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Pardon me if this is a dumb question, but does using the deceleration paddle also reduce wear on the brakes? Or are the brakes being used the same amount?
 

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Pardon me if this is a dumb question, but does using the deceleration paddle also reduce wear on the brakes? Or are the brakes being used the same amount?
Since most of you're braking comes from the regenerative brake system I'd say it's not going to make any real difference. The paddles are good at engaging the regen braking while going down hills and such to gain power in the battery and increase mpg.
 

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I don’t think that regenerative braking engages the actual brakes at all. So yes, your brakes should wear much slower if you use your paddle shifters routinely to slow the car instead of the brake pedal.
 

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The Insight Owner's Manual hides what little it has to say about the Regenerative Brake Paddles on pages 464-466, under the title "Deceleration Paddle Selector"

I've been all over the Internet trying to find info on how to use these paddles. and to what purpose, without much success.

Can proper use of the paddles actually save enough fuel to be worth the bother? Can they save a measurable amount of wear on the brakes?

Unless there are some real advantages, I feel I would be better off focusing on my driving instead of fussing with the paddles.

I would appreciate any knowledge that someone can share along these lines. And many thanks in advance.
 

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The Insight Owner's Manual hides what little it has to say about the Regenerative Brake Paddles on pages 464-466, under the title "Deceleration Paddle Selector"

I've been all over the Internet trying to find info on how to use these paddles. and to what purpose, without much success.

Can proper use of the paddles actually save enough fuel to be worth the bother? Can they save a measurable amount of wear on the brakes?

Unless there are some real advantages, I feel I would be better off focusing on my driving instead of fussing with the paddles.

I would appreciate any knowledge that someone can share along these lines. And many thanks in advance.
"Fussing" with the paddles becomes second nature after a while. When I get in my Odyssey minivan, I kind of miss having them.

Consider the paddles to be a "pre-brake." They slow the vehicle slightly more with each level (left=up, right=down) while hightening the battery re-gen rate. In reality, they do the same thing as the brake's regen, just without needing to step on the brake pedal. I primarily use the paddles on long downhills to keep from speeding. When coming into a normal stop, I see little difference between using the paddles versus the brakes, but I hit the paddles well ahead of time to allow more time to coast into the stop before actually braking. As for saving is brake wear-and-tear, I doubt there's much difference.

BE ADVISED, the regen paddles and subsequent light braking offered by them DO NOT light up your brake lights. Although the actual braking effect is slight, someone tailgating you won't notice the artificial slowdown initiated by the paddles.
 

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I’ve been re-thinking the regen paddles since seeing the video in this thread where "dragging the brakes" without use of regen paddles yielded 68 mpg. - https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/137-2019-honda-insight-reviews/750-2019-honda-insight-touring-hybrid-mpg-drive-0-60-mph-review.html - Most of us already know that even without using the regen paddles, regeneration occurs when energy output is more than needed to maintain speed (charging/green) OR when the brake pedal is in initial stages of activation (before friction braking starts at ~10 mph). Anecdotal posts/videos about hybrids mention 100k+ miles before first brake change, and it’s this the regeneration in this early-stage braking that helps brake life AND the high mpg results from the video.

My Experience
I’ve found the best potential uses for regen paddles to be 1) going down a steep hill, 2) having a LONG distance before coming to a complete stop, or 3) temporary slowing in traffic
( 1 ) - I see the most battery gain when using regen paddles on a declining hill. However if I’m immediately ascending the hill at the bottom of the decline, I don’t use the regen paddles. I find there’s a balance between maintaining momentum (to use less energy for climb) versus regenerating energy (to store/use battery later) when coming out of the hill for the ascent. I’ve tried both techniques on the same hill and find the engine works less (less energy need) if I use momentum instead of charging the battery.
( 2 ) - On flat roads, I don’t find regen paddles helpful unless I have an EXTEREMELY long distance to stop (which is rare). The battery gain is minimal, and I find myself needing to apply the brakes anyhow - creating some regen in the process of braking.
( 3 ) - I’ve used the regen paddles for temporary slowing in moving traffic, more for my own convenience (i.e. minor deceleration) instead of tapping the brakes. The battery gain from this type of regen seems minimal.

