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Has anybody else had this issue? The Honda manual recommends using sport mode to go up hills to avoid transmission wear. Ive noticed a strong burning smell a few times after going up steep hills at 30-35 mph for a few minutes.
 

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Kinda sorta yes (I think?) notice a "warmed oil" smell when the engine runs hard. But I've also experienced on my older (20+ yr) Hondas that are still going strong. I've thought it was surface lubrication getting hot and emitting odor... (?).

I have a 500 ft elevation change on my daily drive, and often think about how to tackle the hill in ways that maximize reliability. I'm receptive to suggestions, and definitely open to anything Honda recommends.

Sport mode hurts my fuel economy, but the extra battery level and throttle responsiveness does make climbing hills feel 'easier.' It also helps keep the car out of the "severe" operating condition defined by low speeds on hills/mountains.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kinda sorta yes (I think?) notice a "warmed oil" smell when the engine runs hard. But I've also experienced on my older (20+ yr) Hondas that are still going strong. I've thought it was surface lubrication getting hot and emitting odor... (?).

I have a 500 ft elevation change on my daily drive, and often think about how to tackle the hill in ways that maximize reliability. I'm receptive to suggestions, and definitely open to anything Honda recommends.

Sport mode hurts my fuel economy, but the extra battery level and throttle responsiveness does make climbing hills feel 'easier.' It also helps keep the car out of the "severe" operating condition defined by low speeds on hills/mountains.
View attachment 5374
I've read on some other online forums of Honda owners complaining of the same issue, and sugguesting its the CVT transmission slipping. I think its just a little too much for the 1.5 liter engine to handle and I try to avoid going up any steep hills now for long periods of time
 

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I've read on some other online forums of Honda owners complaining of the same issue, and sugguesting its the CVT transmission slipping. I think its just a little too much for the 1.5 liter engine to handle and I try to avoid going up any steep hills now for long periods of time
Honda calls the hybrid transmission "e-CVT" but it's technically a different design/delivery than the CVT for Honda's conventional engines/cars. Just wondering if the other online forums are commenting on hybrid or conventional design?
 

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Has anybody else had this issue? The Honda manual recommends using sport mode to go up hills to avoid transmission wear. Ive noticed a strong burning smell a few times after going up steep hills at 30-35 mph for a few minutes.
I'm curious how it would affect the transmission if not in sport mode. I see Insightfully's post of the recommendation for using sport mode on mountain roads, but I feel like that's to have the performance/battery to get up reasonable sized inclines with ease. But what about driving up an entire mountain where I run out of any saved up battery? Either way I'll probably keep it in sport to be safe. Not like it's going to affect my fuel economy noticeably. I routinely drive up a 5,000ft elevation change over the course of less than 20 miles. Pretty steep so it's always running high RPM on the way up but I haven't noticed any burning type smells.
 

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I also experienced the same burnt smell for the first 10k miles of the car when I was going uphill for some period of time (1 or 2 min+). However, it seems like the smell is gone for me now (not 100% sure since my commute changed and less long uphill). I am at 16.9k miles FYI. It might be just some chemical in the engine bay burning off due to heat during climb😐
 

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Has anybody else had this issue? The Honda manual recommends using sport mode to go up hills to avoid transmission wear. Ive noticed a strong burning smell a few times after going up steep hills at 30-35 mph for a few minutes.
Can you share this transmission wear issue from the manual? This is new for me
 

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Can you share this transmission wear issue from the manual? This is new for me
Snapshot and highlight from manual are embedded above in post #2 above (from 2019 Owners Manual, page 463). :)

The Insight doesn't have a 'traditional' mechanical transmission that varies the ratio between the engine and tire rotation, BUT it still has rotating parts geared to the generator, crankshaft, differential, and clutch which all need lubrication/cooling. In the Owners Manual (OM19, pg 559 - footnote #4) there's mention that if the car is driven under severe 'mountainous' and 'low speed' conditions, the transmission fluid should be changed at 47.5k mi/3 yrs, which will be earlier than the Maintenance Minder will indicate.
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Some additional discussion on 'Sport mode for hill management' and the Insight's eCVT 'Transmission' are in the following threads:
 
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