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A litle story about my 2001 Insight

I bought the car from a Chevy dealership last month, after seeing an add in autotrader. Silver 2001 Insight for $15,850 w/ 50,000 miles. I figured that a Chevy dealership wouldn't want an Insight on their lot for very long, and I was looking for a 3rd car that got great gas mileage. I had been looking at TDI VW's and Civic Hybrids, but the VW's retained too much value, and the Civic Hybrids were boring.

So, I went to the dealership, and they had no idea what the hell the insight was. I explained everything to the salesman while I was on my test drive, since he didn't understand why the CVT wasn't shifting. I ended up going back and forth with them on the price for 2 weeks, and eventually they delivered the car to my house and I paid $11,888 out the door, taxes title and all. Not a bad deal.

So, after driving for a week, I noticed some surging and figured it was the egr valve, since Honda can't manage to design one that doesn't go to hell. Idelayed in taking the car in for another 2 weeks because my commute/schedule doesn't lend itself well to getting to the dealership during open hours, and I was waiting on installing a new radiator/fan in my 300M.

I finally took the car in and mentioned the surging problem, as well as the door locks not working from the inside, and the misaligned steering wheel.

Yadda yadda yadda, the car is broken into 4 days later while being fixed at the Honda dealership that the chevy people use. I managed to negotiate a payoff amount for all of my electronics that were stolen, but that's not what this post is about.

I went in this weekend for a status update, since I never get straight answers on the phone. I asked for a printout of everything that was fixed for the surging, and here is a transcript :

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Costumer Story : Customer states when lightly pressing on gas pedal car shakes and feels like it's about to stall, advised egr possible failure, check and advise.

Found EGR valve bad, wrong spark plugs, spark plug gap, wrong engine oil, wrong trans fluid, low coolant, low PS.
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Tthe Honda tech thinks they just threw in whatever random crap they had sitting around.

I called the Chevy dealer and asked them if the were aware of all of this, which they were. The service advisor informed me that the fluids had all been changed, and it wasn't an issue. I told the service advisor that it WAS an issue, and that I wasn't sure how I was going to handle this. They informed me that "if anything were to go wrong, it already would have"

So, that's nice and fun. I still don't have my car, and it will be 2 weeks ago Friday that I dropped it off.
 

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Low PS?

Are they trying to tell you that it's low on power steering fluid? I'm assuming that's what PS stands for (at least it does when you put an ad in the auto trader). If they're trying to tell you the power steering fluid is low run away, run far far away. The Insight's power steering is electric and uses no power steering fluid. I'm afraid to ask where they would try to put power steering fluid.
 

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probably running low on blinker fluid also. make sure they top it off too. :)

andy g.
 

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The shuddering may be due to bad muffler bearings.

(sorry, couldn't resist)

If you are mechanically inclined, all these things are simple to repair yourself. Spark plug changes are easy, and it's no problem to clean the EGR and change the rest of the fluids. I'd run as far away from that Chevy dealership as possible, and frankly, I don't think Honda dealerships deserve your business either.
 

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i've never been in a honda that could be locked from the inside. all of the ones i've seen are so when you have the driver's door open, you cannot lock it from the inside so you do not lock your keys in your car.
 

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the three honda dealerships in the KCMO area STILL look puzzled when I pull up!!!!

:roll:
 

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fujii13 said:
i've never been in a honda that could be locked from the inside. all of the ones i've seen are so when you have the driver's door open, you cannot lock it from the inside so you do not lock your keys in your car.
you have to use the interior driver's side door handle while you lock it. in other words, hold the door handle open.

this is the case on my insight and '93 civic. ... although i don't recall needing to do that on the '86.

hold the door handle open and you can lock it. ( sorry for OT, but seems warranted, no? )
 

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Low PS? (Not Explained yet)

Aaron Cake said:
The shuddering may be due to bad muffler bearings. (sorry, couldn't resist).
I was wondering - maybe the headlight fluid is low? Play this one!

My biggest concern - about buying used - or new insights here in the Toronto, Ontario area - is - volume! What dealership has sold more than 20 of these puppies - as in - what dealerships mechanics have a decent clue as to how to work with them?! Not such easy info to find out! Any tips? Robert
 

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The understanding of the complete package that is lacking with most mechanics in most shops with most manufacturers and many models. So when you have a peculiar glitch or problem getting it fixed can be a major headache. I'm afraid its been that way for quite a while now and appears to be getting worse. :( Its not limited to Honda or hybrids.

Some of the _best_ mechanic's out there are in small independent "Mom & Pop" shops. You won't "need" one 95% of the time, but you'd better find one and support his business for the easy repairs so he'll be there _when_ you'll need him.

With the exception on the limited service life of _any_ rechargeable battery the Honda IMA system has been _very_ reliable. And IMO not too shabby in the battery department either.

The Insight is exotic in only a few ways:

1) Limited production _will_ cause some parts availability delays.
2) The Honda hybrid system is new, but its basically the same system now being used in the Civic and Accord Hybrids. As the hybrid fleet grows so will the familiarity.
3) Many materials are "exotic" but since materials don't "break" its not something that in general will cause increased owner difficulties.

The remainder of the car while as a complete "package" is exotic its pretty much standard automotive stuff. IMO no need to "worry" about ownership if you understand and accept the above :)

HTH! :)
 

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You should never buy a used car from a dealership to begin with. You will overpay and they only have an "as is" warranty. Your best option is to do your research about the type of car you want. Learn what the problem areas are, so you know what to avoid. Look at http://www.kbb.com for prices in your area and then search out private sellers.
 

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Used Cars - Warranty Limits

Resist said:
You should never buy a used car from a dealership to begin with. You will overpay and they only have an "as is" warranty. Your best option is to do your research about the type of car you want. Learn what the problem areas are, so you know what to avoid. Look at http://www.kbb.com for prices in your area and then search out private sellers.
Hmmmm - just wondering - - "As is" does not match the "Honda Certified Used Cars" Graphic linked in the listing here from Coast Honda (Honda Certified Used Car = 7-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and a 12-month/12,000-mile limited non-powertrain warranty.) As searched for on http://www.kbb.com Robert
 

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You are right, I forgot about the Honda Certified used car thing. Well then maybe it is a good idea to purchase one of those.
 
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