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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to share my experience:

2000 5 speed with 181,000 miles. (I bought it used with 160,000 miles at the end of December 2005.)

In the last month or so, I'd been getting more recals than usual (about twice per gas tank, so one every 300 miles). Last Thursday, I had what looked like a normal recal on the highway, but instead of recharging slowly, my battery level showed a full charge within a minute. The IMA light came on, and I had no charge/assist.

I took the car to the dealer on Friday (needed an oil change soon anyway). On the way to the dealer, the battery indicator light (12v) came on. My service advisor said he thought it might just need a new 12v. Unfortunately, I got a call from my service advisor at the end of the day, saying I need a new IMA battery and control units. (I have code P1449.) They quoted $6500 for the replacement.

My service advisor said I could pick my Insight up and bring it back to the dealer if I wanted to have them replace the IMA battery. He said I could try driving without the IMA. When I picked it up, the 12v battery indicator light was off. The next day, the 12v battery indicator came back on. A few minutes later, my stereo turned off, my dash lights flickered out and my Insight stopped running. :(

When Honda's customer service center opened on Monday, I gave them a call to see whether they would help me pay for the replacement. (I can't afford it myself, so if they can't help me, I'm afraid I'll have to sell my baby.) The rep I spoke with wrote down a lot of information about me and my Insight. He said he would give the information to a Honda good will representative who would talk with my service advisor and me to determine what Honda will do. He said I'd hear from Honda in 1 to 2 business days. (I am very impressed that Honda is even considering helping out with an IMA problem for a car that is out of warranty, especially since I am not the original owner.)

When I hear from Honda, I'll post an update.

My friend (not a mechanic) was with me when my baby died on the highway, and he said it looked like an alternator problem (obviously in addition to the IMA problem). I have since read a few posts on the forum about the 12 volt draining after the IMA dies, so I'm guessing that's what happened. Does anyone know if this causes an more permanent damage to the Insight, beyond the preexisting IMA problem?

I'm borrowing a Jeep Cherokee until I get my Insight sorted out. I miss everything about my car so much. Buying such a high mileage car with the original battery, I obviously knew this was coming at some point. I just didn't expect how easy it is to fall in love with these cars. :cry:
 

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When the IMA totally fails you can be in 12v discharge. There is no alternator. The alternator functions of a "regular" car are built into the IMA system on the Insight.

The $6,500 you were quoted should also include updated controllers (MCM & BCM). The batteries alone should be around $2,000. Ya its still a lot, but they more than paid for themselves in all the gasoline saved over the last 180,000 miles. :) The updated controllers are designed to further extend IMA battery life. _AFAIK_ highly desirable, but optional.

Battery replacement is not high skill job (the MCM & BCM 's are elementary and all are time consuming to get to). If cost becomes a problem for you get the job(s) priced separately and shop around.

1) IMA battery parts & labor w/o MCM & BCM
2) IMA Battery parts alone
3) MCM & BCM parts alone

(you've already got the total package price)

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the information about possibly replacing only the battery. Depending on what I hear from Honda customer service, I'll check with a few local dealerships to get quotes and ask about the possibility of keeping my MCM/BCM.

I had no idea that I don't have an alternator! :)
 

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If it's the original 12 volt battery replace it anyways, if not get it checked out. With no IMA the DC/DC will cut out and the car will be drawing off of the 12 volt battery for power. If your not going on any long trips a fully charged and good 12 volt battery should suffice to power what is needed. When mine went I was able to use it some by recharging the 12 volt after every use, and let me say I'm glad I had the larger Optima battery in there to take up the slack.

As a possible option you could look in to a pack from a junk yard, but try and find out if it has sat around for a while or not first, and see if they'll give you at least a couple of months warranty on it. Fair warning though, if the pack has sat around unused for a significant period of time it may not be up to snuff. Some here have gone this route and gotten the IMA light again after a short period of time.
 

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Dying IMA

I suspect my IMA is dying with just over 82,000 miles. In particular, it takes great effort to get the overall charge to reach 3/4 & rarely show full anymore. Is there any action I can take now with Honda which will help me avoid paying for the replacement in the near future? Does the dealer have a diagnostic tool that can identify a dying battery pack?
 

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Re: Dying IMA

ubi_wampum said:
Is there any action I can take now with Honda which will help me avoid paying for the replacement in the near future?

Does the dealer have a diagnostic tool that can identify a dying battery pack?

Question 1 see:

US IMA warranty extension
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=4796

Just have it done while you in your winter ( :?: ) location.

Question 2, No. There is no easy way to evaluate the remaining service life of an IMA battery pack. With that said there is all kinds of strange, unusual, worrisome but completely _normal_ IMA SoC gauge readings. The first "diagnostic" step (without a code present) is an IMA reset. Simply remove the -12v battery connection for about 1 min. A "safer" procedure is described here:

IMA reset proceedure
http://www.insightcentral.net/encyclope ... orage.html

If your "problems" are gone for several days of "normal" driving then its all that was needed. If not then getting the 12v battery tested is also a good idea. Followed by a thorough inspection of the main ground points for "invisible" corrosion.

Ground Cables Connection Mod
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=3196

(beefing up the cables is optional)

Also see:

Recals, Forced Charge, IMA Battery & thermal mgmt - long
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=750

for a more comprehensive discussion if the IMA system and SoC.

HTH! :)
 

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Thanks!

Trekker: You should get paid for all your great advice. I am surprise Honda (If they have the sense to monitor the valuable info on this sight) has not offered you a position!

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
:D :D :D

I just talked to a Honda customer service person, and they're covering half the cost of replacement (parts and labor)!

I can't wait to see how she drives with a new battery!
 

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IMA function has improved

I disconnected the 12 volt and the IMA recalibrated itself & seems to be operating ok now. Thanks again for the help. So much easier to come to insightcental.com for advice than to a dealer.
 
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