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Discussion Starter #1
I know virtually nothing about cars. But I have spent the last several months pouring over all the old posts on this forum. It has helped a lot, but there are several questions I still need help with.

Question one: I know the EGR valve needs to be cleaned on both my insights. Is there also definitely a EGR plate? My local dealer said it does not exists....

Question two: Can I do this myself? Where is it? How long does it take?

Question three: How vital is the under body panels? Both have the driver-side intact. However, both passenger sides have ripped off. What is the average installation fee if done through a dealer?

Question four: Exactly, how many quarts of Ow-20 does the car take? I once had the mechanic put in all four quarts I brought with me.

Question five: Besides the EGR plate and valve, are there any other easy ways to recuperate the lost power on my insight with 342,000 miles?

Question six: What exactly causes the 1st and second gear downshift issues? What is the price for a new transmission?

Thanks in advance!
 

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1) lol, dealerships. They're worthless. Except for warranty repairs. :D Yes, there is an EGR plate.

2) Yes, you should be able to if you have even a modicum of mechanical abilities.

3) They're not ultra critical, but they help with aerodynamics. If you do lots of highway traveling, you probably want to replace them if you care about fuel economy.

4) Ugh. Yet another reason why I do all my own work. The car takes 2.5 quarts.

5) The EGR valve and plate doesn't really have much to do with full throttle power. They're more to do with lean burn acceleration and "herky jerky". I suggest doing the usual - Spark plugs(note their condition, take pictures and post here if you don't know what to look for), air filter, oil change etc. Make sure the tires are OEM and properly inflated.

6) Worn 1st and 2nd synchros cause the downshift problem. A new transmission is very expensive, nobody does that. Most people either replace the transmission with a used one, rebuild the transmission themselves, learn to double clutch, or deal with the grinding. It's undesirable, but it only gets so bad. We recently put a used transmission into #2. Expect to pay around $700 for the transmission and another several hundred in labor if you can't do it yourself.

7) Oh wait.. damn, I was on a roll.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the help!

3) I didn't notice much of a drop in MPG when I lost the panel on insight 1 this summer. I was in Arizona on a 8440 mile road trip with the wife. I was just curious if anyone who has replaced the panels has any strong feelings and how much it cost them.

4) I would love to be able to do my own work. But my apartment complex strictly forbids oil changes in the parking lot and my in-laws live 3 hrs away.

5) Everything is up to standard, OEM tires, 52 psi, new air filter, spark plugs replaced at 300k and the oil was even changed every 5000 miles. The car still gets amazing gas mileage. I flew to Minneapolis to buy the car and on the way home I got 65 MPG going 75 MPH, which is better than car 1. The lifetime MPG is 63, so I have no complaints. However, around town it has significantly less power from stop, which vastly reduces the MPG in town. I am stuck in 1st/2nd much longer than in car 1. I am wondering if anything can spruce up the engine after a third of a million miles. I only mention the EGR because a couple of people have said they gained power after the clean.

6) I am not really planning on replacing the transmission, I just want to gauge it if it were ever to go. Strangely, insight 2 will not shift into 2nd without grinding, even with double clutching. Maybe I am just not revving it enough. Luckily, the meshing on insight 1 is fine on 2nd.

7) Stick around, I will think of something.
 

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Hmm. Curious.

I have noticed many of the same things with Insight #2, the 445k mile car. I've been meaning to try and get to the bottom of it. Replacing the LAF O2 sensor helped a little bit I think, but it was throwing codes for it so if you don't have any codes, you're probably fine.

I really need to do a compression check. I want to do a compression check on all three cars and compare them. It would be excellent if we could get data from your cars too.

I haven't driven #3 enough to tell yet, but Insight #1 definitely has more low end power than #2. But just like you observed, my best tank to date has been in #2.... Kinda strange.

The oil was changed in #2 every 6,000 miles. I would like to think that the engine isn't getting worn out, but with an estimated 8,000 hours or so on the engine.. it is indeed probably getting a little long in the tooth. That's a lot of hours for a gasoline engine, overall. However, our engines seem very robust so I wouldn't doubt they are capable of twice that before starting to smoke and show other signs of severe wear. I honestly hope to get #2 to 999,999 miles. But yeah, a compression test and comparison will be telling.

2nd gear in #3 is grindy. I actually like double clutching though, so I won't bother to rebuild the transmission for quite a while I don't think.. lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had a CEL for about 3 days. Didn't find time to get it checked out before it disappeared.

