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Discussion Starter #1
With 170,000 miles on my 2001, my dealership read the IMA codes and says I need a new battery at $5,000. cost , plus $300 installation cost. I have a Shop Manual and think I can do the job myself. But are new battery packs available for under $5,000.?
 

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one of the guys in the uk got his from Honda for $1600 (with lots of goodwill) and fitted it himself - plead with Honda for some large discount especially if you have had it serviced by them

Do a search for replacing batteries

Cheers
John
 

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Please keep us posted on your experience. The number of data points on actual battery replacement is very small.
 

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IMA

jack9994 said:
one of the guys in the uk got his from Honda for $1600 (with lots of goodwill) and fitted it himself
You probably mean me ;) I did get a battery when mine died outside the pathetic UK warranty period/terms, and before we know what we do now about battery pack imbalance and possible rescue procedures. I had to write twice and then phone the UK head office threatening to write to Honda Japan before I got much "goodwill" :(

My original post is here

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... highlight=

UK gets really shafted compared to generous US warranty terms.

I note you are outside even the generous US terms, I would suggest looking closely at Mike Dabrowski's web pages and the discussion on here about rebalancing/grid charging packs/cells before you fork our $5000

There are lot's off secondhand/salvage battery packs available in US you could build up a good/reasonable one from yours and one of these. You would need a 'Triton 2' or 'Robitronic overloader' type Nimh charger/conditioner to work on the packs to select the best cells and test them individually. Keep us updated.
 

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if you choose to go the route of piecing one together yourself... do look over Mike's site in detail.... It is doable... just be careful when you take out the sub-packs not to break the temperature strip that runs the whole pack...

I would recommend only swapping down to the sub-pack level, unless you have a burning desire to rebuild from the individual cell level.... it will be a ton easier to do.

The worst part about piecing a pack together will be the time it will take .... Would be fun work from my twisted point of view..... but will probably take you two weeks or more of sub-pack cycling... thankfully not your time... but each of the 20 sub-packs will have the be cycled at least once preferably more than once .... to identify the strongest ones.... Ideally at a gentle pace of around 5 hours per sub-pack per cycle .... and then another cycle to get the chosen ones to the same SoC....

Also be very very careful... You would be getting into the high voltage battery and in order to take it apart to the sub-pack level you are at risk of electrical shock.... be very very careful.
 

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killroy said:
Where do these batteries go when they are spent?
Does it take a lot to recycle them?
Is NiMH very sustainable?
To quote wikipedia... I'd say it's fairly sustainable. More so than gasoline. :D

NiMH batteries are less detrimental to the environment than NiCd batteries containing cadmium which is poisonous.

Battery recycling programs exist to take care of end-of-life batteries.

Most Nickel is recycled, due to the relatively easy retrieval of the metal from scrap, and most is used in corrosion-resistent alloys such as stainless steel and Monel. Use in batteries constitutes a tiny fraction of the available Nickel supplies, so there's no problem expanding use of these batteries by several orders of magnitude for transportation applications.
 

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If I were in need of a pack and could not find a good used one, I would take Ian's advice (if you are up to it).

Where are you located, I would be willing to help you if you are close. I have a spare pack that was replaced because it was weak, It (as yours)might even be fine with a good cycle and balance.
 

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Welcome to the forum Kilroy.

There have been discussions before about recycling hybrid batteries. They can legally be disposed of in landfill, as they do not contain lead or cadmium. That said, they are way too valuable to just throw out. aside from the recycling value of the metals they contain, and the rebuild value of the frames, there are a number of forum members, myself included, who would be glad to obtain a used pack in virtually any condition. :D
 

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b1shmu63 said:
there are a number of forum members, myself included, who would be glad to obtain a used pack in virtually any condition. :D
I second that :D
 

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killroy said:
Where do these batteries go when they are spent?
Does it take a lot to recycle them? Is NiMH very sustainable?
NiMH are very recyclable and sustainable.

The MH ( Metal Hydride ) Electrode can be reconditioned , but is usually sold for more profit as material for other things from the recycling facility.

The Ni Hydroxide Electrode can also be reconditioned, but also is usually sold for more profit as material for other things.