Learning from Others
I’ve also been trying to learn from prior technologies and existing knowledge, since info posted on 2019 Insight is limited as of now. This post is a bit dated (2010) and a different car/technology (Porsche), but describes self-testing comparison between regenerative brake pedal, neutral braking (closest parallel Insight’s paddle application), and no regeneration (an option on the test car). Across the same route, the 3 options generated about the same energy over the total drive, even though there was plenty of energy “going out and coming back in during regenerative braking.” - Regenerative Braking - Entirely a Myth? - EVTV Motor Verks - A follow-up post has more detail but comes to the same conclusion - More Regenerative Braking Results. It gets worse... - EVTV Motor Verks

Brake Light Activation
Separately, I was also under the impression that the regen paddles don’t control the brake lights, but most of my experience with this has been at lower speeds. A Clarity forum mentioned that brake lights can come on with the "right combination" of speed, regen and darkness. "During daylight, the brake lights do not come on for any level of regen. At night, the brake lights come on at 3 chevrons, over 40 mph..." I’m interested to know if the same applies to the Insight, and if this only happens with the light sensor of the "auto" headlight mode. - https://www.insideevsforum.com/community/index.php?threads/getting-pulled-over-due-to-regen-brake-lights.3609/#post-35170

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Apologies for the long post, but just wanted to share my experience and thoughts in this overall dialogue. I’m sure there will be many opinions and "right answers" from others, since the regen paddles are technique rather than prescribed methodology!
 

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The Insight Owner's Manual hides what little it has to say about the Regenerative Brake Paddles on pages 464-466, under the title "Deceleration Paddle Selector"

I've been all over the Internet trying to find info on how to use these paddles. and to what purpose, without much success.

Can proper use of the paddles actually save enough fuel to be worth the bother? Can they save a measurable amount of wear on the brakes?

Unless there are some real advantages, I feel I would be better off focusing on my driving instead of fussing with the paddles.

I would appreciate any knowledge that someone can share along these lines. And many thanks in advance.
The car uses regenerative braking automatically when you have your foot off the gas or pressing the brakes mildly. The paddles are useful for certain situations where it is beneficial to coast(at speeds between having your foot off the gas and using the brake) like down a hill or towards a red light up ahead. I even use them when I need to make a turn at an intersection where I can slow down enough with the paddles and not use the brake. So I have my foot on the gas, ready to accelerate, after making the turn. You can achieve the same results by mildly pressing the brakes but I personally feel the paddles are easier for me.
 
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I don’t think that regenerative braking engages the actual brakes at all. So yes, your brakes should wear much slower if you use your paddle shifters routinely to slow the car instead of the brake pedal.
When you press the brakes, the actual brake pads are not used. Instead the car is slowed using regenerative braking (just like the paddles). The harder you press, the more regenerative braking is applied. You can see this in action by watching the charge meter on the left hand side as you brake. The brake pads are only used when the car is around 5 mph or in an emergency.

The brake pedal and paddle shifters do the same thing. They both engage the regenerative braking. I personally prefer just using the brake pedal. It gives me finer control of the braking process. Every time I use the paddles, I misjudge and end up short.

Yea, you will save money on pads. On my Prius the pads went 150K miles and the rear drums were never replaced after over 200k.
 

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When you press the brakes, the actual brake pads are not used. Instead the car is slowed using regenerative braking (just like the paddles). The harder you press, the more regenerative braking is applied. You can see this in action by watching the charge meter on the left hand side as you brake. The brake pads are only used when the car is around 5 mph or in an emergency.

The brake pedal and paddle shifters do the same thing. They both engage the regenerative braking. I personally prefer just using the brake pedal. It gives me finer control of the braking process. Every time I use the paddles, I misjudge and end up short.

Yea, you will save money on pads. On my Prius the pads went 150K miles and the rear drums were never replaced after over 200k.
I cannot find braking details for the Insight, but I also own a 2013 CR-Z Hybrid. For the CR-Z, braking always applies physical brakes along with regenerative brakes. Some electric/hybrid vehicles use only regenerative brakes until the speed is too low to regenerate and then apply physical brakes. For the CR-Z, Honda stated that they kept the braking system simple and apply both. If you are braking down a long hill, you can fill the battery. Without braking resistors, there is no place to dump the excess power. That would have required Honda to create a more complicated braking system to blend the braking from regenerative to physical as the speed reduces or the battery fills. The brakes act and feel just like my CR-Z. Just guessing they kept the same philosophy.
 

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I thought using regenerative braking uses the electric engine to slow down the car and save on the brakes. Anyone know for sure about this?
 

