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Honda Insight Hybrid Battery Pack Questions



  • gecko3gecko3 Posts: 2
    edited October 2010
    Thanks! My mileage did seem to drop about 2 years ago, so what you're saying makes sense. So will I have any warning before the eventual stranding? Will my mileage go down drastically or the battery stop recharging -- or could I get in the car tomorrow and it wouldn't start?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
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  • On my 2002 Insight since the battery replacement the mileage has decreased to 42 mpg. What I'm afraid what has happened is that when the dealer replaced the battery a new battery pack was installed ( the newer technology) resulting in the lower mileage recorded on more recent models. I was unaware that this was being done, in fact somewhere in the message board a comment was made alerting users to be aware not to let this happen. please comment on this.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    >With the new battery assembly in my initial mileage was 37 MPG, scary, that is the same mileage I obtained when using only gas,

    That's normal. The IMA system doesn't increase gas mileage, it make the efficient but anemic engine feel like a normal engine while still retaining it's gas sipping qualities.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    If the battery light comes on (the "alternator" light), get under the hood and unplug the 12V battery for 30 seconds and then reconnect it and go straight home. This will reset the system and you should have enough time to get home before the error comes back.

    This will only work once or twice so don't think you can continue to drive the car.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    The latest software (A01/070) is attempting to lengthen the life of the battery. It does this by being more liberal with assist when the battery is more than half full and much more aggressive with regen (killing your mileage) when less than half full. In addition, it will periodically perform a balancing charge by deciding to fill the battery completely, even when trying to climb a hill.

    Once the car is out of warranty, you can simply replace the BCM and MCM with an older set and restore the original behavior.
  • What do you mean OUT OF WARRANTY? With this new battery I get an additional 150,000 miles. Don't think I'll be around that long.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Your new battery has no warranty at all. Your CAR has a 150,000 mile warranty. The battery will be replaced as often as necessary until the CAR's warranty is up.

    If you had purchased the battery, it would come with it's own 3 year 36,000 mile warranty.
  • What is limp-in mode?
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Limp-in mode is a term used in the automotive industry to describe a mode where a computer will, knowing that it has severe problems, ignore its' sensors and use a predefined set of default settings to allow the car to "limp-in" to a repair facility. In this case, it will ignore the fact that the entire BCM (the battery charge controlling computer) is MISSING and will activate the DC-DC converter to keep the car running.
  • Is there a way that I can drive my car without the IMA? Will the DC-DC converter keeps the 12V battery charging permanently?
  • I think your wrong, at least the info given me by the dealer is contrary to what you assume. The new battery is warranted for 150,000. You may be thinking of the 12 volt battery. Where did you get your info?
  • joacchimjoacchim Posts: 7
    edited January 2011
    Ron- Ogre's right, I had my 04 Insight IMA battery replaced in 2009 @ 51,000 miles and Honda of America clarified the warranty for me.

    Check this thread starting at post #21 for the details.
  • jim_bjim_b Posts: 1
    how can I get details from you to balance/repair batt pack on 2000.

    Do some cells usually need to be replaced at this age?

    Do you know of a shop within 800 miles or so of NC that rebuilds batt pack?

  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Click on my username there and you'll find my email address. I'm not allowed to say more here publicly.
  • I was up at 3 am and could not sleep due to the IMA light and dead batteries. When I read your message I could not stop laughing at our equal dispare. Thanks for the humor.

  • jags7jags7 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2000 insight from a trusted friend 3-31-11 .
    He had the car since new. He is a retired engineer and you could not find someone who treats their insight better. She is like a goddess to him.
    And he drives very mildly and follows all recs to the letter.
    He had to replace his battery at 80K and again
    at 119K, then again at 125K! Thankfully all under warranty and by the dealer
    via Honda.

    It has 130K on it now.
    My question is why did it last only 39k the time before last and only 6K the last one? Honda doesnt really know. Maybe a defective battery the last time,
    but the time before at 39K is low too. Is there something that could be wrong on the system thats eating up batteries? Honda said no.
  • It's true! My 2004 Insight batteries just crapped out at 130k and the dealer told me the parts alone were over $4500. After reading your post I called them back and challenged the warranty and sure enough the repair is covered.

    It also helped that even though this car was not purchased new it was originally sold by this dealer and I have had them do all the regular maintenance. I also reminded them that this is the 4th or 5th Honda I have purchased from them over the years and I don't deal with their competitor down the street because of service and warranty issues.

    10 years 150,000 miles.

    Now can someone tell me where to buy a thumb throttle kit so I can start hyper-miling.
  • Reading through a lot of the older posts I realize that my sequence of events and symptoms match that of an unbalanced battery pack. My dealer is going to replace my IMA batteries after 130k miles but now I wonder. Is there a way to maintenance the IMA battery pack? Wouldn't it make sense for Honda (and all the other hybrid manufactures) to have a routine battery balancing service every 10-15k Miles or so? Routine maintenance on a lead acid battery is to loosen the caps and overcharge the unit, replenish the electrolyte, and reconnect it to the system. Can the same be done with NiMH batteries without blowing them up or having them catch fire?
  • ronwitmanronwitman Posts: 9
    Any mechanic can test for the code that explains the need for the required maintenance. This is in te IMA. you didn't mention the mileage on your car, the magic number is 150,000 miles. You indicate the IMA had previously replaced. The last I heard the 150,000 begins at the time the IMA was replaced. If your dealer does not respond call Honda. I haven't looked into this recently so things may have changed.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    That post was a bit of spammy-spam, disguised as a question. Sorry.


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  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    >Is there a way to maintenance the IMA battery pack?

    Yes, but the jury is still out on whether it is a good thing to do or not. It wears out the cells, but the benefit of having them balanced may outweigh this.

    Battery packs that are experiencing problems will definitely see an improvement, and for them, it is a no-brainer, but good batteries may be harmed by frequent charging.

    >Routine maintenance on a lead acid battery is to loosen the caps and overcharge the unit, replenish the electrolyte, and reconnect it to the system. Can the same be done with NiMH batteries without blowing them up or having them catch fire?

    No, these are sealed cells. The only maintenance that can be done is to charge them fully. You'll find plans to build your own trickle charger over on Search for "grid-charger". The parts will cost you about $100 and can be assembled in less than an hour.
  • 2twotwo22twotwo2 Posts: 1
    Looking for best quote on rebuilding 200 Insight battery
  • dclarke3dclarke3 Posts: 1
    Hello Ed,

    The battery can be recondition; see "". I had the same problem of short battery capacity for years. Presently my 2000 Insight with 200,000 miles is performing well. It took eight discharge-charge cycles of the battery to bring it back to life. If you were not so far away, I would be willing to lend you the charger.

  • hoekbrwrhoekbrwr Posts: 1

    Living in Netherlands,owning an Insight from 2009. Reading this stuff about the battery pack is rather interesting. I just want to share my experience with a degraded crank battery. It triggered CAN-Bus errors and stopped the enigine. It was dead and could not be started anymore. After a while the battery was just enough "recovered" to get it started again. But after the shop guessed the cause I remembered that this thing was happening with lights on and could be temporarily solved by swithcing off lights and other electrical appliances as much as possible. Almost 5 years now this was the only problem(although a design flaw by not signalling low crank battery but only some weird CAN-Bus error). Insights will not be much different here in NL than in USA.

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