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Discussion Starter #1
I found a great deal on a used 2000 Honda insight. 183,000 mi for $1300. Only thing is that it is a little hike from where I am at. The owner thinks the battery is going out. The owner also said that the car has died on him while on the highway before. He was able to restart that car and it was fine.

I don't know if this problem would be related to the IMA battery going out, and if disabling it then driving the car back to my house would be OK. I'm concerned the car will not make the long highway hike.

Anyone have any experience with this. Do you think if I disable the IMA before driving the car back I would be OK?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
To quote the seller...

"after a little bit a light on the left side comes on and says auto something and the battery light goes off and the car dies while driving"

I'm trying to get more info/pics from them. Any clue from this vague description? Please keep in mind I have never owned one before or have seen this particular car.
 

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I had a problem with my car dying in autostop (not restarting). This was caused by the 12 Volt battery going bad. After awhile, it would start via the backup starter. I would check the 12 V battery as a start.
 

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Just how far away is it and do you have AAA that would cover the tow if it quit? For $1300 I don't expect to just sit in a new purchase and drive 1,000 trouble free miles home unless the seller is pretty sure it will make it and you trust his word.

Actually I bought one a few weeks ago, similar price, bad battery, and drove it home 500 miles no problem but I knew the car well. Got a cheaper one before that with a good battery but only got 5 miles down the road before it quit and I had to have it towed. Within AAA tow limit so no charge.
 

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Install something to monitor the 12V battery charging and if OK between 1200 and 4K rpm, drive it home. Try not to drive much at night or with a heavy 12v battery "load",

HTH
Willie
 

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Might just need to bypass the IMA

The owner thinks the battery is going out. The owner also said that the car has died on him while on the highway before. He was able to restart that car and it was fine.

I don't know if this problem would be related to the IMA battery going out, and if disabling it then driving the car back to my house would be OK. I'm concerned the car will not make the long highway hike.

Anyone have any experience with this. Do you think if I disable the IMA before driving the car back I would be OK?
Sounds like the classic IMA battery finally giving up and no longer charging the 12V system. As long as you know how to do an IMA bypass, it should be ok (and as long as the 12V battery is ok).

My 0.02 worth,
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is the link below the correct IMA bypass and will the 12v battery still charge when this bypass is done such that it is drivable?

I live about 5 hrs from the seller
 

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Yes, those are the correct instructions, you'll need a Torx-T30 also if you don't already have one.
 

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Just to reiterate and expand a little on what others have said...

In general the problem could be just about anything, but most likely it's 12V and IMA related. Assuming it IS IMA/12V-related:

-check the three main grounds - two big ones under and right of airbox and the 12V neg cable, make sure they're attached and sound...
-if possible, verify that the 12V battery is OK, maybe charge it a bit before you leave the place, ask the owner about it and maybe have him charge it over night before you go there...
-bypass the IMA as those instructions describe
-bring some tools and a sleeping bag, water, etc., maybe even an extra 12V battery if you have one...

If the problem is 'just' 12V/IMA-related then you shouldn't have a problem getting home. Verifying that you've got a functional 12V battery/grounds and bypassing the IMA will get you around that... You'll be driving home 'gas-only', motive power will be weak, the 12V battery won't charge at idle or over 4000 RPMs (more reason to make sure the 12V is functional and/or bringing an extra one; it may not be functional considering that it has likely been running in a low charged/discharged state and probably sitting a lot, too)...
 

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Play it safe: Bring A Trailer. Very tough for folks to give you reassurance without any meaningful info of the problem. Maybe the seller is purposely vague?
 

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If you are willing to take a few chances and are willing to pay a tow, then I suspect it can be done. Bypassing the IMA is a pretty critical step to pulling this off. Realize that it is going to take you a while to make the car reliable and to check it out thoroughly, even after you get it home. A trailer would be best. A tow dolly can work, but the insight is pretty low and sometimes you have to adapt tow dollies.

Otherwise, I like eq1's list above.
 

