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Discussion Starter #1
Having recently lost an Insight to the Jaws of Life, I've become very interested in the door locks on the Insight. I recently learned that the hatchback key turns the "normal" amount to the right to trigger the electric locks to unlock all doors on the car, and if you turn it farther to the right, it mechanically unlocks the hatchback, even if the 12-volt system is dead. I drove 45,000 miles without ever discovering that I could open the hatch without pressing the electric switch in the middle of the back. It never occurred to me to turn the key farther to the right.

So, what about the regular door locks? Insert the key and turn it. Have you just mechanically unlocked the door, or did you just trigger an electric switch? Is it like the rear hatch and mechanical unlocking requires an unusually large angle of turn?

This is important to me because I'd really like to know if it is the case that the only reason my Insight was destroyed was that the 12-volt system was dead (perhaps disconnected by the rescue team for safety reasons) and nobody knew how to work the mechanical override for the electric locks.
 

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This new fact inspired me to go outside with a few different keys and play. Yes it seems as though turning the key more to the right does mechanically unlock the door. First stop to the right the locks all click open and the second position at least feels like a mechanical lock. I suppose the 12 volt battery would have to be diconnected to confirm this, but thats what it feels like. I just had a recalibration the other day otherwise I would disconnect the 12 volt and see, but I'm not in the recalibration mood at the moment.
 

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Wait, no second thought on the rear hatch lock. It would almost have to be an electrical connection for the rear hatch. You can take the whole tail light off to replace a burnt out bulb, so it would have to be some kind of electrical connection. After all, the release on the hatch is just a button that activates the latch release electrically. As far as the doors, now I'm curious too.
 

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Ricky,

If you turn the key clockwise in the hatchback lock, first you will hear the solenoid (I think) click and unlock the doors - keep turning the key and you will feel the mechanical click. I know this works, because the release button in my hatchback doesn't work anymore, and I have to use the key to manually open it. I think this is also mentioned in the owner's manual.
 

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I had the misfourtion of leaving My interiour light on once at the parking gargae at airport once and after 10 days the 12 volt system was definatly DEAD. I was able to unlock the rear hatch and the dirver side door with the key. Which FYI an Insight will NOT start with a dead 12 volt system,but a simple jump and it will fire up and go to force charge untill recalibrated.
 

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Jim that doesn't necessarily mean there is a physical link between that switch and the lock. I've had that tail light off while playing with some led clutster and there would have had to been a cable of something, not wires that go in to that tail light for there to be a link that unlatches the hatch. I'm going to guess that you have to have electricity to open the hatch, but not the side doors.
 

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Rick...

Once you remove the 2 obvious screws, how do you get the tail light off? Is it some sort of clamp still holding it at the bottom right?

What were you trying with LED's?
 

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There are the two screws behind the tabs on the outer side that are revealed by opening the hatch then you have to fold back the fuzzy cardboard they call carpet behind the light on the inside of the car, under a piece of sticky foam is a cut out where a screw inside is located, that holds the main housing in. I think it's in the owners manual how to take them apart. As far as the LED's, I thought it would be cool to have them on such a car and that I could save some watts by doing so. And yes it would have saved me at least 4 amps by just doing the brake lights, but unfortunately either the Insight is either wired non standard, or the APC (I know, Rice boy stuff, but they were the only ones to make that size led clusters) clusters were not oem standard as they claim. But anyways because they were more designed to send directional light in to a diffuser the resulting light output would have been very unsafe to drive with. Also I could get the brake light to work, but then as soon as the running lights were turned on it shorted back across the led's (PM me if you want a technical explaination) and blew a fuse. Too bad, I have another led idea looming in the back of my mind if I can find a spare set of brake lights without spending the $300 Honda wants for them.

My main point though as to why I think the key would be an electrical actuation of the hatch though is becuase if I recall correctly the key hole is part of the tail light fixture.
 

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Will is right about the locks...

Hey, I can't sleep anyhow (weird time to come back from a cross-country flight), so I read this, and I just had to try it out. Went to the garage, tried the hatch door-open trick (which I did not know about, never having used the key in any of the locks :oops: ), and doors opened in concert with the hatch. Same with the mechanical override to the far right. Then... I pulled the ground cable, and tried the each of the locks as advised, without power. Both doors and the hatch CAN open without power with the key! Cool to know that safety factor is there. Thanks, Will... nothing like empirical research... now I better go back out and hook the ground back up and do a reset...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Will is right about the locks...

boogetyboogety said:
H... I pulled the ground cable, and tried the each of the locks as advised, without power. Both doors and the hatch CAN open without power with the key! ...
Great. Thanks for the research, especially since I no longer have an Insight to try it out on until May/June when the new one arrives.

Now, when you unlocked the car doors, did it take the same kind of extra effort with the key that the hatch takes, or did it just take the normal 1/8 turn?
 

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Lock research

Turned 1/8 turn for unlock. Here how it works:

No power:
Hatch can open with key, individual doors can open with key.

Power on:
Doors and hatch lock with fob (all) OR with key (individual door).
Doors and hatch unlock with fob OR key as follows:
~ Unlocking doors with fob opens (1 press) driver's door, (2 presses) hatch and passenger door.
~ Unlocking hatch with key unlocks both doors along with hatch.
~ Unlocking passenger door with key only opens that door.
~ Unlocking drivers door with key only opens that door.
~ Glove compartment lock remains unaffected by electronic wizardry.
~ Pressing the long red PANIC fob button for two seconds activates horn, flashes lights, scares the hell out of the cats, and my Beloved wasn't real thrilled about it either.
 

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the best part is leaving someone in the car while you get something.

for example, leaving my little sister in the car while i carry-out the pizza.

a nice push on the panic button sends her flying out of her seat.


actually, the first time i did it, she said she was just about to push the radio button, and she thought the car jumped at her to not touch it :lol:
 
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