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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

Last night I was driving on the highway, probably cruising downhill and then my dash lights up with Check IMA and the CEL came on as well. I'm going to take it to AutoZone to run the codes to see what's going on. I'm really hoping it's not the IMA battery.

Some background info: 2010 Insight, has 125k miles on it, driven daily. After some research it seems that I don't get as good of MPG as some of you do, at around 43 (so maybe it is the IMA).

Also, was reading on a different forum that Honda Hybrids perform better if driven daily however since it had the Takata airbags, there was about 3 months it sat until Honda could replace them (they got me a rental). In the other forum someone said if they sit then it messes with the IMA...is that true?

Thanks!
 

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While you're there have them load test your 12V battery. This is a common problem with G2 Insights.

Sam
 

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I think the IMA battery should handle the 3 months inop, though it is never a good thing.
The 12V battery certainly does not. If they let it run down then recharge it before handing it to you, the damage has been done.

Most likely one of the 6 cells was slightly emptier than the others and inverted, pushed below 0V by the other cells. It then gets damaged and from there on self discharges faster than the rest. The Insight does not charge the 12V cells hard, so the other (full) cells prevent the emptier cell from getting up to charge. It will gradually sink down to empty while the rest is full.

You can test the state of your battery by running the lights and radio engine off.
It should be able to maintain that for say half an hour, but if your 12V battery is bad the voltage will drop within minutes and you'll get all kind of strange errors on the MID as each system faults over low voltage. One of those systems is the IMA control logic...

The 12V battery is a known weak point of the G2 insight. Luckily they come relatively cheap.
 

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Also, if you would but your location in your profile, we could tell you what the warranty on the IMA is. (If you are in a CARP state it is 10 years or 150k)
 

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Sorry about that, thought my location would show up from my profile. I am in San Antonio, TX. From what I see it is not a CARB state :( I took it by AutoZone and the code that came up was P0A7F Battery Module Deterioration. Since I'm Type A and have researched this and someone reminded me to do it before I took it in. I also had them check my 12V battery. It tested as good with the car off, it's only a few months old, so I assumed it would. When the car started it hesitated a little and the AZ guy said he thinks it's something with the starter. I took the car over to a mechanic we trust and he said there's no way he can do anything as it's the IMA battery and he can't even get one sold to hime (and he doesn't recommend after market one...which from what I see people on the forums are happy with??). Anyway, I have an appointment with the dealership to diagnose it but if it needs a new IMA I don't know what to do. I am not sure an additional $3K is worth putting into this car or getting a different car altogether (which I also don't really want to do since we just bought a new car). Any thoughts or ideas? TIA!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess my other question is. Is there a way to drive and the car function as if it were a conventional car without the IMA on and the car function indefinitely until something more serious happens or were ready for a new car anyway? Will that screw the car up? Will it start without a problem?
 

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3 months is an atrocious amount of time to leave the car sitting. Great way to kill a hybrid battery in any car - IMA in particular - especially since you're in a hot climate.

Try this:
Disconnect 12V for 60 seconds.
Reconnect 12V
Start car and allow the IMA to charge at idle until it stops charging

Repeat above 3X

See if the P0A7F stays away. If not, you need a new IMA battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
3 months is an atrocious amount of time to leave the car sitting. Great way to kill a hybrid battery in any car - IMA in particular - especially since you're in a hot climate.

Try this:
Disconnect 12V for 60 seconds.
Reconnect 12V
Start car and allow the IMA to charge at idle until it stops charging

Repeat above 3X

See if the P0A7F stays away. If not, you need a new IMA battery.
Will this turn the CEL light off? Currently that's the only light showing up on my dash.considering canceling my appointment at the dealer tomorrow AM and trying this instead in the hopes this takes care of it, at least until I can get it around my dad or grandpa and they can help me a little bit. I'm a newbie and they've at least worked on cars before (granted not a hybrid). This thing is an experiment for all of us.
 

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Yes. A 12V reset will clear all codes.

CEL w/o IMA means the IMA fault isn't active, but the CEL remains until X successful drive cycles w/o the fault condition present.

Possibly a good sign.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes. A 12V reset will clear all codes.

CEL w/o IMA means the IMA fault isn't active, but the CEL remains until X successful drive cycles w/o the fault condition present.

Possibly a good sign.

Saying a prayer it's a good sign!

My husband informed me today that he noticed the IMA light and CEL light come on last time he was a little further north. He thinks it's something to do with the weather. It was cooler up in Tulsa and over the last 24 hours, it's probably dropped about 30-40 degrees, into the upper 30/lower 40s. So maybe he is on to something...this would be the first time it's acting like this in the cold though.

Any thoughts on just turning off the IMA and using the car as a conventional car, if the IMA battery needs to be replaced? I'm happy with even decent MPG as long as I am not just fixing the car for the short term. I fully plan on us being the last owners of this car and driving it into the ground, but I want it to last for a few more years.
 

