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Discussion Starter #1
I super appreciate you folks reading this and helping me even though these questions have been asked for years. Mine is a bit different. I read for a few hours and absorbed all the EGR valve + plate cleaning info....did the clean myself...my problem persists. Any ideas would be helpful.

PROBLEM
The car is super smooth most of the time. After installing my new IMA a couple weeks ago I've noticed a stutter/herky jerky feeling when IMA is engaging. Now, when I'm in charge and quickly go into assist it's a super smooth, imperceptible transition. But when I'm cruising along on a flat surface and the mpg meter is reading 100-150ish, then very lightly accelerate to make it up an oncoming hill without losing speed, that's when it happens. It's when I slowly call on IMA to assist. The car jerks like it's trying to figure out whether or not to go into IMA or not. The longer I keep it in that barely throttle position, the more it jerks. It's not awful but it's noticeable. Going out of IMA, the car is super smooth. It only happens when going into IMA suuuuuuuper slowly.

WHAT I'VE DONE
The car has a new front cat...I cleaned the EGR valve out...cleaned the EGR passages/plate out (was not dirty at all though)...has newish looking O2 sensors from previous owner (this could mean nothing)...has new IMA...has a new OEM rear motor mount too.

OTHER INFO
Also of note and possibly related but maybe not...I changed my oil today and noticed that when the car is idling (A/C off) the engine vibrates a bit. Could be the other 2 mounts are bad. But the engine does vibrate more than usual cars would. Not sure if this has anything to do with anything, but I did notice it. Maybe it's normal.

OK that's everything.....one helpful person suggested maybe it needs an O2 sensor...or I am wondering if I need to look at the other 2 mounts....or what? Any suggestions would be epic and helpful, thank you!!!!
 

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This could be a lot of things. Unfortunately there isn't a good way to test them without a lot of work - or throwing money at Honda parts, which may not address the issue (but will peel the onion and may help narrow in on the issue and, for a car with high mileage, could be considered consumables anyway.

If the wrong LAF sensor is in the car, then things will not work so well in the lean burn regime. With the wrong sensor, the car will try to reach air fuel ratios that the sensor is incapable of measuring, and there will be a loss of performance and inability for the very modest acceleration one can achieve in a well running car. This does not sound like your issue.

Then there is the EGR valve itself. But the EGR valve should not be a factor if you are actually in lean burn. I have put in a new EGR valve which ended up showing me what herky jerky really is, in normal street operation. This valve used a hall effect sensor to measure EGR position rather than an internal potentiometer and either it was too sensitive or not sensitive at all or there was too much of a lag in the sensing circuitry. At any rate, I disassembled and repositioned the wipers off the worn off segment of the internal potentiometer as has been described elsewhere and this is in use in my car without issues.

There are a number of other sensors which could be at issue. The above two are the only ones I've spent much time on, and they are the ones you mention. I'll leave others to suggest other possibilities.

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This could be a lot of things. Unfortunately there isn't a good way to test them without a lot of work - or throwing money at Honda parts, which may not address the issue (but will peel the onion and may help narrow in on the issue and, for a car with high mileage, could be considered consumables anyway.

If the wrong LAF sensor is in the car, then things will not work so well in the lean burn regime...

Best of luck.
Thanks. You're right, the issue here is how much money do i dump into this or that for what is really a very minor issue, even mostly unnoticeable.

I was thinking after reading what you wrote....I wonder if the O2 sensor(s) is (are) compromised. The previous owner had the car in gas only mode for some time with a gutted front cat. The sensors are cheap aftermarket ones (I can tell by appearance) that he put on there. And it had the "defouler" mod before I put a new cat on. I wonder if the combination of (a) cheap sensors and (b) gutted cat compromised the sensor and is causing the problem. The odd thing is the jerky behavior is imperceptible when going quickly/directly into ASSIST, it only happens when I'm (I think) in lean burn, that is, barely accelerating/coasting along, and then try to get ASSIST IMA power.

It kinda stinks, OEM O2 sensors are like $300 online. The cheap versions are $20-$60. I wonder if the $60 Bosch is good enough. I wish I had a way to buy or borrow a good one from a member who has one lying around, even if very used, and just try it out. Then at least I'd know if this was the issue.
 

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Check your second Cat. I had the same thing checked and changed a bunch of stuff I put a gage in the o2 sensor and measured back pressure and it was high. Cleared the exhaust restriction and it runs perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Check your second Cat. I had the same thing checked and changed a bunch of stuff I put a gage in the o2 sensor and measured back pressure and it was high. Cleared the exhaust restriction and it runs perfect.
Ok thanks. By check it do you mean you unbolted it and shook out any debris from the first cat breaking up, then reinstalled?
 

