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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I were on our first big "out of town trip" in our new Insight this past weekend; Whittier to Solvang (for the 100 mile bicycle ride) and back, = 320 mi. for the Insight (100 mi. ea. for the bikes!).

I had packed our gear in the back, bikes on the receiver rack, it was all good. That is, until just before Santa Barbara the "Check Engine" light came on. Why? My wife read the owner's manual and concluded that I hadn't "clicked" the gas cap correctly when we filled up, pre-departure.

When we stopped for lunch I re-fitted the cap (lots of clicks!). Continued on to Buellton, unpacked at the Best Western, headed over to Solvang (3 mi.) for registration and dinner . . . and the "Check Engine" light went off. Okay, I thought, maybe it was the gas cap.

On the drive back Sun. morning, however, rolling South through Gaviota, the "Check Engine" light came on again! What? How could this be? After we got home and unpacked, I did some more research. I read the warning about not covering up the battery vents. Yikes! I had probably pretty much covered up the battery vents (bags, helmets, cycling shoes - it was fairly "stuffed" back there).

Could that covering of the battery vents cause the "Check Engine" light to come on? On the commute to work this Monday morning (23 mi.) the light remained on. I was planning on rolling by the Honda Dealer in Cerritos (Norm Reeves) on the way home . . . but maybe that's not necessary?

Any other Insighters have some input on this?

Thanks in advance.
Rick
2006 CVT
 

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The loose gas cap code usually happens the day after the occurrence. Its a 2 trip code. The OBDII definition of a trip. But 2 "trips" can happen in the same day. So your situation reads like something else is up. As long as power and performance (especially MPG) is "nominal" then its not urgent. But I'd get it checked out in a few days.

However, anytime that then engine power, performance or MPG is significantly off then it should not be delayed. Specifically an engine misfire can overload the CAT and will cause damage which will ultimately require its premature replacement.

AFAI remember an IMA overheat from blocking the vents will cause the IMA light to come on and a resuting lack of assist. The MIL dosen't (but may also) come on.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Trekker,

Yes, all systems seemed to be normal (not sure what you mean by "nominal"), and milage did not suffer, nor was anything else (as far as I ccould tell) out of the ordinary. The IMA light did not come on., and there was no mis-fire (that I could tell).

I will take it by the Honda dealer this afternoon and see what they can tell me.

Best Regs,
Rick
2006 CVT
 

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Well there are soooo many factors that go into MPG that you can't really "say" something is wrong with the car just because MPG has dropped a bit. Experience will teach you the feel of when conditions are optimal for hyper MPG. What I'm saying is low MPG _alone_ does not indicate trouble.

The misfire / loss of power that could damage a CAT won't be of the degree of kinda, sorta, maybe. You'll know it. An over-rich mixture or a severe enough condition that allows for incomplete combustion will dump the excess fuel (HC's) to the CAT for "scrubbing". Too much and the CAT will overheat, meltdown and or fracture.

Before enyone asks EGR "misfires" cannot have this effect. Since its an inert gas the misfires aren't a reflection of excess fuel being pumped down the exhaust pipe.

Please let us know the outcome :)

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes Trekker,

I will let you know how it turns out. I called Norm Reeves Honda Superstore Service Dept. and told them my situation. They said to bring it in, and I said, "Okay, I'll have it there by 4:OO pm."

"Well," they replied, "then we'll have to keep it over-night because it takes about four hours to run the tests." I thought that was a bit long, but hey, what do I know?

So I'm off to Norm Reeves Honda in Cerritos after I get off work and will report back to InsightCentral.net as soon as I know something for sure. I'm not going to tell them about covering the battery vents on our journey, but will confess if accused!

Fortunately my wife's work is close to Norm Reeves Honda, so I won't have to walk home!

Best Regs,
Rick
2006 CVT
 

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I found out from personal experience that covering the vents on a long trip will cause tha IMA to overheat and shut down. My trip was much longer than 320 miles, several thousand miles in fact. Since the IMA light didn't come on and you didn't lose assist, that is most likely not the problem.
 

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Richard said:
"Well," they replied, "then we'll have to keep it over-night because it takes about four hours to run the tests." I thought that was a bit long, but hey, what do I know?
RED FLAG ALERT :!:

Not sure what tests they plan to "run" but a simple "pull" of a code takes only a few minutes. IMO a real time estimate of a reasonably comprehensive non invasive test of the IMA system could take up to 1 hour.

