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Discussion Starter #1
Our '00 Insight has just over 95k miles. My dad's been driving it daily for the past couple years (I drove it prior). He's been able to maintain a decent 63mpg with A/C on for his commute. Lately, it's dropped below 60mpg and he complains about poor power and needing to use lots of assist to get up to speed. I finally got a chance to take it out for a spin to see if I could make any comparisons from when I drove it. Mainly, I seemed to notice the A/C taking more power out of the engine as well as it clicking on more often. It is 7 years old and the A/C seems to blow cold enough but would it be wise to have the system vacuumed and recharged? Also, its recently had a brake job at the local Honda dealer. We jacked each side of the car up and spun the wheels. Both rear wheels spun effortlessly for several rotations after letting go. The fronts stopped within 1/4 turn of letting go. Is this normal for discs to have a little drag? My dad thinks the lower mileage coincided with the brake job. The EGR valve was also being a PITA when I drove it but I don't think my dad gets into lean burn much.

Any comments would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've replaced it a couple times. I'll check the records to see when it was done last.

I guess my man concern is about the effort required to turn the front wheels. Should they spin as free as the back?
 

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The front wheels will never turn as freely as the rears because it's connected to the transmission through CV joints. All these bearing and seals add friction. To tell if the brakes are dragging enough to cause an increase in fuel consumption simply drive on the highway for a while then come to stop without using the brakes much. If the front rims are hot then the brakes are rubbing excessively (or you were simply lapping a race track quickly :lol: )

A few weeks ago I got my A/C repaired, shortly after that I heard what sounded like a leak in my exhaust system. The car was louder like it had a hole in the muffler or something, loud enough to sound almost like a typical car... But the car felt significantly underpowered in normal driving conditions.
I finally tracked down the source of the noise, it was not my exhaust at all, it was that 2 of the clamps that hold the engine air cleaner box closed were not clamped down. Air was coming into the air filter box through the sides and disrupting the normal air flow of the air intake. When I clamped down the air filter box properly the "exhaust noise" was gone and the normal engine power returned. Happy ending.
Just goes to show it could be almost anything, hopefully it's something simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tip. The other thing that I can think of is the 12V battery. It was actually my first suspect (especially due to the fact that the IMA battery has been draining to the force-charge area fairly often) but it came back fine after a load test. After putting it back in the car, dad said everything ran fine for a month and then the battery drain started happening again. I disconnected the negative terminal to reset the ecu and put it on a trickle charger for 12 hours. It's been a couple weeks and things seem ok. The last time the 12V died, it was in glorious fashion with ~10V and no cranking. This time, the voltage is a nice 12.6-12.8. Trekker mentioned something about a different type of failure where the battery looses internal resistance and causes the charging system to keep pumping current into it. If the 12V isn't the problem, I hate wasting $60+ on a new battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm now heavily leaning towards the idea that the discs are rubbing. I jacked up the front of my MINI Cooper and the wheel spun 3-4 turns easily with just the slightest hint of brake drag on one area due to disc runout. On the Insight, I can hear the brake dragging for the entire rotation. I'll be taking it up to the Honda dealer that did the brake job and see what they can make of it. Aren't the Insight's brakes auto-adjusting?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No dice at the dealer. They seemed more worried about frozen calipers than mal-adjustment. They re-greased the pins and put it back together. It still rubs. I find it hard to believe a car that is supposed to get 70 mpg will have rubbing brakes but one that only gets 30 doesn't. :?
 

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Not sure how closely related this is, but this summer i was getting an annoying squeal from the front left wheel. I pulled the pads and found they looked good, other than they hung over the edge of the rotor about 1/8" or less. I used a rasp and filed the edge of the pad down, put it back together and the squeal is now gone. Is it possible that is where the rubbing is coming from?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm not sure. It doesn't squeal, it's as if the pads are just too close to the discs. You can hear them brushing up against each other as you turn the wheel. When we got the car back after the brake job, the first thing I noticed was the pedal being noticeably harder sooner up in the pedal stroke. From experience working on another car, that means the pads are either closer or there was air in the line that they bled out. I know there wasn't air in the line. I have the Insight service manual and I see nothing about adjustment besides "hit the pedal a few times to restore normal pedal stroke." If they are auto-adjusting, is it possible the dealer put on pads that were too thick?

