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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I'm looking for advice.

I've got a 2003 automatic Insight that I purchased back in 2006. It has been a great car with no major problems until now. The IMA light stays on which keeps the check engine light on. My mechanic tells me it's the big battery, and says to replace it would be almost $5,000. He says that is worth way more than the car. (I had the original battery replaced in 2008 - but it was still just barely under warranty, so it was free. Whew!) It will not pass inspection with the check engine light on, so by May 31st I cannot officially drive it anymore. It is time to move it on.

It has been a hard working car. I have over 326,000 miles on it. It has a few scratches. There's a paint stain on the carpet area of the hatch. The seats show their wear. I know it isn't worth a lot, and the local "Pull-A-Part" junk dealer says they'll give me $350 for it.

Does anyone have a suggestion of where I might get a little more for it? I'm in Kernersville, NC by the way.

Thanks!
~KJ
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I'm not trying to talk you into keeping it. But if you love the car as much as you appear to, you should know that you can get a replacement battery from Bumblebee batteries for $1600.

 

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While $5000 might be your mechanic's estimate of the cost to replace the battery, a perfectly serviceable battery can be had for much less. A BumbleBee battery with a 3 year warranty is currently $1595. You can order here:



While there is a lot of mystery and concerns about working on hybrid electrics, it is all much overblown. Once the Insight battery is turned off at the master switch, it is quite safe. If you had a friend to help you with the exchange, it can be done in a couple of hours with simple socket tools. The battery weighs about 70 lbs. so you do need an assistant.

The car is certainly worth more that the salvage yard is offering. You can advertise it in the "for sale" section here and you will very likely find a buyer who will pay you a decent price:


Be sure to read the ad rules in the sticky, which are there just to keep folks from asking you a million questions. A few pictures help.

Depending on condition and service records, you would probably get between $1000-1500. Still repair is a bit more than value of the car, but you get to keep a car you possibly love. You are central to an area where there are lots of fans of this increasingly rare car. Don't let it go to a salvage yard. :)
 
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Hi! I'm looking for advice.
Welcome to the forum.
DON'T FALL FOR THE JUNK YARD OFFER!

I've got a 2003 automatic Insight that I purchased back in 2006. It has been a great car with no major problems until now. The IMA light stays on which keeps the check engine light on. My mechanic tells me it's the big battery, and says to replace it would be almost $5,000. He says that is worth way more than the car. (I had the original battery replaced in 2008 - but it was still just barely under warranty, so it was free. Whew!) It will not pass inspection with the check engine light on, so by May 31st I cannot officially drive it anymore. It is time to move it on.
We had another woman come on the forum who had a similar problem and she finally bought a "BumbleBee" [company name] from Eli for -way- less than $5K and the Honda dealer installed it for $150 (maybe a slow day?).

It has been a hard working car. I have over 326,000 miles on it. It has a few scratches. There's a paint stain on the carpet area of the hatch. The seats show their wear. I know it isn't worth a lot, and the local "Pull-A-Part" junk dealer says they'll give me $350 for it.
It's worth a LOT more than $350. We hate to see a running car go to a junk yard !! You'll have plenty of offers if you fall for a junk yard price of $350 right here.

Does anyone have a suggestion of where I might get a little more for it? I'm in Kernersville, NC by the way.

Thanks!
~KJ View attachment 90298
You probably haven't been grid charging your hybrid battery to keep it balanced. A good grid charge would probably get your car through inspection.

You need a mechanic that under stands "grid charging & rejuvenation" of the hybrid battery. (See my website for the gory details. Click on CRX below for the link.)
 

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While I agree with much of the above, grid charging requires special equipment that you probably don't have. In addition, you would have to install special wiring in the car(a charging harness) in order to use the grid charger. I take it from your comments that you have been using a mechanic for maintenance and don't have a lot of personal skills on the car. Maybe I'm wrong?

Simply changing/discharging equipment can be bought for a couple of hundred, give or take, but it is a gamble whether or not it works.
 
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Only 326,000 miles? It's just a baby... :) Okay, maybe an adolescent...

90299


(Courtesy of Scott from the high mileage Insight thread)

It's disappointing to see that people are still being quoted $5000 for a replacement battery. An OEM battery from Honda is around $2500. I don't know where the other $2500 goes. Perhaps into the mechanic's pocket....

For around that price($2500), you could get a battery with a 5 year warranty from us. That should easily get you to 400k. :)
 

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Hi! I'm looking for advice.

Does anyone have a suggestion of where I might get a little more for it? I'm in Kernersville, NC by the way.

