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I bought a silver 2000 insight for $5,000 a few weeks ago. Has 54k miles, nice condition, with cd changer and everyhting, except that it was sitting in the dealer lot for a year without being started to charge the IMA battery. I want to make absolutely sure that thats my problem before i go and replace it with a used battery from that honda recycling place in california for $800. Anyway when i start the car, it will usually start with the IMA starter, but sometimes uses the 12v starter. The "charging" indicator goes up about 1/4 way when i start the car, but about 2-3 seconds later the "IMA" warning light comes on and charging stops. During driving, i have never seen the IMA battery charging. I checked all the fuses, they are all good. Also, the 12v battery isnt charging properly. If i drive for a long time in the day or a short time with the headlights on, it dies out, seems to be when the 12v battery goes down to about 10v. Its a shame because even without the IMA i was getting about 78mpg on a 30 mile freeway testing. Anyhow, i took the cover off the IMA compartment and i tested the voltage of the 2 thick wires coming off the battery pack, read only 66v. I guess maybe that 66v is enough to operate the IMA starter, but maybe the batteries are so shot they cant charge up any more? Also, the voltage off the wires coming out of the DC/DC converter was like 11.5. Maybe the low voltage comiing off the IMA battery isn't enough to get a 12+v output from the DC/DC converter? Anyway thoughts and opinions would be appreciated. I'd hate to have to get rid of the car again because its a great little car, but it sucks that i have to put it on a battery charger every 40 [new york city] miles or so. p.s. the warranty seems to be no good because it was a salvage recovery [slight front corner hit]
 

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The IMA system including the battery is under warranty for 8 years/80,000 miles.
If you bought it for $5000 you got a great deal. Use the search function on this forum. There are several people that have had the main components changed out for $000 out of their pocket.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
even if i could drive the car without the IMA it would be alright. The only thing is that the 12v battery doesnt seem to charge up. does anyone know how i could possibly get around this?
 

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If the voltage is too low on the IMA pack the down converter will not be able to charge the 12 volt battery either. What you really need to find out is what the voltage on the IMA pack is when the engine is running. I'll assume that you know what you are doing back there with the IMA battery. :wink: There is a chance that the IMA battery is fine and the charge circuitry is messed up. Knowledge is the key. Do take care.
 

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Insightful Trekker said:
Sorry LoNOx1,
A salvage title means just that. AFAIK no manufacturer honors warranty on a salvage title. :(
:oops::oops: OOPS!!!!! I was in a hurry and missed the last sentence!!
 

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Hmm, kind of reminds me of my electric GEM. If the batteries are allowed to go below a certain threshold the charger won't turn on as a saftey feature and you have to charge them up individually. If the car did in fact sit for a year then that is deffinitely bad for the pack. Only 66 volts is way low. If you are so inclined here's what I would try for the chance that it might work. Charge it up. Even if it were just a basic diode brige power supply from 120vac it might put something back in the pack and maybe wake it up enough to live a bit longer. Or maybe even take the individual sub packs apart and check for any particularly low voltage on the sticks of batteries. You could probably get a cheap RC car or drill 7.2 volt battery charger and try and charge these up.
 

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Have you checked the voltage of the 12v. battery?
Have you tried a system reset?
If I used half or more of the IMA charge, I would have to do a reset to get it to charge all of the way up. I had a cheap Walmart $29 Civic battery. With the key on it would be 12.3v. With fan or stereo (with amp) on it would drop to 11.9v. I was getting a recal or resetting every one to two days.
I installed a Optima Yellowtop and I had the first recal yesterday in 10 days.
It is charging like it supposed to once again.
Here is a link to a post by the "Czar" of batteries, John Wayland.
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/honda-hybrid/message/18183

Also see:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=31503&highlight=#31503
 

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Before you spend thousands of dollars on new an used parts, get a service manual. You can read the IMA diagnostic codes. I describe how to do it here. Then you can follow the simple flow charts in the manual for each error code.

It's kinda stupid to throw around hundreds of dollars replacing parts on a guess (or the guesses of others you've described the problem to) when you have a computer that can tell you exactly what is wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
agreed; i already ordered bot the service manual and electrical manual from ebay. then ill work from there to figure out the exact problem. by the way. how can i tell if the dc/dc converter has been changed? it looks like the bolts that hold it in have been removed, they are very slightly marked, like someone using a ratchet on them
 

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Greetings motorxcycle2,
Reset is easy, remove the neg cable from the 12v bat. for about 10-20 seconds. The bat SOC gauge will be blank it should the do a forced charge cycle until the bat is 75-80% full. My 12v was dead and that was causing issues with charging. with the new bat its working fine.

motorxcycle2 said:
. by the way how do i do a system reset?
 

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A common battery failure mode (talking batteries in general, not cars or Insight particularly) is that a few cells die. Then you can't really charge or discharge the others very well through those dead ones. The 65 V reading sounds like it could be that. So I like the idea of checking the individual cells, trying charging them separately, etc. Of course, that requires great care since the whole battery voltage could be quite lethal.

But getting rid of the IMA is also viable. You could put a rectifier on the leads from the IMA motor/generator, and use it as an alternator. Not directly connected to the 12 V battery. It produces a widely varying voltage, depending on RPM, but likely typically on the order of 100 V. The you use a dc-dc converter to charge the 12 V battery. This one is expensive, at $580, but would work:
http://www.electroauto.com/catalog/dc-dc.shtml

Charlie
 

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Great deal!

I recently bought a 2000 Insight, with 61,000 miles on it. I was afraid of IMA problems so I paid the extra bucks to get a Honda Certified Car. It has a 1 yr 12,000 mile warantee on it from Honda. It is working and driving great, and I really enjoy the little car and I am very happy I bought it. Soo, taking that into consideration, you seem to have landed a good deal, because I paid $10,000 for my car and a additional $400. to have it trucked to my home. You should be able to get a whole new IMA system for the $5000. difference. And who knows, Honda of America might give you a break on the price of the equipment, as they have for most in the past.
Happy motoring,
Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #14
yay ! working, there was nothing wrong with it to begin with

heh didnt run the car for a while while i was going through the diagnostic procedures in the service manual. it was sitting for like a month. figured i better take it for a ride tomorrow so it doesnt get messed upo from sitting, so i left the battery charger on it over night. checked it in the morning, voltage was 13v. started the car, IMA charge meter was reading and stayed on. it didnt turn off. drove the car, has assist and everything, battery charge level goes to 100% too. 12v battery is also charging perfectly, its like 13.8 with lights/ac on. im happy. i thought i would have to put a few thousand $ into it to get it running. paid $5000 for car plus $21 for 2 cd changer magazines HAHA. all i need to get now is a windshield, new fron rotors. took it for a drive, was getting like 72 on the freeway. guess if they 12v battery is too low the whole car wont work right.
 
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