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Discussion Starter #1
Sad to report that after just turning 180K my 2005 red CVT is on life support. I'm the original owner purchased 6/2005 in Los Gatos, CA. It's been my daily commuter car though I haven't driven it as much in the last 5 years.

  • Friday Oct 5 - oil changed, tires rotated and cabin filter replaced
  • Sunday Oct 7 - check engine light and IMA
  • Monday Oct 8 - took it back to mechanic to see if they messed up something. They pulled code P1600
  • Friday Oct 12 - took to dealer for another scan
Damage report totals ~$6000 (plus tax). This car has been the most reliable I've owned so this was unexpected. If I was mechanically inclined (and had the space and tools) I'm sure I could have done more preventative care to keep it going longer.

  • New IMA $3018
  • Timing case reseal, head gasket and top end gasket $2999 (small oil leak which I never noticed)
The car is driveable though doesn't accelerate well from a start. I drove it the 14 miles back/forth to the dealer.

The car now sits in my driveway. What are my options?

1. sell for parts
2. donate to charity $500 tax writeoff (the max w/o paperwork)
 

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I installed a Grid charger in my 2006 and drove it with no issues except a weekly charge for another 6 years before changing out the IMA battery now have 365,000 miles on it and it runs great,
 

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According to her avatar, she is in WA State.

I think your best option is to buy a new BumbleBee battery from Eli down in Graham, OR (just below the river.) He might be able to troubleshoot the P1600 code. That code doesn't seem to be exclusive to the battery from what I know. Visit his website here:

https://bumblebeebatteries.com/contact/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0LWykKCE3gIVkQOGCh0hvggNEAAYASADEgI8GvD_BwE

If you need a battery, his 3 yr warranty BumbleBee battery is better than the Honda battery and is only approx. $2200. He might be able to install it for you. If you go that way, have him install a HybridAutomotive grid charging harness.

On the small oil leak - let it slide. Lots of these old jewels leak a bit. It isn't serious unless it is big.

It seems clear that you love the car, so hold on. You don't have to let it go.
 

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First off, it make no sense to take a 13 year old car to the dealer for routine maintenance. Second, why would you spend $3,000 to fix a leak instead of $5 a month or two for a quart of oil?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
OP replies and IMA code P0A7F

Thanks for all the replies. The IMA code is P0A7F which is "battery module deterioration" from what I could find online. No idea if that's something that can be repaired w/o replacing the entire battery.

A few comments back to other posts:

1. I have rarely ever taken it to the dealer for maintenance
2. I definitely will not pay Honday $3000 for a IMA battery
3. The oil leak was news to me as I don't see anything on the garage floor (which doesn't mean the head gasket isn't leaking, they did say it was a small leak)
4. Yes, I'm in WA about 20 miles east of Seattle

So after reading the comments, I'm hearing that it's okay to use it with the IMA 'failing' so that's good. What about the leaking head gasket? From what I've read in 4-5 articles driving with a leaking head gasket even if I watch the oil consumption and the temperature gauge is at best a patch.

I also saw an article talking about using head gasket sealer which can bond to cast iron, steel and aluminum so it can seal the head gasket leak for any type of engine. Is that for real? What's the life expectancy of that?

Thanks, Deb

My work commute is now 22 miles round trip not the 80 it used to be so not as much wear on the car.
 

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3. The oil leak was news to me as I don't see anything on the garage floor (which doesn't mean the head gasket isn't leaking, they did say it was a small leak)

Open the hood and look for that oil leak with flashlight, then check your oil level. If you can't find the oil leak and oil level is full, I would keep driving.
 

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As stated above I would never take my car to a dealership (aside from warranty work.....but that ship sailed long ago). There is a big difference between a small oil leak and a blown head gasket. You could extend your battery life with a grid charger and there are plenty of ways to determine a bad head gasket (white motor oil on the dip stick, running hot, coolant usage, white smoke from the tail pipe...just to name a few). Has the car ever over heated? As far as a small oil leak goes; I don't think there are many cars of our vintage that don't have some sort of oil leak. If it's not too bad keep driving.

Just looked at the picture of you car.....beautiful shape.
 

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It's fine to keep driving in a bad battery, as long as you unplug the two plugs in the back of the BCM. This will leave the check engine and IMA codes on. The disconnect is an easy job, it just requires removing a bunch of easy to access bolts from the back hatch area.

Don't use that stop leak stuff. Just drive it keeping an eye on the temperature and checking the oil level/coolant level frequently.
 

