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Discussion Starter #1
My 2019 Insight wouldn't start when I pressed the power button. I jump started it, which worked. But then when I tried to put it in drive or reverse, the following message was displayed on the status display: “gear unavailable try a while later” 

Is this a malfunction of some sort? The battery display showed 4-5 bars.
 

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The battery bars only relate to the hybrid power to the wheels, not the 12V battery. Your 12v AGM battery may be failing. Had the car sat for a while or was something left on to drain the battery? If you can, try to shut the car off and restart (without a jump) to see if you can get in gear. It's possible the jump freaked out the car - Insights are very sensitive. The 12v battery doesn't need to do much to start the car, but a failing one can cause all sorts of electrical gremlins. When the car wouldn't start, were you able to unlock the doors without issue and get interior light to come on? Just trying to feel out the 12v battery health. If you get nowhere, you're likely still under warranty, so let it be Honda's problem.
 

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I think hasarad's hunch is right about the 12V battery. Per OM p457, "You may occasionally find that it takes longer than usual for the vehicle to start moving when you select (R), release the brake pedal, and/or depress the accelerator pedal. This may occur when the High Voltage battery level is extremely low, and does not indicate a vehicle malfunction."

Also, how were temperature conditions? From OM p458, "When shifting gears in extremely low temperatures (−22°F/−30°C), there may be a short delay before the shift is indicated in the display."

Were you eventually able to keep it in gear to drive it around a while? The HV battery recharges the 12V battery via DC-to-DC converter (vs alternator), so the same principle of driving around and/or keeping the car running could help build charge in the 12V battery if still healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was leaving on vacation and so had to leave the car! Temperature was fine (60s). I’m not sure why the 12 V battery is needed to start the car moving —wouldn’t that be the responsibility of the high-voltage battery?

As for what led to the discharge of the 12V, such that I couldn’t even open the trunk — I had adjusted the pressure of the tires using the supplies tire inflator, with the car in accessory mode. That shouldn’t have depleted it, should it?
 

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I was leaving on vacation and so had to leave the car! Temperature was fine (60s). I’m not sure why the 12 V battery is needed to start the car moving —wouldn’t that be the responsibility of the high-voltage battery?

As for what led to the discharge of the 12V, such that I couldn’t even open the trunk — I had adjusted the pressure of the tires using the supplies tire inflator, with the car in accessory mode. That shouldn’t have depleted it, should it?
This lady explains why the 12v battery is needed to start a hybrid or electric vehicle.

How long did the Insight sit without being driven while you were on vacation?
 

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I was leaving on vacation and so had to leave the car! Temperature was fine (60s). I’m not sure why the 12 V battery is needed to start the car moving —wouldn’t that be the responsibility of the high-voltage battery?

As for what led to the discharge of the 12V, such that I couldn’t even open the trunk — I had adjusted the pressure of the tires using the supplies tire inflator, with the car in accessory mode. That shouldn’t have depleted it, should it?
The 12-volt battery enables the electrical start-up checks that are required before the high-voltage battery is safely connected for use. The HV battery is for powering/propelling the car. - Premature Driving Before System is Ready

Running the car in accessory mode to inflate tire, then not driving the car to allow the 12V battery to recharge may have caused the issue. The manual recommends that the car be fully powered "on" to run compressor from accessory outlet. - some discussions on this topic are in "Tire Repair Kit Immediately Quits" and "Accessory Power Outlet loses power"
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, I see that I may have caused the problem, but how can I fix it short of having the car towed to the dealer? The car will have been left for almost 2 days. How can one recharge the 12V battery? Again, the car won’t move.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The 12-volt battery enables the electrical start-up checks that are required before the high-voltage battery is safely connected for use. The HV battery is for powering/propelling the car. - Premature Driving Before System is Ready

Running the car in accessory mode to inflate tire, then not driving the car to allow the 12V battery to recharge may have caused the issue. The manual recommends that the car be fully powered "on" to run compressor from accessory outlet. - some discussions on this topic are in "Tire Repair Kit Immediately Quits" and "Accessory Power Outlet loses power"
By the way, the “Ready to Drive” light was on before I attempted to put the car in drive or reverse And before the message “Gear not available …” was displayed.
 

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Ok, I see that I may have caused the problem, but how can I fix it short of having the car towed to the dealer? The car will have been left for almost 2 days. How can one recharge the 12V battery? Again, the car won’t move.
Do you have access to a trickle charger? - How to trickle charge 12v when laying up Insight

Or maybe try jump starting it again and letting the car idle in place for 30 minutes?

The HV battery recharges the 12V battery via DC-to-DC converter, and the car just needs to be running. The 30 minute suggestion comes from the manual mentioning running the car for 30 minutes once every 3 months to keep the HV battery charged up.

If these don't work, might be time to tow to a dealer.
 

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Ok, I see that I may have caused the problem, but how can I fix it short of having the car towed to the dealer? The car will have been left for almost 2 days. How can one recharge the 12V battery? Again, the car won’t move.
If it isn't too inconvenient to have it tow(it's free with Honda roadside) to the dealership I would let them fix the Insight.

We're just speculating here that it's the 12v battery...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The car turns on. The problem is forcing the engine to turn on. I’ve turned on the A/C. So let it run 30 minutes? The high voltage battery is now at 6 bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My auto insurance includes towing and allows me to schedule a pickup time, unlike Honda. Do I have anything to
fear from having the car towed by just anyone? Any recommendations? Flatbed or dolly?
 

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As long as the drive wheels are off the ground, the method of towing doesn't matter. Just make sure the tow driver realizes it's NOT a Civic and has lower ground clearance. The issue I can see is that you can't get it in gear. If you can't get it in neutral, I wouldn't trust anyone towing it except for whomever HONDA sends. Anyone else can cause damage and not be aware. If the Honda-sourced tow driver causes damage, it's all on them. The question is, how to do get it out of the garage if you can't get in into neutral??
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It’s in an accessible driveway, not a garage. You’re right — it won’t go into neutral. But that doesn’t matter for the rear wheels, does it?
 

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Haven't tried it, but there should be a manual way (wrench) to move the transmission to neutral per this Accord Hybrid video - 2019 Insight vs 2018 Accord Hybrid

Tow trucks also generally have dollies they can place under the rear wheels. The piece that matters for the rear wheels is whether the parking brake is engaged or not. Does that system respond for you?

@Wolverine51 also shared description and resolution of issues with 12V battery, though that car started up and was driveable to dealer. - Defective 12 Volt Battery
 

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Let Honda deal with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My driveway slopes downward to the street. I guess dollies would be the best solution?
 
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