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2000 Insight 5MT
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. Got a 2000 5MT for $1k a while back. Had a smushed in door and was in fairly sad shape but after a few days on a grid charger the battery seems to be doing great, but I'm plagued with a few random issues.

The most annoying is my assist. It works great until it just randomly doesn't. No IMA light, SOC indicator stays wherever it was, and I'll just lose assist and regen entirely. If I cycle the key it will return.

My fuel economy is less than stellar. 56 lifetime but I'm struggling to get over 49. Car won't hold its own speed up a slight hill if ECON A/C is turned on.

Today after losing assist twice during my commute and cycling the key to get it back I noticed the instant MPG readout was reading 0, or 150, but nothing in between. Very odd.

Lean burn is INCREDIBLY jerky.

On rare occasions I'll get a misfire on a random cylinder for about 20 seconds after starting the car. This has happened twice in the last month, once on cyl 2 and once on cyl 1.


Things that have been done:

Engine bay grounds checked. One loose ground cleaned and fixed. One broken ground replaced.

New coils, OEM indexed plugs, new injectors

The big cat hanging off the rear of the engine has been removed, resulting in a permanent P0420

New fuel pump (annoyingly my level sender seems to be broke, 1/2 a tank is empty)

One of those TPS modifier boxes for staying in learn burn

EGR cleaned


I pulled codes for:
P0420 (no cat, makes sense)
P0301 (this was after one of those misfire events)
P1644 (weirdly this seems associated with malfunctioning SOC indicator and an IMA light, neither of which I have)
P1165 (this is for the five-wire, correct? Stupid things are like $120 on Rockauto for an OEM one but would this solve most of my issues?)
P1121 (I assume this is the TPS modifier thing making the ECU wig out)


I'd like to pull codes more frequently but the bluetooth OBD2 reader I have for some reason refuses to communicate with the Insight's ECU (works great in my Mazda and Lexus, however), so I have to borrow a scanner when I want to read them.
 

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2000 Insight 5MT
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Discussion Starter #2
84913


Forgot to post a picture of my ugly SOB.

Do these things have any sort of mass airflow sensor, or do they run based on vacuum, IAT, and exhaust O2 sensor readings?
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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Please include your Location in your Profile. You have many questions. How many miles on the vehicle?.
Lots of your questions can be answered here at ICN by using the search function.
 

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2000 Insight 5MT
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Discussion Starter #4
190k or thereabouts. I thought I added my location; I'll check it again. Most of the threads I could find by searching were either not applicable to my specific situation (every thread I can find about P1644 also has faulty SOC indicators or IMA lights, neither of which I am seeing) or unresolved/unsolved.
 

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I have some thoughts:

Does the IMA light come on when you first key-on the car? It should. It's possible the previous owner pulled the bulb.

A/C makes all of these cars slow. I imagine it would be especially bad with a weak battery that's constantly sapping power. Clogged EGR passages or valve would also contribute to this - did you clean both the valve AND the passages? Clogged EGR would also cause the car to be jerky in lean burn, and could cause a cylinder misfire, and that's where my mind immediately goes. A bad AF sensor could also cause all of these. I'm unsure if P1165 can be thrown by the downstream sensor from the CAT being removed, but one thing you can try is an O2 spacer / O2 defouler (often sold as a spark plug spacer for legality reasons).


I'd try a defouler on the downstream O2 sensor(s) first. If that fails, you might try replacing the upper O2 (AF) sensor. I believe the sensor is specific to the year of the car, and have had a really hit and miss experience with aftermarket sensors (sometimes they throw a code the moment you put them in). Safest but most expensive bet is an OEM sensor.

Cycling the key and getting only 0 or 150mpg on the display is an uncommon but known bug. I've seen it once since I've had my car.

I tried making one of the TPS sender boxes and eventually removed it. I found it had some other undesirable effects, and I could stay in lean burn just by being more careful with my right foot.

If you find your IMA system is unsalvageable, there are ways to bypass it entirely and recover all of the rear cargo room. Fuel economy on the highway is virtually unchanged and still great around town. The car is a lot more fun with assist, granted. There are also lithium options.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great reply, thank you.

