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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
i have been wanting to buy a used insight for years now. this year i think im really gonna do it. i just love the way they look. i have just one question so far. ive been reading about this 150k warantee, how does that work?
has anyone had to purchase a battery? how long are they expected to last?

thanks
 

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So long as the car has a clear title the IMA is now warrantied for 10 years or 150,000 miles whichever comes first. This applies to 2000-2004 model year Insight's.

Basically we don't really know how long the IMA batteries are going to last. First off there are so many variables involved and the original versions of the battery control modules were known to result in poor battery life. Mine went at 42,000 miles after about 3 years. Others have gotten over 150K with no problems. As part of the IMA warranty extension they are providing new Battery and Motor control modules, which in theory are going to result in much longer battery life, but since this is just now happening we just don't know how long to expect the packs to last now that everything seems to be finalized.

In theory, those cells should do 100's of thousands of micro cycles and have a very gradual slow loss of capacity over years. Replacement cost is a few thousand dollars, but thus far Honda has been very good with our of warranty good will.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks rick for the info

what im really getting at is my worst case scenario
in purchasing a used insight

its poosible that i purchase a used insight
and the battery is fine until 150k
then it gives out and i would have to purchase
a new one

i understand that the technology is still developing
so its hard to predict the future of any one insight

i
 

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Taking your worst case scenario, you may still not have to cover the full cost. Alternately, you may be able to do as some others who have not been covered either because they bought the car as a salvage, were living in Britain, or whatever. In these cases it has been possible to find a used pack for less than a thousand dollars. You can use the second hand pack as is, or test and combine the best cells of the two packs.

If you do get a new pack, it is probably going to last you for a looooong time. For that reason getting an Insight with a well cared for body and a top knotch gasoline engine should probably be your biggest concern.

The price of used Insights seems to track the cost of gasoline. If you buy wisely you may have a car that appreciates in value. Time will tell.

Good hunting.
 

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fuzzymutt said:
battery life

The battery has the same lifespan as the engine.
That's the simplest, most-direct answer I can give you.

I can see the skeptical look on your face. Well, consider this: I have a rechargeable toothbrush that is 20 years old. The battery inside that brush is still good even after all this time & daily usage. Batteries will last a long, long time if they are not abused.
 

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ElectricTroy said:
The battery has the same lifespan as the engine.
That's the simplest, most-direct answer I can give you.
And a reply that I can only characterize as hyper oversimplified. The many other owner expereinces posted here yield a much different picture.

Helpful, not.
 

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The battery has the same lifespan as the engine.
That's the simplest, most-direct answer I can give you.
I think that was the design theory. However, look at how many people in this forum had the batteries replaced with or without warranty and some were replaced under 100,000 miles. Hardly any (or none that I know of) in this forum had to have their engine replaced.

Honda has changed the battery management program several times since the 2000 model. When I was looking for an Insight, I choose the 2003 model because I knew that they just changed the battery management program near the end of 2002 so all 2003 models would have it. I'm not saying that I know mine will last longer beause of the change. The thought was if Honda made the change, then hopefully they corrected something. However, they made another change in 2005 or 2006...

I don't think that it is a simple answer. It may vary from the quality and matching of the 120 cells that made up the pack. (one bad cell can cause a problem for the entire pack). The terrain of your daily commute. The highs and lows of temperature in your area.

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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OR

you could have a 900 dollar part go out that IS NOT covered under warranty @ 100K miles which disables the whole battery system.....
and continue to drive W/O the IMA and take a 5 MPG hit.

SO many variables....
 

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I've also talked to some of those people with bad batteries.

They climbed up the sides of mountains *in 5th gear*. Is it any wonder the battery died prematurely? I was just talking to a Volkswagen TDI owner whose engine is sludged at only 120,000 miles... premature death. Turns out he used vegetable oil as his fuel & cheap generic oil for his lubrication.

