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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi! and thanks for reading!
hopefully i'll be filling up some information here, and becoming a bit more present. as i've got some maintenance to do...

right now i'm about to go looking for my code-reader because:

on the way back from the all-gas fuel-station, i put it down into second, to overcome some heavy-wet air, and hill-climbing curves; gassed it up to about 4k, and BLINK!!!! RED-LIGHTS ON!!! BOTH RED LIGHTS!!! neutral, key off, then on to run, )so i can steer ( motor still off, coast for a bit, and pop the clutch in fourth. CODES CLEARED. well, lights went off. but that's twice in ten miles. so i'm headed to the basement to track down my ansii code-reader. the modest hand-held model. which i've pretty much totally forgotten how to use. so, uhm.... HELP!!!!!

peace & love! all-one
 

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I assume the "Red lights" you're talking about are the 12V battery light (in the center of the tachometer), and the "BRAKE" or ((!)) light (top-center-right of the cluster, near the right turn signal), depending on where your car was sold.

Do you also have a Check Engine light (yellow, also in the center of the tachometer), and/or IMA light (yellow, extreme bottom right of the cluster)?

12V battery light and the BRAKE/((!)) light coming on together over 4k rpm is indicative of the DC-DC converter not operating, due to an over-voltage condition, usually because either your IMA battery is missing, switched off, or dropped the 100A fuse.

EDIT: If you continue driving with the 2 red lights on, under 4k rpm, for about 30 seconds, they should go out again.
 

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Its not a safety range.

The DC-DC converter (which uses the IMA battery to recharge the 12V battery under the hood, since your insight doesn't have an alternator) has an input voltage range that tops out around 220VDC.

The inputs to the DC-DC converter are connected between the IMA battery, and the IMA Motor Drive Module (which runs the motor, and is where regenerative power comes from).

When the IMA system is functioning properly, the battery, which will top out in the 180V range at full charge, prevents the voltage from ever reaching that 220V. If your IMA switch is off, or your 100A fuse is blown, or your battery is otherwise missing or non-functional, the regenerative output of the MDM is able to rise above 220V since its no longer being tempered by the battery. It passes that barrier at approximately 4000rpm.

When you pass the 220V barrier, the DC-DC converter shuts itself down to prevent damage, and you see this on the dash cluster by the 12V battery and the BRAKE lights illuminating. When the input voltage goes back under 220V and stays there for about 30 seconds, the DC-DC converter will come back on, and those lights should go out.

As I said, do you have a Check Engine Light, or an IMA Light when this is happening?

Is your car using hybrid assist and regen normally?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Its not a safety range.
As I said, do you have a Check Engine Light, or an IMA Light when this is happening?
Is your car using hybrid assist and regen normally?
fascinating information. thanks for sharing. sounds beautifully well-engineered. i love it when i can understand what's happening.
yes, i believe the IMA light comes on during symptom. pretty certain. the Check Engine Light has been on for a while. emissions out of spec. i can't afford the suspect sensor, and idk how to hack/test that. but i digress. Assist is pretty definetly working . i haven't checked out the regenerative braking yet. should i?

Would you suspect that this is probably related to the recently-found Dead-Battery? and that i should have my starting battery checked out? (rather than just jumping it and running charge-assist to full gauge as i did) Is there some way i can verify this scenario with an actron OBDII (?) autoscanner? (or?) How bad is it likely to be for things if i 'need' to rev it up to 4k again to trip the code for the reader?
 

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The IMA light is either on or off, it isn't going to come on and then shut off like the 12V battery light will. If you have assist and regen, your IMA light probably isn't on(though it could be).

We're just shooting blindly. You need to pull the codes for us to have anything to go on. I'm still not entirely sure what the problem is. "Red lights" is about as vague as it gets. Are they symbols? Which? Do they say words? Which?

I suspect racer has it right though, just the DC-DC converter turning off if you rev it above 4k. Now the question is - why is the DC-DC turning off when you rev it above 4k if your IMA system is working properly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i'll check the gauges and trouble-codes in a minute. i'm searching for the "how to use scanner" literature.
the battery and brake lights defietly came on. i'm pretty sure the ima light came on and went off too, but it's not on now.
 

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@Eli: Is it even possible for DC-DC to turn off over 4k (its over-volt protection mode) when IMA is functioning?

I know the DC-DC cycles and doesn't run all the time when IMA is working, but when it does this, 12VBAT and BRAKE lights don't come on like they do when its in over-volt protections.
 

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Generic OBDII instructions: Plug scanner into OBDII port (00-02 near passenger's left ankle, 03-06 near driver's right knee), key on, choose "Read Codes" from the menu.
 

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Yeah, I don't think you'll ever see the 12V battery light come on if the systems are working properly, even if the DC-DC is off at the moment. The light only comes on when it's been disabled.
 

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Can someone toss out there why we have the 12v battery under the hood (instead of everything running off the IMA battery)? I'm guessing that even when the IMA battery is functioning properly, the radio/headlights/interior lights/hvac blower fan/etc. run off of the 12v battery?

/threadjack
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OBD simple-scan returns no significant codes.

code 1 system too rich.
code 2 catalyst efficiency below threshold.

so i'm banging myhead against the online pdf looking for how to use this thingamagig properly. so i can one] clear the codes, and [B:] trip the codes and 'catch the data'.

any tips?
 

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Can someone toss out there why we have the 12v battery under the hood (instead of everything running off the IMA battery)? I'm guessing that even when the IMA battery is functioning properly, the radio/headlights/interior lights/hvac blower fan/etc. run off of the 12v battery?
Yes, all accessories are standard 12 v. accessories. But they theoretically could continue to function without a 12 v. battery if the 144 v. -> 12 v. DC-DC converter were configured appropriately. However, when the ambient temperature is low, drawing enough power from the 144 v. battery to start the engine is apparently not a good idea. So a 12 v. starter is used under these conditions which requires a separate 12 v. battery.
 

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Lots of reasons, mostly redundancy though.

Most of the accessories (Fans/Radios/Lights/etc) all run on the 12V system, as do all of the car's computers (though a couple are connected to the 144V system as well).

The car has a 12V starter like any ordinary car that is used for starting when the IMA battery is totally dead, or its too cold out, or there's some IMA malfunction.

Also, when the car isn't running, the HV contactor disconnects the 144V battery from everything, and as such all the things that require power when the car is off (Powerlocks w/key fob, radio, clock, computers so they can remember things like fuel maps) would stop working.
 

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Open the switch cover on your IPU lid, and check that your HV battery switch is fully in the ON position.
 

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Also, rev the car over 4k so it trips, and check the codes again before turning the car off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Open the switch cover on your IPU lid, and check that your HV battery switch is fully in the ON position.
What? how's that? sure okay, but i need to be walked through that.


oh, and RE: 12v, simple answers are to make the car easier to jump-start. and to provide independent functionality in case of ima failure. (?)
 

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P1523 is a brake booster code.

P0420 can be ignored until it's time for inspection.

It doesn't really sound like anything is wrong with your car as far codes go.

My bet is on ground straps.
 
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