I have some thoughts:

Does the IMA light come on when you first key-on the car? It should. It's possible the previous owner pulled the bulb.
It does.

A/C makes all of these cars slow. I imagine it would be especially bad with a weak battery that's constantly sapping power. Clogged EGR passages or valve would also contribute to this - did you clean both the valve AND the passages? Clogged EGR would also cause the car to be jerky in lean burn, and could cause a cylinder misfire, and that's where my mind immediately goes. A bad AF sensor could also cause all of these. I'm unsure if P1165 can be thrown by the downstream sensor from the CAT being removed, but one thing you can try is an O2 spacer / O2 defouler (often sold as a spark plug spacer for legality reasons).
EGR clean was actually done by the previous owner. I pinged him just now to see if it was just the valve or the valve + plate that he cleaned. The plate doesn't look too terribly awful to get to, at any rate.

It looks like the rear O2 has a "welded on" defouler/spacer. If I remember right there was no activity on that sensor at all, but on most cars the secondary has no effect on engine performance. Are these cars different?


I'd try a defouler on the downstream O2 sensor(s) first. If that fails, you might try replacing the upper O2 (AF) sensor. I believe the sensor is specific to the year of the car, and have had a really hit and miss experience with aftermarket sensors (sometimes they throw a code the moment you put them in). Safest but most expensive bet is an OEM sensor.
OEM brand seems to be NTK. Looks like the sensor is $137 on RockAuto. I'll put in an order later this week. Could the AF ratios getting out of whack make the ECU disable assist as a safety feature? I would imagine there'd be a fairly explicit fault code for that sort of condition but... I'm new to the world of Insights

Cycling the key and getting only 0 or 150mpg on the display is an uncommon but known bug. I've seen it once since I've had my car.
"Uncommon but known" describes most of my life experiences.

I tried making one of the TPS sender boxes and eventually removed it. I found it had some other undesirable effects, and I could stay in lean burn just by being more careful with my right foot.
Yeah this box appears to be one of the pre-fab ones you purchase and splice into the TPS wire. I may remove/bypass the box and see if there's any difference in drivability.

If you find your IMA system is unsalvageable, there are ways to bypass it entirely and recover all of the rear cargo room. Fuel economy on the highway is virtually unchanged and still great around town. The car is a lot more fun with assist, granted. There are also lithium options.

If I can't fully fix the IMA I'll likely save up for a K swap. I love the original powertrain due to the quirkiness of the ancient hybrid tech, but if it can't be made to work for a reasonable amount of money then yo-ho-ho to LKQ I go.
 

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The front plate isn't bad to get to at all. You should be able to have it out of the car in half an hour, and once you've done it once I bet you could get it out in 10-15 minutes.

To my knowledge the lower sensor shouldn't affect operation of the car in and of itself, but if it causes a code that disables the upper sensor (and often the CAT failure and AF failure codes come in pairs) a car running in open loop will drive like crap.

Get confirmation from others about the OEM sensor, but I want to say it's a different NTK sensor for the 2000 than the 2002, and that's different from the 2005, etc. so whichever one RockAuto sells may give you an immediate code. Verify what sensor someone else has bought and in what year car it worked. I have an old but still good upper and lower from a 2000 I could ship you for testing, if you're willing to pay for shipping. Was hoping to hold onto them as spares as I now have two of these cars in my driveway but I don't need it right now.

As for K swaps, I don't like my car any better (or any worse) after the swap. It's a lot less refined with the K24 (poly mounts) and I spent enough on getting the swap just right that I could have purchased several clean, low mile Insights with good batteries. It's just different, entertaining in a different way. It's also a continuous project, with tons of little bugs which are entirely unique and thus I'm entirely on my own.
 

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P1644, did you leave the grid charger plugged in to the car, and are you driving with it plugged into the cars harness? If so, that’s probably your 1644.

