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I have a 2000 Insight that has sat for a long time, exposed to the elements of NW Pennsylvania. I am currently thinking about starting a restoration but my Honda Dealer is trying to discourage me stating that it would not be worth the money; too expensive. That the circuitry is probably shot. The last time that I started it up was 4 years ago. I let it sit as my husband, who was a Vietnam Veteran , health started to decline, and all my attention became focused on him. Cant wait to hear your comments.
 

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Pat, it depends on what it needs and who is going to do the work. A Honda dealer is not the place to take it. If you are willing/able to work on it we can give you all the help/advice you need. The first step would be to get it running and determine what else it needs. How many miles are on it and what shape is it in otherwise? It might be cheaper to just get another car and keep this one for parts.

Sam
 

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Thanks Sam. Body could stand a paint job; headlamps and tail lamps are in good shape. Seats are in fair shape. Odometer reading 140,216 last state inspection which was in 2012. car Battery could not keep a charge as it was diagnosed with an electrical short in the door. Motor was running fine when last used. I know that it needs new brake lines. My brother has moved back to PA from Florida and he is pretty handy with a wrench;. Bet I could enlist his help in fixing her up.
 

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Paint is expensive and usually not worth doing on an old car. Miles are low, which is good. You'll have to find that short. New brake lines are available, but installing them sounds like a fairly complicated job. I've never done it. It would be great if your brother could help you.

Sam
 

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The cars have reached such a low level of value that a car like you describe is worth no more than $500-800. It is really a losing proposition for you. A car like this has no value to anyone except those who can do their own work and are willing to do a lot of it. I am sorry to have to say this, but for a non mechanic, they are just a long term headache waiting to happen. You haven't even raised the question of the Hybrid battery.

You might be able to get the figure mentioned as a parts car from another owner. Truly sorry, but cut your losses, hassle, and heartache short.
 

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If it's something you love, restore it.

It's going to cost more than the vehicle is worth. It's going to take time and effort to source parts and to install them.

That hasn't ever stopped anybody from restoring a vehicle they want to restore though.

I think the Insight is in a precarious position at the moment. It's not worth anything in general used condition. I think all signs are there that the car will be highly collectible in the future though. Who knows what another 10 years might do to their value? The pieces of junk will still be pieces of junk, but the gems are already worth more than they should be.
 

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If the question is solely about restoration, then I would say no as well. You
could always buy another Insight that hasn't been exposed to the elements.
To get the car to run only, or as a second vehicle as back up, brake lines
aren't scary. The electrical would need to be addressed first before proceeding.
I never go to a Honda dealer. I do it myself, or utilize the " Good ole Boy"
network for most things. A good ole boy with a good reputation in the area is
always something to keep in your back pocket for future auto repairs.
 

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Yea, the idea of restoration is nice, but you don't have a restorable example. Your car is not likely to ever have much value, so the money you spend is down a sink hole. You should question everything about the door short. Can you or your brother verify that the short in the door actually exists?? If not, then you haven't passed the first test of ownership of one of these old cars. There are several alternative explanations of why the 12V won't stay charged.

10-A-SEE ME has the correct perspective. If you want one buy a good condition running car, around the same mileage, with a verifiable recent IMA battery installation. Even then, be prepared to do all your own maintenance. Even oil changes are dangerous left to the wrong people, and the dealers are largely worthless when it comes to cost effective repair of these old cars.

I know I come across a very negative, but I'm really not if the car is owned by the right persons, including some ladies I know; but I have personal experience trying to help an unskilled lady keep hers running. I eventually realized between her idea of budget, her estimate of my genius level, and the distance between us that her ownership just wasn't viable. Been there and it deeply shaped my idea of who should own the cars - good mechanics!
 

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Now I'm no professional however....

*replace all fluids
*replace 12v battery
*spend an hour and disconnect the ima battery so It's not a hybrid anymore

enjoy your old car again :D
 

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What is your goal with it? To use it yourself or sell it? Do you drive a stick? In either case you want to at least get it running. Stick a fresh battery in it and see if it starts. Chances are it will be off the 12V starter so you have to keep the key on start for a few seconds before it engages. Then report back.
 

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Yeah, I would support trying to get it started, but you don't even need to spend the money for a new battery to do that. You can simply jump start it from another vehicle.

As ati says, hold the key for a few seconds to engage the 12V starter. It would probably help if you could find someone to spray a bit of starting fluid into the intake while the starter is engaged.

The brake lines are a tough and time consuming task. The fuel tank has to be removed to do a proper job. This is just one example of the non trivial tasks you face "restoring" a neglected insight. The fuel lines are subject to the same deterioration from rust that afflicts the brake line, so plan on replacing both - big, time consuming and difficult job. Expensive if you have to pay someone.