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For the CR-Z, braking always applies physical brakes along with regenerative brakes.
I've been assuming the Insight works similar to the Prius, so I might be incorrect. My Prius brakes feel like normal brakes so I don't think we can go on feel. In the CR-Z does the charging increase when you press harder on the brakes? Also, what was the gas mileage ratings in your CR-Z? Using friction braking lowers gas mileage. A big jump in gas mileage may signal a new braking system.

The fact the Insight holds it's own with the Prius in terms of gas mileage suggests they are using similar braking technology. But maybe that is wishful thinking.

Does anyone have a manual showing how to bleed the brake fluid? In the Prius, bleeding brake fluid was complicated. Pressing on the brakes did not actually press the caliper. You had to remove a relay and set some jumpers so the car would act normal.
 

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Electric Servo Brake System
Employing a microprocessor-controlled combination of electronic regenerative braking and hydraulic braking, Insight provides a smooth and linear braking response in all driving conditions, while also improving fuel efficiency.
The electric servo braking system is fully hydraulic from the master cylinder all the way to the 4-wheel disc brakes, just like a traditional braking system. The key difference is that the braking function is electronically controlled rather than a purely mechanical activation, allowing regenerative braking from the electric drive motor to slow the vehicle, rather than the hydraulic friction brakes under many circumstances. Besides its efficiency payoffs, the system offers excellent feel and feedback through the brake pedal.
When the driver applies the brake pedal, a signal is sent to the vehicle's Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which determines the appropriate amount of braking force to assign to regenerative braking through the electric drive motor and to the hydraulic friction braking system. In many light-to-moderate braking situations, friction braking is not needed until the vehicle speed drops below 5 mph, as the vehicle slows to a final stop. When the ECU determines that friction braking is needed, the dual hydraulic master cylinder pumps brake fluid through the system. Midway between the master cylinder and the calipers is a separate motorized electronic actuator. This actuator receives an electronic signal, generated in the master cylinder module that precisely defines how the driver has applied the brakes – soft or hard, slow or fast. The actuator then directly apportions hydraulic pressure to the brake calipers at each wheel. To maximize the Insight's accident-avoidance capabilities, the system delivers an extra-strong braking response when the driver increases the pedal force.
The 2019 Insight is equipped with 11.1-inch diameter ventilated front brake rotors (0.9-inch rotor thickness) clamped by single-piston brake calipers. The rear disc brakes incorporate 10.2-inch diameter solid rotors (0.4-inch rotor thickness) paired with single-piston brake calipers. The low-friction design of the brake calipers reduces energy losses when the brakes are not in use, directly improving fuel efficiency.


Regenerative Braking
The 2019 Insight's electric servo brake system provides efficient regenerative braking along with smooth and consistent brake control and feel. Regenerative braking begins as soon as the driver releases the throttle pedal, with a strong regenerative braking effect beginning when the brake pedal is depressed and continuing until the point that the vehicle speed drops below 1 mph, when the friction brakes fully engage. The objective is to maximize battery recharging during normal driving – while still maintaining top levels of braking precision and driving enjoyment.


https://hondanews.com/honda-automobiles/channels/insight/releases/2019-honda-insight-press-kit
3rd gen Insight seems more like the Prius according to the above info.
 
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I'll try to answer all the questions. Simple one, the 20130 CR-Z MPG is 36 city / 39 highway. When touring wine country (low speeds) I get close to 50 MPG.Yes, the harder you press the brakes the more regenerative the CR-Z is, but it also applies more friction brakes. Thanks for finding the write up on the Insight's braking. Sounds like the Insight's brakes are smarter than the CR-Z's.
 

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In general driving (i.e., not long down hill segments), is there any advantage to using the paddles vice the brakes for slowing down initially, in terms of greater regeneration and/or saving the brake pads? Related question is when do the pads actually engage during braking - immediately, only at the end, etc.? Thanks!
 

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From my understanding, the paddles activate different levels of regenerative braking. I tend to use paddles first, brakes last. If you have the car in normal mode, you can watch the "green edges" of the instrument cluster fade to white as you are on the brakes. I'd be willing to bet that when the color starts shifting, is when the car is using the physical brakes in addition to the regenerative braking.
 

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The initial travel of the brakes is regenerative, and is the 'technical' equivalent of using the paddles. The friction brakes only engage below ~10 mph and/or when activated by emergency stopping situations.

