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I just bought a used Insight with 90k on it. Have only placed 200mi. on it so far and am just getting a feel for it. Can someone tell me if this condition is normal.
Today is the first day I've driven the car to work. 60mi. trip. Today is a very windy and rainy day. Within 10 miles I went from 90% battery to 10%. When I made it to the expressway the headwind was so strong that it was a problem just trying to maintain 65mph. I reallize that the assist wasn't working because my battery was drained. I made the same 10mi. trip the night before and the drain still left the battery over 60%
By the time I made it to work today my battery was 90% chanrged.
- My questions are....
Is this type of drain normal considering the weather conditions I had?
Or, is this a problem with my battery no longer holding a charge well?
 

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It might be a case of needing to downshift from 5th to 3rd gear to save your charge, especially on inclines. It takes time to learn how to drive the Insight to maximize milage, which means using varioius shifting strategies, hills vs flat, city vs highway, wind and rain vs sun, coasting vs recharging on downgrades, etc.

You'll get there soon enough. Good luck! :p
 

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When I made it to the expressway the headwind was so strong that it was a problem just trying to maintain 65mph.

For the driving conditions you encounter, is a speed of 50 to 55 mph practical as opposed to the higher "65mph" or better?

Fred
 

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The Insight recalibrates its computer by allowing the battery to discharge to where it can get an accurate reading of remaining charge. This happens periodically. If the Insight is not under stress you probably won't even know it is happening. This action should be relatively rare. It can be triggered by unusual temperatures or unusual loading of the battery. In your case, if this was a recal, the timing was unfortunate in that the wind was simultaneously making greater than normal demands on the engine. In a case like this you have to use a lower gear and suffer some mileage loss. Occasional recal events are normal. Frequent recal events are not. Bad 12 volt batteries have been known to put a strain on the IMA system. Keep an eye on this and also check the condition of the 12 volt battery.
 

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Given the headwinds and such, it's probably just that you need to downshift. The Insight has very high gearing (for economy), but that also means you don't get much power in 5th. It's perfectly ok to drive in 4th, or even 3rd, at freeway speeds, and you should do this if headwinds or a long grade are making the assist stay on to maintain speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all. Another question.
How do I check the condition of the 12v battery short of disconnecting it and running a load test? Is there a warning light or some way the car informs you?
 

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Its tested just like in any other car.

There are various testers, most don't require disconnecting the battery. Which in an Insight will cause an IMA reset (forced recal) and you'll have to drive for a few miles under a forced charge. Or waste the gas idling to "recharge" the IMA batteries.

HTH! :)
 

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The most likely problem is a shorted cell. Let the car sit overnight then test the voltage with a digital voltmeter. It should read very close to 12.6 volts. Significantly lower, get a new battery, significantly higher, get a new meter. ;)

There are other options:

Leave your lights on after a drive and see how long it takes for them to wink out. (can tell you the actual amp hour capacity but could take hours and you will need a charger) Check the current flowing into your battery at a fast idle using an Amprobe. (definative, but unlikely you have one) Jumper your car to a big V8 and see how long you can crank it over. (too primitive). Purchase a dedicated battery current tester. (expensive tool for a once in a blue moon application) Hook up a charger and see if the charge current tapers off in a normal manner. (results will depend on the type of charger and require experience to interpret)

And one test you shouldn't do:

I saw a mechanic test a battery by shorting it out with a thick coat hanger until it glowed. It was entertaining, but don't try this unless you have a death wish. :badgrin: (results are too innacurate to be meaningful)
 

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battery test

NOTE:
Most auto repair shops including discount auto parts stores will do a FREE load check on your battery.

Takes about 15 seconds to perform. (Includes opening the hood)

Willie
 
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