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Driving w Ima disabled, behavior of Auxiliary Starter

432 Views 8 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  eq1
Hello Folks,

I thought I'd start a thread for people who are in between a working and failing HV battery.

My main question I'd like to hear from yall is, with your ima disabled by switching the main switch off and pulling the two bcm plugs that are toward the front of the car, have you seen some weird behavior from the aux starter? and I wonder if what I saw has to do with my clutch pedal sensor needing adjusting, so that the clutch switch engages easier, w out me shoving hard on the pedal to the floor.

Its hard to make the story short. Using a grid charger, I had been able to get my Ima working for about 6 months. One day after the car had not been driven much, the state of charge was reading really low, after a few days the ima light came on and charge/assist went out. I had forgotten i was in this inbetween operation mode, and took the car to get to work today. The HV battery must have gotten low enough to cease the function of the dc dc converter, and my red battery light came on, on the way to work. I stopped at a gas station, and then when i started the car again, the 12 volt was charging, so I continued to work.

After work I asked my boss to stay w me to see if my car was ok. It started but the 12v wasnt charging. So we had to pull the battery cover off, and I knew how to pull the BCM plugs, and I was able to get home.

Being too confident, I stopped at the store when i was close to my house. When I came back out, the car kinda wanted to start, but it wouldnt engage the Aux starter. It just did that little Jittery noise thing, and wouldnt try to start. I pushed the car a bit, and some men came and where gonna help me push start, clutch pop start the engine. But when i went to do that, i didnt have to pop clutch start it, it just started.

Im wondering if the car was kinda ?confused ? or something bc i had just disabled the ima an hour before the small starting problem.

It wasnt to do with my 12v being low, bc my drive home was an hour + and the battery was charging the whole ride ( no red battery light). And when i got home i read the voltage and it said a nice 12.8 volts, even 20 minutes after I parked it.

I have this strategy now where i turn the key, but dont have the clutch quite in yet... hold the key in start and push the pedal down fully. It started just fine w no jittery chirping at all multiple times in the driveway.

I manipulated the 12volt battery contacts a bit to knock the oxide off, but it wasnt corroded much at all. I know I replaced 2 ground straps about 3 years ago, but Im not sure I checked the 3rd ground or know where it is.

A little background of why i think i need to spin the bolt on the factory clutch in/out sensor, so it engages with out the pedal all the way at the floor, is when my IMA was working, my auto start was working but sometimes I would be slowing to a stop light, and it wouldnt auto stop as its supposed to, but if I pushed hard on the clutch, auto stop would come in.

I think im crazy enough to drive the honda to work again tomorrow, although i have a reliable truck, so wish me luck insight brothers. Cheers yall. Hope to see yall Mid Atlantic guys sometime. Quackman

Oh.... I plan to just cycle the HV battery again with my grid charger, and get my IMA back, but for multiple reasons I should look up on Insight Central how to do the Clutch sensor fooling switch. But as ive heard from an insighter, I could use the clutch fooling switch to be a little easier on my battery and not send 80 amps to it when i need to stop at a light. Later, Thank yall
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I tried to recreate the problem where the auxiliary starter strains to start, and wont, but I couldnt make it do it tonight.

I had a previous theory that it might help to hold the clutch half way, turn the key all the way, then depress the clutch all the way, somehow delivering a higher voltage to the auxiliary starter and making it function well.

Now, because it is starting strongly everytime, I want to say that the change might have been that by manipulating the 12v battery contacts, and making a better connection, that made the difference to make the auxiliary starter work stronger.

I only saw one ghosty thing, that i couldnt recreate. I have a little cigarette plug voltage meter. and while i was messing w starting it again and again tonight... this one time i saw it sit at a reading of like 11.4volts. I cant remember exactlly what happened, and if i did turn the key when it read 11.4. But i could never make it read low again, and it was always reading like 12.2 with the system all powered up, in the II? key position, where its powered but your not turning it to start. The cigarette outlet voltage meter always reads about .2 lower than what you would see on a multimeter at the battery, is what has seemed to happen in the past.

Cheers yall
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I can't recollect details of IMA disabled/12V starting scenarios. But thought I'd mention there's at least one weird thing the car sometimes does, involving the clutch. I think mudder, who's well versed in such things, mentioned it as a "feature" one time. If IMA start is initially disabled, I guess for whatever reason, you can sometimes go to start with clutch pressed in, IMA won't start the engine, but then, when you let the clutch out it will start it. I've seen this at least a handful of times. It's always a bit disconcerting, catches me off guard. If the IMA doesn't start initially I expect the 12V starter to kick in. But at these times, for whatever reason, it doesn't - and the IMA just decides, 'OK, we're gonna use the IMA anyway,' once you let out the clutch.
Whoa, whoops, I wrote this last night and never clicked post. New interesting mystery incoming after this post.

Thank you eq1. I am curious to see that "feature" happen. Im assuming you have to be holding the key to start position, while you let the clutch back out. Just for any passing by readers, I think that only applys to cars that are set up as they normally would be involving the IMA. I dont think ive ever seen the IMA electric motor start the car, when you are in the IMA disabled mode which I am in, with HV battery main switch off, and the forward 2 bcm plugs pulled out.

