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Discussion Starter #1
I have just come back from a thousand mile round trip to the Yorkshire Dales and while driving up and down the motorway I discovered another trick that the Insight does.

While driving in very heavy rain & spray I noticed that the rear windscreen stays dry above, say, 50 mph. Presumably this is due to the special aerodynamics. Furthermore if you start off with a wet rear windscreen and drive above 50mph in a rain storm, the rear windscreen will actually dry itself off. Fantastic. Another way the Insight 2 :wink: could save weight by not having a rear windscreen wiper.

PS No problems with the OEM wheels & tyres in very wet conditions - the Insight appeared to aquaplane less than my old cars.
 

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Hey Silver - I noticed the same thing too - but here in Denver I've found that when it snows / sleet's the wiper is an absolute necessity ! :p
 

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"I have just come back from a thousand mile round trip to the Yorkshire Dales..."

How did it do on the hills there? I did some biking around that area a few years ago, and have never seen roads as steep as those. I mean, they look as though they were trying to save on highway engineers: if more than two sheep a week scrambled up the side of a hill somewhere, they paved the track and called it a road :)

Pretty country, though, if you can get your mind off your aching legs long enough to appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
James - the Insight, as always, did fine on the hills. I was a bit concerned when I came across a 25% or 1 in 4 hill :shock: but dropped my car into second and had no problems. North Yorkshire certainly gave my battery pack a good work out, but it does have great landscapes and properties.

PS I will post my MPG for the trip when I have worked it out.
 

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I have noticed another thing the Insight does at speed in rain. It self cleans!!!
If you can get heavy enough rain the drops stick to the skin and wick off in the air stream from the rear hatch edge and the top surface of the rear bumper. You can actually watch the droplets flowing down the rear backglass.
In avaition circles this is known as laminar airflow, where the air sticks to the surface of a plane rather than detaching and creating drag. How many hours were spent in the wind tunnel on this car?!!!
 

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2 months ago I removed my rear wiper and wiper motor. It saved about 4 pounds, and it looks so much cleaner! I purchased a Honda stainless steel plug the fits in the hole. (I have a part # if interested) The product in the yellow bottle, Rain X, is excellent. Put it on ALL exterior windows, and the water just blows off at higher driving speeds. It also makes it LOTS easier to dry the water off the glass after washing the car....Billy
 

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I'd be interested in that part number. Doesn't rain all that often around here anyway.

Though I did have another off-the-wall weight saving idea today: replace the rear glass with a carbon fiber panel, and have a mini camera mounted in the middle, with an LCD display in place of the rear view mirror.

Might also help those folks in Arizona who were planning to use their Insights as solar cookers in the summer months :)
 

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Well, you could just replace the rear glass with lexan and save a bunch of weight. The only problem is you have to be very careful with lexan as it scratches very easily. On the positive side though, you can hit lexan with a hammer and it won't break. Plus you'd be able to see out of a lexan window.
 

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Wait... now you're making it opaque? Mmkay... aside from the tickets you'll get, this seems overly complicated. Why don't you just paint it with something reflective?
 

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I suspect the current rear hatch is an integral part of the "crush zone" for safety in rear impact and perhaps in roll-overs (not that the car tends to roll). Anyway, if you consider replacing the rear hatch for weight reduction, consider that as fanatical as Honda engineers are about weight reduction, they probably had a reason for making the hatch that heavy.

I just got back from an over 600 mile trip (one tank of gas, of course). Overall, gas mileage was in the low 60s, but Interstate traffic was stop and go for over an hour around Washington, DC and we had several other stop-and-go areas in the I-95 corrador to Philadelphia. Drivers there are insane. Clearly, they see other cars as obsticles, not peers. Idiots in excess of 70mph passed within three feet of me, front and back while weaving between lanes. Where are those phasers when you really need them?

We also drove around in Philly quite a bit. A local guy there said nobody in Philadelphia has them. I only had to play tour guide about half a dozen times.

When I got back in Charlottesville, one guy leaned out the window of his passing (going the other way in traffic) VW window and yelled "Hybrids rule!" Most drivers don't get that kind of cheerleader greetings.

So, now the Insight has roughly 1,200 miles and I need gas for the second time (it was full when I bought it). Now, I need to decide whether to, as my dealer suggests, bring it in for a 1,000 mile checkup or stick to the Honda manual recommendation that I keep it for the full, normal maintenance schedule before taking it in. I think I'll split the difference between the "heavy" and "normal" schedules and bring it in every 5,000 miles. It has the additional bonus of being really easy to remember.
 

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"I suspect the current rear hatch is an integral part of the "crush zone" for safety in rear impact and perhaps in roll-overs..."

I'd doubt that: glass is not exactly noted for its structural strength or resistance to impact, you know? I'd guess it's tempered glass, too, which simply shatters on impact.

As to why it's that heavy - well, just how light can a piece of glass that size be?
 

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I think that you'd find that a piece of glass that big would take a considerable amount of force to crush, edgewise. It doesn't have to be strong for longer than a fraction of a second. That's what crush zones are all about. The small spare tire is a calculated part of the rear crush zone. I doubt that the rear window is not.
 

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But a carbon-fiber (or even fiberglass) shell with a foam core ought to be stronger and lighter than the glass it replaces.

Besides, if safety is your first concern, why not get a Volvo or a Hummer? I mean, everything is a tradeoff. If everybody drove tracked vehicles with a half-inch or so of armour and a top speed of 10 mph, we'd all be pretty safe from traffic accidents :)
 

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The Silver Streaker said:
While driving in very heavy rain & spray I noticed that the rear windscreen stays dry above, say, 50 mph. Presumably this is due to the special aerodynamics. Furthermore if you start off with a wet rear windscreen and drive above 50mph in a rain storm, the rear windscreen will actually dry itself off. Fantastic. Another way the Insight 2 :wink: could save weight by not having a rear windscreen wiper.
I just drove through a really heavy thunderstorm and found raindrops hitting the rear window at about 60mph. I know that gravity is not supposed to work like that, but apparently the rain falls faster. I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hmmmm...perhaps wind direction makes a difference...but then surely the wind is going 60 mph in one direction. I know it works but I am not sure how. Any engineers know the answer?
 

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The Silver Streaker said:
Any engineers know the answer?
If you ignore the separation of the flow at the roof line break where the back windshield begins and assume that rain always falls at the same speed and falls straight down, then how wet the windshield gets depends only on the speed that the car moves forward and the angle of the windshield. A vertical windshield will never get wet under these assumptions, even if the car is motionless, and a horizontal windshield always will no matter what the speed of the car is. In-between windshields won't get wet if the ratio of car speed to raindrop speed is greater than the tangent of the windshield angle.

On the other hand, a flat rear windshield will not have separated airflow over it, so the raindrops will get blasted off the back of the windshield after they hit. This is what I have noticed on the Insight. I think the engineers even count on it in their design of the rear window wash fluid sprayer. A vertical rear windshield will always be in its own wake, and could even get hit by rain that circulates around in an eddy... ever notice in a convertible how your hair blows forward?

I think that's about enough from me on this topic...
 
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