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2000 Honda Insight M/T
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone!
I am kind of new to this site. Haven't posted much if at all, maybe an intro at first. I bought a 2000 insight M/T last fall, and it seemed mostly good at first, but looking back I can tell the IMA was never really right. I am guessing the seller grid charged it before selling it to me to make it work for the time being, but the mileage was usually only in the 50s, maybe low 60s ever since then and the lights came on and IMA totally went out a few months back. It sat through most of the winter, and then I have driven it periodically since with no IMA. I got a grid charger and discharger recently to try that, and after looking at a lot of topics on here, I decided I wanted to charge it first, then discharge it, then recharge it at all and see where I was at. It was measuring around 155 volts when I first checked it and installed the harness yesterday to start charging it. I believe it was installed right, and seemed to run once I plugged in the charger and all, and the fans ran, etc. The weird thing was, as it ran, it seemed to only slightly LOSE voltage? I thought maybe because of my unfamiliarity with them, that maybe it takes a while to get going, so I checked again this morning, and sure enough, after around 14-16 hours of charging, it was at like 150 volts. I don't really know how to make sense of this. Did I do something wrong? Any help is greatly appreciated! It seems like there are tons of guys on here who really know their stuff with IMA and grid charging, and it is all pretty new to me. I am a mechanic, so I am familiar with the cars themselves, but all this IMA stuff is pretty foreign to me I must admit, so help is really appreciated!
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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10,476 Posts
What charger/dis-charger are you using?
Check for the proper wiring of the harness.
 

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2000 Honda Insight M/T
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Discussion Starter #3
It is just a cheap RB batteries one. I didn't want to spend a lot because I didn't know if the battery was salvageable anyways. I think the harness is routed right, I followed the instructions and the previous owner had a harness for another style grid charger in there before, and it seemed to use the same recommended connection spots. I know the fan is routed right because it turns on and runs when I have it on. Then the IMA power is run to that small white box on the bottom's power side, and the ground is on the ground bolt on top of the battery case. Does that seem right?
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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IMA switch on or off?
Maybe hook up the dis-charger for a little while and see if the voltage drops.
 

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2000 Honda Insight M/T
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Discussion Starter #6
I had it on. The instructions with the grid charger said you have to, is that accurate? I also was wondering about the vehicle battery, should I disconnect it? I felt like I saw different people say different things about that on here at times so I was a bit confused on that.
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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You do not have to disconnect the 12V battery.Maybe do that after charging to get the IMA system to relearn the IMA battery capacity instantly.
 

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2000 Honda Insight M/T
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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, I suppose I was alright there. I left it connected and planned to do that, disconnect it when the cycles were done to clear the memory and see how it worked. Do you think I should just try to discharge it maybe and try again with the charging after that?
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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Go for it!
 

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2000 Honda Insight M/T
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Discussion Starter #12
Okay, thanks to both of you guys for your help! I will try to discharge it then try again and see if it goes any differently.
 

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^ Hate to gum-up the works, but you shouldn't do anything else until you figure out why your charger wasn't charging. The pack voltage should NOT fall - and falling from 155V to 150V is actually quite a drop. The only way this could happen is if there's a bona fide problem - either the charger is faulty and posing a drain on the pack, or the pack itself has a short. You need to sort this out. Start by checking the unloaded output voltage of the charger - it should be above about 184V, or at least up there, 178V+...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
^ Hate to gum-up the works, but you shouldn't do anything else until you figure out why your charger wasn't charging. The pack voltage should NOT fall - and falling from 155V to 150V is actually quite a drop. The only way this could happen is if there's a bona fide problem - either the charger is faulty and posing a drain on the pack, or the pack itself has a short. You need to sort this out. Start by checking the unloaded output voltage of the charger - it should be above about 184V, or at least up there, 178V+...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
No, I am actually grateful you chimed that in. I have read a lot of your posts related to grid charging and found them quite educational to someone like me trying to begin to grasp all this without much knowledge or experience with IMA systems. I hope this does not make me seem to dumb, but I am admittedly naive about this...how would you actually check that unloaded output voltage? Like see what you get at the leads that should go to IMA + and - without them hooked to the battery? If that reads alright, how could you know if the pack itself has a short?
 

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how would you actually check that unloaded output voltage? Like see what you get at the leads that should go to IMA + and - without them hooked to the battery?
That's right.

If that reads alright, how could you know if the pack itself has a short?
Um, I'm not sure... If the charger's putting out the voltage it's supposed to put out, yet the pack voltage drops on its own like it did, just sitting there, there has to be a short/drain somewhere. But I don't know how you'd actually test that... I'd just have to assume something's wrong with the pack (or the harness) and have to take it apart and inspect it...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Okay, really appreciate the advice eq1! I will test that sometime soon and update the thread once I know what is going on better.
 

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OK, we'll keep an eye out for your results... In the meantime, maybe someone else knows how to identify a pack short of some kind, without removing the pack?
 

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Chicago & Detroit
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You can test unloaded battery by measuring the + and - points at the top of the circuit board. The only time the battery gets loaded is when the car is operating and there is demand. I would measure the charger output, then measure the battery again with the charger connected and turned on. Your IMA battery pack switch has to be in the on position
 

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^ How does that identify a short in the pack, if that's what you're addressing here?

-You test the unloaded battery for what and measure what at the + and -? Voltage?
-Measure the charger output -- voltage? Current?
-Measure the battery again -- measure what, voltage?

Sounds like you're saying confirm that charger is working, measure voltage at pack, hook-up charger, measure voltage at pack again, and if the voltage goes up it's charging?? I see how that can confirm whether or not there's charging, but i don't see how that identifies a short in the pack...

I'm thinking it's more likely to be charger-related or harness-related, as the pack must've had a more or less normal voltage before hooking anything up (~155V), and only after hooking up the harness and using the charger did the voltage drop (to ~150V after ~15 hours)... On the other hand, maybe simply turning the pack switch ON energized a soft short of some kind, in which case it could still be pack-related...
 
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