Brakes

I wish I had taken some pictures of the brake components.

For the most part, the Insight’s brakes are conventional. The Insight does not really have regenerative braking; it’s more like regenerative deceleration. The amount of battery charging will actually decrease when you apply the brakes, unlike the Prius.

One special brake feature is a pressure/vacuum sensor that monitors the vacuum in the brake booster. The Insight’s IC engine will start if the booster vacuum is insufficient to provide good brake assist.

Another special brake feature on the Insight’s with CVT transmissions is the "creep aid solenoid valve," which is an electronically controlled valve that holds pressure in the rear brake lines when the car is stopped, in order to keep the rear brakes applied until you’re ready to accelerate.

The front brakes are just like any other car. The rotors are steel and the service manual states they can be machined, up to .080" under the "new" specification.

The rear drum brakes are also ordinary, other than the aluminum rear brake drum. The new drum is .039" over the service limit, which is similar to most other cars. Honda does not say whether they recommend machining or not. The service manual simply says, "If the drums are over the service limit, replace." It does not say whether they recommend machining if the drum is scored or out of round, and it’s under the service limit. Common sense and experience dictate the drums can be machined up to the service limit. Aluminum is actually very easy to machine. However, it’s a good idea to use aluminum cutting oil to prevent the the cutting bit from loading up and starting to "smear" instead of cutting. Aluminum cutting oil is available from Goodson, Enco, MSC, and many other suppliers.