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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all - I routinely get 62+ average mpg on my insight, but for the past 2,500 miles I've been getting only 57. I had left my engine oil in for 7,000 miles this time just to see, and I thought that accounted for about 2,000 miles of the 2,500 miles of poor performance. But after switching the oil, I still only get 57 mpg. All my other fluids have been changed within the last 10,000 miles.
I have the factory-recommended level of air in the tires, and don't run AC. So I thought maybe the 12v as it's been in there for five years. However, I had the battery checked at Valvoline, and it checked out fine. But ... do you have to disconnect the 12v to test it? They didn't, so maybe the 144v was skewing the test? I'd appreciate any recommendations! Thanks!
Dan
 

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brownoarsman

Length of oil is OK. Normal oil change is 7,500 miles.
Did they "load Test" the battery? Or say "it is charging fine".
5 years on the 12V is pushing it for useage.
No need to disconnect the battery for checking or charging.

Check the battery voltage first thing in the morning, before starting and report back.
Factory air in tires are BS. Jack them up to sidewall max. pressure. 40+.

HTH
Willie
 

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You can check a 12v battery in three ways.

1- load test the battery- this requires a load bank tester. If amperage output is poor or voltage drops significantly then the battery is bad.

2- check voltage after not having charged the battery for a few hours. Best to check in morning before starting car. If it's 12.1 or below the battery is most likely dying.

3-Turn off IMA battery switch. Start car with regular 12v battery. Turn off and start car three more times. Does the car start normally? Then the battery is good.
 

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brownoarsman: I see you're in the Boston area. Have your outside air temps dropped like here in PA? Our weather is now like fall rather than summer. Cooler temps affect mpg.

Like Campo Willie suggested, boost your tire pressure, it will help. I run mine at 65 psi. Some folks run even higher. Stiffens the ride though. (Be sure to remember you're on higher pressure when the roads are rain slick!)

My 2 cents.

..Bob
 

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Check to see if you have a brake cable that is not released all the way.
A very small drag isnt enough to really notice, but it will sure drop the mileage.
 

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Does your check engine light actually come on when you first turn the key? If it doesn't, your light is burned out and you need to check for codes.

Some cat codes/sensor codes disable lean burn.
 

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error codes

Does your check engine light actually come on when you first turn the key? If it doesn't, your light is burned out and you need to check for codes.

Some cat codes/sensor codes disable lean burn.
Is there any way we could get which codes do disable the lean burn activation?
That would be helpful information.
moon car
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your help!

It turns out my dad had made off with my tool set; and, as I've been traveling a lot, hadn't had time to reclaim it :) Turned the IMA switch off, the car started fine three times in a row; but like others have warned - it sounds awful! I hadn't heard that starter work at all while I've owned my Insight (year plus), so I assume it was just knocking the rust off ;) All my lights are fine, but thanks for the suggestion!

I do know what the problem is now, though, and it's me. I began biking to work (highest mpg); and the car will now sit 5-7 days between use (using it now to go fishing, surfing, sailing, hiking, etc. outside the city). I usually get the IMA battery up to full, but within five miles it will neg recal to near empty. I suppose I'm losing a lot of charge while the car sits. My gas mileage is then impacted while the car recharges the battery. On the last 30 leg of a 100-mile trip, by the time I've recharged the battery, I'll get average mpg in the 72+ range. Up to that point, I'm hitting lower numbers. Does anyone else's battery lose most of its full charge after five days? Sadly, grid charging the battery isn't an option as I park on the street with no garage access.

Thanks for the help!

Dan
 

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As Need4peed suggested , you battery needs balancing The grid charge is your only cure.... It is in the nature of the NIMH batteries to self discharge fast. 5-7 days is not a problem for a good battery , but for aging one that is out of balance that is too long. (At least yours is not so bad , mine gets bad in only one weekend of no driving) . The bad news is you need to grid charge it. The good one is one grid charge is going to rejuvenate it and it will perform like new for several months. then you will have to do it again....
if you can "borrow" one of your friends driveway for 15-18 hours and if you can fit a "dumb" 350ma charger and run a cable to it every 3-4 months , then your problem will be solved easily.....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Check Engine Light On Following IMA Battery Turn Off

After testing the 12v by turning off the IMA battery and using the starter motor to start the car, my check engine light came on and remained on. I've tried refueling and screwing on the gas tank (unlikely the problem as nothing changed here from starting the car) and rev charging the IMA battery to full (apparently the check engine light can come on if the IMA battery drops below 1/3 capacity). Drove the car for five trips now and still have the check engine light on - anything you can think of that might be causing this after turning off the IMA battery and using the 12v starter motor? Or should I just pull off the negative cable to reset the codes and see if it pops up again? Thanks!


p.s. Thanks for the help on grid-charging! I'll be moving my girlfriend's parents' cars out of their garage in the new future and taking it over for a weekend :)
 

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Or should I just pull off the negative cable to reset the codes and see if it pops up again? Thanks!
I you don't have any other issues I would just reset it by pulling the cable or fuse 18 under dash. See if it comes back.
 

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Hypermiler
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CEL after testing 12v starter. Interesting. I did the same test, starter worked good. (Did nothing else to car). Had a cel (and an expected code for the ima being turned off). Cleared codes, & checked 'readiness' and went for a ride , all but the evap is ok. Evap comes in as 'incomplete'. cel gives the 5 blink indication after about 20 seconds with key on / engine off. Went to the service manual, and verified prerequisites for the evap reset. Met them all, went for many drives. Still have the cel giving 5 flashes. ??

..Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hmmm, I'm not getting any flashes; but, I'm driving out this Saturday/Sunday, so will reset the codes and let you know what happens. Odd case of the CEL.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
All good :)

After resetting by pulling fuse 16 under the hood (and charging the battery to full first), my CEL has stopped lighting up as well. Glad the fix was so easy! Now time to check those brake cables and take over a driveway :D Thanks again for all your help,

Dan
 
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