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Discussion Starter #1
Last Saturday I had my Insight serviced with new 0W-20 oil, oil filter, air filter, new Odyssey PC545 battery, two new Bridgestone tyres and front brake pads. That afternoon and Sunday I had that great feeling of renewal that you get after a service with the engine running quietly and smoothly on its new oil and with new rubber on the road.

Prior to the installation of the new Odyssey battery I would get a recalibration almost every time I started my Insight and this had disappeared too. Great. :) I was finally on the road to getting all the issues sorted on my dodgy import. The auto-stop stalling also disappeared temporarily but returned on the Sunday (so auto-stop stalling is not a 12V battery issue then).

Set out on my Monday evening trip and faced a new recalibration and auto-stop stall. Damn. Worse was to follow with the IMA light coming on and all charge and assist turned off. :cry: (Ironically the IMA battery guage continued to do its automatic climb to one from the top - normal behaviour after a restart recalibration)

I have had the IMA light come on before, but it disappeared after two weeks and normal charge and assist was available. That was for an overheat code when I may have been 'pushing it too hard' on a summers day. This appears to be more serious. Oh well, such is life. Electric conversion here I come in 2006. (Clett - I might need some help please!)

I wonder if hidden charging is still taking place? It will be interesting to see what I get on this tank of petrol (filled up after the service). I am still able to drive the car, just a darn sight slower off the line...
 

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Check your engine ground cables

Check the condition of your engine ground cables.I have found on both of mine the the copper cable had work harden and only had 1/4 of the cable strands still connected.Most likely you will find the the threads in the body and fastener will be stripped out on removal of the bolts.You will then need to drill and tap for larger bolts.
 

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What does the 12 volt battery have to do with the recals you have been having? I have always thought they were two different unrelated systems.
 

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I have found after i attended to the grounds...........

I have found after i attended to the grounds and repaired them,the operation of the car is much improved.It's now easier to find and hold it in lean burn mode.The incline/slopes i can climb in lean burn are increased.The SOC is higher and recovcers quicker.The engine idles smoother-the IMA counter balance function seams improved.
I find it hard to believe that the engineers let this slip by and did such a poor job in the materials used.The straded copper wire used,work hardens and cracks due to vibration.The use of a soft copper braid of a proper size coated in a waxy coating to prevent corrosion is a must to be able to flex and not work harden.I need to find a source for the braid and proper terminals and fasteners to make up a improved body ground system.I will repost when i do.

I would highly recomend everyone inspect and repair their ground cables,But you must have the requried tap and oversize bolts on hand because the stock fasteners will strip out the threads when removed.I am very surprized by the improvements in operation of the vehicle,but with hindsight on our Insight's can see the engineers let this slip,and it is a defect in design!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had more trouble today and this is something I haven't seen reported before:

When I started my journey this morning I had an IMA recal but as the IMA is no longer working, it didn't go through its normal charging procedure. The 12V battery light also came on, no biggie I thought, probably related to the lack of IMA.

Five miles later I realised that my speedometer/odometer wasn't working (which also killed my instantaneous readout). Oh dear, continued driving. Three miles later my radio died, and the EPS & ABS warning lights came on (IMA light already on). Now I am more concerned and realise that there is an electrical fault or dieing (new) 12V battery. Car still driveable, need to get to my destination. Two miles later on the motorway / freeway the dashboard 'dies' with only a faint light visible from the warning lights. Interesting :shock: . One mile later the engine starts to lose power, starts bucking and eventually dies. Doh. I was now broken down on the hard shoulder of the M25 (UK's busiest motorway).

Call out the AA (took an hour to get to me), feel embarassed as thousands of cars drive past me undoing all the good work I have done praising the Honda Insight over the years. When the AA turned up (expecting to tow me away) they hooked up a booster battery and the car started first time with no battery light. They did not 'charge' the 12V. Hmmm. Drove away with no problems except lack of IMA. When I got to my destination I carried out an IMA reset (disconnecting the 12V) and also took the opportunity to try the CVT slip clutch reset procedure. Everything back to normal for the time being, including IMA charging and assist.

It doesn't appear that the 12V battery was low. What happened :?: (but interesting the way the electrics slowly shut down stage by stage). I wonder if the lack of IMA stopped the charging of the 12V?

P.S. Moral of the story is to not continue driving when you have the 12V battery light come on....
 

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The Citrus Smoothie said:
I wonder if the lack of IMA stopped the charging of the 12V?

P.S. Moral of the story is to not continue driving when you have the 12V battery light come on....

