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Old 10-31-2012, 01:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Some sage advice I received from folks here before I flew to St. Louis to pick up my Insight and drove back to NM and not already mentioned included:

-Check/inflate the spare tire to sidewall pressure (60 psi).
-Find the toolkit and jack and make sure jack works.
-Make sure there are not papers, bags or other items blocking the
IMA fan inlet behind the passenger seat.
-Take a look at (or have the shop you are using check) the ground
straps in the engine compartment. Clean, secure or replace as
needed.
-Make sure rear skirts are secure and hopefully not just zip-tied.
Take a bit of duct tape just in case.
-Consider taking along a reflective and high visibility emergency
vest for any roadside work. Too many distracted drivers these days.
-A headlamp is easier than a flashlight for roadside work.
-Hopefully the radio security code is in the owners manual if it needs
to be reset.
-Sounds like your shop is taking care of lots of little things, but
do not forget checking bulbs, fluids and wiper blades.
-Check the seal on the gas cap and be sure to click it four or five times
each time you put it back on.

Other misc. findings from my roadtrip:
-I am 5'9" and 130 lbs and could nap somewhat comfortably on my
side in the back of the Insight. Definitely not recommended for
most folks.
-Truck stops are noisy, even in the middle of the night.
-Insight seats are not very comfortable for long trips, at least
for me. Even with frequent stops for exercise and stretching,
my rear was a bit sore and numb for over a week after the
trip. A seat cushion would have been a huge help.
-Road noise is more than in other cars, but not too bad. The
constant thunk thunk thunk over expansion joints for miles on
end was the worst for me.
-There is a lot of weird stuff on AM radio at night.
-Going from 19 mpg in my Landcruiser to over 65 mpg in the
Insight kept me grinning during the entire trip.

Have a great trip. If you are taking I40 and have trouble in
the Albuquerque area, I can help out.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbertguy View Post
So I would recommend a baby pillow to stick behind your lower back while driving, you'll understand why I recommend this once you've driven a couple of hundred miles.
Oooh, Yeah, I'm driving 3 hours a day in mine, but I've got a big advantage.

SoftSeat® Portable Seat Cushion Base/Lumbar Combo

I've got a 1.5" Oregon Aero seat cushion. It was $150 when I got it, and worth _every penny_. (I also endorse and use their "Shock Blocker" inserts - and would pretty much trust them with any products they've got now.)

It literally saved my ass when I first got my Xterra - the seats are just uncomfortable in it. Drive over an hour, and your butt would be hurting and asleep. I bought the cushion for flying, and was on a long drive and starting to hurt, back, butt, legs, and remembered I had the OA cushion.

Didn't even pull over, just sat on it and it was night and day difference. I know it's expensive, but I'd say it's really worth it for a long, long trip
I've used mine near-daily for over 7 years now. It's amortized out to be "cheap at many times the price."

Quote:
Originally Posted by davenm View Post
-Make sure rear skirts are secure and hopefully not just zip-tied.
Take a bit of duct tape just in case.
Take a lot of duct tape, just because, wait, who doesn't have duct tape with them???

Quote:
Originally Posted by davenm View Post
-Consider taking along a reflective and high visibility emergency
vest for any roadside work. Too many distracted drivers these days.
-A headlamp is easier than a flashlight for roadside work.
Yes. LED headlamps are great. I was going to re-comment and suggest one. I also have a old "army" angle-head D-cell stuck in the mesh bag. Sometimes you need to be able to set one down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davenm View Post
-Insight seats are not very comfortable for long trips, at least for me. Even with frequent stops for exercise and stretching,
my rear was a bit sore and numb for over a week after the trip. A seat cushion would have been a huge help.
See if you've got any pilot friends who might have a OA cushion you can borrow. The thicker the better (I bought the 1.5 because of head clearance in the airplane I was flying, a 2" is MUCH more comfortable on the road.)

