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I have 3500 kms on my Insight now, and am very happy so far. One thing that I noticed however is when my Insight has sat in the garage overnight and in the morning I head out on to the highway, I notice as I am leaving my battery level may be at 4 or 5 bars. About a minute after driving I am down to two bars. The manual says once you are at two bars, it is the gas engine solely propelling the vehicle while the battery is recharging.

The two bar level lasts for about a minute as you can hear the motor working hard to recharge the battery, and after the minute I am back up to three or four bars on the battery again. This is the only time I ever see two bars on the battery.

I am just curious if this is what other Insight owners experience? I would guess the stored charge is dissipating over night and the four or five bars I see in the morning when I first turn on the car are not accurate?......or it is just a cold engine thing? Curious to see how it will perform in the winter?
 

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My assumption on that behavior is that it’s running in EV until I either accelerate enough the engine kicks in to help, or level drops to two bars and won’t run in EV until it’s charged up some. But that’s just me guessing.
 

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The battery at full charge is good for about a mile in EV mode - so it's possible it goes down 2 bars on EV as you're driving out to the highway.

I notice that driving out of my neighborhood (down a hill) the engine does fire up in Hybrid mode - even though there's plenty of charge and i'm actually adding charge through regenerative braking. I guess that the engine is cold and needs to warm up - even though it's been garaged over night, and the ambient outside temp is roughly 55F.
 

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Drove to the grocery store tonight - and attempted to put the Insight Touring into EV mode - but the car wouldn't allow it. It notified me that the engine was too cold to go into EV mode - even though it was around 70F today. So I suppose this confirms my observation that the gas engine needs to be warmed up.
 

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I have had the car for a week now and the only question I have is that the Battery indicator on the left side of dashboard never really

goes past the 1/2 way to 2/3 fully charged but does get pretty low.


Is this normal? Coming from a Prius owner perspective where I could see indicator for Hybrid battery and it stayed pretty much fully charged unless

motor was pushed hard or heavy traffic makes me wonder what the norm is for this indicator
 

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I live on a hill, and drive down the hill roughly 2 miles to a Park and Ride every weekday. My Insight's charge is usually 4-5 bars at home, and gets close to 9 bars by the time I get to the Park and Ride. On the way home, it goes from 9 back to about 4-5 bars. Since the distance is so short, the engine runs, even though I'm going downhill. Regenerative braking charges the battery going to work. On the way back, the engine and battery are both driving the car forward, as the hills are pretty steep. On some sections where it's not as steep, the engine does recharge the battery until I hit the next steep section.

I've never seen the charge at 2 or 3 bars, and because of the regenerative braking, I've seen it at the full 10 bars.

If you live in a relatively flat area, this may be why your battery may stay in the mid range... but that's just my guess
 

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That would explain it for me because it’s pretty flat here. We’re planning a trip next month that will include some mountain areas. It’ll be interesting to see what it does there.
 

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I was parked in my drive drive way and exploring the screen menu with power on. The engine came on after a few minutes and I noticed later that the battery bar has gone up to 10 and stayed there. It's all automatic.
 

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Thanks

Is been a couple of weeks and I drive on hwys mostly with relatively mild inclines and declines.
The battery indicator has never ben up passed 7-8 bars(of10?). usually in the 3-4 range.
How do you keep the regenerative braking on?
Those paddles seem to have very short lived effect.
 

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I live in a flat area and the most I've seen is about 50% of the the battery being charged. I've had the new Insight less than a week, but I did go out of town to some hilly areas and still haven' been able to get the battery to charge fully or anywhere close yet. Can you use a 12v battery charger to charge it?
 

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How do you keep the regenerative braking on?
Those paddles seem to have very short lived effect.
Max regen stays always on when enabled from the shifters in sport mode. Sometimes I got mine to a full charge with normal mode almost never with Econ mode. I drove in sport a few times with max regen on and it eventually got the battery full at the end of my drive every time. If you use Econ or normal mode you’ll need to paddle shift every time after acceleration before breaking as it resets. Honda did that o purpose.

That all said I have had zero issues with having 2 or 3 bars left most of the time in 4 months of ownership. Don’t think of the batterybars on the Insight like your cell phone.

