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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, have a question about a blown head gasket. Did a search first, I promise, to make sure that my question wasn't already addressed somewhere else. I know the drill, so if my question has been answered already, feel free to flame me, but please post a link to the answer afterwards ;).

I am looking at an 02' Insight with 66,000 miles. Would love to get it, but the dealership tells me that they had to replace the head gasket on it. As far as I can tell, the repair was done right (called the shop that did the head grind/valve job), so that shouldn't be a problem. My main holdup is that, for the life of me, I can't wrap my mind around what would cause a Honda engine to blow out the head gasket at such low miles. If it were a Ford, I wouldn't stress out about it :grin:, but its a HONDA. In my experience, blown head gaskets aren't usually an issue.

Are Insights prone to this sort of thing? I know the 3-cylinder engine is an irregular little beastie, so maybe they are more likely to blow gaskets than other Honda engines? I'm just concerned that there may be an underlying problem that could cause the gasket to blow again in the future, and that's a world of headache that I don't want.

Thanks for your help.
 

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My guess would be an overheating event. The insight is also especially... picky about getting the air out of the coolant after a flush or the system was low (leaking hose, pump, gasket, whatever).

Two things you can do to protect yourself in this case:

1) Compression test
2) Oil analysis
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@samwichse

Yeah, I read some stuff about how getting air in the system and it being pretty bad news. The car had regular maintenance throughout its life (Carfax), so it could be that during one of those, the guy with the "easy" job of doing the coolant monkeyed it up.

The car also had a pretty significant accident in 2006 at 36k miles. I called the shop that did the repairs and they pulled up the record. The car hit a deer and ended up with $5000 worth of repairs that included a new radiator and frame straightening, among other things. I've been kicking around the notion that the accident may have jarred a part (like a water pump) that only gave out much later after further use, but but you would think that it would happen before 7 years/30,000 miles.

@Willie
Thanks for the link, and for not yelling :Hammer:. The story of the tear-down, diagnosis, and subsequent repair WHILE ON THE ROAD, is epic. Gonna hafta read that thread when I have a pot of coffee and a spare afternoon.
 

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Check your PM box.

Willie
 

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IIRR, there have been only 2-3 people with a head gasket malfunction. (Me included)
If the price is right go for it.

HTH
Willie
 

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Sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen, to me. $5000 worth of damage, frame straightening, replaced radiator, blown head gasket? Roll of the dice. If it's under $2500, maybe. Otherwise, I'd look elsewhere...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, thanks for all the help guys, and I appreciate the warm welcome. I'm not sure if this particular car is the one for me, but I'll be looking around for an Insight in the meantime and hopefully I'll be joining you guys on the road soon.
 

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On my old Dodge, after the dealer installed a bad water pump (it cracked open), the engine ran hot and the head gasket was blown. I kept driving it another 200,000 miles. So maybe something similar happened with your Honda insight.
 
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