Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Stupid Honda's Stupid 151R Battery

Honda's two different 151 batteries with reversed terminals.

Although this blog is supposed to primarily focus on the DeLorean and I've gotten much better at that lately, I sometimes still write about my other cars. Or candy. Or Halloween. I hope you're not bored.

Our Insight is a 1st generation American model with the CVT transmission which we purchased new in Ohio. As far as I know we still have the only automatic Insight in Canada. Boo-urns? You'd think so but no, just plain Booooo!

After 5 years, the 12 volt lead-acid battery finally decided to call it quits. Despite the big ol' 144 volt pack in the back, the Insight cannot run without the 12v battery. Much like Renee Zellweger, it completes me... Err, the car. It completes a circuit. In the car. I am NOT Tom Cruise, do not send me fan mail.

The original and very sexy 12v battery was supplied by Furukawa Battery Co. While it still functions (holds a charge), it has begun leaking CRAZYSTYLE into the engine compartment. I removed a sticker across the top which read Maintenance Free. Beneath it were six plugs which I removed. I added distilled water and charged the battery but to no avail. Furukawa's "Hi Dash" continued to leak like a paper roof.

Thankfully I have family working at a Honda Dealership, and attempted to order a new battery. (I say attempted because Honda is stupid. Yeah, I've resorted to school-yard name-calling. Stupid Honda.)

Official Honda Dealer battery documents state the Canadian Insight and Civic share a battery. A full size battery. Unfortunately, our U.S. spec Insight has a tiny aluminum enclosure meant for a tiny battery. The dimensions are 7"L x 4-3/4"W x 8"H. This, according to Honda, is a 151 series battery. 151r means the positive and negative terminals are reversed from the normal position.

Honda sold me a Honda FIT battery, as it was the only battery that would fit (pun not intended) the Insight's tiny aluminum enclosure. Unfortunately, it was the 151R, not the 151. The positive terminal is in the opposite corner and the cables do not have enough reach, regardless of which way the battery is rotated.

As a last resort I've located a man who can, at $65/hr, rebuild my Furukawa. He is reluctant to do it, but if I can convince him, it sure beats driving across the border for something as simple as a battery!

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Blogger Cuppojoe said...

Preface: I know lots about coffee, but next to nothing about cars.

Is it possible to have battery cables lengthened, extended, or even replaced with longer ones? I'd be inclined to believe that would be cheaper. Also, it would prevent you from having to find a specific battery in the future.

8:45:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Are you trying to make yourself seem smart? Well done! Yes, they can be lengthened, but I do not want to modify the car or incur that extra expense. I shouldn't have to. It's a simple, simple battery. And if you're not opposed to frequenting CTC or the dealerships, you'll find plenty of industrial companies who can sell you a battery for a FRACTION of retail costs. It's also the principle of it! I think I've found the fellow who can either find me one (he's sending me a photo tomorrow), or failing that, he can restore mine for about the same price as buying one retail.

10:24:00 PM

Blogger Michael Manning said...

I agree with you. To have to go through this experience sounds like it consumed a lot of your time and I can see where it was frustrating! I too am shaing my head at how simple it should be to access a Honda. Glad you resolved it!!!

12:51:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Looks like I've exhausted all options. The U.S. battery is way overpriced. Nearly quadruple the Cdn price (for the battery with the pos terminal in the wrong spot)My only choice now is to have the cables extended!

11:06:00 PM

Blogger honkeie2 said...

They do shit like this on purpose, like making an engine that requires special tools to work on it. I once help a buddy change the spark plugs on his Audi....what an adventure that was!

6:44:00 AM

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9:25:00 AM

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10:57:00 PM


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