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Discussion Starter #1
i am thinking of getting a high mileage insight. When the battery pack does eventually die, can you drive the car without the ima, as a conventional gas car? Are there any mods that have to be done? Will the car pass inspection as a gas only car? What financial liabilities are there on this car as a gas only car that are not present on a conventional car? (i.e: ecu, pcm, special cat, etc.) Can you convert the car into a simpler, less prone to emissions/electronic failure car? That is the real question. I would like a modern crx hf, without all the gadgetry.
 

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I'm sure someone on here has more experience that me in this subject but from my knowledge, the Insight will operate with a dead battery. The only issues you might find involve the charge of the 12V battery as it feeds from the DC-DC converter from the IMA battery. I would think that even with a dead IMA battery, the circuitry will be able to charge the 12V through it.

I have had the opportunity to drive my Insight without the aid of the battery when I was having some issues. I will tell you that there is absolutely no power to be found in high gears if your not way over 3k rpm. You really don't understand how much torque the electric motor gives until your without it.
 

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less prone to electrical failure???

I would say you are out of luck...

concidering all the computers ... sensors ... wireing .... even on a regular non hybrid.....

If anything the electrical side of hybrids is more tested and better designed than most other cars in order to stand up to warrenties they put on them.....

To drive an Insight without the IMA battery being used ... It is just a fuse you pull from the fuse panel... I forget off hand which one... but that is all you have to do... to disable the assist and regen... do a search and you should be able to find it.

But Remember you will lose the power of the electric motor... and gas engines SUCK compared to elctric motors when it comes to just about anything.... power .... efficiency .... torque .... RPM range.... size .... emmissions .... noise.... etc...etc.... The only advantage gas engine has is the energy density of the fuel ....

But.... I dont' see this as an Issue.... Eventually other cars need to replace thier transmissions... but you dont' hear people saying they want to have a transmissionless car becuase some day they will have a repair to do.

If the car is in good shape when you get it ... pay a reasonable price for it concidering milage... and then it is just a car.... anythign else is like people who mod civics... you dont' have to , but you may want to.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Anyone hook up alternator?

I have read that an alternator is needed to charge the 12v battery up front, if the ima has been disabled or has failed. Has anyone done this?

Does an alternator create enough engine drag to seriously affect mpg?

Thanks, Frank.
 

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budomove said:
i am thinking of getting a high mileage insight. When the battery pack does eventually die, can you drive the car without the ima, as a conventional gas car?
NiMH batteries never completely "die". They just get weak with age. (Points to old cell phone with only 30 minutes usage.) So the Insight will continue working albeit with less electrical Assist.

troy
 

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Sorry Troy.

As any rechargeable battery passes its useful service life point other bad things eventually (YMMV) begin to happen. Low internal resistance and an increase in "accepted" current flow is one. This "interacts" with the DC-DC converter and at some point there is no 12v current available to maintain the other electricals of the car. i.e. no spark.

There have been a few Insighter's in here that finally hit that wall and to continue driving their Insight IMA battery pack replacement was required.

I too wish it were otherwise.

Alternator mounting is also going to be a bit of a challange. Perhaps the easiest way would be to "downgrade" the IMA electric motor to alternator only functions and gut the 144v battery pack replacing it with a 12v battery. To me it reads like being easier than the alternatives. Still you'll need a custom controller. Nothing off the shelf available AFAIK.

But be ready for the next Geo Metro you meet to blow your doors off. :p

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
custom controller?

A controller would need to be fabricated? What would it do?
 

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Similar to what a regulator for an alternator does. But you'll be dealing with 150+volts that must also be reduced to 12v. The DC-DC converter system basically does that now. But with IMA batteries in advanced failure it shuts down for some reason. Probably since it uses the 144v battery pack as its B+ source. ;)

HTH! :)
 

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Hi I'm running my Insight Gas Only successfully right now. I've only been doing it for a couple thousand miles, but so far it's working very well.

I've just had my HV battery pack die at 141k miles. 2 Error codes: P1447, P1449. FSManual says they mean Battery Deterioration / Overheating. The overheating makes sense if some or all batteries shorted-out. Solution offered is: "Replace Battery Pack".

Called Honda Dealer for Replacement parts while still driving to work 122 miles a day round-trip. Insight Central and Honda say '00-'02's may need the BCM & MCM replaced as well as the NiMH battery pack.
Battery Pack = $1,972.56
Battery Control Module (BCM) = $1,860.08
Motor Control Module (MCM) = $845.15
Freight (shipping) = $465
Total = $5,142.79

Sounds crazy, but I called and these were the Honda Dealer quotes. They DID say that's worst case scenario and just replace the battery pack first, just in case the rest are ok and don't need replacing.