Just don't want you to get into something you'd rather not.

Now depending on the code indicated its not unreasonable to allow for 1/2 a day for further testing.

Too little information to really go on at this point for either of us. The best it sounds like is under promise and over deliver. And when you get a technically deficent service advisor (VERY common these days) its the only real way to manage scheduling. :|

HTH! :)
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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ima light

Before you get to the dealer .......Too late........Most auto parts stores and even "midas mufflers" facilities will check any CEL indication.

Like John says, reading the codes take minutes. Duplicating the codes does take longer but 1/2 day? Maybe they are driving the car to Torrence and have the "factory guys" fix it.

Willie
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay, now I don't know whether to feel happy :) or sad :cry: .

When I left work (Los Angeles), I started up the Insight . . . guess what? No "Check Engine Light!" It was lit up when I turned it off at 6:30 AM, but by 3:30 PM it had fixed itself. No, I know, nothing ever fixes itself.

But since I had an appointment with the Honda dealer, I drove over there anyway. "Sorry" the service writer said, "But we can't tell what was wrong if the light isn't on."

"Well then," I replied, "what should I do? Just wait for it to come on again?"

"Yes, then when it does, drive right over here!" Obviously that could be easier said than done, depending upon where I am (Gaviota?) the next time it comes on.

So, sorry not to have an exciting and dramatic ending to this saga, but kind of relieved (somewhat) that the Check Engine light is no longer on. From the responses I've received, however, it seems that my assesment (okay, "guess") that covering the battery vents was probably not the cause.

If that's true, then something else WAS the cause, and it will most likely happen again. When it does, you will be the 2nd to know (or the 3rd if my wife is with me at the time).

Best Regs,
Rick
2006 Red CVT
 

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RED FLAG CONFIRMATION :!: :(

Find another dealership ASAP :!: This guy needs too much education. With only a few early model exceptions (non related to an MIL by the way) the code is _stored_ and retrievable _unless_ the 12v power source is lost / fails.

FYI CEL is more accurately expressed by its OBDII definition; MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light). Which _IS_ the "Check Engine Light".

Different from several other fault indicator lights. E.g. IMA (Integrated Motor Assist, the Electric part of a Honda Hybrid), SRS (Supplemental Restraint System, the Airbags), ABS (Anti-lock Brake System), EPS (Electric Power Steering System).

Some of these other fault indicator lights do not "store" a code. AFAI remember the IMA does. I'd have to get the Service Manual out to check on the others. Early (10+ years ago) Honda SRS systems did not.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the Red Flag warning Trekker!

After I read your last reply I called them back, got a different service writer this time . . . asked him if I should bring my Insight in anyway, even though the light has gone out. He said, "No, it was probably just the gas cap thing (creates a low pressure signal), so don't worry about it unless it comes on again."

Plus, I did my RSVP for the "New Honda Owner's Seminar" so I may bring that up again when they open the seminar up for questions (they will do that, right?). Anything else you would suggest I inquire about during the Seminar? That question is open to anyone, not just Trekker.

Hopefully they have service folks at the seminar, not just sales types.

Should I mention all the great info I've been getting from InsightCentral.net? I mean, is this kind of an "underground" thing, or do the Honda folks read and contribute too? Just curious.

Best Regs,
Rick
2006 CVT
 

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Almost all MIL's that turn themselves off are of no short term consequence. But there are exceptions and there isn't a simple list. It can depend on _many_ factors that could be related to the code. Its just that such occurrences are unusual. And without other symptoms extremely _rare_. So the "odds" are greatly in favor of it being of little urgency.

The loose gas cap code is of no consequence. But from your description (since you verified its tight and it came on again, after re-tightening) something else is going on.

Good luck on the "seminar" all the ones I've been to are a "sales" meeting. But maybe you'll get something better. Make _sure_ to emphasize your satisfaction if its helpful. This dealer would have gone off the beaten track to provide such and needs the strong feedback to maintain such quality.

As far as the "Internet" and information they _should_ generally "scoff" at it. And with good reason (unless they are personally familiar with Insight Central ;) ). Spend some time reading the posts here and I think you will see we're somewhat different. :)

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Trekker John,

Actually I have red a ton of posts on this board, and I recommend it to anyone who even asks me about my Insight.

In fact, it was this board (mostly) that sold me on the Insight. So while I understand your perspective re: scoffing at information gleaned from the internet (The Imagination Super Highway), you're quite right that InsightCentral is an exception (there are others, of course).

