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Discussion Starter #1
Wondering if I can resurrect my Insight?

March 2014 was the last time I drove the car. Tried starting it and got a short flashing message that the electric system was malfunctioning. After an $89.00 dollar estimate for a turn signal bulb two years ago (fixed with $15.00 Ford bulb) I thought I'd store the car until I could talk to other owners to find out if they'd encounter this and if it could be fixed, or if I should try to sell it.

Can this car be made drivable again? Hope so.

Ben
 

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Search bar at the top left is your friend and will answer your questions. Short answer is yes you can bring you car back to life. If you add your location to your profile, you may find that someone near your car help!
 

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Ben,

Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you're having troubles with your G1.

Hard to answer the question without some more info (year, mt/cvt and such), after which I'm sure many will chime in with good advice and suggestions.

2 things for starters:

- attempt to retrieve the codes the car is giving. Here is a link on how to 'blink code'. Be careful not to jump the wrong pins like I did and pop a fuse.
And here is a link on how to interpret the codes. (notice on the spreadsheet that the number of IMA blinks are shown in red, and the cel blinks are shown in black.)

- modify your profile to include your general location, there may be an Insighter near you willing to help out.
 

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Ben,

Eric (ericbecky here on IC) who has a hybrid repair business EV Powers, is in Wisconsin. Eric is a highly respected member here on IC. Might be worthwhile to contact him.

There are other Insighters also, in your area.

He will ask about which code(s) the car is giving.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
strategy of the ignorant...

Both batteries appear to be completely dead. I plan to purchase a new 12v starting battery and disconnect the IMA battery as outlined on the hybridautomotive website. If the car starts, I'm hoping I can take it to a Parts Plus store and have the codes read. (I wonder will they read right if the ima battery is disconnected?)

All things being equal, after that it looks like I will be saving to get a grid charger and learn how to install it.

Does this look like a workable plan?
 

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Your best strategy IMO for the short term is to bypass the IMA battery, according to directions, and to install a new 12V battery. (You might have the old one capacity tested first at any of the auto stores.)

Just for grins, after you have installed the 12V, leave the IMA battery turned on for a while. The car will start and you can "force" charge it, if it is working at all, by running the car for a long while at 3,000 RPM. The mere act of disconnecting the 12V will reset the IMA system, but it may relight immediately, in which case you probably have the near fatal P1447. If the IMA comes back immediately, then you MUST do the bypass, because otherwise the 12V will get no charging and will simply discharge again.
 

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Ben if you have means to charge your 12v Battery first, please charge it , then disconnect the negative, wait 30 sec and reconnect. once the car starts do the charging procedure for the ima battery (keep it at 3000 rpm till all the bars go up and it stops regen). then disconnect the 12 v for another 30 seconds and repeat, it should charge in several seconds. Your IMA should be ok for a while after that ( a week or two or more) if it works ok you may not need the 12v battery changed. But you will need a grid charger to balance your IMA battery monthly or weekly.
 

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one thing. Give the 12v a charge (still hooked up to car) and see if you can pull the codes first--once its disconnected they are gone. There may still be enough juice in the batt to have kept the codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
...got all the way down to the IPU box and ran out of time.. I hope to get everything done and start slow charging the starter battery Tuesday.

I'm not remotely a mechanic, but the directions are really helpful and so far, it looks like I can finish this.

As I was cleaning off the battery terminals I kind of looked about under the hood. I was surprised to see an unconnected cable and hose. (I think my uncle might have done this several years ago, because no work has been done on it in the past three years...)

I'm thinking about taking a photo of it to post.

I'm hoping the current battery holds enough of a charge to get tested at the local autoparts shop, if I can get this back together. At least I'll know what to do when I get the grid charger for the IMA to take this all back apart.

.
 

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Not quite success....

So I got to the battery... disconnected the two plugs from the IMA unit, reconnected everything... charged the starter battery, turned the ignition and got... system flashing lights and no engine turning over and starting...

once I thought I heard the starter clicking, but it never did anything. system flashing lights were almost strobe like.

