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Honda Insight Hybrid Battery Pack Questions

24

Comments

  • imahelpimahelp Posts: 7
    .....I have found that a battery with P1447 errors might have cells that are only capable of 1500Mah. After reconditioning, those cells get back up to the 5800-6200 Mah range. What matters is replacing the bad cells (the ones with high internal resistance, high self-discharge rate, etc.) that caused the deterioration so that it doesn't happen again. Can another cell go bad? Certainly, but MTBF would suggest that there will be a significant amount of time before that happens......

    I am an engineer and your statement about MTBF makes no sense at all. The MTBF of these cells is calculated from the day they are manufactured, not from the day you "rejuvenate" them. Are you saying that you believe putting a battery rejuvenator on a battery makes it "like new" again, resetting the MTBF calcs as well? Explain that. And since the cells that you are replacing have failed, and they are part of a sampling of 120 units, how do you make the leap that they were the exception and not the rule? How can you claim that the other cells still have so much more life expectancy when cells in this lot have already failed?

    Thanks for the price gathering. There seems to be a large disparity between the Honda quotes in the San Diego area and those in New York. I'll be making calls and asking for documentation myself because, with differences of these amounts, Honda America (and their dealerships) owes Insight owners some explanations.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    ...I am an engineer and your statement about MTBF makes no sense at all. The MTBF of these cells is calculated from the day they are manufactured, not from the day you "rejuvenate" them. Are you saying that you believe putting a battery rejuvenator on a battery makes it "like new" again, resetting the MTBF calcs as well? ...

    No and stop acting like a moron. You know what I mean. If there are one or two failures in the first 8 years, there aren't likely to be much more than that in the next 8. The projected life for these batteries is 30 years. One or two will go bad early. Others will show early warning. If these are all replaced, then there is a reasonable expectation of 5-8 more years before another failure. They aren't all going to go bad at once.
  • imahelpimahelp Posts: 7
    Wow; You seem like quite the hot-head. Now you have reverted to name calling.
    I don't know how you can possibly make the claims that you do. If the whole pack is several years old and cells have just started to fail, it doesn't make any sense (except to you perhaps) that a smaller number would fail in the future versus larger numbers. The claim defies logic and common sense.
    My point was (and remains so) that if there are 120 cells in the pack and some are starting to fail, it is reasonable to guess that the remaining cells, that are just as old and deteriorated as the ones that are currently failing, will likely begin to fail also. I have no way (and neither do you) to predict otherwise. The materials have aged, nothing lasts forever, and if I can buy brand new units, I would prefer to do so rather than trickle big bucks out for "snake oil" from a slick seller that throws around technical buzz words.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    You have been insulting me and calling me names in private emails for more than a week, all because I asked you what steps you had taken to ensure your custom battery pack doesn't have a thermal meltdown at the battery contact points, or worse yet, set the car on fire.

    Honda welded the cells together for a reason, and the bus bars are half an inch wide to carry the extreme current that is produced and consumed by the electric motor.

    Now, why rebuild a battery? Let me spell it out for the non-technical people on the list and so that you don't spin it further away from the truth.

    NiMH batteries have an estimated lifespan of about 30 years under ideal conditions. The Insight certainly does not provide ideal conditions, so some of the cells will fail early. We are now at the 8 or so year mark for most of the failing packs. A careful reconditioning and testing of the cells will identify the ones that are bad, the ones that are going bad, the ones that are worn but stable and the ones that are fresh and top performers.

    If you replace the bad and going bad cells, you can expect the remaining good cells to last quite a while before any more cells die. They do give a great deal of advanced warning before failure and continue to function in a diminished capacity for a long time.

    This makes repairing a battery an appealing choice over purchasing a new one or upgrading it, because repairing costs about 1/3 of the price of replacing or upgrading and another 5-8 years of battery life without trouble is reasonable to expect.

    Why replace the 90-95% of the battery that is good?

    Please feel free to send me more nasty emails if you wish.
  • imahelpimahelp Posts: 7
    With regard to the 30 year life expectancy of NiMH batteries, may I suggest to readers of this forum that they do two things; Google the report that keeps getting referenced and consult with your local Honda Dealer or any reputable battery sales source. That should enlighten you and keep everyone honest here. Or just use your own experience as a litmus test. I'm sure that some of you have owned and used NiMH cells in other applications before. You should have some idea of how they perform and how they have failed. Trust your instincts.
    It is true that I rebuilt my IMA battery pack with new cells. I had no idea I would create such a stir by revealing my design and offering to show it to local Honda Insight owners in this forum. I stated that I used new cells and prefer that approach over buying old packs from junk yards and "rejuvenating" them. I have stated my reasons why. Apparently when people making false and/or misleading claims are called on their information, they become quite agitated. If calling a person that sells "snake oil" and offers distorted and made-up data to people, "not credible" then I guess I am guilty of "name calling" but I will let the readers decide on names like "moron" and anything else that "feels" right to them.
    In any event, I hope that the readers of this forum will do their homework. I will be happy to show you my car(s) and explain some of my mod's to you if you are local and interested in seeing them. Please do not ask me for pictures of the battery pack, schematics, parts lists etc. I am not here to help further the education of anyone or make myself feel important. I am just offering advice and another solution to what is sure to become an all too familiar problem with Hybrid cars as time goes on.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,859
    Let's keep the personal disputes off the forums please. What you do off the forums in email is your business. When it spills over onto the forums, that's where it needs to stop and stop now.