During the 2 days I was gathering quotes, I was running gas only and getting BETTER gas mileage by 2-ish mpg...! I was EXPECTING worse mpgs! This opened my mind a bit, because I'm really more beholden to getting good gas mileage (50+ mpg) than having or not having batteries. (I'm an old CRX-HF guy and I've always hoped Honda would re-release these simple wonderful cars. Call 'em "Honda Lites"... or something)

After the sticker-shock, I searched Google / Insight Central for anyone who has converted their Insights to Gas Only, and finally I found THIS THAT WORKS from Mike Dabrowski and Friend. (I'll go into more detail below it to fill in any blanks):
-----------------------
Originally Posted by Mike Dabrowski 2000
Some new and interesting information about this subject.
A guy that bought the last MIMA system has an Insight he has been driving without the IMA pack. Here is what he had to say:
"I am presently replacing my battery pack, so I am using the Insight as a
pure-gas car right now. You might find it interesting that the remaining IMA components will keep the 12V battery charged with the High-voltage battery pack removed, so long as the BCM low voltage connector is also disconnected and the MCM remains fully connected. The only catch is that when engine RPM exceeds 4000, the 12V battery charging is temporarily suspended"
-----------------------------------------------
With this in hand and my FSManual, I opened the IPU up, and literally just disconnected ALL 3 connectors to the BCM (Battery Control Module) so that it is not connected at all. I left EVERYTHING else alone/completely hooked up.

That's it. I haven't tried to save weight by removing the battery pack itself yet, because frankly the wires to the MCM are integrated into the battery pack housing, and I'm taking this is steps.

On my test drive I experienced the Battery Light and E-Brake Light coming on simultaneously for "25-mississippi" and then go off. I was a ways out, so I nearly had a heart-attack. I've come to learn that it's exactly as the fellow said above. The MCM is managing the 12v Battery, but over 4,000 rpms the lights come on for 25-ish seconds and then goes out again. It's the battery charging cutting out. YES, it's more pokey than with batteries, but I just use the VTEC cam when I need "get-up-and-go".

Anyway, fingers crossed, but I'm saving the $$$ and running gas only for as far as this awesome little car will carry me. Oh, and I'm getting 62.2 avg mpg per tank where I couldn't get 59 with batteries on this particular run... and I've been trying this run since last August so I've had lots of practice. ONE HAND tied behind it's back, the Insight's still the MPG KING. :)

Hope this helps anyone in my (former) predicament -or- who wants to know if Insights without batteries are still any good. So far... they're BETTER. who knew?

Thanks to Mike Dabrowski, Insight Trekker, IAMIAN, etc. I've been reading your stuff here and at 99mpg.com for 3 years I'm a big fan.

Most Sincerely
Gene V.
 

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Hi I'm running my Insight Gas Only successfully right now. I've only been doing it for a couple thousand miles, but so far it's working very well.
Thanks for your report! Having moved my Insight to Sweden where an IMA battery replacement would be VERY expensive, it is comforting to know that I could continue to drive my Insight without a functioning IMA battery for an extended period of time, if necessary.

However, I would consider that to be only a temporary situation for myself. Even though the highway fuel consumption rate might increase due to no background charging of the IMA battery, I would think that the urban stop-and-go fuel consumption rate would increase due to no auto-stop (Honda has estimated that auto-stop reduces the fuel consumption rate by up to 15%). Brake repair costs would almost certainly increase with no regenerative braking. Starting from a stop without electric motor assist would almost certainly decrease clutch life, especially when starting on upslopes and/or with the A/C on.

If I had to drive my Insight long-term without a functioning IMA battery, I would probably sell it. But fortunately, reasonably-priced battery rebuilds are now available, so few should need to drive an Insight long-term without a functioning IMA battery.
 

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RE: Gas Only

Hi aisbell thanks for your feedback, you're absolutely right.

I'm re-learning how to drive now without the battery pack just like I had to learn how to drive WITH one. It's just like driving my HF again, only with a 3-cylinder VTEC, more streamlined body, and modern interior.

Having had an HF, I've already had a car with really tall gears and no battery-boost to help with the load on the clutch/brakes. However, my HF still did very well and the brakes/clutch lasted longer than one would expect of a normal car. I determined that the lightness of the car offset the cost from the taller gears, and the brakes again had less weight to bring to a stop.

That said, the IMA definitely helped immensely as my original clutch feels no aging at all (at 145k!!!) and the brakes are original and still had at least half the pads left at the 120k tune-up. Unreal! This will change now.

