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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody,
I'm a new Insight owner (purchased my Insight 5 weeks ago). It was a low-mileage 2000 model (only had about 24,000 miles on it. I've since put about 1500 miles on it with a personal LMPG of 72MPG. It has been a great car -- up until last night. Last night during a 12 mile commute to work, it stalled during AIS three different times. On the way home it stalled during two different AIS. The symptoms are simple to explain. The car enters into AIS mode and soon after that (before I put the car back into gear), it stalls. The 12V battery charge and oil pressure indicator lights come on. Finally, I'm forced to turn the key to get the car to start again -- at which point the conventional starter fires up the engine. I came home and did some research on this forum and found several others having this problem:


Stuck SoC Indicator and frequent autostop stalls
Engine Stalls!
Lake of assist,stalls at auto stop.sometimes starts on 12v s
New Owner Panicked!
Insight is in the hybrid hospital

Similar to these posts, I've noticed in the last few weeks that I don't have much assist when needed. Also, the SOC NEVER moves. So, after reading these and some other posts, I did the following:

1. Checked the condition of the 12V battery -- It's in great shape and is fully charged.
2. Unhooked the ground cable from the battery, let it sit for a minute, and then hooked it back up. Then I turned the car on and revved the accelerator to 3500 RPMs and kept it there until the battery fully charged.

This morning, I drove back to work, for the first few miles, all seemed good. I had a lot of assist again and the car wasn't stalling. But after about 5 miles, most of the assist was gone again. BTW, the SOC was still reading full (perhaps one bar off of full -- but it wasn't moving at all). This evening, on the way home, I realized that I can make the car stall during AIS by simply turning on the headlights and radio.

I should also mention that I've had one (non-forced) recal about 400 miles ago. The CEL hasn't come on for me, and the IMA/BCM/MCM in this car are the originals. I've not found any mention of people having these problems within the last 1 1/2 years on this forum. Those people who got the problem resolved, did so by the dealership replacing the IMA/BCM/MCM. Questions:

1. Is this stalling problem pointing to an impending IMA light?
2. If I can demonstrate this to a Honda dealership, will Honda fix this for free, even without the IMA light?
3. Has there been some new revelation in the last 18 months regarding this problem that perhaps hasn't been posted here?

Thanks!
Bryan Walton
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also, I should make it clear that two nights ago, when I unhooked the battery cable, reconnected and then revved the car at 3500 rpms, that I DIDN'T have the EPS fuse pulled. So last night, I did just that. Unhooked the battery cable and reconnected, pulled the EPS fuse (leaving it out), and then turned on the car and revved at 3500rpms until the SOC showed fully charged. So, hopefully I'll have a recal here in the next few days.
 

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Bryan, I had that problem on my last Insight (2000 CVT). I never did get to the bottom of it, though I suspect there is some kind of electrical failure in the IMA management or DC/DC convertor. As you have the 10yr / 150,000mile IMA warranty in the USA (lucky so and so's) I would take it to a dealer to diagnose.
 

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bryankwalton said:
1. Is this stalling problem pointing to an impending IMA light?
2. If I can demonstrate this to a Honda dealership, will Honda fix this for free, even without the IMA light?
3. Has there been some new revelation in the last 18 months regarding this problem that perhaps hasn't been posted here?
1. Yes.
2. Probably not. But it costs nothing to ask.
3. Not to my knowledge.

Here's my theory. Your pack is almost dead. It probably has a high self-discharge rate. (i.e. It'll discharge just sitting there). The BCM does not realize this so you are driving around with an almost empty pack while your SOC gauge says it's full. IMA will not use the electric motor when pack voltage has dropped too low. This explains your stalling and lack of assist. I'm surprised you are not seeing more recalls but conservative driving maximizing regen will discourage recalls.

Forum rules prevent me from giving you any advice that will cause your IMA light to come on earlier than "normal". Hopefully it will it turn on before your warantee expires. The car is much more fun to drive when IMA is working correctly. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey, thanks for your replies. I'm going to keep driving it for several days and see if I can get a recal. I might end up taking it to the dealer, but I'm not at that point yet.

Flunkysama, I see that you are in Iowa City. Don't know if you noticed my location, I'm in Wilton (25 minutes east of you). Do you have any experience with Chezik-Bell Honda? Do they have some good hybrid mechanics there? I just bought this Insight about a month ago and haven't owned a Honda before, so I have no experience with that dealership. As for the IMA turning on before my warranty expires, the car only has 25,000 miles on it, so I've basically got three years left on the warranty. Hopefully, I'll get the IMA light before that.

