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Old 11-07-2016, 10:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Common Issues with G2 Insights?

Okay because, reasons (long story, but don't worry my G1 is in good shape), I'm looking at getting a G2 Insight.

One of the roller derby girls I know has a G2 and a month or so ago she let me have a look at her car and it was pretty cool, and I also showed her my G1 and probably talked her ear off about the aluminum body and aerodynamics and stuff. Anyway, I thought it was real cool.

I've actually driven a Gen 2 and Gen 3 Prius, and I greatly preferred the Gen 3 over the Gen 2, but the Gen 3's cost more than G2 Insights, so that leaves me looking for a G2 Insight.

So, I saw a 2011 online at a Ford dealership for a very good price, and I called them to ask about it. But the guy said, "That car's no good ma'am, we're just wholesalin' it." They have some pictures of the car, it does look like the driver's side door has a dent in it, but I don't really care about that, it can be fixed. I'm wondering could there be something wrong with the IMA battery, the engine, or the transmission?

The car has barely over 100k miles, I feel like it might just be a situation where the dealer doesn't know what to do with it because it's a Ford dealership not a Honda dealership. Anyway, I don't have to go with this car, I just want to know what I should be looking for especially in a test drive, to know whether or not I should avoid a particular G2, or whether some problems can be fixed by a DIY'er like me.
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Old 11-07-2016, 12:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, the 2012 & 2013 ones have "experimental" piston rings that make the engines burn oil.
As to the 2011 you are looking at, the main things I would be concerned about would be if the previous owner had changed the CVT fluid at least using the minimum schedule. At 100k the 8! Expensive spark plugs will soon need changing. If it needs an underhood battery it could be giving the dealer fits and they would not know why. (We have noted many weird things happening that get solved with a fresh battery) Honda has software updates for the Insight that may or may not have ever been done by the previous owner.

I think that, as a 1st gen Insight owner, you are especially equipped to take advantage of the extremely low resale value the 2nd gens have. I would recommend you try to at least get an EX, just to have a USB connection to the audio system. In our case, we actually got the NAV unit (that we really don't use) because that was the only way to get built in Bluetooth for the phone. That was not included in the regular EX until 2012, and as stated above, those have some serious oil burning issues. As far as we can tell (it's early yet) the 2014 ones seem to have gone back to more traditional piston rings.

I don't think anyone around here has had IMA issues beyond a malfunctioning cooling fan.
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Old 11-08-2016, 02:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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During a test drive would there be a way to tell if the CVT was having issues?

Also the G1 shows the battery light and brake light if the 12v battery isnt getting charged. Does the CVT show something similar? I think the "no good" one is worth looking at in person because the price can probably be negotiated way down if they just want to get rid of the car. I'm hoping for mysterious electrical problems related to the 12v battery, but I can't fix CVT problems.
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Old 11-08-2016, 03:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Simply - if the CVT fluid hasn't been changed at the recommended intervals I would just walk away. A few I2s just have the odd low speed lurch but there have been a few catastrophic failures too from badly maintained cars.
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Old 11-08-2016, 05:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The transition between pure electric and gas using mode needs to be smooth(ish).
On the right of the steering wheel (either in the spoke or to the side of the center part) are select buttons with which you can flip through the 9 or so menus of the square MID display in the center of the rev meter.
Set that for instant MPG readout (a row of vertical bars) so you can see how much fuel it uses.
Make it run around 25 mph, then by playing with the throttle you can engage and disengage EV mode. In EV mode it will display just 2 bars on the left.
It should make the transition without much lurching.
The needle on the left will move up in the blue and down in the green when you use assist or regen. If the needle is reluctant to move walk away.

Another thing is the clutch; when you go below 10 mph the CVT clutch will slip, but lock when you go above. That transition should go smooth too, though some lurching is not uncommon. If it is bad walk away.

If you go above 50 mph there may be a burring sound on the top of the windscreen. That is caused by a gap in the rubber seam and can be resolved by kitting it.

Some Insights have a soft high pitched whine from the instrument cluster around 60 mph. I don't know how to solve that, I would if I knew
Not a biggie but if you can choose between two Insights and one does not have it and the other does, you'd be sorry to pick the wrong one.
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, this is extremely helpful.

I know with the G1 you absolutely MUST use Honda CVT fluid if you have the CVT. Is that the same with the G2?
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes.

But go see it quickly. When a dealer decides to wholesale a car it usually happens quickly. Auctions are on certain days and they don't want to waste a week. Depending on what you find this one should be CHEAP.

Edit: Used G2 CVTs are pretty cheap if you can get the car cheap enough and it DOES happen to have a CVT problem.

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Old 11-08-2016, 02:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Talked on the phone again, they said they want to wholesale because the IMA light is on. I looked at the bumblebee website, doesn't look like they sell new batteries for the G2. Is there a G2 battery replacement option?
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Old 11-08-2016, 02:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Call Eli at Bumblebee. I know he was working on this at one time. He may be able to help you.

But it MIGHT just be the 12V problem. IMAs aren't really failing on G2s yet. Also maybe it just needs a grid charge. Take a voltmeter with you and check the 12V voltage before you start it.

G2 guys, any help?

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Custom Turbocharger System
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Genesis Charger and Discharger
BumbleBee Battery
OBDIIC&C Gauge
NM license plate KERS
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Scott's front and rear springs
GAZ rear shocks
2003 Lean Burn CVT (Wife's car)
2000 Citrus with aerodynamic extension
2002 Blue getting new engine
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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+1 on the voltmeter, or if you have a ScanGauge or UltraGauge you can plug it into the OBDII port under the dash just left of the center console and set it up to show voltage.
You could also check it for codes, even reset them and see if they return.

If the car has sat on the lot for months without starting it would have depleted the IMA battery, that may have damaged it but it may shape up when you use it.
Mine hardly drove at all (1500 miles!) in its first year, and it took months and about 3000 miles before the IMA battery was giving full support again. But I got it quite cheap
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