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So with lock-down life my daily 30 mile round trip commute no longer occurs and the old 12 volt battery in my 2011 LX predictably died with just minimal trips to the market etc. I went to NAPA and thusly installed a new 12 volt (to spec) - but now that too has lost charge (4 miles a week to shop for necessities apparently not enough). I just charged it up and everything starts and runs fine again . . . . . but I am left with the larger question of just how much actual driving is needed to maintain the health of the batteries (both 12 volt and IMA). How much more do I need to drive versus should I just get a trickle charger for daily hookup? Anyone else having ‘stay-home’ battery issues?
 

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The lockdown will hasten the demise of many batteries.
The 12V one is easy to sort, a simple wallmart charger/maintainer and/or replacement as necessary.

However IMA batteries will self discharge and go badly out of balance.
I expect battery IMA builders will be really busy soon.

The owners manual gives specifics on minimum driving but as the cars age they need more and more.

A grid charger/discharger setup for the IMA battery used when lockdown ends, and before you drive the car again regularly, should be a top priority for most Nimh based IMA car drivers.

That might save and revive your IMA pack and save $1500-2000.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, that’s as sobering a reply as any . . . . but much appreciated nevertheless.

I have 65k on the car and so I’m hoping the IMA battery still has some good life in it, even though it’s a 2011. My other option I guess would then be to go for more drives, if anything to help maintain the IMA battery. Tricky proposition.

I have not heard about the grid charger/discharger for the IMA battery - any learning resources/product info on this?

Interesting conundrum, it’s a hybrid car that saves fuel when driving, but eats itself if not driven!
 

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Speak to one of the battery vendors on here, Bumblebee, Hybrid Revolt etc they sell chargers...
 

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Thank you. I’ve located their websites (as well as others) but none of them show any product for the 2nd Gen Insights - only 1st Gen, Civics etc. And not ‘out of stock’ . . . . just not a thing for 2nd Gen.

I’ll get in touch with them this week.
 

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So with lock-down life my daily 30 mile round trip commute no longer occurs and the old 12 volt battery in my 2011 LX predictably died with just minimal trips to the market etc. I went to NAPA and thusly installed a new 12 volt (to spec) - but now that too has lost charge (4 miles a week to shop for necessities apparently not enough). I just charged it up and everything starts and runs fine again . . . . . but I am left with the larger question of just how much actual driving is needed to maintain the health of the batteries (both 12 volt and IMA). How much more do I need to drive versus should I just get a trickle charger for daily hookup? Anyone else having ‘stay-home’ battery issues?
I left mine for a few days last week no problem, though I had to do an emergency shop for a neighbour 22 km ,and it's grand
 

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A few days is not a problem. Six weeks is. We have had folks buying used Insights that sat on dealer's lots for a few months. Most did eventually revive, but initially things were not good. I think a few long drives are in order. It's good to get out of the house anyway. Just take a mask(s) and gloves. Take a walk in nature if possible.
 

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The dilemma with grid chargers is that, unless you are competent to DIY, both the charger and the labor to do the job regularly ultimately exceed the cost of a new battery. Bumblebee reconditioned and balanced mine at ~72k, and the difference was observable for about 20k. But that cost $600, it would take about 75k of driving at the higher mpg just to recover the cost of the service.The improvement does not last that long.

I bought my 2011 at 52k,which sat at auction for several months before reconstruction by the seller. The readout still sits at 41+ with summer gas, but is definitely unable to store or deliver as much power as in the past. There will never be a point at which it is cost effective to replace the IMA battery, it will come to a decision to keep the car I own going for $2k+, or replace the car at a higher cost.

I did find advice from this site that the 12v starter battery is undersized. Buying the larger capacity Civic battery, which requires discarding the plastic carrier to accommodate it, is considered to be the smart upgrade.
 

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A few days is not a problem. Six weeks is. We have had folks buying used Insights that sat on dealer's lots for a few months. Most did eventually revive, but initially things were not good. I think a few long drives are in order. It's good to get out of the house anyway. Just take a mask(s) and gloves. Take a walk in nature if possible.
I was wondering about this too - sitting not being driven. When husband and I go out, we always drive the SUV since the Insight hurts his back too much. I've worked from home for most of last 8 years so it didn't get used much. I really need to get out and drive it 2/week. Great excuse to get out and, I do like driving the car. I put a new Greentec IMA in it 18 months ago so I don't want to waste that $$. Thanks for the reminder.
 
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