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24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have had my 2000 MT Insight for just about 3 years, When I got it it had 350k miles on it and a lot of problems. Here is the list of things I have already fixed.

Replaced EGR Valve
Cleaned EGR Plate and new gasket
Adjusted Valves and replaced gasket
New tires ~ 15k miles ago
Fuomoto Oil Valve & Brass down Tube
Replaced Clutch Master and Slave Cylinder
Made a stick to prop up the front of the car so the hood locks
Replaced The IMA battery
Replaced the 12v Battery with a fancy lithium battery when that died
Replaced all the belts and hoses
Replaced Rear Suspension Struts

Things I still have to do:

Find my owners manual
Replace Clutch, it is not great and as far as I know has never been touched
Replace Syncros on 1st and 2nd, hopefully that is all in the transmission
Find the source of the odd hissing noise from the engine
Fix the odd grumbling noise from the transmission
Fix the passenger window switch
Fix the Driver window motor, will not go up all the way if moist
Fix Driver side leak
Fix the Trip, mph/kph, and brightness buttons, none of them work and I wiggled them a lot, the trip on worked once at 370k to switch over to trip B which had not been reset for 28k miles, but Now I dont know the total odometer reading.
Replace my under body panels as I have none

Things I would like to do but will probably never get to because my car will keep on breaking:

Hot air Intake
Add better, more snug seats
Active tracking drafting meter, to tell me the distance to the car in front of me, would also be handy for parking abcenely close to things
Add 2 rear speakers, a sub, and tablet to control the whole affair
Fix the front windshield wipers, they are weird and jerky
Remove the rear windshield wiper and antenna and plug the holes
Fix the rear spoiler, it is currently held on with JB weld
Redo the whole trunk of the car with a proper latch and extended cargo area, a set of solar panels and small battery for things
Put in a moonroof
Put in an active air damn that opens and closes based on engine temp, so it would basically be closed all the time, increasing my aerodynamics
Put on a high flow CAT and 2 inch pipe out the back cause I can, but probably wont.

Anyway, I list those things so that you may point me in the right direction to the right places because I have searched and searched but found no real answers.

I came here to see if I could find an answer to my LB issues. My car goes into lean burn just fine, sometimes too often as it can be rather annoying in traffic. Occasionally, when everything is perfect, my car will go into lean burn, hold a steady 58 mph and be reading 85-100 mpg instantaneous, sometimes it will even accelerate very slowly. Most of the time however I have to force the car out of lean burn and hover right around the 75 mpg mark instantaneous to hold 55 mph and maybe accelerate very slowly. If I let the mpg increase to 85 the car will immediately go into lean burn and lose 3 mph within 5 seconds. I always try to catch it and balance the throttle but often this results in an instantaneous mileage of 75 mpg, right where I would be without LB and never having to deal with the crazy throttle response and it coming out of lean burn for a few seconds, dipping into the 50mpg zone. This is all in 5th gear mind you, I have tried 4th but the results have been inconclusive given the same conditions.

All this being said if I have a trip of 20 miles or so I can achieve 70 mpg at 55 mph in ~70 degree conditions as long as I dont really have to stop unexpectedly. I dont always get 70 mpg on those trips, but it is pretty common to see 71 or 72.

I often am driving on I95 around 80ish and the instantaneous there is 45-55mpg, this is where I think the under body, or belly, panels would be very effective.

3,641 Posts
Missing All Under body panels, Difficult maintaing speed in LB at 55 mph, Odd...

Hi Silver,
I'll admit I had a minor anxiety attack reading your post. :) At first read it seems overwhelming. But, you can eat an elephant one bite at a time.
Too much to respond to, so I'll just have a couple of highlight suggestions for now. Organize your To Do list based on priorities. Safety, Maintenance, Comfort, etc
My biggest concern would be the health of the transmission. When I read "growl" I think input shaft bearing. If that is in fact making the noise, your transmission is on borrowed time. How much time? Who knows. This may be putting extra drag on your powertrain, enough to affect LB.
Aero shield absence adds drag. Affects MPG by ~5% at high speeds.
Loss of power on higher mileage cars may be a clogged CAT.
What's changed when you started to notice leanburn difficulties?
Tires are RE92?
Plugs ever been changed?

24 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
As for the transmission it isnt a growl, more of a grumble, like there are little bits of it floating around bouncing off of stuff, it is slight, you will not notice unless you listen.

Plugs, no idea, probably a good idea, is on my to do list but I forgot to write it.

CAT I suspected, I would like to replace it with an aftermarket one as it is much, much cheaper and I have access to the required welding and bending equipment to do it, I dont think it would mess with anything, just sound really and a little bit of backpressure, but not enough to concern the cars brain.

Body panels I want but simply cannot find, I have looked, cant find any for sale.

Oh, tires are RE92 running at 44psi and the car has been like this in regards to lean burn since I bought it, It has improved since I adjusted the valves, cleaned the egr gasket, and replaced the valve.

Just read through the entire, 150 page service history of my car.

CAT was replaced at 220k
Plugs replaced at 80k and 220k
IMA replaced at 181 and 365k
Has had the transmission grumble, occasional grind into second, and occasional difficulty going into first since 120k
Has only been inspected 13 times apparently
Has had almost 50 oil changes at a dealer, and free rotations, guy had a deal or something
Front fender has been a little loose since 75k
Body panels have been missing since 75k.
ECU was replaced at 85k.
It did almost 54k miles in 2007, interesting, also a year that is missing an inspection

3,650 Posts
Try David here for underbody panels. He may be able to help.

An alternative to the front 3 panels (the narrow aluminum one and 2 cheesy plastic ones) is in this thread for the aluminum belly pan. On about the 2nd or 3rd page KLR3CYL (Scott) chimes in with his pan. Many of us have his pan under our cars, including me.

Sounds like you're getting the feel for how sensitive the throttle is for lean burn and mpg control. Just takes practice, lots of it, to get it down.

Here's a thread on hypermiling that may provide some ideas. Some of it is a long read, but I found it very worthwhile.
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