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Old 05-03-2019, 12:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2000 Insight Dangerously "Skittish" in the Rear

Finally got my 314,000 mile 2000 Insight on the road and inspected.
The previous owner had installed 185/65 - 14 tires on it and they are new, so I left them be for now. The car seemed to handle extremely well (for what it is) up until today.
Somehow I went over a series of bumps in the road at about 60 mph and the rear end became QUITE unsettled. As in it took all of my concentration and experience to keep it pointed straight!
Felt like either something broke in the rear suspension or I lost air pressure in the offside tire, but close examination revealed absolutely no issues. And there were no pops, bangs, or other troubling sounds when this happened.
Coincidentally (I think), I got a Check Engine Light at almost the exact same time. Haven't had time to pull the code but I did immediately stop and check all the vitals and everything was fine.
I have researched several threads on this Forum about rear suspension issues, and I realize that my car has 300,000 + miles on it, but it was always maintained by the same Honda Dealer in Frederick, MD for it's entire life. That's no guarantee that the rear shocks have been replaced, but it handled fine until today's incident.
My question is this: What's the most likely culprit?
Do I have any alternative but to replace the rear springs and shocks?
I'm really trying to keep costs down until I decide if this is a vehicle that I can live with.
But it trying to kill me ain't making me so confident....

Sam Bateman
Arvonia, VA
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Tire pressure? Rear shocks? Heavy, oversized tires?

Get the code, but it won't have anything to do with the handling.

Sam
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you checked your Lug Nuts?
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would look at the front struts and check their condition.

Iíve driven probably a couple hundred Insights. When Iíve had someone complain of handling, we check all the suspension front and rear. The cars that have had blown/leaky front struts can make the car feel very unbalanced going over bumps.

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Scott
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Check for cracked rear trailer arm bushings.

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Old 05-03-2019, 08:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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A blown shock on only one side can make the car feel kind of crazy. Maybe that's it?
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the suggestions.
I haven't had the time to pull things apart for a complete evaluation yet but I'm thinking that my rear shocks are toast.
I examined the front struts pretty thoroughly when I replaced the clutch and had the front apart. They looked to be not very old and no signs of leakage or damage.
I had noticed a fair amount of "rocks rattling around in a tin can" noise coming from the rear when driving on gravel earlier. Now I'm thinking the rear shocks are just shot.
Is the Monroe 5752 still a viable replacement rear shock?
I'd love to replace the springs and shocks with Scott's units but I'm really trying to stay within a budget on this car. At least until I determine if it's worth throwing a lot more money at.

Sam Bateman
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you plan on keeping the car you will have to get new shocks and springs. The consensus here is that Scott is the fellow to see. The Gaz shocks with his springs made my Insight a lot better handling. The Gaz shocks are adjustable, too. If they have not been replaced by 300,000 miles they are tired.
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Old 05-04-2019, 08:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The Monroe 5752 is still available at various stores and internet outlets, but the shock does not fit without modification. iirc, something has to be done to the top attachment point. Probably just take the bolt pin off the old shocks, but use the google custom search bar at top left to see what has to be done. It has been discussed.

Take note of the Mid-Atlantic Spring meet in Frederick on 1 June. Would be a chance to get them changed, if you can solve the modification issue.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The Warrior 103 pins have been ordered and a set of Monroe 5752's as well.
I'm going to install these when they arrive and see if i can then safely drive the Insight to try and assess the other aspects of the car to see if there are other, bigger issues that need attention.
So far I've put about 100 miles on and it's average fuel consumption is reading just a tad over 60 mpg. The lifetime average for the 314,124 miles is 59.4 so this seems reasonable. But I've been afraid to take any real trips in it due to the behavior of the rear suspension.
No cracked bushings were noted, the lug nuts were all torqued to 80 lb/ft (as I had left them), but I did find almost 45 #'s air pressure in the front tires and 40#'s in the rear. This has now been corrected to 38#'s in the front and 35 #'s in the rear.
A test drive showed only marginal improvement.

Sam Bateman
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