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Discussion Starter #1
Today my significant other had a mid-morning appointment with her doctor. I went outside first to start my 2019 Insight EX (9 months, 3,000 miles old). Door opened normally (remote key in my pocket).
Stepped on brake and pushed power button. Absolutely nothing happened. Totally dead.

Called Honda roadside service. They said a tow to the dealer would probably be required, but when
they asked if I had tried using a battery starter I said no, but be sure tow driver brings one
along. I thought if the engine could be started, the 12 volt battery would no longer be needed to
get me to the dealer.

It took about 1 1/2 hours for AAA tow truck to arrive. Tow driver seemed unfamiliar with hybrids but together we eventually got engine started using his hand held charger (I was so very glad as I do not believe he was equipped to properly "go under the front tires and lift them off the ground".

Drove to dealer while dash kept telling me that power was very low and I should press and hold the power button (which I wasn't going to do since my engines were running just fine).

It took dealer's mechanics about two hours to diagnose and replace the defective 12 volt battery, per warranty (I had the same thing happen to my 2016 Civic EX).

Annoying problem, but better that it happened at home rather than on the highway.
 

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It took about 1 1/2 hours for AAA tow truck to arrive. Tow driver seemed unfamiliar with hybrids but together we eventually got engine started using his hand held charger (I was so very glad as I do not believe he was equipped to properly "go under the front tires and lift them off the ground".

Drove to dealer while dash kept telling me that power was very low and I should press and hold the power button (which I wasn't going to do since my engines were running just fine).

It took dealer's mechanics about two hours to diagnose and replace the defective 12 volt battery, per warranty (I had the same thing happen to my 2016 Civic EX).
I wonder how they diagnose/separate the 12V battery being the root cause rather than incidental. The Insight doesn't have an alternator, so the 12V battery gets charged by the HV battery via the DC to DC converter. It seems like one or all of these systems could have caused the 12V battery to lose charge.

AGM batteries are 'supposed' to have 3-5 years of life, and up to 6-8 years of life if 'properly maintained.' For maximum life, AGM batteries last longest when left fully charged and/or not discharged for very long.

There are some jump starting tips offered in this thread, including battery booster info from manual, jump start procedure, and shift lock release (for towing). Hope you won't need to use the tips anytime soon, but your issue sounds odd for such a 'new' battery... - https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/202-2019-honda-insight-charging-batteries/688-my-car-died-cold-weather-starting-problem-2.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
This towing instruction for the 2012 Insight says to me :

If you can't start engine you can't change gears or release parking brake, so you can't roll car up onto flat bed truck

You can only lift front wheels off ground and pull car along


P.S. My 12 v battery was in use (being recharged) every day. And yes it does seem strange for battery to never show any symptom before suddenly dying
 

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I think it has to do with us low mileage owners not driving the car much and when we do it's not far enough to top up the AGM battery. The Insight's onboard computer from what I have learned is always on pinging for the key fob, monitoring HV battery health, checking for fuel evap leakage, and Hondalink diagnostics from the display audio screen. Our cars will drain that small battery even when off.
 

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This towing instruction for the 2012 Insight says to me :

If you can't start engine you can't change gears or release parking brake, so you can't roll car up onto flat bed truck

You can only lift front wheels off ground and pull car along


P.S. My 12 v battery was in use (being recharged) every day. And yes it does seem strange for battery to never show any symptom before suddenly dying
  • The absence of the manual parking brake lever frees up space on the center console.
  • The absence of additional cables and moving parts eliminate additional mechanical wear that would eventually need replacement.
  • No need to tighten stretched brake calbes with use of existing caliper pads.
  • The hill hold function is possible. This automatically applies the brakes to prevent rollback when accelerating from a stop on an incline.
  • Reduction in overall weight of the vehicle due to the absence of mechanical hand brake parts, up to 16lbs (7.3kgs) weight reduction.
  • EPB opens up design freedom for the interior designers as well as routing under the vehicle from the lack of cables.
  • There is not any guessing if the parking brake is properly engaged, the computer knows exactly how much pressure to apply.
  • Fewer warranty claims due to a more reliable, simpler system.
  • EPB works in conjunction with the ABS system which won’t let the wheels lock up allowing emergency braking to stop the vehicle in a shorter distance compared to a manual brake which often locks up the rear wheels increasing brake distance
  • In emergency situations, EPB can work in conjunction with the front wheels in addition the rear wheels compared to just the rear wheel application of the manual brake.
  • The electronic computer controlling the EPB knows the driver is leaving or entering the vehicle due to sensors in the seat belt and door (open or closed) and can seamless apply the brakes if the driver forgets when exiting the vehicle.
That's pretty much one of the few cons of an electric parking brake. Dead 12v battery means not being able to disengage the electric parking brake. I will take all of the above pros of an electric parking brake though. :grin:


The Insight's owner manual solution to this is to jump start the 12v battery.



Drove to dealer while dash kept telling me that power was very low and I should press and hold the power button (which I wasn't going to do since my engines were running just fine).



You did the right thing otherwise you could be stranded again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Maybe, but to me that would qualify as a serious design flaw. And the dealer didn't offer such an excuse. The service writer told me that occasionally an AGM battery will just suddenly fail.
 

