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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, there's a lot of knowledge here about Insight servicing, but much of it seems to have been learned the hard way.

My Honda dealership was surprised they had my car on their lot. The only sign I have that anyone's ever dealt with an Insight recently is that they had the driver side floor mat in stock.

SO, I was thinking...are there innocent-sounding questions one could ask a service manager to really see if they know what they're doing with Insights? I think I've picked up one: "How much oil do you put in?" for an oil change, the answer being 2.6 quarts.

Maybe tire pressure too...although that's checked easily enough in the door (although they failed to inflate mine properly before delivery).

How about some other questions? Perhaps something during a service interval that the manual says should be checked, but would only be checked on Insights and/or hybrids. Nothing is leaping out at me as "special." I have the Insight Service Manual on order, but am no ASE mechanic.
 

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It is almost a joke but "have you checked the alternator" sounds bad to me. If the guy does not know there is none ...
It could be a question for a mechanic more than a service manager
 

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Personally, I feel that bluntly asking them about the experience in dealing with Honda hybrids, and the Insight in particular in our case, is not a question they should be offended by. I mean, I want my car serviced properly and its been my experience that there are definitely dealers more suited to servicing my car than some others. If they take offense to being asked that might be a signal right there that finding a difference dealership might be in order.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, but...

Hambone said:
Personally, I feel that bluntly asking them about the experience in dealing with Honda hybrids, and the Insight in particular in our case, is not a question they should be offended by. I mean, I want my car serviced properly and its been my experience that there are definitely dealers more suited to servicing my car than some others. If they take offense to being asked that might be a signal right there that finding a difference dealership might be in order.
When I had my stereo installed, I specifically called a couple of days in advance and asked them about their experience with Insights. The guy on the phone said oh sure, he'd installed in a few of them. I made an appointment and everything, but the installer said flat out that he'd "never done an Insight before."

I guess I don't trust a dealer not to lie like a rug, and the storie I read here about loose skirts and engine overfills has me concerned.
 

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Sounds like what you'd like is if those of us using this site could develop a quiz that we could pose to a potential dealer service manager, and based on their "score" from the quiz, decide whether or not utilizing them for service is in our best interest. Not a bad idea. That way, they can't lie and just say yes like the dealership did to you, they'd either know the answer or they wouldn't. Only problem would be they'd probably hang up or stop answering questions as soon as they realized they were being tested!
 

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Not really a question but my service department guy couldn't find the coolant drain bolt for the engine block...with the computer program right in front of him!!! He went to ask his mechanics and they didn't know either. Guess who's not replacing my engine coolant.
 
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Hi Kapps:

___All your service guy or even yourself needs to do is pick up the PDF for installing the Insight “Engine Block Heater”. The pics in the document will show you exactly where the (2) coolant plugs are in relation to the block itself.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3eudpueq][email protected][/email:3eudpueq]
 

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Discussion Starter #8
screening questions

Hambone said:
Sounds like what you'd like is if those of us using this site could develop a quiz that we could pose to a potential dealer service manager, and based on their "score" from the quiz, decide whether or not utilizing them for service is in our best interest. Not a bad idea. That way, they can't lie and just say yes like the dealership did to you, they'd either know the answer or they wouldn't. Only problem would be they'd probably hang up or stop answering questions as soon as they realized they were being tested!
Exactly!

As for hanging up, good mechanics and those not afraid of the questions wouldn't, and it seems half a dozen good questions would be enough.
 
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Hi All:

___Speaking with the right Honda mechanic (one that was trained on our little beauties) is one thing but to give a quiz too just anyone else in the shop or on the sales floor? Most here after reading for 30 minutes know more about the Insight then any mechanic unless they also own one. With that being said, most mechanics can muddle there way through a normal problem as most cars are not all that different. When it comes to the Hybrid drivetrain however, mechanics have one hell of a tech line they can contact for the more bizarre problem(s) that might arise. This is the case with most any dealership as every manufacturer has a particular piece of HW the mechanic may or may not have seen or been trained on.

___All said, if I had a problem and there was a choice between dealerships, I would go to the one that sold more Honda Hybrids then the other? That is if you have a problem and if you had the choice ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:8mmynj9y][email protected][/email:8mmynj9y]
 

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I have had no end of problems with Honda dealerships and their complete lack of product knowledge. The last place I take my Insight is to the dealer, for anything. I have a 60K service coming up, and I am going to train my local quick-lube place on how to service the tranny. At least they are serious about taking care of my car.

As for questions, the problem is that you have to get access to the actual mechanic who will work on the car that day. The service writers are clueless and the service manager equally so. Here are some questions I have come up with based on what Honda has done to my car:

1. What kind of engine oil does it take?
2. How many quarts will you put in?
3. What is the minimum recommended tire pressure?
4. How many batteries are in this car? (Could be tricky)
5. What is an "IMA"?
6. How does the car start during normal operation?
7. What is "Idle Stop" and when does it happen?
8. How do you read OBD codes and what do they mean?
9. Have you ever seen a car like this before?

I'm sorry to say that when asked these questions most Honda mechanics, service writers, sales people, managers...who ever, will give you a blank stare and just hope you go away. They have plenty of other cars to work on, they don't need the occasional Insight. I am extremely dissapointed with Honda. Fortunately, the car rarely needs "dealer" maintenance.