Well, duh. No wonder these owners experienced premature death. If you abuse either the battery or the engine, it WILL die early.

-----> MY answer "the battery will last as long as the engine" was aimed at those who take care of their cars, not abuse them with vegetable oil or climbing mountains in 5th gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks for all your help

i am beginning to understand that each case is different and
that there are many many variables that affect battery life

my aim should be to purchase an Inight that has been
well taken care of with hopefully a newly replaced battery

am i correct?

in any case, im looking for one that has 50 to 100k miles
on it

thats about what my budget can afford

is there anything else i should be looking for other
than battery issues?
 

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fuzzymutt said:
i am beginning to understand that each case is different and that there are many many variables that affect battery life

my aim should be to purchase an Inight that has been
well taken care of with hopefully a newly replaced battery

am i correct?
IMO your beginning to understand the concept perfectly :!: :)

The remainder of the concept so far not "written" (in this thread) is that _all_ rechargable batteries have a finite service life. Its when it can be a cost advantage (better MPG and lower fuel cost) that more than offsets the eventual battery replacement hybrid owners are the happiest. ;)

There have been several new Insight owners who make their Insight monthly payment based of the fuel saved in retiring their previous car :!: Obviously this requires a rather long commute and an old "gas guzzler" for it to work.

Also see:

What to look for when buying used?
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=3814

and check out all the sub links too :!: :shock: ;)

HTH! :)
 

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fuzzymutt said:
thanks for all your help

i am beginning to understand that each case is different and
that there are many many variables that affect battery life

my aim should be to purchase an Inight that has been
well taken care of with hopefully a newly replaced battery

am i correct?

in any case, im looking for one that has 50 to 100k miles
on it

thats about what my budget can afford

is there anything else i should be looking for other
than battery issues?
You should be fine in that case. I was kind of getting the impression you were looking at a 100K+ mile car. As much as I hate to admit this in my experience if it has the original equipment in the back there is a decent probability that you will be getting a free pack from Honda before you hit 150K (or I guess 10 years is coming up soon enough for those first year Insight's). From there you'll ge the new electronics and should be good to go for a long time. My case might be a bit on the extreme side because I'm in Phoenix and my Insight got to deal with 150 degree + interior temperatures in the summer.

NiMH batteries are very robust if built correctly and Panasonic makes these batteries specifically for hybrid vehicle use. They are designed to sustain 100's of thousands of micro cycles like I said before and their technology has proven very reliable. Toyota made electric Rav4's with large form factor NiMH batteries and aside from an occasional cell failure many of the packs in the field did over 100K miles with extremely minimal capacity degradation. The report I saw indicated over 90% of original capacity after 100K miles! And these were in full EV's with full cyclic use, which is far more hard on batteries than the micro cycle (30% - 70% charge range) hybrid vehicle use.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
rick

thanks for your help thus far
one last question

i know that the warantee goes with the car
and not with the owner

consider that i will purchase a used insight
with 50 to 100k on it, you mentioned that
in all probability that i would be getting the battery
replaced under warantee

my question is, how do you know when it needs replacing
or what would qualify as being under the warantee?

is there an indicator in the vehicle?
do you have to bring it to a dealer to see if it needs replacing?

thanks

david
 

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IMA battery replaced under warranty

I live in mtns of NC. Recently my IMA light came on and called the dealer. They replaced my IMA battery under warranty at no charge with no hassle. It had 137,000 miles on it.

My Insight now only loses 2-3 bars going up these 4-lane mtns. Just glad that Honda made good on their product. It also went from 62 mpg summer average to 66 mpg. I love my Insight and am sad that they have discontinued this model. Would love to see more cars like this on the market. I've had it for several years now, and people still ask me about it. :)

FYI, when the IMA light comes on, it doesn't need to be towed in. :) It still has some life left in it.
 

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2-3 bars? Oh man, I just pray that I can get my batteries replaced for free soon too, then. I'd love to have that amount of energy storage.
 
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