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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm brandy new to the forum and I need help for multiple issues. Ultimately, I am willing to pay someone trustworthy and experienced with this car to help. Though I've been trying to slog through on my own so far, the issues have multiplied faster than I've been able to address them. I don't know anyone who knows about these cars, I don't trust the local dealerships, and my trusted mechanic is not experienced with hybrids.

Everything I know about the insight I learned on this forum, so I'm starting here! Hello!

My car has been (mostly) functional till last night. The IMA light came on yesterday on a long commute and the gauge dropped to one bar. The 12v battery light came on. It's come on before, but only intermittently. It was fine for most of the day, but after dark, on the way home the dash lights and headlights flickered and the engine lost power and I rolled into a rest stop and the car died. I jumped it, got it started, and after running for a couple minutes, the dash lights flickered and it started to die again. I got it towed home. This is my problem that needs immediate attention. Tonight I'm going to try and troubleshoot this to see if my IMA is dead/dieing. I was thinking of pulling the negative lead on the battery to reset things, but I think instead I'm going to charge the 12v battery enough to drive my car to Autozone and check the codes for some more insight (heheh) before I pulled the battery lead and reset everything. I expect a laundry list of codes for reasons explained further down. Any further advice on how to proceed troubleshooting this particular issue is most welcome.

Previously, the IMA has been working. Charges and assists, autostop works, although sometimes it seems like it discharges or something overnight. I'll end the day with a decent charge, and it'll be at two bars in the morning and I'll need to run it a bit before the assist and autostop works.

Now I'm going to give the long list of somewhat less urgent issues. There are enough of them and confusing enough that it's getting to a point where any help from someone experienced with these cars would be very helpful, and if there is someone nearby in Southeast CT willing to dig in, I would be willing to pay for direct intervention because I don't have time or experience to deal with it all.

I bought a 2000 Honda Insight manual transmission with ~165,000 miles about a month ago.
Problems I new about when I bought it:

- CEL on - only showing 1 code for air intake temperature sensor
- Grinding 2nd gear - bad synchro (only happens when down shifting - can be avoided by pushing shift towards 1st gear while clutch is pressed before putting into 2nd gear - ignoring this issue until it gets worse)
- Erratic idle - fluctuates between 1500 and 2000. Runs jerky when cruising near idle.
- mouse pee smell

I thought the erratic idle was related to the IAT sensor. Fixed the sensor by repairing a broken wire. I also found 2 broken engine block ground wires and re-attached them. It removed the IAT code, but didn't fix the idle.

Then I discovered the rubber cap was missing from the idle adjustment screw of the throttle body. I knew it must have been tampered with by a previous owner and attempted to adjust it a little because the idle continued to fluctuate. I have since discovered from perusing the forums here that this is not the proper way, and screw adjustment must be done in tandem with a volt meter to measure output voltage and set to 0.48 volts. I haven't quite figured out how to appropriately do this. I've read through a number of threads involving this, but I've had a hard time identifying which wire to test where and when.

Last I checked the codes, the car is throwing 3 new codes, 1 for a circuit problem or fault in the IACV, and two for a circuit problem or fault in each O2 sensor. Though I'm not surprised by the IACV code because of the throttle body issues, I am surprised by the O2 sensor codes. I expect to see new codes for the IMA tonight.

Another odd note - I've had to go to two different Autozones to test codes. At one of them, they have a slightly different diagnostic device, and when they check the codes, their device throws a strange error that they have apparently never seen before that basically says it can't read the car. This makes me worry if my CPU is having issues. The other Autozone's device has no problems reading engine codes on the car, so I've just been going there now.

I've been getting between 45 and 50 mpg.

Could a problem with IACV, or a bad adjustment of the idle set screw on the throttle body cause the O2 sensors to throw codes?

Is the rubber cap for the idle set screw necessary?

Is my CPU having problems that might be causing these other problems?

Might I just have some mouse chewed wires causing all (some) the problems in some odd place(s) that I may or may not ever be able to locate?

Advice is welcome for all these issues, but most urgently, the dead/dieing battery. Locals that want to get their hands dirty for some cash (or know a trustworthy mechanic) are welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did reconnect the two ground cables near the air filter when I discovered they were broken, but you are right, I should replace them completely. Will do ASAP.

The negative battery terminal cable appears to be new. Shiny plastic sheathing and no visible corrosion or wear.

