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I have a first gen insight with around 200k. I had been noticing that when I was braking, I'd encounter a noise that sounded like a light grind, almost sandpaperish combined with metal. I assumed I just needed new brakes. Replaced my brakes and rotors. Noise was still present. The car is old with a lot of miles so I just lived with it. Not sure if this has anything to do with the problem I'm about to describe, but I thought I'd add it. So then, randomly, I fired the car up the other day and clunking/grinding/popping started occurring when I would move the wheel at lower speeds. Called mechanic, told him what was going on. Fire up the car the next day, it's barely making a peep, after making CLEAR, AUDIBLE, really bad noises the previous day. I take it to him and he rides with me; the noises aren't there anymore; I look like a fool. He puts it up on the lift, everything is intact. He recommended to me to replace the control arms and shocks, not because they were in bad shape at all, but because of preventative maintenance is what he said -- he quoted $50 labor a side for the control arms and $30 a side for the shocks.

My main questions are: 1) How is it possible that this problem just came and went away entirely? 2) Should I start getting work done on my suspension? If so, should I replace any other parts at the same time as my control arms/ball joints?

A couple things to note that may or may not make any difference at all: car was towed about 4 months ago and came back with an ABS light after being towed. Windshield wiper fluid tank no longer holds fluid out of nowhere. Ran over huge, unavoidable metal object in the road a month ago, which caused a slow leak on 2 of my tires.
 

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The popping/grinding noise could be just about anything, considering you ran over something and had it towed. Since you got the ABS light I'd start looking closely in the vicinity of the ABS wheel sensors... Sounds like something might have been knocked loose or got bent, it started rubbing on one of the moving chassis parts (steering rack, wheels, etc.), and then maybe 'it' came completely off so the noise went away...

I wouldn't replace the shocks (struts) unless the ride feels bad - seems like the stock front struts last a long time, I've got ~280k miles on mine and they're fine; I know others around here experience similar. OEM struts are expensive. Control arms are probably worth replacing at that mileage (rear bushings wear and fail), ball joints come with the arms. I'd probably look at the tie rod ends and if they look and feel worn I'd replace those at the same time...
 

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Don't bother replacing your suspension. There is no need to do it unless the bushings are bad, which yours aren't. He's just trying to make money off from you. Save your pennies for when you actually need work done.
 

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Labor prices quoted seemed fair.
One of my struts was severely worn by 185,000 mi., but I needed Scott Kulbeck to drive it before I could find out, as the gradual decrease in ride stability was so incremental as to have escaped my notice.
However the resultant increase in cornering prowess was quite welcome.
Nothing the matter with some reasonable suspension maintenance if there are any signs of wear at that mileage.
 

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I had a rear shock go on me at around 180. Car was skittish, especially in the wet. Not cool. Suspension is such an important factor to consider. I would love to see an adapter plate made in which we could utilize the RSX suspension. For that we would have a thousand different choices. Personally, I'm in love with my KW v2 suspension. Worlds away better handling over stock. I have visions that I would like to put into reality.
 

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Well, if you want some kind of "adapter plate", develop it. I have no idea what a KW v2 suspension is. Have you already developed something? Build thread?

Sam
 

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No, I haven't and I'm thinking my thoughts onto text. I'm not so sure just how much better a car with the rear wheels inset from the fronts could be improved upon. I will be in touch with my machinist friend who makes all kind of parts for motorcycles. He may have something to add. I haven't seen any of these Insight struts apart before.
 
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