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The Insight has no generator. The IMA motor attached to the internal combustion engine charges the IMA battery pack and that in turn charges the 12 volt battery. So with a completely dead IMA battery pack the Insight just does not work. My friend had a Civic Hybrid that she limped along for quite a while with a dying IMA, but eventually she just had to fix it.

All this said, it is still possible that the IMA can be revived. Right now it is weak from sitting. There is a chance. It is only a chance. Because your issue may be caused by stitting at the dealer waiting for airbags, the dealer and Honda may help. At least make sure they connect it in the service area and apply all the software updates.
When did you buy this car?
 

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When I bought my Insight it had just 2500 km on it in nearly a year, sitting in the dealer lot for the last 4 months of it.
It threw no fault codes but also it never fully assisted for 3 months and over 5000 kilometers hence.
Then all came good; The FE improved all the time despite a severely cold winter. But that battery was almost new.

In your case the best thing should have been a mild grid charge right before taking it back in use.
A grid charge may not be a bad thing right now, but if the IMA code is away the system is already taking control of the balancing.
Fingers crossed indeed. G2 hybrid batteries generally hold up well, hope yours will live up to it.

If not, and if the dealer and Honda fail to make amends for not running the car monthly as required, get in touch with one of the battery suppliers on this forum.
The G2 can indeed run without IMA, but it is a slow pig of a car then.
I once blew the accessory fuse, and the IMA control electronics appear to be one of the 'accessory' systems...!
Forget briskly accelerating to join a busy road. Also it then idles at 1500 RPM, has no AutoStop anymore, starts from the small starter motor (chugga chugga) instead of the almost instant IMA start...
If you have driven it for a while like that and get the IMA functional again you'll doubly appreciate its effect :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The Insight has no generator. The IMA motor attached to the internal combustion engine charges the IMA battery pack and that in turn charges the 12 volt battery. So with a completely dead IMA battery pack the Insight just does not work. My friend had a Civic Hybrid that she limped along for quite a while with a dying IMA, but eventually she just had to fix it.

All this said, it is still possible that the IMA can be revived. Right now it is weak from sitting. There is a chance. It is only a chance. Because your issue may be caused by stitting at the dealer waiting for airbags, the dealer and Honda may help. At least make sure they connect it in the service area and apply all the software updates.
When did you buy this car?
I bought the car used via Private Party in mid-2015. The Takata airbags were replaced in mid-2016 and then again in 2017.

I'm hoping to find some proof of letting a hybrid sit will kill the battery to show Honda it should fall on their shoulders if the IMA need to be replaced.

I appreciate the advice from all of you!
 

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http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pubs/OM/M81010/M81010OM.PDF

Page 383:

(excerpts)

If you need to park your vehicle for
an extended period (more than 1
month), there are several things you
should do to prepare it for storage.
Proper preparation helps prevent
deterioration and makes it easier to
get your vehicle back on the road. If​
possible, store your vehicle indoors.

Reconnect the 12 volt battery and
drive your vehicle every month for
about 30 minutes. This will keep
the IMA battery charged and in​
good condition.

If possible, periodically run the
engine until it reaches full
operating temperature (the
cooling fans cycle on and off
twice). Preferably, do this once a​
month.


 

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Discussion Starter #15
http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pubs/OM/M81010/M81010OM.PDF

Page 383:

(excerpts)

If you need to park your vehicle for
an extended period (more than 1
month), there are several things you
should do to prepare it for storage.
Proper preparation helps prevent
deterioration and makes it easier to
get your vehicle back on the road. If​
possible, store your vehicle indoors.

Reconnect the 12 volt battery and
drive your vehicle every month for
about 30 minutes. This will keep
the IMA battery charged and in​
good condition.

If possible, periodically run the
engine until it reaches full
operating temperature (the
cooling fans cycle on and off
twice). Preferably, do this once a​
month.




You are a lifesaver!!
 

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if the ima battery is indeed shot bc of sitting - and its outside of the warranty - then it falls on your shoulders and NOT Hondas or the private partys ... honda spelled it all out quite clearly in the manual and you bought it from the pp ... caveat emptor
 

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Discussion Starter #17
if the ima battery is indeed shot bc of sitting - and its outside of the warranty - then it falls on your shoulders and NOT Hondas or the private partys ... honda spelled it all out quite clearly in the manual and you bought it from the pp ... caveat emptor
I was told by the service technician not to drive the car under any circumstances. I was to drive to get the rental and then home and they marked my mileage and would know if I drove it...so it seems to me she doesn't even know what's needed for a hybrid and maybe it should fall on their shoulders.
 

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Welcome! I doubt your car would work so well and get over 40mpg if the IMA battery was toast.

You can charge the IMA battery by yourself. Just start the car, warm it up for a minute, and then hold the RPM at about 2400. You should see the battery start to charge on the IMA assist gauge (on the left). After about 15 mins the battery will be charged and you will see the gauge rise to the middle position.

While you are waiting, you can switch the Multi function display to the battery charge level. Press the info button up and you can cycle through the display modes. You should see the lines climb up one by one on the battery.

If you drive around town often, you may want to use "S" for sport on the gear shift. This will eliminate Auto-Stop so you won't drain the battery.
 
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