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Hi all,

Been a long time since I've worked on my insight, but yesterday I got round to installing a grid charger!

Charged it overnight, for about 14 hours or so with the Maxxvolt charger, stablised at 179 for the last 4 hours. Got really excited that my IMA will be back...

But nope, after disconnecting the 12V and the IMA fuse to clear memory, a drive and all, didn't budge.

It's back on the charger, think it might just need more charging, because it is definitely not using the back up starter now and the very last start up the charge bar showed a bit of movement before it chucked the error again.

Hoping for the best :(
 

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Hi all,

Been a long time since I've worked on my insight, but yesterday I got round to installing a grid charger!

Charged it overnight, for about 14 hours or so with the Maxxvolt charger, stablised at 179 for the last 4 hours. Got really excited that my IMA will be back...

But nope, after disconnecting the 12V and the IMA fuse to clear memory, a drive and all, didn't budge.

It's back on the charger, think it might just need more charging, because it is definitely not using the back up starter now and the very last start up the charge bar showed a bit of movement before it chucked the error again.

Hoping for the best :(
So your SOC is not showing any bars at all? When I disconnect my 12v batt it usually takes a few miles for the SOC to start moving. Wondering if your drive was long enough.
 

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So your SOC is not showing any bars at all? When I disconnect my 12v batt it usually takes a few miles for the SOC to start moving. Wondering if your drive was long enough.
The drive was maybe 4km or so each time, so im not sure if that's long enough of a drive. When i first got the car and flipped the switch on from last owner, it went back on pretty quickly.

From memory these were how the starts went:
First start - didnt feel like it was using backup starter, but charge/assist bar didnt move, no battery reading. IMA and check engine light on, drove 2.5 km
Second start - After getting to destination, decided to pull the IMA fuse and try again after running the errand. Same as above
Third start - After driving around 4km, with no response, got home and flicked the IMA switch off, started, can tell it was the backup starter
4th start - IMA back on, charge bar made an attempt, then all error lights back on.

I might properly check the OBD readings after another charge and see how that goes...

EDIT: the voltage on its second charge already went from 179 to 173!
 

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The drive was maybe 4km or so each time, so im not sure if that's long enough of a drive. When i first got the car and flipped the switch on from last owner, it went back on pretty quickly.

From memory these were how the starts went:
First start - didnt feel like it was using backup starter, but charge/assist bar didnt move, no battery reading. IMA and check engine light on, drove 2.5 km
Second start - After getting to destination, decided to pull the IMA fuse and try again after running the errand. Same as above
Third start - After driving around 4km, with no response, got home and flicked the IMA switch off, started, can tell it was the backup starter
4th start - IMA back on, charge bar made an attempt, then all error lights back on.

I might properly check the OBD readings after another charge and see how that goes...

EDIT: the voltage on its second charge already went from 179 to 173!
What I've found with mine (certainly not scientific) is that the SOC will read nothing for a short amount of time. Maybe 4k is not long enough. What you could do is just start the car and watch to see if the green charging indicator is lighting up. If it is it will eventually make your SOC show something.

I just re-read your post. It sounds to me as if your IMA is totally shot if the CEL and IMA are on all the time even after a grid charge. Again not scientific.
 

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What I've found with mine (certainly not scientific) is that the SOC will read nothing for a short amount of time. Maybe 4k is not long enough. What you could do is just start the car and watch to see if the green charging indicator is lighting up. If it is it will eventually make your SOC show something.

I just re-read your post. It sounds to me as if your IMA is totally shot if the CEL and IMA are on all the time even after a grid charge. Again not scientific.
Yea , just gotta be patient I guess, I'll drive it further after this charge and see how that goes. I just wanted to see it was working before putting the lid and stuff back on, that was a massive PITA
 

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It's back on the charger, think it might just need more charging
If the battery is really in bad shape, you need to do multiple charge and discharge cycles to stretch its capacity. I summarized the process, developed by others on this site, in my illustrated grid charger post as follows...


I'm using the three-cycle charge and discharge method described most recently by S Keith in this thread (combining a few posts)...

Grid charging, deep discharging

If your power supply is 350mA, you charge for 10,400/350 = 29.7 hr at the start of each phase.

Each discharge phase length will change on each cycle. Try to check it at least once per hour. If it's bed time, and it's over 120V, install the 25W and let it run overnight. Take what you get.

A) Grid charge for 10,400mAh input
  • Discharge to 144V w/2X 150W wattage bulbs IN SERIES (goes pretty quick)
  • Discharge to 120V w/75W bulbs IN SERIES (takes awhile)
  • Discharge to 96V w/25W bulbs IN SERIES (takes a long time)
B) Grid charge for 10,400mAh input
  • Discharge to 144V w/2X 150W wattage bulbs IN SERIES (takes longer)
  • Discharge to 120V w/75W bulbs IN SERIES (notably quicker than 1st time)
  • Discharge to 60V w/25W bulbs IN SERIES (notably quicker than 1st time)
  • Overall takes less time than cycle A
C) Grid charge for 10,400mAh input
  • Discharge to 144V w/2X 150W wattage bulbs IN SERIES
  • Discharge to 120V w/75W bulbs IN SERIES
  • Discharge to 60V w/25W bulbs IN SERIES
  • Like cycle B but less pronounced a jump than what was experienced between cycles A and B. Overall will take a little less time than B.
D) Grid charge for 10,400mAh input

If you can monitor the discharge current and record time, voltage, current periodically, you can calculate the capacity of your pack. If you do this, make sure you record 144V, 132V and 120V readings.