Did I mention, Oregon Aero? *ahem*


Jumper cables won't be bad - might want to just go ahead and plan on replacing the 12V battery if it's either of unknown age or older than a few years. I'd also suggest thinking about grabbing a battery jump box. Cheap, easy, and don't need to wait on someone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inblackwell View Post
That should include all fluids, filters, and some diagnostics. I’m not sure if it will include reading the codes. I’ve heard this costs $100+ at the dealer? I don't think the 90k service includes spark plugs. Do you think I should do those just in case?
Won't hurt, won't cost a lot more, might help fuel economy a smidge, up to you. I don't think they'll replace them at 90k, IIRC, the replacement is slated above 100k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inblackwell View Post
The car is actually missing a rim/tire so I’ve ordered a replacement. I’ve also already ordered a new Bridgestone RE92 but I’m thinking it might be better to get two and carry the extra used tire with me during the trip. It seems like these tires might be hard to track down if I have a blowout somewhere.
Might not be a bad idea - but last I checked, Walmart around me had a tire that would *work*. Just not optimally, but it was usable. (if you replaced both). Since you're flying, presumably you won't have a ton, so you should have room for it. Or you might want to ask Honda what they look like and get matching new ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inblackwell View Post
I didn’t realize the Insight was that loud on the highway, that’s going to be a big adjustment. I’m thinking about buying an upgraded stereo in PA due to the duration of the drive (40+ hrs).
Not a bad idea. The previous owner of mine did after a couple days of "stock" stereo.

As to the noise, it's not horrible, but on a long long long drive, it'll wear on you. Just expect to be more tired than you'd think you might be.

Be sure you've got some cell-enabled Internet access and can get back here to look at threads.

Let's see......


If the headlights are "Honda aimed" they're going to be WAY too low for rural highways at night. You'll need the right sized phillips to aim them up and out some. (turn counterclockwise on the adjustment to raise them). The original bulbs are a little dim, I got the Sylvania replacements and they're much brighter.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I wish I could use their seat cushion. Just couldn't afford to give up 2" of space.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Oh, yeah.

Something else that took some getting used to with my 2000....

The cupholders are inset "back" under the radio.

Which means you've got to lift up, then out to get your drink - and you can't put big drinks in there. Most of the cups that I used to use in the truck aren't usable in the Insight.

20 oz coffee seems to be about the biggest cup you're going to want to get in there, so you might want to consider that if you like many of us, tend to get drinks to sip on on long drives.

(Since I'm on that thread, I'd also suggest some of the Sam's Club's soft-sided cooler bags, they're amazing for their weight/bulk, hold temps nicely, and since you won't be stopping a lot for gas, will let you keep hot/cold stuff handy. They're nicer than the cheaper mylar bags, but those aren't bad, too)
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Don't assume that a Honda dealer will correctly change the engine oil. There are many stories of Insight owners who took their Insights to Honda dealers who overfilled their crankcases. An Insight takes ~2.6 qt of oil with an oil change, so ask for the remainder of the oil in the 3rd oil bottle and check the oil level on the dipstick.

Make sure that the Honda dealer uses 0W-20 oil, not the more viscous oil that many other Hondas use.

The most dangerous part of asking a Honda dealer to change your oil is how they tighten the oil drain plug. The crankcase is soft magnesium alloy. Too many dealers have stripped the oil drain plug threads by overtightening, possibly with an impact wrench. Ask them to hand tighten the drain plug using a torque wrench set to the specified tightening torque. Whether they would actually do what you ask is another matter…
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I see this differently. You don't need to take all of this stuff, and you don't need to do all of that stuff. All you need to do right now is get the car home. If the fluids are full, don't change them, except for the engine oil if you have reason to think it wasn't changed in a LONG time, like 10,000 miles. Old fluids just won't keep you from getting home. After you get it home you can do all of this maintenance yourself and learn a lot more about your "new" car. And you will do a better job. Remember that the lowest paid guy in the dealership is the guy who changes fluids. There are horror stories about this. And you can get a Fumoto valve and install it when you change your oil instead of waiting 7,500 miles and giving the minimum wage guy a chance to ruin your oil pan.

