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New owner of a Gen 1

694 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Stumason10
Wanted to take a moment and say HI! I just bought my first Gen 1 Insight last weekend, and I am really excited. This one has a few issues that I am working out but hoping to have it on the road by next Monday.

Not a bad little car so far come with a extra IMA battery and a grid charger installed and a MT trans. It has about 160k miles. Not in to bad of shape for a car that has sat for the last 3 years.

So for the issues I am working through is one, I know the 12v battery is died and not holding a charge. That will be replaced with a U1 everstart battery from Walmart. Cheaper and less weight. Also going to throw a small solar panel to trickle charge it. Next issue I think the IMA in the car now is bad, The IMA light is on and after letting it grid charge for a little while and turn off the grid charger I can watch the volts drop on the IMA. Also if the jumper cables are hooked up to the 12v it will stay running but when you unhook them the car dies out. So the IMA is not charging the 12v. From what I read that sounds like a died IMA. Another little annoying issue is the AC does not work. Hoping a recharge might fix that and the side skirts are not there for the rear. Plus it needs a really good deep cleaning.

Couple questions. Can I remove the grid charge and charge the spare IMA battery outside the car to see if that is any good before I get a hold of Bumble Bee battery's? Any other advice for a new owner on owning these little gems, maybe some upgrades?

Thanks in advance!
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O'Reileys had an exact battery replacement for about $100 with the correct terminals. If I had an extra battery and a charger I would charge it up, put a load on it for 30 minutes or so and look for low voltage cells. If I were super motivated I would cycle a few times then take the cells out to measure impedance and rebuild the battery with matched impedance blocks of 10.
Voltage drop is normal when you remove the grid charger and let pack sit, you won't discover anything about the condition doing that. You should get the IMA trouble codes/blink codes, here's a post on how to get the blink codes: Misc. RESETS

Can't think of any IMA codes that disable 12V charging, off the top of my head, but with a really bad or discharged pack 12V charging will disable (but 12V charging should work if you bypass the pack entirely, by turning the pack switch off and disconnecting connectors on the battery computer). If you know for a fact you have a bad 12V battery, probably best to get the new one in, check the 3 grounds while you're there, make sure they're solid, then get the IMA pack sorted.
The weak cells will drop voltage faster when a load is applied.
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