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Re. 2000 manual Insight, with (failing) a/c, 260,000 miles, 40-months on replacement battery pack, and B-stamp plugs.

"Call me Ishmial..."

This summer I had the car parked for about 10 days while I was helping my mom with a move.

It was during a blistering heat wave in Rhode Island in July, and it was raining like it was Florida everyday. One day I noticed I had the passenger window rolled down, after it rained and it probably got damp inside.

(Symptoms referenced with numerals.)

(1) I started my car and got an engine light. I drove it a few miles to a car parts store and they took a code reading and said that my thermostat housing sensor had failed. That was weird, because I had replaced one less than two years earlier when my head gasket failed.

I ordered the part, and because I did not have the right wrench size to install it and did not want to pay a bunch of money to buy a wrench I would probably never use again, I had a local mechanic that my mom liked install it. He had taught auto mechanic repairs at New England Tech for many years, so I trust that he knew what he was doing, and it is a simple job.

Several days after the repair (2) my engine light came on and my IMA light (3) came on on a long trip in the rain, about 80 miles along. I turned around and went back home and cancelled my business trip. I had the code red at my parts store, and I was given that same error code again for a thermostat housing sensor.

By this time, (4) I also noticed that the car was hard to start and the ignition would click but it would eventually start.
This would get worse over time, then after many attempts to resolve it, less worse and intermittent.

After doing some reading, I suspected my car battery was failing and it was throwing my electronics out. I already knew that it was on its way out the winter before, so I bought a new battery.

The guy who sold me the battery insisted on installing it even though that is a simple job to do. And yet when I went to start it, the clicking happened again, right at the store. So at that point, I am suspecting that my terminal leads and the grounds are bad. Got home, and it started fine for several days, then it returned and was so bad that the car could not start.

Those wires did look bad. I bought replacements, and when I went to install them I noticed that the guy who installed my car battery did not have the treminals tight. No, they were just hanging on their, untightened. (Idiot!) . (5) So my car had been driving around for several hundred miles with very loose terminals on the starter battery. That made me wonder what might be going on with the electronics because of that.

I installed the new terminals and the new grounds, except for the one ground I kept that was very long. I cut down shorter to the clean copper and reinstalled it. These were all new grounds for the second time in the life of the car at 260,000 miles.

The car seemed to start better. But then again, the clicking ignition problem returned. And sometimes I just could not start it, period. (6) A jump would help start it. (7) Or disconnecting and reconnecting the battery would help.

Struggling to start it this way, I noticed that if I put the car in first gear when I parked it, it was less likely to want to start the next time.(8)

And I also noticed that if I worked the clutch back and forth (it is a manual), the car would more likely start. (9) At its worst, when it just seemed it would not start, I noticed that if I turned the ignition while I lifted the clutch pedal, the car would finally start. (10) Otherwise it might just chug a little bit and click but not start. And it was more likely to want to start again if some time had passed. (Yes, I have tested the new 12v battery... twice.)

I asked my knowledgeable parts guy if it might be the starter-inhibitor switch on the clutch pedal, (11) and he agreed. So I bought one, installed it this eeek, and at first, it seemed to fix it. But then the clicking returned once at the end of a day of stopping and restarting. Then it worked well again since.

Meanwhile, the IMA light (12) went off a few days after it came on. Then it intermittently came on and off, and the charge would jump up to the top, then quickly discharge. At times, I disconnected and reconnected my 12v battery to reset the IMA, and it would work.

Pumping and eorkibg the clutch pedal has always worked to start the car, though with more or less difgiculty at times. On one occassion, I heard gears grinding while trying that. I had to wait several minutes, try again, and the car started.

Most of these past few months, the IMA works. Sometimes, it flares up, especially on 80+ mile trips, like this week. The light came on, but everything seemed to work perfectly. Then after a 200 miles or so, the IMA would neither assist nor regen. The charge was just stuck.(13). The next day, the light was on, but it otherwise worked fine, and that is where I am today with it.