The cables near the air filter had some minor corrosion, but were broken very cleanly. Seems to be broken maybe more from fatigue? Could excessive fatigue be from excessive movement from a bad engine mount? I almost never notice much engine wobble when driving (aside from the occasional herky-jerk cruising near idle speed, which I believe to be an IACV or TB issue), but when the car starts with the starter it seems to jostle the car a little.
 

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Tremulant,

Welcome to the forum and congrats on your G1 purchase. Sorry to hear of your troubles.

Good advice from Ati on the ground cables, they cause lots of strange issues.

The herky jerky you describe may be the egr plate and/or valve. You sound like someone willing to give a go at problems, read up on the egr stuff and have a crack at it when able. A moderate diy job on the egr plate. Don't reuse the old metal gasket, get a new one along with the rubber intake port gaskets. IIRC, the egr valve from the '99 Accord is a direct fit/match.

Tranny grind, very common issue, synchros. Double clutching will allow continued use without causing further harm. KLR3CYL repairs trannys for around $800, he's in So. CA. Check out some threads on his tranny fix, he modifies the synchros to prevent recurrence of the problem. No rush on this fix, save some $$ up and plan it for the future. Many folk just keep double clutching.

Engine mounts: the rear one on the mt often cracks/breaks. Very noticeable when backing, lots of clutch shudder and car jerking, go easy on the clutch, it's easy to do harm. A moderate diy fix. Some folk part out their cars and mounts. Majestic Honda online parts has them too.

I can't speak to the idle/throttle issue, I've no experience there.

The O2 code(s), what was the code number ? If your primary sensor (the air/fuel ratio sensor) isn't working, the fuel mixture could be improper, which could lead to cumulative cat harm. Easy diy replacement, but that sensor costs some, usually $130 or so on Amazon. You need the code number to know for sure.

Need the IMA code also, lots of possibilities there. Easy to speculate based on your description, but the code (and sub code) is needed. For example, the IMA code P1449 has 4 subcodes.

Mice ? You should look closely for chewed wires. Can you get the car in the air for a good look from underneath ?

Post up your code info, and the folk will chime in with some good suggestions.
 

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Your first problem, and the most urgent as you say, is to get the car running. The major problem seems to be that your IMA pack isn't working and therefore the dc-dc converter isn't charging the 12V.

Bypass the IMA using directions here:

Hybrid Automotive - Honda Insight (2000-2006) Battery Bypass Instructions

the 12V will then charge, but you won't have any hybrid functions.

Next, take your 12V to one of the auto stores and have it load tested. It is probably weak.

Then you can go onto other issues.

The 2nd gear synchro grind on downshifts is typical of high mileage Insights. Learn to double clutch. does it grind on carefully executed upshifts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I've considered the EGR thing going through "herky-jerky" threads. Many talked about the EGR, but some cited throttle body or IACV issues. I'm hoping that the idle issue is related to the jerky issue and that if I can fix the idle, then hopefully it will fix the jerk. If I fix the idle and the jerk continues, then it's onto the EGR. I've been tripped up on this issue because I can't quite figure out how to properly fix the idle adjustment screw and test the voltage on the throttle body. I've considered dropping the $400 on a whole new TB, but I'd be pretty mad at myself if it didn't fix the problem and it turned out to be a circuitry thing. This is the main issue that has made me start to consider finding a mechanic who can troubleshoot this without head scratching a hole in their head.

I didn't consider that the O2 sensor thing could be actively causing damage. I suppose solving that code is more pressing than I thought. I don't have the code it threw then, but it was one of these codes that listed several other possible issues, like an electrical problem, so I've held off on buying expensive replacement sensors that might not fix the issue. I've wondered if it could be related to the idle and herky jerk problems, especially if it's a wiring problem. I can only get underneath the car if I jack it up on the side of the road. No off street parking for me. Another reason I'd take it to a garage if I knew they could do it right without making me feel like I just bought my car twice. The head scratching continues.

Good to know about the battery by-pass procedure. I may do that after I get the codes. It seems simple enough and easy to reverse. Ultimately, (assuming the other problems can be fixed) I would probably opt to replace the hybrid battery if this one is gone. I know a new IMA battery is expensive, but I think it's ultimately worth it if the car lasts for another 100k or 150k miles. I have no idea what the MPG difference would be, but if it results in a 5 to 10 mpg difference, it could pay for itself in gas savings, and I'll miss the assist.

I made it pretty far yesterday between the time the IMA light came on and when the engine died. It was during the 2 hr morning commute that the light came on, and it didn't die until 3/4 of the way home on the evening commute. I think the 12v battery is probably ok and just needs a charge. When I get home I'll hook it up to my car battery charger and charge the 12v overnight. Tomorrow I'll drive it to check the codes. I'll post the codes as soon as I get them.

