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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I have just bought my first Mk1 Honda Insight, a 2001 manual citrus model with 73,000 miles on the clock. It has only ever been serviced by Honda dealers and has had regular oil changes etc. Despite this, when I bought it, the vehicle had some slight signs of neglect, such as missing rear spats, but it drove very smoothly on the 300 mile journey from the dealer to its new home in Dundee, Scotland.

There are a number of outstanding issues with the car, most small but one or two that may be cause for concern. Unfortunately, I do not have the tools to hand to fix most of them. For example, two of the earth grounds have been severed (thanks for the helpful pics posted elsewhere that helped me to find them), but I don't have any spare wire kicking about. Therefore, I have booked a service appointment at my local Honda dealer for tomorrow morning. Although my local dealer appears to be trustworthy, I have read many mixed reviews about Honda dealers on this forum, so I am keen to gain the insi... knowledge of other Insight owners first.

The Insight makes a couple of strange noises every time I drive it. The first comes from the engine when starting up from cold. It makes a ticking noise akin to a freewheeling pedal bike or a sewing machine, which generally goes away (or at least quietens down considerably) after a few minutes. From trawling the forum, I see that it may or may not be piston slap, although a link to a YouTube video posted by another member appears to suggest that the noise may be normal. Here's a link to my YouTube video of the car starting from cold - does this sound normal to you? n.b. I rev the car towards the end of the video to show how it varies with rpm.

Mk1 Honda Insight startup - engine clicking noise - YouTube

Also, when the car is idling with the clutch up, there is a subtle transmission noise, which disappears when the clutch pedal is pressed to the floor. Does anyone know what this could be and whether or not it is cause for concern? Here's a link to the video:

Mk1 Honda Insight clutch-related transmission noise - YouTube

I've also noticed a periodic short buzz coming from the left of the cabin, possibly the passenger window, whilst driving. It sounds a bit like a fly trying to get out of a closed window; fairly quiet, as if a small motor or servo isn't in its normal resting position and is trying to reach that every few minutes. Has anyone else encountered a noise like this?

I'm looking to go to the dealer armed with the facts so that they won't rip me off. That said, they did help me to fix the bonnet catch over the phone when they could have easily taken a long gasp and said "It'll cost ya," so they seem to be a good bunch. If anyone else has used West End Honda in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, I'd be keen to hear of your past experience.

Sorry for giving you so much information to digest at once. I've had my Insight for less than a week but it's already given me more driving fun than any of my previous petrol or diesel cars, and is the perfect cross-country accompaniment for my pair of 106 Electrics.

Best regards and thanks in advance,

Euan
 

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Hello Euan, the ticking noise you hear on start up is normal. The Insight does require valve adjustment at 105,000 miles, which, if not done yet, could quiet down the ticking a bit. The transmission noise you are hearing is identical to my car, which now has 181,000 miles on it.You can search the valve adjustment procedure by using the Google custom search button on your upper left.Hope this helps, Kevin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Kevin,

Thank you for your prompt reply; that's a relief to hear! Having driven nothing but electric cars since February, every tick, mesh and thunk that the Insight makes sends me into a state of paranoia. I'll keep you posted on how it does in its service tomorrow.

Best regards,

Euan
 

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Also, when the car is idling with the clutch up, there is a subtle transmission noise, which disappears when the clutch pedal is pressed to the floor. Does anyone know what this could be and whether or not it is cause for concern?
That would be a bearing in the transmission making the slight noise. When you depress the clutch, you are stopping the input shaft and layshaft motion, therefore stopping the suspect bearing, any one of several, from moving. The input shaft bearing is famous for going first. I'd just keep an ear tuned over the months and don't worry too much about it. I think most of the older Insights make a slight noise. It will get really loud and crunchy at the end then must be repaired, but that might be several years and many miles away. We have a fine chap in the U.S. who rebuilds them at a reasonable cost. Not sure about U.K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Jime,

That's really useful info, thank you. Right enough, one of the technicians at my work's just had a listen to the YouTube video and gave the same diagnosis. I'll ask the dealer how much they'd charge for a replacement bearing/shaft, and might end up opting for a replacement bearing if they don't try to shaft me.

Best regards,

Euan
 

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I'll ask the dealer how much they'd charge for a replacement bearing/shaft, and might end up opting for a replacement bearing if they don't try to shaft me.
It won't be inexpensive. But it's not the sort of thing that would fail suddenly leaving you stranded until it's become so loud that that you'll know it's time to have it fixed.

Paying to have it fixed prematurely would be spending money unnecessarily. The design of the second gear synchronizer seems to be poor resulting in grinding when downshifting into second. When that begins to bother you, that might be a good time to have the synchronizer and bearing(s) replaced at the same time.

No matter what you do, it'll never be as quiet as most EV's.
 

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Steve my mate the owner of Autotech Thirsk is experienced with the gearbox overhaul and bearing replacement etc give him a ring and mention my name. I see him several times a week and he does most of my insight mechanical stuff, as I don't like getting my hands oily or knuckles skinned like I used too. I just tinker with the electrical side now. Several insight owners have used him to have their cars serviced/repaired and a few have combined it with a trip to see me nearby for a once over and look at my insight stuff.
 

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You're valvetrain is making the noise while idling cold which is normal. Wouldn't be a bad idea to have the valves adjusted as it may make it a little quieter but with the valve design used in the Insight it will always be noisy when cold and quiet down when warm.

