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Discussion Starter #1
I would have been writing about my '02 CVT Insight (the Silver Bullet) until my daughter tried to mate it with the truck in front of her a few weeks ago, so while it sits in my garage waiting for me to weld it back together, I went out and did the smart thing and bought a used '10 EX w/ NAVI. Love it (getting 48 mpg, mostly highway) EXCEPT it seems like the 100.8v IMA battery only has 1/2 the capacity of the Gen1 144v one; I say this b/c the battery indicator "jumps" within seconds from full to 1/2 full, at which point it requires a charge no matter how hard I push on the go pedal.

I've been driving the same roads for 5 weeks now logging 4k mi., and can pretty much predict when the assist will quit. After owning the '02 for 11 years/158k mi./51.4 mpg lifetime, driving these same roads, I NEVER got the IMA battery below 1/2 on the LED gage, or to the point where I exhausted all assist; this '10 Insight has run out of steam after just 45 seconds of: start car (IMA "full"), climb a small overpass, followed by 500' level ground, then climb a moderate grade ~ 1000 feet long. Result: IMA depleted, charge forced under all circumstances. The charge indicator also occasionally "jumps" from 1/2 to full in just a few seconds; my '02 never did that.

I am bringing her to the local Honda dealer to have the IMA looked at, but I ask you if I am wasting my time & if the Gen2 IMA is truly "weak" compared to Gen1. Can the dealer find/identify if I have a cell or two that is dead? Is it true that they might re-program it to increase battery longevity at the cost of fewer MPG? Note: no warning lights (e.g. IMA) are on.

Any thoughts are appreciated!
 

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What a coincidence! I also own a 2002 CVT Honda Insight and a 2010 Honda Insight EX with Navi. Yes, the IMA system in the 2nd Gen. Insight is not as powerful as the 1st Gen. Insight. I have had similar experiences with my 2010 insight. When driving to work, I have to drive up this big hill on the Merritt Parkway in New Haven, CT, which is about a 1/2 mile long. With the 2002 Insight, I can drive up the entire hill and the state of charge reading on the dashboard display only goes down one bar or two. On the other the hand, the 2010 Insight goes down to more than half SOC. Then the forced regen happens and I haven't even made it to the top of the hill yet.

You probably don't have a cells dead yet. If you did, then the IMA light would go on. Maybe if you had a software upgrade done, it would help. I know the next time I bring the 2010 Insight, I will have that done.




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How many miles on your 2010? They might give you the software update if you don't have it but unless you have an IMA code they won't replace the battery. The battery is smaller in the new Insight compared to the G1. I still don't think I've read an reports on the forum for total IMA battery failure?
 

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EXCEPT it seems like the 100.8v IMA battery only has 1/2 the capacity of the Gen1 144v one;
Gen-1
144v @ 6.5Ah = 936wh
uses ~60% of that in the 20-80 window.

Gen-2
100.8v @ 5.75Ah = 579.6 wh
about ~62% of Gen-1 Energy capacity.
AFAIK : also uses ~60% of that in the 20-80 window.

So ... more than half ... ~62% ... but significantly less capacity.

But , they did significantly reduce the size and weight of the HEV battery itself and the entire HEV system ... and AFAIK they also tweaked / improved the operating efficiency of the whole HEV system as well ... but I don't have a number for that at my finger tips right now.
 

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Software updates will probably help with the abrupt loss of assist.

Living in a hilly area, I fairly frequently run out of capacity for either charge or assist.

Phev kits aside, it would be interesting to see how these cars do with larger capacity IMA batteries.

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if the IMA battery indicator is jumping around alot it could also be a sign of premature 12v battery failure which sometimes causes anomalies throughout the car's operation, including, and not limited to, the cars IMA system
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to all who replied. Egads - that is what I wll ask for tomorrow when it goes in for service (the software updates). Russellc - my situation exactly, the forced regen while trying to accelerate up a hill is the most annoying; and I miss my '02 for my 160 mi commute & can't wait until I get her back on the road again! GilbertGuy - ~63k mi, bought it with 59k. Somewhere in its past it was a fleet veh. (rental?) so thus the high mileage, but I "only" paid $12,9 & compared to Book Val. I think I got a good deal.

I'll post what the dealer says / does tomorrow ASAP. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gen2 IMA Battery

So this morning I went to a certain Honda dealership here in central RI and explained my reason for being there, and 2 hours later I was basically told because there are no trouble codes appearing on my '10 Insight they can't/won't do a software update. "Honda policy". Had to pay a diagnostic fee, regardless.