Thanks so much!
 

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Hi Tremulant and welcome to the club.

Good on you for doing a lot of research before throwing your hands up with the "Help me with step by step procedures and pictures" post. Most of the common problems have been documented at least a few times, so all new members can benefit. Deadpool did the forum a solid by organizing them which was made a sticky. His link is in my sig.

A few reputable members have already got you thinking about some possible solutions or diagnoses so I'll offer something different: Think about joining us on 17 October at our tech meet in MD where you can get your car up on a rack and get a bunch of things done with some assistance from other members. A link to the meet info is here:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/showthread.php?t=77337

Either way, hang in there and you will have your car sorted in no time!
 

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+2 on what Jim and Pete (freezin4) say above ^. Great suggestion on the October meet, one or some of us will have grid charging equipment you can look over and also get some tips on pack handling, management, and options.

You will be quite welcome at the meet up !
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is the laundry list

p0505 - IACV or circuit
p0420 - HO2 sensor or circuit
p1164 - Air/Fuel ratio or HO2 sensor or circuit

p1449 - overheated battery cell / deviated voltage / deterioration
p1568 - individual voltage input problem
p1576 - motor drive voltage input problem

The first three codes I have gotten before.

The last three are new, clearly all since the IMA light went on.

WWICD?

For the first three, I'm considering going to a junk yard I've found with a crunched 2000 insight and pulling parts off of it. Would any of you advise against getting an IACV, Throttle body, rear engine mount, or HO2 sensor(s) off a junker? I know there are 2 O2 sensors, but I'm not sure which relates to these codes.

For the last three, is my battery toast? Is this still a candidate for a grid charger re-balancing? It seems the grid chargers are a bit expensive, though not nearly expensive as a new battery, but I suppose if I was to end up with a new battery, I wouldn't really use the grid charger anymore (street parking).

If I unplug the battery negative terminal and reset the codes, will the battery start working (or trying to) again? If it does, can I pretend the problem has been magically taken away by the magical battery fairies?:angels8:

Thanks for the invite to that event. Sounds awesome! I wish it wasn't 6+ hours away. I have to say it's not likely that I'd be able to make such a drive for a Saturday.
 

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The rear engine mount from a random junker has a good chance of already being bad, but you can find one where the rubber isn't already cracked, then go for it. Just inspect it.
 

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Trem:

The 0420 is a cat code, sometimes bogus, sometimes not. Taking care of the 1164 may remedy this, maybe not.

1164 is the primary air/fuel ratio sensor, located under the hood right behind the engine, easy diy replacement. Of course it's the pricy one, well worth the $$.

1449 is the more severe of the pack codes, but also has four subcodes which will require you to blink code it. The ima light will flash for these. 72, 73, 74, or 78. 72 is an overheated pack, sometimes just a faulty pack fan, 78 is a way out of balance pack, sometimes salvageable with grid charging/discharging. The other two I have no experience with.

1568 has 2 subcodes and may be related to the 1449
1576 has 3 ima subcodes, which will also need blinked out.

Here's a link to a spreadsheet AbCaRed00 put up on the codes. When you go into this link, you will be on the 'OBDII CODE DTC SHEET' which is seen on the top left with a box over it. Click on the next one to the right 'P-CODE DTC', this sheet is layed out vertically in numerical order.

Here's a link to Mike Dabrowski's website for blink coding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Reading the blink codes was a challenge. Had to read them wrong a couple times and then read them over and over again before I was sure I had the right ones. Here they are:

58 - charge discharge balance problem - (apparently this blink code doesn't relate to an OBD code?)
- 1576:
12 - Motor Drive Module voltage problem
- 1568:
66 - Battery Module Individual Voltage Input Problem
- 1449:
74 - Battery Module Individual Voltage Input Deviation
78 - Battery Module Deterioration

The word "deterioration" sounds bad. MDM voltage problem sounds like the voltage issue was at the motor, but I'm thinking that would be directly caused by the voltage problem in the battery. I'm sure some of you folks have a much better idea of whether these blink codes mean my battery is salvageable or dead.

Next task is replacing the ground straps, though my temporary repair job (I reattached the broken ends to the eyelets with spring loaded clamps) seems to have very low resistance as it is, so this probably won't result in any changes.

Junk yard is closed on the weekend. I'll have to inquire about those other parts on Monday. I know one thing they listed was the IMA battery! I wonder what they'd let it go for or if there is any way to see what condition it's in or how old it is?
 

