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Discussion Starter #1
My insight has 101k miles and was idling rough. I found one of the ground wires (the upper one) completely broken. This morning I replaced both grounds with a battery cable I found at Kragen Auto. Cost me 15$ for both lines. Started the car up and it ran smoother! And I am not sure, but I swear it felt faster and easier to cruise at 70mph on the freeway. What's up with that? Also felt like the Assist kicked in with more power with less pedal pressure. Could I have been mistaken?

THEN

I changed the 3 spark plugs. All my cylinders are stamped B so I used 3 B plugs. Started my car and it was rough again! Driving around still felt good but at idle the engine vibrated much more than before. Could the car need to relearn idle? Well i let the car idle for 5 minutes and the vibration didn't get better. Took the coils off again and used a flashlight and mirror to check on the plugs. Before inserting them I marked the ceramic to indicate the direction of the opening. When I took a look, all of the plugs were (to my surprised) indexed perfectly.

What's going on? Why is my car idling rougher with the new plugs. Is there such a thing as spark plug break-in?
 

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they supposedly need to be torqued to 15-17 ft lbs or they wont give the proper mpg, and perhaps maybe even affect performance like in your case. I don't know if this is possible or even likely, but try a torque wrench and maybe you over tightened them. Mine are all b too, and I've got mine waiting in the glove box til I borrow a torque wrench.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi budomove,

I thought that might be the case as well, but as I've checked their orientations and they are all indexed with the openings facing the rear of the car, I'm not sure it's a torquing issue... only thing holding me back is that my torque wrench is probably less accurate than my feel at less than 20 ft-lbs. I talked to my friend tonight who said the same thing happened when he changed his plugs on his Prelude VTEC. Maybe they just need to break in or the computer needs to relearn them?

This car is so packed full of technology, I feel like anything is possible.

Donovan
 

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I think you need to look further. The plugs should be tightened up properly, of course, but the only real danger in having them too loose is that they might come out, or too tight and you might strip the threads. Plugs don't "break in" or need re-learning of the computer.

First thing to do is check to see if you have any codes...
 

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Besides using the proper torque, did you check the spark plug gaps before inserting? Even though they are usually pre-gapped, they should be verified anyway. Are there any signs of cracks on the ignition coils?

I agree, no breakin period needed for the plugs. They should have the same or better performance than your old ones.

Idle relearn would only be neccessary if you disconnected the battery during the spark plug change.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You know what, I didn't gap the plugs. Silly me. Something inside just said "These plugs cost 20$ each, surely they're gapped correctly." Maybe they're not. Thanks for the tip! I'm guessing that's gonna be what it is. Are the plug gaps written on the inside of the engine lid like all other cars?

Ignition coils are in good order.

Thanks,
Donovan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is it bad to loosen the plugs since the crush washers have already been crushed? Do I need to buy new crush washers?
 

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just be careful not to over torque with used crush washers. I used the same one on my hatchback drainplug for 15 oil changes, you just have to be more careful.
 

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I haven't changed mine yet so I'm not sure what they look like but if the washer part looks like the older typical plugs, you don't think that you would have to replace them. Just use proper torque. I don't think that they are like the crush washers that you replace under a typical oil change.

I just checked the service manual and it says "if a spark plug is to be re-used, make sure it goes into the same cylinder where is was before"...That probably has more to do with indexing than anything else. The spark plug gap according to the service manual for a new plus is:

1.0 - 1.1 mm (0.039 - 0.043)

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys, I'll check that tonight. If it doesn't work then I'll try putting the old plugs back in. I should have marked which plugs came from which cylinder. There is the remote possibility that I am imagining things but from my recollection it WAS smoother before.

Donovan
 

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When you have the plugs out, check for cracks. The plugs themselves must be clean or they could develop an electrical leakage path down the outside of the plug. Finally, make sure that the plug "boot" is firmly pushed onto the plug, and the metal nipple on the top of the plug is screwed down all the way.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi guys,
Checked the plugs tonight. Thought there was one a little too big gap. Bent it in. Strange, tightened all the plugs and cylinders 1 & 3 pointed straight towards the exhaust manifold but #2 was a little bit towards the driver.

Result: Smooth idle. Noticeably smoother because my air filter box doesn't vibrate anymore. Wonder what happened? While I was in there I also put some anti-seize on the threads, which I forgot to do initially... so it was totally worth the extra time :)
 

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Perhaps the gap on the one plug was just wide enough to cause intermittent sparks.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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Simply put: The weld point,: where the spark plug "ground" wire is attached to the plug body should point towards the rear of the vehicle. This is for "maximum efficency and power". (Real Technical) 8)

Willie
 

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I also have a 'rough Idle' problem and I'm starting to wonder if the upper engine mounts could be worn and therefore are allowing the engine to rock more than usual. I have had the usual EGR issues and also have had to replace all of the earthing straps so my car has probably has seen more jerky power delivery than the mounts should be exposed to. Are the mounts oil filled? What do you think? :cry:
 

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Worn upper engine mounts will have cracks or show signs of deterioration in the rubber insulator material. You can visually inspect the mounts to determine if this is happening.
 

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Hey guys, I decided to revive this thread as opposed to creating my own thread (I have a low post count, I felt it was the right call)

OP and another member mentions ground wires / earthing straps. how many of these, should I be looking for? I do recall 1 near the engine air filter and if memory serves me right, some of the wires had some damage

When replacing them, what gauge / wire type should I be looking for?

Thanks in advance everyone!
 
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