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Old 01-31-2016, 12:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default No Auto-Stop, no Lean Burn

Just wondering what might be going on with my 2000 Insight (103K miles, manual transmission) -- I'm not getting auto-stop and not seeing any lean burn -- Took a drive today to Madison, WI (about 100 miles away), ambient temperature was ~43F. Engine was nice and warm, but only got 50MPG average for the day -- high was about 52MPG or so. Driving 65-70 MPH, actually trying to get into lean-burn when cruising on flat terrain, but never saw it pop up to ~75 MPG like it used to. When I got into Madison and was hitting some red lights I thought I'd see auto stop happen but it didn't.

I had David Hobbs Honda in Milwaukee check out the EGR valve in early December -- they said it was reading a bad value when they tested it so it was replaced. Still didn't seem to help at all, but I hadn't really taken it for a long trip so didn't want to jump to any conclusions. My IMA battery was in bad shape and I had been intending to replace it for a while, so I replaced it with a Bumblebee unit in late December, took it for a 300-mile trip right before Christmas and was still getting poor MPG so took it back to Hobbs and asked them to look it over again. Oh yeah -- and I pointed out to their Service Manager that the engine hadn't been put back together properly after the EGR valve fix -- see attached photo showing improper reassembly.

This time they said there was a bad oxygen sensor and replaced that (but I had never seen a warning light). Then I took it for the drive today and am still not getting decent MPG. And when I popped the hood to take a look, the engine was still in the same improperly-reassembled condition as before -- I'm pretty pissed off that they didn't fix that, given that I had actually pointed it out to the service manager on the last service visit.

So I'm wondering what would keep auto-stop from happening -- I know there are a lot of variables for lean burn, so I thought maybe I'd start with the auto-stop question. Like I said, the engine was nice and warm, ambient temperature was warm enough. What else might prevent it from happening?

And what approach would you suggest with David Hobbs Honda? They're the closest Honda dealer (there is a guy in Madison, 90 minutes away, who works on hybrids but that's an awful long way to go for service), but I'd expect Hobbs to be able to figure out what is wrong with my car and fix it. Though so far they aren't pumping me full of confidence. I actually called last week and left a voice mail for the General Manager with a brief message about what is happening and asked him to all me but haven't heard a peep out of him since.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this situation.
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You are taking your car to a stealership, that's your first problem. Secondly, 60+ at 70mph on the highway should be easily obtainable without lean burn. My bad IMA is keeping me from having lean burn, and a 70 mile drive today consisting of head winds and a lot of uphill and downhill netted 60.2mpg. If you are struggling for 50 then there is got to be an underlining problem. I almost want to point the finger at clogging cats, but have you had the following checked..

EGR plate.
Proper spark plugs.
Clean air filter.
Proper tires (MUST be Bridgestone potenzas Re92's at 45psi or higher, I run 60psi, wouldn't recommend that high but yea).
Adjusted valves.


If all the above has been done in a reasonable amount of time, then your cats may be starting to go.
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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So, I take it you checked for trouble codes, or had it checked, and nothing came up?...

First thing that comes to mind, or came to mind, is simply the cold: 43F seems like the ragged edge for auto-stop. I don't know what the exact temp cutoff is, but seems like sometimes my car doesn't auto-stop around ambient temps like that. On the other hand, although lean burn might be more difficult to engage around those temps, I don't think I've ever had much of a problem doing it, not with a warmed-up engine...

So, next thing that comes to mind is the ambient temp sensor in front of the radiator, kind of right of center, just under that flat cross bar. Might want to check that and make sure it's still attached. I know that being disconnected affects auto-stop, not sure if it also affects lean burn...

Next thing that comes to mind is any other temperature or climate control-related issue - bad sensor, reading, something, that prevents the ECM from getting the right temperature readings for enabling auto-stop and lean burn... How's you engine coolant temperature gauge look? - populated normally, something like 6 bars or so?

Another thing that comes to mind is IMA issues, but sounds like you don't have any codes, so that doesn't seem likely...

