Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Loooong time lurker, first time topic-starter. Huge fan of this site.

This morning I started my 2000 Insight (vin 02217) and noticed the IMA light was on. This is the first time I've seen that light, I bought the car used 18 months and 12,000 miles ago from the only previous owner.

About 2 blocks away, the CEL came on, also a first.

I took the car to Auto Zone after work and they pulled three codes from the computer:
  • P0420 - Catalyst system efficiency below threshold bank 1 probably cause
  • P0128 - Cooling system malfunction
  • P1449 - Unknown (Something to do with Batteries)
Donnie has 236,000 miles and I'm the second owner. The car was maintained every 3000 miles at the Honda dealer in Dalllas (I'm in Houston), and about 6000 miles ago the local dealer gave it a clean bill of health and about $1000 in refreshed interior and trim parts.

The IMA has always seemed "weak" but it's the first time I've had a car like this, so I have no comparison. I'd say I get a minute or two of assist before hitting 2 bars. The dealer down here says there's no way to tell if the dealer in Dallas did an IMA replacement under warranty. That seems like shoddy records-keeping, but whatever.

So, give it to me straight, how screwed am I?

UPDATE: Mid-process update
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
Somewhat screwed.

P0128 - Coolant Thermostat (Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature)

The car thinks your coolant never gets up to operating temperature. Is your thermostat stuck open, or is it a bad coolant temperature sensor?

P0420 - Make sure Honda have applied the latest software patch, which raises the threshold at which you get the code. I would diagnose and cure your P0128, reset the CEL, and see if the P0420 comes back.

P1499 - It could be time for a refurbished HV battery. Hybrid-Battery-Repair is a great source for a refurb, or you could do it yourself if you're handy with high voltage. Or maybe your pack will respond to a grid charger.
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
2,009 Posts
I'd say I get a minute or two of assist before hitting 2 bars.
That indicates a very low IMA battery capacity which might be due to a severe imbalance among the 120 individual NiMH cells. A grid charger/balancer might be able to extend the life of your IMA battery.

The dealer down here says there's no way to tell if the dealer in Dallas did an IMA replacement under warranty. That seems like shoddy records-keeping, but whatever.
That's a shoddy dealer who told you that. If the local dealer won't research this for you, then call American Honda's tech support toll-free phone number. But you're outside the IMA warranty, so I doubt that Honda would help you with a replacement battery.

So, give it to me straight, how screwed am I?
It's certainly not the best news :) If you need to replace the catalytic converter and install a rebuilt IMA battery, you'll need to decide whether you want to sink that much money into your Insight. So you could be facing a sell-it or repair-it decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
The engine coolant would not be expected to be up to temperature in only 2 blocks so most likely a sensor problem.

You may want to disconnect the 12 v. battery for a few minutes then reconnect. That will clear the fault memory. Then see if the lights/codes return.

My 2001 battery can be quick to drop to 2 bars but seems to charge correctly and many times doesn't experience the major battery indicator drop. I think the system seems pretty sensitive but I do not have a lot of experience either.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
if you decide you want to try grid charging, i've got one. The P0420 you can get rid of by building a little circuit which dumbs down the ECU and makes it less strict about the efficiency of the cat.

by the way, some months ago going south on 59, was that you in the red insight that waved at me? I was in a silver one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
I recently got P0128 and realized that I seldom had more than 4 bars on temp gauge. Pulled the thermostat and discovered it was being held open by a piece of rubber seal from the thermostat. That's easy so I'd start there. Your battery does sound weak, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
I get p0420 every 3 months, it is a faulty code most probably.
the battery problem is more serious stuff, mine is headed the same way too.
will try grid charging and if it doesn't help will go to Hybrid-Battery-Repair

the coolant system should be easy, either something is blocking the thermostat or the sensor is gone. or the levelll of coolant is low.
when mine was low after a flush of the system the car tended to overheat until I went back to the shop to get it topped up correctly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Wow, you guys. As usual, this is a great community and I appreciate the helpful advice. I will try each of the tips given (starting with cheapest) and report back on what fixes it eventually. Thanks for everything.

if you decide you want to try grid charging, i've got one. The P0420 you can get rid of by building a little circuit which dumbs down the ECU and makes it less strict about the efficiency of the cat.

by the way, some months ago going south on 59, was that you in the red insight that waved at me? I was in a silver one.
Ok, weird, that was totally me. I drive 35 miles south on 59 every day to Richmond. I'd love to use your Grid Charger, anything that can help the car.

There's another Red one that blasts south on 59, when I was commuting earlier he'd blow past me about once a month. He never waved back, but at what I'd guess was close to 80mph, he may have not even seen me.

Could you PM me some contact info so I can get ahold of you to discuss grid charging?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Well you guys are alot better than some of the shops around here. They just want your money and usually for nothing and you guy are really genuine and seem to be very helpful. If my car ever throws codes I want someone here to help with the diagnostics so I don't get ripped off at a shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,421 Posts
P1449 - Unknown (Something to do with Batteries)

So, give it to me straight, how screwed am I?
Given that you are seeing assist and regen, either you have a battery deviation (cells that are low voltage due to high self-discharge rates) or more likely a battery deterioration due to some sticks tanking under load (like accelerating or hard regen or even starting the motor).

