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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So here is the past year:

1) After having a tranny input bearing replaced a year ago, synchro-meshing down to second from third seemed tough. Owed it to old clutch (about 170k miles at that point). Told I would need a clutch within a year. (HAH! 15 months and counting, LOL.)

2) Two months ago, I forced a shift from third into second, with a grind, as the car was really slow and I had traffic coming. After parking the car, the next time I started it, the IMA light came on.

2) Immediately, there was no charging or discharging showing on the gauges.

3) Very shortly (that day? next day?), charging and discharging appeared restored, according to gauges.

4) After about a month, the IMA light turned off.

5) Car was sometimes sluggish. For the next 8 weeks, the voltage meter was wild. Sometimes down to one or two hash marks, then boom, I look again and it would read all the way to the top in a minute or so. Sometimes it wouldn't get above 60 %, no matter how much I would brake to charge. Also, sometimes the charging and discharging on each of those meters read only half the way on the hash marks, and other times all the way.

6) About a month ago, engine light came on. I owed it to clogging PRG port, and tried in vain to find a store selling enzyme fuel treatment, as this always worked before. Can't find any. (That stuff is awesome to treat the ethanol issue.) Light still on today.

7) Over the past month, voltage, charging/discharging meters were still volatile.

8) Three weeks ago, the IMA light came back on.

9) Two weeks ago, the charge level meter pegged at the top and the discharge, charge meter stopped working. The car started shifting better from third into second. The car was at that time and forever after dogging it, as opposed to sometimes driving fine, sometime dogging over the past two months.

9) Last Thursday, after driving 120 miles, went to lunch with voltage pegged, then came out afterward, easily started the car, but the voltage was down to one hash mark. I drove home, and along the way checked at various times the wipers (always fast), the A/C (fine, strong), the radio (fine) and all three together (fine). Voltage meter has since been stuck to one hash and never budged. Parked it when I got home, listened to the radio for a few minutes with the car off, then restarted no problem. I started it Friday - fine - but did not drive. Car sat until today, as I had a dentist appointment today (Tuesday) and it started fine and drove fine besides the usual bucking from the PRG clogging because of ethanol. But when I first started it today, for a second the charging meter came on, up to about three or four hash marks, then never worked again for the next 20 miles to and fro.

I have not yet checked it with the local dealer because, frankly, almost every time I pay a mechanic to work on this car, they mess up something, including the dealers. (Too bad my wife's SAAB mechanic won't work on this. He's terrific). So no codes yet, but I will see what parts store may give them to me.

After reading here, I checked the three negative grounds: At the battery terminal, fine; the top under the air intake manifold, fine (I replaced it with a naked braided strap, instead of the spec insulated wire, which kept breaking); but the ground under that replacement is broken clear away.

It's a 2000 manual shift in decent shape and 190K miles. I would hate to buy new hybrid batteries and then have a mechanical issue occur and not find the part and be stuck with a new battery pack on a dead car, so I am tempted to do the bypass. But I have read a lot of conflicting things here about which way is the proper way to bypass the pack (without removing it). Moreover, do the symptoms even require me to do a bypass? The car is obviously dogging it, but it is driving, starting, wiping, A/Cing fine, and I am hoping I can just plug a voltage meter into the cigarette lighter and keep an eye on my starter battery voltage. Radio and wipers still work fine. No need for a/c this a.m.

I am not sure if Rhode Island here will allow a tail pipe emissions test, or require a code reading test. Test is due in May.

So, any thoughts? Do I just need a demon exorcism?
 

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So, any thoughts? Do I just need a demon exorcism?
1) Yes, we and you need the codes so we can offer some specific advice.

2) Replace the lower broken earth lead.

3) Sounds like failing IMA battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Best way to do the IMA by-pass?

Started fine this a.m., but after a 30 min. drive it was sluggish to start.

OK, so it looks like I will be doing the by-pass tomorrow.

I ordered the cigarette lighter voltage meter.

Have the starter battery on a charger right now.

