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:shock: Greetings - This is an excellent forum! I know next to nothing about hybrid technology, but I'm fast getting acquited, thanks to the excellent posts and replies herein. Here's my dilemma:

:?: First, I am debating between purchsing a 2001 Insight (5sp) with 88K miles versus a 2002 Golf TDI with 65K, both from dealerships, both one owner vehicles. What are some of the factors that have in the past swayed any of you in the direction of the Honda?

:?: Second, besides the obvious battery replacement costs, are there any other associated expenses that I ought to concommitantly figure on while budgeting for the battery? How much would the "whole chalupa" run, inclusive of labor at the dealer?

PS: I am little puzzled by the seeming incompetence/lack of care exhibited by the dealer, insofar as the Insight. What gives?

Thanx in advance :)
 

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Hi JJ, Welcome! Here's the scoop: If you only need 2 seats, and drive lots of highway miles, an Insight 5-spd is the best choice if you want to save gas & money. It is truly an amazing car, with the capability to acheive mid 80's mpg. (if you put more air in the tires, are patient, and learn the techniques)

In my area currently, Diesel fuel is 45 cents per gallon higher than regular unleaded gas; certainly a factor in your equation. I would try to find an Insight with 50,000 miles or less, ideally. I will let another forum member address the battery issues. Good luck to you, Billy.....
 

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IMA Battery

Billy, nice job at the Seattle car show. Your red emmerald sparkles. Back on topic... Shouldn't be too hard to find a used Insight with low miles, as Billy suggested. If a battery pack fails and your past warrantee, it's not too bad. I believe the price is fairly low now that Honda has a third party company in CA that's rebuilding them. I believe the battery pack is warrenteed for 80K miles. If you check Steve D'Aostono's "this new car" radio broadcasts, Craig mentions where newer honda hybrids have 150K battery pack warrantee's. I don't know if this would have an effect on the warrantee's for older vehicles.
 

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Re: IMA Battery

150K battery pack warrantee for the new Insights? I'll see if I can confirm that this Monday.

As for buying those older cars ... Have reall good look at - and be ready to replace the following suggested items:

.1. Radiator
.2. All rubber hoses
.3. All rubber belts
.4. The Transmission Fluid
.5. The Brake Fluid

If you don't understand the seriousness of the above suggested item replacements, check with a competent friend who is in the automotive repair business. Murphy's Law(s) will go into effect - sooner or later.

And when changing the brake fluid on that 5 or 10 year old car - DO take the time to inspect those brake lines - from under the vehicle; get it up on a lift and have a good, close look! I suggest this as odds are those brake lines on that older car are NOT stainless steel (SS) and as such these can and will rust - FROM THE OUTSIDE - inward. Nothing like going down the road in your newly purchased older car and finding to your horror that you suddenly have no brakes! Can ruin your whole day!

Fred
 

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Regarding your first question--

I might have come out ahead in terms of money in the long run by buying a Golf or maybe even an ordinary Honda Civic used. However, you have to ask yourself which CAR you like better, unless your decision is solely financial.

I was willing to pay a premium for a car (the Insight) that I have only seen 4 others of while driving in the past year and a half. I think it is fun to have a unique car that is almost nonexistent where I live. While the Insight apparently is a lot more common in Cali, in the midwest I never see one. The Golf, on the other hand, is much more common.

Now, the downside to a unique car is getting it serviced and buying parts. However, the Honda dealership where I live is excellent. Now, the problem might be that the only thing I have had to replace on the car during its 34000-51600 mileage since I have owned it is front brake pads :!:

My recommendation: Buy an Insight that will be warrantied under Honda Care for at least 2-3 years (It is transferrable one time from the original purchaser.) I bought mine in 10/04 from an older gentleman (probably in his 60's) who took great care of the car and transferred the Honda Care to me and it is valid through 8/07. You can buy a Honda Care on a Honda (I believe) that is used as long as it is under a certain mileage and age as long as it passes Honda's inspection. It covers almost, but not quite everything on the car. The last thing you want to have happen is to buy a high mileage Insight, and then be stuck with $1000's in repairs within days or weeks. Let the warranty be your piece of mind, and if you find out you bought a car that had not been well maintained, then you can at least resell it without incurring high repair costs.
 
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