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Hi All:

___First off, much of this post has probably already been disseminated in the Yahoo Honda-Hybrid and Honda-Insight groups years ago. Unfortunately for some of us newbie’s, many of us are the second generation of Insighter’s without the knowledge of our Insight’s previous owners or those that have provided this information in the past …

___I had the pleasure to meet up with and spend an afternoon with Chisight (Brian is his real name and appears to be a relatively well known poster in the Yahoo - Honda-Hybrid and Honda-Insight forums). He has also seen more then just a few > 100 tmpg’s over his own 45 - 50 mile daily commute … That last statement should be placed in his resume’ if you were to ask me ;)

___Anyway, there is some information for those ready to mod (winterize) their own Insight’s that needs to be discussed … For one, the warm air mods work as described. Chisight has an obd2 scanner and we used it to retrieve some very important real time data through 2 very different driving conditions using my own 2000 just two days ago …

___Ambient temps were between 30 and 35 degrees F during our recordings of the hwy loop as well as a stop and go city loop(s). He had the following parameters up on his laptop in full display mode:

Timing Advance
Air Intake Temperature
Coolant temperature
An O2 sensor although I don’t recall which one?

___With these, we could see just before the Insight was to enter a NOx purge via the O2 sensor outputting any significant voltage > 0.05 or thereabouts as well as the temps achieved with the mods I had previously installed. The O2 reading climbing from 0 (indicating a NOx purge event) beats the instantaneous as well as the seat of the pants acceleration kick every single time!

___Since I travel almost 95% +, at hwy speeds (~ 55 mph), a totally blocked off radiator and pre-heater hose from the side intake to the top cat shield works very very well. Engine coolant temps and intake temperature with the around freezing ambient temperatures normalized between 190 and 195 and 54 to 60 respectively. This was seen during the hwy portion of the drive with the Insight just warmed up as we were approaching the entrance ramp to the Interstate. Lean Burn was acting as it should and with Brian’s years of Insight experience (he was driving my 2000 at this point), all appeared as well as felt normal to him.

___Now here is the slightly dangerous part … Since it was ~ freezing at this point and after ~ 10 miles of Interstate driving, we began an ~ 10 mile urban city loop back to our origin. This means gentle accelerations and stops with auto stop engaging at the lights. The slower we traveled (speeds between 20 and 35 mph), the higher both Intake and coolant temperatures rose. By the time we got back to our initial starting point, I was showing 80 degree F intake temperatures (sounds good) but coolant temperature was still climbing and had climbed to a dangerously high 207 degrees in the last 2 or 3 blocks of travel before stopping at our initial start point! In other words, if you are doing any thing over 5 miles of city driving with a 100% blocked off radiator, don’t! We were not running the A/C to compensate other then to keep the windows clear and keep the cabin at maybe 66 degrees. Manual control of the heat was the only method we used for cabin comfort control. We were shutting down all HVAC functions before hitting a light to guarantee an Autostop and I do this as well given the chance Autostop will not engage with the HVAC up and running no matter the setting in my own personal experience as well as his. Anyway, if you were to run city conditions or Stop and Go on the hwy, I would suggest that you manually increase the A/C’s fan to 4 blocks with the temperature set reasonably high to compensate for the higher coolant temps. I will do some of my own experimentation with this when my own OBD-2 scanner arrives but I wanted to pass on this warning that city driving with a 100% blocked off radiator can lead to real trouble over a relatively short period of time. On the hwy at hwy speeds, it works fantastic.