Use the infotainlmet screen or the dashboard for Flow and try to ease up on the throttle and coast to stops more so the battery is in charge mode. Fortunately my ‘15 civic trained me to use my gas more efficiently which prepared me for my Insight.
 

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Your car doesn’t want to be fully charged, for efficiency. Once it is, then it gets no additional benefit from regenerative braking. I.e., it wants to be able to recover energy while braking and then actually use it when it can most efficiently. If it were keeping the charge level high under mixed driving conditions (not all downhill), it also wouldn’t be taking sufficient advantage of EV mode. In Sport mode, however, the goal is different and it tries to keep the charge high so you can quickly accelerate on demand.
 

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The best way to optimize use of hybrid technology is that when you drive more than 70 km zone drive it in sports mode, and when you drive in local streets push the EV button and use all battery charging. It will goes automatically to Eco drive mode when you use 70% of charging. It gives you almost 4.7 L / 100 Km. Tested.
 

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Your car doesn’t want to be fully charged, for efficiency. Once it is, then it gets no additional benefit from regenerative braking. I.e., it wants to be able to recover energy while braking and then actually use it when it can most efficiently. If it were keeping the charge level high under mixed driving conditions (not all downhill), it also wouldn’t be taking sufficient advantage of EV mode. In Sport mode, however, the goal is different and it tries to keep the charge high so you can quickly accelerate on demand.
This is a spot-on analysis. The battery (outside of sport mode), will likely never reach full charge unless there is a significant max-regen event - like a long/steep downhill. This occurs several times on my trips to work where I have a steep mile-long highway downhill as well as a few VERY steep country road downhills. For you flatlanders, not to worry. Although the hills bump up the battery, there is a payment for that - I needed to get to the top of the hill in the first place.
 

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Hi I am having trouble keeping a charge on my cranking battery . would you know what charges the cranking battery. If i drive it everyday its fine but if I let it sit a day or so the car won't start, but all I have to do is touch the jumper cables and it starts
 

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It sounds like something is draining it when you’re not using it. The normal culprits are dome lights, etc. being left on. Are you seeing the battery warning light on at all when you drive it?
 

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Hi I am having trouble keeping a charge on my cranking battery . would you know what charges the cranking battery. If i drive it everyday its fine but if I let it sit a day or so the car won't start, but all I have to do is touch the jumper cables and it starts
Just saw your other post. I didn’t realize you were referring to an older Insight.
 

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I have 3500 kms on my Insight now, and am very happy so far. One thing that I noticed however is when my Insight has sat in the garage overnight and in the morning I head out on to the highway, I notice as I am leaving my battery level may be at 4 or 5 bars. About a minute after driving I am down to two bars. The manual says once you are at two bars, it is the gas engine solely propelling the vehicle while the battery is recharging.

The two bar level lasts for about a minute as you can hear the motor working hard to recharge the battery, and after the minute I am back up to three or four bars on the battery again. This is the only time I ever see two bars on the battery.

I am just curious if this is what other Insight owners experience? I would guess the stored charge is dissipating over night and the four or five bars I see in the morning when I first turn on the car are not accurate?......or it is just a cold engine thing? Curious to see how it will perform in the winter?
It'd be good to check and be sure that the number of bars is the same in the morning as it was in the evening when you turned it off. If not it's time to make use of that battery warranty. :)

Beyond that, my guess is, like you said, it's a cold engine thing. When you turn it on in the morning the car is operating on those 3-4 bars of battery power, followed by forced engine turn on ( i.e. independent of engine temperature), as the battery's State Of Charge (SOC) lowers to 2 bars. Whenever you turn the car on, the car is always in " Hybrid Drive" also called "Normal Mode". In that mode the engine turns on as the computer determines need.

Another possibility is that after turning the car on you are pushing the button, and putting it into "EV Drive" This mode wifi keep the engine turned off until 2 bars SOC remain. At that point EV Drive is cancelled and the car returns to Hybrid Drive mode
 

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Temperature affects MPG

Another factor to consider is that temperature will affect the efficiency of the batteries (regardless of chemistry) a fair amount. I've owned a Gen2 Insight, a Prius and now a Gen3 Insight, and they all are similarly impacted.
 
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