AFAIK when the 12v warning light is on the DC-DC converter's output is in the red (negative, read discharging). Since its current is generated by the IMA motor there can be an interrelation. Checked the main engine ground straps yet :?: There are several post's with pics and its apparently widespread although mine are in new cond ( I checked).

I believe your shutdown in stages was related to the voltage threshold that the individual components required for operation. As the 12v system voltage dropped the components ceased to function.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I haven't had any significant problems since my last post on this back in October. Today however:

When I started the car, the IMA light came back on with no charge or assist. IMA gauge frozen at two from the top. A few miles later the 12V battery light came on and after my experience above, I immediately turned off the stereo and mobile (cell) phone holder and the 12V light turned off soon after. 12V light came on / went off again when I was forced to swipe once with the windscreen wipers. Managed to get to my destination without breaking down.

Once there I disconnected the 12V to reset the IMA system which should have temporarily solved the problem. It only succeeded in resetting the IMA guage to zero. Tried twice again after a couple of short journeys but still no luck. :(

So my IMA system is up the creek. I do not have a warranty and have little chance of a goodwill replacement. I now have two choices: pay for a replacement IMA / BCM etc (£££'s - I will ask for price on Monday) or try and sell the car with a low starting price & honest details on eBay. Grateful for opinions.
 

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As far as the "updated" BCM & MCM its been reliably reported here (once) that the difference is their simply programmable, probably with a more friendly battery management program too.

So replacement of the IMA battery pack _only_ should not be an "issue". :)

HTH! :)
 

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A cheaper solution ?

And if you replace the battery pack only ? Of course the new BCM and MCM (2000 Euro) are very sensible. But without guarantee ? If the new battery pack (1300 Euro) holds again 5 years. Provided, the accumulator anew is identical.

Greetings
 

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Citrus Smothie,

You mentioned you got the IMA light, but did you check what the code was? also if you can get a hold of a Scangauge it would show the battery voltage and it shows when it is being charged, I though this may help.

Please let us know if there are any codes stored on your vehicle.
 

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12vdc Batt

Citrus,
Read all of this post. Sorry, did not see where you checked your battery cable connections, removed and cleaned them, all THREE of them. Coat contact surfaces with conductive lube, or at least grease if you can't find anything else. If you havn't, you need to. Also, it is not uncommon for a new 12v battery to fail. With my first Insight I learned the hard way. The following two Insights had their connections done the day I drove them home new from the dealership. Continuing to drive with such a condition could damage something else. :shock:
http://community.webshots.com/user/jackmpg
Ground mod is there, should only take a little while to do. Take care removing the bolts, the threads may be corroded by electrolysis due to dissimilar metals. Be sure to remove any paint and primer from the contact surfaces. Bad, or poor 12v battery, or 12v battery conections will cause real strange symtoms, including dead on the side of the road. Hope this helps, Jack

PS, Calpod is right, any failure codes would help. Do you have any stores like Auto Zone or Discount Auto Parts over there. Here they'll scan your car for free, just takes a few minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for your replies. Jackmpg - I haven't checked over my ground connections but I think they are academic now. Given the above behaviour and regular recals I believe the IMA pack has passed away. I got a quote for replacement IMA components from a UK dealership today:

IMA battery £2,437 (USD 4,200)
Including BCM & MCM - £4,495 (USD 7,750) :shock:

I don't think these prices include VAT (sales tax) and definitely don't include labour. :shock: Probably looking at £5,750 or $9,900 all in...

I will either sell this Insight on eBay (describing the problem) or keep it for a future electric conversion. Help required!
 

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Whoa,Way Too Early too give up on hope........

Stop,hold on,you need to examine your problem more -all may not be lost.You have made a error in judgement,thinking all is lost at this point.

Just last night i had a problem very much like yours,it was near 50'F here in the northeast.I was working on someone elses car and had my radio on for a few hours.When i went to leave,the 12v battery was low,the IMA would not start the car. The 12 v starter did,but did it very slowly,and the car ran.I turned around in the driveway and did not look at the dash until i was down the road. Then i noticed the 12 V battery light on the dash was on,along with the;EPS,ABS,along with the IMA lights not working(but the Main IMA was not on).I waited until i had a down hill area to restart the car,it would not restart,i let out the clutch and the engine started and ran,(Houston we have a Problem,i said too myself).I tried to think what i should do.I decided to make it for home base,Wrong!!!

