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Bought a 2000 Insight 2-1l2 weeks ago after several months of looking. No problems so far, but I have some questions that I've not seen discussed here before. Looking for long-time owners' experiences.

First, I just filled up the tank for the first time last week with one bar showing on the gas gauge, fuel light was on, and I put in 10.3 gallons. Typically, how many gallons remain in the tank when the fuel light comes on and what's the gas gauge indicate when it's truly empty? How far can I push it?

Second, since then, I've driven over 100 miles and have yet to lose a bar from the fuel quantity display. What's typical? Maybe I overfilled it?

Third, when I come to a stop sign, the car goes into auto-stop before I get around to selecting first gear again. What technique should I be using to prevent the auto-stop? Put the gear lever into first above 20 mph? Would that do any damage to the transmission?

Fourth and finally, does restarting from auto-stop consume more of the battery than if I'd just left the car running for, say, 15 seconds? What's the trade-off? Think of fluorescent lights. It takes more electricity to turn them on that it does to leave them on for 10 minutes or so (may not be true with today's fluorescent light technology). Same idea.

Thanks for any answers you can share.
___
Neil
 

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To answer one of your questions, I can usually drive between 120 and 130 miles before losing the first bar on the fuel gauge.

It freaked me out the first time because I'm used to about half a tank by then...
 

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For fuel there should be some reserve beyond the last bar, but your results may varry with minor variations. If your going to choose to push it that far I'd recommend carrying a gas can with you. And even then running out of gas is a very bad thing to do to a car. 10.3 galloons does seem a bit high, but some Insighter's have been able to push in as much as 13 gallons by force overfilling it and filling the vapor recovery tank as well (not a good thing to do emissions wise).

Reguarding auto-stop, the car is designed to shut the engine off. I wouldn't try to prevent it unless it's a 2 second difference. If your coasting down at around ~11mph you can just hit second and take off again. Having the climate control set to auto will also prevent auto stop.
 

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10.3 gallons is about the most I've ever gotten into mine. I have driven mine about 5 or 10 miles past the point where the last bar has gone out. I don't dare go any further than that.

Steve
 

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In all 3 of my Insights I have tried this: carry a small can of gas, then purposely drive until the car quits. In each case, I got between 65-80 miles AFTER the last bar dissapeared. Given my MPG, I therefore estimate there is about 0.85 gallons remaining after the last bar. By the way, after pouring in a little gas, the engine starts pretty easily, with minimal cranking. (very effective fuel pump) Billy....
 

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Thanks for that info Billy. I have always thought about trying that, but now I don't have to! :)
 

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Regarding Flourescent lights. The old ones have heater elements at both ends that come on to heat the mercury inside the tube enough so that the current can arc across the tube and light it up. Naturally the heaters took a lot of current and produced only a feeble glow (really innefficient), and the really old ones had bimetalic starter switches that would burn out.

You can relate those old flourescents to a typical car which has a geared down starter motor with a bendix, starter relay, brushes, all of which can fail. Furthermore, because the traditional starter uses low voltage, heat losses are great, probably in the order of 50 percent. :shock:

The IMA motor starts the engine in about one fifth of a second and uses no gears, bendix, relay or brushes.

Personally I find the auto shut off annoying when I need to do a "T" turn. The good news is that auto shut off is an indication of a healthy IMA system. Kind of like a wet nose on a dog! :lol:

The fuel measuring device, sender, is linear. It can be adjusted or missadjusted. :roll: Very likely yours is adjusted correctly as it is not unusual to go for quite a distance before dropping the first bar. There are specifications in the shop manual for what is normal, and of course instructions for testing and adjusting this. My advice would be to do a gas can test as mentioned previously if you really think there is a problem or plan to push the envelope. If it turns out to be missadjusted it would be covered by warranty provided you are still covered.
 

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orac said:
Typically, how many gallons remain in the tank when the fuel light comes on and what's the gas gauge indicate when it's truly empty? How far can I push it?l
DTE (Distance to Empty) is typically 30 miles YMMV (Your Milage May (will) Vary). Total useable fuel to empty is 10.4 USG. There are techniques to overfill the tank's liquid / vapor seperator used for the evaporative emissions system. There will likely be long term consequences and damage to that system should you strive to frequently fill up in that manner.

orac said:
Second, since then, I've driven over 100 miles and have yet to lose a bar from the fuel quantity display. What's typical? Maybe I overfilled it?l
AFAIK the fuel gauge is not linear. The upper 1/2 is a greater proportion of the amount available.

orac said:
Third, when I come to a stop sign, the car goes into auto-stop before I get around to selecting first gear again. What technique should I be using to prevent the auto-stop? Put the gear lever into first above 20 mph? Would that do any damage to the transmission? l
Can't be overriden without modifications or heater control panel settings can defeat AS (full Auto). Forcing 1st gear above a crawl (complete stop is better) will cause premature wear of its synchro ring and ultimately require major transmission repairs.

Agreed we're still smarter than any computer control system. There are many times when AS is redundant or not desirable. But unless you make a modification or play the heater control panel "game", switching to auto at a high enough speed to override the impending AS, its simply going to happen.

orac said:
Fourth and finally, does restarting from auto-stop consume more of the battery than if I'd just left the car running for, say, 15 seconds? What's the trade-off? Think of fluorescent lights. It takes more electricity to turn them on that it does to leave them on for 10 minutes or so (may not be true with today's fluorescent light technology). Same idea.
AFAIK an AS is more efficent than conventional cranking (like the Insight's back-up starter) of the engine so the "losses" are less. The basic calculation would require knowing idle consumption + off time vs. IMA SoC used + restart fuel consumed. IMO it will be small potatoes compaired to simply driving more conservatively. And the distraction of your attention from trying to conserve momentum will further "penalize" your ultimate MPG. ;)

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all for your great replies.

I finally lost my first bar on the gas gauge somewhere around 110-120 miles yesterday. Now I know that's normal for a normal fill.

Thanks, Billy, for your experiment. I didn't dare let that last bar go out before refilling mine.

As for auto-stop, good comments: "the car is designed to auto-stop" (and restart) and "auto-stop indicates a healthy IMA system". I like it. Instead of working around it or griping about it when it happens, I'll just let it do its thing and be thankful I have a car that does any sort of auto-stop in the first place. :)

Love this forum. I've learned so much about the car over the last few months from you guys.
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Neil
 

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AFAIK the fuel gauge is not linear. The upper 1/2 is a greater proportion of the amount available.
And this is true for all vehicle fuel gauges. Remember the fuel moves around in the tank and is not a perfect volume inside. So the system just gives you an estimate.
 
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