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...blast the Mariners vs. Red Sox game on the radio for three and a half innings while washing an Insight.

Just as Eddie was about to come out of the bullpen at the top of the ninth, the radio cut out. I was just topping off the tires before putting the skirts back on. Uh oh.

Since the car is too sexy for them to jump, AAA will only flatbed tow it to the nearby Honda dealership, who thankfully is open until 6pm. The service tech laughed and offered to speak with the driver when they heard they wouldn't jump the car.

Hopefully these guys won't get my freshly washed Insight all grubby loading it into the truck. :lol:
 

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james said:
If the 12-volt goes dead, you CAN'T start the engine. Major design flaw, IMHO.
How is that any worse than in any other car?
How should Honda have done this differently?

Remember, there is a high-voltage contactor that shuts off the 144V system when not in use. Something needs to be there to close it before you get IMA function. I guess there could be some form of manual override switch, but that would be a) expensive for the few times it would be used in the cars lifetime, and b) opening Honda up for all sorts of litigation from idiots using it to electicute themselves.
 

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Well, for one thing, with any other car (at least with manual transmission) you can push-start the car, and as light as the Insight is, you should be able to do it by hand, easily. Used to do it all the time with my old Austin-Healey :)

For another, doesn't it seem kind of dumb to have all that power tied up in the main battery, with no way to use it? It's not like you'd need a special relay or anything, either. IIRC, the 12V battery is charged from the 144V system, but only when the engine is running. Seems like it shouldn't be much more complicated than hooking a wire to the ACC position instead of ON :)
 

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Armin said:
How is that any worse than in any other car?
How should Honda have done this differently?
The problem is with a normal car you have a check of the health of the 12V battery every time you start it. If the starter cranks slowly, you know you need a new battery. With an Insight, the 12V battery can become dangerously weak and the first sign will be that it leaves you stranded.

Honda could measure the voltage when the DC/DC convertor is off and turn on a indicator light if the voltage is too low.
 

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If you were to run the radio with the ignition turned on, but never start the engine, wouldn't that mean that the dc-dc converter was active and would keep the 12 V battery charged for a much longer time, as long as you didn't deplete the IMA pack?

Charlie
 

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The DC-DC converters function is analogous to an alternator. And like an alternator you will get no output without the engine running. Unlike an alternator this is a "feature" of the DC-DC converter to prevent excessive IMA battery cycling as you proposed. ;)

HTH! :)
 

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Well, unlike a normal car you can jump start an Insight with very light duty wire. The "jumper cable" only needs to handle the current for the computers, so can be way smaller. I jumped another Insight at the Tour de Sol with some wire I had in the back of mine.

(I don't recomend using your teeth to strip it and be careful with the polarity if the wires are the same color!) :wink:
 

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I have often wondered if you could take a couple of 6 volt lantren syle batterries wire them in a series to use to "jump" off the car since you only have to power up the IMI computer in the back of the car so it can tell the 144V battery pack to send current to the electric motor to start the car. If this would work none of us would have to worry about getting stuck somewhere with a dead 12V battery.[/u]
 

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Big D Insightman said:
I have often wondered if you could take a couple of 6 volt lantren syle batterries wire them in a series to use to "jump" off the car since you only have to power up the IMI computer in the back of the car so it can tell the 144V battery pack to send current to the electric motor to start the car. If this would work none of us would have to worry about getting stuck somewhere with a dead 12V battery.[/u]
One issue is what happens when the dc-dc converter starts trying to charge them. I've seen non-rechargeable batteries explode when they were overcharged... But maybe with a diode to prevent charging them? Maybe just 8 AA cells would do the trick, with the diode. But there is still the question of whether the dc-dc converter can regulate the voltage properly without a big battery there buffering things.

Charlie
 

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You can easily start with a non-rechargable primary cell. Just disconnect immediately when the car starts. The world will not come to an end if they are "charged" for a second or two.

A bigger problem would be if the IMA system has forgot the SOC of the IMA battery. I have found that sometimes in this case, the car will default and use the 12V starter. Should you try and start the car on the 12V starter with thin gauge jumpers, you will get a surprise that generally involves melted cables. :)
 

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Humm... but if one were to put in say the 8 alkalines with diode, could one then push-start the car?

I've had the dead-battery thing happen several times, including once on the side of a mountain in a blizzard - night, stopped to put on chains, with lights on so I could see. Luckily the battery regained enough charge after sitting for a few minutes. I sure would like having some sort of backup.
 

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Well for what it's worth I tried push starting my 02 with a dead 12 volt once. That didn't work. I've heard a rumor that the car would push start with the old 00, 01 ECM's that haven't had the recall done, but the DC/DC won't start up and the dash display and the rest of the car will remain dark. Kind of strange if you ask me, that's what I heard.
 

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I have push started my car before and it started right up. I can't remember if it was before or after the ECM was replaced.
 

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I have push started mine as well and it is definitely with the old ECM as I never changed. Have fun, RIck
 

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Rick said:
Well for what it's worth I tried push starting my 02 with a dead 12 volt once. That didn't work. I've heard a rumor that the car would push start with the old 00, 01 ECM's that haven't had the recall done, but the DC/DC won't start up and the dash display and the rest of the car will remain dark. Kind of strange if you ask me, that's what I heard.
I can vouch for at least the part about the dash display etc. I don't know whether or not the ECM was replaced in mine (2000). Just had it happen yesterday. Went to start it in the AM and it was completely dead. Hooked up a booster and it fired right up. I thought I had left the hatch open and may have drained the battery overnight so I drove to work ~50 miles. Everything looked good when I got there, no warning lights on. The car sat for the requisite 8 hours and was dead again when I went to go home. I rolled it down a ramp in the parking bldg and popped the clutch and it started but the battery and brake lights were on, subsequently the ABS light also came on. I wasn't sure what to make of that so I went ahead and drove it. It lasted about 20 miles or so before it quit completely. Called AAA and jumped it and everything was normal again and after about 2 or 3 miles that battery charge indicator was completely lit. I disconnected the 12V battery just to make sure I didn't have a parasitic problem but it was dead again this AM so I put a voltmeter across the terminals. It read 10.6, from past experience with Hondas and their batteries (I worked in Honda dealers for 15 years) this usually indicated a bad cell in the battery. I just replaced the battery tonite, I'll see what things look like tomorrow. I find it interesting that the car refuses to start if the 12V battery is shot, even if the main batteries are sufficiently charged.
 

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reeder said:
<snip>
I find it interesting that the car refuses to start if the 12V battery is shot, even if the main batteries are sufficiently charged.
You misunderstand the IMA battery pack's design use function. Its there for the IMA _MOTOR_, which in a Honda hybrid system effectively is an electric "supercharger". Like any other car its the 12v "system" that powers everything else. And like any other car when the 12v battery fails it won't start. Just not for the same reasons. ;)

Its true that early model production Insights IMA battery management software did not take into account the additional stresses on the IMA batteries and they can behave somewhat differently as has been noted in this thread.

HTH! :)
 

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Insightful Trekker said:
<snip>
You misunderstand the IMA battery pack's design use function. Its there for the IMA _MOTOR_, which in a Honda hybrid system effectively is an electric "supercharger". Like any other car its the 12v "system" that powers everything else. And like any other car when the 12v battery fails it won't start. Just not for the same reasons. ;)
I actually understand it quite well, probably why I find it "interesting". :eek: Any way, the new battery fixed the issues that I was having.
 
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