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Should I go see it in person?

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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone!

I have been looking at Gen 1 insights here in the last month due to my moving from home for a job after I graduate from College this fall. Going from Northwest Indiana to Wichita, Kansas. My current car is a 1993 Buick Lesabre that gets the mileage of a truck. Great for hauling buddies and the dogs around but not so much for commuting to work or for a long drive back from Kansas when I need to visit family. My budget is a bit tight at the moment so a new battery isn't a real option till next fall.

I was looking at this one on FB market place. From the pictures its body of course looks good and I have read over the common buying tips and tricks, plus bookmarked the grid charger and bypass for the pack since this one has a battery pack issue.

What are your guys/gals suggestions about this one?

Thanks in advance!

F&F
 

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Hi, and welcome to Insight Central! :)

The Insight in the ad is an automatic (CVT) and the ad says the car will start but won't move. This leads me to suspect a possible transmission issue, which can be pricey to repair, depending on how much work you do yourself ($300 for used trans installed yourself, some dealerships charge $3000-$4000).

These engines are also bulletproof reliable, why would an engine need replacement with the chassis having barely passed 100k miles? Is there paperwork for the engine, and is the engine under warranty? The engine could've been installed poorly and the transmission not installed correctly, which would require a fair amount of work.

I don't think communication between the batteries and the car would prevent the car from driving if it starts, as the car can be driven without the battery completely. IMA battery condition is unknown, but the battery can be bypassed deleted from the car. I deleted mine to double the rear storage of the car and make it far more practical for hauling my stuff for the 700 mile trips to college and back.

Now it isn't necessarily going to need a huge/complicated/expensive fix; I don't pretend to be an expert mechanic by any means. It could be something simple (I'll defer to other Insight experts on this), but it would need in-person analysis or much more detail than what is given in the post.

How mechanically inclined are you? If it's close by it wouldn't hurt to check it out, but be aware that you would probably need to do a decent amount of mechanical work to it, based on what little information is provided in the description within the ad. For the low miles and the low price, if you can fix it yourself it looks like a good deal, but if you would need to pay a mechanic to diagnose engine/transmission issues then it might cost a decent amount of cash to make this particular specimen road ready on top of the purchase price.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the welcoming me in 😄.

Good catch about it being a CVT instead of a manual. Hadn't caught that in my look over of the ad.

That are some good questions to ask the owner as far as the engine replacement goes. Since its not a manual its probably not due to a lean burn causing an issue with the valves.

I am fairly mechanically inclined currently in my last semester to become an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic along with a degree in mechanical engineering. The Buick I have have I have replaced brake lines, alternator, starter and valve cover gaskets. I have also had small engine repair business on the side to make a little extra money. I haven't done tranny work on a car but it could be something I could pick up.

I do have access to a code reader and with the codes supplied here I could see what it's throwing if I were to visit it. Extra bargaining power in that case 🙃.

I will keep what you said under major consideration.

What is she like to drive for 700 miles?
 

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I've driven my LRR across country numerous times and I still love it, even while in my SENIOR years.
 

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I'm assuming it's a CVT because the ad says so, but transmission types are often misrepresented on ads and there isn't an interior picture, so there is a possibility that it could be a manual. Lean burn only engages when the car is warmed up so that wouldn't be a cause for this even on a manual.

Engine replacement at low miles, won't drive, definitely points for negotiation, both bring down the selling value of the car by a lot. Would be worthwhile too to get the VIN number to look up its Carfax history. You mentioned reading through the buy/sell list, going through those can also provide negotiation points.

I'm one of the few people that finds the Insight comfortable on long trips. I actually think the stock seats are probably some of the most comfortable that I've sat in for long trips (>2 hours). But some people on here do complain about the seats and some swap the seats out.

Mine is a manual, with no cruise control, so the 700 mile trip is very engaging. ;) I can drive the Insight for hours on end due to the driver engagement involved, but if I drive a Prius I tend to start falling asleep from boredom after 4 hours or so.
 

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I could be wrong but I don't recall anyone taking on rebuild of a CVT. Probably complex and expensive. Most folks just find a donor. You can do some searching on the search line at top of page and perhaps find some experiences of others. Just be cautious on the CVT transmission.;)
 

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Search Flywheel Splines. This is the most common cause of a CVT which runs but won't move.

Sam
 
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Function&Form: Welcome to the forum.

Search Flywheel Splines. This is the most common cause of a CVT which runs but won't move.

Sam
Three thumbs up for the flywheel splines being bad. It's not a common problem but it happens enough times to be wary of.