I forgot to add that my 12v battery is only about 2 years old, and i dont think I abused it to bad. I might have let it get low when i wasnt driving the car much, but I think I noticed in time and put a trickle charger on it.

My new theory i thought of today is that when I had a slight scare on monday when the car didnt start right away, I might have let the 12v get low bc my drive home from work was so sluggish (getting in and out of DC is a bumpy maze) and I sat at stop lights frequently and even though i was driving an hour or more, maybe the time at the lights with only the radio on and no fan or ac, was enough to take my battery down a bit.

Heres a question for yall.... for a 12v battery.... if you put your multimeter on it and read say 12.8 volts... This related to how many Joules of energy are in the battery, but not an exact reading of energy. So since there are different cells in the 12v battery, couldn't you get a reading of again, say 12.8 volts, but with a few cells out of balance, your battery is a bit low on energy, relative to a battery w balanced cells that also reads 12.8 volts?

I try not to be a consumer, but it makes me wonder if one of these new fangled little battery packs would be good for a G1 Insight driver who wants to go disabled IMA for a while. looks like theres a lot of cheap ones on ebay for around 50 bucks. I assume the cheap ones arent that well made. Does anyone know if you can plug one of those power banks into your cigarette lighter plug, and have it be in parallel w your 12v car battery and add a boost of voltage/power, without having to open the hood and connect the red and black clamps?

Haha this sounds wreckless, but it would be interesting to just rig a harness for your 18v Makita/Milwakee etc tool batterys ====> rig it to your cigarette ligther and give some voltage just for starting up, in IMA disable mode. Then switch it off quick. That way you eliminate the possiblity of some Yuppie thinking your Honda sucks bc you needed a quick jump from someone.

Since Ive got my little cigarette plug voltage reader, today and in the future when in heavy traffic, I think im gonna not worry about my mpgs and just e brake and rev the engine to 1300+ where it starts to give out about 14 volts.

Oh speaking of, for people who want to run without ima, you might want to learn the e brake start trick. You might need it if your going off a stop light and going up hill. You are in first gear but the clutch is in, you hold the car from rolling backwards with the ebrake, then rev the engine and let out the clutch, and drop the ebrake. Its just so you dont bog the engine from the car rolling back a bit.

Just in case someones new. If youre in ima disabled, driving from a stop light, you want to rev to around 3 - 3.5k in first gear but not hit 4000. Over 4000, the car makes too much voltage and shuts off power to the 12v. the red battery light and e brake red light come on. Although they go away in about 40 seconds, it can make you nervous. After 3.5k in first you take a bit of a deep breath and wait, but it takes a while for the engine to spin back down to the ~ 1700, 1900 rpm where 2nd gear wants to be. Thats the main problem of this ima disabled mode, you dont have much power and are often bogged down. You need to get good at double clutching into 2nd. You generally have to rev in neutral higher than you expect. Someone wrote it up really well, but I think to down shift to 2nd at 30 mph, you have to rev a touch over 3000.

Gonna trickle charge a bit. Cyall round
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So theres some spooky mystery behavior. 2 times on my long slow commute today, I was watching my cigarette lighter plug voltage meter, and with the engine revved up over 2k etc, it wasnt showing the 14.2 volts that It usually would. It goes to 12.2 volts. After I stopped and restarted it was working the right way this morning, but it did it on the way home, and I stopped and restarted, and then it was normal for 5 minutes but then went pretty weird. It would read 12.2 a while, then go to 14.2 for a sec, then go down, then show 13.8 etc for a bit.

On the way home i really wanted to keep my battery charged up so, at stop lights I would rev the engine a touch to see it charging at 14.2. This leads to my first wild guess... could there be something that is sensing that the 12v battery is getting too high, and the car is intentionally discharging it? My second wild guess is that, with the ima system disabled, the ima system electronics occasionally try ? diagnose it self, and this uses a lot of power and drains the battery...

I should get advance auto to check my 12volt just to know.

Oh one last weird thing. I had to get gas so Id have enough to drive to work tomorrow, so I risked it and went to the gas station while this weird stuff was happening. Again it strained and would start. Again a nice man tried to help me push start it, but again as I was about to clutch pop start it, I just turned the key all the way and it started up pretty strong... I didnt do the clutch drop start. Why would the wheels turning a bit make the car start pretty strong, instead of strain?

It doesnt seem good for the car, but I had never clutch drop started the car before so I did it on a hill in my neighboorhood. In case someone else has never done it before. Rolling at 5 mph seems to be plenty to pop start the engine. And so your not lurching the car, you just drop the clutch real quick, and step it back in, in about half a second.... you dont really leave it in first, you just use that to roll the engine over, then go back to clutch in idle.

Hope someone thinks this is helpful or interesting. C'yall
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Meant to say, at the gas station it strained, but would Not start.

