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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are thinking about moving to Florida, and I'm actually down here house-hunting now. My battery is really taking a beating in this heat. I've read that heat is a huge tax on the battery. The only other time I have had this happen was a drive to Arizona around this time some years ago. I had the battery replaced at 100,000 (15,000 miles ago), and I am wondering if I should even bring the car when we move.
 

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I don't see any reason why you shouldn't bring the car when you move. The car will do what it can to keep the battery temperature within a reasonable level. What issues are you seeing with the heat? Usually the car will reduce regen current before anything else, if its doing that then its doing what its designed to do. It would be a good idea to cover the gap between the fan and the shroud on the battery itself if you haven't already and if you are comfortable opening the battery bay to do that it will help the battery stay cool a little bit better.
 

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If you're not going to bring it, sell it to me for cheap.. I promise to take good care of her. ;)

In all seriousness, heat is a major concern, but there isn't really anything you can do about it. It shouldn't necessarily be a battery killer, but if you have weak cells, hot temperatures will cause P1449's.

I would, without question, beef up the Insight's battery cooling system if I lived somewhere hot.

HybridBatteryRepair will have new cells available very soon that have MUCH better thermal characteristics than our stock cells do. ie: They don't heat up as much under charge and discharge.

These would be a good partial solution if/when your battery does die. With only 15,000 miles on a new battery, you should have at least several years of good life left under any conditions - with the exception of the car sitting and not being driven. That will kill any battery quickly.
 

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I live in Phoenix, bought my 2000 G1 last year but this will be my first full summer facing 115 degree heat. Had my battery refurbed in Feb so we'll see how it holds out. I can handle windows open until between about 95-100 then I'm running with AC on even it if does kill my MPG. I'm hoping that the AC running will give the battery pack some cooler air to cool it with.
 

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I'm sure it can be a hit and miss with battery life as well.

My car was owned by someone in Gainesville for 11 years before I got it. I looked through all of the service records and even spoke to the dealership and am 100% sure that my battery pack has never been replaced or worked on.

In all honesty; Florida isn't that hot. I'd be more worried about my car being in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, etc.

We also don't really have much traffic congestion here, everything is as flat as a pancake, and most driving is done on the highways. I hardly need my IMA to kick in unless I am getting up to speed on a highway on ramp. All depends on driving style I guess.
 

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Much of New Mexico isn't that hot. For example, where I'm at in Santa Fe.. the all time record high is a measly 99ºF.

For reference, the all time record high in both me and my car's hometown of Portland, OR is 108ºF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In all honesty; Florida isn't that hot. I'd be more worried about my car being in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, etc.
My husband and I have talked about how there is nowhere really cool in the US during the summer. I lived in the Albuquerque area for the greater part of the 1st 100K miles. The thing about high desert is that it cools off at night. Even Las Cruces drops like 40% of the daytime high. Living in Cincinnati, that's not the case, it stays in the 70s through the night. During that extremely hot summer last year, I had problems with the charge on my battery, and I was just concerned that Orlando may be like that much more of the year.

@GilbertGuy -- "I can handle windows open until between about 95-100."

All I can say is "wow!" I can barely handle 95-100 inside the house with the AC set at 72. lol
 

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It's a dry heat

@GilbertGuy -- "I can handle windows open until between about 95-100."

All I can say is "wow!" I can barely handle 95-100 inside the house with the AC set at 72. lol
@Prozhkova -- LOL, it is a dry heat that is barely tolerable at 65 with windows down. Drive to work is nice so no AC needed, at least from this point on I only have to use AC on the drive home. 65MPG on the way to work, 47MPG on the way home, should get me about 55 average?
 

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Just another data point, but my 2000 MT lived its life in Ocala, Florida until I purchased it. The original battery lasted until last month after over ten years in the Florida heat.

I'm not sure the theory really transfers, but I have a bit of experience with aircooled VW engines and the battery on the Insight is essentially aircooled, so take this FWIW. The dry high desert heat is more of a problem than the humid FL heat at a given temperature in an aircooled application. The humidity feels worse to humans because our bodies use evaporative cooling. In an aircooled system, denser air will have better heat transfer properties than thin dry air at a given temperature.

Again, I'm not sure that my old VW experience transfers to battery cooling even though both are using aircooling. The head temps on an aircooled VW are much higher than what we see in the battery pack and the amount of air being pushed by the blower in the VW fan shroud is also much higher than the amount of airflow generated by the electric battery fan.

TL;DR: I wouldn't get too worked up about driving an Insight in Florida.
 

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You'll be just fine. The only time that my battery has ever been hot enough to limit my charge was when I (stupidly) charged it in the hot sun with a grid charger (long, long time ago), so the batteries were quite hot, as was the inside of the car.

I pretty much never use AC, and the batteries have always performed wonderfully.

You'll be fine, and if you're not, sell me the car when you get down here! :)
 
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