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+1 what Freezin said above. What's the worse that can happen? You can get stranded in "Bum F.... Indiana" and that's the last place you want to be. Take a trailer and play it safe.
Gerald
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've always been the adventurous type so if something did go wrong it would make for an interesting new years :)

I do have a buddy that has a truck/trailer setup and he is willing to help out so I might go with that route.

I'm not getting a vibe that the owners are trying to be shady in any way. They have even said that they would not feel comfortably driving 5 hrs and would hate for me to be stranded. They have been forward with me thus far. Something tells me as long as if I disable the IMA and maybe bring a spare 12v I would be OK.

Still waiting on more info from owners though. I'm looking to go this coming weekend
 

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I brought my car home on an 11 hour drive the same way.

Disabled the IMA, changed the oil, aired the tires, a new 12v battery, and off I went.

Only about 200 miles into the trip, the loudish input shaft bearing had turned into a raging input shaft bearing. At idle in neutral it sounded like a coffee can full of gravel was attached to the engine crank.

I couldn't get it into first or third, and fifth gear was popping out. Spent the next 500 miles gritting my teeth and using only second and fourth gears. And with wistful thoughts of new transmissions dancing through my head. Took took me back to my high school days and my then-30-year-old vw beetle... a vehicle that spent more time "limping the rest of the way there" on roadside repairs than driving normally.

If I had it to do over again would I have just paid to have it shipped? Heck no, I know that I made it :). But it was a nail biter.

Your mileage may [literally] vary.

Sam

EDIT: BTW, I recorded 62 mpg for the trip, with no IMA and going no higher than 4th. Love my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Samwichse, I don't know how I feel after reading your post!

Owner said it currently shifts very smooth so hopefully that scenario doesn't happen lol
 

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I say just drive it back. 5 hours isn't that far away and we all have cell phones. It's not the end of the world if you do get stranded. The most likely thing that would keep you from getting back is if the 12V battery gets too low.

Mostly what EQ said... take a spare battery (the $30 lawn mower option would work), jumper cables, some way to measure 12 volts. The main tools you'll likely need is a metric socket set (mostly 10mm and 12mm), wire cutters that can cut and strip the jumper cables if needed, and maybe a screwdriver or two.

Most of the bolts for the IMA bay are just 10mm, but some may be a large star tool size. I don't know what size (edit: they're torx T30 according to the bypass instruction), I've been able to get them off in the past using an allen wrench. Even if you can't get into the IMA bay to do the bypass, It's likely that the IMA system works well enough to charge the 12V battery at least temporarily. If it looks like it's getting charged when you're picking the car up, but then, down the road it throws an IMA light and the battery light comes on, then you can pull over and either pull fuse 16 or disconnect the 12V battery to reset the code.
 

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Speaking of 12V battery problems, I bought a car on Ebay a few years ago, not an Insight, and took a plane to pick it up. Got about 50 miles out when the battery light comes on. Still had 800 miles to go. Find an Auto Zone and buy a cheap voltmeter and find the alternator isn't working. Now this wasn't a car you could easily swap out the alternator from, especially in the parking lot, and the chance there would be a replacement anywhere in the country was slim. So I did some calculations and figured a fully charged battery would probably let the car run 2 hours if I left off the headlights, plus a hour for charging, I could get home in a day and a half with one night in a motel. So I bought a battery charger and a 50 foot extension cord and started on the adventure. Finding a place to plug in every 2 hours wasn't too hard and more than one guy asked if it was an electric car. Finally made it home late at night the next day driving with parking lights and flashers through the night.
 

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If you do decide to drive it home, definitely take a fresh 12v with you and put new ground straps on.
I guess if you have the time (in case you get stuck on side of road), or friends you can phone who can reliably come to your rescue, it may make the decision easier.
But still, renting a UHaul trailer and borrowing a truck would still be my first choice. ****take a stack of 2x8s to raise the from tire if using the UHaul car hauler **** this will aid you in strapping the tire down.

Where is the car? Maybe a forum member can help check it out with you or for you.
Keep us informed. Best wishes.
 
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