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Good idea on the grounds. Will be interesting to see what codes persist with verified good grounds.

'Deterioration' sounds worse than it usually is, most times it's 'out of balance' voltages in the cells and sticks.

I can't speak to the 1576 or the 74 subcode on the 1449. The blink 58 is related to the 1449.

The 78 blink for the 1449 is the classic WAY out of balance pack. Assist and regen is usually not functional with that one. As the dc/dc slowly drains the pack to keep the 12v charged, the pack voltage finally falls low enough for the dc/dc to shut down, leaving the car running only on the 12v which eventually dies and lets the car stranded, as it has seemed to do already.

After you get the grounds took care of , perhaps someone can weigh in on the other codes (if they persist) and some more direct suggestions can be made. May be worth having the 12v 'load tested' to determine its' strength.

Many can attest to the benefits of grid charging and discharging, which may buy you some time. Lots of options available including 'bypass' of the pack and running gas only (a few owners do that). Start reading up on Jeff's equipment and options here, he runs HybridAutomotive in S. CA. Lots of us have his equipment.

Check out the sites for Eli at Bumblebee Batteries and Matt at Hybrid ReVolt.

Can't remember if you said, is the car starting from the IMA or off the 12v starter? Sounds like an ordinary non-hybrid small engine chug-a-chugging when turning over.
 

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Junk yard is closed on the weekend. I'll have to inquire about those other parts on Monday. I know one thing they listed was the IMA battery! I wonder what they'd let it go for or if there is any way to see what condition it's in or how old it is?
No way to tell the age of a battery from outward signs afaik. If you were lucky you might find the warranty repair ticket in the glove box.

Actually, storage in a deep discharged state doesn't seem to damage the packs much or any. The main thing is to grid charge before trying to use it.

The junk yard really doesn't have any way to assess the battery condition, so they gonna let you tell them ;-)

That being the case, installation time and risk, age of ALL the old sticks, etc. the battery really isn't worth much. I just sold a case with junction board for $200 and had several inquiries so that is a ref point. 1/3 to 1/2 of the internal sticks might be good for rebuilding, but that is a whole nother kettle of fish. I'd assume the worse and negotiate from that perspective. Maybe $500 tops, with a return quarantee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow, so according to that link the 0420 could be the ECU?? And a dealer might replace it for free even in the year 2015?! I've been really hesitant to even talk to a dealer about this thing, but if I can get a new ECU and fix at least one of my problems, I suppose it may be time to start talking to one. I sort of assumed that with a car at this age the dealer (or Honda) would do nothing for me without squeezing every penny possible from me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've replaced the ground straps with #4 stranded THHN copper wire. I reused the existing crimp connections and added a little 50/50 solder to the stranded wire ends to add some structural integrity to the new connections. This isn't the proper way to braze aluminum and copper, but the solder locks all the stranded ends together inside the crimp. I think there is a risk of galvanic corrosion to the aluminum crimp connectors, but the copper wire will resist the fatigue from engine movement better than the previous aluminum wires. I'll just have to keep an eye on them and see if the connectors start to show any corrosion. I'm hoping the solder I added will impede oxidation at the contacts. We'll see how they make it through winter.

I left the negative battery terminal unplugged for a couple days and when I checked the voltage (while still unplugged) last night it was at 12.63 volts, which should be good. Car drove fine this morning, but the 12v battery light was on for a couple minutes when I started to drive, which seemed odd if it was keeping a full charge. It went off and stayed off after that. I'm going to pop by Autozone tonight and have them test the 12v battery so I know for certain what condition it's in.

No check engine or IMA lights have come on yet, but I'm sure I'll see a CEL soon. The car still has the erratic idle, which I expected. Charge and assist seems to be working, but on my 10 minute morning commute, it only charged up to about 4 bars. I believe it needs a bit more charge in the battery before the autostop will work, so we'll see how it goes on the evening drive. I'm thinking the IMA light might not come on again until the charge maxes out the battery capacity and overheats a cell again. Time will tell. Does the fact that my IMA is working at the moment mean that my battery is not irreversibly damaged? If I had a "bad cell" would it have tripped the IMA light right away? If I wait too long to do anything about the IMA battery, such as grid charging, am I risking doing further damage and killing a battery that could be otherwise saved with a grid charge reconditioning?

Next I need to tackle the idle issue and replace the rear motor mount. The rest of the issues may have to wait till I get more trouble codes back.
 

