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Discussion Starter #1
Hello group!

I'm having the following problem with my 2001 Insight MT with AC:
I have a hard time getting 6 bars on the engine temperature gauge. I'm getting to 4 bars most of the time and even getting down to 2 bars if I'm stuck at a red light more than 2 mins. The problem is new with this winter. Everything was ok last year.

Now, I have found the following procedure from another thread here (from Dougie)
Hold down AUTO and MODE while turning on the key, and the A/C display flashes between two numbers. Press the rear window defogger (leftmost) button to advance to the next sensor.

The first number is the sensor:
1 = in car temp
2 = outside temp
3 = sun sensor
4 = engine coolant temperature
5 = evaporator temp
6 = air mix opening %
7 = vent temp out
8 = something about the fan
9 = vehicle speed

For the temperature sensors the reading is in degrees C.
Anyone can try that and tell me what they have for #4 while driving the car?
I'm getting 2 bars till 52C-53C, 4 bars till 62C-63C and 6 bars above 62C. I never been able to get higher than 69C... I think this number is a bit low while driving.

If I use the heater (ECON AC ON, set at 77F/25C), I have a hard time getting values above 60C-61C.

Thanks for all your help!

Christian Charlebois
2001 Insight Oxygen Blue
Canada #78
 

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coolant temp

Hi Christian - welcome to IC. I'm not going to run out and check the coolant temp right now - just parked the car. I am going to suggest you replace the thermostat - the sooner the better - the engine wasn't designed to run at those low temps.
 

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Hi Christian (ccharleb) and welcome to the forum :!: :)

The engine thermostat has most likely failed in the stuck open position.

Try a replacement.

And remember that the Honda antifreeze (engine coolant) is designed for extra long life and no CAT (engine exhaust catalyst) damage. I'd highly recomend it over any other brand.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the welcome!

I'm not that "new" around here...
I was even on the old Honda-Insight list on Yahoo!
I'm always keeping up to date by reading posts here and on Honda-Hybrid list.
I also put together the InsightCentral Interactive Encyclopedia into a PDF file a few years ago.


Yes, i was also thinking about a bad thermostat. But i'm very curious to see what kind of values you have for the #4.

Thanks!

Christian
 

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I only get 69 degrees C using this method and my car is new and seems fine in every respect. I think that this is because it's measuring the temperature at the heater core, and might not be giving the same reading as you would expect to get at the thermostat. Or, possibly the sensor is off, since I seem to remember somebody else getting readings closer to what you would expect...

I get four bars all the time when the car is warmed up.
 

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Christian,

Using the climate control's self diagnostic function is not a reliable way to diagnose an engine cooling system fault. Dougie gives a hint. And such a diagnostic is usually quite straightforward.

Engine coolant full + no heat & cold weather = thermostat stuck open.

Be aware that in unusual cases it can unstick (temporairly), but then stick in the closed position :shock: with potentially much more serious consequences.

Its simply not "worth" the wait. Get it fixed ASAP :!:

HTH! :)
 

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Just a suggestion... You may not like it, but try leaving the heater off and see if the engine gets warmer faster.

In very cold weather, the heater can easily overwhelm the heat the engine produces and prevent the engine from ever reaching proper operating temperatures.
 

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Salut Christian,
i would definately start by changing the thermostat, that should solve your issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello!

Normand said:
i would definately start by changing the thermostat, that should solve your issue.
Would a bad thermostat give me some good heat in the cabin? I'm not sure if it's as hot as it used to be, but I do have some heat coming in.

If I don't use the climate control (OFF) while driving, I can have 4=69C on the self-diag test. As soon as I use the climate control (ECON AC/OFF set at around 77F), I'm not able to get above 4=67C.

One last thing. After driving on the highway for at least 30-45 min with climate control set to ECON AC/OFF 77F (cabin temperature is now very comfortable), if I stop at a red light for about 3 minutes, my engine temperature bars on the dash will go from 6 bars to 4 bars. I'm pretty sure that's not normal behavior.

Dougie said:
I get four bars all the time when the car is warmed up.
Isn't 6 bars what you should get when the car is warmed up?