Also meanwhile, the engine light has gone on and off over the past several months. (14) The thermostat housing sensor error is long gone. Replacing it is the upstream 02 sensor code. On. Off. On. Off. This week, on again, and the IMA on again, I pulled codes again. Both 02 sensors, but nothing showed for the IMA. (15) No error code has ever shown for the IMA.

All along, I have been wondering if I have been getting phantom error codes. I am wondering if the parts store guy not properly securing the 12v terminals, then my driving a few hundred miles, damaged my electrical system, like the ECM.

My upstream sensor is about 11 years old, but the downstream is only three years old, and both are Honda. The full exhaust/cat is also 3 years old.

Last symptom, (16) the problems seem to flare up worst when it rains. It started after monsoon rains. The IMA first lit in heavy rain. And the engine and IMA lights last returned in heavy rains.

I do believe the replacement battery pack is on its way out, because it was only charging about 40% on the guage before this all started. Now it will go to 100%, but it does not always work.

Thanks for reading.

Ideas?
 

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Your IMA light shouldn't be on as you haven't reported a IMA related code that I can see in that wall of text.

Blink out the codes per the instructions in my signature.

When reporting codes, report codes, not descriptions. You may be misinterpreting the code.

(12) gauge behavior is indicative of recalibrations due to imbalanced/failing IMA battery.
(13) with IMA light on, this behavior isn't uncommon.
(14) at 11 years, upstream may be bad.

I am wondering if the parts store guy not properly securing the 12v terminals, then my driving a few hundred miles, damaged my electrical system, like the ECM.
Highly unlikely.

Based on your description, the IMA light is likely a P1447 or P1449 due to failing battery.
 

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This summer I had the car parked for about 10 days while I was helping my mom with a move.

It was during a blistering heat wave in Rhode Island in July, and it was raining like it was Florida everyday.

Ideas?
Basically horribly out of balance battery due to heat and lack of use.
Ten days in the wrong conditions can be curtains for some packs.
I suggest a grid charger/discharger combo and some cycling.
It might recover to some extent..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I read about that maintanence here before.

I am amazed that a 3-year-old battery could be ruined after sitting 10 days in 90-degree weather. My original battery must have gone through that many times before quitting at 200+k and 15 years.

I will look into getting a grid charger and doing what you recommend. Sounds like you have been through this before.

I may also take a look at the lithium conversion. I was reading some of that lonnnnnnnng thread.

Frankly, this has been a bad luck year for the car. First, my visting brother carelessly backed into the left, rear quarter and dented it. Then my neighbor carelessly side-swiped the front left corner, scratching the quarter deeply, scuffing the lens, and pushing back the aluminum framework under the quarter by about half-an inch so that the quarter and hood and lrns do not line up cleanly. That is about $5000 damage to fix, and it is time for struts.

I have loved this car, but do I fix it? Do I sell it? I have put a tone of new parts into it the past three years because I was planning on keeping, at least it until affordable EVs with ultra-capacitors and solid-state batteries hit the market, but that is three years away. Decisions, decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
One more symptom that just started: Because I was getting O2 sensor codes, I tried to check if my mpg had dropped. But no matter how many times I try, I cannot get the tripometer to appear, to check the recent mpg. It has ling been sticky, but worked even recently. But now that I have the O2 sensor codes and the IMA light, it just will not swith over to the tripometer.

I will get a code read tomorrow while I am getting electrical cleaner spray for the PCM/ECM pins and ports.

Thanks.
 

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One more symptom that just started: Because I was getting O2 sensor codes, I tried to check if my mpg had dropped. But no matter how many times I try, I cannot get the tripometer to appear, to check the recent mpg. It has ling been sticky, but worked even recently. But now that I have the O2 sensor codes and the IMA light, it just will not swith over to the tripometer.

