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Ok, so here is the deal, a couple months back, my son bought his first Insight, a 2001... The guy told him the IMA battery was toast... My son drove it to work 2 days and the 12v was completely depleted... We bought a new 12v, and found a new grid charger in the back under some stuff, so we hooked it up, and amazingly the IMA took a full charge after about 16hrs... IMA light went off, car ran good, no issues, even seemed to be charging everything... We did have to plug it in a couple times, because it seemed the new 12v was not charging, found out later it was a faulty brake light switch that would activate when you shut the door, thought we had it fixed but it happened again, we fixed it and adjusted the switch so it doesn't come on til you press about an inch down on the pedal, so all is good there... But because of all that we now have a new issue... When the switch depleted it this time, it seems the IMA was depleted as well, we charged the both batteries... The battery level indicator is not showing a charge now... on a side note, the 12v was hooked up backwards for a split second upon reinstall from charging... all fuses have been checked and so have relays, except for the ones in the IMA battery area... The rest of the gauge cluster is working fine, the battery level indicator goes up and down when you turn the car on but shows no actual battery level now... we are at a loss...
 

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Ouch, hooking up the 12V backwards is gross abuse. It could have damaged something in IMA area, but good that dash is right. Maybe you haven't given the IMA battery time to charge. Usually after a 12V reset, you have to either drive the car for a while OR sit still and fast idle (3500RPM) for a few minutes to get IMA state of charge to indicate bars. After about 4-5 minutes it should start at 1 bar and climb from there.

I'm a bit worried about the MCM in the back. Peter will confirm, but I think your 12V mishap can potentially damage that.

Battery level up and down?? Haven't seen that. While driving or while idling?

Do you have any codes showing ?? Check engine light?? Battery light?? Anytime the battery light is lit, the dc-dc converter (no alternator on car) isn't charging the 12V.
 

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I think you have blown a fuse/fuses probably under the dashboard.

Pull out the cubby hole and use the schematic on the back to check every IMA or 'book' symbol fuse.

Use a continuity meter not just visual inspection.

Reverse polarity could seriously damage things so keep your fingers crossed.
 
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