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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello we bought a 2000 insight (red for $1500) a few months ago. We bought it for my wife to drive to work. I was happy to learn she can at least functionally drive a stick after a little practice. It has 189k miles. Was a salvage title, haven't had any Major issues and have fallen in love with it. Though for a family of 6 it is definitely a second vehicle.
Questions:
What is the best oil for it? I do intend to baby it so am thinking synthetic.
Rear view mirror wont stay on and honestly it is so peeled I wanna pitch it and get another. Where can I get one? Do other cars have the same mount?
Trip reset button doesn't work. How involved is fixing that? I'm no mechanic so would probably hire it done.
Gas cover trip doesn't work. Have to pry it open but it isn't difficult we do it with the key. Is that worth fixing?
When I bought it I was told the main battery pack is disconnected but everything is there. From what everyone I have talked to says it isn't worth fixing but I am tempted. Don't want to spend a fortune on it though.
Could use a paint job body is in decent shape. it appears all the aluminium is good the hood has the clear coat pealing bad that is the worst. Plastic bumpers have some dings but look decent at a distance.
The gears grind if you shift down from third to second I have learned to shift to first then second and that works OK for me. Is that a serious issue?
The hatch you have to use the key and the button at the same time to open it is that normal?

Edit:
Drove it again today two more things I forgot to mention. The air-con isn't working (doesn't blow cold) when we got it it seemed weak I assume it is a leak. What are the common spots they leak?

Sun visor on the driver side is floppy gets in the way. Are their any new compatible ones available?
 

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Engine only takes 3 quarts and Walmart or Amazon often have Mobil 1, Castrol, Havoline, etc. full synthetic on sale so it will cost under $10 for oil. Get a filter at your Honda dealer and the oil change is about $15 total.
Take your mirror to a junkyard and match the mount to another more common model, or check Ebay.
Trip button repair is posted somewhere here, but like most repairs on an older cheaper car, if you have to pay someone to do it, it's not worth the cost, especially on a convenience item.
Gas lid cable may be bad. I probably have one available.
Battery pack was disconnected for a reason so it probably needs a new pack. You might be able to nurse it along with regular grid charging.
Paint and bodywork are expensive and not DIY so decide how important cosmetic appearance is to you.
Downshift grind can be cured with a free modification to the transmission. You do have to remove and open up the transmission but it is DIY possible.
Hatch should open with just the button.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dont have a local Honda dealer within 100 miles. Cant I get a filter at a parts chain?
 

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I order from G1parts, others use Majestic.

Sounds like your G1 has most (or all) of the common problems these cars develop.

The hatch button is likely from a minor water leak in the passenger B pillar. There's a connector below the seat belt pulley which corrodes, and then your hatch button doesn't work correctly.

The only issue that isn't common is your gas gap issue. Is this car from the rust belt?
 

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Mobil1 has a filter that fits the Insight stocked at any auto parts store -- which you'd have to visit anyway to buy the oil. Tell them you have a 2010 Insight and they'll give you a larger one, but it still fits and works and costs the same price! I usually use the Mobil1 filter and oil, but brand probably doesn't matter. I've also run Valvoline synthetic.

Check the oil drain plug. If it's still the regular bolt you should buy this:


You change the oil, then screw this in there as the new drain plug. Thereafter, all you have to do is flip the switch to drain the oil. You want this because the oil pan is Magnesium and is fragile -- it's possible to over-tighten the drain plug and damage the pan. The people at JiffyLube or wherever else the previous owner had the oil changed -- they don't know the difference and they don't care; they may have been rough with it in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The car was originally titled in Tennessee according to the owners manual. I am in south Missouri.
 

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Please include your Location in your Profile, as ALL G1 Insightes have done. Thank You.
 

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Use full synthetic, any brand in the correct weight should do. You don’t need much oil and the oil change interval is high on these cars, so you can spring for the good stuff. I used the same filter Natalya recommended as well. They had it at my local parts store.

You might consider doing the gear oil as well if you don’t know when it was done last. If the existing stuff is really old it might even improve shifting feel a little. I haven’t read about any compelling aftermarket options for that, so I’d just track down the Honda Manual Transmission Fluid. $8 a qt at the dealer and you only need 2qt. Might be a little more expensive online but still cheap insurance.