Thanks!
~KJ
KJ,

Glad you came here. I'll echo what others said and add a bit. You can get a refurbished Bumblebee battery with 3 years warranty shipped to you for $1390 (I did a few months back for my blue Insight) that is rated for 3-5 years. Or about double that for a better battery with 5 years warranty rated for 5-7 years. They usually last longer I've heard. So if you love the car and want to keep it you can get it running for very little. If you were willing to drive to me I'd install for you for $100, it would take about 2 hours if there are no hangups. That's a 4-hour drive though which might not be worth it and I understand that.

The other option is sell it. With the high mileage and issues you discussed it's likely to fetch $500 at best. I understand the $350 junkyard option as you may never find someone that wants the car for much more. Shame though, if you were close I'd take it off your hands.

Hate to see these cars going away like this but before long the only ones left will be owned by the members here.

Good luck, whatever you do!
 

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Too bad your car isn’t a 2001 or older car since you would be emissions exempt and could just take 10 minutes disconnect your battery and keep trucking without it.
 

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Depending on pictures of full car, I thought the car looked pretty nice in the one shot. It should bring a thousand, seems to me:)
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not trying to talk you into keeping it. But if you love the car as much as you appear to, you should know that you can get a replacement battery from Bumblebee batteries for $1600.

Thanks! I’m not very mechanical, but that is definitely a thought. I love my little car.
I'm not trying to talk you into keeping it. But if you love the car as much as you appear to, you should know that you can get a replacement battery from Bumblebee batteries for $1600.

While $5000 might be your mechanic's estimate of the cost to replace the battery, a perfectly serviceable battery can be had for much less. A BumbleBee battery with a 3 year warranty is currently $1595. You can order here:



While there is a lot of mystery and concerns about working on hybrid electrics, it is all much overblown. Once the Insight battery is turned off at the master switch, it is quite safe. If you had a friend to help you with the exchange, it can be done in a couple of hours with simple socket tools. The battery weighs about 70 lbs. so you do need an assistant.

The car is certainly worth more that the salvage yard is offering. You can advertise it in the "for sale" section here and you will very likely find a buyer who will pay you a decent price:


Be sure to read the ad rules in the sticky, which are there just to keep folks from asking you a million questions. A few pictures help.

Depending on condition and service records, you would probably get between $1000-1500. Still repair is a bit more than value of the car, but you get to keep a car you possibly love. You are central to an area where there are lots of fans of this increasingly rare car. Don't let it go to a salvage yard. :)
Thank you Jime! This is a lot of help! I'm afraid that I'm not very mechanical, so I would need someone else to do the battery, and I feel like I'd probably get the same sort of deal wherever I go.

This has been a busy week, but I will take a lot of photos, read the rules, and post it in the buy-sell forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Welcome to the forum.
DON'T FALL FOR THE JUNK YARD OFFER!



We had another woman come on the forum who had a similar problem and she finally bought a "BumbleBee" [company name] from Eli for -way- less than $5K and the Honda dealer installed it for $150 (maybe a slow day?).



It's worth a LOT more than $350. We hate to see a running car go to a junk yard !! You'll have plenty of offers if you fall for a junk yard price of $350 right here.


You probably haven't been grid charging your hybrid battery to keep it balanced. A good grid charge would probably get your car through inspection.

You need a mechanic that under stands "grid charging & rejuvenation" of the hybrid battery. (See my website for the gory details. Click on CRX below for the link.)
Thank you so much!

Not only have I not been grid charging my battery, I don't even know what that means. There aren't a lot of mechanics around here who seem really "up" on all the hybrid things you can do. I will check out your website for the "gory" details. LOL! Thank you for putting it that way, as I am easily intimidated by mechanical things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
While I agree with much of the above, grid charging requires special equipment that you probably don't have. In addition, you would have to install special wiring in the car(a charging harness) in order to use the grid charger. I take it from your comments that you have been using a mechanic for maintenance and don't have a lot of personal skills on the car. Maybe I'm wrong?

Simply changing/discharging equipment can be bought for a couple of hundred, give or take, but it is a gamble whether or not it works.
Wow! Thank you again Jime! You are EXACTLY right. I can guarantee that I have neither the equipment OR the skills to do that! I'm very reliant on my mechanic. He seems to be a really honest guy; I just think he doesn't know (or have the equipment) to do grid charging either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Only 326,000 miles? It's just a baby... :) Okay, maybe an adolescent...

View attachment 90299

(Courtesy of Scott from the high mileage Insight thread)

It's disappointing to see that people are still being quoted $5000 for a replacement battery. An OEM battery from Honda is around $2500. I don't know where the other $2500 goes. Perhaps into the mechanic's pocket....