As for only having one recal, its interesting what you said about the conservative driving. My one recal happened BEFORE I started driving like Wayne Gerdes recommends, minimizing use of the battery and maximizing MPG.

Thanks again for the replies. If anybody has anything to add, keep posting. I'm more than happy to soak up as much information as possible on this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
james said:
For future reference, you don't have to waste gas by doing this. Just drive normally, and it will come back to showing a full charge.
I wondered about that. Thanks for the tip.
 

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bryankwalton said:
Flunkysama, I see that you are in Iowa City. Don't know if you noticed my location, I'm in Wilton (25 minutes east of you). Do you have any experience with Chezik-Bell Honda? Do they have some good hybrid mechanics there?
This is just my experience/opinion. It's only 1 data point.
They are pretty good. See my recent thread on my broken cat. They get parts in quickly. They are happy to do recall/warranty work. They are usually quick. They are/were bucking for a service award which depended on customers surveys. On my Insight, they have done work for ECM recall, headlight switch recall, battery/BCM failure and now Cat failure.

I only had one problem. When my IMA light came on the first time, I took the car in and told them to check the IMA light and do the Headlight switch recall. They apparently did the recall work first, during which they probably disconnected the 12V battery. Then they checked for the IMA code, which was was lost when the battery was disconnected. Bottom line: Instead of a new Battery pack and BCM, I was charged a $50 diagnostic fee.

(I waited 3 more months for IMA light to come on again. Then I used the jumper trick to verify that a code that would get me a new battery pack was in memory. Only did I take it to Chezik-Bell, were ,after they did there own scan, they ordered the new pack and BCM and installed it.)

Like almost every place nowadays, the mechanics are strictly by the book. They follow the diagnostic flowchart in the FSM and that's it. They train Dealer mechanics not to think or understand things nowadays.

BTW: I would take my hybrid to a better than average auto mechanic over a average "hybrid mechanic" anyday.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi, another question about this problem. After forcing a recal, everything worked again for about 3 days, and now I'm back to the stalling during AIS. I haven't had the IMA light or the CEL light come on in the 6 weeks I've owned the car. So,

1. If I were to get my hands on an OBDII scanner, are there any codes that might come up that that could point to the problem, other than the P1447 and P1449? Or is these two codes really the only two of relevance?

2. Is it possible for there to be codes waiting to be read by the scanner, but not have the CEL or IMA lights on? Or does the CEL come on every time a fault code gets sent to the on-board computer?

3. I'm reaching here, I know -- pretend for a moment that the previous owner had the IMA light come on already with a P1447 code. If they managed to turn the light off, would that automatically clear the corresponding code in the computer, or is clearing them two separate processes? Hope that makes sense.

Thanks, Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I seem to be entering into new territory with my Insight this week. I had a recal this morning on my commute to work. This is after having one on Monday morning as well. So that makes two recals in 115 miles. I'll keep monitoring it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
bryankwalton said:
I seem to be entering into new territory with my Insight this week.
I had a recal yesterday morning. I had another one this morning. Just so you know, that means another recal after only 24 miles. The rate at which I'm having these recals is speeding up very quickly. Before September 17, I had only one recal in 1200 miles after having purchased this car. Since that one recal,

Recals:
September 17 (driven about 300 miles since that original recal)
September 21 (driven 115 miles since 9/17)
September 24 (driven 95 miles since 9/23)
September 25 (driven 24 miles since 9/24)
September 25 (driven 12 miles since previous recal on same day)
September 26 (driven 12 miles since 9/25)

With the increasing rate of these recals, I'm guessing that I'm due for an IMA light in the near future. (And yes, I'm still getting the stalls during AIS -- this morning it stalled during AIS, only 9 miles after my recal.) Stay tuned.
 

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From my experience it will unfortunately only get worse. You need to keep an eye out for the 12V battery light coming on, because within 10 minutes you will be on the side of the road. From memory the radio will go out first, followed by various parts of the dashboard then finally the engine. As soon as you get an IMA light, get the code read by a Honda dealership; with the generous IMA warranty in the USA you might get lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The Citrus Smoothie said:
From my experience it will unfortunately only get worse. You need to keep an eye out for the 12V battery light coming on, because within 10 minutes you will be on the side of the road.
Thanks. I'm definitely keeping an eye on everything these days. I'm afraid the fun of driving this car has diminished some lately. Last night, my SOC managed to hit the very top of the gauge. (It was previously stuck on 1 bar from the top for the last month or so -- except during the recals.) Now that the SOC is stuck at the top, I've lost my regen capabilities! I've still got the same other problems, completely random AIS stalls, little to no assist. At least before, I had regen braking. Now, I'm having to use my traditional brakes for every stop and for slowing down. And to throw salt in the wound, my recals have stopped in the last day. I don't want to force a recal, but it looks like I'm going to have to.
 