Looks like it's time to write Honda a letter...
 

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If you put it in Sports mode long before you come up to the hill it will raise the charge level of the IMA battery. Putting it back in D would make it want to shed that energy, helping you to climb the hill.
It might just happily climb the hill in S too though. Not that many hills here to test it out :)
 

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So this morning I went to a certain Honda dealership here in central RI and explained my reason for being there, and 2 hours later I was basically told because there are no trouble codes appearing on my '10 Insight they can't/won't do a software update. "Honda policy". Had to pay a diagnostic fee, regardless.

Looks like it's time to write Honda a letter...
This is rubbish! They can update your software regardless of codes flashing or not. That is what we did at my local dealer and they never charged me for anything, nor for the diagnostics.
Do call someone more "responsible" at Honda.
 

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I actually printed out a couple of pages from the thread, ones with the update codes. As the thread points out, the dealer must actually connect the Insight to the Honda computer. Checking the service righter's computer for recalls and campaigns will not do any good. Nor will checking for trouble codes.

In the dealer's defense, Honda got in a heap of trouble for updating the software on the second generation Civic Hybrid. Mostly for doing so without telling the customer. Those updates helped to save the IMA battery pack, but also reduced the MPG. The Insight update is all good. Even my dealer, who we use for service on three different Hondas carefully made separate notes to the tech and left everything off the official paperwork. But I did get it done without charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Charging an '02 IMA battery

I still haven't contacted the Honda brass yet about getting updates for my '10, but what I DID have time to do was to strip off the damaged front-end parts of my crashed '02. Happily, the engine still runs (I rigged up my own cooling system to bypass the busted radiator) and when I first tried to start it, it WAS charging the 1/2 charged IMA battery @ 3 green bars regardless of engine speed, but then shortly after I got it running it stopped showing any green bars. The IMA is down to about 5 bars now but will still start the engine. While it was charging, the battery indicator WAS on on the dash, but is now out. I verified the 12v batt. IS being charged, so the DC-DC converter is working (?). No other indicator lights are lit now, and FYI the engine won't run/idle unless I give it a little bit of acceleration - the filter box is broken & leaky, possibly affecting the MAS / idle mixture?

So my question is, on the engine side, what could make the IMA stop charging? The only parts I know are broken are the EGR valve (broken connector) & a small valve in the front of the engine that appears to control coolant flow through 2 small hoses to something near the air filter box.

Is there another way to keep my '02 IMA charged so I don't have to spring for a new one?

Thank you for reading this...
 

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Plan B could be to pay it and if they do not update it dispute the charges with your credit card company.

I need to get some more keys programmed soon, so Ill have an exxcuse to have them plug in mines and to pay a fee.
 

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They don't need to hook up your Honda to make more keys. The parts dept can just clone them. It's expensive though. ($60.-80.)There are lock shops that also have the equipment that may be cheaper. If you lose all the keys, then they have to reprogram the immobilizer. That would be very expensive.
 

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I have 2 Honda keys cut that need to be programmed into the RKE as well as the ignition system. They said I need to bring all 4 keys to do it and it takes an hour to do so.
 

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What's an RKE? Here are the instructions to program new keys or fobs to the keyless entry system:

http://www.wedophones.com/Manuals/Honda/HONDA Keyless Entry System Owner's Manual.pdf

You must have all the keys available to do this because, like garage door opener programming, sometimes linking a new one will unlink an existing one.

The chip in the key for starting just gets cloned in the parts dept. They probably will want to charge you for that if you do not buy the key from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
IMA woes - 2010 Insight

Just a quick post here that I finally did write Am. Honda a week ago about how my 2010 Insight defies the laws of physics / battery operation. Their reply was to have a talking head call me and say there mustn't be anything wrong with my car since there are no error lights, but they'll keep my letter on file. That's reassuring...

Guess my next step is to try & find a local dealer who will give me the 3 updates, or try to figure out how to decompile & re-write the code that runs this hunk of junk IMA system...

Any thoughts?
 

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Are you still on the original 12V battery?
If so, check it! Bad 12V batteries cause all kinds of trouble, and as it feeds the IMA system control it makes that malfunction too.
It should hold the voltage up to round 12 Volt with the engine off and the lights on.
Mine sagged to 8 volt within minutes. It probably had one bad cell which reversed under load.
Got a new one under warranty, which is neither bad nor very good; if that expires I will probably go experiment with a Lithium Iron battery.
 
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