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Old 12-02-2015, 04:20 PM   #33 (permalink)
2011 Honda Insight EX
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Portland, Oregon USA
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I just spent a half hour on the phone with a guy who apparently is an engineer at Bumblebee Batteries here in Portland, OR.

I am trying to find out if there is a sure-fire maintenance operation that I can or should perform in order to prolong the battery life. He said that the grid charger is not necessarily this. While it is a trickle charger, making the highest voltage cells burn off excess energy as heat while the low cells catch up is damaging to the high cells; so it becomes a question of lesser of two evils. Which is to say that you would not want to use a grid charger more than a few times a year. His customers mainly use grid charging to wring another several months life out of a battery that has the warning light on, meaning it is already down to 10% capacity. Just can't say that it is a good idea for a battery that is not close to end of service.

The premise, that grid charging during the early part of the service life "should" prolong life is not straight-forward, in his opinion. But he would perform it on my car, needing an overnight service, for $100. I am not the type that would be happy to buy a $400 grid charger when it is advisable to minimize its use.

He said they are in process of developing a G2 Insight battery, as they are just now getting requests for replacements.

I am intimidated by just the owner's manual for this car; not likely going to get up to speed with the technical knowledge of posters here. So I'd appreciate opinions about the feasibility of attempting to prolong battery life, and whether having a one-time grid charge operation (2011 EX, 52k) has a higher probability of helping than hurting.

FWIW he drives the 2010 G2 with tires at 50 psi, his wife drives the G1 and he sets at 40 psi (for "safety"). Said Insights are particularly sensitive to tire pressure.
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