For around that price($2500), you could get a battery with a 5 year warranty from us. That should easily get you to 400k. :)
WOW! 720,485?! I mean, just WOW! Thanks for calling my car "just a baby." That makes me as happy as when someone calls me "young lady." LOL! I guess I just need to find a mechanic who won't double the price to install it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
KJ,

Glad you came here. I'll echo what others said and add a bit. You can get a refurbished Bumblebee battery with 3 years warranty shipped to you for $1390 (I did a few months back for my blue Insight) that is rated for 3-5 years. Or about double that for a better battery with 5 years warranty rated for 5-7 years. They usually last longer I've heard. So if you love the car and want to keep it you can get it running for very little. If you were willing to drive to me I'd install for you for $100, it would take about 2 hours if there are no hangups. That's a 4-hour drive though which might not be worth it and I understand that.

The other option is sell it. With the high mileage and issues you discussed it's likely to fetch $500 at best. I understand the $350 junkyard option as you may never find someone that wants the car for much more. Shame though, if you were close I'd take it off your hands.

Hate to see these cars going away like this but before long the only ones left will be owned by the members here.

Good luck, whatever you do!
Wow! Such great (ironic) insight. I wish I had come here first! Sadly, I thought it was all over. I spent $10K on a new used vehicle. (Double-dog-dang it!) I could've saved a lot of money with what I've learned (and a road trip.) Now I'm debating. I really do love my little car. It's so fun and unique. I no longer see any others around here. When I first got it, and saw another, we would always wave at each other. If we got to a stop light, we'd roll down the windows and the same question would ALWAYS be asked - "What's your MPG?" It was like a friendly competition. So awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Too bad your car isn’t a 2001 or older car since you would be emissions exempt and could just take 10 minutes disconnect your battery and keep trucking without it.
Interestingly enough, that is EXACTLY what my mechanic said. He also told me that if I spent at least $250 trying to repair the problem, that I could probably get an exemption from the DMV, BUT that the following year I could not have the same issue and get an exemption. Sooooo close.
 

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Wow! Such great (ironic) insight. I wish I had come here first! Sadly, I thought it was all over. I spent $10K on a new used vehicle. (Double-dog-dang it!) I could've saved a lot of money with what I've learned (and a road trip.) Now I'm debating. I really do love my little car. It's so fun and unique. I no longer see any others around here. When I first got it, and saw another, we would always wave at each other. If we got to a stop light, we'd roll down the windows and the same question would ALWAYS be asked - "What's your MPG?" It was like a friendly competition. So awesome!
At the very least you could pull the IMA fuse under the hood and cut the IMA off. We can show you how to do that in 60 seconds, it's super simple and free. Then, you basically have a car without IMA which we call gas-only mode. It's a bit less power. You might be OK with it. You'll still get decent mpg and you can keep it as a 2nd car and drive it occasionally. That's probably worth more than the ~$500 you can get for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
At the very least you could pull the IMA fuse under the hood and cut the IMA off. We can show you how to do that in 60 seconds, it's super simple and free. Then, you basically have a car without IMA which we call gas-only mode. It's a bit less power. You might be OK with it. You'll still get decent mpg and you can keep it as a 2nd car and drive it occasionally. That's probably worth more than the ~$500 you can get for it.
But that wouldn't stop the "check engine" light from coming on, would it? Because (apparently) that is why I can't pass inspection.
 

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But that wouldn't stop the "check engine" light from coming on, would it? Because (apparently) that is why I can't pass inspection.
Sorry, I was thinking from my frame of reference here in my town in GA where emissions don't happen, forgot your info about that in post #1. That said it will detract from selling price because people don't want a car they can't drive if they're in a city that requires emissions. Kind of a bind for you, either put a good bit of $$$ in and get it working or dump it.

Put it up for sale, $500 is fair for both parties IMHO, maybe a bit more possibly depending on condition, someone near you hopefully on the forum will snag it and everyone wins. If I were near I'd pay $500 for it, but it's quite a drive. Want to meet halfway? :)

And....enjoy your new car!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry, I was thinking from my frame of reference here in my town in GA where emissions don't happen, forgot your info about that in post #1. That said it will detract from selling price because people don't want a car they can't drive if they're in a city that requires emissions. Kind of a bind for you, either put a good bit of $$$ in and get it working or dump it.

Put it up for sale, $500 is fair for both parties IMHO, maybe a bit more possibly depending on condition, someone near you hopefully on the forum will snag it and everyone wins. If I were near I'd pay $500 for it, but it's quite a drive. Want to meet halfway? :)

And....enjoy your new car!
$500 is more than I'm currently being offered and certainly worth the gas. But let me take a bunch of pictures this afternoon when I get home. Should I post them here, or follow JIME's advice and post in the buy-sell section?
(Which I'll admit, I didn't even know there was one!)
 
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