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Discussion Starter #1
A couple of months ago I posted a question asking how many recals was too many. Thanks to those who replied.

At this point, I have a new IMA battery. I took 5 written pages of documentation to my Honda dealer, explained my frustrations with recals happening about every 2 days on average, and left it with them. They kept it nearly a week, put something between 200 and 400 miles on it, but eventually said they were able to reproduce the problem and agreed to replace the battery under warranty. I was told they've had to do this for other 2000 Insights as well.

The first 1.5 weeks with the new battery have shown no recals. I do note that mileage is still low, but that could be the (relatively) cold weather we've been having in the bay area these days.

If you've had trouble getting Honda to replace your battery and are having regular recals, what worked for me was to have LOTS of written documentation. I wrote down the date, time, and location of every recal, along with anything else I noted about the event. I typed it all up neatly so they could read it, and gave them a copy when I took the vehicle in . It's easy to throw a customer out if they say "I have a problem" but cannot back it up... much harder if you can show them the depth of the issue. Oh... I had also called Honda America directly to ask about insight recal problems and complain after my first visit to the dealer (which resulted in "we don't see any problem... keep monitoring it.") That was noted on their computer records for me, and may have resulted in the dealer looking at me and my car a bit more closely... I honestly don't know.

It is rumored that some Honda dealers don't want to work on Insights, and I was told the battery replacement takes 4 hours to do. That may mean you have to find a dealer who is willing to work on it for you. Keep looking. Los Gatos Honda did the work for me and seems OK.

One final note. The dealer tells me that the new battery is under warranty until the warranty on the car expires. In my case I bought the extended warranty, and I think the battery warranty went to 80K anyway, so the new battery warranty goes to 80K miles. Given I had the first battery replaced at 53K, I don't think I'll get a second one in for free, but I'll track the recals if they start up again and take it in just before 80K if needed.

Best of luck to you all.

--jeffp
 

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congrats!

Good for you!

Can you tell us how frequent your recals were, so we get an idea just how much is too much?

Tnanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sure... I was getting a recal every 2 or 3 days. Rarely I'd get one 2 or 3 days in a row, and really rarely 2 in a day. Document them well and go give your dealer the message!
 

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Might it be possible to get the last few digits of your VIN so others can make a case that yours was done?
 

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It's a "recal"ibration. The SoC as measured by the battery controller is determined by an interesting method - it simply measures the current flow in and out of the battery, and computes how much charge "should be" in the battery based on that.

There is a small amount of error in this system due to limited decimal places in the floating point math that the battery controller does, so eventually the SoC as reported by the battery controller differs from the actual amount of charge in the battery. When the ECU detects this, (EG it tries to engage the IMA and finds theres no juice) it disengages the IMA system while it charges the battery back up to full. It then resets the battery controller.

If there is something wrong with the batteries, leaking charge or whatever, the SoC as reported by the battery controller can very quickly become inaccurate, resulting in a greater-than-usual number of recalibrations.

I'm not 100% sure why Honda didn't just use a voltmeter on the batteries and find the charge by tracing the batteries' discharge curve, but possibly just because the additional math involved in deriving the SoC in that manner would require a more complex battery controller.

I've heard that the CVTs don't suffer from recals though, I'm not sure why though.

EDIT: Maybe the information about what a recal is and what it's caused by, etc. should be put in the Interactive Encyclopedia?
 

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There are two main reasons why voltage is not an accurate way to measure the SOC of the batteries.

1. High tech batteries have such a low internal resistance that the voltage does not vary significantly with charge until they are almost dead.

2.Battery voltage is directly related to temperature.

The second factor can be compensated for by sensing the temperature of the pack. The IMA system does check the voltage of the batteries. When this measurement varies significantly from the theoretical value as determined by the Hall effect sensor and the computer, the computer does a recall. The batteries are force discharged until they are low enough to get a meaningful voltage reading and the computer resets and recharges the IMA system. Excessive load, heat, or cold, time, self discharge, or a defective pack can trigger a recall.

Kip
 

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Foxpaw said:
I've heard that the CVTs don't suffer from recals though, I'm not sure why though.
FYI

I believe the answer is that battery managment can be further controlled via the CVT's variable ratio. Simply "downshift" the transmission to increase the charging rate. Making such an event almost completely transparent to the driver.

HTH :)
 

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I have just had two recals in a week. Normally I only get one about every two months. I hope the recent recals are due to the temperature dropping and not using my Insight for 5 days each time. I have also had a few 'stalls' recently when the car effectively stalls instead of auto-stopping and the battery light comes on, but then I can restart using the usual auto-stop routine. Possibly a new 12V battery needed as well?
 

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I believe (this is just what I've heard/read though) that when you have a recal, you won't get any IMA assist until the battery has charged itself back up to full.
 

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Foxpaw said:
when you have a recal, you won't get any IMA assist until the battery has charged itself back up to full.
At least in my car, this is not true. There will be no assist for the first few miles, until the SoC has come back up to four or five bars. Then there will be limited assist available, gradually increasing as the battery gets charged. Usually, I have full assist before the SoC reaches half full.
 

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My car reacts the same as Armins'. I get assist within a few minutes of a recal. At first the assist is somewhat limited.

______________
Bill
 

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My experience has been the same as Armin and William, once the SoC gets to about 4 bars some assist is available, just not a full amount of assist. Usually at about half full I can get a full assist when I stand on the gas. I've found it also matters what speed/gear you're in in determining what level of assist you'll get for what level of charge and gas pedal depression. Lower gear/speed, more assist, higher speed/gear, less assist for a given amount of accelerator pedal travel.
 

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All of these symptoms are true for recals or simply how the Insight behaves when you've used up all the juice climbing a long hill. The only way I suspect you can know you've had a recal for sure is if you happen to be looking at the SOC guage and see it go from some middle or high state of charge to no bars at all in one flash.

Basically, the recal happens when the computer looks at the voltage level and compares it to the range of expected voltage levels for the computed state of charge and says, "Oops! That can't be right."

Because voltage is somewhat erratic with so many variables that it is an extremely bad measure for state of charge, it is really only useful as a measurement when it is extremely off from what might be expected. You can't tell how far off you are from an accurate SOC. You can only tell that your estimated SOC is wrong.

The computer basically turns off the SOC display, drains the battery down until the voltage matches what it should be for 20% charge (voltage is a more accurate measure of SOC at low charge than at high charge) and then puts a very high priority on charging back up to 80% charge by calculating the amps going into the battery (which it measures through the minute voltage drop as the current goes through a very small resistance).

The system avoids charging above 80% capacity or discharging below 20% capacity because engineers believe that this will give the longest battery life with the least permanent chemical deterioration of the batteries.

It's as close to magic and voodoo as you get in the world of electronics. I'm amazed that it works at all.
 
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