___As for fixes to the above, Brian had a number of his own warm air mods but I did not see his Insight’s OBD2 parameters except for an extremely short period of time before his 2000 Insight was even warmed up. He has only ~ 2/3 of his radiator/condenser blocked off with a safer ~ 6” gap between the two cardboard blocks right down the center open to the air stream. He also has his entire lower intake blocked off from the exterior of the Insight which I believe to be a novel approach given it will help with aerodynamics and block off the lower portion of the radiator from seeing the cold air steam as well. He does not have the pre-heater hose installed although I think he will after he saw my Insight’s own intake temperatures with one installed ;) With his own 65 – 80% radiator block mods, he is seeing coolant temps in the high 180s’ to a maximum of 201 in his year + experiences of colder winter temperatures here in the Chicago area. He removes his own warm air mods when its ~ 45 degrees or above … I believe his methods to be not only a more safe proposition for those with some city driving in their normal every day routines but even for us hwy drivers, we will eventually be stuck in a stop, crawl, or stop and go situation for a period. His frontal air dam block and its aerodynamic enhancements had me really intrigued given the achieved higher winter time coolant temperature and the mileage increase from the cleaner air flow as well … As for non hwy stop and go, crack your windows and blast the heat is my suggestion for now but I will try and add a bit more detail later after some time with a real time OBD2 scanner watching my own habits …

___With the above, he also mentioned he sees the best fuel economy when intake temps are ~ 75 to 80 degrees. Much higher then this and he says his fuel economy actually begins to fall slightly. It is to bad Honda didn’t place a pre-heater with a thermostatically controlled cold/warm air mixture plenum somewhere in the air intake to always have the optimum intake temperatures :( He also received a respectable 71.x tmpg over these two very different driving condition loops.

___And some interesting superfluous information that many may be interested in … The Coolant Temperature digital readout is totally bogus and this was confirmed in both mine as well as his Insight. 2 Bars always show up when the car is booted. 4 bars appear at ~ 145 - 160 degrees F coolant temperature. 6 bars show up from ~ 160 + and that includes the final 2 or 3 blocks we traveled with the coolant temperature at 207 degrees F! The Digital readout means nothing other then that the Insight’s coolant is above a certain trigger point and nothing else! This was not only unbelievable but downright dangerous imho. How are you supposed to know if or when you are having radiator/thermostat/coolant trouble when the gauge doesn’t move in proportion to temperature?

___Lastly, the Insight’s instantaneous is very twitchy not because it is actually matching your instantaneous economy but that it appears to be tracking vacuum instead? I wish I had more time with Brian to see if the OBD2 scanner had the two throttle trims in the list (I forgot to ask :() so I could see in real time if the instantaneous was actually following the pulses or simply vacuum. Brian believed it was simply following vacuum and I would have to agree …

___Brian, I know you will read this eventually and I want to thank you publicly for both your knowledge and real world Insight experience(s). I learned a few things and cannot wait to put them into practice to improve my own mileage. Your throttle strap was a great idea! I also hope you enjoyed the lunch at the Pub ;)

___Good Luck to you all with your own winterizing mods. I saw a balmy 3 degrees F in the driveway when I arrived home early this morning :(

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:lfhzqv0l][email protected][/email:lfhzqv0l]
 

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xcel said:
Lastly, the Insight’s instantaneous is very twitchy not because it is actually matching your instantaneous economy but that it appears to be tracking vacuum instead?
Interesting idea, keep us posted as you find out more about this. Maybe, would need some sort of factory calibration from vacuum to instantaneous mpg.

Good, detailed post. Thanks!
 

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Excellent post, very interesting!

xcel said:
climbed to a dangerously high 207 degrees
What makes you think this is dangerous? At what coolant temperature did the radiator fan come on?

Last spring, when I forgot to un-block my radiator in time, I had then fan come on in stop-and-go traffic on a warm day, and the gauge going up to 8 bars. But I didn't think it was dangerous. I simply assumed that was what the red zone (10+ bars) is for... Maybe I'm wrong? Even with the radiator 99% blocked, the fan was cycling on and off, indicating that it kept the temperature in check. But the gauge kept at 8 bars most of the trip.

The Insights coolant system is pressurized, so there is no reason why it would have to stay below the boiling point of water.
 
