My Honda Insight's IMA battery light is blinking. Does this mean that the battery has given out? What should I do?
Yes, the blinking of your IMA battery light indicates a possible problem with your hybrid battery. Before replacing the battery, however, check your Insight's warranty first. The battery usually lasts for 10 years, so make sure the warranty has expired before getting a replacement. In case it is no longer covered by the warranty, check the usable capacity of the battery by observing the range of its state of charge (SoC) gauge. If it moves through the entire range, then it means the battery is still in good condition, and you might not need to replace it. Your battery just might require a minor tune-up and repair, and this can be done in your nearest dealership.
If there are fewer LCD bars, however, this signals that the battery is no longer performing well. You may consider getting a replacement, but fair warning: this might set you back by $1000 to $3000. Building a grid charger or balancer and using it to repair the battery might be a better option due to its lower cost, but this only works if your battery has an imbalanced charge. You might need to visit a professional for a more thorough diagnosis and repair if this option doesn't work.
Will a broken serpentine belt affect the performance and function of my Honda Insight? Is it something I need to replace right away?
Yes. A damaged serpentine belt might cause problems with the water pump and A/C compressor and cause failure of the serpentine tensioner pulley. Continued use of the engine without this belt may also cause rapid overheating and internal engine damage because the water pump will not be able to circulate coolant properly. Replacing the damaged belt right away will save you more money in the long run and ensure sustained high performance for your vehicle. To replace your car's old serpentine belt, simply locate the tensioner pulley and loosen its bolt. Then, move the plastic panels on the side to install the new serpentine belt. It's an easy task for someone with automotive experience.
I can hear shuddering noises from my Honda Insight's automatic transmission. What does this mean? Can I fix the problem myself, or do I need to take the car to the dealership?
This is a common issue in older Honda Insight models, specifically 2001 to 2006 models and 2010 to 2011 models. The sound is usually caused by a worn start clutch, so replacing it would easily solve the problem. Replacing the start clutch is a doable task, and it makes more sense if you're an experienced DIYer. However, if you do not have the tools needed such as the various types of disks and bearings (pressure disk, friction disk, pilot bearings, etc.), clutch alignment tool, impact gun, and breaker bar, then you might be better off taking your car to a repair shop as this might be more cost efficient on your part.