If the Insight bits are like the HF bits, they'll be borrowed from a Civic and significantly beefier than a car of that weight needs, which will help the life of the components. But the Insight is a ground-up marque car for Honda so we'll have to see... fingers crossed.

I'm a huge fan of Honda's Hybrid technology and what we can do with it. Having had such a great HF experience, what Budomove said to start this thread really resonates with me:

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BUDOMOVE - "I would like a modern crx hf, without all the gadgetry."
---------------------

I just got 63.4 on a trip with my wife to Salem to visit friends last night. Freeway most of the way. This really is a modern HF.

Sincerely,

Gene V.
 

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Hi I'm running my Insight Gas Only successfully right now. I've only been doing it for a couple thousand miles, but so far it's working very well.

I've just had my HV battery pack die at 141k miles. 2 Error codes: P1447, P1449. FSManual says they mean Battery Deterioration / Overheating. The overheating makes sense if some or all batteries shorted-out. Solution offered is: "Replace Battery Pack".

Called Honda Dealer for Replacement parts while still driving to work 122 miles a day round-trip. Insight Central and Honda say '00-'02's may need the BCM & MCM replaced as well as the NiMH battery pack.
Battery Pack = $1,972.56
Battery Control Module (BCM) = $1,860.08
Motor Control Module (MCM) = $845.15
Freight (shipping) = $465
Total = $5,142.79

Sounds crazy, but I called and these were the Honda Dealer quotes. They DID say that's worst case scenario and just replace the battery pack first, just in case the rest are ok and don't need replacing.

During the 2 days I was gathering quotes, I was running gas only and getting BETTER gas mileage by 2-ish mpg...! I was EXPECTING worse mpgs! This opened my mind a bit, because I'm really more beholden to getting good gas mileage (50+ mpg) than having or not having batteries. (I'm an old CRX-HF guy and I've always hoped Honda would re-release these simple wonderful cars. Call 'em "Honda Lites"... or something)

After the sticker-shock, I searched Google / Insight Central for anyone who has converted their Insights to Gas Only, and finally I found THIS THAT WORKS from Mike Dabrowski and Friend. (I'll go into more detail below it to fill in any blanks):
-----------------------
Originally Posted by Mike Dabrowski 2000
Some new and interesting information about this subject.
A guy that bought the last MIMA system has an Insight he has been driving without the IMA pack. Here is what he had to say:
"I am presently replacing my battery pack, so I am using the Insight as a
pure-gas car right now. You might find it interesting that the remaining IMA components will keep the 12V battery charged with the High-voltage battery pack removed, so long as the BCM low voltage connector is also disconnected and the MCM remains fully connected. The only catch is that when engine RPM exceeds 4000, the 12V battery charging is temporarily suspended"
-----------------------------------------------
With this in hand and my FSManual, I opened the IPU up, and literally just disconnected ALL 3 connectors to the BCM (Battery Control Module) so that it is not connected at all. I left EVERYTHING else alone/completely hooked up.

That's it. I haven't tried to save weight by removing the battery pack itself yet, because frankly the wires to the MCM are integrated into the battery pack housing, and I'm taking this is steps.

On my test drive I experienced the Battery Light and E-Brake Light coming on simultaneously for "25-mississippi" and then go off. I was a ways out, so I nearly had a heart-attack. I've come to learn that it's exactly as the fellow said above. The MCM is managing the 12v Battery, but over 4,000 rpms the lights come on for 25-ish seconds and then goes out again. It's the battery charging cutting out. YES, it's more pokey than with batteries, but I just use the VTEC cam when I need "get-up-and-go".

Anyway, fingers crossed, but I'm saving the $$$ and running gas only for as far as this awesome little car will carry me. Oh, and I'm getting 62.2 avg mpg per tank where I couldn't get 59 with batteries on this particular run... and I've been trying this run since last August so I've had lots of practice. ONE HAND tied behind it's back, the Insight's still the MPG KING. :)

Hope this helps anyone in my (former) predicament -or- who wants to know if Insights without batteries are still any good. So far... they're BETTER. who knew?

Thanks to Mike Dabrowski, Insight Trekker, IAMIAN, etc. I've been reading your stuff here and at 99mpg.com for 3 years I'm a big fan.

Most Sincerely
Gene V.
Hi sorry for probabbly sounding stupid, but at 141k you still are under the battery warranty unless your car is a salvage tittle or older than 10 years, have you checked on that?
 