I flew to Atlanta and drove my Insight back to Albuquerque. I brought a personally picked small tool set that I didn't use. Do bring a 10mm wrench so that you can remove the negative battery terminal in case you get an IMA code. Do bring your scanner so you can pull and clear the code that is there, and see if it comes back. I brought a tire gauge and aired up my tires to 55 lbs at my first gas stop. I also brought a GPS, radio detector, satellite radio, and my OBDIIC&C gauge. I am comfortable in Insight seats, and I don't find the car particularly noisy. When I have little objections to stuff like this I look at the FCD and smile. I set Trip A to fuel fill-ups, Trip B to daily averages, and I reset the FCD for shorter portions of the trip when conditions change or something.

Pick up your car, check it over, and THEN decide what has to be done to get it home. If it will make it across town it will have a really good chance to make it to Phoenix. Don't stress until you have something to stress over. There are tough little cars that live easy lives and they don't fail very often.

Let me know if your route takes you through Albuquerque and we can get together for lunch or something.

Sam
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I tend to agree with Rain, I did same thing. Flew to NE with an overnight bag and small tool kit, the guy had just changed the oil and everything else looked okay. I did have to stop at a truck stop and adjust the drivers side wiper blade as it was going to far hitting the windshield pillar but other then that got home fine.

Now once I got it home I took my time and went through the whole car and changed all the fluids myself and gave it a much needed tune up. Car runs great now compaired to when I drove it back.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inblackwell View Post
I've actually got two code readers that I'm going to bring. One traditional (China) cheapo and the Bluetooth/Android/Torque(Torque OBD2 Wiki) that I mentioned before.
I've recently tried 2 of the china bluetooth obd2 adapters with the Torque android app (Bluetooth Adapters - Torque OBD2 Wiki -- search that webpage for "Adapter from China", and the first 2 are the ones I used).

They both didn't work with my 2000 MT Insight; nor on my '96 Accord. Torque tried loading various protocols but could not find the correct one to use. They both did work with other cars though (2001 Accord, 2002 Camry), so I'm sure they aren't malfunctioning.

If you get your (bluetooth obd2 adapter) to work can you give more details please.

And congrats on your purchase. The Insight is an amazing car!

Last edited by geocougar; 11-02-2012 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainsux View Post
I see this differently. You don't need to take all of this stuff, and you don't need to do all of that stuff. All you need to do right now is get the car home. If the fluids are full, don't change them, except for the engine oil if you have reason to think it wasn't changed in a LONG time, like 10,000 miles. Old fluids just won't keep you from getting home. After you get it home you can do all of this maintenance yourself and learn a lot more about your "new" car. And you will do a better job. Remember that the lowest paid guy in the dealership is the guy who changes fluids. There are horror stories about this. And you can get a Fumoto valve and install it when you change your oil instead of waiting 7,500 miles and giving the minimum wage guy a chance to ruin your oil pan.
Rainsux,
You make a persuasive argument. I do plan on doing most of the maintenance on the car myself when I get it home. I'm more confident in my ability than some random (well-meaning) person at the dealership. It certainly would be nice to use that $440+ that I was gonna give to the dealer on some new tools, replacement parts, etc.

So perhaps I should cancel my appointment at the dealer? Unless there is a "last oil change" sticker on the windshield I probably won't have any way to know the age of the engine oil. Maybe I should take it to a jiffy lube place and give them clear instructions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainsux View Post
When I have little objections to stuff like this I look at the FCD and smile.
Haha...The option to look at the FCD for an instant mood improvement is one of my main reasons for buying the car. Can't wait!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainsux View Post
Let me know if your route takes you through Albuquerque and we can get together for lunch or something.
I'm actually planning to stay over in Albuquerque. I'd love to get together. I anticipate getting in pretty late though.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Maybe look at the dipstick and change it only if iti looks REALLY black and nasty? A highway trip isn't going to make it any worse, and I'd really rather change it myself later than take a chance. I'd rather take it to an independent Honda shop, but if you're in a hurry to get out of town just do the best you can.

I'll send you my contact information by PM, and we can keep in touch along the way and get together when you come through here.

Sam
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