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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it's happened. I'm getting lower end recalibrations on my 02 Insight. I had been preaching that I could have swore they made some changes to 02 and later models, but this doesn't seem to be the case. So here's what happened.

I was doing a lot of stop and go driving in heavy city traffic and the soc gague had been slowly going down with use, which was completely normal. I was getting close to the freeway onramp and traffic was backed up a good bit. I was sitting there in auto stop with my foot on the clutch in neutral anticipating moving shortly. SOC was about 50%, when suddenly the car took itself out of auto stop. The only time I've ever had anything like this happen was when more brake vaccum was needed, but this deffinitely was not the case at the time. The SOC didn't immediately drop, but stayed at 50% while the car proceeded to force charge 4 bars. Then the soc gague would only drop while I was moving, it was wierd. I creeped forward a few feet, it dropped about 3 bars then stopped, no more bars gone. Traffic started to move again and after I got up and going it slowly started to dump to 0, but actually hovered at 1 bar for about 30 seconds. So it doesn't seem to be the classic recalibration where it just dumps almost instantly, but rather a refined slow recalibration that gives you at least some warning.

So anyways, it was 4 oclock and they had the freeway metering lights on so you got half way down the onramp, stopped and waited your turn to go. I have to say I was ver fortunate that traffic was moving slowly because I really don't know if the car would have been capable of getting up to speed very well without the IMA. I had to rev it to about 3500 rpm from a stop to get it to not start hopping due to it being lugged.

The rest of the day till now, after it force charged to around 50%, it's been in thermal cutback. It won't give regular assist except at wide open throttle. Regen is limited to 4 bars plus it's been force charging 4 bars constantly. I guess it's just the heat most likely, but my not liking the car as much durring the summer has come back now.

Now back to lower end recals... My car hasn't done it in the past. In fact I went something like 10,000 miles without a recal (I accept it's something built in to the software thats going to happen once in a while). Well about a month ago I was going to visit a friend and on a good hill climb I also got a recalibraiton at 50%. So it seems the Arizona heat has ultimately done the same thing to this car as we've seen in earlier Insight's. :(
 

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Sorry you have "joined the club". Mine recals occassionally. Monday night driving home in Hurricane Gaston was the most recent, but 6 -12 inches of water in the road and running the a/c will do that to you.

My worst fear is "IMA light at 81,000 miles" and having the dealer say, "You need a battery pack and it is out of warranty".
 

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Sorry about that Rick.
If it can make you feel better, we started to heat our house ($$) and winter, no, autumn is not here yet.
You have recals too but have good weather.

Addition: Try to stay off the auto-stop and the heat. Maybe if the heat is very high it is better for you and the batery to use the A/C in auto mode so that hte fan does not stop.
 

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JTMCO said:
My worst fear is "IMA light at 81,000 miles" and having the dealer say, "You need a Battery pack and it is out of warranty".
I'm right there with you on that fear. I've been getting a recal about once a week, an average of every 250 miles or so, and have been keeping a log on all of my recals since the start of the year. Twice I've asked the dealer to check my battery pack, the first time they said its ok and just charged it all the way up before they returned it to me, and last time, they kept my car an extra day "researching the problem" only to hand me a copy of a Honda Service Advisory noting that recalibrations of the SOC indicator are normal. I told them normal yes, if they occur rather infrequently, but once a week or so is way to frequent to be normal, and I think that just pissed off the service manager but I don't care. I plan on writing a letter to Honda's Customer Service region office documenting my requests in this regard, as well as providing them with a copy of my recalibration log and ask them either to provide detailed guidance to myself and the dealer on this issue, or to direct me to a dealer in my area that has a service department trained and competent in the area of dealing with the IMA components. If the dealers or Honda think they can say that its ok until the IMA warranty runs out and then say it needs to be replaced at that point, well, that will be a point they may end up having to prove in court.
 