I will report back after the Seminar, but I'll start a different thread over in the "General" info section, rather than leading this off the "CEL" (MIL) topic.

Best Regs,
Rick
2006 CRV
 

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Most of this people on this forum know more about troubleshooting the Insight than I am sure 75% of the Honda dealerships do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Dezoris,

From my experience with Honda so far, and my experience with this board, I'm sure you're right.

I just wonder how the Honda service writer, or mechanic, would respond when I tell him/her "No, I'm sorry, but you're wrong about that. I learned the truth from the InsightCentral website."

For example, in the situation above where they told me that once the CEL is out, they can no longer track a malfunction. If I had known what Trekker has written (in advance), then I could have corrected the service writer when he told me that. But how would he react; I wonder.

Of course, tone of voice is very important in situations like this (as is body language), but if I kept it "respectful" hopefully he/she would have an open mind about it.

Do any of you have experience is this kind of situation, i.e. telling someone at Honda that you know more about your car than they do? Just curious, plus looking for tips from other Insight owners on how to handle this in a way that doesn't come off as sounding condescending.

Best Regs,
Rick
2006 CVT
 

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Such an "adversarial" relationship is difficult. Given that many dealerships are now corporately owned its management by the numbers. If you want that extra time, familiarity and care look for a quality Mom & Pop shop. Many now specialize in ________'s. (insert your automobile choice here)

The reason I'm coming down so hard in this particular situation is that the MIL issue is so basic. For _two_ service writers not to know about the issue on point tells me all I need to know about how they do business. :(

FWIW
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Another long trip this weekend, longer than the prev. one (528 miles this time), and while my milage improved (52.2 now), with but five miles to home, the Check Engine Light came on again.

The Saga Continues! Since the car is so new (barely over 2,000 miles) I'm taking it to the dealer on Mon., plus I have my "New Honda Owner" seminar the following day. Hope it all goes well!

And now I know (thanks to Trekker) that even if the light is out by the time I get there, they can still read the code!

Will advise.

Best Regs,
Rick
2006 CVT
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No, thankfully, . . .

I didn't leave the headlights on (little dinger reminds me not to!), and I didn't leave the door ajar, plus my Insight started fine this morning.

So I'm off to Norm Reeves Honda after work today, where (when I made the appointment this morning) once again they told me I'd need to leave it over night. Okay, I can do that. I really want to see what the source of the problem is!

Thanks for all your input, esp. Trekker!

Best Regs,
Rick
2006 CVT
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay Trekker (and other Insightful folks),

They ran the CEL test, and here's what their computer had to say:

DTC: P2610 - POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE (PCM) IGNITION OFF INTERNAL TIMER PERFORMANCE PROBLEM

At the time the CEL came on,
ENGINE SPEED 2,573 rpm.
The vehicle speed (VSS) was 66 mph (1 mph over the limit, yikes!).
The ECT Sensor (1) 203.0 F,
The IAT Sensor (2) was 68.0 F.
The MAP Sensor (Manifold Ambient Pressure?) was 2.51 V.
CLV 85%
BARO Sensor 2.86V
TP Sensor 1.61 V
AF Sensor -128 mA (negative 128 milliamps?)
AF LAMBDA 0.00
AF FB (ST FUEL TRIM) 1.01
AF FB AVE (KT FUEL TRIM) 1.01
FSS Closed
HO2S S2 0.61 V
BATTERY 14.0 V
ERG V L S 1.16 V
F INJECTOR 11.89 ms
SPARK ADVANCE 43.5 Deg.
IMA TORQUE -2.0 Nm (negative 2.0 Newton Meters?)
SOC 3.14 V

Of course, most of this is Greek (or Latin) to me, but hopefully it all makes sense to technically oriented (and/or talented) InsightCentral contributors.

They couldn't fix whatever is wrong quickly, but hoped to have my car ready in about 24 hours. This just so happens to coincide to when I'll be back at Norm Reeves for the New Honda Owner Seminar.

By the way, I asked several folks there, and they all agreed that the CEL had to be "On" for the test to be valid. So Trekker is right that the Red Flag Warning should be up!

Aside from that, however, they were all very friendly and helpful, even gave me a shuttle ride to my wife's work, so I could get a ride home with her! Tomorrow I'll drive the Miata, . . . and let you know how it goes with my Insight in about 24 hours.

Best Regs,
Rick
2006 CTV
2,498 mi.
52.6 Lifetime MPG
 
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