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Discussion Starter #1
I'm no "car guy", really... up until I bought my Insight, cars were purely transportation, nothing more, and I didn't really care about maintenance except changing the oil regularly. I drove an old Toyota with a cracked CV boot and worn-out struts for years because, well, it drove, and I didn't really care :)

But now I care!

So my "Maint req" light is kicking on, telling me it's been 7,500 miles since the last service. Fair enough, nice to have the reminder. I have the FAQ here to thank for when I want to turn it off -- AFTER I do the service. I just bought the car at 24,800 miles a few weeks ago, and have 26,200 miles on it now (one very long trip in addition to my daily commute did that easily). I'm thinking, since the car was used and I'm not sure of what the previous owner did or didn't do, I should go ahead and do the 30,000 mile maintenance.

The dealer quoted me $230 for it. Ugh. Being recently out of the ranks of the unemployed, that's an expense I just can't handle at the moment. I have more time than money, it seems. $40-$50 in parts, and an afternoon in my garage, though, I can afford.

Most of the items, really, look like "inspect this, inspect that" items. Rotate your tires, that's no biggie, I have floor jacks. Check the parking brake... I think I can figure out where that adjusts. Seems to be working perfectly for me, though, when I pull it up it engages nicely, when I put it down it disengages, and my fuel economy is fine for a CVT, so the brakes probably aren't dragging. I can look while I'm rotating tires and check out the depth of my brake pads. I know where the air filter goes, how to change the oil, no biggies. But a few items threw me:

* Driveshaft boots -- where do these things live, and what do they look like?

* Air conditioner filter: I seem to remember reading something about how to find this on this site, but I didn't have repeated luck finding it tonight. No tougher than an engine air filter to replace, I hope.

* What's a "Tie Rod end", and how do you inspect it? I looked up some pictures on eBay, and was as mystified afterwards as before. They look like a hammer with a spring on it, or something. What are they attached to? And are you looking for cracks and worn spots in it? Any tips?

* Which valve are they talking about in "inspect valve clearance"? And what's it supposed to be clearing? I'm not hearing any unusual noises, but I've often heard my mechanic say about my van "sticky valves" and somesuch... if there's a way to prevent my Insight's valves becoming sticky and making that terrible clickety-clickety, I'm all for it!

Thanks in advance, and I apologize for being an ignorant car newbie. Heck, I even have a Chilton manual for a 1988 Toyota Tercel from the last time I tried to be a mechanic... maybe some of the lessons from that one can apply here.

Come to think of it, I think I'm gonna go look up "tie rod" in it now...
 

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If your going to become a "mechanic" then you'll have to do the homework. You'll need the textbook. The factory service manual is the _best_ and can be ordered online. Unless you have advanced electrical knowledge and the tools to do such jobs the electrical troubleshooting manual (ETM) is optional.

http://www.helminc.com/helm/welcome_sel ... 212KDM9RA0

As "young" as your Insight is most of the extensive inspections will likely pass. To meet your budgetary needs simply do all the replacement items.

Unless your valves are noisy the first scheduled adjustment isn't until 105,000.

HTH ! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Helm out of stock...

Helm seems to be chronically out of stock on the service manuals... been checking there for a month. Now the date says January 16, 2004 they'll have more in. Put a note into my Palm Pilot.

$65.00 service manual + $50.00 (guessing) in filters and oil == cheaper than $230 :)
 

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I'm at the 30k mark as well and still debating how to proceed.

If I remember correctly, that post you were looking for put the AC air filter behind a metal bar behind the glove compartment. The "problem" is that there is a piece of plastic that needs to be cut out to get access to the metal bar. It is appearently a stability piece for assembling the dash, but not needed afterwards. Can someone verify this?

Even if I do have the dealer work on it I'd be tempted to cut the part out myself rather than having someone (else) with a pair of snips carve up the insides of the dash.
 

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dazey said:
I'm at the 30k mark as well and still debating how to proceed.

If I remember correctly, that post you were looking for put the AC air filter behind a metal bar behind the glove compartment. The "problem" is that there is a piece of plastic that needs to be cut out to get access to the metal bar. It is appearently a stability piece for assembling the dash, but not needed afterwards. Can someone verify this?

Even if I do have the dealer work on it I'd be tempted to cut the part out myself rather than having someone (else) with a pair of snips carve up the insides of the dash.
If you do not have A/C, the Air Filter is removed downwards, no cutting required.

If you do have A/C, then the Air Filter is removed horizontally. So, Yes, you need to cut out the piece of dash plastic that runs underneath the glovebox. It's backed by a metal support, so removing it won't weaken the dash or cause rattles. It's all covered in the service manual.

It also makes it easy to tell in a used insight if the filter has ever been changed.

The metal support also has to be removed and access to the bolts holding it in place is very tight. Plan to spend on time on your back in the passenger footwell, cursing while your arm cramps up.

When I pulled mine (2000 with <30K), it looked clean so I hit it with the shop vac and put it back in.
 

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flunkysama said:
It also makes it easy to tell in a used insight if the filter has ever been changed.

Just a little note, yes and no. If the car came without factory air they have to cut it to get the the new AC guts in the car. You can tell by the vin, it'll be JHMZE13 and then 5 or 7. 5 is no factory ac, 7 factory ac. If it's got a 7 in the vin at that spot and the bar is still there yeah, it's never been changed. My car had dealer installed air so I never got to see the plastic bar.
 

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Tie Rod End = the threaded joint that Makes the car steer To check it jack it up and look at it to check for bends and pull on it to see if it is loose , Basically if you have no play in the steering and the car tracks straight on level ground your tierods are fine
 

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Have fun doing your valve adjustment if you can't even find the CV boots. ;)
 

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* Driveshaft boots -- where do these things live, and what do they look like?
The boots are located toward the rear underside of the engine. There will be four of them two on the tranny and one on each wheel hub with a round axel between them.


* What's a "Tie Rod end", and how do you inspect it?
This ia a tierod end...

On the insight it's located here...


You want to check for cracks and grease oozing out of it.

* Which valve are they talking about in "inspect valve clearance"?
Valves are inside the engine. If you are not mechanically inclined Don't adjust them yourself.

This is a typical valve.


And you are adjusting the gap between the tip of the stem and the rocker arm so the gap isn't too wide or too tight.



As clear as mud now?? :D
 
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Hi Sparky5501:

___Excellent pictorial. I never knew how anyone adjusted the valve clearances? Besides getting the valve cover off, it doesn’t really look that bad if you have a nice set of feeler gauges. Have you done this to your own Insight yourself?

___Thanks again

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2ceu45g0][email protected][/email:2ceu45g0]
 

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Hi,

For valve adjusment/check, the engine needs to be cold (less than 100F or 38C)
And if I remember correctly, just tightening the locknut can change the gap so there can be a lot of trial/error. Double check the crankshaft position before each valve adjusment and the gap at the end
 

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I never knew how anyone adjusted the valve clearances? Besides getting the valve cover off, it doesn’t really look that bad if you have a nice set of feeler gauges. Have you done this to your own Insight yourself?
I haven't adjusted the valves on the Insight yet. It's straight forward enough. Getting the feel right for the drag on the feeler guage is a real art. A fresh set of feeler guages is always best. And, if you can splurge, buy the individual thickness blade you require instead of one of those multi guage type. Much easier to work with.

I like the fact I won't have to be lying on my back with oil dripping down my arm like when I used to adjust the valves on the ol' Porsche. :wink:
 
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