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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to say hi to the crowd here! :) I've been lurking for months and have been thinking for years about getting an Insight. This week I finally took the plunge and traded in the Subaru for an Insight.

Thanks to all the excellent advice shown here on the forum, it was easy to practice drafting on the way back from the dealership ~ 35 miles, most of it interstates zoned at 55/65. And after work tonight I drove around awhile on local roads, just getting a feel for it. We're due for snow tomorrow and I didn't want to be caught clueless. :oops:

Some early impressions:

- Am I wrong about this, or does the regenerative braking only work as long as you stay in the same gear as when you started braking? Like, you should stay in the same gear all the way down during regen braking? Oh, and you can definitely hear the regen braking sound.

- The blind spots don't seen to be as bad as everyone says they are.

- The ride isn't really all that stiff. (But that's more a matter of what you're used to. I just came from a WRX with 45psi tires)

- The electric assist is kind of obvious when it comes on hard.

I just need to go train myself to use the shift points suggested by the IMA system. Probably you get the best mileage by sticking with what the computer suggests, right? (Aside from upgrading to MIMA that is)

Got lots of comments from the coworkers. :) This red color is growing on me already.
 

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Hi redbug and welcome to the forum (officially ;) )

Regen on braking has a lower RPM cutoff. Depending on many factors a down shift may help sustain it a bit longer. But if your driving pattern / style maintains a high SoC this it will be of limited benefit.

And like all manual transmissions a pattern of down shifting too soon causes additional wear on the synchro's internal to the transmission. There have been a couple of members that needed the 2nd gear synchro replaced.

Maximum MPG driving will depend on many factors. Let your MPG meter teach you. Usually just slow down :!: ;)

HTH! :)
 

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Kinetic energy goes up as the square of the velocity.That means there is a lot more energy to be captured from 40 MPH to 20 MPH than there is from 20 MPH to zero. Probably not worth the fancy shifting. :wink:

I'd heed John's advice unless you are going for a world record attempt. :D
 

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In addition to the suggested shift points, watch the instantaneous economy gauge. It will tell you you're accelerating too hard.

You're right about the suspension. I had an STi for a while and the Insight is a luxury car by comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Guys, thanks for the advice, especially about the wear & tear caused to the synchros by repeated downshifting.

I'm already learning to watch the instantaneous-mpg bar graph and use it as a guide for how not to accelerate. When I picked it up at the dealership, the LMPG was at 18.5 @ 61 miles. Now it's on the low 30s less than 100 miles later.

Unfortunately I don't have the owners manual just yet. This particular Insight sat at the dealership since late last year and was subsequently displayed by Honda at the recent New England International Auto Show in Worcester MA. The owners manual mysteriously disappeared during that time.

So here's another question for the group: When is it too early to switch to synthetic? On the downside, it's true that all engines go through a break-in period and that it's usually better to wait until this has passed. On the upside, though, many new cars ship from the factory these days with synthetic already in the engines. Clearly this engine is at the well-constructed, high-tech end of the spectrum, so perhaps it would be safe to put something like Mobil-1 0W-20 into it at the earliest opportunity.

Can't wait to take a road trip vacation in the new car! :)
 

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Congratulations on your purchase. I would reset the LMPG at the earliest opportunity (especially given the low mileage) to get an accurate record of your own MPG.
 

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Down shifting *IS* a necessary part of driving a MT. Its just that abnormal wear occurs when you "use" it in a _long term_ pattern of "forcing" it at too high an RPM. Or a _longer term_ pattern for regen when it would otherwise not be needed for an immediate upcoming acceleration.

No point in "wasting" perfectly good factory supplied 0w-20 so I'd at least wait for the first OC. :)

HTH! :)
 

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1st oil change, DoNot until 3000 miles.........

