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My '00 Insight with 65k miles is recalling very frequently, so I asked my Honda dealer to check it out at last oil change. They said there were no IMA errors, and handed me the following information:

"Batter Level Gauge Reading Suddenly Drops

On '00-'02 Insights, the battery level gauge doesn't read the battery level directly. Instead, it calculates the level by continuously measurng the current flow, voltage, and temperature.

Since the IMA charge level isn't read directly, small sensing errors can, over time, cause the gauge to read higher than the actual battery charge level. The IMA system then does a self-correction, and the battery level gauge reading suddenly drops. When this happens, IMA assist and the Auto Idle stop function are disabled until the IMA battery is recharged enough by normal driving. This should only take a few minutes.

This correction of the battery level gauge is normal and doesn't mean there's a problem. If the IMA battery develops a problem or it becomes deteriorated, the IMA system indicator comes on.

You'll notice this correction taking place in this common scenario: After having parked the vehicle with the IMA battery at least 50 percent charged, you start and drive the vehicle a short distance (a block or so). The battery level gauge now indicates zero charge, and the IMA charge/assist gauge indicates the IMA battery is charging. This is a normal characteristc caused by the IMA battery self-correction process."

The recals are very annoying as they kill the milleage and the power, and happen at least once a week, sometimes stranding me mometarily at a traffic light when the autostart stops working. I just hope if the battery ends up dying, it's before the warrantee runs out. (then again I may not have the battery warrantee as I bought my insight second hand?) There were no recals when I first bought my Insight. I think I went too crazy with the assist and permanently weakend my battery? I never seem to get full assist now for more than a second, no matter the charge level.

John
 

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I know for sure that the warranty that covers the car as a whole is transferrable (the 3/36 warranty). Thus I would assume the battery warranty is transferred too.
 
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Hi Jb2004:

___I never experienced a recal myself but I sure do read a lot about them … I have no idea what the final solution is but if Honda states that a recal is completely normal (loss of AS, lowered FE, lower performance), how come 2000 - 2002 Honda Insight’s did not have recals when new? Maybe it was because they were not normal when new? Maybe after a recal, your Insight is completely normal until the next recal when you are still normal but not quite as normal as new prior to the recal? Maybe those that have had the Pack and BCM replacements performed and who are not experiencing recals as they once had now own an abnormal Insight? Maybe my Insight (or was it the driver) was abnormal :D Or maybe what is really going on is that Honda is just covering their butts :x

___I have read of a Prius II recal like issue (those owners call it something else) but it happens extremely rarely and very few have ever seen it. I have never read about it in the Prius I’s although those owners do have that turtle mode thing going on every once in a while ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3qlvy4rl][email protected][/email:3qlvy4rl]
 

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jb2004 said:
<snip>

On '00-'02 Insights, the battery level gauge doesn't read the battery level directly. Instead, it calculates the level by continuously measurng the current flow, voltage, and temperature.

<snip>
Yup! that's the fundamental reason for a recal. But its _not_ something limited to the 00-02 model years. Although a CVT (automatic) by design can optimize IMA and ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) use to further limit recals. And the updated MCM and BCM's reportedly further refine IMA battery usage to further _reduce_ this problem.

The basic problem is the battery. NiMh's chemistry displays an almost "flat" voltage vs. SoC (State of Charge) so the only way to display (and anticipate) the IMA batteries "fullness" is by calculation of total power in vs. out.

HTH! :)
 

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jb2004 - If your recalibrations reach a point where they are happening every day, then that is a sure indicator of IMA batteries on their way out.

However it is also worth adding that recalibrations can be increased by a deteriorating 12V battery, as the IMA system will spend more of its charge propping up the 12V battery if it falls below 9.6 / 9.8V. How old is your 12V?
 

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Although I'm sure a recal can mean a failing battery, I think most of the time it has to do with driving conditions. During the summer I was in a lot of stop and go traffic, can't get a good charge from that, and was using the ac a lot which makes the car slower and makes me try to drive faster thus killing the efficiency. But now I'm working in a different area with less traffic and I don't need the ac, so I haven't had a recal since the middle of the summer.

The Prius has a higher capacity battery so it should be harder to kill it from a little bad driving.
 

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I also have the same print out from a dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The note did not have Honda letterhead, but mentioned several other issues with other hondas such as "growling from engine area: '01-02 Civic"

A year ago I replaced the 12v battery with one of the sealed lead acid battery and clamp that was mentioned on this board. Maybe I should have that tested though.

My recals aren't exactly every day, its only the days I park the car overnight with more than 1/2 a charge. Its actually been better lately. I have 60% charge tonight, lets see what happens tomorrow..

I do live in Georgia where it gets hot & humid in the summer, and my 3 mile commute to work has 11 traffic lights. So it is hard on the IMA I guess. I can only get 50 MPG on that route.

Gotta say, those high gass prices don't mean much to us Insight owners.
Its been 5 weeks since I filled up the tank.

Thanks everyone for the input.
 

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Your welcome :!:

AFAIK and from the related posts here at IC replacing the 12v battery simply causes a forced recal, or an IMA reset (interchangeable terms). Which sometimes "corrects" some limited IMA "problems", but more frequently the recal type problems simply recur after a few days of driving. Still its worth a try... See:

http://www.insightcentral.net/encyclope ... orage.html

And for more that you probably want to know about the IMA system and recal's see the old thread:

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=750

And don't forget the headlights on "trick" that increases hidden charging and helps maintain a higher overall SoC (in most cases).
Yup :!: Its as simple as it sounds. Just turn'em on :!:

FYI my frequent recal problem appears to be related to summer heat too :!: (Just not IMA battery thermal management as was my theory in the link above)

HTH! :)
 

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When I first got my 2000 insight it took me a while to learn to drive it correctly. I was having re-cal's everyday. My commute to work is right at 67 miles, all highway with about 20 - 30 minutes of it in a traffic jam and about the same traffic going home. I've learned to use the propper gearing to avoid recals. At first I just ignored the assist indicator until I noticed the A\C quit then saw that the SOC had dropped to 1 bar. Now I manage the SOC with the gears and never have recals but I do find that after a few weeks the IMA get's pretty lame and I force it into a recal and it then works a lot better.

The lifetime MPG was 57 when I got it in april with 38K miles and now it's at 55 MPG with 55K on it. My best commute to work 71 MPG but that's a lot more downhill and no A\C in the morning. I drive it like a bat out of hell usually between 75 and 85 MPH.

I change the oil on the first saturday of the month and give everything a good looking over, rotate the wheels every other oil change. I'm hoping that I can get 150K miles out of it.
 

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John
I just had a battery problem with my '01 insight (disconnected for some od reason). Dealer says the problem (battery related) is covered under warranty (8 years 80,000 miles). Of course I didn't argue. They never asked me if I was the original owner. I am the second owner.
Phil
 

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Just giving an update. My "IMA" light came on and Honda says they will replace the battery and two related components (battery control computer or something).

Honda is such a great company, I'm the 2nd owner of a 2000 with 67k miles, and as stated by Phil, the warranty stays with the car so I don't have to pay a penny for the new battery. They even said if it was out of waranty Honda would help pay for it.

Now I just need to wait until the parts arrive, still a backlog of orders for the batteries and computers. Luckily my IMA still works ok enough for now..
 
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