I always laugh when people use the line "it'll rust before the engine dies." Insight 2 doesn't even lose a drop of oil, yet. But they will all die eventually.

How much did that O2 sensor cost you? Honda quoted me $300, I thought they ran about $100.

I could probably run a compression test at some point.
 

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Yeah, our #2 doesn't use any oil either. So it's quite perplexing. I wonder if it has to do with the catalytic converter being clogged?

They're about $175 on Amazon. Bosch 15393.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Catalytic converter was replaced around 280k, if I remember correctly. It certainly rattles a bit on car 1 (at least that is what I assume it to be). Strangely, when I replaced the spark plugs on car 1, the rattling significantly decreased.

Is that the front/ main O2 sensor? Are there any other sensors and are they priced the same?
 

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Yeah, first O2 sensor. The rear O2 sensor is different, but I don't know the part number off hand. I think it's a little cheaper.
 

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One other thing that might help is pulling the fuel injectors and having them cleaned, I've been wanting to do it on my car but just haven't gotten around to it. There is a place near me that will professionally clean them for $20 each so the grand total would still only be 60 bucks. I've got 255,000 on my car but have no other car to compare it to but it feels a little weak to me.
 

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That's a good idea, even if just for peace of mind.

What's the name of the outfit? I'm just next door in NM, so I could probably use them too.
 

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Fuel injectors are a great idea, I was under the assumption they would be much more costly to clean. I know a little place out in the country that have worked on my cars for dirty cheap. I will have to get a quote from them.

In terms of air conditioning, how cold is yours? Most of the ads I have seen advertise "ice cold." I have owned several other Hondas, so I am relatively used to the quality of their air cons. However. both insights blow "cool" at best and never get cold. Any suggestions? One again Honda wants to charge me half a grand to run diagnostics.
 

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I think Honda's A/C systems have always been considered to be a little below average, especially compared to domestic offerings.

I wouldn't classify the A/C in my cars as "ice cold" either.

With the A/C, all you can really do is check the charge level. If it's low, filling it to the proper level will help a bit. Any shop should charge you a nominal fee for this service, probably an hours labor plus whatever parts you need.

Changing the cabin filter can help too. Not really with the coldness of the air, but just with the overall efficiency of the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I wonder how much the condition of car 2 could have damaged the air con. The owner kept beautiful condition of the can mechanically (save the battery) but never bothered to clean the interior. It was somewhat of a farm vehicle when I bought it. It took me nearly 20 hours of detailing to restore the car to quality. However, the air system is still full of dirt that I have been unable to clean. I really should change that cabin air filter asap.

Is there anyway to clean the seat covers? I have steam cleaned them, but I was hoping to wash them. However, it appears it cannot be removed without taking the staples out.
 

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I've never done it myself, but apparently it's pretty easy?

http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/honda-insight-forum-1st-gen-discussion/19371-delivery-day-here.html#post188607

Dirt and filth won't hurt the mechanicals of the air conditioning, it's a closed loop system(not open to the environment). Heck, 3/4ths of it resides in the engine bay which sees all manner of dirt and grime.

The interior of my car is filthy.. I've done little more than vacuum it in nearly 4 years. Honestly, I don't know how people find the time to take such good care of their cars cosmetically. I wish I could.

In addition to the post I linked to, go ahead and read through that whole thread. Lots of good stuff in there if you're interested in cosmetics.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the link, it certainly puts some thoughts into my head.

However, I am nowhere near that intense with my cars. Anything I have is residual from my father. He likes a clean car.

This car just reeked of farm. It was necessary to smooth things over with the wife.
 

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The company that cleans the fuel injectors is AUS Injection:
AUS Injection

Also about how cold is your AC...... WEAK is the word I would use. At 114 degrees outside running down the freeway at 65 with the AC AUTO set to 61 (Recirc ON) it struggles to keep the air coming out of the vents at 60 deg.
 

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At 65 MPH, with if being 90 F outside, it struggles to get the air out of the vents at 75 F, even though it is set to 60 F.

Weak would be the best terminology.
 

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AC how cold

In terms of air conditioning, how cold is yours? Most of the ads I have seen advertise "ice cold." I have owned several other Hondas, so I am relatively used to the quality of their air cons. However. both insights blow "cool" at best and never get cold. Any suggestions? One again Honda wants to charge me half a grand to run diagnostics.
Hey Zapper, after seeing your AC question I started a new post about how cold AC should be, I think this may answer some of your questions.
http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/honda-insight-forum-1st-gen-discussion/20384-ac-how-cold.html
 
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