The Hydroxide Electrolyte is usually neutralized during recycling into Watter / Oxygen Gas / Hydrogen Gas.

Generally speaking NiMH is more sustainable , and less harmful to people and the environment than Lead Acid Batteries, NiCd Batteries , or Li Based Batteries.... but all four types can be recycled and most of the material reused.... Lead Acid it is Mandatory in most places to recycle it...
 

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Replacement Batteries

With 187,000 miles on my 2000 Insight the batteries have finally failed. Since I'm well outside of the warranty period, I got the same $5000 story from the dealer. I considered a used pack, but I don't think the return on investment would be as good as it would be if I could obtain a new pack at a more reasonable cost. Please keep us updated if you make progress in this respect.
 

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I'd be interested in getting just 3-5 of the sub-packs, if they're in good condition. I did the rebalancing thing on mine, and it went back to nearly new condition for a while. However, a full assist (passing on an uphill) got it back to where it recals when indicated charge drops to about 3/4. I found that only a few of the subpacks seemed weak (wouldn't give/take at least the rated 6500 mAh), so I'm thinking to see what replacing just the weak ones will do.
 

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One guy has made up an Insight battery pack using a cut off prius pack. I have only his description to go by,and have asked for some photos and info as to how it fit and how it works.
The prius subpacks are 7.2v 6.5Ah NIMH. exactly the same as the Insight subpacks, just with a different shape. Since there are 20 or more Prius out there for each Insight, there should be or will eventually be plenty of salvage prius packs out there.
I have also measured the inner volume of the Insight pack, and we should be able to get 20 Prius subpacks into the stock Insight case, with some modifications.
Definitely would be nice to have an alternative to the $3-5K that a new pack from Honda cost.
Another good saturday workshop project. TMPNET (Too Many Projects Not Enough Time) ;)
 

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Battery died on 2000 @90,000 miles

Well it happened, left her sitting outside through a snow storm in Michigan for over a week. Friday morning it sounded funny @ start up but ran ok for a 60 mile trip @ 57 mpg. Started it back up to head home after about two hours and the IMA and check engine light came on.
Drove straight to the dealer Brighton Honda that I bought it from. Last time the IMA light came on and then went off again the same dealer took about 15 minutes to tell me everything was fine.

They called this morning to say I needed a new battary pack at $4,500 but they would pay half and I was wrong about the extended warranty that I told them about on Friday. I told them that I would not have bought the car if I hadn't known there was an extended 150,000 warranty on the expensive battary pack. Service manager said that was only in "hot climates".
Called Honda and they confirmed what you guys have said and also mentioned they should do the softeware change for the catalitic converter while they are at it for free. Honda customer service said they would send a rep out if I had any further problems and Brighton Service Manager claimed "if" Honda said it was covered he could have the parts in and work completed in two days.
 

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james said:
I did the rebalancing thing on mine, and it went back to nearly new condition for a while.
James

How long was a 'while'? This is just the scenario we have been discussing, where a balancing charge via a permanent plug into the HV battery sorts the problem for a while! ;)

A while may be long enough not to bother with the pack replacement at all if out of warranty :D
 

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As I recall, James did a subpack by subpack rebalancing and cycling with the Triton charger like Ian and I did, and Peter did a whole pack rebalance, so It may be difficult to compare the results.

There is likely several modes of pack failure, so we need to be careful to not make assumptions if we are to get a better understanding of the issues.
 

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Unfortunately for me, the while was only about a week :-( I think it would have gone much longer if I hadn't done the full assist, though. My guess is that battery controller picks up something from the weak sub-pack(s) when it's under stress, and resstricts the available current levels accordingly.

I'd like to test this by replacing those weak packs with better ones, or alternatively I may just try to do a quick rebalance with a discharge/charge cycle of the weak packs. That's going to have to wait for warmer weather, though.
 

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Dickroos -
Addressing your original question, I bought a new IMA pack from Honda for $2900 in California about 6 months ago and did it myself. They were a bit hesitant, but I convinced them I was competant enough to do the job, and I think they were relieved that they didn't have to do it!

- Jim
 
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