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That means fixing it. IMHO
 

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Most of the things others mention could be related to the symptoms, little things add-up when you're using the car at the margins...

PROBLEM
The car is super smooth most of the time...I've noticed a stutter/herky jerky feeling when IMA is engaging. Now, when I'm in charge and quickly go into assist it's a super smooth, imperceptible transition. But when I'm cruising along on a flat surface and the mpg meter is reading 100-150ish, then very lightly accelerate to make it up an oncoming hill without losing speed, that's when it happens.
The circumstances you describe are 'at the margins' - and it could be more or less normal. For instance, most likely you're in lean burn, one, and then two you're trying to invoke assist gingerly, up a slight hill to maintain speed. So you've got two potential 'hiccups' in play: dropping out of lean burn or not, and invoking assist or not. And it's possible you have three potential 'hiccups' - if the IMA happens to be background charging at the time.

So, when you gingerly invoke assist, the car needs to 'decide' whether to drop out of lean burn and/or do some assist, and possibly before doing assist, also drop out of background charge. That can produce some 'indecision-like' behavior - hesitation, a little jerkiness, etc. So your symptoms could be just normal stuff. Typically we see similar behavior when it's windy out, say cruising on the highway - it can become hard to achieve satisfactory IMA integration with ICE usage, where IMA (mostly assist) is coming in and out and at some point it just makes more sense to disable the IMA with a calpod clutch switch...

Having said all that, like I mentioned initially, little things can add up and make the margins more ragged or less ragged. Everything needs to be dialed-in just so to get near flawless performance consistently with this car. Probably casual drivers wouldn't know the difference, but an enthusiast would...

The things others mentioned come to mind, as well as spark plugs (correct indexed plugs, correct gap), tire pressure/correct tires, I don't know, other things. Lately I've noticed that premium fuel makes a difference at really low RPM (about 1100) and liberal assist usage; with regular I can't drop RPM quite as low and get the engine to feel smooth when transitioning into assist. It's not something most people would ever do, but it's a good example of how little things can make a difference at the margins...
 

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I concur with eq, think your feeling lean burn dropping out. Factory o2 sensors are best. Live with it or put money in sensors but there no guarantee. You have a ob c @ c yet .They can monitor alot of these perimeters
 

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Another thing that popped into my mind about this, what I wrote, etc., is that Insight performance is actually never flawless in every circumstance. It's kind of like shifting a manual - you can't just jam the thing in any gear any time and expect super smooth behavior. It's similar with IMA and ICE integration: to really maximize and get smooth performance in nearly every circumstance, open up possibilities, takes a bit of finagling on the driver's part.

I was reminded of how I command assist in mostly 3rd, sometimes 4th gears while preserving lean burn. It's not something I could do when I first got the car, but it's old hat now. It takes some finesse. There's quite a few other 'finesse' junctures when it comes to IMA and ICE integration, and it's up to the driver to develop the skill... The 'super low RPM' usage is another 'finesse' type of operation. For that you not only need a pack that can handle full assist, plus premium fuel for the best outcome, but also a bit of skill, timing, etc... Otherwise you'll get all sorts of cringe-worthy shaking...

I'm not sure, but I think the need for skill vis-a-vis these 'performance easter eggs', might be one of the primary attractions that keeps IC'ers into the car. I remember Eli saying a long time ago how he thought driving the car was like playing video games. It's exactly like that. I used to play this arcade game called "Excitebike" - a motorcycle racing game. If you hit the jumps at just the right location and tweaked the joystick just so, you could end up jumping like phenomenally far in certain instances. I find that driving the Insight is exactly like that - but with real-world performance outcomes - whether in terms of economy or power or both...

Funny, I haven't thought about Excitebike in like ages:

86446


There was a Texaco down by the lake where I used to hang-out in my early teens or so. The clerk would give us free hotdogs after they got a little too crusty for respectable folk, and me and a buddy or two would wonk on Excitebike for hours...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That means fixing it. IMHO
Well....yeah. I'm a novice and you guys know much more about this, but from what I've read the 1st cat throws chunks into the 2nd cat. I wonder of those chunks are sitting on the 2nd cat causing my problem. So perhaps by removing it and shaking it loose I might clear things up, if this is the issue as dude above suggests. Free fix would be super. Better than just throwing parts at the car.

I wonder how the car would run if I just disconnected the entire 2nd cat backward and took it for a test spin. I know on some cars it would work albeit be very loud. If that was a way to test the lean burn transition we're discussing I might try it. Could cause many more issues though.