So...

Which way is the best bypass? I have read a few different ways here, with conflicting comments. After disconnecting the starter battery, and switching the IMA "off", and replacing the red switch guard backwards to hold it in "off" the instructions vary. I am not removing the battery pack. My inspection is due March 2015 (yeah!), so I will drive in by-pass for a while, including at night with lights, in summer with A/C/, in winter with heat, radio, wipers, etc.

Can I simply remove the two connections from the front of the BCM?

Or must I remove the two connections on the front, PLUS the connection at the back of the BCM?

And by leaving the battery pack in place, do I still need to install a bypass board?

Should I install a beefier starter battery, since I want to drive this in an ordinary manner? The current battery is not yet three years old.

And yeah, I am getting code readings done today or tomorrow, but with 13 years and 190K on the batteries...
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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As a normal precaution, before any evaluation, start with a GOOD and FULL 12V battery. Reset everything so all the trouble codes are gone. Then Test and Evaluate.

PLEASE post your LOCATION in your Profile.

Thank You
Willie
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How do I reset before testing?

It is charging now. I was charging at 6 amps at first, now at 2 amps.

I am in Rhode Island.

What must I do to re-set before testing for codes?
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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Disconnect the 12V battery for about 10 sec. is the easiest. Then restart the vehicle and let it idle for around 5 minutes watching everything on the dash gauge. Don't panic just observe. Then drive for a while doing several scenerios without getting aggressive, with asssit or regen.

HTH
Willie
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Willie

That was my guess, but I am glad I got it from you as a fact.

Presuming the IMA is dead, and I do the by-pass, do you recommend I disconnect all three BCM harnesses, or just the two side-by-side? Would that be it, and just watch the voltage meter?
 

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CAW
Never say the "IMA IS DEAD".
If you can get it to run and charge the 12V battery without disconnecting anything why do that.
Just because you have the IMA light on doesn't mean it is the end of the world.
Plug in the 12V monitor and see what readings you get.
"You have to learn to walk before you can run".

HTH
Willie
 

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Depending on what codes you get, grid charging may get some more life out of your pack. I see you're in RI. There are many Insighters in your area.

Advance Auto and sometimes others' like them will read your codes for no charge if you don't have a device to do so. A nearby Insighter may be able to read your codes too. Gotta have the codes to know for sure what your pack status is.

fwiw: I've been nursing an old and ailing pack for awhile now. It's still alive.:D

(used to live in Middletown, '88-'92; really liked that area)

..Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And the IMA plot thickens

OK guys, thanks for all your input.

Here's the latest ripple: Drove to Advance Auto Parts today to get the codes, after I disconnected the battery, installed the new ground wire, had a good charge, and drove out there to get code readings. More about the drive in a moment, but when I got to Advance, their device could not pull the codes. It kept starting, talking to the car, checking this and that, then the process would fail and we would get that error code, but not my car codes. Nice guy tried three times. Then we ran it on his Ford and the device worked. So no codes for me.

Here is what happened on the drive.

1) Started the car fine and there were no hash marks on the charge level meter. Then quickly, one hash. I see the charge meter is working and operating.

2) Drove up a big hill and about a mile along, two hash marks on the voltage meter.

3) By mile two, cleared hill and I have three or four hash marks on the voltage meter, charge is working the full range, but no assist meter function.

4) After I get to about six hashes on the voltage (not the usual three), the assist starts to work fully on the meter. Could it be a re-set work!?!

5) After about four miles it appears the voltage is filling up too easily and quickly, even when it really should be draining by the assist.

6) At about five miles the voltage is almost topped out, assist working, charge meter working, then the engine light appears, then the IMA light appears, and the charge and assist meters no longer function, and the voltage meter loses hash marks at a rate of about one every two seconds. Finally drops to one hash mark. I press on, as Jack Frost might have written.

7) At about six miles, a second hash appears on the voltage meter, and it holds. My trip is another six miles or so beyond.

