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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I've run across a 2000 Insight (manual transmission) with 15K in total miles. The car was used by a Honda dealer as shuttle vehicle to pickup customers, parts, etc.

Lifetime fuel economy is about 47 MPG. I'm told the battery was replaced about two years ago due to a recall. I'm told the new extension on the warranty may not apply.

They are asking $10,900 for it. Shows some age - but seems to be in good condition. They have records showing that it was serviced.

When driving, I noticed it was making a clicking noise. They weren't sure of the cause but would investigate. I took it to a mechanic and he thought it had to do with the left side bushings.

I like the car & am interested. The numbers of miles is excellent. However, I feel the car was probably driven pretty hard -- considering the lifetime mileage. While they hold their value - I'm thinking that the price is higher than what I want.

Any initial thoughts? Any questions I should ask? I've got the car for the weekend and plan to drive it a good bit.
 

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Make 'em an offer! If they refuse, it'll cost you nothing but if they accept it ... let them understand that the offer is subject to their correcting that "clicking" noise within a reasonable time; i.e., they shouldn't take a year or two to get it correcrted ... everything in writing.

Again, if you like the car, make them an offer. The worst that can happen is that they say no. There's plenty of those disgusting red ones out there.

Hope this helps.

Fred :)
 

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_BEFORE_ ___I____ would make an offer I'd want to know about the IMA battery "problem". There was no recall. It _might_ have needed replacement for other reasons, but AFAIK such a replacement does _not_ change the remainder of the IMA battery warranty.

Particularly since its low miles. A lot of down time can have just as much a "wear" factor" (on many things, the IMA batteries being one of the single most expensive) as "high" miles.

If your in one of the states that qualifies for the new IMA battery warranty extension:

US IMA warranty extension
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=4796

if that part of the warranty has been "used-up / canceled" then you should plan for $5000+ in future needed repairs. :shock:.

No rechargeable battery will last forever, and the Insight is no exception. Its just that with the increase in MPG the "cost" can more that pay for itself in gasoline savings. And that's the "problem" in buying used. "What is this Insight's remaining service life for the IMA batteries :?: " There's no easy to tell short of major disassembly and some very technical and complex testing. It's simply not cost effective to do. But if you plan for it, and purchase at the right price then there won't be any unhappy surprises. :)

IMA batteries alone run in the $2.5K range. The remainder is updated MCM & BCM (IMA system controllers). The final price can vary greatly as reported in here $4,500-$6,500 depending on location and dealer. :/

I'd wanna _KNOW_. And you'd better get the verification that the IMA warranty is still in full effect in _writing_ by the sales _manager_ for it to be of any future value.

Once this future cost is nailed down then a going price seems to be closer to $10K. Check eBay and the like.

HTH! :)
 

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Using the car for a shuttle would explain the low miles, and maybe the low lifetime MPG, but it just seems odd to me that they would use a $20,000 hybrid in that way when people looking to buy one can't find one. Why are they selling it now? Spend a few bucks and get a Carfax report on the history of the car to make sure they are telling you the truth. The battery replacement needs futher explanation and documentation, and knowing whether or not the warranty is in effect is a MUST! And the "clicking" has to be fixed before you buy it. For what it's worth, there are two 2000 Insights on autotrader.com with over 100,000 miles and an asking price of over $10,000.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
More details

I'm now told I got it wrong & should clarify. The car did have a recall - but it had to do with the emissions system. (I was confused.) They replaced the ECM in May 2005.

Regarding the IMA battery - the IMA warning light came on when it had 8,400 miles on it. They had a problem with the wiring and it was not charging properly. The car came to them from the factory with the problem.

The warranty issue is still up in the air. I have to confirm that.

The clicking noise will be fixed before we actually take delivery of the vehicle. The outside mechanic I talked to didn't think it was a big deal. He was actually more concerned about finding an outside mechanic to service the car. (He couldn't perform much work on it.) Said I would be going to the dealer for much of the servicing. I'm thinking he's probably correct there. (Is this what Insight drivers usually find?)

Currently the car is painted with the name of the dealer on it. I had asked them if it was for sale - as they now cannot get new Insights. (I joked that I'd drive the car around plugging the dealer if they'd reduce the price by a good bit.) I think they are telling me the truth on history - but haven't verified it yet.

Your thoughts on all this are important.

On a side note - this site is a great resource for information. I wanted to compliment everyone involved. If I am able to join the Insight community as an owner - I hope to contribute to help others as well.
 

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Re: More details

Hi Sid and thanks for the follow-up in reply. :D (a lot of newbie posters don't go to the extra effort)

There is a recall for the ECM on 2000 (-01 :?: ) models so that information is correct. Your independent mechanic's got the hybrid willies. Maintenance is always "easy" work (relatively). Diagnosis of an IMA light :?: That would be something entirely different without Honda's support. Hope you can get him to see the error of his ways. ;)

The only oddball points that I can think of right now are:

unusual tire pressure (up to 50 psi is desirable)
careful fastening of the wheel skirts else they can fly off ($200 oops)
unusual oil viscosity 0W-20 preferred
magnesium oil pan _requires_ careful tightening of the plug. ($500 ++ oops)

Hope things work out for you in your purchase, but others are available if your willing to travel or have it shipped. So don't take it unless you can get a good deal.

HTH! :)
 
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