You probably need a new upstream O2 sensor. Only used the NTK 24301. The price of $120.00 is super reasonable if it’s the correct sensor. List price for a factory Honda is over $500.00.
O2 sensors today are really part of a tune up. Since cars today don’t have things like points, condenser, cap, rotor, plug wires, they do have other parts that replace some of those things like O2 sensors, cam & crank sensors, ECU’s, etc.

You said you replaced fuel injectors. You should have probably done the the O2 sensor first.

Misfire could be several things. Check the connections of the components you replaced, plugs and injectors. If they seem OK, swap the components to #3 see if the misfire follows. If you still have a second catalytic converter it could be partly plugged. Do a compression test, make sure the hybrid battery is turned off and only crank it with the 12v.

P0420, if you don’t have a spacer on the second O2 sensor try that. Some aftermarket O2 sensors are larger in diameter and don’t fit in a spacer.

Report back when you get a chance.
Scott
 
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2000 Insight 5MT
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Discussion Starter #9
The front plate isn't bad to get to at all. You should be able to have it out of the car in half an hour, and once you've done it once I bet you could get it out in 10-15 minutes.

To my knowledge the lower sensor shouldn't affect operation of the car in and of itself, but if it causes a code that disables the upper sensor (and often the CAT failure and AF failure codes come in pairs) a car running in open loop will drive like crap.
Would a P0420 force open loop? I need to borrow my friend's autel and do some more datalogging, methinks.

Get confirmation from others about the OEM sensor, but I want to say it's a different NTK sensor for the 2000 than the 2002, and that's different from the 2005, etc. so whichever one RockAuto sells may give you an immediate code. Verify what sensor someone else has bought and in what year car it worked. I have an old but still good upper and lower from a 2000 I could ship you for testing, if you're willing to pay for shipping. Was hoping to hold onto them as spares as I now have two of these cars in my driveway but I don't need it right now.
RockAuto lists it as only being compatible with 2000 and 2001 Insights, so I'm assuming it is the correct early style 5 pin wideband.

P1644, did you leave the grid charger plugged in to the car, and are you driving with it plugged into the cars harness? If so, that’s probably your 1644.
Bingo, it sure is. I'll unplug it and find a scanner to clear the code and we'll see if that helps! Never would have thought of that.

You probably need a new upstream O2 sensor. Only used the NTK 24301. The price of $120.00 is super reasonable if it’s the correct sensor. List price for a factory Honda is over $500.00.
O2 sensors today are really part of a tune up. Since cars today don’t have things like points, condenser, cap, rotor, plug wires, they do have other parts that replace some of those things like O2 sensors, cam & crank sensors, ECU’s, etc.
Guess I'll order one.

You said you replaced fuel injectors. You should have probably done the the O2 sensor first.
They came with the car new in box as well as the coils, so I threw them at the car for the heck of it.

Misfire could be several things. Check the connections of the components you replaced, plugs and injectors. If they seem OK, swap the components to #3 see if the misfire follows. If you still have a second catalytic converter it could be partly plugged. Do a compression test, make sure the hybrid battery is turned off and only crank it with the 12v.
Compression test will show plugged catalyst? I've also heard of screwing the compression tester into one of the o2 bungs to measure backpressure.

P0420, if you don’t have a spacer on the second O2 sensor try that. Some aftermarket O2 sensors are larger in diameter and don’t fit in a spacer.
There's a spacer welded in, but I did not show any activity on that sensor so it may well just be dead. Fairly safe to use a $20 generic for the downstream?
 

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I used to key off my car as I rolled to the first stop sign a few blocks from my house. I think it had to do with how long the key was off (not long), but when I turned it back on the FCD read 150 mpg until the next time I shut it off. Great way to impress your friends, I guess, as it added to the trip mileage at 150.
 

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My battery does that when it's time for a grid charge, I just lose assist, sometimes without the IMA light. I think you need to do a deep discharge/grid charge cycle a few times. It also seems like an EGR problem. Pull the plate and clean teh passages, and clean or replace the EGR valve.
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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Drive it like you stole it for a while and see if that helps some of the problems. Don't try to use a lot of IMA assist, other words don't "load" the engine a lot. Codes can be erased by disconnecting fuse number 16 under the hood for a few minutes Then re-install and drive.(I would do that first)
 

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Welcome to the forum.

