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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone thanks again for so much help in the last 4 weeks since I bought this car. I opted for the Bumblebee Beeline battery and bought the upgraded 3 year warranty (thanks @Eli). I've put 150 miles on the car since and have become a bit familiar with the new IMA driving characteristics after being in gas only mode for a month. I have a few questions:

1, There is a slight but noticeable jitter every time the IMA engages, and then I see the ASSIST light up a few bars. It's sort of like the clunk of an automatic tranny shifting on an older car. Is this normal or should it be imperceptible? If this isn't normal, what could the issue be?

2, Even after IMA and a new OEM rear motor mount I am still getting a bit of jerkiness when reversing up a steep hill. Is that normal, and if not what could the issue be? Tranny is super smooth otherwise...upshifts and downshifts...maybe I'm still learning this clutch but I have much experience with MTs so that's hard to believe.

3, After 150 miles on the Bumblebee battery I'm at about half a charge (50%), it started at full but it has slowly depleted. See pic below. I'm not driving it hard at all - getting about 56mpg in the city and since IMA install I've only hammered it a few times to get an idea of what it's capable of. Mostly super gentle driving. Is it supposed to stay mostly charged all the time or is it normal for it to slowly deplete? If that's the case, what happens when it depletes all the way? It's a refurbished battery so it seems that would not be what should be happening but I don't know how these work.

Thanks for your help!!!

 

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I can partially answer your questions. First, city driving only can be hard on a battery because it's not able to get recharged much. Obviously it depends on how frequently one stops-accelerates. I wouldn't be too concerned if the heavy, stop n' go is the situation.

The clutch judder when reversing; Unfortunately that is a characteristic of your clutch system. Reversing up a hill is the time the worst attributes become visible. I would suggest there's nothing one can do, especially if going forward on a flat-ish terrain is ok. The only thing that can be done is replace the disk and pressure plate.
 

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The car naturally wants to keep the battery around half charge in stop and go driving, and closer to full on the highway. It will give more or less regen and assist to try to reach these targets, but ultimately it depends on how you're driving. My brother had a G1 for a while and his battery was always bouncing between 1 and 3 bars, constantly forced regen because he hammered the throttle and didn't regen much.

I don't know about the clunk when assisting, I never had that.

As far as judder, I always assumed that was a sign of a worn clutch disk, mine did that too, but I drove it over 100k miles and it never got any worse.
 

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I think the battery range is fine. The new Chinese sticks act very slightly different from the Honda sticks, but certainly not a problem. The new stuff tends to hang out around mid charge from the one that I installed for a friend.
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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I think you are probably relying too much on the IMA for assist. that is why your battery is so low for so long. Try to drive in the 2200-2500 rpm range and let the engine do it's thing. It will be more enjoyable and you can still get very good mpg.The amount of regen is better with a higher rpm anyway on de-acceleration..
 

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I've been able to keep the battery gauge full or 1 or 2 bars down with a new pack, but I have the assist switch mod. If you're not driving it hard, you should be able to keep it more than half full by adjusting your driving technique. Accelerate gently without using assist up to speed. Coast with your foot barely touching the brake so you get regen without actual braking. Repeat as needed.
 

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To add to what Willie said, back when I had my IMA installed I would constantly upshift at 1.5k-2k RPM around town, which used a lot of assist and drained the pack faster. Shifting at 2.5k-3k RPM, usually just before the 2800 RPM VTEC engagement, kept my battery above 70% around town most of the time, with a negligible impact on economy. I would still drive in the highest gear possible after accelerating (5th at 25+ mph, -5 mph for each lower gear).
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I think you are probably relying too much on the IMA for assist. that is why your battery is so low for so long. Try to drive in the 2200-2500 rpm range and let the engine do it's thing. It will be more enjoyable and you can still get very good mpg.The amount of regen is better with a higher rpm anyway on de-acceleration..
To add to what Willie said, back when I had my IMA installed I would constantly upshift at 1.5k-2k RPM around town, which used a lot of assist and drained the pack faster. Shifting at 2.5k-3k RPM, usually just before the 2800 RPM VTEC engagement, kept my battery above 70% around town most of the time, with a negligible impact on economy. I would still drive in the highest gear possible after accelerating (5th at 25+ mph, -5 mph for each lower gear).
Thanks fellows. Yes I do keep it around 2000rpms most of the time, I'm skilled at extracting good mpg from my cars. In this case I don't get into the IMA much at all. I did notice after posting this morning that the bars jumped back up to nearly full (2 bars down) after some country road driving later in the day. I will say that the urge to redline it in 1st and 2nd is there.

The reverse thing sounds like it's just the car's nature, no big deal.

