125mpg and rising!

If you have problems with your Insight MK1 Battery in the UK then I can offer free advice, but please read this info first.  I also offer a much cheaper alternative to the Honda dealer replacement IMA Battery which in the UK costs £3000 excluding fitting!!

IMA Battery & Charger

Thanks to Ron Hansen in the US for letting me use the below info from his website. (Saves me typing it all) Ron provides the same sort of service in US as I do here in UK. Visit his site if you are a US resident.




Repairing a UK Honda Insight IMA battery.


I can repair, recondition, rebuild and replace Hybrid IMA batteries for UK Honda Insights.

The Insight is covered by a 10 year/150,000 mile warranty in the US but sadly not in the UK. The UK warranty situation is very complicated, but basically if your car is over 80,000 miles or 8 years old and does not have a Honda Cover year on year extended warranty then you are stuffed.

A replacement battery is nearly £3000 inc fitting from a UK Honda Dealer. I can exchange the battery for 1/6 of that price. Please note that I generally only repair/exchange batteries that are throwing P1447 (battery degradation) and P1449 (battery overheat) errors.  If you have any other errors e-mail for advice.  I generally keep one good battery in stock to allow a straight swap for your failing battery which I then recondition/repair later and pass onto the next owner.  The actual swap over takes about 2-3 hours with you helping me in my garage!

Note I do not offer a battery shipping/service.  The vehicle must be brought to my address in North Yorkshire for the battery swap/exchange work to be carried out.

This below details a typical repair. A gentleman in the US was getting P1449 errors on his 2000 Insight.

A WELL designed shipping crate. This battery was 93 lbs in the crate and cost about $100 to ship from Georgia to NYC.

Removing the fan would have allowed a smaller shipping container.

Ready for disassembly.

Cover removed. Now the battery is dangerous.
Each of the bolts carries anywhere from 14-96V. 96V
CAN kill you. If you turn on the circuit breaker, it jumps to 144V. 144V WILL probably kill you. Furthermore, those are nominal voltages. A full pack can hold 168V.

Also, the pack is designed to discharge at up to 100 amps. That's 14,400 watts of power. To put this in perspective, a house outlet is usually 110V at 20 amps which is 2,200 watts. Most houses have 100 amp service which is 11,000 watts. The IMA battery carries more juice than the average house.

Respect the voltage and don't touch.

All the bolts have been removed with a non conductive wrench. The screws are attached to the PTC strips which sense the temperature of the battery.

Now the plate has been removed and the battery has been broken into 10 individual circuits of 14.4V each. The battery is now safe.

You are looking at the ends of the 20 sticks of batteries that make up the pack. Each stick is made up of six "D" cell batteries that have been welded together. I test and recondition each of these seperately. THAT'S why it takes three weeks to rebuild a battery.

Now we turn it around to the other side. This is the side you want to keep your fingers out of when handling the battery. There are some places here where you could get a shock, much like playing with a 110V wall outlet. Just be careful when handling it.

See the gray plugs?

Look what's under them - 96V.

After removing the four plugs and the bolts underneath them, we remove six retaining bolts and the whole assembly comes off. These bolts are safe because the other side was already taken off.

These spacers are used for the four bolts under the plugs.

I'll stick the four spacers and bolts back in temporarily to make it easier to charge.

The charger/tester/reconditioner in action on the first stick. I leave the sticks in the pack unless I have to replace one.

When testing and reconditioning is done, I replace any bad sticks with tested ones that I keep in stock.
This battery had one bad stick. Here I am preparing a replacement stick. I recondition/test the replacements as well.

Out with the old and in with the new.


A straight forward swap out of a failing pack for my good pack is £500 cash including fitting.

Rebuilding a Pack:

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A Honda Civic Hybrid IMA battery pack:

Some years of Honda Civic Hybrids have IMA packs that contain the same NiMH sticks that the Insight uses. I picked one up to use the sticks inside. The pack housings are similar, but not interchangeable. The HCH pack has straps to carry it!
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Pictures of my car during the packwhack: (http://www.99mpg.com/ProjectCars/mimapackwhack/ under "fast pack rebalancing 101")

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Pictures of my Honda Insight Now:

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And before:

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I also supply and fit a mains IMA battery charger which can rebalance and fully charge the battery. In some cases this can recover the battery making replacement unnecessary for many thousands of extra miles. 

A quick word about costs and my terms/conditions.


A reconditioned exchange IMA battery (when available) is £850 inc fitting. (Approx 2hrs)


A reconditioned exchange IMA battery  (when available) & Mains charger fitted at same time is £1000. (Approx 2.5hrs)


A mains charger fitted is £200. (Approx 1hr)


All the work takes place at my house in North Yorkshire with you helping, and the car must be brought to me for the work to take place.


A mains charger supplied to you by post, for fitting by you is £200 inc postage.  Chargers are hand built as required and I don’t keep them in stock as a rule.


There is a 3 month RTB warranty against failure only on the IMA battery. It takes several weeks to prepare an IMA battery as I only recondition them when required. They are not available at short notice.


You will be required to sign a disclaimer before I will supply or fit a mains charger.


Download my Mains Charger  & Disclaimer files to see if it is suitable for you.