Add on for new hybrid car

When my wife asked the service mgr how to connect additional 12 volt outlets (the insight has only one)she was told that it should not be done and she should plug an expansion 3 or 4 outlet unit into the one on the dash. I always thought that running 3 or 4 accessories on one fuse -20 amp-would be unsafe and cause trouble with the accessories. There are seveal empty fuse slots. 9 out of 60 why cant one or more of them be used?

Check the fuse to see what the amp rating is.  Make sure you stay below that.  It would be possible to add a new circuit with its own fuse, but if you do I suggest you have the addition done professionally.  I have seen too many sloppy jobs done.  

Are you looking to use things like a video player for the kids in the back, or are you planning to use it to run a frig to keep the beer cold?

Just out of curiosity, what are the three or four 12 volt accessories your wife needs to have plugged in while she’s driving?

a small fridge to keep insulin cool, her phone charger, a gps, a blue tooth and if i am along a converter for the netbook. The service mgr. refused to install anything into the fuse box and implied that It might cause warranty problems even if we had it done professionally.the acessory fuse is 20 amps.

I’d take the car to an car audio specialty shop. They put in wiring all the time and can make sure all the connections are safe and proper. The item that will draw the most current is the fridge and it may need to be on a separate circuit. That circuit can be wired to be “hot” even when the ignition is off.

I’d consider keeping a “jump starter” battery in the car in case the fridge runs down the battery if you let it run while the car is parked.

thanks for the suggestion. Honda told me that anything installed on the insight after purchase would void the warranty even if it is a hoda part and installed by a honda dealer. I know its weird but they are being very protective of their technology. “if we wanted you to have more outlets we would have mad them available” is their response.

You can visit Radio Shack and buy an extension cord for the 12 volt outlet and then plug in an adapter(s) to accomadate your electronic devices. If you take it for service you can pull all the plugs before you drop the car at the dealer. You don’t want to void out the entire warranty.

[b][i]Sorry, But I Think This Is Another One Of Those Items That Should Be On A Car Buyer’s Pre-Purchase List.

“Poor Planning on Your Part Does Not Constitute an Emergency on My Part.”[/i][/b]

I tend to side somewhat with the dealer response, ““if we wanted you to have more outlets we would have made them available”.

From their point of view: You knew you were in need of multiple outlets, you should have checked for these while shopping, you bought a car that doesn’t have them available, the dealer recommends not installing them, you may void your warranty, and now you want the whole situation to be different to meet your desires.

I think you should have addressed this problem prior to the purchase. This may not be the car to fit your needs. However, if you want to modify it, risk damaging something or void the warranty, I guess that’s your prerogative. Personally I’d stay with one outlet until you need another car. Then I’d take a list of features I’d want.


20 amps is all the Insight is going to give you…The only thing that pulls any real power is the cooler. Wire it directly to the battery with an in-line fuse and a male/female connector inside the car. The rest of the junk you can plug into the lighter socket using a multiple outlet adapter as it is all low-draw stuff…

Some would suggest (including me) that you simply disconnect for a while AND DRIVE THE CAR!!

Contact Toyota and ask them what they think:

Remember that if you add outlets they need to be routed through the fuse box. You still may be stuck with the same fuse you have now. You should ask Toyota about increasing the current rating on the existing fuse for the 12V outlet. Any modifications, even by a specialty shop, may void a portion of your warranty. Check with Toyota before you proceed with anything.

They can’t legally void your warranty because of aftermarket add-on. That battle was fought and lost a long time ago. Your warranty will not cover any damage done by the add-on, or that they can show as being likely to have been caused by the add-on. It seems like you need to find a better dealer.

I wouldn’t plug all that into a splitter and a single outlet. The fridge itself needs its own plug. Since your computer will probably need an inverter, I would not plug it into a splitter either unless it is a small 100 watt inverter. The other items (phone charger, and GPS) could probably share a splitter with no problems.

Keep in mind these splitters have fuses, so if you overload one, a burned out fuse or two should be the worst thing to happen.

[i][u]I wouldn’t use a small automotive refrigerator for something as important as insulin.[/i][/u] They take forever to cool down. They are really made for truckers who can leave them plugged in and running 24/7. I think a cooler with ice would work best for insulin.

If you don’t believe me about the fridge, test the fridge with a thermometer first. See how long it takes to get down to a temperature safe for insulin storage. Now see what happens when you stop for fuel and shut off the engine. Does the fridge stay on? Does it run down the battery? Does it shut off?

The laptop and cell phone shouldn’t need to be plugged in all the time. If you can charge them before you leave the house, and put the laptop in power saving mode, you might only need to charge one at a time, and your car can probably handle the GPS and either the cell phone charger or the laptop charger plugged into a small 100 watt inverter. The cell phone and laptop computer both have batteries, so they should not need to be charged at the same time.

It might seem like you are in a no-win situation, but there are alternatives that will solve your problem.

We have one of these car fridges and we start cooling it in the house on AC, then put it in the car and plug it in the dash outlet. Agree they take a long time to cool down, so we give it a 4 hour head start. Ice is OK if you always have access to it.

I worry that wiring the cooler directly to the battery could drain the battery when the driver stops for fuel or a meal, and if the OP turned it off to save the battery, the insulin would probably spoil.

99% of the gas stations and truck stops out there have ice for sale. Stock up before you leave home, and if necessary, buy more ice while you are on the road.

JT, At Toyota They’re Probably Too Busy With Recalls (Insert Humor Emoticon Here). Besides That, What Do They Know About Honda Insights, Eh?


While we’re on the subject of Toyota recalls, did you see the one for unintended acceleration? It involves 2005/2010 Avalons, 2007/2010 Camrys, and 2007/2010 ES 350 Luxus.

And don’t forget the 110,000 Tundras between 2000 and 2003 for underbody rust.

(insert sad emoticon here)

And about that Insight…
I’m attuned to think Prius when I see hybrid. But no, it was the Honda Insight. Thanks for pointing it out. BTW, I haven’t seen any good reviews of the new Insight. Maybe jsilman should look at a Prius.

This just in! The Prius has 2 12V outlets! 100% better than the Insight! I knew it all the time, CSA… :wink:

a small fridge to keep insulin cool, her phone charger, a gps, a blue tooth and if i am along a converter for the netbook.

The Insight does not have a conventional altenatior. It uses the IMA motor and a DC to DC converter to charge the 12 V battery. I bet Honda is afraid of overloading the converter. I would get of the Regional rep. for Honda and have him research the question.

Thanks. as a result of this posting Honda suggested I work with the service manager at my local dealer to check on the “correctness” All of the people who answered gave me the numbers to have honda change its mind.

You must be checking a different Internet than mine. I bought a 2010 Insight because I read dozens of favorable reviews (, e.g.). But…I live on a farm in the country. If I had lived in a city, I probably would have gone Prius. They seem to do better in the stop & go category. Of course, that is, if you believe their computer, which at least one road test shows errs on the side of better mileage than it actually gets (can’t remember exactly where I read it, but they compared several hybrids, Prius & Insight among them, under varying conditions: open road, Interstate, city traffic, etc. after fueling on carefully controlled conditions, and the Insight came out on top). This confirmed by my neighbor farmer, a Prius owner, who just traded in for an Insight after ridiong around with me in mine.