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In defense of my local dealer, I haven't had any problems with them, but I've only had routine service (valve adjustment, alignment, state inspection, headlight and parking brake recalls). I've never tried to discuss the IMA system. So, I don't have any specific issue with them, I just fear that the system will die just after the warranty.

I sometimes debate whether to push the system a bit harder to see if I can make it konk out pre-warranty or to baby it to make it last as long as possible, but I've decided I'll just drive it and let the chips fall where they may.

I really do love the car.
 

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Despite what I believe are the downgrading performance characteristics of the IMA battery pack, I still love my Insight also. In fact, I just called Honda Customer Service this morning and they suggested trying a different dealer in my area, mentioning that I had talked with Honda Customer Service, and let them know that if they have questions regarding how to properly assess the IMA components that they contact their own technical support staff within Honda Corporate. I will do so. The Customer Service Rep said that if I'm still not satisfied after doing that they then we can look into other remedies that Honda may be able to provide, but he didn't go into what that might be. He also noted my call, so that they at Honda Corporate now have a record of what's going on in this regard, and that the problems with the frequent recals began well before hitting the IMA warranty limits.

I have a feeling that I just have had the unfortunate luck to have been dealing with a dealer that has not had to do much in terms of servicing Honda's hybrid vehicles, and either don't want the trouble or don't have the appropriate training to deal with the IMA systems. It does seem to me after my call that Honda as a company is interested in helping me get to the bottom of what's going on and will do what it takes to satisfy me in this regard. We'll see if that holds true going forward, but at least I feel a bit better as this moment!
 

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Am I correct in thinking everyone has replaced their 12volt battery by now, and this issue is not related to that?
 

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My 12V was replaced this year with the Honda recommended battery.
 

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I race my Insight weekly and I force charge it by idling at 3500 RPM for 2 minutes about 10 times a week with the hood open. My Insight is a 2000 model with 87,000 km and the IMA gets some serious abuse. But I have only had 2 recalibrations ever. First one when I changed my 12V battery and 2nd when I changed my 12V accessory fuse. I live in Toronto and this summer we have not had a lot of hot days. I use the A/C when it's hot, i could rough it out sometimes but I don't because I know the battery pack doesn't like the heat.
 

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low end recals

Rick,

I've had the same thing happen a couple of times this summer. Stopped at a light, not doing anything to use up brake vacuum, and all of a sudden the engine starts - recal. I drove from Pittsburgh PA to Hamilton ON this past February and had three recals on that trip - most of it Interstate. I'm also experiencing very, very poor mpg. I think my SOC has only gone to full one time this summer - most of the time it's below half - which means the car is almost constantly charging.

The ones that really get me are the ones that occur in the city while stopped at a traffic light - it's like there should be a warning buzzer to let you know that you can't just throw the car in first gear and take off like usual.

I'm at 68,000 miles, and am seriously hoping that something major will happen before 80,000.

Replacing the 12V battery doesn't seem to have changed a thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well... finall as of last night things are back to normal. It took quite a bit of driving to get the charge back up. The recall's force charging seemed to get the batteries hot. The next day they were fine. I tell ya if this gets worse there's going to be a few dealerships here in town that are not going to like seeing me.
 

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Well! If this is the worst your life has to offer, then I really do have room to complain.... ;)

Really now, one recal? In months? Not too bad if you ask me, and no, you didn't, but still...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah not bad, but the trend is it's slowly getting worse. Thats whats scaring me. Before I could drain that puppy all the way down to nothing and it wouldn't recall, now I've had it recall at 50% twice. I think part of it is deffinitely the heat. Summer's calming down some, but I might try a little high speed cooling fan mod I've had in mind for a while now for the batteries.
 

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Do you use your A/C on a regular basis to keep the cabin temperature near room temperature?
 
