I have a 2001 insight without Air Conditioning. I understand that AC was a dealer installed option in some cars. I've seached the web but haven't been able to find any information about it. Where do I start looking? Is it feasible to have AC installed now?
The dealer installation kit is exactly the same as the factory. Highly recommended vs. an aftermarket (if one is even available).
You'll have to shop your area dealers.
Sorry, but I couldn't find an online source to compare. AFAI remember kits for other models start in the $900 and up range. Call a local dealers parts desk and get them to quote you. Since most all dealers won't discount calling multiple dealers will likely not yield a lower parts price. However, the Service departments price might vari so shop installation separately. If you have a full service aftermarket shop they will likely also be able to quote you an installation cost.
DIY? Well, yes if your an advanced shade tree. But you'll not likely have access to a vacuum pump or a charging station. But if your game you can shop for the evac & recharge cost only.
___On another note, have you owned your 01 over the last 4 years or did you just purchase it? The reason why I am asking is that A/C is a great accessory for the used car sale but in terms of an Insight’er using it while trying to take his or her car to a very high FE, the A/C button will never be touched. If you live in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, some of the California’s, or Arizona to name a few with either very high humidity and temps or extremely high temps alone, you might not be able to live without it during the mid-summer months but there is a powerful hit to your FE when doing so.
___With that said, there have been many posts in the InsightCentral.net forums that I believe Insightful_Trekker has been involved in about using it or losing it. If you finally do decide to install the OEM aftermarket kit, just turn it on once in a while to lube the seals. Some say 5-minutes but there is only so much pain I can take so it is a quick 1-minute on ~ twice a month for me year round …
___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
I learned my lesson and will never own another car without A/C again. Even if you only use one week out of the year. But considering it's great for the rainy season to remove the cabin humidity, it's well worth the $900.
As adamwilt pointed out H & A probably has the best price on the kit you'll find. Some advice I read reguarding having AC installed was to purchase the Honda kit from the cheapest source, then have your local dealership install it. This way you will have their full year or 12,000 mile warranty (I think it's that time/miles anyway) on the accessory. Although now that your car is outside of factory warranty you could probably just as well take it to any shop that specializes in AC stuff, though I'm not so sure what the warranty specifics on the kit would be.
All things considered my 02 had dealer installed air when I got it and I haven't had one single problem with it to date. Also keep in mind the installation process probably is not a diy project.