Most of the things others mention could be related to the symptoms, little things add-up when you're using the car at the margins...

The circumstances you describe are 'at the margins' - and it could be more or less normal. For instance, most likely you're in lean burn, one, and then two you're trying to invoke assist gingerly, up a slight hill to maintain speed. So you've got two potential 'hiccups' in play: dropping out of lean burn or not, and invoking assist or not. And it's possible you have three potential 'hiccups' - if the IMA happens to be background charging at the time.

So, when you gingerly invoke assist, the car needs to 'decide' whether to drop out of lean burn and/or do some assist, and possibly before doing assist, also drop out of background charge. That can produce some 'indecision-like' behavior - hesitation, a little jerkiness, etc. So your symptoms could be just normal stuff. Typically we see similar behavior when it's windy out, say cruising on the highway - it can become hard to achieve satisfactory IMA integration with ICE usage, where IMA (mostly assist) is coming in and out and at some point it just makes more sense to disable the IMA with a calpod clutch switch...

Having said all that, like I mentioned initially, little things can add up and make the margins more ragged or less ragged. Everything needs to be dialed-in just so to get near flawless performance consistently with this car. Probably casual drivers wouldn't know the difference, but an enthusiast would...

The things others mentioned come to mind, as well as spark plugs (correct indexed plugs, correct gap), tire pressure/correct tires, I don't know, other things. Lately I've noticed that premium fuel makes a difference at really low RPM (about 1100) and liberal assist usage; with regular I can't drop RPM quite as low and get the engine to feel smooth when transitioning into assist. It's not something most people would ever do, but it's a good example of how little things can make a difference at the margins...
Everything you said here is so well thought out, thank you. My thoughts exactly. The car has 139k and has not been a garage queen, though it is in pretty good shape. But yeah many little compromises could be adding up to cause my problem. Wish it was an easy fix but it might require 5 new parts to make it "perfect". That said, as you said, even then there are imperfections.

It's comforting to read what you wrote here. As I said, the jerky in pretty imperceptible to normal people, I just tend to be "one with the car" and notice everything, so it struck me as if it was something I could fix fairly easily I would. But if I did nothing it would be fine...it's not that bad of an issue.

I talked with Scott about this the other day...for me it comes down to I have a "B+" car right now, I may be reaching the law of diminishing returns in terms of putting more money into the car than it's worth in order to get it to "A" status. May just need to enjoy it as is with some small imperfections.

That said, it does look and run really really well.

Another thing that popped into my mind about this, what I wrote, etc., is that Insight performance is actually never flawless in every circumstance. It's kind of like shifting a manual - you can't just jam the thing in any gear any time and expect super smooth behavior. It's similar with IMA and ICE integration: to really maximize and get smooth performance in nearly every circumstance, open up possibilities, takes a bit of finagling on the driver's part.

I was reminded of how I command assist in mostly 3rd, sometimes 4th gears while preserving lean burn. It's not something I could do when I first got the car, but it's old hat now. It takes some finesse. There's quite a few other 'finesse' junctures when it comes to IMA and ICE integration, and it's up to the driver to develop the skill... The 'super low RPM' usage is another 'finesse' type of operation. For that you not only need a pack that can handle full assist, plus premium fuel for the best outcome, but also a bit of skill, timing, etc... Otherwise you'll get all sorts of cringe-worthy shaking...
Love the Excitebike analogy. And story. We must be the same age.

I have driven cars for years in such a way that I get several MPG over what I'm supposed to. Lots of barely giving it any throttle...use of momentum...etc. I'm a natural for the Insight I think as I've been using the techniques you described already. With the wrong tires and the A/C on I got 72mpg on the way home from Atlanta (2 hr drive) in the car. That was without the cat though....which helps mpg usually. Right now I'm getting about 55 city with the A/C on and the wrong tires but with a cat installed. I think if/when I get the RE92s I'll make it into the low 60s in the city, from what I've read.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Another thought that occurred to me.....if this is a lean burn transition issue as it seems to be, it is of note that the car did not do this when I first got it, I did a lot of lean burn in the first 2 weeks of ownership before I replaced the front cat and IMA. Since I did those 2 fixes the herky jerky thing started...
 

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The first thing I thought about when I read the first post was also the lean burn transition. It's not quite a stumble, but it isn't typically perfectly smooth either. Having a different O2 sensor might affect it, since the OEM sensor was specifically designed for reading out past 24:1 AFR.