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If I were in your position, I would not force a recalibration by resetting the system through disconnecting the 12V. A reset will only fool the car into thinking everything is OK for a couple of days and put off the impending IMA code, which in this situation is what you actually need.
 

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Bryan,
"New Owner Panicked" was my first IC post. Weeks after purchase, my Insight stalled constantly during AIS and also began to recalibrate. There wasn't much interest from the dealership when I first reported these. After one particularly harrowing "drive" into work, she went back to the dealership with purposeful failure-is-not-an-option instructions.

No DTCs were ever retrieved (and they tried), so history is sparse. The car had 21-22K; it probably hadn't been driven much to start with, in addition to sitting in a sales lot without much exercise. My husband drove the car from the sales lot some 700 miles to our driveway.

The techs agreed that the stalling was reproducible and that it was bad. The IMA battery and both controllers were replaced. That was almost three years ago. So far so good...knockin' on the desk here, but not one recal nor AIS stall since she got the new stuff.

It's just a hunch, but I think long periods of inactivity can cause havoc with the IMA, as a system anyway. Maybe the long road trip was a factor. Good luck. I hope the problem is resolved soon and for good.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
sputnik said:
I hope the problem is resolved soon and for good.
Well, the IMA and check engine light came on this afternoon. So for now, I'm expressing a tentative hurray. I plan to drive the car to the dealership Monday evening after work. Hopefully, all will go well and I'll be getting a new battery.

One quick question: my dealership is about 30 miles away from me. Assuming the 12 volt battery is in good condition, will my car make it 30 miles to the dealership, without it going dead? I want to be sure that I can get to the dealership and that the dealer can see the CEL and IMA lights and be able to read the codes. I'm worried that with the IMA light on, if my 12 volt battery dies, I'll lose all that stuff. I'm not planning on driving the car until I drive it to the dealer Monday afternoon.

Thanks,
Bryan
 

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That depends on what the IMA malfunction is. Without a definate code, one could only assume that the battery is in a deterioratred state.

If you have a volt meter, check and see if the battery is geting 13.8 volts on start up. If it is, you should be ok for the trip.

Willie
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Willie Williford said:
If you have a volt meter, check and see if the battery is geting 13.8 volts on start up. If it is, you should be ok for the trip.
Good advice. And yes, I've got 13.8 volts on startup. I also got around tonight to doing the jumper trick to read the IMA code. Turns out the IMA flashes 75, which according to the manual means a P1648. P1648 is a MCM problem. Interestingly enough, I'm not getting the battery deterioration IMA code. I'll see what happens at the dealer. It may turn out that this stalling problem is just an MCM problem. I'll keep updating this thread as things progress.

Thanks,
Bryan
 

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OK. Time to give an update to this thread. I took my Insight to my dealer. After doing some diagnostic work on the car, reading codes, and talking with Honda. They decided that the BCM was faulty. They overnighted a BCM and replaced it. Then, they started up the car and took it for a test drive. Within a few minutes apparently, the IMA light and CEL lights came on again. They read the codes again and, surprise -- now I had a battery degradation light. So, they overnighted a hybrid battery from Honda and installed it yesterday. I picked up the car last night.

So far, everything seems to be running very well. The car is not stalling in auto idle stop mode anymore which I'm thrilled about. And I'm also thrilled to have a new battery and BCM. Those two parts are very expensive and they told me that without the warranty, those two parts from the dealer would have cost me around $4000.

However, I found it odd that they didn't replace the MCM (the paperwork confirms this). Unfortunately, I didn't notice this until after I got home. According to what I've read on this site, the extended IMA warranty details state that the BCM and the MCM should both be replaced (if they haven't already) when the battery is replaced. But I don't believe that the original 8/80000 IMA warranty has any such requirement fore MCM/BCM replacement. Given that my car is only 7 years and 25,000 miles, does the extended warranty not apply to me yet? I'm just trying to figure out if I have some basis for calling the dealership back and requesting that the MCM be replaced, too. I hope this all makes sense. If an updated MCM is going to help my new battery last longer, I don't want to miss out on this. I'd appreciate any input on this.

Thanks,
Bryan
 
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