Thanks to all!!
And happy holidays!!

Christian
 

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thermostat/cabin heat

Christian - yes, you will get some cabin heat with a defective thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all your advises. I will take a closer look to replace the thermostat.

Happy holidays!!

Christian
 

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thermostat/coolant

Christian - this has been discussed in other threads, but I'll point it out again. If you change the 'stat yourself, make sure you "burp" the coolant system really well - it tends to hold air. If I remember correctly, there is a procedure for bleeding air from the system.

Actually, even if you have the work done at a Honda shop, you'll still need to keep an eye on it. The tech may not be aware of the air lock problem and might not burp it properly.
 

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coolant temp

sori y just fin bac the message mabe y coud explaine wat its the problaime y live in quebec an we ave veri colde pempreture i ave my insight sins 2000 i bin to minus 30 and i do some change bot noting change i taque to tecnitien in honda canada the tel me the engin is smal and in aluminiome me wit veri cold my cloch was stif to and wen the trafic slodon it became colder mi .(solution) :D i pout a carbord in fronte of the rad wen its veri cold i cover complitli wen its mild i leave 3 to 4 inch of ouverture mani benefic the temp of the engine alwase goud the cluch ok and its cold tha put salt and gravel in the rode that wai the rad stai in goud condition no rock dent . tel me wat is your condition now jean yves
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello!

Just wanted to do a follow up on my problem.

Problem is now solved!!

Solution: bleed the system! Now, everything is working fine. Even with low temps (-20C), I'm now able to get up to 6 bars and use the heater at full blast without loosing temp bars.

Christian
 

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Pardon me for jumping in on this thread. A few weeks ago I needed to do a warm-up cycle on my CVT to check the trans oil level per the procedure in the manual. It called for starting the engine & letting the radiator fan cycle twice, shutting the engine off, waiting 60 seconds and then checking the trans oil level.

First, the fan would not come on because the climate control / heater prevented the car from warming up enough to trigger the radiator fan. The radiator hose below the thermostat remained cool to the touch. I shut off the claimate control / heater and let it run for twenty minutes. Although the coolant began to flow past the thermostat OK, and the hoses got quite warm to the touch, the radiator fan never came on, and the temp gauge never went past 6 bars. Apprently, between the high efficiency of the engine, and the ambient temp being below 40 degrees F, the coolant never got hot enough to trigger the fan switch. I've seen this same thing happen on other brands when the coolant level was so low it didn't reach the fan switch sensor in the radiator. (Many a modern engine has overheated because of this.) In my case, however, there was plenty of coolant in the system and it's circulating fine. Ths only thing that could be done would be to replace the thermostat with a hotter range, however it's not likely to be necessary. Theis car lived it's early days in Rierside, CA and I thought perhaps the original owner had put in a colder t-stat, however there's nothing in the record to indicate that ever happened.
 

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Proof again that an Insight is so fuel efficient that in cold weather (at idle) the engine will _not_ reach operating temp.

If you need full operating temp (as in the CVT fluid level check above) you'll have to "help" it out a bit. Simply hold the RPM's up, say 1500 should do the trick. And it would be more MPG efficient to "schedule" the check for immediately after a needed drive.
 

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I was initially surprised the Insight's coolant temp wouldn't climb high enough to trigger the fan, but with all the other little ingenious aspects of the car I shouldn't have been. OTOH, the car has one of the fastest to warm heaters I've ever experienced. The engine gets to operating temp very quickly, thus conserving fuel and resducing internal wear.

As regards checking the CVT oil level you are quiet correct, it's ok to check it after a drive in which the engine reaches normal, sutained operating temp. Honda's requirement that the level be checked with a warmed powertrain, and no sooner than 60, and no longer than 90 seconds after shutting off the engine seems to be necessary.

In my case I'd had the local dealer do the 30k service and found that they'd over filled the engine oil, and underfilled the trans. (DOH!) I ended up having to drain out about 1/2 qt of engine oil. I wanted to be doubly sure of the trans level before I added fluid. It required about 1/2 qt of the CVT oil to bring it within the two marks when warm.

(Think I'll just do the maintenances myself from now on!)
 
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