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Took my 2003 Insight (automatic transmission) to the Honda shop in Albuquerque NM last week. I live in Durango CO - 4 hours away, so that's why I'm hoping to get addn info, from this forum, as taking my car to the shop is a bit involved for me, requiring a trip out of town, overnight stays, etc.

There were 2 issues I asked them to figure out, and hopefully fix:

1) Ever since I got the car, I'm not sure if the the "Auto-Stop" function has worked correctly, (I think that's what it's called) when you stop at a light or stop sign, idle, and the gas engine turns off, and it seems to switch to electric mode. Well, the Honda guy told me that it was because the "economy" button (function?) was switched off. I didn't know about that. But the odd thing is, and what I asked to him to check with his technician for further clarification about was this: Over the months I've had this car and noticed this, the gas engine not turning off does NOT happen consistently. Sometimes it turns off at idles and sometimes it doesn't. It seems to me that if it was related to an "economy button/switch" ...wouldn't it (the Auto-Stop function) happen consistently? Or not? Also, when I put the car in the "park" position, it always switches back to gas engine. Is that supposed to happen? It seems like it would stay in elec in that gear.

2) The other problem seemed to be related to accleration and braking. We noticed it first after we'd taken a long drive to Boulder through the Rockies in the winter. When we got to Boulder and started the car the next was sort of like the accelerator was stuck on, or the car was lunging forward, and you had to press HARD on the brakes to stop it. This occurred occassionally after that trip, and seemed to get worse if we made another long trip to Boulder....but then it would get better, of it's own accord...when I was just driving around town at home for some weeks; --short driving trips for errands, etc. and it also seemed to possibly be related to the weather getting warmer. ? Those are the only "symptoms" I can describe about this problem. The Honda guy said it may/probably has something to do with the CVT (I think that's what the transmission is called in these cars.?) He explained about it being "coned shaped" instead of gears. He said the trans oil was REALLY dirty and smelled bad. Does my explanation of what was happening sound in sync with his diagnosis to anyone knowledgeable about this?

Thank you SOOOO much. I really appreciate this resource!

Premium Member
4,942 Posts
Hi katrina and welcome to the forum :!: :)

There are several limiting factors for auto stop. Operating the A/C in "normal" instead of economy mode is only one. You really need an owner's manual to outline all the others if your that interested. The Insight Central encyclopedia and FAQ sections also have the answers scattered throughout.

Possible CVT (your correct :!: :) ) transmission problems really require some behind the wheel "feel" to more accurately diagnose.

From your indications the fluid is in poor condition. A flush _may_ be the complete solution. Just make sure the correct improved fluid is used.


Honda reintroduces CVT specific ATF ... php?t=3364

HTH! :)
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