I will get a code read tomorrow while I am getting electrical cleaner spray for the PCM/ECM pins and ports.

Thanks.
No. Blink the codes following the procedure in my signature.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I cannot figure out what you mean. Where, what is your signature? You mean your avatar? It comes out fuzzy when I open it. Also, I have not testing equipment, save for a voltage meter.
 

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There are 6 links below a horizontal line at the end of every post I make... my signature.

"reading blinks and checking taps" link

You need a paperclip, a piece of paper and a writing implement.

It also helps to record the blinks with a cell phone to make sure you counted correctly.
 

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chrisakawoody must be using a phone for posting on ICN.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks.

By the morning, I figured it was something to do with blinking the IMA light.

I am reading your posts on my phone, and your signature does not appear in that format, so thanks much for the link. The...er...blink-link. Bah daht daht boom.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Udpate to O2 sensors: I replaced both O2 sensors today, but to no avail. Engine light is still on.

I will check the blink codes on the IMA tomorrow.

I suspect I have a rain-damaged ECU.
 

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Moved. Thanks for catching this.

Sam
 

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Ok Sounds like a host of issues.

As has been stated get the codes and post them here before you start throwing parts at the car. Lets us give you advice on the codes found.

However....

1) Clicking starting etc. Check all the engine bay grounds straps, battery leads and 12v battery condition. Replace any not perfect.

2) Tripmeter buttons not working. very common loads of info on here about that and how to fix it, do some searches.

3) Why do you suspect a rain damaged ecu? I would say that's highly unlikely unless the car has actually been flooded 1ft+ deep in water or more.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for moving this to 1st gen.

I did have codes pulled before replacing the thermostat housing sensor replaced. Replaced it, and it came back again one more time within 200 miles, then not again.

Then upstream O2 sensor error code appeared, disappeared, and so forth numerous times, then stayed, and also the downstream code appeared.

I tried cleaning them - no good. That is when I saw that the upstream sensor was HAND LOOSE! The last knucklehead to touch it never tightened it back on!

The upstream was already pretty old, so I replaced both yesterday. The engine light is still on. I will get a code reading pulled again at Action and get the code numbers.

I already replaced the 12v battery and load tested the new battery and tested the alternator. I also replaced all of yhe terminals and grounds. I kept one ground wire back to clean copper and installed new copper terminals on it.

All of this started after I left the passenger window down overnight when their was a series of monsoon rains and a heat wave. And the car had been sitting about 10 days just before. I turned the key to roll up the window and the engine light came on immediately, with it being that first error code for thermostat housing sensor.

About 200 miles after that sensor was replaced, the IMA began acting up. And the upstream O2 sensor, too. Immediately after tgat srnsor wax replaced, I not a kund of purring-clicking noise at about 1600-to-1800 RPMs, only when accelerating in gear. I wonder if that is the variable timing out of whack.

The battery pack already had not been charging fully all year before this, so the battery pack was already diminishing before the rain.

All things considered, I think it is the ECU. Just tok many things leading back to a central problem.

I will get engine codes and blink codes today or tomorrow.
 

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How did you test the alternator?
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Well, I just got new codes:
P0118 (engine coolant temp sensor, which was replaced 22 months ago with a Honda part);

P01169 ("air/fuel ratio sensor 1, heater circuit malfunction"). Is that an error code on my new upstream O2 sensor? The previous is five wires. The new is five wires.

That is at least five different sensor errors codes of various types, plus the IMA malfunctioning, plus the ignition is still clicking, since it rained into the passenger window.

So now you know why I think the ECU is bad. I want a used one, but the ones online for sale for my year and manual tranny have differents parts numbers from what Majestic offers today. I cannot find any used ones with the Majestic number (37820-PHM-505).

With all that has been going wrong, there is no way I am spending $600 on a new one, instead $60 on a used one.

Can anybody explain what is going on with the parts numbers for a 2000 m/t, a.c., with a B head?
 
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