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Discussion Starter #1
In nearly three years and 46,000 miles, my 2000 Insight has had the Check Engine light come on three times. The first time was failure to tighten the gas cap. A few months ago, it was a problem with the oxygen sensor. It was fixed, but not replaced. I just put the car back in the shop after the Check Engine light came on again. Honda says that the light could mean 300 different things. Driving into the shop the MPG seemed pretty good.

Anyone else have oxygen sensor or Check Engine light problems?
 

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I have had my check engine light coming on and off for the better part of two years (always a code indicating an O2 sensor problem). My local dealer has said they've checked the computer and the O2 sensor, and both appear to be fine but that for some reason the sensor is sending a bad code to the computer, or something to that effect. I haven't noticed any impact to my mileage or any other driving aspects of the car, although I wonder if the code limits my ability to get into "lean-burn" mode (since I tend to have a lead foot, I'm probably not likely to be in that mode too much anyways). When I got the ECU replaced (the recall from earlier this year) that seems to have alleviated the problem mostly, but the light still comes on intermittently. As long as the car functions normally, it doesn't bother me (although I must confess I keep a little piece of electrical tape on my dash so when the light comes on I can cover it, that bright light just annoys the crap out of me).
 

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There is a stream that I started in this forum regarding the Air Ratio Sensor. This was the computer discovered culprit to my one time check engine light occurance. The sensor wasn't replaced and it has not made the check engine light come on again. Performance seems fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got a call that the black box that controls this is under recall. In other words, the dealership will replace it for free :)
 

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YES!
I've had 2 oxygen sensors burn out, one after having the computer recall thing fixed. Makes me glad I got the extended warranty, since I'd have blown over 1k$ on this alone already. Recently, I've had the check engine light come on, then turn itself back off a few days later. Grr. The dealerships seem to have no idea what's going on, either.
 

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I've had the same problem happen once after agressive driving one night. Had it reset, and not come back on. There is a 02 sensor recall that i got in the mail. but, i havn't taken it in yet since i havn't had any further issues

fyi mines a 2000 manual insight
 

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I had the ECM replacement done. I never had a CEL problem, the only time mine's come on is to remind me that it's time for an oil change. I remember there was some speculation that perhaps an additive in the gasoline some folks were using was causing the problem.
Regardless, I've seen far fewer folks complaining about CEL problems on the Yahoo! groups since the recall was issued on the ECM. I hope that's not just a coincidence! :?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Anyone have an idea what affects the life of an O2 sensor? Do driving habits make a difference?
 

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Last November I also had to have the O2 sensor replaced. Less than 1 month later, the same thing. The dealer swears it was a defective sensor. Again, less than a month later, I got a recall notice for the ECM and the the O2 sensor was replaced again.
Last Tue I had another replaced ..... this makes 4 in 7 months ..... do you think Honda has a bunch of bad parts or is something else going on here ? :?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Again, does a particular style of driving fry the O2 sensor? Agressive driving? Lugging the engine? Cruising? Stop-and-go traffic?
 

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bad gas

Delta Flyer said:
Anyone have an idea what affects the life of an O2 sensor? Do driving habits make a difference?
The one thing that comes to mind is bad gas. A lot of the O2 sensors burn out simply because of the excessive amounts of sulfur in US gasoline. Sulfur is the natural enemy of O2 sensors.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If sulfur is a factor, California drivers should not be having a problem as the law there requires less of it.
 

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Hm.
One of my O2 sensor burnouts was while I was living in LA. (See gas in Cali comments above.) Another was in Atlanta. Another in St.Louis. I use the 'premium' 93 octane gas, tho I have no loyalty to any particular brand or company. I have, on one occassion (after my first 02 sensor failure) accidentally filled my Insight with diesel. It was towed and pumped out half a mile later.

What sort of gas are the rest of you with this problem using?
 

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I live in PA, have had no problems and use exclusively Exxon premium from the same station every time.
Hope this helps!
 

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Back when O2 sensors where new, a Mechanic friend of mine told me about this problem.

Let's say for some reason combustion does not happen ino spark, clogged fuel injector, etc.etc) Lots of O2 goes out the exhaust and the O2 sensor voltage drops to zero. The computer can either think's running too lean or the O2 sensor has failed.

Now the insight uses a wide-band O2 sensor (not cheap) so it should have a better indication between failure and a lean condition than a one-wire O2 sensor. But if you have had multiple O2 sensor "failures", you may want to check out the rest of the engine for problems.
 

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Mitch,
I imagine the O2 sensor is a lot like the battery recal frequency. A few cars <1% seam to have the O2 sensor issue and a few others seam to need more frequent recals. While both are a nusiance neither seams to have long term effects. (Can you tell the difference when the O2 sensor is bad or good?)
I have an Insight that tends to have abnormal recals. I have 1-2 recals a week. At first I was concerned and could see that the fuel economy took a nose dive during the recal. However after a while I realized that the overall tank fuel economy is the same so the recals arn't hurting my fuel economy (I am merely paying back the energy that I had covertly stolen from the battery without it noticing). Hopefully Honda will eventually figure out what causes these two events and correct the real problem but I am more than happy with the car even with the frequent recals. Have fun, Rick
 

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Rick,

The problem with the O2 sensors is that they invoke a check engine light warning. Once that light is on, you can either;

a) Ignore it, and hope that it's your O2 sensor. Live with the worry that at any moment your engine might explode and you've been ignoring the warning all along.

b) Take it in for service. I suppose you could leave once you found it was an 02 sensor problem, and not get it repaired. See a) in that case. If you do get it repaired, it's a several hundred dollar job.

For now, mine is still covered under the extended warranty, but that's just a matter of time before i start getting hit with hundreds of extra dollars a year in maintinence to work this out. I'd call that a major issue.
 

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I have heard of several who said the dealer just resets the CEL telling the owner the O2 sensor is actually good. Has the dealer ever just reset the light on your insight and if so how long did it take before the CEL reappeared. I bought one of the carchip devices that let you see any error codes and reset the CEL. If I had this problem I would use a device such as this to know what error is being reported and periodically reset the CEL. I know this isn't a solution but perhaps if you reset it enough you might be able to tell what sort of conditions cause the CEL to light. Have fun, Rick
 

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Interesting. No, they always tell me that it's the O2 sensor. None have ever just reset the light and let it go. Where do you get that chip interface device, what's it called, and how much does it run you?
 
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