8) Get to Advance...blah, blah, blah...buy Mobil 1 and filter out of guilt...head back, this time running A/C on 3, hi-beams on, and radio on, with a little wiper action from time to time.

9) Made it all 12 miles back, left the lights, radio and A/C on and shut off the car, waited five seconds and re-started it easily. For a moment, the voltage drops to one hash, then quickly goes back to two hashes. End of event.

So guys (and any gals out there), can't get codes, but a full story of events. Ever been down this road? What next?
 

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Check these links out. It takes some doing, but you can read the codes using the blink codes. There are links to the code charts. Mike explains how to do it. You have to do this while the IMA and check engine lights are on - disconnecting the 12 v battery resets the codes and they can't be read until they come on again.

When you say "voltage meter", are you referring to the state of charge gauge on the right (with a picture of a battery, labeled BAT)? If so the behavior you describe sounds like the IMA sorting out or recalibrating after reseting the code (by the 12 v disconnect). Further it sounds like a weak battery. Get the codes, the IMA code, and the check engine code, tho that code might just be one that says there is a problem with the IMA (I forget the code #)

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum...ing-vehicle-error-blink-codes.html#post178074

http://99mpg.com/mikestips/readingtheblinkcod/
 

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Cwoody
You didn't do it right in the first place. By disconnecting the 12V before the test you erased all codes that were in the system. Then by driving "harshly" you forced new codes, but it takes a few "cycles" for them to reappear.

After disconnecting the 12V for 10 sec. start the vehicle and just let it idle to bring the SOC up to a normal range. It can take up to 6-7 minutes for this to happen.
Let it set overnight and try to drive it normally the next day.
If it does get a CEL, go to the Auto Parts Place and see what codes he can pull.
You can erase the codes after that the same way.
The code will probably be "MFG SPECIFIC".

HTH
Willie
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I mean "battery level" when I write voltage meter

OK, Willie, I will try it again tomorrow. I will do it exactly as you said. I hope that gives me a reading.

FYI, the "battery" charge level alternated between one hash and two hashes when I took it for another ride.

You guys have been great.

BTW, again, I strongly recommend the enzyme gas treatment for your bucking and PRG port issues.
 

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Concur with Willie, disconnect of the 12v is one of the methods for clearing / erasing codes. They will eventually reappear.

Please excuse my editing:

I'm no expert and still learning, but based on my personal experience with my ailing pack:

OK guys, thanks for all your input.

Here's the latest ripple: Drove to Advance Auto Parts today to get the codes, after I disconnected the battery (----codes erased / cleared----) , installed the new ground wire, had a good charge, and drove out there to get code readings. More about the drive in a moment, but when I got to Advance, their device could not pull the codes. It kept starting, talking to the car, checking this and that, then the process would fail and we would get that error code, but not my car codes. Nice guy tried three times. Then we ran it on his Ford and the device worked. So no codes for me.

Here is what happened on the drive.

1) Started the car fine and there were no hash marks on the charge level meter. Then quickly, one hash. I see the charge meter is working and operating.

2) Drove up a big hill and about a mile along, two hash marks on the voltage meter.

3) By mile two, cleared hill and I have three or four hash marks on the voltage meter, charge is working the full range, but no assist meter function.

(----Sounds like recal initiating---- )
4) After I get to about six hashes on the voltage (not the usual three), the assist starts to work fully on the meter. Could it be a re-set work!?!

(----yes, quite likely------)
5) After about four miles it appears the voltage is filling up too easily and quickly, even when it really should be draining by the assist.

(----recal continuing it's normal process-----)6) At about five miles the voltage is almost topped out, assist working, charge meter working, then the engine light appears, then the IMA light appears, (----new code coming back in---) and the charge and assist meters no longer function, (---code may indicate a problem that the car goes into a protective mode, the 'experts' can better explain than me---) the voltage meter loses hash marks at a rate of about one every two seconds. Finally drops to one hash mark. I press on, as Jack Frost might have written.