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Maybe, but to me that would qualify as a serious design flaw. And the dealer didn't offer such an excuse. The service writer told me that occasionally an AGM battery will just suddenly fail.
It could be just bad luck and your AGM battery had a manufacturing defect. Currently at 9 months with just 1,500 more miles than your Insight and still working so far. I will make a thread if mine takes a dump, too. :)
 

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This towing instruction for the 2012 Insight says to me :

If you can't start engine you can't change gears or release parking brake, so you can't roll car up onto flat bed truck

You can only lift front wheels off ground and pull car along
Did the 2012 Insight also lack a physical gear selector (vs buttons like the 2019+ Insight)?

I donn't want to repost everything from the thread I linked above, but as mentioned there's an overview of "Neutral Override | Shift Lock Release" (2:40 to 5:38) for the Accord... and worth checking out in case the issue recurs on your Insight?. The video suggests "all Hondas with push button gear selector" have this physical control shaft under the hood, which will release the gear selector to neutral to allow for towing.

The electronic parking brake would still be problematic, but at least the Insight isn't an AWD car and there's a second video suggestion/tip below for trying to release it manually if the car's power dies.

 

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Here's the towing instructions for your reference on the 2019 Honda Insight. Essentially get a flat bed if you can't jump start the car and turn off the electric parking brake.



 

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Discussion Starter #11
What have I missed ? How do you get the car up onto a flat bed truck if it's both in gear and with parking brake on ?
 

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What have I missed ? How do you get the car up onto a flat bed truck if it's both in gear and with parking brake on ?
I think they jack up your car with these wheels on one end and winch it up on the other end.


 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, I get it. But I know that the truck that came for my car had no "accessories" like that

Thanks again. I'm off to bed. I'll ask further about this matter (quietly) of my dealer's techs.
 

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Okay, I get it. But I know that the truck that came for my car had no "accessories" like that

Thanks again. I'm off to bed. I'll ask further about this matter (quietly) of my dealer's techs.
Probably need to let the towing company know ahead of time car is stuck in park with electric parking brake engaged. Let us know what you find out from the dealership.
 

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Cars have been towed for ages, with or without electronic parking brakes (e.g. mis-parked cars still get towed away, regardless of gear shifter or parking brake setting).

As owners, if we're the ones calling for tow, we want to do it in a way that causes least damage... and with the Insight being front wheel drive (vs AWD), the parking brakes are only applied to the rear wheels (vs all wheels). The process that would cause least impact from towing would be via flatbed truck or dollies under the rear wheels... but my point is that tow companies know how to tow regardless of a car's gear or parking brake condition. Tow truck winches are strong enough to counter parking systems.

Ironically, this discussion makes me think it'd be 'safer' to leave cars without the parking brake engaged... though this is an exception type situation.
 

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It took dealer's mechanics about two hours to diagnose and replace the defective 12 volt battery, per warranty (I had the same thing happen to my 2016 Civic EX).
A little deja vu, but we were all discussing 12V battery replacement and cost just a few months ago when you mentioned warranty and charging/maintenance... https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/202-2019-honda-insight-charging-batteries/2026-12-volt-agm-battery-specs-replacement.html

There's full coverage on the 12V AGM battery for the first 36 months, then pro-rated coverage thru 100 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just found that Emergency Towing is on page 648 of the 2019 Insight Owners Manual and it's the same text as the 2012

Unless I'm on parking on a moderate or steeper incline I don't use the Emergency Parking Brake when I exit the car. I just push the Power button, the Park indicator comes on briefly, I leave

Is there really nothing in the 2019 Insight software that monitors the condition of the 12 volt battery ? No warning if battery charge level is going too low ? Seems weird
 

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well this has me worried about getting a e-car. I'm new here looking to pick up some info about this car before I commit.
The chance of this type of issue you will see in forums for a new accord/civic/acura....is absolutely almost impossible.
wtf
 

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Is there really nothing in the 2019 Insight software that monitors the condition of the 12 volt battery ? No warning if battery charge level is going too low ? Seems weird
'Battery checks' (12V and HV) are done at each start-up. Per page 591 of OM, "The condition of the (12V) battery is monitored by a sensor located on the negative terminal of the battery. If there is a problem with this sensor, the driver information interface will display a warning message. If this happens, have your vehicle inspected by a dealer."

A 'battery icon' will show on the dashboard if the 12V battery isn't getting charged. Honda suggests that when in this low battery state, the car not be turned off because the Power system uses the 12V battery to activate, and may not re-start if the car is turned off while this icon is on the dashboard.
 

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well this has me worried about getting a e-car. I'm new here looking to pick up some info about this car before I commit. The chance of this type of issue you will see in forums for a new accord/civic/acura....is absolutely almost impossible. wtf
Just to clarify, all cars (hybrid or not) have 12V batteries. There are examples of Accords, Civics, Acuras having this issue as well, but overall it's not common (i.e. not all of us owners/forum members are reporting any issues with battery at all).

There are always examples of these exceptions for every car:
2016 Accord, <1 year battery - https://www.carcomplaints.com/Honda/Accord/2016/electrical/battery_dies_prematurely.shtml
2016 Civic forum, 3 batteries in 3 wks - https://www.civicx.com/threads/3rd-new-dead-battery-in-3-weeks.4371/
Acura batteries failing <3 years - Acura MDX Battery Dead Problems

Hybrid have a separate high voltage (HV) battery, but that is different from the 12V battery we're talking here. Which of the two batteries are you concerned about?
 
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