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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During hot and humid days (high 80's and 90's), my Insight's mpg drops by 8 or 10 mpg and the power drops too. So much so I have a difficult time maintaining the speed limit on hills (must downshift). In cooler weather I seem to get better mileage and power is ok. Turning A/C off helps some, but power is still way down on hot days. My dealer tells me this is normal!

Oh, also when the A/C is on I hear an occasional "breathing noise" coming from somewhere. Not all the time, but when I let off the gas. Anyone notice that?

Overall mpg has dropped from around 60 to 55.6 over the last year. When new this car averaged in the mid 60's. Not any more!

Any comments would sure be appreciated as my dealer can't do anything for me.

Butch - Virginia
2000 Insight, 52,000 mil.
 

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I suspect that weather is a factor on MPG. When I make an early morning work commute within the speed limit, it varies between 70 and 80 mpg (mostly freeway).

I occassionaly notice a sound just after engaging the A/C, but that's it.
 

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We really need more information.

CVT, 5spd? commute speed, tire pressure, Battery operations normal? (frequent Recals or forced charges (5spd only)). And add _everything_ else that has changed from your past higher MPG days.

In general, higher temps as you have described and up to a limit enable higher MPG _IF_ you drive in the style to take advantage of it.

John K. Bullock
aka. Insightful Trekker
 

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In general, higher temps as you have described and up to a limit enable higher MPG _IF_ you drive in the style to take advantage of it.
Except When the battery needs to "force charge" when a recal occurs... And especially when thermal cutback occurs (which basically means that the battery pack is overheating and needs to limit the amount of charge and discharge and therefore means less electric motor assist).
P.S. Read the entire message for more information about the poster's personal information...

~Martin
Recycled
2000 5 Spd
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is this Normal - More Information.

Hi John and the group,

Reference my problem low power and mileage during hot humid weater, here's more information. It's a 2000 5-speed model, tire pressure between 38-40psi, typical speed 65mph, typically 75% highway, 25% city driving. (Lifetime mileage reading is now reading 55.6. During the first year it was nearly 60mpg).

When my Insight was new I didn't have a power or mileage problem. In fact, I got 71.2mpg once on a 200 trip, but as it got older, (I have 51,000 miles on it now), I noticed that during hot and humid days I barely have enough power to maintain speed on the hills (even with a full battery charge). By the way, the batteries seem to be charging normally and fully. I also noticed that the A/C compressor makes "hissing sound" when I let off the gas sometimes. Never noticed this noise when it was new, or the first entire year of driving it.

Worst part is, two Honda dealers have checked the car over and tell me there's nothing wrong with it. The car has always been serviced on schedule and each time when I bring up the problems I've been having, I get told "it's normal for this car." I find this hard to believe, but I've heard this from two dealerships now!

Anyone know where I can post this car for sale? I'm considering the new Prius.

Butch - Virginia
2000 Insight
51,000 miles
 

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Re: Is this Normal - More Information.

Butch - Virginia said:
Hi John and the group,

Anyone know where I can post this car for sale? I'm considering the new Prius.

Butch - Virginia
2000 Insight
51,000 miles

The Autotrader would be your best bet. The larger the ad the better response you'll get. Now might be a good time, gas prices are up. It's sad to see this disturbing trend umong the 2000 Insight's, you might also check the yahoo honda-hybrids group, a bunch of them who are having battery recalibration problems are trying to gang up and see if they can get Honda to do any thing. A class action law suit has even been mentioned.
 

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Re: Is this Normal - More Information.

Butch - Virginia said:
Hi John and the group,

Reference my problem low power and mileage during hot humid weater, here's more information. It's a 2000 5-speed model, tire pressure between 38-40psi, typical speed 65mph, typically 75% highway, 25% city driving. (Lifetime mileage reading is now reading 55.6. During the first year it was nearly 60mpg).

When my Insight was new I didn't have a power or mileage problem. In fact, I got 71.2mpg once on a 200 trip, but as it got older, (I have 51,000 miles on it now), I noticed that during hot and humid days I barely have enough power to maintain speed on the hills (even with a full battery charge). By the way, the batteries seem to be charging normally and fully. I also noticed that the A/C compressor makes "hissing sound" when I let off the gas sometimes. Never noticed this noise when it was new, or the first entire year of driving it.

Worst part is, two Honda dealers have checked the car over and tell me there's nothing wrong with it. The car has always been serviced on schedule and each time when I bring up the problems I've been having, I get told "it's normal for this car." I find this hard to believe, but I've heard this from two dealerships now!

Anyone know where I can post this car for sale? I'm considering the new Prius.

Butch - Virginia
2000 Insight
51,000 miles
I have a 2002 5 speed and have no problems on hot, humid days. I have gotten 70 or more MPG every tank during the summer, and I rarely use the AC, but when I do, the mileage and power do drop. I have read the the most efficent AC setting is at 75 with the fan on full. My suggestions would be to turn off the AC going up hills, up the pressure in your tires to at least 45psi(mine are 49-50psi). If you drive 65 and use the AC, I don't think the Prius will get anywhere near the 50MPG it's rated for on the highway, probably closer to 40MPG. If possible, I would have another Insight owner drive your car and see if they notice any difference from their car. There are a number of owners here from Va, so someone must be close to you. Just a thought.
 

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Has anyone ever dyno tested an Insight with and without the A/C on? I ask because we have "dyno days" all the time here in Phoenix and have tested probably 4 or 5 different cars on the dyno with the A/C on. Almost every single car loses 10hp to the wheels with the A/C switched on, regardless of if it was a 115hp Golf or 287hp 350Z. I'd imagine that the Insight might have a more efficient A/C compressor since they know it's in a low power car, plus the cabin of the vehicle no doubt has less cubic feet of air than a regular car, but still, 10 horsepower from 70 means a 14% loss in power. Might be something to try out for any of you who may dyno your car some day.
 

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My experience with weather and gas mileage is that rain and other precipitation seriously hurt mpg (more friction and wind resistance), as well as cold weather (slowing battery chemistry and requiring a richer air/fuel mix to keep the engine running). MPG is always worse until the engine warms up, and that takes longer in cold weather.

As for heat, the first thing to hurt mpg from heat and humidity is the air conditioner. As the car ages, the compressor may be harder to turn, especially if you never run the air conditioner through most of the year because the bearings won't be well lubricated. You are supposed to run the air conditioner every now and then (once a month? Once a week?) for a few minutes just to lubricate the bearings. Nobody actually does this, but the manual does recommend it.

Also, as the car ages, thermal insulation will be worse, so the car will need more air conditioning to maintain temperature, and maybe after a few years, you are starting to wuss out and set the thermostat lower, and maybe you pay less attention to driving conservatively and you just want to get there on time. Don't blame everything on the car.

In extremely high temperatures, the whole electric-boost system shuts down to protect the battery chemistry. Gas mileage plummets. Most people don't live in climates that will cause this to happen, but Insights do live in tropical and desert climates.
 

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Re: Is this Normal - More Information.

Butch - Virginia said:
Hi John and the group,

tire pressure between 38-40psi,
Increase your tire pressure to at least 48psi. I keep mine at 51psi.

Has your ac air filter been changed? If its dirty it will be hard for air to flow through it.
 
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