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Hi Armin:

___Someone in the Yahoo - Honda-Hybrid forum just asked the same question!

___It wasn’t just the 207 degrees F directly that was making me nervous as I am assuming the mix will boil at maybe 220 - 240 under the small amount of pressure inside the coolant system as well as the actual antifreezes boiling point, it was that it was still climbing when we finally finished our urban loop in maybe 20 minutes time that had me concerned. I believe 190 +/- 10 degrees is probably close to the norm with good a thermostat cycling as it should? I did not hear the radiator fan come on so all must have been Ok? Hearing that your radiator fan was cycling during your event must mean it was following a prescribed high low temp set point with some overlap to protect the engine. The fact that it shut off must mean the Honda temperature control was doing something right. It is the wide spread of the gauge that seems odd to me now that you mention you have seen 8 bars on your own Insight? 6 bars is only a little over 1/3 the way to the top. 10 bars would be ~ center and sounds way over 230 degrees? What the heck does 12 bars supposed to mean? Would 20 bars mean molten aluminum? Just kidding of course ;) When your coolant registered 8 bars with the radiator block and warmer temps, did you see any steam escaping from under the hood anywhere?

___I would really like to see the coolant temps while it is 10 degrees F or below like it is currently near us with a blocked radiator under a variety of city/hwy conditions but I don’t have a scan tool yet.

___I am still considering an engine block heater to help remove some of the < 50 mpg for the first 2 miles or so while still warming up. I wonder how much it will help? I need a scan tool in a hurry ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:4ka6minm][email protected][/email:4ka6minm]
 

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"...Autostop will not engage with the HVAC up and running no matter the setting..."

That's not my experience. With heat at about 65, and fan on its lowest setting (my normal daytime settings), I see autostop quite often. The warmer it is outside, the more likely I am to see it, so maybe it only happens when inside temp is above the setting.
 
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Hi James:

___Since I have only owned the Insight for 1 month as of today, I am a bit inexperienced of course. After reading through the many threads on ASI in the cold and experiencing non-Auto-Stop activity for myself, I now simply shut down the climate control before downshifting when I need ASI to occur. It works every time when the Insight itself is warm. ASI works very rarely with the climate control in manual or Econ A/C-Off even with the temperature dial set below 65 in the temperatures I have been driving in. I am sure when it warms up here in the Chicagoland area, it will work as advertised but with climate control engaged, it usually doesn’t with temperatures below freezing in my short experience … Watching Brian shutting down the climate control confirmed my own actions to force an Auto-Stop irregardless of what the climate control is telling the Insight to do or not.

___Overall, it was a lot of fun watching Brian go through the gyrations to maximize fuel economy while driving my own Insight. I learned to shift at even lower shift points (I used to shift at just below VTEC RPM’s around 2,200 RPM, now its at ~ 2000 RPM or less), learned how to engage ASI at speeds exceeding 20 mph instead of 8 or 9 mph as before (slow down in regen or coast in neutral like normal but below ~ 24 mph, make sure the Insight is regenerating and push hard enough to just touch the mechanical brakes. After that, immediately let off the brakes/engage the clutch in neutral and ASI is a guarantee at 21 to 22 mph or below ;)), shutting down the climate control before approaching an Auto-Stop expected event as I always have, shifting the Insight into gear and moving as soon as the engine fires off instead of waiting that extra 2 seconds or so (that was new!), and even turning the Insight off (1 click of the key) when it isn’t quite warm enough to engage Auto-Stop but I will be sitting at a light for some time. The only item I didn’t see him doing was swapping between Metric/English displays to see when or if Fuel cut occurred. I must look like a mad fool with my hands and feet moving around to catch all of this in one fell swoop as well. This is what makes the Insight so fun or in some respects, demanding to drive!

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:34wsf1us][email protected][/email:34wsf1us]
 

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xcel said:
<huge snip>

___Lastly, the Insight’s instantaneous is very twitchy not because it is actually matching your instantaneous economy but that it appears to be tracking vacuum instead?

<snip>

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1yt3lrvx][email protected][/email:1yt3lrvx]
Interesting post, thanks.

But if the IMPG readout was merely following engine vacuum what accounts for the "lean burn" _increase_ and the NOX purge _decrease_, that is visible on the bars? Me thinks it's a bit more sophisticated.

