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I thought I'd describe what happened so that others will recognize the symptoms should it happen.

A little history - We bought our 2001 from a dealer's lot in Feb of 2002. It had been on the lot for about a year. When we took the car for a test drive, they had to boost it because the 12V battery was dead. It charged up fine. A few months later I playing the radio for a few hours one afternoon while washing, waxing, cleaning the interior, etc. When I went to start the car, the 12V was so low that it wouldn't start. My son's motorcycle has a bigger battery and I suppose that it can't run the radio for that long. I boosted it and it charged up fine. Over the next four years I've killed the poor battery at least once a year when one of the doors doesn't completely close and the interior lights stay on all night. Each time a touch of the booster cables is all you need to get the car going and the IMA system recharged the 12V.

The other morning, I was again greated by a couple of clicks from the 12V starter when we got in the car for our daily commute. One of the doors must not have closed the night before. I boosted it and away we went. The car performed normally on the trip in to work, but when we got in to drive home there was just enough juice in the battery to start the car. The "battery" light (not the IMA) was on and so was the parking brake light, which was odd because the brake was definitely off. Hmmm. We started driving home, expecting that the IMA system would bring the 12V back up again. Instead, the LCD got dimmer and dimmer and eventually the car would barely respond to the throttle. I decided that I wasn't going to make it home, and just then we were going past an automotive service and parts store. I pulled into the lot and shut the car down, knowing that it wasn't going to go anywhere unless I could find a new battery for it. We walked inside and eventually found a whole wall full of batteries of all shapes and sizes. The parts guy asked what car we needed a battery for. Guess what? Their computer system didn't list the Insight. I spotted one that was narrow enough to fit in the battery tray and bought it and a metric ;) crescent wrench to install it. When we got back to the car, the new battery dropped right into the tray like it was made to fit. It's about twice as long as the original, but the same hight and width. It fit the plastic tray perfectly. I hooked up the cables and fired the car up. Perfect. Once driving, the IMA battery (which was already fully charged) went through it's re-integration process and soon the display was showing the full charge status. Since then, no further troubles. I'm going to put the old battery on a charger and see if it will hold a charge. I guessing that it was just abused once to often and after six and a half years it called it quits.

I hope that this story will prepare others for that day when your little 12V goes away. This little battery is called upon for so little that there may be a lot of them that are on their last legs. They might not show any symptoms because all they have to do is have enough power to run the computers for the IMA to get the car going. If your car is an early one, you might want to have a "load test" done on the 12V to see if it's life is nearly over.

Good luck,
Bill
 

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I have been met with the 'click, click, click' of a dead battery in the morning twice in the last week. The first time because I as well left one of the doors ajar all night. I put the charger on it for a few minutes and it started right up. Drove to the gym (1 mile) and then the the store (another mile) and home (two miles) with no problems. I hadn't driven it since (five days) and yesterday morning I got the same thing. I charged it again and again it started up and drove to my short destinations without problem. After I got home, I put the trickle charger on it all day and night and this morning the charger said the battery was full. It started up and we have driven it all day with no problems. I will be gone again this weekend for a few days, so we will see how it acts when I get home.
 
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