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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, I'd just like to introduce myself to all of you on these forums. I'm new to Insights and everything about this car appeals to me :D. I'd love to buy an Insight in the near future, but I was just hoping if all of you could just answer a few questions for me...How well does an Insight fare in harsh Canadian winters???
 

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Yves, you take this one...

What's with the somewhat sinister name? Researcher?
 
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Hi Mr_Sars:

___As for cold climates, Chicago isn’t Alberta or any of the Northern Provinces but it does get below 0 (degrees F) around here once in a while ;) With that, the only item I have noticed is that my fuel economy falls dramatically as with all other automobiles starting from around 50 degrees F and below. 0 degrees F driving is quite literally painful in the fuel economy department knowing what our little beauties are good for when its nice and warm outside … Heat from the Insight is more then adequate if you do in fact use it. Oh … and the Insight will start off the 12V battery when it is around 0 degrees F or below instead of off the IMA MGSet/battery pack like normal.

___I had better not forget that the Bridgestone RE92’s (OEM tires on our little beauties) for snow use don’t provide the driver with much confidence. The Highways and Byways are usually clear of snow and ice here near Chicago so I take the winter in stride. If you do in fact have snow covered streets along your daily commute (I bet you do?), you might be interested in a set of Blizzak’s or any other number of winter time replacements.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:a6wjs9la][email protected][/email:a6wjs9la]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
:D Thanks for the great info! Yeah, I currently live in Alberta and my biggest concern is the ride height of the Insight compared to how high the snow occasionally gets. Well, live and learn I guess.
 

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Hi,

I would say that it is as any other car.

For snow and security, winter tires are a must (as any other car for me): the high pressure tire leaves less contact surface and you see it when the ABS kicks in. For tempeture, I would separate the car into 2 scenario:

-25C and above (warmer)
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The car is superiour to the other cars. The engine starts with the IMA (no chuck-a-chuck-a-chuck-Broom). well you know.Handles well


-25C and below (colder)
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The car starts with the 'normal' car starter (weird sound and will surprise you).

In bumper to bumper traffic (below -25C):
If you leave the fan speed to 'Manual full blast' the engine will get colder to 2 bars in the dash instead of 6 and less heat will come out of the vents. The answer is to leave the fan speed to automatic (not select a speed).
If you make short drives only AND when it is steady below -27C (colder) you could have the IMA do only charging without any IMA usage (no assist). Then the car runs on the combustion engine only:like other cars.
We have had such temps for a few days at a time.
If you take long drives (more than 45 minutes) the tempature of the battery pack will rize and all become normal at those unusual temps

Maybe you live near an Insighter named Mike
 

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Insight owners have reported damage to plastic underbody panels when driving through more than a foot of packed snow/slush. The damage was usually the panels being disconnected and bent back, and was easily repaired.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
:) Sounds like it wouldn't be too bad driving through Canadian winters. Most likely, I'll be looking for a second hand insight...is there any serious problems that you guys have had since you've owned the car? :eek: Everytime I look at one, I just want to drive it even more!
 

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Mr_SARS
I've got a 2002 with ~45,000 miles on it so far and have not had any real problems.
I had a lever for one of the interior air vents break ~28,000mi, which I'm sure was a random thing to happen.

I've done regular maintenance, oil changes, etc.

I replaced the front brake pads since they were squealing a few thousand miles ago. No big deal either.

I'm probably due for a new set of tires by wintertime.

So far, the Insight has had the high reliability I have come to expect from Honda products.
 

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The first time I heard the 12 volt starter was at the dealership after having my car serviced in the dead of winter. The car had been parked in really cold weather and I just about died of shock. Believing that the mechanic had left a wrench in the crankcase or something equally disasterous, I turned it off instantly and rushed back into the dealership in a panic! :oops: How quickly one gets accustomed to the silent hybrid start up.
 

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This applies to any car or SUV driven in winter:
Like suggested by others, use quality winter tires.
And carry a tow line in case you need to be pulled out of a shoulder that has deeper snow then it looks....(live and learn).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
:) All such great feedback from you guys about the Insight! Right now I'm looking into a 2001 Insight for about 19000 CAD. :? Just wondering if any one here as ever encountered problems with their batteries. Has anyone also left their car sitting for 2+ months with any problems?
 

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I have and the battery pack was almost down to nothing. But after several miles of driving I got it all charged up again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
:D Yeah its great how Honda had engineered it for the battery to recharge itself, but you missed the point there :( . I'm thinking about if anyone on this board has ever had so much trouble with their battery that they had to service/replace it.
 

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two or three members have had their IMA battery replaced under warranty. However if we use this site as a statistical measure you are more likely to hit a moose on the Alaska highway, get infested with mice, or have a tree fall on your car.

Reported failure of the 12 volt battery is much more common. Leaving your car parked for several months without charging the 12 volt battery will almost certainly harm it. When wet cell lead acid batteries self discharge the sulfuric acid turns into water. This may irreversably damage the plate chemistry or allow the plates to buckle from the water freezing.
 

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Actually, only ONE member has reported a mouse infestation so you are about 3x as likely to have battery problems as you are to have mouse problems in your Insight. EDIT - oops, read the thread more closely, and two people reported mice. So we can say they're about equally likely.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Heh, I've had my run ins with mice before... Just been eyeing an Insight at a dealership for the last few months...If all works out :D there'll be another Insighter on this forum.
 

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I have heard reports that when driving in snow that it can accumulate around the rear wheels and be hard to remove without removal of the covers. This may only apply to "wet" snow which is what we almost always get here in the south on the rare occasion that we get any. Has anyone else heard of this problem.?
 
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Hi Big D Insightman:

___I doubt you will have that problem down in Dallas but we have been known to have a bit of snow up here near Chicago once in awhile ;) When it’s that deep and or wet and slushy, the Insight is best left at home.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:21mugchu][email protected][/email:21mugchu]
 

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Hi Big D,

That report of snow in the rear is just "urban legend". We have snow here and I can say that there is snow accumulation around the tires:

- Only other cars have it too (special temps)
- It accumulates in the front like any other car
- It does get in the rear like any other car BUT
with the hybrid system in the rear (it has fans) and with the aluminium body, the heat generated makes it fall on the ground

I find it on my pavement every morning. I have never had to remove the covers or had special accumulation.

Just a legend from people that did not have any knowledge and tried to predict how it would be.

There is also a legend about the front opening near the tire/direction. People said that rain and snow would flood the engine and make it stop. The reallity is that the engine does not receive water from there, it serves as an exhaust for the incomming radiator air (probably from the narrow body design near the door).
 
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