This, I'm sorry to say, is why I just bought a Totota Corolla to add to my commute. I get 43 MPG, it is extremely reliable, and any mechanic anywhere can work on it. In 3 or 4 years, I'll probably replace the Insight with another Corolla. I'm afraid that this type of poor product support will probably kill hybrids. By the time they figure it out, fuel cell cars will be here and the hybrid will become the "Beta" of the auto world.
 

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A friend went to see a Prius at her dealer and reported, "There's an 18 month wait for a Prius here! ....There are 126 people right now on the waiting list which I saw."

Toyota is producing 15,000 Prius a month.

Both Toyota and Honda are comitted to producing hybrid options for their entire fleet.

No, hybrids are not going away.

Besides, Hydrogen cars ARE HYBRIDS, so they better get used to it soon. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bad business

Dealers make their money off servicing first and suckers second. My Toyota dealership seemed to respect that. We'll see.

I think the screening questions could be good for any potential mechanic.

Just the same, I ordered the service manual.
 

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The dealership where I bought my car had their most experienced mechanic work on my car because it was an Insight. The other dealership where I go for parts know me as the guy with the Insight and seem extra friendly, but then one of their salesmen was an Insight owner too. The sales staff seem very keen about the new Accord hybrid and have a number on order. One of their mechanics has modified his CRX with a blower to put out over 200 HP! I get the impression these fellows like cars, so I guess it just depends on the dealership.
 

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b1shmu63 said:
One of their mechanics has modified his CRX with a blower to put out over 200 HP! I get the impression these fellows like cars, so I guess it just depends on the dealership.
Yeah. That's my kind of dealership, where people have a passion for cars. I wish we had people like that in Southern California. I am very lucky if the mechanic "working" on my Insight can even speak english, or read actual words from the service manual. Perhaps if it was published in Spanish, they would know how to change the oil. Servico Insighto por favor.
 

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If I couldn't comunicate with the fellow sevicing my Insight, it would drive me nuts! Well, more nuts. :shock: Found out yesterday that the fellow with the hot CRX is a graduate electrical engineer! His CRX looks new! :cool:
 

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Well I've got another one. I've got my Insight at the dealer today for the hesitation issue and to get the brake fluid replaced. We mentioned that the IMA is recalibrating every week or so and asked him to check it out. He gave us the "if the light isn't on, it's fine" speech and then proceded to tell us that the battery only charges when the brakes are pressed :roll: !!! After a little argument, he finally called his master tech who said that they also charge when decelerating. Neither would admit that the engine can charge the battery when it was very low. They even argued against it :evil: . The service guy's reading Honda documents verbatum (what I already know) and says it's perfectly normal - and he calls himself Honda certified. Definitely not on the Insight.
 

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What most replies are missing in this thread is the understanding of how the system "works" and has been "established" for _many_ years now.

90+% of mechanics in the industry, including the "aftermarket" are paid on commission. Unless they are actually doing work on your car their pay for the time spent is nada. In _your_ job how much time can you afford to spend with a customer for no pay?

The critical thinking that is required for diagnosis does not require full knowledge of the product. Only the skills and good work habits of knowing where to find, understand and then _use_ the necessary reference material is required. I'd wager there is but a _handful_ of technicians in the whole country that have a good overall understanding of the Insight. Ask a narrow enough technical question and you'd be able to shoot them all down.

Does this mean you can't / won't get good service when required, of course not!

The questions that must be answered to assure good quality and cost effective service is honesty, integrity and work ethic. Find answers to these questions and you will find what you seek.

This "relationship" is also two way. What is required from a customer is accurate communication, which does not always require technical intricacy. Patience for "tougher" problems, of which the Insight has the potential for many more than average. And Loyalty. Once a shop of your choosing displays their abilities stick with them. Will they make mistakes? Absolutely! Don't you? How they correct them should be the only standard by which you "judge" them.

Of course if you have "fallen in love" with your car then be prepaired for the heartbreak. The same happens in situations beyond our cars. <VBG>
 

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Insightful Trekker said:
The questions that must be answered to assure good quality and cost effective service is honesty, integrity and work ethic. Find answers to these questions and you will find what you seek.

This "relationship" is also two way. What is required from a customer is accurate communication, which does not always require technical intricacy. Patience for "tougher" problems, of which the Insight has the potential for many more than average. And Loyalty. Once a shop of your choosing displays their abilities stick with them. Will they make mistakes? Absolutely! Don't you? How they correct them should be the only standard by which you "judge" them.

Of course if you have "fallen in love" with your car then be prepaired for the heartbreak. The same happens in situations beyond our cars. <VBG>
You've taken the words right out of my mouth. I cannot agree with you more :wink:
 

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I went to my local honda dealer shortly after i bought my used '00 insight, and i asked a parts guy a question about the insight out of curiosity in learning more about it... but he had no idea, he really didnt know anything about the insight. but he did tell me to go talk to the guy that works on the hybrids, who also owns an insight. He is very knowledgeable about the insight and loves to work on them. i asked him about my IMA randomly discharging and he looked into it a lot, did a few tests on it before calling honda tech line, they gave him more tests to do on it, and determined it to be defective and he ordered me an IMA battery under warranty on the spot (they didnt charge me to even look at my car, i just drove up to the dealership, walked into the mechanics bay, and talked to him and he told me to pull my car up and he would take a look at it). I would suggest trying to find out who works on the hybrids at a dealer and see if you can get an opportunity to talk with the guy.
 
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