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Hi y'all,

I have to opportunity to buy a Gen1 Insight for $1200. But, it has 224,000 miles on it with the original battery pack, gaskets, everything. It doesn't have a speck of rust on it and it runs and drives great. Should I buy it? Is there anything I should be aware of?

Thank you,
Josiah
 

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Hi y'all,

I have to opportunity to buy a Gen1 Insight for $1200. But, it has 224,000 miles on it with the original battery pack, gaskets, everything. It doesn't have a speck of rust on it and it runs and drives great. Should I buy it? Is there anything I should be aware of?

Thank you,
Josiah
Welcome to the forum.

Give us some more details of the car. Are there any warning lights lit on the dash?

In my area that would be a good price. Although knowing what year the car is and what transmission it has would help. If you are after max mpg then a manual transmission is the car to get.

Most likely the IMA battery is going to need some TLC if it hasn't been "grid charged" etc. (See my website, by clicking on the CRX area below this post.) A quick way to check the IMA battery is to find a rather long hill to climb to force the battery assist to do it's job and see if a dash warning light comes on. (The owner might have reset the warning light before you drove it.) Keep an eye on the right most (SOC) dash display, if it suddenly drops to a few bars and then slowly rises back up that is a sign of a weak battery.

No rust? That's because the chassis & body (except for the two front fenders) is aluminum. ;)
Look under the hood for rusty bolts etc.

Before Willie gets after you, it would also help if you give us your general location in your avatar. :D
 

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What part are you considering?! If it drives great without battery, must be a manual. Ima isn’t the end all to be all. There are some exciting lithium swaps that seem to be coming up as closer to easy mod than ever before. All batteries at this point, unless oem replacements, are going to be close to giving up the the ghost. I say go for it. Yes, there are common things but the amount of mpgs you’ll get will easily offset replacing all those, in my mind, wear items. This is a tool to get you past normal savings from a normal economical car. Spartan measures! Long live Sparta! I saved so much money in gas last year that I could easily buy another normal car. In a few years of commuting, the money saved could be used to buy or enjoy many things that you would t have been able to had you not gone Spartan.
 

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I think the one thing to consider is replacement parts, they're harder and much more expensive to come by than say a Honda civic.

I was thinking of replacing the driver side mirror and that alone was going to be ~200 until I found one at a local junkyard.

My driver side window regulator broke randomly a week after I was able to get it in running condition and that was 85 off craigslist though a mod here would have been my next best bet at 125 + shipping. Which was actually a very generous offer of them as they were going for 250 + shipping from ebay. 435 is the going rate for new.

Just food for thought, at 225k miles you're gonna need to do the standard fixes, cleanings, and maintenance on probably more than a few parts.
 

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224k on an Insight is common. I drove one from 248k up over 270k in a year and half and sold it to a friend when I bought another with 280k that I am daily driving.

Repair parts are a mixed bag. Many are available and reasonably priced. I replaced the front rotors and pads on my car for $50 through Rock Auto. Others are rare and expensive, and a few are unobtainium.

My hobby is antique cars, so I’m used to questing for parts. I have found everything I’ve needed pretty easily through Rock Auto, @KLR3CYL, Honda, or this forum.

Perspective… a $300 part may seem like a lot for a car you paid $1200 for. But there are plenty of new cars that need $300 parts too. In the grand scheme of things it isn’t too much to pay to keep a rare, fun, and practical little car in the road. It’s your time and your money, but my Insights are among the most reliable and cheapest cars I’ve owned. (And that’s including some relatively new Kias, Subarus, and Fords.)

The exception is that replacement IMA batteries cost serious cha-ching. You may be able to recondition your existing battery, you may get along okay without a battery, or you might decide it’s worth it to spend a couple grand to experience the car its best. After all, even with a new battery it’s a $3000 car that gets 65+mpg all day long. There’s nothing else like it!

- Park
 

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Hi y'all,

I have to opportunity to buy a Gen1 Insight for $1200. But, it has 224,000 miles on it with the original battery pack, gaskets, everything. It doesn't have a speck of rust on it and it runs and drives great. Should I buy it? Is there anything I should be aware of?

Thank you,
Josiah
It sounds like a good deal. You will want to start grid charging that IMA battery right away, if you buy.

Use this link to help you examine the car:

OBTW, these old gems are best in the hands of folks with some mechanical skills. Avoid the dealers at all cost, but even then repairs can get expensive unless you do your own work :)
 
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