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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody --

My 2000 Insight just came back from the dealer for an oil change. When I brought it in, I reported that sometimes during my commute, all my indicator lights would come on for a few seconds, then go off again. Usually, my IMA lights would remain on. Also, right before I brought it in, my car was auto-stopped at a light. When it turned green again, I looked down and realized that all my indicators lights were on again and that the engine had died. It took several attempts to start the car again. :(

The dealer kept the car for a day and half, and couldn't reproduce or diagnose the problem.

A couple of days ago, I was having trouble starting it again. I finally got it going by holding the key in the start position until the traditional starter cranked the engine. It sounded awful! After I got it going, the IMA light was on and it looked like the battery wasn't participating -- regen braking and batt assist didn't come on. The next two times I started it after that, it started without a problem, and the regen braking and batt assist were functioning, but the check engine light stayed on. The third start after that, the check engine light came off.

The cycle has started again. Yesterday I needed to traditional starter to get going, the check engine light's on....

Question: is this sort of behavior to be expected when temperatures drop? Is this something I should be deathly worried about or should I shrug it off? If it goes back to the dealer, what should I tell them to examine specifically?

Thanks everybody!
 
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I've driven several times in temperatures in the single digits. It is normal for the engine to start with the 12v starter when it's that cold, but everything else you're describing indicates a problem.

Here's what I experience driving in absurdly cold conditions:

The car starts with the 12v starter motor.
Trickle or "forced" charging occurrs to warm up the battery pack.
Assist and regen are sometimes limited until the pack warms up.
The LCD displays on the dash are "sluggish" until cabin temp rises.
Engine temp often drops a little while idling at stoplights, even w/o auto-stop. (I have my radiator about 90% covered)
 

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I'd be amazed if it did not log that stuff in the computer. Sounds like you have some IMA problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So you think starting with the 12v starter is okay, but the indicator lights are worrysome? I'm not sure what to think of the check engine light, since it will come on for the next three starts if you don't screw your gas cap back on, then it will turn off agan. It seems to have the same pattern if the 12v starter is used.

The IMA light bugs me. I'll take it to the dealer in the next town over when I return to the office next week.
 
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Ariadne said:
So you think starting with the 12v starter is okay, but the indicator lights are worrysome? I'm not sure what to think of the check engine light, since it will come on for the next three starts if you don't screw your gas cap back on, then it will turn off agan. It seems to have the same pattern if the 12v starter is used.

The IMA light bugs me. I'll take it to the dealer in the next town over when I return to the office next week.
I don't recall a CEL after starting with the 12v starter. It is normal behavior in extreme temperatures, so there's no need to check the engine. an IMA light does indicate a problem.
 

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You'll get a CEL if there's a problem with the IMA that causes it to use the starter motor. If it uses the starter because it's cold it would not give a CEL. IE if you throw the IMA breaker and start the car you will get a IMA light indicating a problem, and then if you throw the breaker back on the next time you start the car it will set a CEL. This can be cleared by just unhooking the 12 volt for a few minutes.

I hate to say it, but if it's one of the 4 codes that's only solution is to replace the battery pack (assuming your still under warranty) you may be lucky because they will replace the pack no questions asked.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
hate to say it, but if it's one of the 4 codes that's only solution is to replace the battery pack
I'm sorry, would you please explain? If what is one of the four codes? What are the other three? Thanks!
 

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Well, if the computer throws one of 4 certain error codes the only solution is to replace the battery pack. If it's one of those you get a brand new pack. I don't know anything until I find out which code(s) you have in the computer.

Are you still under IMA warranty?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh. I doubt I'm still under warranty -- I bought it used from a dealer at least five months ago. Will have to see what the dealer says when I take it in.

BTW, does anyone here have any experience with Honda Service for their Insight in the Topeka/Lawrence/Kansas City area? I took mine to the guys in Lawrence and they were no help.
 
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The IMA battery is warrantied for 8 years/80,000 miles, so unless you're over 80k it is covered.
 

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Ariadne, I bought my Insight at Dale Sharp Honda in Topeka, and during the time I was there (about 4 months from purchase to when I moved), their Service Department was always good to me. Hopefully if you take your car to them they'll be able to give you the service you deserve.
 

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IMA control problem

Hi,

It is my 4th winter. I had about the same problem as you had. When I start the car for me between -12F and 0F, along with the starter motor sound there is a buzzing sound comming from under the dash, like a relay flipping rapidly. Lights On are IMA, battery,Check Engine. No assist, power stering,...

I took it to the dealer and they are waiting from Honda Canada for an answer. There was 5 error codes into the car computer memory:
P1600 IMA system Malfunction
P1586 Motor Power Inverter MPI problem
58 Charge/Discharge circuit problem
P1580 Battery Current circuit problem
P1635 BCM module problem

As they do an MCM reset, all goes back to normal until the next time.

Sounds awfull,
Yves from Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the video, but I encountered a Media Player error.

Now that I'm back in the office (and commuting again), the IMA comes on sporadically, but doesn't come on again when the car is restarted.

I'll take it the guys at Dale Sharp this week.
 

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HI, (ground cables)

I received my car back from the dealer on Friday. The problem with the intermittent IMA was pinpointed to two ground cables from the body to the transmission/engine.

About 8 inches long, in the engine compartment near the fuses/relays on the driver side. They where corroded and almost broken.

This gave a bad connection for the engine's sensors and seems to have prevented the IMA to work properly. Only when it was really cold (-20C)

I have had twice the 12V starter situation and everything was fine

Yves.
 

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Hi Ariadne,

So did you bring your car to a dealer to check out the problem?
And was it like my problem, the ground cables between the transmisison and the body.
I noticed that your car is a 2000 like mine and the cables could be similarely corroded.

Yves.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Yves,

Here's what finally happened.

I took the car to Dale Sharp. The guys were super nice and had my car ready to go within 4 hours.

The official diagnosis was this: SCANNED IMA SYSTEM FOUND P1649 CODE FOR ABS OPERATION SIGNAL PROBLEM, RESET SYSTEM, CODED DID NOT RETURN, IF DOES MORE TESTIG WOULD BE NEEDED

In English, the anti-lock brake system was telling the IMA that it was malfunctioning. When the guys scanned the ABS and found nothing, they cleared out (reset) the computer and the code for ABS malfuction was not thrown again. There are additional tests that Honda can perform to see if anything else is wrong, but the technician thought it was unnecessary.

They charged me for a half hour of labor and a "SHOP SUPPLIES & ENVIRONMENTAL FEE FOR REPAIR ORDER" (for what -- writing up a ticket??). The whole thing cost $46.59 after tax.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Oh yeah -- they also didn't hassle me when I said I wanted a loaner. They gave me an automatic, grandma-colored 2004 Civic -- which was about as exciting to drive as a refridgerator. I'm *so glad* I have an Insight.
 

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Yeah I guess that could do it. When you demand enough stopping power to get ABS to actuate it will cut out the regenerative braking in order to minimize stopping distance. Hope it was just an intermitent failure.
 

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Ariadne said:
Oh yeah -- they also didn't hassle me when I said I wanted a loaner. They gave me an automatic, grandma-colored 2004 Civic -- which was about as exciting to drive as a refridgerator. I'm *so glad* I have an Insight.
dude! youve driven a refrigerator....i want one mommy! j/k
 
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