We can fix it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Ok, I was all set on the DIY approach until I went to start the car yesterday and heard :gasp: the standard starter motor. Two years with this thing and I've never heard it before. The IMA light was still on, as was check engine, but now they had some friends: battery and brake. Not one to mess around with brakes or battery I took it to the Honda dealership to have it looked at.

They couldn't find the reason for the new lights, cleared the codes and popped off the thermostat to confirm that it had stuck open and had to be replaced.

They also looked up TSB A07-038 (pdf) and confirmed that the car still had the old ECM. They ordered a new one and will swap it out for free.

Finally, they said the IMA pack was shot and quoted me $2,900 to replace it.

They washed the car and I have it back now since they're ordering the Thermostat and ECM and they won't be in until Friday. I am going to get together with 02insight soon to try his grid charger and see how much life I can squeeze out of my pack.

According to Honda NA they don't see a warranty replacement of my battery pack in the last three years, which means it as either done JUST outside of warranty or it's never been done. The latter seems a little extreme, but since I've never driven in Insight with a known good pack, I don't really have a baseline to compare my car to. Are there tell-tale signs of IMA pack replacement? Dates punched on the batteries or anything (I'm picturing a fire extinguisher inspection tag)?

Thanks for the advice, y'all. I'll update when I get my pack balanced and the ECM replaced.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,396 Posts
The IMA pack possibly has never been replaced before. The battery and brake lights come on when the DC-DC turns off in response to the IMA issue. The only thing on the battery itself is the serial number on the box but looking at the Panasonic serial number of a pack next to me, I can't decipher a date amongst the numbers and letters. Either way, I don't see why it would make a difference how old the pack is or whether it has been replaced. With 236,000 miles pretty much any number of conditions could have been present even if the car were to be on a second pack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
Your old ECM isn't "defective", it just has programming that they don't like to use anymore. They're going to replace it with a flashable model, with the latest firmware.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Your old ECM isn't "defective", it just has programming that they don't like to use anymore. They're going to replace it with a flashable model, with the latest firmware.
Thanks for the clarification.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,421 Posts
I have never found any way to tell other than Civics switching from orange to yellow shrink tubing in mid 2003. The BCM would be a better indication of the age. What is the number off it and the MCM?


The IMA pack possibly has never been replaced before. The battery and brake lights come on when the DC-DC turns off in response to the IMA issue. The only thing on the battery itself is the serial number on the box but looking at the Panasonic serial number of a pack next to me, I can't decipher a date amongst the numbers and letters. Either way, I don't see why it would make a difference how old the pack is or whether it has been replaced. With 236,000 miles pretty much any number of conditions could have been present even if the car were to be on a second pack.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
I have never found any way to tell other than Civics switching from orange to yellow shrink tubing in mid 2003. The BCM would be a better indication of the age. What is the number off it and the MCM?
Ron, Besides Civics, have you seen any Insights with yellow shrink tubing?....I checked mine a few years ago and my battery pack has the sticks with yellow shrink on them. Mine is a 2003 CVT Insight.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,396 Posts
Ron, Besides Civics, have you seen any Insights with yellow shrink tubing?....I checked mine a few years ago and my battery pack has the sticks with yellow shrink on them. Mine is a 2003 CVT Insight.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
I thought I remember Ron saying before that the newer Insights had yellow shrink on them and that it switched around 2003 or so. There was a thread about it, looks like you posted in it too.

http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/14379-what-color-your-ima-battery-sticks.html

I think this post 13 on that thread by Hybrid-Battery-Repair specifically answers the question though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
I thought I remember Ron saying before that the newer Insights had yellow shrink on them and that it switched around 2003 or so. There was a thread about it, looks like you posted in it too.

http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/14379-what-color-your-ima-battery-sticks.html

I think this post 13 on that thread by Hybrid-Battery-Repair specifically answers the question though.
Thanks MN Driver,

When I was first searching for a used Insight back in 2004, I already knew back then that there was a change in the battery or controllers starting in 2003 so I was only looking for used 2003 and 2004 models back then. I did not know when the change officially occurred in 2003 though. When I first saw the thread that you posted, I took my cover off to check if mine were yellow or orange as Ron originally posted the questionaire and I posted my results.

I remember posting back then but I forgot that it was Ron that started the thread and when I saw Ron (this time appear to) only mention yellow packs in the Civic, I started wondering that now being nearly 2011, if Ron has seen any yellow Insight packs from CVT models show up in need of his services.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,421 Posts
Ron, Besides Civics, have you seen any Insights with yellow shrink tubing?....I checked mine a few years ago and my battery pack has the sticks with yellow shrink on them. Mine is a 2003 CVT Insight.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
Yes, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter. I get the same measurements out of the sticks. The original ones that I saw were simply newer and in better shape.

I've also seen both Insight and Civic both orange and yellow with the occasional chrome colored bolts and screws instead of the brass colored. In addition, I see brass colored or chrome colored bolts holding on the junction board and for later model Civics only, I see chrome colored main battery lead connecting bolts.

The one thing that is constant is that the Insights used orange paint on the battery and ground bolts and the Civics used yellow.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top