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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I recently purchased a 2000 MK1 Insight with some common issues (tranny grind, wet seatbelts, weak IMA, etc). The thing is, I think some of my IMA issues are a bit odd:
I have gotten a few recals, but not IMA light. Assist seems to work intermittently. When it does, I can only use about 3 bars of charge before it stops assisting - this I attribute to a weak or unbalanced battery (I just bought a grid charger but haven't installed it yet). Lately, my SOC meter indicates that the battery is full, but the IMA system will only charge and barely if ever assist. Also, start stop will work to turn off the engine, but will not turn it on again. This is what seems like the strangest thing to me. The engine will stop and the green start/stop light will blink for a second or two then stops and then the dash lights come on as if I had just inserted my key with the car off. To confuse matters, it has been very cold where I am up to a few days ago and, during this time, when I would leave in the morning SOC would be full, but the IMA system would charge whenever I braked or slowed down but never assist. Finally, I have been driving with the lights on hoping that during the cold when I wasn't getting assist that the IMA battery might get balanced somewhat. I don't know what ECU version I have though so I'm not sure the "lights on trick" is doing anything...

Sorry to ramble. I appreciate any insight you might have...
 

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Your IMA performance seems normal to me for a very weak/imbalanced battery. Batteries in this state will frequently limint assist. They also show the SOC gauge going from depleted to full very quickly.

Not sure about the dash lights issue. That one seems strange to me also. Any codes showing?

Please edit your profile to show your general location. Beat Willie to the punch:D
 

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Typical dying/unbalanced battery issues.

Use the charger asap and combine it with manual discharging if possible to cycle the pack deeply.

Check the grounds leads under bonnet and 12v battery condition. replace either/all if suspect.
 

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You guys are getting good, saves me a lot of typing.
Thanks
Willie
 

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To help get you started, here's some useful 'codes' links including such as how to find them:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...zHh-CjkoPUgm7Pycp8RehmZFo/edit?hl=en_US#gid=0
Cold conditions and changing battery temperature will alter the 'apparent' SOC reading on the car's dash and availability of assist.
Consider obtaining the obdiic&c device of 'retepsnikrep' to obtain more accurate readings and more.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thank you all for your responses. Sorry for the late reply. I am in Binghamton, NY and have updated my profile to reflect that.

So, I installed the grid charger and charged a few nights in a row (max length of charge about 18h, max voltage 185v, around 275mA).

The first grid charge seemed to improve the car's willingness to regen, but it still would barely if at all assist. The battery started at 170v, climbed to 178v over about 2 or 3 hours and then proceeded to hit 184v by about 18hours. This seems high to me but I ignored it and blamed the charger for reading incorrectly (maybe my pack has high internal resistance though?).

After this, I grid charged again for 9 hours with the same result.

After that, I drove around and tried to charge the pack as much as it would allow and then reset the IMA so that it would give me 4 bars of charge for a minute or so several times in hopes that I would accomplish some semblance of a "pack whack." That seemed to do nothing, so I grid charged one more time for good measure and got to 185v.

Later, I ended up charging my girlfriend's TDI with a very weak 12v battery with the Insight and left it on for some time with the heat on (it was maybe 40F outside). Immediately after this, the IMA started working perfectly it would seem (I didn't check how low the SOC would go, but it assisted and charged like crazy).

Since then, I have grid charged again and it seems the IMA has been functioning nicely, but only after driving for a good 20min w the heat on. I was wondering if maybe the pack has been too cold to assist, but I don't think it's been nearly cold enough for that (20+F at night and 40ish F in the day). I've had it stall in idle stop again once, but other than that, everything seems fine. I went on my first long drive today since grid charging and got the SOC down from 19 or 20 bars (where it usually is) to 15 or 16 with no recal or anything. In times in the past when the IMA was working, I was unable to get it lower than 17 or 18 bars before assist cut out or a recal happened. I have NOT yet tried to see how low the SOC will go. I plan to do that later today...

The 12v is only like 6 months old and I have replaced one of the grounds just for the hell of it and tightened the others - they don't seem super-obviously bad and, when the 12v starter is used, it works just fine. ALSO, I checked with one of the places where the car was serviced by one of its previous owners, and they told me that the HV pack had been diagnosed as bad in 2011. As far as I know, that is the same (and original pack) that I'm using now (though when I installed the grid charger, it looked like someone had mucked about in the battery compartment and put the torx and 10mm screws back in the wrong places so who knows).

I have also started piecing together a discharger to cycle my IMA pack. My initial design uses a 250watt shop light and a harbor freight volt meter. Does anyone think this will be too much and easily allow me to over-discharge my pack? Does one typically run the cooling fan while discharging or only charging?

Thanks again!!! Sorry to ramble!
 

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always run the cooling fan when charging or discharging

Does one typically run the cooling fan while discharging or only charging?

Thanks again!!! Sorry to ramble!
Just stay on top of it when either charging or discharging. Always run the cooling fan, whether charging or discharging.

My 0.02 worth,
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thank you. I will be sure to run the fan when I get around to doing some deep discharging.