I havent seen if just waiting makes it work. Since I was tired from work, i didnt wait more than a minute or so to try and get it going.
Thank you eq1. I am curious to see that "feature" happen. Im assuming you have to be holding the key to start position, while you let the clutch back out. Just for any passing by readers, I think that only applys to cars that are set up as they normally would be involving the IMA.
That's right, not an issue if you've bypassed. I probably shouldn't even have mentioned it, I wasn't thinking closely enough about your problem/s. As far as holding the key in start position, no, as I recall it happens with key at position II.

A few points about the rest of your rambles:

-DCDC drops into low power mode off and on, under various circumstances, where it will only uphold about 12.2V. It doesn't do it if you have headlights ON, it does it more often than not if you have climate control OFF. You can defeat that 'feature' (low power mode) entirely by disconnecting a wire (WHT/GRN, or maybe GRN/WHT) at the DCDC grey connector in the IMA compartment. A lot of people do that when they go IMA disable.

-Having drained the 12V battery more than usual, as you mentioned, could very well be one of your problems.

-I've never been crystal clear on whether an IMA bypass with switch OFF + 2 BCM connectors pulled prevents the ultimate DCDC disable when the IMA pack is too drained. Sounds like it might not. The DCDC will disable if one of the stick-pairs in the pack falls too low in voltage, which essentially means at least one cell goes empty. Seems like that kind of disable would be averted if you've pulled the BCM tap connector. And I think it might disable if the overall voltage is too low. But it also seems like that would be averted with tap connector pulled (there's no total pack voltage, at least from BCM). In any event, you probably need to do a more serious bypass, or at least it wouldn't hurt. You disconnect the pack entirely... Here's a link to an older thread that I'm pretty sure covers it, or you can search "IMA bypass" and peruse stuff: IMA bypass adapter

Actually, this is a link to just the last post in the thread, a sort of later summary.

-lithium jump starter pack: get one, even the cheap ones work fine. I think I bought one from walmart, an "Everstart," for like $40 or so.

-Here's a link about using cigarette lighter for supplementary 12V power, I made a little lithium pack for that purpose, almost never used it, was a pain, etc. I don't know if there's anything on the market that'd work similarly: DIY lithium IMA 'jump-starter'
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Thank you Eq1. You saved me alot of stress and I can finish my work week, knowing that I just need to have the lights on and it wont go into the weird mode where it wont charge the 12 volt.

Did anyone figure out why the car does this strange thing when your ima is disabled? The thing where instead of charging 14.2 when your rpms are up, it cuts it out and goes to 12.2...

When my jobs finished Im gonna grid charge and go back to normal for a bit. Although with out my clutch switch to disable max braking regen, I think im hurting the old battery. Oh I suppose if i have to stop quick, I could just go to neutral, and use only ceramic brakes.

Thank you for the home made jumpstart pack link. You guys are a lot better at electronics than me.

Is the discussion based on you having a light weight 12v battery made out of nickel metal hydride sticks, to save weight vs a lead acid battery?

Does anyone know what happens if you connect too much voltage to a lead acid battery, but only for a short amount of time? Say 20v dc... As I always have my tool batteries with me for work, it would be cool to learn of other uses for them.

Out of curiosity. What would happen if you ghetto fashioned a connector from a 18 volt tool battery, and aligator clipped it to your 12v lead acid? The battery would be taking charge so wouldnt the overall 12v car system just see like 13 volts or so, and climb as the battery charges? If the car is made to see 14.2 V when driving, even if it did see 18v doesnt seem that different. Besides the car trying to protect itself, I dont see how a few more volts would start burning up wires. But im probably being ignorant here.

I have a lot of schooling but it seems Ive settled into a more caveman approach of life, as the quote goes, " The school of experience is expensive, but fools will learn no other way."

I have an old deep cycle battery sitting around, im curious now to charge it with a normal charger to 12v + , then hook a makita battery to it, and see what my multimeter reads.

Could anyone give an answer to why the car does the jittery chirping, when trying to use the auxiliary starter but there is not quite enough voltage? Why does the insight sound this way? does it just have a small starter for a small engine with a weaker solenoid? Usually a half way dead battery on a car, makes the solenoid go in a touch and snap back, and make a very loud click click clack. Thanks yall
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Too many questions for me to deal with. Here's a couple remarks to a couple of them:

Did anyone figure out why the car does this strange thing when your ima is disabled? The thing where instead of charging 14.2 when your rpms are up, it cuts it out and goes to 12.2...
Do you mean "bypassed," rather than "disabled"? Sounds like you're talking about how the DCDC disables at high RPM, like >4000. If so, I think that's because the IMA motor is putting out too high a voltage for the DCDC. When pack is in play, I think pack moderates/mediates the voltage the DCDC sees. Bypass it and there's no mediation.

Is the discussion based on you having a light weight 12v battery made out of nickel metal hydride sticks, to save weight vs a lead acid battery?
Not sure what "the discussion" is you're talking about. Not really sure what you're asking here... I made a 12V battery out of 10 cells from two NiMH pack sticks, mainly to save weight, and space, and because I have a lot of NiMH sticks, and because I was in to those batteries, testing, playing around, etc.
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