Can anyone else comment on the IMA engagement subtle clunk? Maybe it's normal...I tend to be in tune with my cars and notice every rattle squeak and noise. Maybe I'm overthinking it. Just doesn't seem like it would be like this from the factory but then again it is a 20 year old design and it is 20 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've been able to keep the battery gauge full or 1 or 2 bars down with a new pack, but I have the assist switch mod. If you're not driving it hard, you should be able to keep it more than half full by adjusting your driving technique. Accelerate gently without using assist up to speed. Coast with your foot barely touching the brake so you get regen without actual braking. Repeat as needed.
Thanks...can you link me to a good article/thread on the clutch switch and brake switch mods? Might look into that...
 

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1: If you've already replaced the rear motor mount (and inspected the other two), then the next thing I'd look at is the EGR valve. The IMA assist/regen is quite smooth under most conditions... note that if the ABS kicks in the IMA will disable abruptly, and remain disabled until you've accelerated again.

2: Insight doesn't have sufficient torque to reverse up any type of hill... I've got a 15% driveway and the two times I've backed up it I feel like I took 1000 miles off the car. At this point if I need the car to be facing towards the garage door, then I just turn the car around in the garage (on skates).

3: G1 BCM likes to keep the battery about half full. Search 'Calpod' for instructions on how to easily gain more control of the battery SoC. Calpod is the ONLY mod I have on my low mile garage queen.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
1: If you've already replaced the rear motor mount (and inspected the other two), then the next thing I'd look at is the EGR valve. The IMA assist/regen is quite smooth under most conditions... note that if the ABS kicks in the IMA will disable abruptly, and remain disabled until you've accelerated again.

2: Insight doesn't have sufficient torque to reverse up any type of hill... I've got a 15% driveway and the two times I've backed up it I feel like I took 1000 miles off the car. At this point if I need the car to be facing towards the garage door, then I just turn the car around in the garage (on skates).

3: G1 BCM likes to keep the battery about half full. Search 'Calpod' for instructions on how to easily gain more control of the battery SoC. Calpod is the ONLY mod I have on my low mile garage queen.
Thanks a lot for this.

On 1, I haven't inspected the other two, I'll do that. EGR was supposedly cleaned by previous owner recently but I'll check that too, that's a super easy job. Can always use more cleaning. Thanks for the ABS tip I was unaware.

On 2, that makes me feel better, at least this is normal. My driveway is steep to exit from. I'll back in from now on so I climb the hill in 1st instead of R.

On 3, yes, thanks, it's hovering around 70%, I feel it is performing right from what I've read. I read up on the Calpod mod, maybe in the future I'll do that one though I may not be in that deep yet!!!
 

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1, There is a slight but noticeable jitter every time the IMA engages, and then I see the ASSIST light up a few bars. It's sort of like the clunk of an automatic tranny shifting on an older car. Is this normal or should it be imperceptible? If this isn't normal, what could the issue be?
Not normal. Transition into assist is virtually imperceptible, certainly no clunk...

2, Even after IMA and a new OEM rear motor mount I am still getting a bit of jerkiness when reversing up a steep hill. Is that normal, and if not what could the issue be?...
Normal, inadequate design of motor mounts. Given that you get a clunk when engaging assist, and this, maybe you should check your front mounts. Aging clutch would make it worse...

3, After 150 miles on the Bumblebee battery I'm at about half a charge (50%), it started at full but it has slowly depleted... Is it supposed to stay mostly charged all the time or is it normal for it to slowly deplete? If that's the case, what happens when it depletes all the way?
I'm surprised at some of the matter-of-fact sounding answers others have given thus far. I pay super-close attention to this stuff, take notes, collect data, etc. - and I still haven't really figured out what all goes into the state of charge decision. In general it's all over the place and depends on things like whether you drive with headlights on, AC on, how much stop-and-go versus highway driving, how much you actually use assist and recoup with regen, the 'condition' of your pack/cells, et al. Plus, the dash gauge isn't a faithful indicator of true charge state - nor is the OBDIIC&C percentage reading - so it's very difficult to tell what charge state the pack is truly at...

In general the BCM shouldn't allow the pack to deplete all the way. Once the true or nominal charge state gets low, assist will be radically throttled and charging off the ICE takes place ('forced charge'). If cells are imbalanced, one could deplete before the others, in which case your BAT gauge will plummet to the bottom ('neg recal', you'll see like 3 bars) and the forced charging will kick-in for some uncertain duration, like at least 10 percentage points worth of charge.
 

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As per eq1's post, a few observations I've made about IMA behavior:

Driving at low speeds, the system seems more "hands-off". Depending on your driving style you can deplete or fill the pack. Mine tended to hang around in the middle.

When the pack gets low, either 2 or 1 bar, I noticed it would start 4 bars of regen. Where it stopped seemed to vary, but it definitely aggressively regenerated whenever the battery was low.

