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2 hours, 2 miles, battery drained...normal? (LA folks?)

1441 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Braxus
Yesterday we had a strong windstorm and it broke one of the two major floating bridges that people use to get from Seattle to all points east, right at the start of rush hour. Locals: I was in downtown Bellevue at the time, and I spent two hours driving two miles to I-90. Yes, that's right: on Bellevue Way at 4:45 and entered the freeway at 6:45.

Anyway, so the car was sitting a LOT, and then inching up in little increments. After an hour I noticed the IMA pack was down to three bars. I also happened to be a little light on gas. So I tried leaving a little gap between myself and the car in front when traffic would move so I could actually brake and recharge, but any time that distance was greater than the length of a MINI someone would pull their car into that space.

Since I had time on my hands, I called up the dealership and asked their advice. Other than taking the climate control system out of ECON mode, they really didn't have any ideas...didn't know if this was normal for parking-lot style traffic after this amount of time.

The car didn't go into forced-recharge until I was down to ONE bar, and then handled like I had the parking brake pulled: slow to start up, slow to stop. I've had similarly-themed problems trying to find parking, and like before, once I got the car moving (decided to risk a ticket and took the HOV lane on the onramp) the pack charged up halfway in three miles of faster-than-walking speed.

What else is new? Over the weekend I finally installed 6" rear Eclipse speakers into the stereo system, but that would only draw on the standard battery. Tires inflated that morning to 40psi all around. 22,400 miles.

Needless to say, I don't make it a habit to sit in traffic like this, nor roadhog in the HOV lane (I wouldn't have argued a ticket if called in) or even use my cell while driving. :shock:
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FWIW, the guy who originally owned my '04 Insight commuted from Riverside to LA and back every day and constantly complained about bad mileage and the pack being discahrged. (It registered something like 39 mpg lifetime on the odo when I bought it.)

When I spoke to him he said he complained to Honda a number of times, and they always pronounced the car perfectly fit every time they tested it. He complained the IMA pack was always being slowly discharged in traffic and that the eventual forced recharge was killing his mileage. He'd added a funky window film to the glass that was supposed to reduce the A/C cycling and keep the temp down. Nothing worked and he finally traded it for an Accord or something.

Anyway, the day I bought it I drove it home from Phoenix, up the 5000 ft or so to Flagstaff and then across I40 to Colorado. That trip was the worst mileage it ever got and it was around 54 mpg. The pack never got below 1/4 charge during the long climb up to Flagstaff. Since then I've driven it over a number of mountin passes, topping out at 10-11k ft. The pack has never gotten below 3 bars. Where I live requires little stop & go the thing behaves better than advertised, averaging 60.1 since I reset the lifetime MPG indicator the day after I brought it home. It got 64.9 on a round trip to Albuquereque, cruising 65 mph. During that trip the pack never got below 3/5 charge going through the mountains.

It appears maybe communting can be aided by bypassing auto stop and a light foot on the accelerator to avoid using assist.
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Silly Riverside guy. Now he can take a hybrid in the HOV lanes. :wink:[/quote]

Indeed! He was some kind of activist and covered the bumpers, right front fender & entire left side of the car with with political stickers. The adhesives eventually ruined the paint. The dealer painted it then got a lot of resistance from folks who figured the car was crashed. He ended up selling it through the Riverside auction, which meant I got it cheap. 61 mpg? Hey, paint it pink & orange for all I care!
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