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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my 1st gen for about a month now with little issues. I went to start it this morning and all the lights where dim, it cranked a couple of times and wouldn't start. I push started the car successfully but it ran rough and the power steering light, brake light, and 12 volt battery light where illuminated. The lights where extremely dim. I initially thought alternator but come to find that one does not exist. The Battery pack has no bars at all... I'm lost. I have the charger on the 12 volt battery as we speak but as I understand it, even if my 12 volt was dead the IMA should have been able to start the car. I really don't think I left anything running last night, any help would be appreciated.

Side Notes: IMA light has not been on at all.
I've also had the check engine light on and off intermitantly about an o2 sensor(shouldn't relate but thought I'd mention).
 

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Ideally your battery should have a resting voltage of about 12.4 to 12.6. A shorted cell would drop that by about 2 volts to about 10.6. If that is the case I would replace the battery and see if the symptoms go away. If you can't get it much above 12 volts then it is probably just worn out.
 

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I went to start it this morning and all the lights where dim, it cranked a couple of times and wouldn't start.
Was it trying to start using the IMA motor (silent) or the 12 v. starter motor (cranking sound similar to all non-hybrid cars)?

I have the charger on the 12 volt battery as we speak but as I understand it, even if my 12 volt was dead the IMA should have been able to start the car.
That's not true because the IMA system requires 12 volts to boot its computers and controllers so that the IMA motor can be used to start the engine. So with a weak 12 v. battery as it seems you had (dim lights, etc.), the IMA motor probably could not be used and there might not have been enough power in the 12 v. battery for the 12 v. starter motor to spin the engine fast enough to start.

You might also check the ground straps from the engine and transaxle for corrosion or breakage (they're under the fuse box on the driver's side of the engine compartment near the front). Checking the 12 v. battery cables for corrosion might also be a good idea. And having your 12 v. battery tested might indicate that it is bad which can cause all sorts of odd electrical problems.
 

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Disconnect the 12V and then try to jump start the car with cables (from another car). After the 1-2 minute battery relearn, the car should run strongly. If so, your 12V battery died. They're only supposed to last 6 years.

Let us know what you find.



I've had my 1st gen for about a month now with little issues. I went to start it this morning and all the lights where dim, it cranked a couple of times and wouldn't start. I push started the car successfully but it ran rough and the power steering light, brake light, and 12 volt battery light where illuminated. The lights where extremely dim. I initially thought alternator but come to find that one does not exist. The Battery pack has no bars at all... I'm lost. I have the charger on the 12 volt battery as we speak but as I understand it, even if my 12 volt was dead the IMA should have been able to start the car. I really don't think I left anything running last night, any help would be appreciated.

Side Notes: IMA light has not been on at all.
I've also had the check engine light on and off intermitantly about an o2 sensor(shouldn't relate but thought I'd mention).
 

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Thanks for all the help. After charging the battery the car started right up and I drove about 100 miles. I am certain I did not leave anything on overnight so I'm still unsure as to why it happened at all. I will look into causes if it happens again tomorrow morning. The battery has given no symptoms of weakening. Thanks again.
 

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The 12V battery in the Insight can be extremely weak and you would never know it since no real load is ever presented to it, at least compared to a car that starts with the 12V starter.

It's probably just a coincidence that it died. Could be from something as simple as sitting with the ignition on for a few minutes after you got home.
 

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Alot of batteries have little punch cards on top that say when they were installed, might be worth checking if you have a really old one
 

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Thanks for all the help. After charging the battery the car started right up and I drove about 100 miles. I am certain I did not leave anything on overnight so I'm still unsure as to why it happened at all. I will look into causes if it happens again tomorrow morning. The battery has given no symptoms of weakening. Thanks again.
Since the car doesn't normally start with the 12V battery, you won't get a warning when the 12V battery starts to die like you would with a regular car (slow cranking, etc).

If you haven't already, pop the top off of the 12V battery and check to see if one or more cells are dry. If so, top them off with distilled water and put it back on the charger.

It is important to do that on a monthly basis, especially if you live in a hot climate. It will extend the life of your battery significantly.
 

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On a slightly related topic - if the 12v battery is so weak, should one never use the accessory power for a long time (for example - sitting in your car listening to the radio for 15 minutes with the engine off)?
 

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On a slightly related topic - if the 12v battery is so weak, should one never use the accessory power for a long time (for example - sitting in your car listening to the radio for 15 minutes with the engine off)?
It will most likely be fine, but if you have a weak battery it could do it in. Best way is to monitor your 12V voltage.
 
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