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I am interested in buying a 2000 Honda insight. I looked at one and noticed that the SOC (State of charge) was only about 1/2 way up. Upon questioning the current owner he stated that he had just been sitting in traffic and that the meter was usually pretty high up.

This insight had a bad IMA and it needed to be replaced about a year and a 1/2 ago at 56,000 miles. It now has 78,000 miles. Should I be concerned about the SOC being so low for this relatively new IMA? Also the 12volt battery was noticed to be very low on charge and was just replaced.

Could the 12 volt battery have caused the 1st IMA to go bad and have been low for a year and a 1/2 unnoticed? Could this have caused the 2nd IMA to go bad over the past year and a 1/2?

Also is it common for the SOC to show the IMA at 1/2 charge after driving on the highway for 30 consecutive min then exiting and sitting in 15min of stop and go traffic?
 

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Hi mehales,

The IMA SoC gauge cannot be used to accurately determine the remaining service life of the batteries. Is simply displays a _calculated_ amount of power available in the pack. What it can show is _one_ form of aging deterioration as reflected in frequent recalibrations commonly referred to as recals in here (not to be confused with recalls as usually issued by the DOT for safety improvements).

If when driving under conditions that require slight to moderate IMA assist (discharging the IMA batteries) an experienced Insighter can guesstimate how "robust" the SoC (State of Charge, the IMA gauge reading) acts. You could also do a reset (force the IMA batteries to a full SoC) and see how long it takes to fall. As your probably understanding by reading at this point such "tests" are highly subjective. Unless the batteries are in an advanced stage of aging / failure its probably not going to clarify their condition.

In this specific case if he's got the receipt to prove the replacement and with only 1.5 years on the new batteries its probably a safe "bet" that their good for _many_ more years to come. But if the BCM & MCM were _not_ replaced with the batteries something smells fishy. There is a Honda S.B. on the subject. See:

Worst fear has come true.
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... 7&start=45

As far as the 12v _causing_ IMA battery damage AFAIK (and I'm very confident of this) its not possible. There is an interaction between the IMA and the 12v systems and with some _unusual_ types of 12v battery failure it appears to be able to cause abnormal IMA SoC conditions. Since their both relatively new IMO I doubt your SoC readings are anything but normal for the conditions.

HTH! :)
 
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