A few miles later the dash and headlamps went dead,less than a mile down the road i had to make a dead stick landing into a bar room/pub.I found a phone and called #1 son to bring me the battery pack/starter unit so i could jump start the car because the 12V in car battery was down to under 10 volts.An hour later he arrived,hooked up the pack and car rebooted all systems and car started on the IMA system and all was well.I proceeded home.Along the way i stopped and restarted the car a few times,all was well.Today,there was a SNOW Storm so the Insight sat,i did not use it-took the SAAB instead.The Insight battery is a Exide with 455CCA a little over a year old.I will need to charge it and then test it for capacity,but it looks like it's ready to be replaced again.

I feel that useless the 12 Volt battery is really up to capacity,the "Booting Process" for the computers,prior to engine start can become a glitch area;sometimes,it goes well,sometimes NOT!.That battery,1week ago,had started the engine very well,when we had a cold snap with temperatures down near 0'F and the IMA was too cold to be used for starting,and the car used the 12V starter 2 days in a row in the AM for starts without problems.Another friends GMC Dura Max diesel pickup truck would startup but not run right,because wax had jelled in the fuel-had to wait for the temperature to rise to 50'F 2 days later.

You need to examine the 12V battey system and see if all is well.Look above at my intial replies to your problem and follow thur with the recommendations.Then take the car in to get a system scaned with a proper scan unit tool,before you call it done.
 

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That quote seems a bit high. We've got an IMA, BMC, MCM on order (under warranty) and the total was definitely under $5k.
 

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Batt Pac

Hello Citrus,
First I'm sorry about your plight, really can take the fun out of the car. We do need the error codes to help you. Also, if it's an older Insight, '03 or older, your batt connections are shot. You live near London on an island nation, there is salt in the air. I'm very sorry, but when you remove the bolts holding all the batt connections, the bolts will probly twist off, frozen by electrolysis, that means little or no connection. Yes, the scariest connection is not a bad one, it is a weak one. Be sure to do all three cables.

Fortunately, the chasis side of the ground connections (not the positive), there is a spare tapped hole you can use for your cable, or cables, you'll see it right next to the other two. When you first look at them, they will look like new. When you remove them to do this necessary mod, you will be amazed by the corrosion, sorry. This error in engineering wasn't considered for a hybyid and their special electrical needs, otherwise, SOP. Please do this, if it doesn't fix your existing issue, it will at least keep your new batt pac from going down sooner. Hope this helps, Jack

PS: Yes, when your dash starts lighting up like a christmas tree, it usually means you havn't done the mod, unless your 12v batt is going south. Edit, a weak 12v batt connection can also cause frequent, or constant, recalibrations, been there. Tuna 1 is right.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OK, thanks jackmpg & tuna1, I will get the 12V & ground cables checked/replaced before I decide what to do next. Going through my posts above I have realised that these problems started when I got the new 12V - might be coincidence, might not.
 

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Smoothie,

Definitely sounds like ground issues could be at fault here.

Dunno how much help I could be, but I'm actually in the south London area for the next week and a half. If you'd like to meet up, PM me. I recently replaced my 12v batt and main engine ground- the original one had corroded badly and was barely connected. I have an '03.

Again, dunno how much help I'd be, but another pair of eyes with Insight experience...

If nothing else, I say keep it for a future electric conversion. This is a great car even without the drivetrain. I hope to one day go all electric with mine.
 

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12v batt

Hi Citrus,
I see now you have a year '00 Insight, sorry your connections are probly long gone. If you do not do them yourself, be sure to tell the mechanic not to just check them (they would probly check OK with a VOM but fail under load, as their probly doing), but to remove them completely and any brackets included to remove paint, primer and use a conductive lube on assembly. Cables should probly be replaced as they are composed of dissimilar metals as well (copper & aluminum!).

Please, before the fix, have them scan the car for any error codes. This will not only help us for you, but others down the road. Write down all the detail included along with any error codes. Hope this helps, Jack

PS: Yes, I do not believe in coincidense either. When you replaced the 12v batt you might have put in a bad one, this happens. Also, you could have disturbed, temporarily, the connections. Your symtoms did change for a short while afterwards, I, like you, would be suspect of this. The answer is to be thorough, do all, since it needs to be done anyway. We are here for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks again for your replies. I checked the under the bonnet and found the ground cables - they are in a different position than photos posted by jackmpg earlier - probably the difference between CVT and 5sp. Mine 'looked' in good condition, one running from the right hand of the bodywork to the engine side of the engine mount, the other at the front of the engine to the very front right of the bodywork (which was also covered in that 'ridge' plastic cover as well as the usual rubber). Any exposed copper wiring did not seem too corroded.

I have my car booked in at an independent garage on Saturday morning to check the ground connections and read the code. Thanks for the offer Fenrir, perhaps we could meet up if there is no positive result on Saturday.
 
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