This thread/video convinced me that "dragging the brakes" is an effective technique for maximizing regen/mpg, without much management nor undue use/wear on the actual friection brake pads. After watching it, I favor using the brake pedal during general driving, and only occasionally use the regen paddles (e.g. steep hills).

Of note:
- When using the pedal brakes for regen, the rear brake lights are triggered, and different levels of regen can be achieved (you can see this happen as the power/charge needle goes more into the green area for regeneration).
- Using the regen paddles does not activate the rear brake lights and 'only' allows you 2 degrees of regen level.
- When needing to stop quickly over short distances (sudden stop in front of me), I use a combination of the paddles and brakes to get faster stopping response. Using both in combination yields more regen than using one of them alone: "initial brake + paddle" regen > "initial brake" regen > "paddle" regen.

Check out these other threads where regen paddles are discussed and tips offered as well:
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/3-new-member-introductions/2522-new-2019-insight-lx.html
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/153-powertrain-technical-discussion/1952-deceleration-paddle-sport-mode.html
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/7-2019-honda-insight-general-discussion/772-looking-knowledge-re-paddles.html
 

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In general driving (i.e., not long down hill segments), is there any advantage to using the paddles vice the brakes for slowing down initially, in terms of greater regeneration and/or saving the brake pads? Related question is when do the pads actually engage during braking - immediately, only at the end, etc.? Thanks!
You don't really need to use the paddles if you're not comfortable with them. You're using regenerative braking when your foot is off the gas pedal or when using the brake pedal majority of the time. Actual brake pads are used when you panic stop under emergency situations and when the vehicle slows to a complete stop. I use the left paddle only since pressing the gas pedal will automatically cancel regenerative braking without needing to use the right paddle(except in sport mode). Just play around with the left paddle on a low traffic road and you will find situations where it could allow you to slow down enough while having your foot resting on the gas pedal so you can speed up easily again.



When the driver applies the brake pedal, a signal is sent to the vehicle's Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which determines the appropriate amount of braking force to assign to regenerative braking through the electric drive motor and to the hydraulic friction braking system. In many light-to-moderate braking situations, friction braking is not needed until the vehicle speed drops below 5 mph, as the vehicle slows to a final stop.


Regenerative braking begins as soon as the driver releases the throttle pedal, with a strong regenerative braking effect beginning when the brake pedal is depressed and continuing until the point that the vehicle speed drops below 1 mph, when the friction brakes fully engage.

P.S. Like @insightfully mentioned above, make sure no cars are tailgating you before using the left paddle, because the brake lights don't come on.
 
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I’m comfortable using it but just wondering if there was any real advantage in normal driving and you both certainly answered that question. Thanks!
 

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Oh, boy! Thanks for the heads up on the paddles and that they DON'T activate the brake lights!

I didn't know that and have been relying on them, assuming that the drivers behind me were getting brake lights. I was even going to arrange a drive down our block passing by my wife as a pedestrian so that she could confirm that they were coming on and the paddles were activating them!

Now, I won't have to! But that's not a good design. In fact, it's a dangerous one!

In fact, I just looked in the manual, and maybe I missed it, but it doesn't say anything about that. It gives a warning not to quickly use the paddle twice or you risk skidding, but there didn't seem to be a warning that NO lights come on!

I even searched for "brake light" in the manual and there's no entry for it!
 

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Oh, boy! Thanks for the heads up on the paddles and that they DON'T activate the brake lights!

I didn't know that and have been relying on them, assuming that the drivers behind me were getting brake lights. I was even going to arrange a drive down our block passing by my wife as a pedestrian so that she could confirm that they were coming on and the paddles were activating them!

Now, I won't have to! But that's not a good design. In fact, it's a dangerous one!

In fact, I just looked in the manual, and maybe I missed it, but it doesn't say anything about that. It gives a warning not to quickly use the paddle twice or you risk skidding, but there didn't seem to be a warning that NO lights come on!

I even searched for "brake light" in the manual and there's no entry for it!
I think they did it like this because it wouldn't make the owner look like an amateur driver with the brake lights coming on whenever we use the left paddle. Also most drivers will get mad(road rage) if they see your brake lights way before you even reach the traffic light or think you're brake checking them. We're benefiting from regenerative braking while they're wearing away at their brake pads. I feel the same when I'm behind a Prius. The Prius doesn't have a paddle for regenerative braking and must use the brake pedal to do it so the brake lights do come on if I remember correctly.
 
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