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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all,

Been about 8 or 9 years since my honda days. Used to be the proud owner of about 5 different civics, done various swaps, spent a whole wack of money, you know how it is. My last Honda was a 92 eg rhd SiR in 2009 I think. Since then I ventured into the VW/Audi world, then a Subaru WRX, but I working on those and facing a lack of trust/lack of reliability I needed to get back behind an H. I am proud to say that I made that happen — and I am super stoked.

I just wanted to share my car/ excitement, get some opinions and advice and start some discussion with these cars. I just purchased a 2010 Honda Insight EX: 178,000km (110,600mi), for $4900 CAD ($3750 USD). Which I think is a steal? Upon registering it I was told the bluebook value was ~$9000. Brand new tires, new windshield, navigation. The body and interior is in excellent shape (I have had 3 or 4 people literally think it was a brand new car). Not one bit of grease or grime on the engine anywhere that I can see, it does look brand new, and runs great.

I am eager to get into this thing. First hybrid I have ever owned, don't know jack about the battery system/maintenance. I have selectively read through most of the users manual, and sleuthed the internet but they seem to be few and far between. I have never seen another Insight other than this one. I called Honda, they told me that the latest software update was done on this car. Is there a way to check this? Can I expect future updates or how does that work. Anything I else I should know or be aware of with the IMA system? Or advice on driving it in way to optimize the fuel efficiency (I've seen something about people using the paddle shift to get better mileage)?

As for maintenance, what are some key things I should do/monitor? I am going to give an oil change with some synthetic, I would like to do a transmission/gear fluid change, and the brakes need to be done relatively soon. Anything else I should check/just get done at this point in its life? Thinking maybe fuel filter could be done? I am loving this thing so far and want to see it go the distance.

For cosmetics, wouldn't mind some bigger wheels — these look kind of dinky. Maybe some spacers? (or is that unwise and I should just go for mpg)... What are some other ways I can spice this thing up?

Thanks in advance, it feels good to be back.
 

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Welcome back!

Please click "User CP" above and edit your location. City is close enough. It is traditional on the site, and it can help you out when you are trying to located other members close by:)
 

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Well, let’s see, this thing has a timing chain and not a belt, so that doesn’t need changing. It’s possible that at that mileage the spark plugs have not been changed. There are 8 of them and only one NGK model that you should use. There is quite a write up about doing them, the set close to the firewall requires removal of quite a bit of plastic.
The drive belt may need changing, mostly because you are in Canada and weather is extreme.
The fuel filter in this thing, like all current Hondas, is in the fuel tank. Just use top tier fuel and forget it.
In your year the tire size was smaller than the one spec’ed for the Insights starting in 2012, but the rims did not change. A wider tire, a better tire, will make this car much better. The OEM ones were horrible. (So bad it may be one of the reasons this car was panned in the auto press when it first came out) don’t know what’s on yours now, but wider tires could make a big difference.
Way back when, we had a member who uses a special return spring on the front brakes. (If I find my notes on that I will post) our Insight when through the first set of pads fast, because one of them was sticking. Otherwise, because of regenerative braking, the pads can last a very long time, like 80k miles.
While we have had some folks turn them into rice rockets with body panels, I tend to think of any souping up of this gas mileage appliance as looking just ridiculous. But hey, it’s your car.

Just pay attention to learning the peculiarities of a hybrid for now.
One of the things I tend to do when driving the Insight (it’s my wife’s primary vehicle) is to shift to S when driving in town. This keeps the A/C (and the engine) running at stops. Fuel mileage suffers, but you do not.
 

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Well, let’s see, this thing has a timing chain and not a belt, so that doesn’t need changing. It’s possible that at that mileage the spark plugs have not been changed. There are 8 of them and only one NGK model that you should use. There is quite a write up about doing them, the set close to the firewall requires removal of quite a bit of plastic.
The drive belt may need changing, mostly because you are in Canada and weather is extreme.
The fuel filter in this thing, like all current Hondas, is in the fuel tank. Just use top tier fuel and forget it.
In your year the tire size was smaller than the one spec’ed for the Insights starting in 2012, but the rims did not change. A wider tire, a better tire, will make this car much better. The OEM ones were horrible. (So bad it may be one of the reasons this car was panned in the auto press when it first came out) don’t know what’s on yours now, but wider tires could make a big difference.
Way back when, we had a member who uses a special return spring on the front brakes. (If I find my notes on that I will post) our Insight when through the first set of pads fast, because one of them was sticking. Otherwise, because of regenerative braking, the pads can last a very long time, like 80k miles.
While we have had some folks turn them into rice rockets with body panels, I tend to think of any souping up of this gas mileage appliance as looking just ridiculous. But hey, it’s your car.