    Thanks for your cooperation and participation.

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  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    "nuff said. If anyone wants to know any more about rebuilding IMA batteries, they can contact me directly, or search google.

    BTW, Honda recycles the good sticks out of warranty packs and uses them in the replacement batteries. All warranty replacement batteries are "remanufactured battery module(s)" and they are ordered by the dealer from CALHAC*

    If remanufactured/rebuilt/reconditioned/"rejuvenated" batteries are good enough for Honda, they are certainly not "snake oil".

    Here is a picture of three batteries being repaired:
    image

    *Honda Service Bulletin 00-070 dated Dec '06
  • bodach1bodach1 Posts: 1
    I've owned my Insight since 2000 and recently, the battery will seem to almost discharge on its own. Generally keep it fully charged, depending on driving in the NW but two things happen: 1. will discharge rapidly after getting down about half way on the meter or 2. will almost be fully discharged when I come out in the morning to go to work.
    Any ideas? Just found this site and I am reading previous messages. Have about 125K on the car, local dealers appear to be boneheads.
    Thanks
  • imahelpimahelp Posts: 7
    The condition that you describe sounds exactly like a battery that is failing. Of course, since your car is probably still within the warranty period (assuming it does not have a salvage title) it is in the interest of the Honda dealer to play dumb and run out the clock on you I suppose. Since it's a 2000 model, you are close to the ten year mark.
    Have you had the IMA light come on and the system shut down yet? If you haven't, then maybe you should try to accomplish that by taking a drive in some areas that will really tax the system, demanding higher and more sustained current draw from the battery until the system is unable to keep up. Around southern California that is easy to do. We have lots of mountainous area. It seems to me that WV might also have it's fair share of mountain roads to drive on. You might also be able to do that by trying to use full IMA power as often as possible by driving in higher gears than you normally do and keeping the RPM under 3K while having a "lead foot" on the accelerator. Once there is an actual idiot light and obvious problem to address, you can be the one that plays dumb (except for your knowledge of the battery issue and warranty :-) and try taking it back to them again.
    Good luck!
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    When you say "discharges rapidly", do you mean within a few seconds? Or perhaps you'll just suddenly notice that the gauge reads empty (maybe when you notice that there is no assist available)? If so, this is called a "downward recal" and is an indication of a battery that is on the way out. It will happen more and more frequently and will eventually trigger a P1447 error with a lit IMA light. At that point, take it into a dealer and have the codes read. You will then be eligible for a replacement battery under warranty (assuming you don't have a salvage title). They will not replace it unless the IMA light lights. If they are a typical dealer, they have little experience with Insights and this problem isn't in their database. They may be boneheads, but I would not expect them to be able to tell what the problem is.

    You didn't say how often it does this. When it gets to multiple times per day, the end is near.

    If the dealer tries to charge you for anything, call American Honda or contact us here. This repair is free.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    Ogre, you appear to be the reigning expert an Insight batteries. What is your opinion on the new & improved "next generation" Nickle hydrid in the 2010 Insight. Do you think they will have significantly longer life? Thanks!
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    I can't answer that question. I have no direct experience with them. Marketing literature is written to sell things, so I won't make up my mind until I see what is really in there and/or talk to people who have torn them apart.

    I can tell you that the only thing producing the short life in the IMA batteries is the fact that the cells are all in series and the car has no way to independently charge them. I know this because most of them are not dead, they are just crippled due to a few weak cells. After reconditioning, they spring back to life, but the weak cells must be replaced, or the battery will fade once more.
  • rookie60rookie60 Posts: 39
    There seems to be a BIT of controversy about batteries. "What is the warranty length of the battery pack on the new Insight? Is it 10 years/100,000 miles? If it is less, would a person be better off buying a Fit or a regular Civic? After 100,000 miles, the Fit/Civic would be still ready to go. With Honda reliability, they are just broken in. If it is going to cost $3k-$5k to replaces the battery pack, I would think that any potential buyer would be wary of a car that was 7-8 years old. Is the Insight going to be a car you can't sell after 7-8 years?
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Series 1 Insights are selling for more than 50% of their original purchase price after 8 years. Will the series 2's? I don't know.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 573
    Honda's website:

    - Battery Limited Warranty[1] = 10 years/150,000 miles (AT-PZEV emissions rating). (CARB states)
    - Battery Limited Warranty = 8 years/100,000 miles (ULEV rating) (non-CARB states)
  • The old insights were made to a higher quality. The 2010 Insights are JUNK. Save yourself the hassle and buy a Insight from 2000-2006.