In fact the Injector pulse duration in ms is readily available in the data stream with Honda OE scanners / software. A simple calculation using injector pulse duration is all that's needed, given that fuel pressure is constant, regulated and flow volume is known based on nozzle size.
 
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Hi Insightful Trekker:

___I believe you can see Lean Burn and the NOx purge in the vacuum reading according to some posts I have read by Rick Reece? I believe I have read that he had some kind of vacuum gauge rigged up inside his Insight so he can see the 2 modes more precisely with it vs. the kick in the pants/drop of the impg during the initiation of a NOx purge event or the jump in the impg meter when entering a Lean burn event? With that, I believe the initiation of either NOx purge or Lean Burn has an effect on vacuum but the Vacuum itself is bouncing around continuously while in a steady state of one or the other with more then just the input from lets say the fuel trims. I have no idea what else is tied to vacuum except for the brakes and out on the hwy, they should not have an impact yet the impg meter is bouncing and I have no idea as to why in many cases?

___The reason I mentioned this point is two fold. The first being that you could see the NOx purge event coming from that O2 sensor before it appeared on the impg. The second and far less scientific data point is that I have seen the impg reading on one section of flat hwy while in lean burn measure as far off as 10 - 15 mpg from the next section of level hwy while in lean burn at the same speed with a NOx purge in between. Wind and road surface could have something to do with it of course but it seems rather strange that I see this difference almost at random with almost exact conditions on the same trip, same day, same speed, same temperature, etc … I use a GPS in the car to measure elevations and speeds. I will have to find real time fuel trim data to see if there is this large a swing between sections which follow the impg meter. If it doesn’t, Vacuum seems to be a plausible explanation as to imprecise impg readouts possibly? I am of course guessing here.

___As far as the overall tmpg and lmpg readouts, my last fill up had me within 1% of actual and this is well within reason. Fuel trim/injector pulses have got to be a rather large part if not the only part besides actual distance traveled/injector pulses of the tmpg algorithms to come that close, right?

___Finally, I am really speaking beyond my abilities in this post …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3caz6aun][email protected][/email:3caz6aun]
 

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xcel said:
Hi Insightful Trekker:

<snip>

___As far as the overall tmpg and lmpg readouts, my last fill up had me within 1% of actual and this is well within reason. Fuel trim/injector pulses have got to be a rather large part if not the only part besides actual distance traveled/injector pulses of the tmpg algorithms to come that close, right?

___Finally, I am really speaking beyond my abilities in this post …

<snip>
Thanks for being forthcoming in your last line. <g>

Simply stated MPG is just that, Miles per gallon. Since a calculable amount of fuel is injected into the engine and the odometer measures distance, an MPG readout is almost a gimmie for any newer fuel injected car. No other data is required.

But who really knows? And for IMPG does it really matter? It very well may be a cheap and dirty way to provide a reasonably accurate IMPG readout.

Reading and interpreting engine vacuum is an old and reliable diagnostic tool that will reveal many different engine systems failure. In relation to MPG the more the throttle plate is closed the greater the vacuum in the intake manifold and (usually) a lesser amount of fuel is consumed.

Fuel trim values are simply long term and short term averages of the O2 sensors bias of add more fuel, a positive fuel trim value. OR negative as in lean the mix shorten the injector pulse etc. The result of the O2 sensors bias is continuously reflected by the on time of the injectors. OBDII specifies that when either of these values reach +-20% to set a code. Nominal for most cars is +- 6%. With "spikes" possible from extreme driving conditions.

An interesting bit of Honda trivia on their SULEV engines is the O2 sensors signal is time matched to the corresponding cylinder that the exhaust puff originated from and then the corresponding individual injector is appropriately "trimmed."