Just pay attention to learning the peculiarities of a hybrid for now.
One of the things I tend to do when driving the Insight (it’s my wife’s primary vehicle) is to shift to S when driving in town. This keeps the A/C (and the engine) running at stops. Fuel mileage suffers, but you do not.


Hey thanks for the reply! 8 spark plugs? This was actually something else on my mind to replace. Which NGK model is recommended? I am sure I can sleuth the website and find the write up. The drive belt (around the a/c, ps etc) looks pretty new actually, so it may have been recently replaced.

Would definitely be interested in the return spring — especially before getting in there to replace the brakes. There is not much left on the pads at all so I should do it soon. The regenerative braking happens in the IMA right? Not on the brakes/hubs or anything like that.

Do you mean just upgrade the tires for these OEM wheels? These are 175/65r15... I do not want to add body panels or a body kit or anything. I just really want a clean looking stock Honda with a more aggressive stance essentially. Bigger/wider wheels would be nice, but I don't think I would want to lower it. Do bigger wheels w/o lowering make them look jacked up? I've seen that in the past on civics and it looks funny. Nice OEM honda wheels, with decent tires and some spacers? Would really like to just have the wheels flush or closer to the fender — they seems so pushed inside.
 

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Well, I can’t seem to find the old thread that actually has details about the return spring. Cobb, who was once a mod here but has decamped, first used them. In a thread he referred to them as “NAPA anti drag springs” In a different tHread someone else suggested that using such things in snowy slushy salt treated areas might not be such a good idea. I think that the pads can last so long that it is probably a good idea to “service” them at given intervals to make sure everything is moving like it should. I don’t remember much talk about upgrading the pads. The IMA does do the regenerative braking, using the motor attached to the engine. The actual pads do not engage until you are close to a stop. I would not doubt that the pads on your Insight are original.

The oem tire size in 2010-2011 was 175/65-15. Starting in 2012, the size was 185/60-15, a wider tire. The rims did not change. Many of us have gone to the new size. Some even bigger, but you will have to search old tire threads to see what folks have found to work. Here in the US some tire stores will not put on anything but the oem size, so I just tell them it’s a 2012. Our Insight has Michelin Defenders, expensive, lower fuel mileage (although technically a low rolling resistance tire) but completely worth it to me. Made it into a completely different vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey thanks so much striider! Great thread, lots of other intriguing stuff in there too (LEDs). Do you happen to have information on the aftermarket filter options? Yesterday I bought CVT fluid and the external filter from Honda, but the pan filter is backordered till mid-september. I've sleuthed the internet but can't seem to find anything reliable (within Canada makes it even more so difficult). So I dunno I may just wait to get one from Honda, do the CVT then.
 

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Does anyone happen photos of 195/60r15s on their Insight's OEM wheels? Interested in getting as wide as possible, but am unsure between them and 185s.
 

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I can’t believe I left out the CVT fluid change in my posts above. Depending on the look and smell of the existing fluid, I’m not sure I’d wait until the internal filter is available, I’d change it right away. The MID interval is about every 30k, and around here we recommend every other oil change. I think doing the internal one is kind of extreme, but if one has the skills, tools and space to safely access the whole pan, then go right ahead. But this CVT, like any Honda automatic suffers greatly from fluid that has been overheated in use. Our every other oil change (18-20k) is based on the guy who designed it recommending every 16k. So you might do the fluid right away and then again later with the internal filter. And then regularly after that.
 

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Hey thanks so much striider! Great thread, lots of other intriguing stuff in there too (LEDs). Do you happen to have information on the aftermarket filter options? Yesterday I bought CVT fluid and the external filter from Honda, but the pan filter is backordered till mid-september. I've sleuthed the internet but can't seem to find anything reliable (within Canada makes it even more so difficult). So I dunno I may just wait to get one from Honda, do the CVT then.
Search Auto Trans Filter Kit-Premium Replacement ATP B-464 on ebay. This is what I used for the internal, comes out to around $45 shipped with the gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow yeah totally, thank you so much for the heads up. This is actually my first automatic/CVT transmission, I thought the recommended was much longer. I will definitely drain and fill the fluid, and then just do it again maybe after the winter with internal filter.
 

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Thanks for the heads up on this stuff, guys. Changed the CVT oil and engine oil before my mountain road trip — which I am glad I did bc the fluid was pretty dark. Will be changing CVT fluid every 15,000 or so from now on, along with the filters on the next one. On the trip there the Insight struggled, but while I was in Kelowna I took it to Honda to find that there were two software updates which significant changed how it ran on the ride home. Feel good about it now.

By chance, does anyone have a rear/hatch rubber mat for sale? Or one they recommend? I have seen OEM insight ones online. Just want to keep my light tan carpet in good condition.

Also, winter is upcoming, I have a set of 195/65r15s winters from an accord in my garage. Would these be compatible with the insight on my 15" wheels?
 
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