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Discussion Starter #1
Lets say that hypothetically you find a 2000 Insight for sale in your area with 128K and a blown head gasket. The seller says that he bought it knowing that there was a head gasket issue and drove it until it blew. Could one simply replace the head gasket just like on any other car and just go on with life, or is the insight more prone to warping and cracking of the block and head? Could any of the systems unique to the insight be affected by the head gasket damage? What should be checked and what would one expect to pay for an Insight in this condition?
 

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Depends.

IIRC there haven't been a sufficient number of credible reports in here to judge the differences of the Insight vs. other Honda models in regard to the head gasket.

Blown head gaskets are a problem of "degree". If its advanced then coolant loss will be rapid and so will repeated overheats if continued to be driven. Not good.

On other Honda models coolant partially washes off the cylinder wall oil increasing wear. Short term, little or no consequence. But in this case you seem to indicate that the previous owner drove it many thousands of miles. Potentially not good even when the coolant loss is relatively small (advanced cylinder wall / piston / ring wear).

Personally I wouldn't pay any more than what a comparable Insight was worth _minus_ a used engine's replacement cost. Usually $1000-$2000 parts and labor with tax. Then you may choose to "gamble" a bit on partial disassembly for inspection of the cylinder walls and may get by with only the cost of a head gasket job.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I also figured that the lower coolant compacity of the Insight would mean that a little leak would cause more problems than on higher capacity engines.
 
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