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Old 07-16-2018, 04:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2018
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Default New owner of 2012 Insight EX | Some questions


I've been reading quite a bit of the posts on this forum and this place is amazing!

I'm going to write about my experience with the car and summarise with a TLDR at the end with questions.

The Insight is my first car.

So I live in Israel and frankly did next to no research on the Insight before buying it.

A friend has one as well and has recommended it.

First I'll write some maybe useless information, feel free to skip.

My car is a 2012 Metallic Silver EX(comfort in Israel) with cruise control but no navigation.

The car had 98k km when I bought it.
No major accidents but a right front passenger door that seemed to be put back into place slightly imperfectly with not visual damage(might have been replaced?)

A mechanic friend had checked the car before I bought it, and confirmed no major accidents.

I've had the car for four months and up until a month ago I was driving on eco mode.
I also would like to point out that I quickly learned how to maximise mpg and that I drive very calmly.

As far as I could gather from the last of the 3 previous owners, all services were performed on schedule but not in a Honda certified garage/shop

1. OIL.

The first issue that I encountered was the low engine oil light on the dashboard, bought some 0w-40 oil and filled it up, internet had suggested a different oil type and so did the manual but I was afraid to damage the engine since I got the warning at night on a long drive so I bought what was available.

The Honda certified garage had later sold me 5w-40 oil and I assumed that they knew what they're doing so that's what I'm using now.

The high oil consumption continues to this day.(about 0.5 gallons per month)
I've seen that Honda had acknowledged that some insight's had this problem and it looks like mine is one of them.

1. What can I do to minimise this issue?


The second issue that I noticed was on a 60 km weekly commute from and to Jerusalem.
As you might know, Jerusalem is located in a mountainous area so the drive includes plenty of uphill climbs.

On the very first drive to Jerusalem I was quite perplexed when mid-climb the IMA stopped assisting and started force charging(at this point I was still on eco mode).
Note that that happened when the dashboard had the battery at 50-60%, and quickly after going from full assist to force charge the battery had dropped from 50% to 0 in about 5 seconds.

The engine revved up but felt much weaker than before.
I was also on cruise control and the car couldn't manage keeping the speed.

A couple of weeks later(when I was sure that it's a problem) I found a forum post with seemingly the same issue as I had, only the guy had his mind set that buying a charger and charging the pack would solve the issue.

I got his number and he said that charging the pack only fixed the problem for one day but that what really helped In the end was an advice that he'd seen on this forum, to perform an IMA update.

Following his advice I performed the update(for 100$, should be free imho) and the problem seemed to be gone.

Fast forward 3 months, I turned on eco once more to see if I can get more fuel economy and sure enough on the same climb, force charge from 50% battery.
However that doesn't seem to occur not on eco.

I've seen posts about temperature issues, keeping the car in the shade and cleaning the battery pack fan.

This is Israel, 91f in the shade is normal.
I've yet to clean the fan but will do.

Apart from that.

2. Regarding the battery dropping from 50% to 0 in 5 seconds on a steep long climb on eco mode. Thoughts?(IMA warning light is OFF)


As someone has posted before, driving in a hilly area on a slope has the battery charged in no time and the rest of the slope is unused regenerative potential.
While driving uphill has the battery depleted before reaching the peak.

What are my options in terms of increasing capacity, or otherwise somehow making it to the top with IMA assist?

My guess is that the oil consumption problem is agrevated because the engine revves up so much without assist on climbs apart from other potential culprits.

And that imo that is such a widespread issue with Insight's because the majority of owners are not performing the IMA update AND are driving on eco.

Thanks for reading!


1. What can I do to minimise oil consumption?

2. Regarding the battery dropping from 50% to 0 in 5 seconds on a steep long climb on eco mode. Thoughts?(IMA warning light is OFF, after IMA update)

3. What are my options in terms of increasing capacity, or otherwise somehow making it to the top of a hill with IMA assist?

In the photos the car is in the sun but after 12:00 that spot is shaded and that is the only spot with some shade available.
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Psychosis is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Ireland
Posts: 81

1) possibly useless by now, but Honda DID replace the whole engine when customers complained over high oil consumption. Problem is known: low friction piston rings. Solution is known: engine replacement. Unfortunately not for you, I guess.
2,3) Check if you have the last updates. They improve the behavior of the IMA. Other than that, the Insight has only a limited battery capacity (and having high temperatures doesn't help) and so you may have to live with that and maybe compensate by proper right foot usage.
3,2) Batteries suffer from extreme temperatures, they both lose capacity and performance. Heat is the major contributor to battery aging.
Corkonian is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-16-2018, 12:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,634

Here in the US there is a warranty extension on the engines of the 2012 & 2013 models. (I think it was resolved by 2014) The 2010 & 2011 Insights did not not have those piston rings. Here the fix is to tear the engine down and replace the rings. They give the owners a loaner vehicle. You should complain to the local dealer about oil excessive oil comsumpion. Here they do charge for a test. It involves having a dealer oil change and returning to have it checked repeatedly.

The IMA software updates for force charging on hills should have been factory applied by 2012. Itís possible they did the fourth, the one mandated here by the authorities. Iím not sure how it is elsewhere, but I get a lot done for free by just being a regular customer. But dealers are not way overpriced here.

I would recommend that you keep an eye on the 12 volt battery under the hood. That does not last long, like three years max. A weak one can cause all kinds of issues because it runs all the electronics, including the ones controlling the IMA.
One needs to actually have it load tested, putting a meter across it at rest does not tell you enough.

Instead of switching off ECO, you can just shift to S or sport mode when extra power is needed, like climbing that hill. That also keeps the engine running at stops to keep the A/C cold. While fuel economy is a worthy goal, suffering is not.
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