On the dealer and their mis-assembly - seems pretty nit-picky to me, yet I can understand how something small like that sort of reflects poorly on the level of care they're putting into the things that matter... Doesn't sound like very top-notch service and repair... I don't have any suggestions. If you can't or don't do your own work then you're pretty much stuck with whatever service you can find - and the quality or lack thereof...
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Actually now that EQ1 said something, take your car for a drive and see if it will get up to temp after a while (6 bars on the temp gauge). If it doesn't, you may have a bad temp sending unit.
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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And now that Balto mentioned speeds and mpg, made me think that doing 65-70mph, around 43F ambient temp, can often be hit or miss for lean burn -- like a bit of a head wind, low tire pressure, a loaded down car, background charge going, high 12V electrical load, etc. can easily frustrate attempts to get into lean burn... If you were doing say 55-60 mph and couldn't get into lean burn, that'd be a more sure sign of a problem. But 65-70mph? - not so cut and dried...
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Old 01-31-2016, 01:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eq1 View Post
And now that Balto mentioned speeds and mpg, made me think that doing 65-70mph, around 43F ambient temp, can often be hit or miss for lean burn -- like a bit of a head wind, low tire pressure, a loaded down car, background charge going, high 12V electrical load, etc. can easily frustrate attempts to get into lean burn... If you were doing say 55-60 mph and couldn't get into lean burn, that'd be a more sure sign of a problem. But 65-70mph? - not so cut and dried...
Very true. More often than not, I can get lean burn at 65-70 on flat ground (when my ima isn't dead) but the acceptable throttle window is only about 8%. 18/19 it will drop in, and 25-26 it will drop out. It may seem like a lot, but it really isn't. At 55 I can push to 31-32% before it drops out.
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Old 01-31-2016, 01:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Autostop is difficult in the winter. Lean burn is difficult if the engine isn't warm. I imagine it's cold, but have little experience. Austin's high tomorrow is 84 degrees .
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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first I need to point out that I have a CVT.
I have never had an issue with autostop in the winter, even when it is -20F, after driving a few miles and getting the temp to 170F or so, and I turn off the climate control completely. Make sure you have the climate control in the econ mode. Even in the econ mode, it will not allow autostop in cold weather, I am not sure what temp it needs to see to stop using autostop. I turn the hvac on to econ when moving, and before hitting the brakes I turn it off in the cold weather. Once up to speed I turn it back on to econ.

Member ericbecky owns a hybrid shop near Madison, Wi, and works on these cars. I would check with him before having anything done on the Insight, he should know them better than a random tech that only works on an Insight on an ocasional basis.

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Old 01-31-2016, 12:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Bite the bullet and either call ERIC or give him a visit. He is the "Man" on the east coast.

HTH
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Old 01-31-2016, 02:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I get lean burn LB when engine temperature ICE is above 68C, 164F or above.
Some layers of corrugated cardboard in front of the radiator helps.

Higher intake air temperatures IAT up to about 45C ~113F promote earlier onset of lean burn.
Route hot air from cat with a duct to engine intake.

Engine Load LOD is good for LB when 65~85%,
so after warmed up, 'near lug it' on upshifts when cruising and it often slides in if other conditions are met. I use Mima assist to push into LB.

Throttle position sensor TPS less than 32 [scale=9-90 iirc]
can sustain lean burn. [<deltaTPS is good].

Outside air temperature OAT sensor, a.k.a. IAT intake air sensor, is located behind the grill.
If disconnected, it cancels autostop AS. [nb. as said prior auto climate control cancels AS.]
The OAT/IAT harness can be detached and moved with the temperature sensor itself relocated and sitting sideways in contact next to the radiator. An insulating chunk of unicel type foam can position and block it against the top of the radiator; it can be further secured with more cardboard and tape for wind isolation.
A winterfront may be an option to improve heat retention in the cold and lower the aero Cd as well.
[btw: if you stuff corrugated cardboard sheets in front of the rad, be careful to monitor ECT , especially as weather warms. On removal be careful about dislodging that rerouted wire etc., a situation that could stop AS. Tip: Use several custom torn cardboard sheets layers vs. one big one.]

A proper gauge for the car would be useful to monitor ECT. I don't think the bars on the dash portray how cold the engine can be and how much of a change the climate control makes to ECT; the OBDIIC&C will do that and so much more.
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ie. If you turned the cabin temperature control up in cold weather for cabin heat on a longer drive, this will come at the expense of ECT, especially running into a wind as observed on the obdiiC&C ECT parameter readout. You may not see any change on the dash.
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Just have to guess: Have the tire pressures adjusted to 32psi by the dealer again last month and you're noticing now on a highway trip?
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re: misaligned reassembly image
I think you'll see how to fix the hose and engine cover tab misalignment yourself and avoid the dealership visit if you surf here to see a name sakes photos: InsightCentral.net - Honda Insight Modifications - Cruise Control 1
of the same area of the car. It's a snap!

Good luck, & I hope that helps.
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