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I finally have a 1st gen insight within my price point (2001). Is there a reliable way to estimate the condition of the battery pack without a history? I know ots not that simple of course, but it must give out some clues....im in vermont.
 

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I think I detect a note of skepticism. You are right to be skeptical. Dying or dead batteries are a frequent reason to sell. Probably the easiest and best thing to do is just drive it hard and enough to exhaust the battery and see, in a relative sense, how long it assists. You are likely to get the four bars of mandatory regeneration about midway of the battery gauge, maybe a little lower. You can play this little game for several minutes, obviously not continuous because of speed. You should not light either the check engine light or the IMA light. If the owner objects to the testing, then just assume the battery is bad and price the car accordingly.

Ask the owner if the battery has been grid cycled. If it checks fairly well and has not been cycled, then you can hope to improve the condition with cycling. That might get you a year or more of extended life.

This thread is a very good checklist of other items to look at:

https://www.insightcentral.net/forums/honda-insight-forum-1st-gen-discussion/79001-g1-buyers-tips.html
 

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I don't know about you,but I don't want some knucklehead redline my transmission just to sell a car,I would find a hill that at least half mile or pretty steep and than give it a good run up and see if it drains down pretty fast, I sold a vtec civic ,and guy try to drive it like a nut,I told him to pull over and get out of my car,nobody drives my cars hard but me, and if they don't like it they can go find another car to trash.
 

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When I bought mine, the guy told me the battery had just been replaced. I drove it like I normally would but, as suggested, found a couple a fairly steep hills on back roads to go up and down at slower speeds. The SOC was difficult to get to drop, but it did a couple bars. And I got to see the assist/discharge/charge cycle working, and because the weather was warm, experience the auto-stop.

Pull the seatbelts out all the way, too, to see if they’re wet—that’s another thing to check for. An easy fix, but you might be able to get a few buck off the price. Other than that, treat it like any other test drive. Work all the buttons and all that stuff.
 

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Them there hills will tell you if the battery is gold. And stay in fifth gear. A lot of people want to sell the battery to
you like its new and they may not know any better. But the hills don't lie. I test drove My car and was told Good hybrid battery but the hill made the IMA dash light come on. So I paid a lot less. And I still had to buy a new 12 V battery the very next day. Because a dead 12 v can go unnoticed if the hybrid battery has just had a recalibration.not all insight owners or totally [. ] if you know what I mean. I have also learned that some people who sell cars don't know what no oil leak means. And I have been to several cars traveled several hours they forgot to mention broken windshield. I hate broken windshields.regards. "But I never met a Honda insight that I didn't like "!!! Wheel Roadgers
 
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