The trip meter stops working due to a dirty or faulty switch. There’s guides on here on how to repair it if you do a search. It doesn’t look difficult but it does involve taking apart the whole dash so I haven’t bothered for such a trivial thing. The “FCD” button is essentially just another trip meter, FYI, and that should still work fine even if your trip switch is broken. I was able to get my trip switch sort of kind of working by depressing the switch and jiggling it around for a few minutes.

If the car is meeting your needs with the hybrid battery disabled and your goal is just a cheap commuter car, I’d just leave it disabled.
 

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At $1500 and salvage title it doesn't make sense to hire professionals to work on the car unless absolutely necessary. This thread relates to cheap rattle cans of red which are close matches to the original:


You could do a bunch of block sanding on the hood (and top?) and use one of the recommended rattle cans. Professional painting will be prohibitively expensive.

As Atikovi says, replacing the trip buttons probably isn't worth the work and expense. If you decide you can do it yourself, then member klr3cyl sells the two little boards in the instrument cluster that are needed. You basically drop the steering column and remove the dash facia to get at the instrument cluster. DO NOT attempt to remove the facia until you watch his youtube video on how to do it correctly to minimize chances of breakage.

The battery is probably unworkable and unrepairable for the untrained. Some might suggest a long grid charge/discharge cycle as an attempt, but that entails equipment cost. Probably better to just run without the battery is result so far have been satisfactory.

The shifting routine you are using is pretty rough on the first gear synchro, but it does tell me that the second gear synchro is good enough to upshift without grinding. That being the case, double clutching would probably be adequate to assist in the downshift. By changing driving style, it is amazing how little downshifting is really necessary.

You can put your general location into your profile by clicking your avatar at top right, then click account settings, then scroll down to the location window.

Falling in love with an Insight - yea, that is a widespread obsession on InsightCentral;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Drove it again today two more things I forgot to mention. The air-con isn't working (doesn't blow cold) when we got it it seemed weak I assume it is a leak. What are the common spots they leak?

Sun visor on the driver side is floppy gets in the way. Are their any new compatible ones available?
 

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Try pressing the trip button a few hundred times(seriously).

I think you should fix the battery, but I may be a little biased. ;)

Grinding gears is much worse than it sounds, you can basically drive indefinitely with it. Not sure if trying to push it into 1st and then 2nd is a good idea, probably better to double clutch.

Not normal to have to use the key on the hatch; there's a plastic piece in the automatic lock mechanism that breaks. Or apparently it can also be a corroded connector...
 

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What is the best oil for it? I do intend to baby it so am thinking synthetic.
I use 5W30. It's mentioned in the 2000 as being OK and I think it's the weight used in the S2000.

Lots of people say "0W20" and others are trying to go even thinner. I'm using 5W30 because:
  • the engine runs quieter, and I believe "noise = bad"
  • it probably makes a noticeable difference in fuel economy across the fleet, but per vehicle, probably not noticeable.
  • I believe it will help reduce blow-by and help keep my pistons cleaner and thus help me get better mileage that way, but that's all malarkey until I have data to back it up
I use the Walmart store brand of synthetic (I don't recall the name) after reading multiple Blackstone blog articles declaring "it doesn't matter". (Long story as to why it used to matter, and it does still matter if you buy oil from a convenience store)

Also, in my car, the slightly longer oil filter that I think is the next number up from the Insight filter - I think it's next to it on the shelf at Walmart and much more plentiful - fits fine. I don't know if there is a disadvantage to using a somewhat larger filter. It's possible that on some cars there might be an accessory that prevents the larger filter from fitting.

Gas cover trip doesn't work. Have to pry it open but it isn't difficult we do it with the key. Is that worth fixing?
There is a cable that runs from the pull under the carpet and along the floor/back and up the inside to the gas release. Behind the fuel door there should be button that holds the lid in that you can push in with your finger and which is supposed to be pulled in when you pull the release by the driver. Getting to all that stuff, though, requires removing a LOT of trim.

I would wait for a future Insight meet-up and get some people to help you. Make sure they've taken trim off before, though, and order some trim removal tools from Amazon so that you don't trash the plastic trim retaining clips trying to pry them off with screwdrivers.

