EVAP system misbehaving? Fumes in the cabin. - Page 4 - 2019 Honda Insight Forum
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post #31 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by pasei View Post
I think you are into something. Related to that, I've also found:

https://www.wardsauto.com/engines/ho...lution-problem

and

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/auto...a_insight.html

(look for comment from Dennis from Merlin, OR).

Quote from the first link:

The 1.5L, part of the automaker’s highly efficient “Earth Dreams” family, is slow to reach optimum operating temperature that would normally cause fuel to readily evaporate and be routed back to the combustion chamber via the crankcase ventilation system.

Honda says short drives and extreme cold temperatures exacerbate the problem. Owners report oil levels above the “FULL” line on the dipstick and smelling gas in the cabin as well as in their garages after parking.


This seems consistent with what I've experienced, except I haven't noticed any high oil levels (only checked a couple of times). This is a similar engine, if not the same. This morning again, it was 18°F and the problem occurred after 12mi, although I did remote start the engine for 10 minutes. This other times it happened, temperatures were in the 40s, and one time 50s. I suppose that does not qualify for "extreme cold temperature" but it's definitely cold. Maybe the problem is exacerbated because the engine is new and not broken-in yet, although I'm approaching 700 miles, so not nothing.

So it looks like it's possible that there is an issue with the crankcase ventilation system/ and or the piston/ cylinders, the article doesn't really say.

Where to go from there? If I send them an email, can I expect any reply from Honda corporate (not the dealer)?
I would think our Insights would have the necessary update to get the engine to proper operating temperature quickly. I know mine will run for several minutes once it kicks on regardless of whether I'm moving or not until it heats up. As an added bonus, running the heater in winter would ensure that happens.


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post #32 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 12:02 AM
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@pasei Did you get a chance to do a visual check of the dipstick for oil level and smell? The factory oil might have deteriorated due to sitting on the dealership lot for a long time along with short test drives from other potential buyers. Maybe a fresh oil change will fix the gas smell problem?

I try my best to not do a trip less than 5 miles on a cold engine especially when it's below freezing (32F). It's bad for fuel economy and not good for the gas engine(at least for regular cars). https://www.quora.com/Does-driving-y...age-the-engine

From my understanding, we've the Earth Dreams 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine vs the Earth Dreams 1.5L Turbo engine in other Honda vehicles like the CRV & Civic that do have a known oil dilution problem in cold weather.

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post #33 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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@pasei Did you get a chance to do a visual check of the dipstick for oil level and smell? The factory oil might have deteriorated due to sitting on the dealership lot for a long time along with short test drives from other potential buyers. Maybe a fresh oil change will fix the gas smell problem?

I try my best to not do a trip less than 5 miles on a cold engine especially when it's below freezing (32F). It's bad for fuel economy and not good for the gas engine(at least for regular cars). https://www.quora.com/Does-driving-y...age-the-engine

From my understanding, we've the Earth Dreams 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine vs the Earth Dreams 1.5L Turbo engine in other Honda vehicles like the CRV & Civic that do have a known oil dilution problem in cold weather.
I checked the level one time and it was about 2/3 to the full line. I'll check again tomorrow morning.

This article is interesting: Oil Dilution in Honda's 1.5L Engine - Honda Problems

Basically, it might not exactly the same engine but I think the same problem would happen as our engine is "too efficient" and there isn't enough heat to vaporize all the fuel.

I'll wait a bit for the oil change I want to be fairly confident about the problem. I'll monitor the level closely though.
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post #34 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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I checked the level one time and it was about 2/3 to the full line. I'll check again tomorrow morning.

This article is interesting: Oil Dilution in Honda's 1.5L Engine - Honda Problems

Basically, it might not exactly the same engine but I think the same problem would happen as our engine is "too efficient" and there isn't enough heat to vaporize all the fuel.

I'll wait a bit for the oil change I want to be fairly confident about the problem. I'll monitor the level closely though.
Oil level seems pretty constant around 4/5. Also I ran my air detector near the oil cap (open) and the VOCs were high but not the formaldehyde. So I don't even know for sure if I have this oil dilution problem.

