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162 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Have any of you Insight owner's experienced any of things stated below? I am just curious to know if what this guy is saying is true or not.

Special low air-drag tires shodding the Insight aluminum wheels cause
1. the loudest noise heard inside the passenger compartment at speeds over 40 mph
2. and the car to "slot car" or tramline by following grooves in the road surface.

Though the tires are
1. no more fragile than a normal radial tire,
2. wear fairly well, and
3. hold the corners well. (Rumored that an Insight can run the slalom quicker than an S2000 ).

3-cylinder all-aluminum inline engine is
1. quiet
2. and fires up quickly.

1. the inherent inertial imbalance of three cylinders in-line is detectable at idle.

Integrated Motor Assist provides
1. low rpm grunt that almost compensates for the tall first gear,
2. the driver with a real-time (ASSIST-CHARGE) gauge,
3. a battery gauge indicating the state of the IMA batteries,
4. further increases fuel economy by switching off the gas engine at stops, if the driver choses
5. and is unfashionably different.

1. the IMA can be tricked and will sometimes not immediately restart the engine and
2. it will sometimes turn off the engine while the driver is downshifting and braking

Note the IMA system shuts off the engine when the driver moves the gear shift
to neutral and the brake pedal is depressed. It restarts the engine when the
shift is moved into any of the gears.

Creature Comforts
Climate Control Air-Conditioning System
1. quiet,
2. cools quickly, and
3. maintains a temperature well.

Even this simple system seems to confuse the dealership whose employees always
seem to mess it up, either by turning up the temperature instead of pressing
the defrost button or by turning it off entirely.

Power Windows
can be a slow.

Remote Entry and Power Locks
work well.

Electric Power Steering (EPS)
works just like a hydraulic system except once in a while the driver can hear
the soft buzz of the EPS charging up. And no hydraulic fluid!

works OK but lacks low end. A powered subwoofer supplements the stock speakers
well and even draws jealousy from "music connoisseurs."

1. Rearward vision is obviously a problem even to a non-Insight driver.
Get used to using the mirrors because looking backwards reminded one
person of the turret of the Millenium Falcon as seen in the Empire Strikes Back.

2. But this unusual shape draws positive comments from even the most withdrawn people.
No, wackos don't chase you but if you're visiting New England, you may actually get some sort of response!

Thoughts about the dealership
1. You would think that the service department of the dealer that sold me the car would know what type of car it is.
2. Are 15,000 mile services supposed to take half a day?
3. Prepare to be the king or queen of the waiting room and see groups of people come and leave.
4. What's a Civic-Insight?
5. Oil changes cost more because of the special 0-20 weight oil.
6. Wheel balancing weights don't belong embedded in the sidewall of a tire.
7. However, despite their apparent incompetence the employees are courteous.

1,819 Posts
The grooved pavement thing is definitely true!

Noise depends on your standard of comparison. It's sure no top-of-the-line BMW, but it's quieter than my CRX was. Most of the noise does seem to be tires.

I don't detect any imbalance at idle.

All the problems I've had with autostop seem to because the floor mat rides up and gets under the clutch pedal so it doesn't go all the way to the floor.

I don't much like the climate control system. Controls are confusing, fan is always on, no way to get just defrost...

Power windows are another thing I'm not a big fan of. Driver's side will often get into an "auto-down" mode where it winds all the way down, even though I just want it down a couple of inches.

Power/remote locks: I never use them, wish I could take them out to save a bit of weight.

Vision is ok straight back, it's the right quarter that's a problem.

I've done all my own servicing. Cost is not as bad as it could be - yes, the Mobil synthetic is about $4.75 a quart, but you only need 2.4 to do the job, so figure maybe $12.50 instead of $5-6. Not a biggie.

Premium Member
2,332 Posts
Part of the "floating feeling of the car is due to the EPS, part due to the tires, part due to the different spacing of the front and back wheels. Yuo get used to it. At lower speeds the handling of the car is stellar. IMHO. I also own a CRX SI. It is a primitive car by comparison. Lots of fun to drive hard, but not nearly as pleasant on longer drives. The CRX has No airbags, No power steering, No climate control, a squeeky speedometer cable, manual mirrors doorlocks windows, much more body twisting on potholes, a rather severe fuel cuttoff mode, failure prone alternator, painfully difficult to reach oil filter, droning engine exhaust note at highway speed, high insurance rate, a propensity to bunny hop and oversteer when accellerating hard on wet pavement. Hey, it's a fifteen year old car that goes like a bat out of hell, still gets in the 40s for gas mileage, and still looks stylish! Not selling......yet.

Premium Member
4,942 Posts


Nothing aerodynamically special about the tires. Low rolling resistance though. I became _VERY_ skeptical about everything this guy says about the Insight after this. He definitely doesn't know his Insight tires!


The additional torque of the IMA _MORE_ than compensates for any perceivable tallness in the gear ratio.

2 IMA will not go into idle stop unless below 20 MPH. Yes, it can not anticipate when the _most_ appropriate time for idle stop may be. So you will find idle stop occasionally happening at times you wouldn't have chosen it. However, normal clutch or gearshift action immediately restarts the engine so what's the big deal anyway?

Power windows

Slow power windows means rubber run channels need lubrication. Simply use silicone spray occasionally.


Electric power steering DOES NOT have to "charge up". Another clean miss of this opinion.

Sound system

Definitely not "music connoisseur" quality. Few production vehicles in this class are.

Dealership thoughts

Clearly doesn't like the dealership. Few people do <yawn>. Nothing new here.

HTH! :)

Premium Member
830 Posts
The tramline is not a tire issue but because of the difference in width between the rear and front tires. The about 4 inch difference

"EPS charging up" that is really funny. The guy thinks that it is like the flash of a photo camera. It is a simple electric motor, no charge there: turn clockwise, turn conter-clockwise.

162 Posts
Discussion Starter #6

Premium Member
830 Posts
As a moderator, the pictures where to big. I let them as links. On can click on the link to see.

As me, that must look nice seen in person. I had looked under in the past to see how it can be done. Either the guy modified greatly the plastic under body panels or if not, the lights will get crushed as soon as he passes over some bumps
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