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RE: gas only

S'alright, yeah I had thought so too! However, after my Honda Dealer told me "No warranty", I studied the official Honda warranty extension I found that it only appiles to Insights in the HOT States, and I'm up in Oregon. No warranty extension for me. Hope that's not the case for you, but then I've been pleasantly surprised by my Gas Only Insight, so to me this is no longer a predicament.

Here's 1 of the URLs that goes to the doc:
Honda Insight - IMA warranty extension in US. [Archive] - CleanMPG Forums

Here's the bit that omits me from consideration:

"Currently, this product update and warranty extension applies only to states where there is an abnormally high replacement rate for IMA batteries. These states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada and Texas. In these states, the warranty for the IMA battery has been extended to 10 years of 150,000 miles, whichever occurs first."

Sincerely,

Gene V.
 

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S'alright, yeah I had thought so too! However, after my Honda Dealer told me "No warranty", I studied the official Honda warranty extension I found that it only appiles to Insights in the HOT States, and I'm up in Oregon. No warranty extension for me. Hope that's not the case for you, but then I've been pleasantly surprised by my Gas Only Insight, so to me this is no longer a predicament.

Here's 1 of the URLs that goes to the doc:
Honda Insight - IMA warranty extension in US. [Archive] - CleanMPG Forums

Here's the bit that omits me from consideration:

"Currently, this product update and warranty extension applies only to states where there is an abnormally high replacement rate for IMA batteries. These states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada and Texas. In these states, the warranty for the IMA battery has been extended to 10 years of 150,000 miles, whichever occurs first."

Sincerely,

Gene V.
That extension was later extended to ALL states. Sorry I don't have the link handy because it doesn't apply to 2006's like mine. Try scrounging around a bit more in the archives.
 

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That extension was later extended to ALL states. Sorry I don't have the link handy because it doesn't apply to 2006's like mine.
Refer a Honda dealer to the 5 February 2008 version of Service Bulletin 06-057 which states, in part:
"To ensure continued reliability with the IMA system, American Honda is announcing an IMA battery module warranty extension for certain 2000–04 Insights. The IMA battery module is now covered for 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever occurs first. This warranty extension applies to the 43 states not already covered by Service Bulletin 06-027, Warranty Extension: IMA Battery."

So between Service Bulletins 06-027 and 06-057, 2000-2004 Insights in all U.S. states are covered by the 10-year/150,000-mile IMA warranty. Don't let a Honda dealer convince you otherwise!
 

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RE: gas only

Why those little sons of... :mad:
Thanks Gents, it's definitely worth some more digging. I've got tomorrow off, so if I find what you're talking about I'll print it off and go have a word with my local Honda Dealer.

Still THRILLED to know what the Insight is capable of in "gas engine only" mode!! :) I am SO glad for you guys and Insight Central... all the answers.

Sincerely,

Gene V.
 

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RE: gas only

Wow, STAND UP INSIGHT CENTRAL! Thanks so much you guys, I have just gotten my car back with a new set of Batteries, BCM and MCM.

1) I called my Honda Dealer and they said "no warranty for your Insight".
2) I couldn't find the 06-057 doc on Google so I ended up going to alldatadiy.com and getting a membership. From there I could find/print every doc Honda ever created for my Insight.
3) I took the printout to my Honda Dealer as they opened at 7am. Told the guy what I was there for and showed him the printout. He read it and said they would look up the Honda docs themselves and let me know what they found. I got shuttled home at 7:30am
4) 2pm and Honda calls happy to tell me that they're replacing my battery pack and bcm/mcm.

I could think of worse ways to spend a day off. Today I picked up the "X-1" from my local Honda dealer with $5k in new bits installed... and not a moment too soon as I'm in my 10th year and have 142.5k on the odom. that's cutting it close.

Okey-dokey, so in another 150k miles, when THESE batteries finally go pop, I guess I know exactly how to run gas-only if I need to and have a modern-day CRX-HF. By then, I wonder what batteries will cost or if we'll find the mod that allows them to run on leftover broccoli, but these are great little cars, whatever configuration.

Again my hat is off to You guys. I thought I'd done my homework but I hadn't seen the latest warranty extensions despite my efforts. Indeed, thank you all for your support and feedback.

Gene V.
 

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Okey-dokey, so in another 150k miles, when THESE batteries finally go pop, I guess I know exactly how to run gas-only if I need to and have a modern-day CRX-HF. By then, I wonder what batteries will cost or if we'll find the mod that allows them to run on leftover broccoli, but these are great little cars, whatever configuration.
OOOps, sorry, the new battery is NOT warranted for another 150K miles. It will be a refurbished battery to begin with so you cant expect to get the same mileage that you did from the new one and they dont repeat the warranty.
 
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