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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to add daytime running lights (insurance discount and increased visibility) to my Insight and want to know if anyone has already done this.

I can think of two ways to do this:

1. Wire the front parking lights (the round, white lights toward the inside of the headlamp housings) to come on whenever the car is on. I don't know how much visibility this would provide.

2. Have the high beams come on at reduced intensity whenever the car is on and the headlights are off (according to the Owner's Manual, this is the way the Canadian models are wired).

I could accomplish the second option in two ways. First, my preference would be to do it with Honda parts if possible; get whatever parts the Canadian models have that the U.S. models don't.

Second, there are companies who make modules for this purpose. I tried to install one of these modules on my '82 Datsun 280zx, but it didn't work because of the way the high and low beams are wired on that car (something about an under-hood relay switching between the two beams by controlling which beam is grounded--this was incompatible).

I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts on this. I presume the second method is superior as it will result in greater visibility to oncoming traffic and only slightly shorten the life of the high beams, which I don't use much anyway. And I'm thinking the second option for doing it the second way would be easiest (if not best).

Has anyone done this? Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks!
 

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not as easy as it sounds

Doing it with Honda parts may be more complicated than you think. It's not just that we're missing the DRL module, but the entire wiring harness is different in the US models, missing a few critical DRL-related connections. To convert to the canadian model, you need to replace the harness, a non-trivial task.

So you may have to do your own hack. Good Luck with that!

Why not just turn the lights on while driving?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
DRL...

Turning the lights on while driving isn't a great alternative because that would turn on all the parking lights as well as turning on the headlights at full brightness, which would draw a lot more current and burn all the bulbs out quicker. Plus it dims the instrument display (you can adjust that, but that is just that much more hassle). And you can forget to turn them on. And you don't get an insurance discount.
 

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my 1989 cougar xr7 has auto headlamps, i covered the sensor on the dash so everytime i started the car the lights would come on. after 14 years, i have never replaced a single exterior bulb.
 

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my 1989 cougar zx7 has auto headlamps, i covered the sensor on the dash so everytime i started the car the lights would come on. after 14 years, i have never replaced a single exterior bulb.
 

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I installed DRLs. I designed it so the high beams come on at reduced intensity. It was not a fun job. Since I believe DRLs make my care easier to see, it was worth the effort.

I am not aware of any aftermarket "plug-and-play" system built specifically for the Insight (I wish there was).

I couldn't say if it had a noticable affect my MPG.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Gary--How did you do it?

The Canadian company mentioned in one of the earlier responses has a module they say will work on the Insight.

But how did you do yours?
 

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I used a generic DRL module and added a couple of diodes to isolate the headlamps because Honda uses separate fuses for each headlamp. I wanted to make sure I didn't compromise the integrity of the original wiring, so I only spliced into it(no cutting). That way, I can remove the DRL system without having to patch the original wiring back together.

It ended up being bit complex so I drew a schematic of how it was connected.

I didn't the DRL system into the parking brake circuit (turns off the DRLs when the parking brakes are applied). Although it wouldn't be too difficult.

I wish I would have known there was a DRL system available for the Insight.

Gary
 

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No free lunch!

Just one law to consider - the Second Law of Thermodynamics as I recall, but it has been a long time since engineering school. Anyway, power for the DRL's has to come from your gas tank, hence somewhat (however small) reduced mileage. :cry:
 

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daytime running lights

I've been curious about this myself since I always drive with my lights on, day or night. I had rewired my Mazda pickup to turn all lights on and off with the ignition switch. I simply connected a fused wire to the hot post when the ignition switch was on and ran it to the light switch in series. I disconnected the normal hot feed to the light switch. I was still able to over-ride the lights with the light switch if needed to turn them off. This worked very well and I wish that manufacturers would provide this option since it also provided me with the security that I couldn't accidentally leave my lights on (no buzzer on the Mazda). I'm wondering if this small alteration is possible with my Insight without creating some other problem with the electrics. I will look into this and post a message if I find out that it works.
 

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There is an interaction with the rate of charge for the IMA battery pack and whether or not the headlights are on (for US models anyway).

And a good way of reducing a forced charge event (different from the dreaded regeneration event). If your commute regularly requires a forced charge (for less that the most severe hill climbing) you can prevent the occurrence by turning on the headlights. Simply anticipate the event by watching the charge indicator. My commute routinely (but not daily) demands more of the IMA then I can replenish through regenerative braking. Turning on the headlights for the last 10 miles or so recharges the pack from 60-70% to 90-95% (1 to 2 bars from the top). Without this intervention I get a forced charge regularly.

I believe Armin had originally documented this behavior (in this forum) :)

True DRL's are a much more complex circuit as shown in the Insight ETM. And there may be different PCM/BCM logic in DRL equipped models to modify this behavior.

John K. Bullock
aka. Insightful Trekker
 

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forced charge and regeneration

Insightful Trekker, I have not yet experienced the "forced charge" or "regeneration" that you mentioned (as have others). I've got about 7k on my 2002/AC/CVT but have never experienced the IMA battery system ever indicating fewer than a couple of bars from maximum on the indicator. At what point does the forced charge or regeneration start to occur? I'd like to learn as much about it as I can before it happens.
 

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Given that you've not experienced a forced charge I hope you've got a similarly impressive LMPG. <g>

A forced charge occurs when you drain the IMA pack faster than it is recharged through regenerative braking. Somewhat more difficult to do with a CVT vs. a 5 spd. <g> You'll notice a 4-6 bar charge indication on steady throttle and even light acceleration.

A regeneration is when the battery state of charge (SOC) indicator becomes hopelessly "lost" and must re-sync itself with a known good state of charge of the IMA pack. This occurs because the "fullness" of the IMA pack must be calculated based on the total amount of power added and removed. There is an error factor in measuring this and eventually the BCM(?) determines that the SOC indicator is clearly in error and must be re-synchronized. You notice a _rapid_ drop in the SOC level (not necessarily related prolonged acceleration) followed by a sustained forced charge. And all the lack of power, performance and MPG that goes with it. This can/will also occur with greater frequency as the battery pack ages and internally self discharges or fails to hold the charge sent.

If my memory serves me (which is doesn't with increasing frequency) I believe that the CVT model by design makes these events virtually transparent or non existent to the driver.

HTH :)

John K. Bullock
aka. Insightful Trekker

03 5spd Insight
15k+ miles
LMPG 69.1 and rising
best round trip daily commute MPG 87.4 +- 50 miles
best one way daily commute 91.1 +- 25 miles
best tank average 78.8 MPG
 
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