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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My 2000 Insight M/T isn't going into lean burn mode. I also am getting a P0420 code. I have driven the car only a handful of times and I noticed it does not have much power at all. I am able to maintain highway speed but have to downshift almost to 3rd gear to get up most hills. Is this normal for an insight? I have not driven another insight to compare power.

I'm thinking that my catalytic converter is clogged. I was think of removing it and visually inspecting the honeycomb to see if it is packed with buildup from emissions. If it is dirty, I will try to clean it with a technique I saw on youtube where you soak the converter in a laundry detergent bath for 24 hours which loosens all the buildup. If it still doesn't solve the lean burn/P0420 code I will do the anti-fouler mod and will then check the second converter for clogs.

How hard is it to remove the cat? What do you guys think of my plan?
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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Include your Location in your Profile, and maybe someone close by can assist.
Need more info on your vehicle, mainly miles and history.
Depending on where you are at, the CAT can be a bear to remove. (Depending on salt corrosion on the bolts.)
How are you monitoring the "lean burn" cycles?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just updated my profile with location. I live in Binghamton, NY.

The car has 177k on it. I don't know much about the history. Purchased it several months ago. Seemed to run great but I was "only" getting about 55mph on highway even when the roads were dry. Then the P0420 code came on.

I'm only monitoring the lean burn by observing the MPG gauge. From my understanding, if everything is working correctly you should see big jump in MPG as you are at highway speed and slowly letting off the gas. When lean burn kicks in your MPG should go to about 70. My insight does not do that no matter my speed and how light I am on the throttle.
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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Sometimes the FCD can be misleading. You are close, but LB should see the FCD go up to over 100mpg.
Acc. to around 65 in 4th, then hold your speed at that MPH, and IF LB actuates, you will see a jump in the FCD. Don't expect it to happen on a cold engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I appreciate you taking the time to respond, Willie.

Unfortunately, when I walked into my garage today to take a look at the bolts on the cat, I discovered that someone had broken into my garage and stole most of my tools. So as of now I won't be doing any work on it until I can get new tools. I will update this thread when I am able to make some headway into the project.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Got a chance to get back into the garage today. Lifted the Insight up on some stands and started looking around.

-Brake lines look like they are right about to fail in some spots. I think I will have to replace these and soon. Brake fluid also looked green. I thought brake fluid was supposed to be pretty clear or maybe slightly yellow. Guessing this means the fluid is old?
-Fuel line looks "ok". Didn't see any leaks or bad rust spots.
-The EGR solenoid looks like it has never been touched. Also, the bolts holding on the EGR plate look like they've never been touched either.
-I took off the air filter cover and removed the filter to inspect. Looked old and dirty. Also, there was a small amount of oil on the bottom of the oil filter. Is this a bad thing?
-Oil looked pretty dark and had a burnt smell to it. Also, the car is overfilled with oil.
-Battery was completely dead after sitting for 1.5 months. Was able to jumpstart it. Hopefully it was only due to the cold weather and there is not a drain anywhere.
-The bolts on the cat didn't look too bad. I would hope if I sprayed them down with PB Blaser for a week it would be enough to get them off. Fortunately both O2 sensors are easily accessible.

Although my toolboxes were taken, I do have a very small set of backup tools. I am able to get a 1/2 socket on 4 of the 5 EGR plate bolts (didn't try to get it over the 5th one since it was getting dark). Replacing the brake lines looks like I only need basic hand tools. I believe my plan going forward will be:

-Oil and oil filter change
-Replace air filter
-Replace brake lines/fluid flush
-Clean EGR plate and inspect EGR valve. Hopefully this will solve the lean burn and low power problem.
-Remove top (1st) O2 sensor and pour some acetone inside to cover the cat, let it sit, then run the engine for a while and hope that burns off whatever may be build up on there. If this doesn't work I will just do the anti-fouler mod and hopefully that will do the trick.

I forgot to check my ECM to see if it has been updated. I'm sure it has by now, but I will verify.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update:

Finally got around to doing some work on the Insight. It sat for the last 6 months.

Today I replaced the cabin air filter, reinstalled the EGR plate after taking it apart and cleaning it some months ago, and reinstalled the spark plugs after removing them for inspection some months ago. Fortunately it all went back together great. Spark plugs all indexed appropriately. EGR plate was a complete nightmare in how it was totally blocked. I also removed and inspected, tested, and cleaned the EGR valve.

The car needed a jump to start. It made a lot of weird noises when I was trying to start it but the engine eventually started to turn over and as soon as it did that it fired right up and ran great.

The MPG is much much better now. Got about 60 mpg on a short city driving trip, and about 75 mpg on a short highway trip. The clogged EGR plate I believe was destroying the efficiency of the engine.

I love the Insight so far. Very excited about getting it back on the road finally. Previous owner installed a grid charger so I am letting it do a grid charge overnight. Still have to do an oil change, replace the air filter, and probably replace those brake lines before winter.

Two added bonuses...the P0420 code hasn't came back on and the freaking AC even works! I've NEVER owned a car with working AC.
 
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