HTH! :)
 

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207 is nothing. My roommate's Passat ran at 210 degrees all the time. With the normal 1.1 bar pressure cap that I assume Honda uses on the Insight (since every other 92+ Honda is 1.1 bar) you should be good to around 270 degrees coolant temp. A lot of people think high coolant temps can result in warping the cylinder head, but they're only loosely related. Remember, aluminum doesn't melt until something like 1550 degrees. Anyway, 207 is nothing. I wouldn't worry until it's over 230 degrees or so. If you want to improve the radiator's cooling ability, just pour in some Redline water wetter.
 

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Something to compare to: :idea:

I've been using a Ram Air intake that feeds nothing but cold air straight into my air box for the last two weeks. I have "felt" a power increase but due to my higher speed driving it only allowed me to increase me average trip speed and ability to climb a hill.

None the less today in North Ga it is around 30 degrees and on my 60 mile commute home I got 64mpg. No drafting. Front tires at 46psi, one rear at 48psi and the other at 40psi (plugged from a screw). Strip of duct tape on the lower air damn and radatior 50% blocked. Speeds on the trip home for the first 15 miles 30-55 mph in traffic out of atlanta stayed in 4th gear. 40 miles at 75-88mph and the last few miles at 72-74mph. Then a quick 2 miles to my house. 64mpg in 30degree weather driving Normal speeds using a cold ram air intake!

BTW I'm also using a K&N filter, redline watter wetter, muffler bypass MOD.

Someday I might slow down to Insight speeds and get better MPG.
 

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Engine overheating or lack thereof

Has anyone ever had their Insight overheat under any circumstances?

I was thinking about his yesterday. I had started cold (only about 45-50 degrees temp outside) and drove in city driving about 8 miles to a friend's house. I got about 77 mpg for the trip. I got lean burn basically all the time, a lot in 4th gear.

I was showing my friend under the hood (I am brainwashing him to get his own Insight) the air blocks I had put in to keep it warm, and we were commenting on how cool it was and then had an epiphany. :idea:

The amount of gas I used to get there was only about 1/10th of a gallon. How much heat does burning that much gas create anyway? Not much. I stuck my hand on the engine block, and it was warm but not hot. It all made sense! it is like a self fulfilling proficy, once the car is warm enough to do lean burn and get 75-85 mpg, it is burning so little gas that it's never going to make enough heat to cause trouble anyway.

Unless you are climbing a long long hill in really hot weather and getting the worst possible mpg, I don't see how it would ever overheat because so little gas is being burned in the first place.

I haven't done the calculation, but it would be interesting.
 

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Figgy, Only cases of overheating I've heard of involved dealerships replacing coolant and not properly bleeding the system leaving air bubbles in. But I've checked after driving on a 115 degree day with the air running hard. Pop the hood and there was not any pressure on the coolant hoses (you could squeeze them) which means it should be safe to remove the radiator cap (I don't recommend this though).

But I think you'd have to have something pretty major go wrong to overheat the tiny little engine. Heck, I can drive it until it shows operating temp at 6 bars, turn the heater on in our "winter" and it will suck enough heat to bring the engine back down to 4 bars. I deffinitely understand why you guys in colder areas cover your radiators.
 

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Overheating

I use the warm air mod year-round and have not had any overheating issues. The small engine can heat up and cool off quickly. I have a oil temperature guage and can see the temp jump 30 degrees on a incline or drop 15-20 while sitting in autostop at a light. The norm is around 170 degrees. One of the reasons I block the radiator in the winter is too keep the temp closer to this value. Have fun, RIck
 

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Oil temperature guage

How did you get that set up?

I would love to have more information about what is going on while driving...
 

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Oil Pressure

I used a sandwich oil filter adapter. It provides threaded fittings (exit and return) so that you can add things like a second filter etc. In my case I simply ran a loop with a oil pressure and temperature sensor in line. I got the guages from dakota digital. I have the oil temp, pressure, voltage (12volt side) and vacuum pressure guages and remote tire pressure sensor (Smartire) mounted above the instrument cluster in their own housing. I am 6'5" and don't have a problem seeing over it but some would in this location. I find all the information somewhat entertaining during my long drives. Have fun, RIck
 
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