Most people do not get lean burn without an IMA, but there seems to be some variation from model year to model year. Are you absolutely certain you were in lean burn prior to the IMA battery replacement?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The first thing I thought about when I read the first post was also the lean burn transition. It's not quite a stumble, but it isn't typically perfectly smooth either. Having a different O2 sensor might affect it, since the OEM sensor was specifically designed for reading out past 24:1 AFR.

Most people do not get lean burn without an IMA, but there seems to be some variation from model year to model year. Are you absolutely certain you were in lean burn prior to the IMA battery replacement?
I’m new to all of this and don’t fully understand how to know if I’m in lean burn or not...but my hunch is YES I was in lean burn even back in gas only mode. The car sort of changed personality...the mpg line went to 150...it sort of coasted along without a care, and I was getting 72mpg average on a 100 mile trip. Those things coincided with what I read about lean burn personality so that leads me to say yes I was in lean burn.

I think you’re right on about it being a lean burn issue. I hate to throw parts at it but I’m considering an OEM O2 sensor. Questions:

1 can an O2 sensor be cleaned by soaking in gasoline overnight?

2 if it is the O2 sensor would it likely be the upper or lower one or both?

ALSO OF NOTE - just thought of this today...the jerky behavior only happens once the car is warmed up. When cold for the first 5 minutes it’s smooth. Once warmed up t it exhibits these symptoms.

Hmmm....
 

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"Also of Note" is a key. That is when the engine is running rich, during warm up, so naturally it won't happen then.
You can't be in lean burn forever. There is a purge cycle that takes place. Are you getting those?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
"Also of Note" is a key. That is when the engine is running rich, during warm up, so naturally it won't happen then.
You can't be in lean burn forever. There is a purge cycle that takes place. Are you getting those?
Forgive my ignorance...what is the purge cycle and how can I tell it’s happening or happened without scanners and such?
 

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If you're cruising in lean burn, every few minutes the car will drop out of lean burn for ~30 seconds to purge the catalyst, and then automatically return to lean burn. You'll see the mpg meters move without you moving your foot.

Getting the car to enter lean burn on the highway in 5th looks like this: slowly let out the gas pedal until you're seeing 95-100mpg. After a moment, the FCD will jump to 150mpg. You can then push the pedal back in. Press it any further than around 70mpg however and (without moving your foot any further) it'll immediately jump to 50mpg and usually start assisting.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If you're cruising in lean burn, every few minutes the car will drop out of lean burn for ~30 seconds to purge the catalyst, and then automatically return to lean burn. You'll see the mpg meters move without you moving your foot.

Getting the car to enter lean burn on the highway in 5th looks like this: slowly let out the gas pedal until you're seeing 95-100mpg. After a moment, the FCD will jump to 150mpg. You can then push the pedal back in. Press it any further than around 70mpg however and (without moving your foot any further) it'll immediately jump to 50mpg and usually start assisting.
Ok thanks. So if lean burn only can happen in 5th gear then my issue is not related to lean burn. It does the “bars escalate to 150mpg” thing in 3rd and 4th gears also and at that point has no lights on both regen and assist....it’s at that point, in gear 3 4 or 5 that it gets jerky if I gently apply the throttle.

Erggggg this is confusing....if only @KLR3CYL would chime in, I’m am sure he can Yoda this puzzler....
 

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No. Lean burn can also happen in 3rd and 4th. The car does it whenever conditions are right and you aren't messing with it and changing conditions. You would learn a LOT with an OBDIIC&C gauge. Accept LB whenever you can get and don't also try to get assist. You won't. Pretty much anything you do will cause it to drop out. LB is a very fragile feature.

KLR3CYL has a full time job working on Insights and often doesn't have free time to get on here.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No. Lean burn can also happen in 3rd and 4th. The car does it whenever conditions are right and you aren't messing with it and changing conditions. You would learn a LOT with an OBDIIC&C gauge. Accept LB whenever you can get and don't also try to get assist. You won't. Pretty much anything you do will cause it to drop out. LB is a very fragile feature.

KLR3CYL has a full time job working on Insights and often doesn't have free time to get on here.

Sam
OK thanks then it sounds like this truly is likely a lean burn issue. Yes I am sure Scott is busy, perhaps when he senses a disturbance in the force he will arrive here and speak to this...
 

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Install something to tell you when you are in LEAN BURN as sometimes the FCD is misleading.
A good tool that I always monitor is a boost/vacuum gauge. You can learn a lot just by watching that.
There is a window of about 4 In. of vacuum on the engine ........where it is jumping out of lean burn into assist (between 8-4 In. vac.) in most circumstances.
 
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