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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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This is the electrical-assist power steering rack. Since the internal combustion engine does not run all the time, a conventional hydraulic-assist power steering rack with a belt-driven pump will not work for the Insight or other hybrids. This unit is made by Showa, a subsidiary of Honda which makes many suspension and steering parts for […]

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Once the wiring, hoses, exhaust, axles, subframe, and other parts connected to both the body and the engine are removed, a cart was moved into position under the engine and transmission, and the car was lowered so the engine and transmission were resting on the cart. With the cart in position, the motor mounts were […]

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This is the catalytic converter. You may notice that it is about a foot-and-a-half longer than the average import car’s converter. This is not because the Insight emits more that most cars. Just the opposite. The Insight runs a very lean air-to-fuel ratio, about 25% leaner than other cars. When very lean mixtures are used, […]

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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 […]

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The engine and transmission look pretty much like any other engine and transmission, but sandwiched between the bell housing and the engine block, there is a thin three-phase electric motor/generator with three fat power cables entering through ominously labeled housing. Back | Next(7 of 31)Return to Index

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Honda used an all-plastic fuel tank for the Insight—probably to reduce weight. Not a bad idea for all cars, since many older fuel tanks develop rust that clogs the fuel system. The evaporative emissions system on the Insight is similar to most other cars. The EVAP system is designed to minimize the amount of fuel […]

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