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on my 10 minute morning commute, it only charged up to about 4 bars. I believe it needs a bit more charge in the battery before the autostop will work, so we'll see how it goes on the evening drive.
You won't get autostop while the regen/charge light is on. Just the way it works. Also, good/decent batteries take a while to charge. They have decent capacity and it takes a while to pump the energy back into them. Crappy batteries sometimes charge to full very quickly.

Does the fact that my IMA is working at the moment mean that my battery is not irreversibly damaged?
quite possibley.
If I had a "bad cell" would it have tripped the IMA light right away?
"Bad" is a relative term, but almost all of the old packs have several low output, high resistance cells. Hard to say what is inside yours without pulling it apart and doing a cell by cell check.
If I wait too long to do anything about the IMA battery, such as grid charging, am I risking doing further damage and killing a battery that could be otherwise saved with a grid charge reconditioning?
I think the sooner the better. That seems to be the conventional wisdom. Build the quickie that olrowdy01 lists in his signature link, or buy the one supply Meanwell that EQ1 listed.
 

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Build the quickie that olrowdy01 lists in his signature link, or buy the one supply Meanwell that EQ1 listed.
here's a direct link to olrowdy01's charger page.

this is a thread on my first one that I built into the IMA bay.

Here's a photo of a grid charger I recently made for my second Insight. Used a single Meanwell HLG-60H-C350B. Is that the one EQ1 lists? The 12V wall plug is one I had already. I work at a calibration shop, so I made my harness and connector using test lead wire and banana plugs/jacks. I put an inline fuse and the protection diode in the heat shrink on the jack there. So, for me, it was a $40 power supply + shipping and stuff I had at work. It's constant current only and has no built in way of monitoring the voltage or current, but it works.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Thanks guys!

I just wrote an entire message and the forum ate it when it gave me an error. Trying again!

So I've been taking time to better understand all this IMA charging/discharging business by looking through Mike D's and Olrowdy01's websites as well as looking at some other folk's chargers. Most of the chargers I've seen seem pretty complex, with built in meters and variable loads and other things that are a bit beyond my level of expertise/patience, so it's been a challenge to compare them and see the similarities and key elements.

Johnnyviri, that picture of your charger looks like the simplest charger I've seen, which is pretty much exactly where my level of ambition is. If I'm understanding it correctly, the 12v transformer powers the cooling fan for the battery, while the 350ma LED driver charges the battery at a constant 350ma, which is about the maximum amperage you can feed the battery without overheating it.
according to Mike D:

"Charge termination:
The cells can take a high charge rate until they get full, and then they very quickly turn all the charge into heat, so the best overcharge test you have is to simply touch the cells when the charge is nearly complete.
350ma will get a cell lukewarm, as the heat is easily dissipated by the large surface area of the cell case. the cells in the middle of a stick will get hotter than the end ones as the ends are sharing heat from the adjacent cells.

1A in the full cell will get the cell so hot that it will be uncomfortable to hold it in your hand.

2A will cause the cell to get so hot that in 5- 10 minutes after it reaches the full point it will likely vent fluids and permanently loose capacity, as well as giving a good skin burn if you touch it."


So in theory, if I'm not diligent or quick enough to check the voltage on the battery when it reaches it's maximum capacity (or just not sure if it's maxed or not), it should still be OK for a while and able to continue dissipating the heat from the 350ma feed.

It seems that knowing when the battery is fully charged depends on a few things, as the peak voltage could be different depending on the condition of my battery, and so checking the voltage periodically to see how often it changes is necessary to see if the voltage stops increasing somewhere below the an absolute maximum around 174 volts.

The banana plugs allow you to hook up your multimeter to check the voltage.

The wiring harness to the LED driver should have a fuse holder installed for a 1amp 200V dc fuse for protection. Installing this harness seems to be the most potentially dangerous procedure of this whole process. I will do some more research before going forward with any of this (or maybe even buy a harness?).

To discharge the battery after the first charge to rejuvenate the pack, I can simply hook up a couple of 60w lightbulbs in series to the same banana plugs I use to check the voltage and drain the pack down to about 100 volts (seems like there is some complexity and controversy as to how to best discharge, but this seems like the safe bet according to olrowdy01).

Ideally, I should perform a charge/discharge cycle twice and charge it back up again to rejuvenate the battery.


I've been a bit scatterbrained wrapping my head around the IMA while trying to troubleshoot my other mechanical issues (and living the rest of life), so I'm going to hold off commenting on the other issues till I make more progress on them. Any comments on the accuracy of the assumptions I've made above are welcome!!

Thanks again!
 
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