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Hi Rick:

___I know you have heard this from me before but when I hear “Before I could drain that puppy all the way down to nothing and it wouldn't recall, now I've had it recall at 50% twice”, I just know your pack is heading for a rather unpleasant and shortened life irregardless of if you live in the heat AZ., the cold of AK, or have a brand new 04 CVT! I don’t know what your daily driving style is like but you have simply got to get off that pack for normal use. It is for very short assists which leads me to think very short assists are not anywhere near the amount to drain it. Even in the very worst 20 + mile dead stop crawl traffic jam w/ autostops galore, I have only pulled 7 bars of 20 from the SOC once and the reason is I won’t use assist unless I truly need it. With that, never a recal either. I do have the fortune of living in an area where the winters are harsh but the summers are far more temperate … As it stands, I believe your pack is now on a downhill slide (I truly hope not …) and for those with Insight’s that have yet to experience a recal, take heed. Use your pack when it’s needed which does not mean at every acceleration nor use it deeply when it is invoked. Our 5-speeds second gear loves to spool the Assist up and with that, I won’t let it go over 4 bars under almost any circumstances. In fact, I usually back off the accelerator just enough to remove assist in second and continue on my merry way with no assist all the way up to highway speeds.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2eunojq6][email protected][/email:2eunojq6]
 

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xcel said:
I usually back off the accelerator just enough to remove assist in second and continue on my merry way with no assist all the way up to highway speeds.
How long does that take from 0-60?
 

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Tim Maddux said:
xcel said:
I usually back off the accelerator just enough to remove assist in second and continue on my merry way with no assist all the way up to highway speeds.
How long does that take from 0-60?
9 months, and still not there.... :wink:
 
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Hi Tim:
Tim Maddux said:
How long does that take from 0-60?
___If no one is behind you, why would you care? If one does care, then they might be in a hurry to burn up their pack needlessly or trying to impress themselves with our little beauties at best 10.5 seconds to 60 at each and every stop? Without the pack, our Insight’s are good for 12.5 seconds although I probably take double that for much higher fuel economy and hopefully a much longer pack life. I do the same in my regular ICE equipped cars as well without ever touching or exceeding 3,000 RPM’s. The longevity of said practice should speak for itself.

___Holicow, I think I answered your question with a bit more accuracy? In other words, if you want your pack to last, use it sparingly or when you need it, not all the time or at ones whim. They are too expensive to replace and once a problem arises, you will never be as satisfied with your automobile as you were before an issue of this magnitude arose.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1acivhug][email protected][/email:1acivhug]
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I always use the AC, I never skimp on that. Usually I have it set to econ 77 degrees with fan on 3 or 4. The passenger side vent is always pointed towards the battery vent intake, and the only thing I have behind that seat is a cd case which isn't tall enough to block the opening. If it's hot enough I will always set the air to full auto until it cools off. I usually only average around 55mpg in the summer so I make up my LMPG of 63.2 durring the winter months.

Xcel, the most recent occurance was in the least ideal conditions. About a half mile of stop and creep. Still, I'd almost rather it only show me 50% than show me full then get to half and woops sorry try again. Also, I've got a 02, you've got a 00. There's a difference in the way they act with the IMA. I've owned a 2000 model, it's easy enough to not use any assist. My 02 you cannot accelerate without assist unless you use light pedal and keep the engine above 3,000 rpm. So basically the only way to accelerate without assist would be redline 1st so 2nd would bring you to right about 3000 (which I have done before when it's extremely hot outside).

i really think there is a flaw in the battery thermal managment (at least for my environment). Once you get them hot no amount of air conditioning can get them cooled off. The only way to get them back to normal is to let it sit overnight. Of course it doesn't necessarily get to 110 degrees anywhere in Japan that I know of.

I guess I need to recreate the 50% recal one more time just to be absolutely certain, then I think I'm going to go talk to the service manager at the local dealership that I know and see what can be done. I'm sure they'll want to do the usual check it out, your fine routine.
 

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I wonder if anyone has thought of doing a thermal cool down battery mod.

Say, maybe, take a length of dryer tubing and run it from the passenger AC vent to the battery air inlet behind the drivers seat... :wink:

Or, installing a ram air scoop in the side of the car and runing ducting to the battery pack?
 
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