This is what happened before it died, except then a messsage flashed on the dash screen right before it went completely dead and refused to respond.

At least this time the system flashing lights continues to come on each time I tried the ignition...

I half thought about posting a video (if I can do that here) of the sight and sound...

Any advice?
 

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What year is the car? I don't know where on the dash on a G1 that you would read a message about and electrical system malfunction. If you car is newer than 2006 you have a G2 and trouble shooting will be completely different.
 

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Insight is a 2003.

Just checked the starting battery with a borrowed voltage meter. Charged, it read 9 volts instead of 12 volts. I wonder could this be the problem? That I wonder about cleaning off both terminals with sandpaper.
 

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Great News! (to me) Thank you all for getting me this far...

Tried jumping the car. Although I didn't start it, the engine finally did turn over! I didn't try too hard to start it because I don't want it to run only on 8 month old gasoline. I'm believing a new battery fully charged, some dry gas, gasoline and the car should run. I know before it is in top condition it will need a lot of work. That can be done, step by step. This though is a real start. Thank you all.

I'll let you know when I get it started...

BenBrown
 

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Tried jumping the car. Although I didn't start it, the engine finally did turn over! I didn't try too hard to start it because I don't want it to run only on 8 month old gasoline. I'm believing a new battery fully charged, some dry gas, gasoline and the car should run. I know before it is in top condition it will need a lot of work. That can be done, step by step. This though is a real start. Thank you all.

I'll let you know when I get it started...

BenBrown
When the engine starts from the 12V there is a delay before the starter engages - about 3 seconds if I recall correctly. That measure is provided so the car has a chance to start on the IMA motor/generator first.

8 months of largely warm weather shouldn't kill the gas, though the drygas won't hurt.

You might get it to fire a bit easier if you sprayed just a bit of starting fluid on the open air filter while someone else turns the engine over. Don't race the engine until the oil pressure light goes off.
 

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Tried jumping the car. Although I didn't start it, the engine finally did turn over! I didn't try too hard to start it because I don't want it to run only on 8 month old gasoline.

:D Eight month old gas and you're worrying? :D
My other car still starts on two YEAR old gas!. I may pour in a gallon of new stuff to freshen it up a bit since it's almost empty.


I'm believing a new battery fully charged, some dry gas, gasoline and the car should run. I know before it is in top condition it will need a lot of work. That can be done, step by step. This though is a real start. Thank you all.

I'll let you know when I get it started...

BenBrown
Since the IMA battery is sure to be completely self discharged it is NOT a good idea to allow the car to charge it back up. But your battery is a prime candidate to be rejuvenated which might allow it to function much better than letting the car charge it right away.

To do that you will need a grid charger and discharger. See my website (link below) for details what this is all about.

What I would do is what you are starting to do. Disable the IMA system by removing the two connectors from the BCM and leave the IMA master switch in the center of the IMA cover set to OFF. That will allow you to get the car started with the 12 volt system and work on the loose stuff you found under the hood.

It shouldn't hurt the IMA battery to remain discharged for a few months more and it might actually help in getting it to work again properly. Several of the forum members have been experimenting with discharging the battery at low current to test rejuvenating the batteries from a fully discharged state. eq1 has done tests on battery "sticks" that have sat around for a year and they came back to life. I think the jury is still out how they will perform long term though.

Your car is a great experiment to test their ideas out. If you allow the car to charge the IMA battery right now it will charge at much too high a current for the battery to be balanced etc.

You will be able to drive the car as long as you want without the Hybrid system (IMA) working and the 12 volt battery will be charged normally.

Without the IMA system working the car will be not have the normal acceleration etc but you will still be able to get great gas mileage etc once you are cruising along. The gas engine is tuned to be a higher speed motor and the IMA system normally fills in the low RPM area with it's power. So you will be missing that low end grunt but the car will run OK.

