Honda Insight Forum banner

61 - 70 of 70 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,732 Posts
You need a 4 digit (or analog) voltmeter to properly read the IMA battery voltage while charging. Near the end of charge (above ~170 volts) the voltage rise will only be 0.2 volts PER HOUR.

Also as the battery voltage reaches full charge the battery temperature will rise. That will cause the battery voltage to drop.

I've seen my battery drop as much as 6 volts lower when the cabin temperature in the car (due to daytime charging) is very hot. I try to start my charging so the 24 to 35 hour charge will reach 174 volts around 8 or 9 AM when the ambient air is cooler. I even turn the charge OFF during the afternoon if the temperature is too hot.

Jamtse: Click on "Full signature" (below), go to my website and read the "grid charger/discharge" article to see how to build your own discharger and how to use it. A quick way to get to my site is to enter, "olrowdy.com" in your browser search box.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,165 Posts
I think you are making it too hard for this individual. True their charger only reads 3 digits, but if they wait for an hour or two with no rise of voltage then it is pretty clear that they have reached plateau. Better to concentrate on the equipment they have rather than send them down several divergent streams. If the full grid charge doesn't do any good then other options can be tried.

Yes, a discharger would probably help, but they don't have one and I don't see the technical sophistication that says they are going to build one, open up the IPU and redesign the home built harness or make adapters or whatever to make one work.

Temperature changes, yes they have some effect on voltage, but this person isn't in FL. They are in the Washington D.C. area and the car isn't going to get all that hot.

Seeing what I've seen, I'd be more inclined to recommend they buy a new battery if this doesn't work. After all, the code was P1449.

We'll see. I don't see an inclination there to launch into a building program. Maybe they would buy the $400 HybridAutomotive rig with manual discharger. Maybe they will feel adventurous and dig deeper or do more, but I kinda doubt it. Let them finish what they are doing and see how it works out ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Discussion Starter #64
Yes. Went out for a short drive. The bars were low at the outset, but went up. I guess I won't know until a longer drive, but will let you know. So far so good. As I recall you said I should do this once a month?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,165 Posts
Sometimes the battery gauge has to recalibrate after this much grid work. It will start low and then climb, as you have seen. That is pretty normal. I assume you removed the 12V negative to reset the IMA system. Try using as little assist as you can for right now.

Now is time to start watching for recalibrations of the battery gauge that may occur as you drive. This is what they look like: as you drive normally without using any assist bars, you will see the battery gauge start dropping one bar at a time, one bar every second or two, until it reaches the lower half of the gauge. Since gauge recals are a sign of imbalance of the battery, they become a quality check of sorts, and they clue you to when you need another charge cycle. I feel like you need to pull the cover and try to see how the harness works - the harness details re a charge diode and the fan drive.

If you want to educate yourself about grid cycling, the signature link of S Keith contains some good, straight forward, and realistic reading:


As olrowdy01 says, you would probably benefit from some discharge cycles, but you would need equipment. Problem is, it is a fair amount of fabrication, and rework of your charger harness, and you harness may have a charge diode which would make even the highly manual lightbulb discharger he suggest difficult to use.

This whole battery cycling thing is somewhat controversial. One of our really electrically savvy members doesn't believe in discharging, but most feel on the basis of a fair number of accounts that it does help. The sad bottom line is that cycling, even done to everyone's satisfaction, doesn't always work. The batteries just get old and exhausted at some point and there is no help for them. The P1449 you had is one of the most serious codes, so the mid term future for your battery isn't terribly bright.

How do you feel about the car? Do you really love the technology of the car and the fuel savings? If so, are you willing to do some technical work to nurse it along? Or, perhaps you are willing to buy a Bumblebee replacement batter for $2200-2400? It seems like a lot of money, but remember that you can't buy a car like it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Discussion Starter #66
Thanks for all the info, Jim.
The IMA light went out by itself a few days ago, and has not come back on.
I do love these cars, just not this one. It was bought spontaneously even though there were enough warning signs and it's been a $ pit ever since. That said, I do want to get as much life out of it at the moment and will consider everything you've said.
I am actually quite aware of tending to the life of batteries by discharging to extend their lives. As you've pointed out, however, to do that on this car is a level of involvement I don't want to take on right now. Another time? Maybe.
Regarding the bars, are you saying that when they start acting differently, as in not charging back up, or reducing too quickly, or not charging back up to the top, these are signs it could use a recharge?
Thank you again.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,165 Posts
Regarding the bars, are you saying that when they start acting differently, as in not charging back up, or reducing too quickly, or not charging back up to the top, these are signs it could use a recharge?
Thank you again.
Yes, they act differently.

I was trying to describe the built in process the car has to try on its own to recalibrate the charge gauge. The occurance of a recalibration, or recal, is an early indication of battery imbalance. It looks different on the battery gauge behavior than when you are routinely using lots of assist and seeing the battery gauge drop.

The battery gauge will start to drop for no obvious reason. It will drop one bar every second or two, then at some low level, it will reverse and start climbing. The key to identifying it is that you haven't been using any juice from the battery with IMA assist, i.e. you aren't using any orange bars. It is pretty easy to recognize because of it regularly timed drop in bars on the battery gauge, regardless of what you do.

It is important to you right now, because it is a good clue to help you sort out how often you would grid charge. It could be as often as a day or two, but hopefully it will be 2 weeks or more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Discussion Starter #68
Ah, ok. Got it. Yeah, I think it has been dropping pretty quickly but I will keep an eye on it. That said, as a general rule aren't we trying to driving in the green recharge bars as much as possible?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,165 Posts
Ah, ok. Got it. Yeah, I think it has been dropping pretty quickly but I will keep an eye on it. That said, as a general rule aren't we trying to driving in the green recharge bars as much as possible?
Sorry, I misspoke about the color of assist bars. I have corrected the error. I think I have mild dyslexia since I frequently get these binaries switched.

Ideally, when the IMA system is working correctly, the battery system will take care of itself in normal assist/regen functioning, and you don't have to concoct strategies. Under the current situation with your battery I do think you would be well advised to stay out of the assist(orange) as much as possible. As long as you can keep the battery alive, you will have autostop, IMA start and regenerative braking.

There is a mod called a Calpod switch which would allow you to turn the battery off at will from the dash. It is simple in concept but a PITA to install, so suspect you wouldn't want to mess with it.
 
61 - 70 of 70 Posts
Top