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Discussion Starter #1
If you live in Florida and you really know the electromechanics of your Insight, I'm willing to drive to you for help. It seems that even though the IMA is going through the motions of charging and assisting, It "feels" like there is no assist at all. I had the dealer go over it with a fine tooth comb, and all they could come up with is cleaning the carbon out of the cylinder heads. The compression was too high. This didn't help. The engine seems fine and I really think it's the hybrid power train not helping and is giving me this huge lack of power/mileage.

If you live in Florida, I'm willing to take a Saturday and drive over. Doesn't matter where in Florida. I'm in Tampabay. There's a 12 pack in it for you if you can help me. I also fix computers (ironically) so maybe we can trade services.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
forced recal

I've done that several times. Being a 2000, it does it on its own, anyways. You're right. TN is a bit too far for a 1 day trip. Thanks anyways
 

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Well Dan,

It may be those used IMA batteries you replaced back at 147K miles.

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=1589
(so I am confused in regard to your sig's indication of replacement @ 179K)

That puts you at over 50K miles of use. Whether its more or less doesn't really matter. Its one of the increased risks of installing a consumable used part :(

For a 2000 model year there are updated MCM & BCM controllers that _may_ help extend IMA battery life when replaced with _new_ IMA batteries. BIG bucks though a $4000 + combo. :(

Batteries are always going to be a major cost consideration for hybrid cars. For those in hot climates install window vent shades that allow the windows to be "cracked" open without concern of a rain shower getting the interior wet and a conservative driving style will be the best _long term_ options for extending the IMA batteries life.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
battery appears to be fine

It goes through the motions of charging and assisting. The pack i bought only had 23k on it. Maybe someone can help me put a volt and ammeter on the IMA path for monitoring?
 

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Insightful Trekker said:
For those in hot climates install window vent shades that allow the windows to be "cracked" open without concern of a rain shower getting the interior wet
Insightful Trekker, where do we get them?
 

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The Insight senses current to indicate whether it is charging or discharging. If the sensining circuitry is working properly and you are seeing full readings on the meter under certain conditions, it means 1. that your batteries are getting charged at a heavy current 2. that your IMA motor is creating power 3. that the control circuitry is working.

About the only thing that would cause little power to be transfered would be a misreading by the current sensing circuitry. (you probably figured that out already). In that case it seems to me that you need an Amprobe (electricians tool). This tester fits around a current carrying wire to measure the current without having to disconnect the wire and insert the meter in series. This is way safer and easier than using a traditional ammeter. If your IMA battery is partially discharged you can force a charge by reving it up in neutral. It would be difficult to do this by yourself so perhaps you could get a friend to help.

If the amprobe verifies th4e current flow then your IMA must be assisting. In that case you might want to check the Vtec system etc....

I'm assuming that you have already verified the condition of the 12 volt battery. A bad 12 volt battery can cause numerous problems as it creates a constant load on the engine and IMA system.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
battery

I haven't check the 12V battery. It is a year old, but with the driving I do... The last time I replaced it, it almost felt like MORE of a drag than less. You don't live within driving distance do you?!? LOL!
 

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Sadly the common lead acid battery is remarkably fragile. Getting a good one is largely a matter of luck. The Optima batteries are in theory more durable. I would love to replace mine with one using a new technology. I'm looking for reasonable priced alternatives. :D
 

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Hi, Dan!

Sorry to hear about your difficulty. Is this the new pack that replaced the one I got? I have to say, I didn't get much time to play with your old battery, but I did indentify at least one module (of six cells) that had significantly lower voltage than the others when I first got the pack.

How are your electrical skills? Hooking up wires to monitor battery voltage is fairly easy, provided you have an electrical background and are comfortable working around high voltage. The current measurement is a little more tricky, it's probaly easiest to use a clamp-on probe.

I agree with b1shmu63 that if your IMA gauge shows assist, there is assist. The charge lights are a little less definite. An electric motor has very little to go wrong with it. If current goes in, torque goes out. So if it doesn't feel like you get the same torque you used to, maybe it's something with the gas engine? You have quite a lot of miles on it, maybe you should investigate that area? How is your EGR valve? That's been causing a lot of jerking around combined with power loss...

Just a thought...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Battery's OK

I had the battery load tested at Autozone and it's fine. The dealer says the engine is fine. I it isn't misfiring so the cylinders are all getting the same electricity. Maybe whatever feeds them all is faulty? Plugs are good. Good compression. Can the EGR valve be cleaned out? The OCV valve is new. The cadilitic converter is OK. There are no idiot lights on except the SIS, which has nothing to do with this problem. The air filter is fine. I wish there were someone in this area that really knows their car that could drive mine and compare. Mine is a 5 speed. Brakes are fine. The only time I notice the problem is under acceleration. It is kind of gutless. When cruising it gets great mileage. ....still scratching my head.
 

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Do you have access to an ODBII reader that can erase P-codes. If yes, I would actually remove the rear carpet and the two bolts that prevent access to the IMA main breaker.

If you do so and turn the beaker to Off , it migh bring codes that you need to erase. But you will see if there is a difference between the engine with the IMA and the engine without the IMA

Then you can say the the engine has something or the IMA has something. And then go further into the problem
 

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I second Yves's idea. That would be an easy way to determine if it's an engine or IMA problem. Without the IMA you'll notice you'll need to rev the engine more durring initial acceleration in 1st to avoid lugging the engine, but once you get it up in to higher rpm range so long as your not at wide open throttle (where you'd have a lot of IMA happening) the power should be about the same.

Keep in mind with the IMA disabled I think the DC/DC won't be working so don't drive too far with it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
don't have a code interpreter, but...

What if I just pull the IMA fuse?
 

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I don't know if that would have the same effect necessarily. Throwing the IMA breaker (which is very easy to get to) would totally kill the whole IMA system and would guarantee nothing would be happening in the background to change anything. In fact as the car see's it there will be a total IMA failure and you'll get a check engine light. But luckily all you have to do to clear it is to disconnect the 12 volt battery for a few minutes (and with both power sources off this will hard boot all electronics in the car anyways, which can't hurt) then hook it back up and turn the IMA breaker back on.

I wish I could help you more, but Arizona's a ways away.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I believe the IMA's working

I really paid attention to the IMA under acceration today and I believe it IS working. The gas engine is pretty sluggish. The EGR valve is $190. Is there any way to check this without replacing it?
 

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Well if it is the engine I would probably start by checking all the usual basic things you would on a normal car. I believe you've said you had your valves adjusted? Do a compression test, maybe tear it apart and check the cam, check the timing chain. I would imagine that one thing being ever so slightly off would cause a big world of hurt to the performance of an Insight engine. Heck if you could I'd even hook it up to an external exhaust gas analyzer and check for appropriate air fuel mixtures etc. If you had a good obd tool you could monitor electronic things like the response time of the oxygen sensors and such as well.

There is one other very distant possibility which I'm doubting because it would trigger a CEL. Most modern cars have their main program in the ECU and then have an emergency backup very basic program which will keep the car running enough to get it in to a shop. I know the backup circuitry contains only what is necessary to get you there and would result in decreased performance for sure.

You've got a lot of miles on your car as well, how are all the vaccum lines looking? A vaccum leak in the wrong place would surely cause a problem also.
 
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