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Discussion Starter #1
Well everyone... it happened. Friday night I started the Insight for the first time in a week. It almost immediately went in to a half way recal where it force charges some and the battery soc gauge slowly drops. But oddly suddenly the gauge jumped up and my IMA light came on. I've put probably 75 miles on it since and I still have assist and charge as if it were completely normal.

I must thank flunkysama for his "How to read IMA (and other) diag codes without a scanner" because I did just that and got code 77 "Battery Module deterioration". I tried to get the local Honda dealership to just read the code, make the call and order me my battery, but they wouldn't do it so I dropped the car off this morning. And I'm sure once they did get around to it they were done in all of 10 minutes. All well.

In retrospect, this is a 2002 model with 41,150 ish miles on it when the light came on. It had been doing some resetting recently, plus I had been letting it sit for up to a week at a time (man I love my electric car). It rarely ever did full fledged recal's where the battery gauge just dumped to 0 and force charged back up. I think I ever have had that happen maybe 5 times. However, the halfer type recal's happened occasionally, or a spin off of a halfer where it didn't immediately drop but first force charged a lot and slowly dropped the battery state of charge meter to about half.

I am sticking behind my theory that 02 and newer have a much better battery managment code (of course Honda is changing out 00 - 01 BCM's and MCM's whenever IMA packs need replaced). Mine never got even close to as bad as some of the other horror stories we've heard (MtnDrew from the yahoo group comes to mind here). I'm happy at the fact that I'm getting a new pack, but also kind of dissapointed it only lasted just over 40K miles. This almost has to be the summers extreme heat it was exposed to.

With what I've been reading it looks like there may be a couple weeks until they get the new pack so we'll see if it survives until then. I'm going to try and see if they'll let me play with the old one, but I'm not holding my breath.
 

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mine worked fine for almost all of the 2 months i waited for parts to show up. the IMA died a week before the parts showed up, but it was still charging the 12 volt, so i kept driving it. mpgs were within a few of normal, just had to use a bit more throttle to make it scoot.
 

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Our IMA light went off last week too. We left it at the dealer Saturday and they called back a couple hours later and said their computer scan tool wasn't working and to come pick it up and gring it back another day. The next day, the IMA light went out. We're still going to take it back up next weekend and let them check it out. Will the fault code still be stored in the Insight's computer?
 

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I just had my second recal in a week, which is unusual given the cold. They've been much more common in the heat of summer. I'm at about 48,000, and would love to get an IMA light before I install my MIMA harness :wink:

I have an early '03 and I've never had a huge problem with recals. But my pack feels "smaller" than it did when it was brand new. I suspect it was damaged by cold charging the first or second winter I had the car. There were some mornings where the temp was in the negative single digits (F), car started with 12v starter and force charged the pack for a few miles to warm it up. Now I have an engine block heater and small 120VAC ceramic core heater in the car, plugged into a timer in the house. The poor car still has to sit outside (no garage) but at least I can warm her up a little before my whopping 6.5 mile commute to work. :?

I've heard replacement packs don't come with a "fresh" 8yr/80,000mi warranty. Can anyone verify?
 

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Fenrir said:
I've heard replacement packs don't come with a "fresh" 8yr/80,000mi warranty. Can anyone verify?
AFAI remember the cold temp warming is an updated IMA system program. Should be an IMA life extending function.

Yup :!: All Honda replacement parts are only 12/12K. MIMAized Insights don't have an IMA warranty.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hmmm, going to be one week since they ordered the pack on Monday. Wounder how long I should wait to start bugging them about it. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well it finally went in to the failure mode others have described. I pulled the negative battery cable so it would reset. I started it and it returned to normal for a couple days (before the Civic came in). Last night I decided to take it for a ride since it hadn't been started in a week. It immediately went in to force charging and tried to recalibrate itself. Two miles later I got IMA and the check engine light. This time the IMA is disabled. Same codes as before. The CEL indicated an IMA failure and the IMA light indicated battery module deterioration. I guess it's time to start watching the 12 volt batteries voltage closely.

IMA problems? Let the car sit around for a week or two. You'll likely get the light.
 

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Rick said:
IMA problems? Let the car sit around for a week or two. You'll likely get the light.
Just a question, if you are serious what do you think would cause an insight with battery problems to fail sooner if it sits then one that has battery problems and is still driven?
 

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Getshocked.ca said:
Just a question, if you are serious what do you think would cause an insight with battery problems to fail sooner if it sits then one that has battery problems and is still driven?
One of the symptoms of a bad NiMH battery is a high self-discharge rate. NiMH batteries usually self-discharge at around 1% per day. A bad battery might do 30%-50% per day. So, after 2 weeks, the BCM in Rick's insight probably saw some extreme low voltages in the pack and trigger the IMA light.