Here is a link to someone competent who talked about fuel and brake lines:


If you use the search bar at the top of the page, you will find numerous discussion threads about the problems with fuel and brake lines, particularly in northern climates. If the car sat on grass for those two years, then it likely has problems with both systems.

I just want you to thoroughly understand what you are getting into. I'm not knocking ladies abilities, I have a daughter who built her own racing engines, and we have lady members who can accomplish mechanical miracles, but it doesn't sound like you have that kind of mechanical background.
 

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<SNIP>

I just want you to thoroughly understand what you are getting into. I'm not knocking ladies abilities, I have a daughter who built her own racing engines, and we have lady members who can accomplish mechanical miracles, but it doesn't sound like you have that kind of mechanical background.
I'm too damned old for doing most mechanical work now. But thirty years ago I would not want to have taken on a big project like a restoration. It is not as much gender as it is desire and ability. When I was a headhunter we said there were only two gender linked jobs: sperm donor and wet nurse.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thanks to all who have taken the time to respond ~ all your comments are welcomed and appreciated. Still on the fence as to what to do. Will keep you posted. In the meantime, here are my best wishes for all of you to have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
 

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Happy Thanksgiving Pat. Above advice is all good. I agree with Eli with regard to the 2000-2006 (G1 Insights) as desirable and future collectibles. Honda made relatively few - and they are definitely unique. If you plan to use the car as a daily driver, for you, it may not be the best choice. If you like the car, and it has sentimental value to you, I think you should at least determine what is needed. Honda dealerships ($$$) are not the best place to get things done - as many (most) on this forum will attest. Just curious, what color is your 2000? Thanks - and best wishes on your Insight project/decision.
 

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I have a 2000 Insight that has sat for a long time, exposed to the elements of NW Pennsylvania. I am currently thinking about starting a restoration but my Honda Dealer is trying to discourage me stating that it would not be worth the money; too expensive. That the circuitry is probably shot. The last time that I started it up was 4 years ago. I let it sit as my husband, who was a Vietnam Veteran , health started to decline, and all my attention became focused on him. Cant wait to hear your comments.
I am going rthrough the same situation. My 2004 sat for 4 years while I went through medical issues. When I got back to it everything was dead. I started by replacing the 12v battery. Amazingly, it started right up. After entering the radio code I moved it into my shop. The main battery was stone dead. I also had 2 fuel leaks that developed while sitting for so long. After repairing the leaks, I restarted it and let it idle for about 2 hours. The battery started to accept a charge. I still have some sort of emission warning to figure out but it seems to start and drive just like it was before I took ill. I drove it for a short 20 mile trip and returned with the battery recharged to about 75%. I expect that it will fully recover.
 

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I am going rthrough the same situation. My 2004 sat for 4 years while I went through medical issues. When I got back to it everything was dead. I started by replacing the 12v battery. Amazingly, it started right up. After entering the radio code I moved it into my shop. The main battery was stone dead. I also had 2 fuel leaks that developed while sitting for so long. After repairing the leaks, I restarted it and let it idle for about 2 hours. The battery started to accept a charge. I still have some sort of emission warning to figure out but it seems to start and drive just like it was before I took ill. I drove it for a short 20 mile trip and returned with the battery recharged to about 75%. I expect that it will fully recover.
I would try the same routine and see how it goes. I have developed a good relationship with my local Honda parts manager. So far, I have been able to get anything that I have ever needed for the car although I am starting to have concerns that the well may soon dry up due to its age. Most of the parts are pricey but what OEM car part isn't? I have purchased everything to keep it running from the dealer, even nuts and bolts. My car is totally original except for the 12v battery. I plan to put classic car plates on it soon.
 

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pat i bought a 2001 that had been sitting for over 2 years. i got it to start by shooting some starting fluidin the fuel rail but it would no start on its own. i took it to a shop and had trouble with the son of the owner. so i got it running on my own, but it needed more help and the weather came in. i am going to be 72 in april so i cannot take the weather so i took it to another shop and for less than $200 it runs. it needs the ima battery to be reworked to get good milage. i bought it in kansas. I believe as many of these gen 1 insights should run as long as they can. all alumiunum and plastic.When the gas motors run out, i would like to see them transition them to ev's.i am a backyard mechanic and a junkyard dog. I believe in this forum and i helped the shop i took it to by giving them resources from the forum. a great group of men and women. Pat it is up to you. I use the dealership for small parts only. or diagrams as i have not been able to figure out the pdfs on the forum yet. i hope this helps.
 
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