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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there!

I've been lurking on these boards for a few weeks now doing research on the Insight. I have one in my sights now and will be traveling to look at a 2001 5 spd on Friday the 3rd. I have a few questions that maybe you folks could help me with.

1. What is a good way to evaluate the IMA battery level / condition while driving the car?

2. I know they have had all recalls and mtc. records are available. They also say that the warranty is transferrable for $50.00 good until July 2008. What major components does that cover? What about the battery? Would I be covered for 100,000 miles? Does the extension apply to me as the second owner?

As you can tell, I am really worried about the IMA battery and just want to be sure I'm not making a mistake. I plan on driving about 360 miles round trip at least once a week, all on interstate highways. Will this car hold up to that? Are there any battery charging issues I should be aware of since I will be at a constant 70mph?

ANY info you could provide would be MUCH appreciated! I will continue to search and research this site for information.

Thank You for your time!

jfire
 

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#1 - there is no way to evaluate the battery, unfortunately. Seeing the SOC (state of charge meter) doesn't tell yo anything other that what the current amount of charge is.

#2 - This is the first I've heard about the need to pay to "transfer" a warranty. AFAIK - as long as the car is not "salvaged", the warranty is in effect even after ownership changes.

your long trip is what this car does best. I was very surprised at the comfort when I got mine. Buying mine used and never having sat in one prior, I drove it almost 1000 miles in one day and could have easily done another 500 miles the same day (I'm 6'3" tall so comfort is usually an issue).

Lastly, you will find the efficiency go way up by going 60-65 vs 70 mph.

Good luck
 

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How many miles does it have? As long as it doesn't have a salvage title the IMA battery and electronics should be covered for 150,000 miles or 10 years.
 

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jfire said:
1. What is a good way to evaluate the IMA battery level / condition while driving the car?
2. ... the warranty is transferrable for $50.00 ...
... plan on driving about 360 miles round trip at least once a week, all on interstate highways. Will this car hold up to that?
/quote]

For what it's worth, there is no "good way" to evaluate the IMA battery level when driving. Just keep an eye on your guages as you go along and you'll know if it charged, fully charged or not.

Fifty dollars to transfer the warranty? That's a new one. As I understand it, just notify Honda that you're the new owner and the warranty transfers to you, for fhe cost of a postage stamp.

Will the Insight hold up to a 360 mile trip - you bet it will. That's what they're really good at!

The only thing you have to be concerned about is that right now you probably do NOT know how to drive the Insight. There's a real good chance that right now you've never driven a car like the Insight before - and it is different.

- You're going to have to learn to run along at fifty or sixty MPH, not seventy or eighty MPH.

- You're going to have to learn to stay out of the left hand lane and stay in the right hand lane

- You're going to have to learn to stop snickering as you fill up for twenty dollars while the others around you are going into debt for fifty or sixty dollars.

Best of luck with the "new" Insight!

Fred / Proud Owner Of "The Silver Bullet"
 

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You have to pay for a warranty transfer if it is the extended warranty, which is a separate purchase from the car. When I bought my '01 Insight in 2003, I paid to transfer the warranty (it was about $1200) so the total price of the car on the bill of sale was $1200 less because part of the total payment was for the extended warranty, not for the car.

If the $50 is for transferring the extended warranty, that's pretty cheap! It may be that cheap because there is only 4 years left on it (it's 10 years, 100K miles, if I recall correctly). The extended warranty can only be transferred *once* -- is the person selling the car the original owner?

Good luck with the other stuff... my '01 Insight has not had any IMA issues, yet... :?
 

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The above posters are right, the Insight eats up 40-55mph and returns absurdly high gas mileage in that range. I found that out when I slowed down. It will happily run at 70mph without draining the battery (unless you're going up a mountain), but you won't get the mpg there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks,Guys!

The one I'm looking at is a 2001 with 59,000 miles. It is the origonal owner, and has all maint. records. I forgot to add that I plan on installing the aftermarket cruise control. I cut & pasted the warranty info. Sorry for the caps. HONDA CARE - VEHICLE SERVICE CONTRACT TRANSFERABLE FOR $50 GOOD THROUGH JULY 1-2008 OR 100K. It does have a clean title.


Thanks so much for everyones' help. If there's anything else I should know before Friday, please let me know!!

Thank You,

jfire
 

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Before ordering the cruise control, try driving without it first. I was 100% certain I'd want to add cruise control until I got my Insight. Then I realized varying speed is one of the keys to good mpg, plus driving the thing is just plain fun.
 

