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Discussion Starter #1
8) :) :shock:

I'm curious whether anyone has done any battery maintenance on their Insight (if so, what?) and /or has noticed a problem like this:

I bought a used (2000) Insight in April '03 (now about 33, 000 miles). At that time, it had a lifetime mpg of 52.1, which seems pretty low for an Insight. I was getting about 58-59 avg. mpg (in mixed driving; 62 on longer highway trips) after I bought it, so I figured that I was a smarter, better driver than the folks I bought it from. Ha! Eventually, the lifetime mpg peaked at 53.8.

Since then, I've noticed a significant drop in my average mpg (I generally hit the trip button each time I fill up gas), down to 49-52 when doing mostly city driving (lifetime mpg is now at 53.5). I wonder if my mileage drop has to do with the batteries. When I did a 50 mile highway trip 3 days ago, my batteries were well charged and I got great mileage (58). Ever since, my battery meter has stayed at 3 bars and I've been getting lousy mileage.

Note: the mpg decrease seems to coincide with cooler weather. I live in Ohio.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this matter. I've read posts about the effects of a/c, tire pressure, and climate on mpg; here I'm wondering specifically about batteries and mpg.


Thanks! :D
 

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Cold weather does kill mileage. You can do the hot air mod to get some better mileage, but if your battery charge sits at only 3 bars even after long highway cruising it sounds like your battery pack is dying. You might try forcing a recalibration and see if it helps. Just disconnect the negative battery post (the 12 volt under the hood) for a few minutes and then reconnect. When you start the car back up you will have no charge showing. Pull the EPS fuse under the hood and rev the engine in neutral to 3000 rpm where you will see a force charge. Do this until the charge goes back up. It *should* only take a few minutes to get it back to full charge. If it doesn't then I think it's safe to say you've got a deteriorating battery pack.

I've also heard of this happening where it will go up but quickly go back down after some driving and stay at the previous level. Curious, how often do you get battery recalibrations if at all? It might be time to go to war with Honda if your still under 8 80K hybrid warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey, Ricky, you're so fine...

Ricky,

Thanks for replying to my post about batteries and mpg! I really appreciate your time and suggestions. I will give the force charge a try. The battery level has been going up and down some, but last night I noticed it was at three bars again.

To my knowledge, the batteries have not been recalibrated. This task is not on the maintenance schedules I have (Insight Central, owner's manual); the only way it would have been done is if it's part of the regular maintenance schedule at 22,500, 30,000, 25,000, etc. that the dealers do. If so, then it would have gotten done between April of this year and now.

I've lived in homes with batteries hooked up to solar and wind equipment, and we always had to maintain and check the acid level; that's why it surprised me that it's not on the maintenance schedule.

I have 33,000 ish miles on my 2000 Insight, so I am still under warranty.

What is the hot air mod you spoke of?

Thanks,
Chris
 

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Well in theory the on board electronics are supposed to maintain things. A forced recalibration once in a while is generally a good thing. If that does not help things it's time to go to the dealership and have them check it out. They will tell you the car's fine most likely, but keep at it, they may do something eventually. The SOC shouldn't be that low, and if it is you should see force charging while driving.

The hot air mod is where you put a piece of tubing in to the air intake, the other side draws hot air from around the catylitic converter. This will give you warm air temps for the engine even durring the winter. Lean burn will be easier to maintain, it's been discussed here at length before.
 
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