NOTE-DoNot Change your oil until 3000 miles.Honda has placed a beakin oil in your engine at the factory.I's a 0-20W oil that's does not contain a normal amount of anti-wear additives in it.This is so the parts in the engine lap themself into a surface condition that Honda wants.This intiail wear is designed and needed so the parts wear themself into a surface condition that no machining process can achive.If you change the oil before 3000 miles with a Mobil 1,the breakin period is not done properly,and won't be done.I KNOW THIS THE Hard Way!!!!

DoNot- change the oil until 3000 miles if you want the motor Honda Built and Designed for your Insight. Don't Kill Your Car,with what you may think is a goodthing.It's far better to let the Break In process to proceed as Honda designed it to occur.
 

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Break in Period

Yeah, I waited till I had 5000 miles before I changed to Mobil 1, super syn. Also the manual trans syncro, I don't down shift to second for regen, unless the trans is already in second, like stop and go traffic.

Tuna1, what was the hard way, something happen? Didn't know Honda had a special break in oil. Is that in the service manual? Thanks, Jack
 

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Tuna1's correct. ;)

p.g. 118 of the 02 Owner's manual:

"Do not change the oil until the recommended time or mileage interval shown in the maintenance schedule." 7,500 miles / 12 months.

It seems Honda has returned to using a _form_ of break-in oil:

http://www.ahm-ownerlink.com/Maintenanc ... p#oilfirst

"Why should I wait to change the oil the first time?

Your Honda engine was delivered with an oil that is specially formulated for new engines that have not yet developed their "natural" wear patterns and may contain minute particles from the manufacturing process.

American Honda strongly recommends this special oil be left in the engine long enough for these wear patterns to develop, usually until the first maintenance interval specified in your Owner's Manual, based on your specific driving conditions."



However, if you Google "break in oil" you'll see a _wide_ variety of types used. Some aren't designed for a "normal" change interval and should be changed early. Google also indicates that automotive manufacturers don't use the more "aggressive" types anymore (what is typically thought of as "break in" oil). By inference automotive (Honda's) "break in" oil is a mild variety since it's designed for a normal change interval.

How "critical" is it :?: Well... it _can_ be critical, but it's an issue of "degree" and is *highly* dependent on many other factors.

With that said I started using Mobile1 @5000 miles without incident. And have in all my Hondas for many years now.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nice answers! I later heard from someone at Honda that the original oil has special break-in additives and should be left in the engine for the recommended service interval based on your type of use.

But first I need some therapy to help deal with all the extra attention! :eek: :eek: :eek:

The people at work have been, shall we say, pretty curious about the Insight. The most common questions have been about where the plug is (for charging it up) , then about the mileage, then about how roomy it is inside. Several of my coworkers have sat inside the car (separately of course!) and found they could fit nicely. Tonight after work, while the car was warming up (it's 28F here now), my 6'2" boss got into the passenger seat just out of curiosity. He was surprised to still have head- and legroom. He drives a Suburban every day, so that was an interesting comment.

Oh noes, teh attention .. :wink:

When it's this cold out, is it the right thing to do to let the engine warm up enough to start showing some action on the engine temp gauge?

Interesting how there are other former WRX drivers now with Insights. :)
 

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No, you're wasting precious gas by warming it up. The best thing to do is drive it (gently) to warm it up.
 

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People may seem to ask silly questions about the Insight. Generally I find that they just want to talk about the car and are uncertain what to say. People really appreciate it if you take the time to explain a little. What I thought were strangers have said "You're the guy with the hibrid, right?" I couldn't remember them, but they remembered our chat. :D

If you are introverted and drive an Insight....well, you just have to get over it. :wink:

As for the cold, yes you can drive away gently for best results. The IMA electric motor is unaffected by the cold, but the batteries are. If you push them hard in their cold state, they will discharge faster than the computer expects and will possibly initiate a "recal" (recalibration event).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Dougie, so true. Today was a balmy 26F in the morning and I tried as you suggested .. well, I let run for just a minute to liven up the dino oil, then got going. The car got warm pretty quickly once it was moving .. I just used a really light touch on the pedal. By the time we were 3 miles away, the interior had warmed up enough that the climate control was moving to progressively lower fan speeds.

