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Discussion Starter #1
So, my 2001 Insight had only 2 bars of charge when I started it this morning- what could cause this? It wasn't driven since Saturday afternoon and thus sat for 2 nights and one full day. It has been cool and rainy here in NH; in fact the temp. dropped close to 30 degrees in one evening thanks to a wild T-storm that dumped hail and rain! I was wondering if this might have something to do with it?

I'm trying not to worry too much because I only drove it for 2.5 miles and between downshifting, braking and forced charging it is now 2/3 full again.

Am I just paranoid because it is my first hybrid? :D
 

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My experience. . .

Dear megsabelle,

My one experience with an erratic IMA battery episode, ended up being a dying to dead 12v battery. The car would start, and the IMA battery would charge back up to near normal levels. Yet by the next morning its levels would be lower. Finally by about the third day, the car wouldn't start at all, and I had to have it towed to the dealer. It ended up being the 12v battery, and costing me a bit for their 'diagnostics' and battery replacement.

I hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: My experience. . .

Since I'm a newbie, can you explain this a bit more? I know that the IMA can charge the 12V- is this the battery under the hood?
 

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IMA/12v batteries. . .

Hi megsabelle,

Yes, the 12v is the small but conventional looking battery under the hood. As I understand it, like all cars the Insight's operating sequence begins with the 12v battery, and then the two batteries work together to charge and keep the entire system in running order.

Anyone else, with a better understanding of this symbiosis please correct me if I am wrong! I certainly don't want to give out flawed information. In my opinion though, the owners manual does not stress the importance of the 12v battery strongly enough.

Best regards.
 

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Re: IMA/12v batteries. . .

Thanks, rkitamata, I'll see how it does tomorrow (or today after work). When I bought it about about a month ago, the dealer said they dropped a new battery in it, so I'm hoping this was a fluke. :D
 

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99% of the time somthing that looks "funny" about the IMA SoC gauge is normal. Without other reproducable symptoms or an IMA warning light theres nothing to worry about.

See:

Recal's, Forced charge, IMA Battery and Thermal mgmt - long
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=750

for more than you probably want to know anout the IMA batteries.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, John. Yes, other than the low battery charge (and a wet seatbelt- I've been visiting those discussions in the forum, too :D ), it is right as rain. No problems with it in the heat- we had a spell of 80s-90s and humid for about 2 weeks (if I recall from the linked discussion on recals, heat is an aggravating factor). Do you know if sharp declines in temperature and humidity mess the SoC?

On a positive note, I used my birthday as an excuse to get some seat covers [I wanted the good neoprene ones, but since I need to align my finances after the purchase of the car, I'm holding off and settled for a package from PepBoys- 2 seat covers, a steering wheel cover, seat belt covers (handy with my wet seatbelt issue) and one of those cd organizers that goes on your visor for $29.99], new floormats (which match the black and gray of the interior and the new covers), a rubber cargo liner and new speakers. All of this for under $150! My driving techniques are improving- with the warmer temps and monitoring of tire pressure, my last tank of gas averaged 62 MPG. Considering I typically drive under 10 miles per day, I'm pretty happy!
 

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If you own a few 12 V batteries and wish to keep them for a longer period of time and in top condition, you might want to take a look at a "BatteryMinder". These devices(fancy battery chargers) are really something. I used mine on a battery that I would normally have thrown out, but it actually cleaned the sulfation off of the plates and now the battery is miraculously usable. I was amazed. A normal battery charging via running the car, just isn't going to bring one back to life/good condition. They must be "cleaned" or desulfated. Google for "BatteryMINDER". I suggest to get the BatteryMINDer "Plus".
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, she held her charge overnight, thank goodness! But, I was greeted with a completely flat tire instead :(

Of course, no one around here has the right size tire in stock! Should be all set tomorrow. Luckily, I keep sealant and an air compressor in my car!
 
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