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Old 04-19-2017, 11:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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brucepick's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern CT, USA
Posts: 1,917

Outasight - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 59.79 mpg (US)
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I'm a happy Gen 1 driver. 2000 5-spd.

I live in southeastern CT, and work near Hartford. Same state as you.

Part of the reason I'm happy with the Gen 1 is that I'm an obsessive hypermiler. I'm usually perfectly happy to sacrifice speed to get mpg.

I can share a bit on a couple topics.

Mine came with an aftermarket Bumblebee battery the seller had purchased two years earlier. Half a year later, it was in trouble. Bumblebee honored the 3-year warranty and provided a replacement. I installed the replacement and shipped my ailing battery back in their carton. How could I not like that?

I'm convinced that the Gen 1 battery/motor programming and the battery cooling are not the best for the car - and are the reason the batteries fail. To drive the car efficiently long term, you need a "Calpod" - two manual switches that fake the action of the car's brake and clutch switches. Also a switch to manually run the battery cooling fan, and possibly an upgraded fan.

Faking the clutch switch disables IMA assist AND regen. That's most important. Reason: Left to its own devices, the car calls for assist often, but rarely calls for regen until the battery charge level is low (which will happen of course, because it likes to call for assist). So it ends up forcing regen at times when this requires additional fuel. I found constant "churning" of energy in and out of the battery. All that energy going in and out of the battery causes heat, which is probably the primary core cause of battery failure.

Faking the brake switch will cause regen, assuming all other conditions are appropriate. But regen unless you're on a really steep downgrade, regen will always slow the car down. No such thing as a free lunch. So, while a brake switch is handy sometimes, it won't be your primary tool to keep the battery charged up. And you do want to keep it charged up. Most of the time, keep it 1-2 bars down from max full.

On the open road, there are few situations where the car will call for regen. Really, regen only occurs on a steep downgrade with your foot off the accelerator, or when braking. But it will call for assist for nearly any highway upgrade, for passing, for accelerating into a limited access road, etc., etc.

So, I keep my manual clutch switch activated most of the time. This prevents it from going into assist. I especially avoid using assist for a long upgrade, and we have plenty of them here in CT. There's always a lower gear available. If I do use assist on a long grade, I'll run the battery fan manually, and/or keep the assist to a small level, 4-5 bars if possible. A short burst at or near maximum assist is OK if the fan is on, but otherwise I think it's a guarantee of higher temperatures.

So there you go. The clutch and brake switches are kind of a pain to install but the procedures are there in You'll be on your back under the dash by the pedals. Manual fan switching is basically an add-on to the grid charging setup that you'll need anyway. A fan upgrade requires removing the battery compartment's cover panel for access, same as when installing a grid charger harness. You'll spend time on these but not a lot of money.

Coast long and prosper.
Driving '00 Honda Insight, acquired Feb 2016.

Last edited by brucepick; 04-19-2017 at 11:45 AM..
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