Actually I kind of like the idea of being an Insight ambassador. People have been asking a lot of questions, so I'm doing my best to answer them. But tonight I got some decent 100# paper and am printing up a few copies of the Insight fact sheet and drivers reference card. There are a lot of people who appreciate data in that format.

Mercifully, there isn't much traffic around here, so I haven't yet had to deal with irate tailgaters. Of course, that can be "cured" by a trip into Boston one of these days! :(

Thanks again guys for the help! :)
 

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redbug said:
- Am I wrong about this, or does the regenerative braking only work as long as you stay in the same gear as when you started braking? Like, you should stay in the same gear all the way down during regen braking? Oh, and you can definitely hear the regen braking sound.
I've done some fooling around with this, and if you've got a long decel you can trick the car into regen braking by tapping the gas after you downshift. like someone said earlier, each gear has a lower-limit rpm that shuts off regen, so this gets around that.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Kari, thanks for the tip about tapping the gas .. I guess you have to fool the computer into thinking it was normal driving before you chose to regen? It seems to work best just to leave it in whatever gear you were in (usually 4th or 5th) before slowing down. It's like there's a fixed rpm below which it doesn't let regen take place anyway .. so then you coast in nice 'n' easy and let the engine go into auto-stop.

This weekend I drove everywhere (though all of it was on local roads) getting a better feel for the car. The lmpg was 18.7 when I picked up the car with 62mi on the clock .. now it's 50.2 lmpg @ 610mi, which means it's been getting above 61mpg, which is not horrible for a newbie driver in the wintertime on hilly New England roads.

I had no clue that spending the driving time trying to get best mileage would be so entertaining & addictive! :) Especially after coming from a much faster vehicle.

The other fun part is getting to show the car to everyone who asks. I figure it's nicer to oblige their curiosity .. who knows, some of them might get rid of their SUVs and buy hybrids instead? Several people have asked for rides in it just to see what it's like.
 

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Best RPM's for best MPG

Hi;
It's great to see the enthusiasm of a new Insight owner.
For best MPG, try driving at ~ 1,900 RPM. Also, try partially blocking some of the air-flow through the radiator with a cardboard section !7" X 6", when it's cooler than 70 degrees outside. Let us know what you discover.
Enjoy! Berk
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The radiator block was the first thing in, though since the cardboard I had didn't fit, I cut a 16x16 square of latex-saturated paper and then put a big hole in the middle, so it has perhaps 75% of the radiator covered. This makes the engine warm up a whole lot faster, which is good.

The next thing was to pump all the tires up to 45psi, and that made a large & noticeable difference in the mileage, although the ride is kind of harsh now.

Also I'm tanking up the car now at just one specific pump at one specific station, so it should always auto-stop at the same time and fill at the same rate. Lots of people are asking me for the gas purchase & mileage records so they can see it for themselves. But I'm pretty sure the Insight will beat the EPA ratings quite easily. Unlike other hybrids, it seems purpose-built for getting high mpg numbers.

Is there any non-offensive sign to put in the back regarding driving choices? Around here, the classic "Support Arab Oil: Drive a SUV!" sticker seems most likely to get you keyed or worse. Are there any gentler ways to say it? The place where I work is basically a parking lot full of SUVs.
 

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Your version of the radiator block has some potential for trouble in both the materials chosen and its shape. Without going into my usual looong explanations I'd highly recommend removal ASAP and reconfigure according to my recommendations.

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... 0&start=45

AFAI remember the all bumper sticker threads rapidly deteriorate to political rants etc. and have required moderation. Politics and "bashing" of other cars are off topic (OT) for our forums (read the rules). Still, I'd like to be proven wrong...
 
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