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Battery charge level

5230 Views 19 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Mike Dabrowski 2000
Hi fellow Insight owners,
I am curious if anybody has noticed what I have been noticing about the battery state of charge meter in the 2000 5 speed Insight.
I bought mine used @ 23,000 miles and have driven it 1000 miles thus far.

I notice that the meter shows charge draining really fast under half to full acceleration as well as when climbing hills. For instance, the meter is near full and after a half to one mile of acceleration later the charge indicator shows half charge or even 1/4th charge.

On a similar note, I feel as if something is off kilter on the way the accelerator pedal is functioning. It is almost difficult durring cruising to not allow power to be used from the battery to assist. On the other hand, full acceleration use of the battery/motor seems not to give all that much power for accelerating.

I appreciate any comments on this subject.
2000 Silver 5 spd
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When I first started driving the Insight (2001 5sp), I had trouble keeping the battery level indicator anywhere above halfway (actually, "had trouble" isn't the right phrase; I just wasn't paying much attention to it at all - it still worked fine). As time went by, I learned that some judicious use of a lower gear in certain situations (particular hills around my area being the biggest culprit, although some of them don't appear abnormally steep) would keep the batteries from draining much at all. Using the lower gear for these "rough spots" doesn't seem to affect my mileage much (it's gotten steadily better as I've learned more about the causes and effects anyhow) and prevents the Insight from using its electric motor at full power in high gear, which seems to drain the batteries very quickly (although it's probably just that in high gear it's easy to use "a little assist" for a long period of time without noticing much).

Since I started dropping to fourth at times, I've nearly always had the battery charge indicator above the "must charge at cruising" level. I don't think it's necessarily "better" for the batteries to be at high charge, but I've certainly had fewer recalibrations. I do typically use full throttle to accelerate whenever it is necessary, and the difference between the amount of assist available at high charge vs. low charge is very noticable.

As a friend of mine says, "you're always playing the Insight Game."
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Re: Response to input

How is it that the difference between the amount of assist available @ high charge vs. low charge is very noticeable?
It isn't, if I'm not using full throttle. However, with an open throttle, the assist meter doesn't fully illuminate if I don't have at least 1/3 or so charge (as indicated), and "full assist" vs. "not quite full assist" gives a different feeling. I'm not certain exactly what charge level does/does not give full assist when requested, though.
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