I also think high self-discharge rates is why some people see recals that occur on regular basis.
 

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I want my light to come on so I can join the "new pack" club. Hmmm...perhaps I should just let it sit for a few weeks.

I'm at 70,000 miles. Recals are increasing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I can tell by the way it's acting that the self discharge is pretty major. If it were driven every day it would stay charged and could probably cope with it.

Your results may varry though. Hot temperatures will increase this a lot and repeated exposure (Phoenix in July comes to mind) I'm sure only compounded things.
 

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Rick said:
I can tell by the way it's acting that the self discharge is pretty major. If it were driven every day it would stay charged and could probably cope with it.

Your results may varry though. Hot temperatures will increase this a lot and repeated exposure (Phoenix in July comes to mind) I'm sure only compounded things.
Agreed. Rick and I are in a race to see who's battery gets here first. He's in AZ, I'm in FL. High temps do not go well with the battery. From my own experience, very weird things happen if you let the Insight sit for a couple weeks. Just this past summer, after we got back from vacation, the battery read full. Then after a while, it would just stop giving assist. If I let it regen a bit, it would have just that much worth of assist until it was on engine only. It wouldn't recal like I was expecting and it went like this for serveral hundren miles until I finally disconnected the negative battery terminal and forced regen. It recharged to about 2/3 then jumped to full. When the light came on earlier this month, my mom was driving so I don't know what exactly happened but I believe it came on during a recal. She said it went up to about 1/2 charge then jumped to full.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well the saga continues. A few days ago I figured I'd call Honda's main number and put a bug in them to maybe try and speed things up. I got a call back the next day after opening a case number, but I missed the call. This morning I recieved a call back and spoke with someone and he said he'd spoken with the dealership and they said they had a battery there and that someone, either he or the dealership would call me by the end of the day. He called back and said that the dealership did indeed have an IMA battery, but it was for another customer (not very reassuring).

At this point after I hinted as to how poor the car drives with no electric motor torque he asked if they had me in some sort of alternate transport, and I said no, but I have it on my own. So I'm thinking I could have very well gotten a rental out of it. I explained the situation as I needed to sell the car since I had gotten the new Civic and he said they'd try to expidite it as much as possible, but admitted there would be some lead time yet on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, it finally came in on Friday. I'm taking it in tomorrow to get it put in. In the mean time I decided to drive it one day (52 mile round trip) and due to either less or no background charge the mileage seemed almost better. On the way back right after I got off the freeway and was about 4 miles from my home I had the brake, and battery charge indicator come on. I turned everything off I didn't need, and luckily I made it home. I pulled in to my driveway and left it running, and stuck a volt meter on the 12 volt battery, and that's all I had was 12.0 volts! Eeek, so I charged it manually and it started normally after that with the IMA motor. So no, you can't just drive these things with a dead IMA battery.

FYI, calling Honda's main number doesn't do much good. All the guy on the other end did was end up calling the dealership and ask where the battery was when I specifically told them that the dealership has no way of tracking an IMA battery since the tech line has to order it for them. Ughh, 7 freakin weeks!
 

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Last week, we got a call from our dealer saying that they have an agreement with Honda that our battery will be in within 2 weeks. They were as displeased about Honda not giving out delivery dates as we were.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, dropped the car off at 8:00 this morning and just got back home with it around 3:00. Interestingly enough they replaced all the stuff that I thought they wern't supposed to. I got new BCM, MCM and Battery. The ticket for labor and the two modules would have been around $2,500 alone and that didn't include the $2,000 battery! I questioned why the 2 modules had been replaced and according to them the tech line told them to replace those. Now I'm really amazed it didn't take any longer to get those with others reporting 100 day waiting periods.

Interestingly on the way over there the car just didn't have it in it to power the radio. I turned it on and this caused the battery charge light to come on. I turned it off and everything was fine (other than the IMA and CEL lights). I've only driven a few miles, but so far so good. Another interesting thing was they said this one came from Japan whereas normally they are the redone ones made in California (I think). So I think I got a brand new one from the source.
 

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Rick said:
... Now I'm really amazed it didn't take any longer to get those with others reporting 100 day waiting periods...

Another interesting thing was they said this one came from Japan whereas normally they are the redone ones made in California (I think). So I think I got a brand new one from the source.
Not sure about your battery, but I would bet the BCM-MCM indeed came from Japan, and recently. This is where Honda suggested much of the delay on the controllers originated (our dealer mentioned it; American Honda hinted). Some of the earlier delays also probably resulted from strange distribution after parts arrived in the US ...speaking as a 100 day waiter (waitress? :) )

In our case, Honda cut it close taking so long to deliver parts and little Silver was nearly replaced with a Prius. It's great things worked out well on your delivery. Hope the new repair keeps your Insight in good form for many miles ahead! :)
 
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