Update on the battery condition: GREAT NEWS! I went for my first long post-gridcharging drive today (150+ miles) and was able to test out the IMA system in earnest. I was able to get full assist all the way from full (19 or 20 bars) SOC to about 1/3 SOC. After that, the assist started to throttle back. Going from 6 or 7 SOC bars to about 3 SOC bars resulted in assist bars progressively dropping from full to about 4 bars. I wanted to see what would happen if I kept going, but it was getting difficult to use more assist without slowing down dangerously so I stopped testing with 3 bars on SOC and no recals.

The only problem I have had is that the car sometimes still stalls (or rather requires a re-start on 12v) in idle stop mode. One or two times it worked fine, another time it immediately stalled, and a third/fourth time it went into idle stop for a few seconds and then stalled.

I have forced a recal via 12v terminal disconnection and will keep you posted about whether or not that seems to improve the idle stop problem. As I mentioned earlier, I intend to try a deep discharge at some point, but I want to proceed a bit more slowly and cautiously now since I feel I have more to lose with a working IMA battery.

For now, I am counting this as a huge success. The IMA went from essentially dead to more-than-good-enough-for-me. I'd like to do some sort of Li battery PHEV conversion eventually, but for now, I'm more than happy with the silky smooth acceleration from 1000rpm that I'm getting and the ability to stay in much higher gears than before (making my 1st and 2nd gear double clutch/grinding business much more palatable for the time being). In fact, I'm so happy with the results that I promptly got a car wash.
 

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This might dove-tail with other things you mentioned in your other thread, about your problems: water somewhere where it shouldn't be, plus warm and cold temperature differentials, might increase the chance of condensation and shorting...

all of my problems started after I washed my car
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
It's a dangerous business that car washing lol

I have another update maybe some of you can chime in on. I had 18 bars SOC this morning but the 12v starter kicked in and the IMA would only charge and not assist. Temp was probably in the 30s (F). After driving for a while with the heat blasting the assist started working. Could my battery temp sensor be faulty?

I hope washing the car didn't seriously do anything... It was also raining a lot yesterday and I do have the wet seat belt problem...
 

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I was thinking earlier that your issues sounded cold related, or could be cold related as much as the other things mentioned... People report seemingly strange IMA behavior when it's cold, but my understanding is that it's pretty much what you experienced - start off 12V starter motor (of course), charge allowed while assist is not. Makes sense. I've heard that 30F, 32F is about the threshold...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
32F huh!? Well that's interesting for sure. I had read that Honda claimed the IMA system should work up to like -20F or something very low like that, but they didn't specify exactly what was meant by the IMA system working. Maybe they just meant that it won't incur damage. I'll have to see how things go as the weather warms up. Maybe I'll look into spoofing the temp sensor too. I believe I have the latest IMA firmware which is extra cautious about assisting when it's cold...
 

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Well, don't quote me on that. I thought some people around here were writing something in the 30s... I've personally never experienced the cold temp stuff.

FYI, here's something I posted in another thread, a passage from a Honda recall letter that had to do with the 'cold weather bug', in the early BCMs. The problem was "excessive assist" under cold conditions - and the temp they state is -10C (14F):

"...an excerpt from a recall letter sent out to 2000 and 2001 owners, in November 2001:

A software problem exists in this control system which may allow the IMA battery to provide excessive assist under cold ambient temperature conditions (near -10C). This will result in one or both of the following two symptoms and may cause the IMA battery's condition to deteriorate over time:
1) The IMA system will not provide continuous assist even though the battery indicates that it is fully charged.
2) The vehicle will not automatically restart using the electric motor after Auto-stop.


Given the date of the letter, this 'problem' might be found in the 000, 010, and/or 030 BCMs - the ones listed as discontinued above... On the other hand, it looks like the 000 and 010 BCMs were first replaced by the 030 - and then the A01 replaced the 030... Also, looks like this might apply to the 050 and 904 MCMs as well..."

Here's link to that other thread if needed:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/20218-bcm-mcm-ecm-revisions.html

Sounds pretty similar to what you're reporting... And maybe to a couple other threads I've read lately, of what others report...
 

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I've heard that 30F, 32F is about the threshold...
Mine started on the IMA a couple of weeks ago in Amarillo at 14*F. I thought it might start on the 12V but it didn't.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Very interesting stuff...
Thank you Eq1 for the quote from Honda. I'll check out that other thread. I had read similar things and it does sound pretty much exactly like what I'm experiencing.

I ran my VIN by Honda and they were able to tell me that my car had received all recall updates/repairs. I think this should include BCM firmware updates. I wonder if the problem is hardware related? Do you know if I can tell what's up by looking at the physical BCM etc in the battery box?
 

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I don't think any of the gen 1 BCMs are flashable, they just get replaced. Best you can do is get the part number off the device, maybe see if it's one of the ones I listed above as likely having that 'bug'...
 

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JViel:
Check your PM box (Private Messages).
NO that won't fix your problem.

HTH
Willie
 

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Discussion Starter #20
OK, I thought they were flash-able. If they're not, that's a very interesting development. I'll definitely take another look in the battery box and see what I've got going on in there ASAP.
Thanks again,
Julien
 
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