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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The hatch of my 2000 Manual Insight will not open, even with a key, in over 90 degree temperatures but opens otherwise. Has anybody experienced this and have any suggestions?
As it appears to be a heat related issue, does anybody know if there should be insulation described below that could be causing this??

Background-
I have owned the car 6 years without this problem, however, it has always been garaged during the day until late last summer and is now parked outside all day. Last summer I began having the humming noise problem with the hatch. I had to open it with the key, lifting up the release in the center of the hatch would result in a humming noise but the hatch would not lift. On very hot days even the key would not work. I did not replace the actuator but the key has worked fine since September until earlier this week when we now have hot weather and I cannot open the hatch anyway possible.
I noticed underneath the cargo area carpeting is felt and underneath that on the left side is black insulation, however, on the right side there is no insulation but simply sheet metal that is way too hot to touch. Last summer I bought new tires and wondered if they removed some insulation that could cause this problem.

All comments appreciated!
 

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Hatch opening problem

Both my 2000 and my 2001 have developed similar hatch problem--identical on both. To open hatch I have to simultaneously turn key in hatch lock AND lift hatch release under center of hatch while lifting hatch. A bit of a pain when carrying something to put into hatch area, but workable. I live in Tucson area so heat might have been a factor but this occurs at all times and temperatures--even on "cold" winter days. Since it happened to both cars I assume there is a design weakness here. I hope doing both of these actions at same time opens your hatch from now on. I decided not to spend any $ on fixing this as it did work this way for me. Good Luck.

Dave
 

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The hatch release motor is less then $70 dollars and not to hard to replace, you should just buy a new one and not have to worry about having to use the key. I bought my car with the hatch release motor broken and used the key turn/hatch lift method but it is pretty tricky and sometimes takes a couple tries to get the timing down.

So much easier with a new hatch release motor installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"simultaneously turn key in hatch lock AND lift hatch release under center of hatch while lifting hatch". This works only if temp is less than 95. I have been opening the hatch on a daily basis for the last year with the key, so pretty much have the procedure down. However, last summer, and now this summer, that method does not work when the car is backing in the sun all day long.

As far as the cost of the motor, the dealer told me I need a new actuator, which costs $250, and another $400 in labor. Not worth $700 to fix.
Do you know if the actuator is the same price as the motor?
 

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When you pull up on the electric open switch under the licsence plate do you hear a motor whirling/clicking sound? If you do then it is the $70 rotory motor. Honda PN 74840-S3Y-003 (Actuator assy, tailgate opener)

2000 Honda Insight Tailgate, 3DR DX (A/C) KA 5MT B__55

There are several post on the forum that show pictures of it and how to change it, one tip I learned is to remove the 3 big philips screws that hold the latch, need that loose to help undo the rods on the actuator assy.
 

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The actuator is the motor. The dealer does not know what they are talking about and/or is trying to rip you off.

I replaced mine a few months ago and it took me about an hour + $62 for the part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
manual key to open hatch?

Thanks for your response. Even given the actuator is bad I thought the hatch could still be opened manually with the key. The key works fine in the morning when car is garaged, in rain, in the fall, winter. The only time the key does not work is when the car is parked all day on hot summer days while I am at work. That is why I thought having no insulation underneath the carpeting may be the culprit or maybe something with the lock assembly. I don't want replace the actuator and find out it's another problem. It seems heat related to me.
 
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