Maybe someone one in your area has a grid charger that you could borrow to get your IMA battery working (or build your own from directions on my site). Leave the IMA (actually the IPU) cover loose for now so you can install a grid charging harness in the car. Don't use diodes in the two high voltage leads of the harness.

The warning MIL you saw was probably just due to the IMA battery voltage being way below what the car normally should see. All the dash flashing was due to the weak 12 volt battery.

The electric system of the car will not allow it to start if the 12 volt system is below 10.5 volts. If the 12 volt battery is showing 9 volts after a charge it sounds like two of the cells are shorted out. If the 12 volt battery wasn't charged since March it is probably shot.
 

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Since the IMA battery is sure to be completely self discharged it is NOT a good idea to allow the car to charge it back up. Don't use diodes in the two high voltage leads of the harness.
I understand the reason to top off the IMA before a load is placed on it, but why would charging with the car first, then finishing off the last bit with a grid charger not be ok? That would take a lot less time to charge vs just a grid charge.

The diode part has me confused. Was it deemed to be not needed? I thought it was used as some kind of safety feature so the pack couldnt back-feed or spike the charger when hooked up? (i really dont know, i just went off the drawings on here and it showed having one or 2 installed. I just used 1 on the pos lead for mine).
 

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olrowdy01 said:
Since the IMA battery is sure to be completely self discharged it is NOT a good idea to allow the car to charge it back up. Don't use diodes in the two high voltage leads of the harness.
I understand the reason to top off the IMA before a load is placed on it, but why would charging with the car first, then finishing off the last bit with a grid charger not be ok? That would take a lot less time to charge vs just a grid charge.

A little background for people who might be new to grid charging.
Since we have 120 cells in series it is important to keep the battery "balanced" so each of the cells can put out more or less an equal amount of KWh in use. Even new batteries ought to be grid charged periodically after 1/2 to a year of use to balance them or at least insure that they are balanced.

To properly balance the battery it needs to be done slowly since the good cells will be charged to a higher level before the weak cells reach a true 100% charged level. While the weak cells may show a higher voltage while being charged due to higher internal resistance (IR) they may not actually be charged to the same capacity as the good cells. So a slow, low level charge is the way to attempt to get all the cells equally charged to 100%. Also a low level charge will not cause the good cells that reach 100% charged first to overheat as the weaker cells take their time getting fully charged. And the higher IR of the weak cells may cause them to have localized heating problems as well if the car is pumping 30 or more amps through them.

Another reason to do a slow grid charge is that the whole process is a chemical reaction which takes time due to the various condition of each of the cells.

The car doesn't monitor for out of balanced cells per se. It can only charge the whole battery to what it thinks is 80% of it's capacity (and under regeneration at pretty high rates too!).

If the car is allowed to charge the battery it will pump way too many amps into the battery right away and if the battery is out of balance this would completely defeat a good chance to bring it back in a way that does seem to work better than just brute force charging.


The diode part has me confused. Was it deemed to be not needed? I thought it was used as some kind of safety feature so the pack couldnt back-feed or spike the charger when hooked up? (i really dont know, i just went off the drawings on here and it showed having one or 2 installed. I just used 1 on the pos lead for mine).
Using diode(s) in the high voltage lead is fine BUT you won't be able to do a discharge to attempt rejuvenating the battery by charging/discharging it a few times at various low discharge voltages.

Since Ben's battery has been sitting a long time without being charged it will more than likely need to be run through several charge/discharge cycles to bring it back on line with a decent amount of useful capacity.

In reading through many posts on discharging the IMA battery the main concern is that the weak cells don't get reversed charged due to having a load on the whole battery to cause the discharge. Ben has the perfect battery to do a genuine from the bottom up grid charge on a battery since his battery discharged on it's own to a very low state.

Ben, please read the present voltage on the battery before you do any charging on it.

The voltage ought to be under 40 volts and will not have a huge shock hazard to you. If you read how to install the charging harness you will see the plus and minus points where to measure the voltage by clipping the meter leads to them. Then flip the main switch to ON for the measurement.
 
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