7) At about six miles, a second hash appears on the voltage meter, and it holds. My trip is another six miles or so beyond.

8) Get to Advance...blah, blah, blah...buy Mobil 1 and filter out of guilt...head back, this time running A/C on 3, hi-beams on, and radio on, with a little wiper action from time to time.

9) Made it all 12 miles back, left the lights, radio and A/C on and shut off the car, waited five seconds and re-started it easily. For a moment, the voltage drops to one hash, then quickly goes back to two hashes. End of event.

So guys (and any gals out there), can't get codes, but a full story of events. Ever been down this road? What next?
---any Insighters near you with an obd or scan device?----

----begin consideration of a grid charge unit before you get stranded----

----look up the the battery bypass procedure (Jeff652 at hybridautomive.com has one, I think Ericbecky has one too), and stage tools in your car in the event you do get stranded.----

My 5 1/2 cents,

..Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Regular grid charge a poor option for me

Thanks above, Bob and the rest.

I will try to reset tomorrow, do a shorter drive and get codes at a different Action Auto Parts. Maybe its not the battery pack, but I would not bet against it.

As for grid charging, I did it at my parents' place (garage) 35 miles away. My apartment is in the city, with petty theft (potted plants, packages, etc.), plus no good access to A/C power outside my building. Grid charging is not a good option.

So if I by-pass, will the starter battery still get charged? Does it take a special, particular by-pass procedure to keep a charge going to the starter battery?

I am making a career change that should be lucrative, but will require an extended ramp-up time, so the budget is tight. Would rather worry about getting a battery pack in 12 months and drive it w/o if charging the starter battery is not an issue.

Thanks guys.
 

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Yes, there is a procedure, which I have never done, but some folk have. Here is a link that Jeff652 (hybridautomotive.com) has publicized for battery bypass instructions: Hybrid Automotive - IMA Instructions. Photos also.

Yes, the 12 v will continue to be charged by the IMA motor / generator up front via the dc / dc converter. There is an rpm limit (I think 4k) so that the spark plugs continue to operate.

There are a few Insighters out there running gas only with their pack bypassed and have been doing so for quite a while. I can't name one specifically, but the search function should yield results.

The above procedure would be a last resort IMO. I would find out what codes the car is presenting (don't clear them) in order to aid the 'experts' here on IC to provide information on their experiences with such troubles. You may have a very solvable problem.

Also: Look in the Active Topics area and read the #10 post by Gilberguy in the thread 'IMA light' by futureusprez, good info by someone more knowledgeable than me on typical IMA light codes.

Regards,

..Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Code P1449

So that's the code.

The car sat from Thursday to today (Monday) and started no problem.

I have seen different versions of the by-pass, and I would like advice on which is the best way, especially if you have done it yourself. Some say disconnect just the two adjacent harnesses on the BCM, some say disconnect all three. MOUNTAIN, I have seen that one as one version.

1) I will keep driving this day and night, a/c, wipers, radio, etc.

2) Grid charging is not a good solution at my apartment.

3) I will probably get an emergency jump-starter battery/cables to carry around. Will it work?

Thanks.
 

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I've not done the bypass myself. I do keep a copy of it (Jeff652's version) in my glovebox. Use search, there are some Insighters running gas only, and their pack bypassed. I recall reading about someone going for over a year that way and still getting half decent mpg.

This link has good info on bypass. gmani69 (later in the link) had success, says car running ok on gas only.

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum...nstruction-steps-how-bypass-run-gas-only.html

I have not had a 1449 code myself (I get 1447's). From what I read, 1449 is the next step for my pack. There are many here on IC who have personal experience with your code. I'll bet they'll weigh in. How 'bout it folks??

I'm assuming you have no garage or driveway capability at your apartment. Is there an Insighter (there are several in the NE area), relative, or friend near you that could provide some driveway / garage assistance?

I don't understand your description of jumper starter cables, unless just to have them if you bypass the pack and for some reason your 12v dies.

You are likely going to need to grid charge, the sooner the better.

..Bob
 
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