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1. as covered, there really is no way to

2. some dealers will offer a warranty with the purchase of a used car, i would look into it and probably take it. but as long as the car isnt salvaged, the entire IMA system(battery, motor, charging, etc) is warranties BY HONDA for up to 150Kmi or 10 years and IS transferable from owner to owner without cost...this warranty was the number one selling point in my purchase of mine

long highway drives are great in this car...but you will be able to get amazing MPG if you drive a little slower, even 5 or 10 mph will increase your MPG by the same amounts...but no matter how you drive it, its a great car for long trips :D

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So it sounds like this car is happiest on 55mph backroads rather than the 65mph highways. Looks like I'll be taking the more "scenic" route on my drives from now on.

3 days and counting. Any more advice for me?

Thanks again for everyones' wisdom!!

jfire
 

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jfire To get the most from the Insight or any vehicle you will have to adjust your mind set and driving style for sure.

My advise is to take to car out for an extended test drive, as others have said watch the gauges. Watch for the check engine light, also make sure that when you speed up quickly the assist gauge will max out and stay maxed out for a brief time (if not this could be a sign of a weak battery). I would not expect it with 59K but just wacth for it.

Dave
 

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Honda Care extended warranty also covers things like the front lower control arms, which I recently had replaced on my Insight (search the site for the squeaking problem). Honda stepped up to the plate in terms of the IMA, but getting the extended warranty in addition to Honda's built-in warranty is good for other things.

Good luck!
 

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I'll second red1dr's comment on the cruise control. When driving a hyper-milage car like the insight, your right foot becomes very sensitive and you supply it input that no cruise control can handle.

An example would be a slight incline that lasts for a mile or so. A cruise control would sense that the car is slowing down and supply additional air/fuel to the engine to compensate. With the Insight's tiny motor and tall gearing, just about the time you top this minor rise, you'll be back up to your crusing speed. Your brain on the other hand sees that this is just a slight incline and you're OK with the fact that you're going to loose 2 or 3 miles per hour climbing up it. You know that you'll gain those same miles per hour going down the other side so your average speed will remain the same. The big difference is that you didn't supply an extra blast of fuel to the motor to try to hold that average speed.

When Honda built the Insight it was designed to get the best possible fuel economy. If a cruise control would have helped it to get better mileage, they would have put one in as standard equipment.

Also, for long trips you may want to look into adding additional padding into the seat backs and lumbar area. I fixed mine up and it made a huge difference. It all depends on how your back fits the seat.

By the way, my 2001 is at 155,000 KMs and going strong after six years of Canadian prairie driving. It handles tempuratures from -40C to +40C and has so far returned a lifetime average of 3.5 l/100Km (80MPG Imperial or 65MPG US). I fully expect to be driving it twenty years from now.

Good luck,
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the replys. I didn't get to go look at it last Monday. I received a call on Friday telling me that when she started it up, she got the dreaded IMA light. The dealer has the new battery on order and it should be completed by now. I'm going to go look at it this coming Monday.

I guess this is a good thing as I will now have a new IMA battery. The car has right at 60,000 miles on it which jives with most others on this board. Now, have there been any changes / refinements to the batteries since 2001? How long is the NEW battery warrantied for?

Thanks again!

jfire
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I hate to reply to my own post, but does anyone know if the new IMA battery that the dealer replaced is under warranty? The Honda warranty runs out in July of '08.


Thanks,

jfire
 

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I believe a replacement IMA battery is warrantied for one year in the USA. Not sure about mileage. HTH.
 

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I would ask the dealer and GET IT IN WRITING FROM THE DEALERSHIP. I have heard differing things from differing dealers. The minority have told me a replacement battery pack has a one year warranty. Most have told me that the replacement warranty is for 8 years/100,000 miles, which was the original warranty for the battery pack before the goodwill extension to 10 years/150,000 miles. (Although I am still running on my original battery, so I don't have first-hand experience.)

While Honda has done a relatively good job in terms of service, like any corporation sometimes between the dealership and corporation the left hand doesn't always know what the right hand is doing. If a dealership tells you 8 years, get proof and don't just rely on their statement.
 

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florida_gators said:
... GET IT IN WRITING FROM THE DEALERSHIP.
There's a "reverse" way of doing this as well, by you sending the company in question "the dealership" a letter, in your own words regarding the guarantee (Registered Mail is suggested; i.e., make them sign for it) and do include, again in your own words, that the guarantee is ONE of the main reasons you're buying the car.

If they're going to "back-track" that is when it will occur and should tell you all you need to know at that point.

Hope this helps.

Fred / Proud Owner of "The Silver Bullet"
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, I bought my Insight today and drove over 200 miles home. Avg. 60 MPG with the air on. As you probably know the car has been at the dealer getting some warranty work done. New IMA battery, O2 sensor, new compressor because a bad pulley had allowed something to rub on the compressor. Pretty much ALL of the things I have read about on this site regarding a 60,000 mile car has just been completed in one big sweep. Thanks to all who have helped me along with this descicion. Now to find a Rostra cruise control on ebay!

Thanks again!

jfire
 

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Congradulations on your purchase. With only 60,000 miles on it, you should have many years and miles of efficient driving ahead.
 
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