I'm new to the insight, just bought a 2012 EX. I'd like to get a descent diagnostic scanner before I get too far along. My budget is 150 usd. I'd raise that to 250 usd if it's appropriate. Thanks for your help, I look foward to using this site.
It depends on what you expect.
Only a Honda scanner would read all possible codes, but that is outside your budget. A simple OBDII code reader will not provide all the subcodes the hybrid pack can throw. Then the second gen Insights packs are holding up very well so far - you probably never need to read those subcodes.
Instead of a simple scanner I would recommend an OBDII gauge like UltraGauge or ScanGauge. With those you can set those up to continuously show instant fuel economy, intake temp, coolant temp, 12V battery voltage, timing retardation, EGR flow, etc. You can set alarms if a parameter goes beyond a limit you preset. And you can read and reset error codes.
An UltraGauge is hardly any more expensive than a reasonable code reader.
Monitoring the 12V voltage is a must as the Insight usually starts from the IMA battery; it will start the car effortlessly even if the 12V battery is running low. You won't know your 12V battery is about to die until it does.
Are you aware that your model year suffers from some experimental piston rings Honda used? It causes excessive oil consumption. The good news is that Honda has extended a warranty on the engine. Do make sure to register your Honda with their owners site. They may send you the letter informing you about it. There area unless of active threads here about it. In any case, do keep an eye on your oil level.
As far as OBD2 tools, I don't actually use one (son-in-law runs a shop) but I like the idea of a Bluetooth adapter that sends the info to your smartphone. Here is a site with a run down of them:
Thanks for all the replies, I'll seriously consider the options. I hope that I have all that trouble free mileage, but I've informed myself about the piston rings and the cvt issues. My Insight presently has 74xxx miles, and seems to be in reasonable condition. This is my first hybrid and first cvt so here's to learning new things :cheers-004:
2 more questions for today:
Aside from the search features, is there any other advantage to getting the cd-rom service manual over the paper books?
Why would I use Honda motor oil over any other quality engine oil?
Thanks in advance, India thanks for your prior advice.
I use Mobil-1 0W20 synthetic and their filters instead of Honda oil. But Honda makes an extra-low viscosity oil called Honda Green or something that would be better if you can get a hold of it. Have to order it from Japan though.