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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Insight Battery Cable Conundrum

Insight with extended negative battery cable. The battery is covered in baking soda because it was leaking.

I don't particularly like how Dealerships cater to our generation's NAME-BRAND ONLY attitude. Maybe we as customers have driven them to that. Maybe not. Regardless, it seems to me that Dealerships treat our cars as disposable sources of constant income via replacement - never worthy of being updated or modified. If it's 4 years old, it's outdated like a computer and time for a trade-in.

I've found my usual Honda Dealership to be very closed minded when it comes to car repairs. If it's not an official Honda part or something alters the original design specs, they will refuse to work on it - even if it's their own fault.

My Dealership could only get the 151R Honda FIT battery for my Insight instead of the normal 151. Because the terminals were reversed, the negative battery cable would not reach. But my Dealership refused to extend the cable the measly 3 inches to reach the battery. They said, "we will not modify the original design of the car." Two weeks later they sent me something in the mail asking me to trade in my Insight!

Since my family works at the dealership I was really surprised at this attitude. I did not want a new car. I just wanted the cable lengthened! But every single mechanic/tech refused to add a longer cable. When pressed, they said I might be able to get an independent garage to do the work, but I was looking at 3 hours of labour.

No. That's not a typo.

The Honda Dealership estimated THREE HOURS of labour to unbolt the 6 inch cable, then bolt a 9 inch cable in its place. Are you laughing? You should be. I can't make this stuff up.

Thankfully my regular mechanic is a tad more logical and intelligent. He's the kind of guy who can tell you the most boring story about some random bolt, and make it so exciting that you can't wait to rush home and tell all your friends about this boring random bolt. And it's nice he can take time away from 7 and 8 second drag cars to do an uninspired job like this. He had a new cable fitted and installed in 15 minutes... including driving the car into the bay.

So, I will let you all know if the car burns to the ground because of the extended ground cable. And if you take a shower one morning and find "the dealer was right!" scrawled across your foggy bathroom mirror, you'll know I was in the car when it happened.

Labels: , , ,

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!

Labels: , ,


This many people accidentally stumbled upon my site
...while searching for porn.