If anyone has the opportunity in the near future, could you please jack up one side of your Insight and spin the front wheel (with tranny in neutral). Does it spin freely? Can you hear brakes dragging at all?
 

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The calipers have no adustments, the dealer was correct to relube all the sliding parts and ensure the piston is not seized.
Hearing the pads rubbing slightly is normal.
How about removing the brake pads then putting the wheels back on and try to spin the wheels. (Warning: Do not touch the brake pedal then the pads are not installed). This will determine if the significant rotating resistance is caused by the caliper/pad/rotor interface. Because other possible causes may be the bearings, cv joints, transmission.
 

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There is no adjustment for the front disk brakes. So far, it seems the Honda dealership is correct. Have you tried Guillermo's suggestion for the road test. I have owned many Honda and Acura cars and all of them have slight rubbing for disk brakes. If the caliper is starting to rust / corrode inside, it may explain the more excessive rubbing. Once it gets worse, you should really be able to feel the heat on the rim after highway travel.

However, in my opinion, it would be unusual for both sides (left and right)to rust / corrode to the same level. Is the wheel travel only a quarter turn on both sides?

Learning from a recent post, there is a difference in the brake pads between the manual and CVT model. Seems the manual model has some sort of clip the brakes insert into to be held in place. I'm not sure if it could inserted the wrong way causing more drag (Anyone with MT models that have changed the brakes themselves can comment on this) I have a CVT so I'm not sure...

Besides the brakes, you mentioned other issues of EGR, battery and A/C...
The A/C is simple to rule out simply by not using it but the other two would have to be cleaned (for EGR) or replaced to verify....If you are on the oringinal battery, then it is due anyway....

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info. I'll have to give it a try. Unfortunately, I'm heading back to my university tomorrow and that's not something my dad is going to do solo. It'll have to wait.

One question re the A/C. Can a regular A/C shop properly vacuum out and replace the refrigerant or does Honda use something special for compressor lubrication?
 

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To my knowledge the Insight brakes were designed not to drag. At least in my case there is no resistance to movement. On one occasion I looked back to see my Insight slowly creeping across a parking lot I thought was flat. I had parked it in neutral. Since then I always use the handbrake.
 

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Any A/C shop can service or repair the Insight A/C system. But if they need to buy parts they will buy them from Honda. But usually the labour is less expensive at the independent A/C shops compared to a Honda dealer.
 

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b1shmu63 said:
To my knowledge the Insight brakes were designed not to drag....
Perhaps that is why the MT models use brakes that have a spring bracket like retainer...I know the CVT model uses a different type...But only being able to rotate a 1/4 turn freely (as mentioned previously) seems to be a bit of a problem even if they were to rub a little.

kapps: was this 1/4 turn with the tire installed?

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes. The wheel was still bolted to the hub. With the same amount of force, the rear wheels would spin 3+ times. Both fronts will stop in a 1/4 turn. If I put my ear near the wheel, I can hear a slight scraping/rubbing. I'm confident it's the pads on the disc.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I got a chance to come home this weekend and take another look at the problem. I didn't unbolt the caliper but there is definitely something wrong. Our driveway has a very slight slope and the Insight has always rolled down easily in neutral with the e-brake off. Today, it actually needed a little push to get going. I could hear the brakes scraping/dragging as it rolled. I'm not very familiar with disc brakes so I don't know how they auto-adjust. Is there a chance that they aren't adjusting correctly? Also, is it possible that the dealer installed the wrong pads? Do any other Honda pads fit the Insight that may be a little too thick? Thanks.
 

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I can't help you with the brake issue but I suggest you do replace the 12V battery if it is playing up. I justed posted this in another thread:

"...something that those with original 12V batteries which are over three / four years old should bear in mind. The 144V IMA battery provides the charge for the 12V battery. If the 12V battery is deteriorating then the IMA battery pumps more and more juice into the 12V (accelerating its decline) and will have an adverse effect on your MPG and ultimately more IMA problems."
 
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