Discharge time changes between cycles because you're "moving" the capacity you discharged at lower currents/voltages to higher currents/voltages.
My variation from the above method is using lower wattage bulbs. This slows down the discharge rate. I can't check the process as often as I'd like.


This process can take a week, but it’s the most likely way to resurrect your battery. Good luck!

- Park
 
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If the battery is really in bad shape, you need to do multiple charge and discharge cycles to stretch its capacity. I summarized the process, developed by others on this site, in my illustrated grid charger post as follows...


I'm using the three-cycle charge and discharge method described most recently by S Keith in this thread (combining a few posts)...

Grid charging, deep discharging


My variation from the above method is using lower wattage bulbs. This slows down the discharge rate. I can't check the process as often as I'd like.


This process can take a week, but it’s the most likely way to resurrect your battery. Good luck!

- Park

Thanks! Guess I'll need to get my hands on a discharger too , but good to hear that it isnt just a like phone where i can expect to plug and charge overnight haha
 

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Thanks! Guess I'll need to get my hands on a discharger too
Here’s a link to an earlier post in the thread I mentioned that describes building a light bulb discharger...


You will have to adapt it to connect to your charger harness, but it’s easy and you need only $10-20 of parts and lightbulbs. My charger/discharger project is from OlRowdy01’s design.

- Park
 

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More good news? So while I get round to reading/building a discharger, I left it charging for another day since the last post.

It's showing more life and its consistently starting without the backup motor. All startups, the charge bar stays on green about a quarter of the way, then chucks the IMA light. Looks promising :)

I take once the IMA light pops up theres no point in driving it around right?
 

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More good news? So while I get round to reading/building a discharger, I left it charging for another day since the last post.

It's showing more life and its consistently starting without the backup motor. All startups, the charge bar stays on green about a quarter of the way, then chucks the IMA light. Looks promising :)

I take once the IMA light pops up theres no point in driving it around right?
The cool thing about these little cars is that you CAN drive them around with the IMA light on. You can actually have pretty good results doing that in terms of MPG. It will be very slow with out the assist but some folks drive around like this for years. I see you're from down under so I don't know the requirements with regards to driving with a check engine light on (if it is on....and it usually is when the IMA light is on). Try not to rev the motor beyond 4k RPM because it will show your 12v batt is not charging. I'm only had my Insight for about 5 years so I'm no expert so take what I say with a grain of salt.
 

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Looks promising :)
Once you can discharge it and charge it a few times, you can hopefully stretch the capacity and have a useful battery. Some people are able to drive for a long time between battery conditioning (I get about six months). Other folks just see a few weeks. Worth the effort versus spending a ton of money on a new battery right away.

- Park
 
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The cool thing about these little cars is that you CAN drive them around with the IMA light on. You can actually have pretty good results doing that in terms of MPG. It will be very slow with out the assist but some folks drive around like this for years. I see you're from down under so I don't know the requirements with regards to driving with a check engine light on (if it is on....and it usually is when the IMA light is on). Try not to rev the motor beyond 4k RPM because it will show your 12v batt is not charging. I'm only had my Insight for about 5 years so I'm no expert so take what I say with a grain of salt.
oh , no no, I meant that if the IMA light is on, then the charging exercise didnt work is what i meant. I've been driving my insight around for a while without the IMA too :D

EDIT (31-01-2021) didn't want to flood with updates on the thread, but I've finally got my discharger working with a 275W incandescent, will be discharging in coming days!
 

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Today I decided to make it easier to connect / disconnect multiple add-on parts such as under dash lighting and passenger mirror monitor or whatever. I connected my ground wire to the cluster of grounds near the passenger fuses and chose a switched fuse location. I understand the wires are small, i.e. small amount of current capability but I don't feel that's a problem at this time. All I have to do is mark them as I plug them in.
1612300724624.png
 

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Patched tire
Grid charged,
Motor mount made of bump stops installed! Love it! no more chatter. Much smoother.
Oh and replaced fuel pump due to leaking connectors. No more gas smell! have been smelling that for 3 years! $190 rock auto fuel pump. Carter P76413M
Next, fix wet seat belts, 3d print moulding clips.
 

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Jeff -- what product?
Turtle wax hybrid ceramic pictured below. I watched a channel I like on YT where he compared 8 different ceramics, this one came out on top. I'm super impressed with the results and I've tried a whole bunch of products over the years, along with polishing, clay bar, all of it. This stuff is A+. It was ~$18 shipped from Amazon. One bottle goes a very long way, like 5-10 applications depending on size of car. Or maybe 20 if all Insights. Lasts 4-6 months before recoating is needed.


 

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Wash & clay first, before ceramic?
Yes. Anything cleaning/detail-related on the Insight is so fast. I can clay bar the entire car in about 30 minutes, it's just so small. Wash, rinse, blow dry, then towel dry, then ceramic, plus trim restorer and tire cleaner to boot. He's looking good right now!
 

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Patched tire
Grid charged,
Motor mount made of bump stops installed! Love it! no more chatter. Much smoother.
Oh and replaced fuel pump due to leaking connectors. No more gas smell! have been smelling that for 3 years! $190 rock auto fuel pump. Carter P76413M
Next, fix wet seat belts, 3d print moulding clips.
I totally forgot Metronomy had an Insight on the album cover!!! I heckin love Metronomy!!!

I feel like I need to get that album on vinyl now. :ROFLMAO:
 
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