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I agree with SSSSSS on the head gasket comments.

tryinngbe is a real fan of running the car without the battery, as are many others, but you do give up the low speed acceleration as you noted earlier. It seems to have a very heavy impact on the CVT and you can't compensate by using the manual gearbox.

The good news is that batteries can be had in the $2000-2400 range installed. If you love the car and really want to keep it, you can do so. If you want to sell the car, there are folks on here who will buy a nice car for well above charity prices.

I don't mean to be sexist, but old Insights are difficult for ladies without mechanical skills. I just advised one lady friend to get rid of hers. The repair industry just seems to prey on folks without mechanical skills, especially women. We have at least a couple of ladies who like to tinker with their cars, but seems sadly that many have been enculturated to be scared of wrenches. If you are such a person, then you should probably exchange the car for a nice Fit or Yaris.

You can drive the car for a while. The point at which you must stop driving the car is when the little red battery light on the dash lights up. (You will see the little light in test mode when you just turn the ignition on.) At that point, the 12V starting battery is no longer charging and the car will shortly leave you stranded on the road.
 

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P0A7F is generally the equivalent of P1447 for the later years. When P1449-like issues occur a P0A7F is usually accompanied by individual voltage variation code (bad taps).

P0A7F is likely recoverable with grid charging.

~$425 for value reconditioning package and ~$650 for deluxe package:

https://hybridautomotive.com/products/
 

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While I usually agree with you S. K. I'm not sure she is a candidate to install a grid charger. Maybe Eli would put one in for her since she is close to him. Sending her to another rip off artist doesn't strike me as wise. What happens in 6 0r 8 months? She is probably right back where she started. Just saying.............

I believe in my heart-of-hearts that folks who don't twist their own wrenches should not own these cars at their current age, unless they are close to you or Scott:)
 

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Don't worry about the oil leak unless you're having to add more than a quart between oil changes. Most insights have small leaks, particularly near the VTEC solenoid and near the belts.

The IMA is salvageable and for well under $100 if you do the work yourself. Search this forum for "DIY grid charger"
 

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From the one picture, it is a beautiful car. I also see a garage in front there, so some garage time? You potentially have one of the few really nice cars remaining. Just be a little patient and don't let it wind up in a salvage yard. There are folks who will buy it at a decent price if the only issue is the battery:)

Do you do any light mechanical work? Own a set of wrenches and a socket wrench set? It would help if we knew a bit about your mechanical skill level. If you have no tools and no experience, it may be challenging to remove the battery cover, build grid chargers, install such, etc. Some folks obviously have little or no mechanical experience and that if fine- different strokes for different folks. I know all these folks who are offering suggestions and they are all car tinkers and in some cases experts.;)

It is a different thing entirely to hold the wrench in your hands and do the physical work.
 

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Shop around you can get a replacement battery for for not much more than 1k. I have a 2000MT with 240k. It was once my car then my oldest son’s now my youngest daughters. I like the fact that my kids have had to learn to drive a manual transmission because it forces them to drive & not mess with their phones. I have never had any problems with engine on car as I believe it was way over engineered & built to be bulletproof. I have had several great people on this forum help me through repairs. Prior to owning this car I could change brakes and do an oil change. Now I can replace axles, the IMA battery, struts, A-arms, tire rods, use a paper clip to read codes...the point is if you are patient and have another vehicle this is a great car. Also, it doesn’t do well if you let it sit.
 

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You cannot get a NEW replacement battery for $1,000. Nope. Not happening.

You want some piece of garbage USED battery?
Sure that might be $1,000. Or maybe even less. Or maybe more.
Who knows. USED is USED. You have no idea what you are getting.
 

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The oil leak is more than likely the valve cover gasket and not the head gasket, relatively cheap fix. But like mentioned above, if you aren't having to add oil between regular oil changes not really anything to worry about.
 

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GG
Update your Location please.

The leak could also be the front crank seal. Then the oil get slung all over.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
UPDATE. Good News

Turns out there is no leak as Honda claimed. I took it to a local small shop where I've heard a lot of good things. They super cleaned the engine first then did a few test drives and more inspections and found nothing. They asked me to drive it for 1 week and bring it back for another - free - inspection.

The description of their work was very detailed (two paragraphs) on the work order. Damn, Honda was one sentence of what to fix, nothing about how they concluded there was a leak.

If after one week it's still no leak I'll get a new IMA. I don't want to bypass the IMA as it has very little acceleration.
 
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