Could use a paint job
You lucked out with Red. You might want to simply get just the bad area repainted at some shop with real paint and even if the match to an adjacent area is not perfect (and it will never be) you can be happy it's not peeling.

So I painted large areas of mine with Rustoleum Sunrise Red gloss in spray cans after finding this on the forum. It's a great match from 20 feet away if not closer. When reflecting something dark off the paint, the original red is darker while the Rustoleum has a slight grayness to it. But you really have to be looking. The other thing is that the Rustoleum oxidizes after a long time in the sun and gives it a slight gray patina, but you can polish that right out.

The Rustoleum can be sprayed on but will look like a spray can paint job UNLESS you put in a lot of elbow grease: prep the area so it's completely smooth (will take a long time with very fine wet & dry sandpaper and you want to avoid going to the metal.) You will need multiple coats sanded between each. It has to be done in low humidity, the lower the better. If you attempt it above 50% humidity you might as well roll it on with a brush (yes, you can buy Sunrise Red cans at Home Depot) because your second coat will cause the first to crinkle; the brush will give you brush strokes but at least it's going to be a thick first layer. You won't be able to sand out the crinkle or the brush strokes, either. It will eventually reappear faintly as the remaining volatiles go away (well, maybe after a year of drying you can sand it out. I might give it a try).

You also want to paint an entire area because it will be virtually impossible to "feather it in" with the existing paint job. Ask me how I know all these things! I ended up building a paint booth and putting a dehumidifier inside to get the job done. Also, I found that etching primer worked great, but the Rustoleum "automotive primer" remained soft and UGH I can draw lines in the paint with my fingernail where that stuff was put down.

But you can't beat $2.50 a can for a 50/50 paint job (looks great at 50 MPH from 50 feet away).
 

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I think you should fix the battery, but I may be a little biased. ;)
I would recommend giving Eli a call and talking to him about getting set up with a replacement battery. From a safety perspective I think, with a gaggle of kids to care for, coming from a fellow dad, you should have the extra power when you need it.
 

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The large oil filter for the G1 Insight is the CIVIC one.
 

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Welcome! A couple of thoughts...

Downshifting from 3rd to 1st and then back to second is soon going to wear out the 1st gear syncro. If you learn to double clutch your downshifts, you can eliminate the grind. The process isn’t hard but takes some practice. Just go slowly until you get the hang of it. When downshifting to 2nd 1st:
1) push in clutch, shift to neutral, release clutch
2) blip the throttle a bit
3) push in clutch, shift into lower gear, release clutch

As far as the battery goes, you can drive without it. Just get used to driving in a gear or two lower than normal if you’re trying to accelerate or climb a hill. 4th and 5th are both overdrive gears with no power. You can accelerate to interstate speeds in 2nd if you’re really in a hurry. 3rd gear will get you up most hills.

A grid charger & discharger may bring your battery back to life after a week and three discharge/charge cycles. You get get a cheap setup for less than $170, or build your own for (much) less than $100. I did a detailed post within the past three months on building a charger and deep cycling a battery. The car is much nicer to drive with a functional IMA battery.

Good luck!

- Park
 

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Downshifting from 3rd to 1st and then back to second is soon going to wear out the 1st gear syncro. If you learn to double clutch your downshifts, you can eliminate the grind. The process isn’t hard but takes some practice. Just go slowly until you get the hang of it. When downshifting to 2nd 1st:
1) push in clutch, shift to neutral, release clutch
2) blip the throttle a bit
3) push in clutch, shift into lower gear, release clutch
Worth mentioning - if you get it right, it’ll slide right into second gear smooth as butter even if the synchros are totally shot. If it still grinds or fights you, it means you didn’t quite get the RPMs right.

Mine downshifts into 2nd fine when it’s hot out, but gets cranky in the cold, so I have learned to just double clutch all the time. Only took a few weeks to get the hang of. Downshifting into 1st from third then into 2nd is very rough on your first gear synchros and not reccomended.
 

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There is a set screw on the mirror to tighten it up. There are clip on convex mirrors that clip over the mirror and will give you a much better field of view.
The trip reset will not work if the FCD button is not in the right mode.
 

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I use Redline 0w-20w and Mobil M1-110A filter. It calls for the M1-108A but a member in the group discovered the larger M1-110A fits. I also installed Fumoto F106N drain valve.
 
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