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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2000 insight. I have just moved to the Prairies. I have heard that winter temperatures can reach -40 to -50 degrees celcius. Does anyone have any idea whether this temperature extreme will adversely affect my car or battery? Is there anything that I can do to winterize my insight? On the insight website their is a glossary that shows the batteries backs operating range to have a lower limit of -30 degrees. Is this F or C? Any input would be appreciated, especially while the weather is warm. thanks
 

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The computer will take care of the battery pack, no worries.
But don't expect any electric assist until it's warm.

You should use synthetic engine oil and like most people in that area also install and use an engine block heater. Use a timer so it warms the engine for about 3 hours before driving in the morning.

Also cover most of the front rad in winter (I use a plastic "for sale" sign trimmed to fit).

My Insight has experienced -30 Celcius a few times without any problems.
 

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Those temperatures are fine. Last winter I saw -40 in my driveway several times...

The electric assist will be limited until the car warms up, and the BCM will forcefully warm the pack my overcharging.

I'm not really sure the point of covering the rad, other then trying to get some more hot air into the intake. After all, the temperature of the engine is regulated by the thermostat.
 

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I have absolutely nill experience with cold weather (<--- see location), but at a certain point the Insight uses the backup starter motor to crank the engine over whereas usually the IMA motor is used so the aux 12 volt battery normally has to do very little to get the car to start. Combine with cold weather that and when it goes to the starter motor if the starter battery is weak you might not get it started. So I'd say make sure you have a good 12 volt battery in it.
 

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Aaron Cake said:
I'm not really sure the point of covering the rad, other then trying to get some more hot air into the intake. After all, the temperature of the engine is regulated by the thermostat.
Because the engine block is aluminum, the whole thing sinks heat fairly well. This makes the Insight effectively air-cooled with some measure of auxillary liquid cooling. Given that the Insight burns so little fuel, the air cooling that occurs can prevent the engine from getting up to temperature for some time without a radiator block.
 

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Covering the rad has no effect on the air intake, this part is not covered.

As Foxpaw wrote, the air does cool the engine and with the rad covered, it takes less then half the normal time to get the engine at operating temp when it is real cold. So the engine is more efficient sooner.

I do not have a elec heater but will probably get one for next winter.

At steady temps below -25C (for example many days at a time), my car does not assist. It only force charge. As I used to drive in city, with bumper traffic, the car never gets heated before 45 minutes of driving. Actually if you let the control to manual full blast and max temp, the engine temp will get lower with time.
You need to use Auto mode.
On the contrary, if you drive on the highway (like I do now), the car assist is fine as it does warm up normally so as soon as the temp in the car rises, the IMA goes to normal.
 

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WAY too cold!!!

Those temps y'all snowbirds are talking about, like, how does an Insight navagate the snow that deep? :) Stay home til the roads have all been scraped enought to get out?

Down here in Jawja, if it gets a 1/4" of snow on the ground, the whole place is paralized!! :D We might get a few sand slinging trucks out, but overall, it's panic bread and milk buying in the grocery stores. Its a real hoot, watching all these northern transplants trying to get around all the dopes that can't deal with the slick stuff. :p
 

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I haven't had much trouble except in extremely deep snow. You can "snowboard" over drifts of the deep stuff, as long as you keep up enough momentum to make it past the sections of deep stuff.
 

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Belly surfing

Brings to mind the image of a penguin 'belly surfing' on snow. :) I'm glad it never gets that cold down here Brrrrr!

I guess if one did get stuck, the belly pan would help volunteer pushers scoot the lil' guy back on track.

On a serious note though, does snow build up into the chassis and the skirts? One rare time down here, I set my parking brake after driving thru 2" (a serious blizzard down here ) snow to home. Next morning, couldn't move, cause it's all a big lump of ice under the truck, with the hand brake firmly on. :roll:
 

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I can't honestly say I'm impressed with my Insight's performance in any amount of snow. I had an 88 CRX Si for 200k miles and that was much better. Also had 90 Civic and 92 accord all with stock all weather tires. There's just no weight in the front. I'm running the stock RE92's, maybe full blown snow's might help, but for now I'll just use the 4Runner when it snows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks for the help

I don't know where to start. All the posts are a reassuring that my battery will not cause a big problem. I came from Vanocuver Island where believe it or not we had over 30 cm (15in) of snow last winter. I used to drive 50km to work and didn't have a problem until the plow plowed me in at work. I tried to get out but one of the panels that makes the vehicle aerodynamic on the underside popped a couple of bolts under the engine. From that point on I was screwed. Think of a penguin with an anchor on its belly or a monster truck pull where they have an event to see which vehicle can move the most amount of dirt. Just a little fyi, insights do not make great plows. I now only have 10km (5mile) to work. Will any of the suggestions ie. covering the rad make a difference with such a short distance. (It is a highway drive but very short.) I can't wait to check out the Japanese web-site to find out what TARs are. HAHAHA. :lol:
PS. For those of you who have never experienced winter . (Like myself) Please think of me when getting into your cars in a t-shirt and shorts in December. I think all the locals are taking bets on when they feel the temperature will cause a "Shining" reaction.
 
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