My fuel economy is less than stellar. 56 lifetime but I'm struggling to get over 49. Car won't hold its own speed up a slight hill if ECON A/C is turned on.

Perhaps the car is running in "limp" mode?

Lean burn is INCREDIBLY jerky.

The engine has to be thoroughly warmed up for lean burn to not have "herky jerky".

The big cat hanging off the rear of the engine has been removed, resulting in a permanent P0420

Do you even have the O2 sensor that mounts on the "big cat" down pipe?

New fuel pump (annoyingly my level sender seems to be broke, 1/2 a tank is empty)

One of those TPS modifier boxes for staying in learn burn

I would try disconnecting that for a test.

I'd like to pull codes more frequently but the bluetooth OBD2 reader I have for some reason refuses to communicate with the Insight's ECU (works great in my Mazda and Lexus, however), so I have to borrow a scanner when I want to read them.
Most scanners can't read all of the G1 Insight OBDII data. You will need a OBDIIc&c to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Unplugged the grid charger; still losing assist almost every time I drive until cycling ignition.

Cleaned the o2 sensor; it looks fairly new and is OEM brand but was covered in some sort of weird deposit. Previous owner says they were experimenting with fuel additives and may have caused this. Bit of cleaning with a torch and back in it went. Haven't had a chance to drive but I did idle with the AC on and noticed no more vicious shaking like I was having earlier.
84923

84924


Can't read data without an OBDII C&C? I figured there'd be some weird PIDs that your run of the mill scanner couldn't read, but not being able to communicate at all with the ECU is certainly a new one. I have ScanXL on my laptop with a USB OBD2 cable... may see if that works. $350 to read the codes off my car is a bit steep to me. That's 3/10ths what I paid for the car! ?
 

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Compression test the engine. A compression test gives you a baseline of the over all condition/health of the engine. Also, if compression is too low on a cylinder it can cause a misfire. You cannot use a compression tester to test the back pressure on the exhaust. Exhaust back pressure is far too low. It requires a special low pressure setup, we have one at the shop.

Don’t use cheap aftermarket O2 sensors. If I thought aftermarket O2 sensors were OK I would have posted that. You say the second sensor isn’t working, but your getting PO420 so it’s reading something. Please take a picture of the spacer and post it here.

Scott
 

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You unplugged the grid charger. Still losing charge?

Did the P1644 go away?

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Damn, tonight is really not my night. Went to compression test the engine and my compression tester has bit the dust. Frustrating. Also my rectifier replacement on my Ducati didn't work either... balls to all of it. Time for liquor.

My main question with regards to the second O2 is just if the secondary O2 has any effect on the operation of the engine. In most cars I am aware of it is simply a sanity check that the catalyst is in place and operating to some degree. I've had plenty of luck with $20 bring-your-own-connector Bosch 4-wire sensors in other cars, but these Insights seem to throw curveball after curveball at me so I didn't know if the second o2 had some hitherto unknown-to-me function or not.

Here is a picture of the secondary O2, it's in what appears to be a welded-in-place O2 defouler. Some absolute artistry with those welds ?

84925


I unplugged the grid charger from the harness in the car, but i still have the same IMA issue. No light, SOC indicator is normal, I just suddenly have no assist or charge any more. If I cycle the ignition it comes back and works flawlessly, and seems to have VERY good capacity (it took bucking a headwind at 90mph for 20 miles for me to drain the battery below 60% or so). Once the ignition is cycled it seems to work perfectly for the rest of the trip (longest trip has been 45 minutes or so).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Addendum: I still have no way to read codes. Working on that... every solution is expensive, annoyingly. Need to figure out what code reader I borrowed from my friend that was able to read that P1644 in the first place.
 

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Autozone has free code readers. Again I think you have an EGR problem. And do a deep discharge/grid charge on your battery (3x)
 
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