the rear of the car being disconnected, in addition to the 2 nearer the driver. Is there any advantage/ disadvantage to disconnecting all 3?
 

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My one question that the picture from Eli shows the single connection toward the rear of the car being disconnected, in addition to the 2 nearer the driver. Is there any advantage/ disadvantage to disconnecting all 3?
The advantage to disconnecting all 3 is that you're certain to disconnect the one that really matters :) I don't know which one that is. There is apparently no disadvantage to disconnecting all 3.
 

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The advantage to disconnecting all 3 is that you're certain to disconnect the one that really matters :) I don't know which one that is. There is apparently no disadvantage to disconnecting all 3.
this made me laugh. thank you. :)
 

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I believe that with the battery disconnected you will get dash light and won't pass emissions testing. The actual exhaust from the car will be ok but the code that gets set will likely be enough to not pass emissions.

As a side note, Jeff from hybrid automotive is somewhere in California and knows these cars well.

http://hybridautomotive.com/insight/
 

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Adding to this post after the fact is still super helpful as I just had my battery and brake lights come on post-IMA failure. This forum is fantastic and everybody makes it so easy to work on my Tiny Car myself! Guess I get to freeze my a$$ off tonight and try to get this fix working before I kill my brand new 12v!
 

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The links to Honda Insight (2000-2006) - Battery Bypass Instructions give 404 error. Is there an active alternative?

My IMA just died again--I'm pretty sure the Bumblebee replacement pack warranty has expired--and I accessed the BCM and could not recall which box it was or which connectors need to be detached.

I've gathered that the BCM is the one closer to the driver's side and that all three connectors can be disconnected, but it would have been easier to figure out if any of the pictures were visible and the links worked.
 

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The BCM has three connectors, the MCM has five connectors.

All you need to do is flip the battery switch to off and unplug both front connectors on the BCM.

If you have a manual, make sure your battery is at least 50% full before doing this so you retain lean burn.
 

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@mpg_numbers_guy

You scared me. Based on the photo in IS0006201109A, I got the correct one. On the side closest to the hood, there are two gray connectors. On the side facing the spare tire, there's an additional connector. Those are the three connectors I detached.
(In my car, at least, the BCM has a total of 3 connectors, whereas the MCM has 5.)
 

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@tryingbe
Thank you. There must have been a redirect. Your link to the bumblebee site works for me too. The older one to hybridautomotive.com still gives me the 404.
 
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