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Most of the time, the Insight uses the electric motor/generator to start the internal combustion engine, but if the main battery is discharged, or the weather is very cold, there is also an auxiliary starter motor that is powered by the auxiliary 12-volt battery. It’s important to check the auxiliary battery periodically, since you are […]

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Like many Honda’s, the valves on the Insight are screw-and-jamb-nut-style. Up until 1993, most Honda’s had a valve adjustment interval of every 15,000 miles. In 1994, most Honda vehicles switched to intervals of every 30,000 miles. In 2001, despite still using the screw-and-jamb-nut-style valve adjustment, Honda went to a 105,000 mile interval on most of […]

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This is the Insight battery pack with the rear cover removed. The fans and ducting are there to cool the battery, since it will heat up as it is charged and discharged. A high battery temperature will shorten the battery life. There are several battery temperature sensors, and presumably the computer will reduce battery activity […]

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The Insight uses a conventional air conditioning system with a compressor driven off a belt from the gas engine crank pully. This means that the engine must be running when the air conditioning is on. Owners who are accustomed to their hybrid’s gas engine shutting off when they come to stop signs are sometimes concerned […]

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This photo shows the EGR valve for the Insight’s internal combustion engine. The EGR system is designed to reduce NOx. EGR stands for Exhaust Gas Recirculation and works by routing exhaust gas (which is inert having already been burned) into the intake. The inert gas in the combustion chamber reduces combustion chamber pressures and temperatures. […]

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Once the switch is thrown, there should be no power in the engine bay. However, there is no safe way to test for power in the engine bay, since a simple slip of the wrench while removing the cables at the IMA motor could lead to arcing and burns or electrocution. The Honda manual states […]

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The Insight’s frame is built entirely of aluminum and appears to be entirely hand-welded. Very little steel can be found anywhere on the car. Most components are made of aluminum or plastic. Aluminum is usually considerably more expensive than steel, and hand-welding is far more expensive that robotic welding. The Insight is no doubt a […]

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All high voltage cables are marked in orange, just as all air bag wiring is marked in yellow. This picture is a view up and into the engine compartment with the engine removed. Can you spot the high voltage cable? There are actually three cables in the sheath. All the controls for the electric motor […]

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Like most Hondas, the Insight’s engine compartment looks a little cramped. However, like most Hondas, the engineers have considered serviceability, and it’s not really as hard as it looks. The engine and transmission are easily removed from the Insight. In fact, it’s not really much different from removing the an engine from any other Honda. […]

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The Insight uses the thinnest motor oil of any car we work on. Generally, thinner oil will reduce drag and improve mileage. This is not the only reason to follow Honda’s oil viscosity recommendations. The bearing clearances on the Insight are very tight, in order to "hold" the very thin oil. Thicker, higher viscosity, oil […]

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