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Discussion Starter #1
Since my own unfortunate experience with Insight IMA failure (on its first day with me), I have scanned about 1/2 the pages in the P & T section of our forum and found at least 20 people who have had issues from 'mystery lights' to complete failure and replacement of the IMA modules. The milage at failure varies wildly from as little as 24,000 (warranry fixed) to as much as 205,000! (That one got his money's worth.) But the common point is, all incedents I found so far, have been with the 2000 & 2001 cars. Anyone out there with a 2002 onward had a failure? Mystery lights that come and go? (Please form a line here _____> :) )

Could it be that Honda engineering finally noodled out the problem for the '02 onward? My S.W.A.G. is that they found the battery sticks were unscrewing themselves from road vibration, the loose places were causing arching hot spots and failures. Simple fix I would have applied is something as basic as tapeing the cells together end to end after the assembly is together torqued to spec, then into the holder tubes they would go. Or even lock washers.

I sure hope that's the case, since the 'organ donor' IMA pod my car is receiving is from an '04 with 'only one mile' on the clock. I don't know how they'd prove that, since the dash is dead without juice to it. And that it 'wakes up' since there's no telling how long it's really been since it was actively charged up.
 

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All of the batteries are connected in series - if a connector or something for one of them came loose you would have a sudden and dramatic failure rather than an inability to hold charge, which seems to be the most common type of IMA failure.

I'm not sure if this happens in the type of cells used in the IMA, but usually the failure of rechargable batteries is due to dendrites growing on the electrodes, eventually shorting out the battery. They can also fail (eventually) as a result of mechanical stresses. (heat and pressure associated with charging and discharging)

Either way I think your title might be a bit misleading. 20 IMA failures doesn't seem like enough (given the board population) to say that IMA failure is "common" on any year of Insight.
 

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Battery connections wiggling loose is a probability, but they do have a sort of heat shrink wrap around each stick of cells so it's not like they're just sitting there loose in free air. My 02 has been fine so far less some heat related recalibrations and cut back.

There is one thing on pre 02 cars that would possibly point to something though. They have new part numbers for the recommended replacment MCM and BCM when you replace the pack. I'm still woundering what exactly that update does, but by what I gather it lessens full assist slightly and narrows the state of charge range it allows you to use.
 

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Keep in mind that 8,514 of the 12,794 Insights sold in the US are 00 and 01, and they are most likely to have more miles on them. Or they've sat around neglected like the 01 I purchased last year with 11.5k miles on it. It hasn't had any IMA related problems but the cats are operating less and less efficiently and will be replaced under warranty, at 24k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, but...

"All of the batteries are connected in series - if a connector or something for one of them came loose you would have a sudden and dramatic failure rather than an inability to hold charge, which seems to be the most common type of IMA failure"

Foxpaw, in a complete disconnect, exactly, but a loose connection will raise havoc like voltage variations, high resistance, hot spots, etc. which are all in the 'codes' for IMA failure.

"Either way I think your title might be a bit misleading. 20 IMA failures doesn't seem like enough (given the board population) to say that IMA failure is "common" on any year of Insight."

Well, that makes is about 1 in 70 for the member population of 1419 cars that range the whole production '00 thru '05. And my 'estimation' was from only about 1/2 the 19 pages of the prob and t'shooting section. Might even be more from an unknown number of 'lurkers' on the board that haven't said anything yet.

"but they do have a sort of heat shrink wrap around each stick of cells so it's not like they're just sitting there loose in free air."

Rick, thanks for the info, I haven't been able to open up a pack yet, and was hoping they had a bright idea like that already.

"new part numbers for the recommended replacment MCM and BCM when you replace the pack."

Perhaps that's where the fix was put in on all the later cars. If it does what you suspect it likely would ease a lot of stress on the IMA pod.

"Keep in mind that 8,514 of the 12,794 Insights sold in the US are 00 and 01, and they are most likely to have more miles on them. Or they've sat around neglected "

Romir, nice info on the sales figures. Seems we have a microscopic population among the car world in the USA. But does the mileage alone figure much? Some of these failures were in 'young' cars. Course, that might mean they sit around a lot, too. Is your '01 a 'late' one with a high serial number? Might have the newer units in it.

Well, back to work now.
 
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