The noise you hear with the clutch in and out is the same that all three of my manual transmission cars make, two of them being Insights and driving each about 20k miles since I got them it's the same noise with both and hasn't changed over time. I wouldn't worry a second about it unless you start hearing something getting louder over time.

Nice to hear of your experience with driving electric. I'm going to be converting my Insight to EV next spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you gilbertguy for the link to the valve adjustment procedure. That's useful to have as there are plenty of enthusiastic technicians at my work who are willing to lend a hand during the lunch break.

Haha, good point Art ;) I shall take your and MN Driver's advice and refrain from replacing the bearing until it gets considerably louder, hopefully several 10s of thousands of miles down the line. Cheers for the heads up concerning the synchronizer too; I'd noticed it seems to be a recurring topic on various threads.

Thanks for the info regarding Steve from Autotech, Peter. Once the lithium-ion 106 Electric is up and running, my Insight will rarely be used more than once a week, so I shall no doubt be back down your way in the near future for a grid charger to keep it in good shape. I'll give Steve a call whilst I'm in the vicinity, and will remember to mention your name.

Keep me posted on your Insight EV conversion, MN Driver. Sounds intriguing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's the car back from its 11 year service at the West End Honda. The mechanics were apparently quite excited about having a Mk1 Insight to work on, and did a good job with it, fixing the severed earth grounds, pushing out a dent in the rear bumper (not my doing, I must add!) and doing the usual changing oil/filters and valeting. They used Castrol Edge C3 0W-30 oil, but whilst this may impact on fuel economy slightly, it seems to have calmed the engine tick a bit, so I'll run with it until its next service, when I'll remember to specify 0W-20. Overall, given the excellent service I received today, the reasonable servicing/labour costs and the fact that no repairs were carried out without authorisation from me first, I think we can add West End Honda to the list of trustworthy dealers for Insight owners.

The mechanics did notice the following points:

*The front bumper is missing some securing bolts at the near side wheel arch, but is secure enough with the ties that are holding it just now. I'll try to sort out a more permanent fix; they'd charge £37.33 + VAT and fitting.

*The front pads are about 80% worn, the discs look like they could use some tlc and the near side front is binding slightly. The total charge to rectify this would be £250. However, with my driving style, regen does most of the braking, so this isn't too much of a concern at the moment. The dealer has noted that the pads are on back-order, so they would need at least two days' notice to get them in.

*The rear spats have been priced at £276 each, plus VAT and fitting. Here's hoping you do have that spare set after all, Peter! I wonder if the previous owner of my Insight took the spats off to make a quick buck...

*The tyres aren't completely worn yet, but are getting there. A quick search of the forum tells me that the original Bridgestone RE92s are difficult to source in the UK, something which was verified by the dealer today. I've checked MyTyres.co.uk and found a few possible candidates, going by their EU labelling for rolling resistance. These include the Kumho Solus KH21 all-weather tyre (which ironically has a comparatively poor wet-grip rating) and the Avon ZT5 and Cooper CS2 summer tyres. However, the top three appear to be two Michelin Energy Savers, the pros and cons of each I'm not entirely sure:

Michelin ENERGY SAVER 165/65 R14 79T GRNX - mytyres.co.uk

Michelin ENERGY SAVER + 165/65 R14 79T - mytyres.co.uk

and the Vredestein Quatrac Lite, an all-weather tyre that specifically claims that it is ideal for compact electric cars which can be quite nippy in heavy traffic. That, plus good wet- and snow-grip, make it a likely contender, given the weather and traffic conditions that typically greet commuters on the St Andrews run:

Vredestein Quatrac Lite 165/65 R14 79T - mytyres.co.uk

Has anyone had any experience with these tyres, got any other recommendations to add to the list or managed to find a supplier of RE92s in the UK that doesn't put the decimal point one digit too far to the right on the price tag?

Best regards,

Euan
 

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Euan

Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the Forum. Once in a blue moon I am in Aberdeen for work, Aberdeenshire is a nice part of the country.

The most economical tyre sold in the UK a few months ago was / is the Continental EcoContact 5; the only small issue is that it is not in our precise size (165/65/14); instead I bought the version 165/70/14. The tyre will greatly improve wet grip and the extra tyre height will actually make your speedo more accurate and improve comfort slightly (according to my wife). However if you are looking for even more grip, forum member Bugone (I think, there is a recent thread) recently bought and fitted the wider 185 version without any problems.

Are you intending to drive the car through the winter? If not, I would suggest you wait a few months for the effects of the new EU tyre labelling rules to kick in and for tyre manufacturers to up their game in producing more economical tyres.

Hope this helps, Christian

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Christian,

Thanks for your advice regarding the tyres. I may opt for those Continentals if the tyre manufacturers haven't released any new ultra low rolling resistance models by spring. Chances are that the car will only be used a handful of times over winter, generally on motorways, so the current set of tyres should suffice for now. I think I'd go for the narrowest tyre after my horrendous experiences with a Renault Scenic in the snow; it took every opportunity it could find to slide dangerously towards the verge, miss braking points and beach itself on roads that were easily passable by smaller cars with narrower tyres. That said, it's a Renault.

Let me know if you're ever passing through en route to Aberdeen.

Best regards,

Euan
 
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