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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 2004 Insight in September, 2019. It was a California car and has the engine light on with code P1644. The car has no IMA and the odometer reads nearly 290,000 miles. My intent is to use the car as a lightweight internal combustion commuter. It always ran pretty well for me, though starting has been a little sluggish. Last week the car got a valve adjustment, spark plug replacement, and a lot of other service. (I also plan to have the HVAC system serviced before Summer hits.)

As of yesterday, the car does not start at all. I got lights on the dash and a lot of clicking and buzzing noises, but no start.

Obviously, I will try to jump start it soon. But I would like to ask if anyone can point me in the right direction for fixing the problem after that. Should I get the battery tested? Should I buy a new battery immediately? Do I need to learn about special techniques for charging or avoiding failure in the future, given the absence of IMA? What information do I need to gather about the car itself in order to assess its needs? Are there one or two quick questions I should ask the previous owner? Should I accept the possibility that jump starting will become a regular activity in my daily driving?

I checked deadpool's FAQ and did not readily find an answer. Any help is appreciated.
 

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You should also make sure your pack is bypassed properly and/or bypass it properly. There's a few threads floating around that document that - search for "IMA bypass." There's a few different options, such as:

-just unplugging a couple battery computer plugs and turning off the pack switch,

-removing the pack and using a 'bypass pigtail'


-removing everything in the back and installing an alternative aftermarket 12V power supply to charge your 12V battery

-and adding an Arduino-based fooler of a sort that gets rid of some nuisances.

Also, you might want to disconnect the WHT/GRN wire at the DCDC connector so that your 12V system doesn't drop into 'low power mode', where it only charges to about 12.2V rather than 13.8V.

I've added links to threads where I think all of these options are discussed.
 

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Bad 12v battery, have it charged and load tested.
 

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Sounds like the 12v battery got old and died.

Take some pictures of the IMA bay next time you have it open so we can see how the IMA was bypassed then we can give you better advices.
Also, check the condition of the three engine ground cables, one is at the battery to chassis, and two are on the transmission to chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would check the 12 V battery and investigate the ground straps.
You should also make sure your pack is bypassed properly and/or bypass it properly.
Bad 12v battery, have it charged and load tested.
Sounds like the 12v battery got old and died.
Wow, thank you very much for these helpful suggestions. I have a better idea of where to begin.
Also, I did reach the previous owner. Just for reference, here is what he wrote to me (via SMS):
It's just one wire jumpered back from inverter. Will charge as u drive steady under 4000 rpm. The normal trick when battery removed and bypassed computers
 

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^ "It's just one wire jumpered back from inverter." That sounds like the bypass pigtail thing, sort of. I think we need to see what's going on under the lid...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I successfully jump started the car. Only one jump start was required; after that, it started every time and continues to do so. No date or year appears on the battery to judge its age. In any event, a Midtronics GR8 Diagnostic Station charged the battery and determined the battery itself is bad. So I believe my next step is to buy a new battery. After I have a good one, I would like to take a more thorough look at the car's missing IMA system as tryingbe suggested above.

Any suggestions on what battery to buy and where? Walmart is usually where I go, but I am willing to go elsewhere or find a Honda dealer. I am wondering if folks who have bypassed IMA have had good experience with any particular brand. Summers are scorchingly hot here (halfway between Las Vegas and Phoenix). I imagine that lack of IMA along with a harsh climate will put demands on the new battery.
 

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I use the Walmart batteries. They seem to work OK. You need to get one of those cigarette lighter voltmeters, like on eBay. That will allow you to see that the battery is charging properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all very much.
A quick update...
I am driving the car normally four days per week without replacing the battery yet. It turns out the GR8 battery test was conducted improperly. Another test with a different device indicated the battery is okay, though not fully charged. In all, only one jump start was required so far. The car seems to drive just fine except for the ignition sounding sluggish.
As eq1 and others indicated above, I still need to gather some photos and other facts from the car. I have never done this so I might need to look for some guidance about exactly what to photograph in the car, and where.
You need to get one of those cigarette lighter voltmeters, like on eBay. That will allow you to see that the battery is charging properly.
I found a voltmeter on eBay, which I plan to order soon.
 
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