What I know for sure is that it's driving me crazy...
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post #35 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 05:51 PM
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Oil level seems pretty constant around 4/5. Also I ran my air detector near the oil cap (open) and the VOCs were high but not the formaldehyde. So I don't even know for sure if I have this oil dilution problem.

What I know for sure is that it's driving me crazy...
If you didn’t smell gas in the oil then you don’t have oil dilution.
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post #36 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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If you didn’t smell gas in the oil then you don’t have oil dilution.
Yes, and also I don't think the oil dilution would result in an instant raise of chemical levels. I'm back to the EVAP theory. Most likely an issue with purge or vent valves. Maybe because the ICE is not always on, a vacuum is not always applied to the evap system and gas fumes are released through vent valve?

It happened again this morning and it was pouring snow so I couldn't really open the windows. It is a nightmare.
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post #37 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 06:32 PM
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Yes, and also I don't think the oil dilution would result in an instant raise of chemical levels. I'm back to the EVAP theory. Most likely an issue with purge or vent valves. Maybe because the ICE is not always on, a vacuum is not always applied to the evap system and gas fumes are released through vent valve?

It happened again this morning and it was pouring snow so I couldn't really open the windows. It is a nightmare.
If you didn't have the meter, is this something you would notice? Could your meter be defective? I worked at a semiconductor facility for years, and we had one hand held meter that ended up being faulty and this meter cost over $5,000.. Also, the vent for the canister is in the rear outside of the car.

Have you replaced the cabin filter? Do you always run the climate control on auto? Is the system set on recirc when it happens, or is that turned off?

What do you have your meter set up to measure?
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post #38 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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If you didn't have the meter, is this something you would notice? Could your meter be defective? I worked at a semiconductor facility for years, and we had one hand held meter that ended up being faulty and this meter cost over $5,000.. Also, the vent for the canister is in the rear outside of the car.

Have you replaced the cabin filter? Do you always run the climate control on auto? Is the system set on recirc when it happens, or is that turned off?

What do you have your meter set up to measure?
Typically what happens is I'm in my car and my eyes start burning, I look down and the levels are maxed out. I have also brought the meter to many places and every time it has shown high levels, there was a valid reason (fresh paint, baking, cooking, gas/wood heating, etc.)

I just bought another cheaper meter and I'll do more tests.

I don't think it has to do with the cabin filter. It can happen with the heat on or off, recirc on or off. The levels are so high that it just goes through the cabin no matter what. But other times it's 100% fine like no problems in my commute home tonight.

I just have my meter in the center console. If I move it around the cabin, nothing happens, it stays maxed out. If I take it outside, it goes back to ~0 in a few seconds.

Reading my logs, it ALWAYS happens within 4 miles into a drive. Either right when I'm leaving a place, or soon after entering the highway. It has happened after a cold start, after a 2 hour break, or after a 5 minutes break.
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post #39 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 06:56 PM
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Typically what happens is I'm in my car and my eyes start burning, I look down and the levels are maxed out. I have also brought the meter to many places and every time it has shown high levels, there was a valid reason (fresh paint, baking, cooking, gas/wood heating, etc.)

I just bought another cheaper meter and I'll do more tests.

I don't think it has to do with the cabin filter. It can happen with the heat on or off, recirc on or off. The levels are so high that it just goes through the cabin no matter what. But other times it's 100% fine like no problems in my commute home tonight.

I just have my meter in the center console. If I move it around the cabin, nothing happens, it stays maxed out. If I take it outside, it goes back to ~0 in a few seconds.

Reading my logs, it ALWAYS happens within 4 miles into a drive. Either right when I'm leaving a place, or soon after entering the highway. It has happened after a cold start, after a 2 hour break, or after a 5 minutes break.
Wow, that's crazy..
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post #40 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 12:23 AM
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I'm kind of concerned even though I don't have any funny reactions in my Insight like a burning sensation in the eye. If I experience no symptoms am I in the clear or is the air quality meter the only way to confirm it?

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