    The 2010 Insights are nothing special. Just more technology to maintain especially after the 3/36 warranty expires.

    What about the battery after 80000 miles from 3-4K, a cost of a new engine.

    I was not inpressed. The Prius is much better Hybrid by 150%.

    Buy yourself a Fit Sport or a Civic LX Auto.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Thank you for TROLLing. If we ever want your biased opinion, we'll be sure to ask.

    And next time try reading the thread before you post.
  • How does this battery warranty work? My mom has had one of these since 2000, I don't know the miles, maybe 60k, and the IMA light came on a month ago or so. She hadn't taken it in for any of the recalls since she's old (77), but there were 5 listed on the work order they gave her, with one being 'warranty extention'. They said until the recall repairs are done that no clue to diagnosis could be made, and I hadn't heard anything until this morning when mom called me to put the bite on me for $3k to fix the car. I don't have it, and am wondering if the dealer is just trying to take my elderly mom for a ride. She's not taken great care of it due to her age and attention while driving, but she is the original owner.

    I wish I had more information, but I'm afraid to call her back for fear of having no reply to her money request. Can anyone explain more about what she's up against?
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    I just responded to you on InsightCentral.
  • Yup, here he (Vagbondchef) goes gain. He says the Prius is a better Hybrid by 150%. Wow, he must have all the inside knowledge and graphs, not to mention links to back that up.

    He says the 2010 Insight is Junk. Wow. The Insight just came out and how in heck does he know that.

    This guy is just trolling and looking to pick a fight, nothing else possitive to do in his boring life and absolutely nothing to back up his useless ranting.
  • mayornatmayornat Posts: 2
    Ron- spoke to you once and can't figure out how to get back to you. Replaced my Honda Hybrid Battery pack with one from a car that had been totalled. It was easy and I now have the old 2003 honda hybrid civic battery. What should I do with it? Do you want it to rebuild? Free to a good home.
  • rookie60rookie60 Posts: 39
    What are "CARB states" and "non-CARB states"???
    Which are which??
    Is Minnesota a "CARB state"??
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,859
    The CarSpace forums cannot be used to buy or sell items or conduct business. If you wish to allow other members to contact you directly, click on the Forum Preferences link and set your email address to "public". That way registered forums users, and only registered forums users, can click on your user name and find your email address to contact you directly.

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  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    CARB states:

    CA (naturally)
    NY NJ CT RI MA ME VT

    Sorry, not Minnesota.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    > Ron- spoke to you once and can't figure out how to get back to you. Replaced my
    > Honda Hybrid Battery pack with one from a car that had been totalled. It was easy
    > and I now have the old 2003 honda hybrid civic battery. What should I do with it? Do
    > you want it to rebuild? Free to a good home.

    Yes, I'd like it. I'm trying to find out how to contact you. Apparently the "Make my email address visible" option does not work and I'm not allowed to post a phone number, much less an email address here.

    You can probably find me on Google by putting in my id "ogregev" (leave out the underscore) and skip over the wargame related entries. I'm on the first page.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    > Ron- spoke to you once and can't figure out how to get back to you. Replaced
    > my Honda Hybrid Battery pack with one from a car that had been totalled. It was
    > easy and I now have the old 2003 honda hybrid civic battery. What should I do
    > with it? Do you want it to rebuild? Free to a good home.

    Hurray! I got it working! Click on my ID to get my email address. Please contact me. I'd like the battery. I'll send you a shipping crate and pay the shipping charges.
  • mayornatmayornat Posts: 2
    I tried that. No email when I Click on your ID. so how do we get in contact?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,859
    To see the email address you need to click on the user name to open the profile window. If you just mouseover the user name a balloon pops up with some info that does not include the email. But Ogre's email is set to public and will display for you as long as you're logged in when you try to view it.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? pf_flyer@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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  • I have a 2000 Insight with 54,000 miles. Drove 2500 miles on a trip this month from South Carolina to Miami, Florida. 400 miles into the trip the battery and brake lights came on. Another 100 miles and the IMA and 'check engine' lights came on, and the 'Assist' & 'Charging' lights went black. My simple solution was to stop and buy another cranking battery. Once ALL the electricty was used up, the dash lights were fading in and out and the cranking battery would power the spark plugs to propel the engine no more than 40 mph, I replaced the cranking battery and everything functioned normally again with no trouble lights on. My solution is to keep a spare CHARGED cranking battery in the back and drive the fool out of the car. Love my Insight!
  • So you're saying that when the cranking battery dies, even if you have a good IMA system, everything is going to go squirrelly?
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