I would keep looking because you are going to be busy enough finishing school, moving etc to also remove the engine/transmission to change the flywheel. If you want the best mpg you need to get a manual transmission Insight.

If you do find an Insight that has sat around for a year or so do not let the car charge the IMA battery. You should do a grid charge before using the IMA. Just switch the battery master switch OFF and you can drive the car as long as the 12 volt battery will run the car. By disconnecting the BCM connectors inside the IPU the 12 volt battery will be charged. The switch is located on top of the IPU box under the hatch carpet. You need a 10 mm wrench to remove the 2 switch cover hold down bolts.

I have an article on my website what to look for if you are thinking of buying a MT Insight. Click on the CRX notation below this post to go to my site. You will also find an article how to build your own grid charger/discharger.
 

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Functional Insights With minor issues are pretty common in the $1000-2000 range. For this money, I’d look for a car you can drive right away. As others said, if the IMA is non functional, take a 10mm wrench so you can flip off the battery switch under the carpet in the hatch area. Then you can drive the car home, and waken the battery more gently.

Second on Ol Rowdy - check out the tips on his website, and build his inexpensive charger.

- Park
 

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Hi Everyone!

I have been looking at Gen 1 insights here in the last month due to my moving from home for a job after I graduate from College this fall. Going from Northwest Indiana to Wichita, Kansas. My current car is a 1993 Buick Lesabre that gets the mileage of a truck. Great for hauling buddies and the dogs around but not so much for commuting to work or for a long drive back from Kansas when I need to visit family. My budget is a bit tight at the moment so a new battery isn't a real option till next fall.

I was looking at this one on FB market place. From the pictures its body of course looks good and I have read over the common buying tips and tricks, plus bookmarked the grid charger and bypass for the pack since this one has a battery pack issue.

What are your guys/gals suggestions about this one?

Thanks in advance!

F&F

Hi Everyone!

I have been looking at Gen 1 insights here in the last month due to my moving from home for a job after I graduate from College this fall. Going from Northwest Indiana to Wichita, Kansas. My current car is a 1993 Buick Lesabre that gets the mileage of a truck. Great for hauling buddies and the dogs around but not so much for commuting to work or for a long drive back from Kansas when I need to visit family. My budget is a bit tight at the moment so a new battery isn't a real option till next fall.

I was looking at this one on FB market place. From the pictures its body of course looks good and I have read over the common buying tips and tricks, plus bookmarked the grid charger and bypass for the pack since this one has a battery pack issue.

What are your guys/gals suggestions about this one?

Thanks in advance!

F&F

I have 4 insights I want to sell, but they have been sitting for 3 years, and I must go through them to bring them back to life. I live in Killeen, TX., and would invite you to look at them after I am sure they work again. They did work, but I'm sure the batteries will need either charging or replacement. I will not replace the IMA batteriesm because paying $2500 for a battery and then selling the car for $1750 is wrong. I will replace the 12 volt batteries, if necessary. You're able to drive this hybrid WITHOUT the 144V IMA (hybrid) battery-but there will be less power. You will still get 50-70 MPG. All of the cars have good bodies without dents, but there is some paint fading. Mileages vary from 152000 to 220000. One is blue and manual, 2 are silver and CVT, and one is silver and manual. My email is [email protected].
 

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Hi Everyone!

I have been looking at Gen 1 insights here in the last month due to my moving from home for a job after I graduate from College this fall. Going from Northwest Indiana to Wichita, Kansas. My current car is a 1993 Buick Lesabre that gets the mileage of a truck. Great for hauling buddies and the dogs around but not so much for commuting to work or for a long drive back from Kansas when I need to visit family. My budget is a bit tight at the moment so a new battery isn't a real option till next fall.

I was looking at this one on FB market place. From the pictures its body of course looks good and I have read over the common buying tips and tricks, plus bookmarked the grid charger and bypass for the pack since this one has a battery pack issue.

What are your guys/gals suggestions about this one?

Thanks in advance!

F&F
I bought 2 in Indiana, I drove 769 miles and brought a car dolly. I was prepared but I would not have bought them without looking at them first.
 

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Have you seen this one?
 

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I've driven my LRR across country numerous times and I still love it, even while in my SENIOR years.
Amen to that. It's a very capable highway mile-eater. Drove my newly -purchased LRS (LIttle Red Slug--stock, no functioning IMA--lol) from O'Fallon, Illinois to Lubbock, Texas in February. Did great in spite of only 45 wheel horsepower. Aerodynamics are a big help. If you press down hard enough for long enough, you can be king of the road in one of these!
 
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