Turning on A/C increased regen and changed targets. Ditto with heavy 12v loads. Turn the stereo and amps up enough and I could get forced regen even at idle.

On the highway, after some time, I would often see 4 bars of regen up to a certain point (can't remember exactly where now but maybe 3/4 full?). At that point the 4 bars of regen would disappear but the pack would continue to creep up very slowly, until it was"full" or nearly full.

In Vermont's extreme winters, assist could be disabled and the car might even start on 12v. On cold days it was common to see heavy regen, presumably to get the battery warm enough to assist.

The programming is undoubtedly more complex than what I'm describing.
 

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These are some my 'favorites' (i.e. least favorites):

Turning on A/C increased regen and changed targets.
With the warm weather lately, I'm increasingly annoyed at how the IMA background charges every time AC cycles ON, and stops the charge when AC cycles OFF. It just makes AC cycling even more abrupt, lurch-y. I think I started a thread at some point saying I thought that was a programming error - that they actually intended to do assist when AC cycled ON, so that the lurch from the load of the compressor was mitigated... Similar to how Honda supposedly uses the IMA to smooth idle... That's what I would've done. Makes no sense to add more load on the engine when AC cycles on...

On the highway, after some time, I would often see 4 bars of regen up to a certain point (can't remember exactly where now but maybe 3/4 full?). At that point the 4 bars of regen would disappear but the pack would continue to creep up very slowly, until it was"full" or nearly full.
I really hate that one. The charge bars disappear around a nominal 52% even though the charge is often still happening in the background. My guess is that Honda meant the charge bars at the low levels-only as an indicator to driver that pack is low and being charged - but once it got enough charge in it the 'warning' wasn't so dire... I guess.

When it comes to the IMA programming, I picture a bunch of low-level software enginners, maybe interns, having BS sessions about all the cute things they could control, program, and how 'cool' they'd be... And then the program manager took a vacation right before the deadline.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As per eq1's post, a few observations I've made about IMA behavior...
Thanks to all. I feel after reading what you're saying that my IMA is functioning as it should. Just needed to bounce some of this off someone. I read the entire owner's manual and there's virtually nothing there to educate the owner on this technology and how to make sense of the gauges day to day.

Not normal. Transition into assist is virtually imperceptible, certainly no clunk...

Normal, inadequate design of motor mounts. Given that you get a clunk when engaging assist, and this, maybe you should check your front mounts. Aging clutch would make it worse...
I'm really glad you said this stuff. Before I even read your response I ended up ordering the other 2 mounts. Didn't want to put the money in the car as it could become a money put but I found some refurbished used mounts with new inserts on eBay for a good price so I ordered them. If nothing else, with a new rear mount, if the other 2 are damaged or compromised it will only cause the new one to wear faster, so best to start fresh with all three. Heck, the more strain I put on the clutch from having to ride it to solve the mount issues, the more I damage the clutch/flywheel. So I thought it best to get the other 2 mounts. Then I read your post which confirmed my purchase. I'll install those and see what happens. Hopefully they are good quality, the seller had sold a bunch and got great reviews. Install looks easy (like everything else so far on this car) so that's a good thing.
 

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^ Can you post a link to those mounts? Never heard of refurbished ones with new inserts. The stock mounts have 'highly engineered' front mounts, fluid-filled, center stuff (bushing/rubber) bonded to the aluminum housing, etc. I'd be curious to see how someone came up with a suitable "insert"...
 

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^ Can you post a link to those mounts? Never heard of refurbished ones with new inserts. The stock mounts have 'highly engineered' front mounts, fluid-filled, center stuff (bushing/rubber) bonded to the aluminum housing, etc. I'd be curious to see how someone came up with a suitable "insert"...
Here it is, below. If it's crap I'll return it. Seeing as they sold many and have a 99% positive score I decided to take a gamble. Normally I buy new/OEM but with the amount I've spend on this car in the last 4 weeks I decided to try and save a buck here. They have all 3 mounts in this "refurbished" format:

 

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Interesting, I wonder how (IF) they filled it with fluid before bonding - and wonder how they bonded it to the housing... I just copied a pic for something similar and I'll post it to a long-running motor mount thread. The pic shows the bushing removed, revealing the cavity that gets fluid filled. Actually, I'll just post it here, too:

86354
 

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Interesting, I wonder how (IF) they filled it with fluid before bonding - and wonder how they bonded it to the housing... I just copied a pic for something similar and I'll post it to a long-running motor mount thread. The pic shows the bushing removed, revealing the cavity that gets fluid filled. Actually, I'll just post it here, too:
Thanks. Maybe I'll take one for the team on this. I've done plenty of mounts so I feel I will have some level of discernment on whether or not these are decent. Worst thing that can happen is I install them and discover they don't perform well, in which case I remove and return.
 
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