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Discussion Starter #1
A soon to be owner of a used Insight here. In considering different approaches to my purchase I sure wish I had some good old hind-sight type collective wisdom, and tips.
What should I look for in a test drive?
Is there a telltale sign that a particular auto is a good one?
tia
AT
 

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Look into the tax rebate/credit situation in your state. In Colorado you get more than $4k back, which makes the used Insight proposition less attractive. Since the real cost of a new Insight in Colorado is around $15k, used ones aren't likely to be worth $12k, for example.
 

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Hi anomaloustango and welcome to the forum. :D

There is an added dimension of difficulty with a hybrid. Namely evaluation of the remaining service life of the Hybrid batteries, the IMA pack of a Honda system. A reasonable maximum service life to estimate is 150K miles or 10 years. But virtually everything is working against this as a maximum. Heat, city driving, performance (hard acceleration) driving, long term storage or lack of driving plus others I can't think of right now all contribute to the degradation of these batteries. So if the car is beyond Honda's 8 year 80K mile warranty on these items you must expect the potential for these items to be an expense.

And unfortunately there is no way of accurately testing these for their remaining life expectancy. The best subjective test is to drive it using IMA assist, generally up a long hill and see how well the SoC meter "holds up". Of course this takes the judgment that only an experienced Insighter will have, and its subjective.

The good "wisdom" you seek will be in the many old threads in here concerning the Insight, its plusses and minuses.

I'd recommend using the forum search feature.

Is there one "thing" I'd wish I'd have known :?: No. But I'm glad I've found answers to many other questions I'd never thought to ask :!: :D

HTH! :)
 

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I wish I had known that Honda dealers are techincally incompetant, have no actual interest in solving problems even if they could, and Honda as a company is even worse.

That said, I love this car and don't regret anything about it. And since I can fix it myself, I don't have to deal with Honda at all now except for parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your responses,

I'm now wondering if because of the tax credit (being old and living on ssi I don't pay any taxes except sales) I could really beat up a dealer in CO for a good price on a used Insight.

I have been reading extensively in this forum for the past few days.
You guys are right in that most of the Honda dealers I've contacted treat the Insight like their abandoned child. Because of this I wonder if the Honda Certified used cars are really that much of a plus or if it is actually better to buy from a private owner who has been extremely responsible about proper break in etc?
 

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I think it's better to buy from a knowledgeable private owner. Or at least have one come with you to look at the car on the Honda lot. If you do buy from Honda, spring for the extended warranty. Even though the dealers are incompetent, at least you'll get the parts for free (even though it may take 10 visits to get the problem fixed).
 

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If it "dips", dump it!

I'll say if I'd had any experience with Insights, I would have NOT bought the one I did. The major clue was a 'reset' when I took the inital test drive from a local GA used car lot. That was the state of charge indicator (that's the orange bar graph on the right side of the right 'dial' image in the dash if you haven't seen one up close yet) suddendly went way down to about 4 to 6 bars and slowly came back to 'full'. This (at least in my case) was a flag that the car's IMA system was on it's last leg. The day after I got it home, total IMA shutdown with the IMA and check engine lights on. The one bright thing in this scene is that the used car lot, unbelievably!, is apparently going to cover the considerable expense of the replacement.
So, if you can get or buy independantly a warranty for the car, GET IT! And be sure it covers the IMA system as a driveline related part. If you buy from an individual, you can still buy a warranty if the car has less than 60,000 on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wayne,

I believe that there is a law in GA that allows you to return any car you have purchased for a full refund within three days of delivery. This may explain the willingness to make things right. Good luck with that.
 

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Should I take it back?

anomaloustango, there is indeed a 3 day law. New cars, yes, used I don't know.
But in my situation, the used car dealer (Cole's Lilburn Auto sales) has been incredibly helpful and willing (up to $2,500 at least) to cover the expense of the battery failure. However, the local Honda dealer has NOT. The initial estimate started with the $1,200 battery pack, which is all the diagnostic code pulled had indicated. I researched this code in the official Honda service manual for the Insight, and except for testing one other component, it all revolved around heat failure of the battery pack. The Honda dealer wants to CYA and throw in both the control modules and jack the price up to about $4,300! By the time the labor is added in, its up past $5,000.

Cole and myself are both just flipped by the cost and the attitude of the Honda dealer. Cole's is willing to give me back my $$ and wash out the whole thing. Now I got the car at a great price, about a grand less than the private seller 'book' price. So, if I factor in 1/2 of the cost (my share) of the battery fiasco, then it comes up to the average 'retail book' price for the car in Atlanta market. But then, what's going to fail next on a 105,000 mile car? I know it saw mostly stop and go driving, because the brake and clutch pedal pads are worn thru to the metal. That takes a whole lot of foot work to wear like that.

Optomists, chime in here ______ :wink:

Factored into 100,000 miles (if it lasts another 100k) the battery failure "only" adds .05 per mile cost. Then the average clutch job for one of these is, what, another $800 or $1,000?

I'm really hesitant to throw in the extra $2,500 and be saddled with even more problems for my trouble.
 

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Re: Should I take it back?

Wayne M said:
anomaloustango, there is indeed a 3 day law. New cars, yes, used I don't know.
But in my situation, the used car dealer (Cole's Lilburn Auto sales) has been incredibly helpful and willing (up to $2,500 at least) to cover the expense of the battery failure. However, the local Honda dealer has NOT. The initial estimate started with the $1,200 battery pack, which is all the diagnostic code pulled had indicated. I researched this code in the official Honda service manual for the Insight, and except for testing one other component, it all revolved around heat failure of the battery pack. The Honda dealer wants to CYA and throw in both the control modules and jack the price up to about $4,300! By the time the labor is added in, its up past $5,000.

Cole and myself are both just flipped by the cost and the attitude of the Honda dealer. Cole's is willing to give me back my $$ and wash out the whole thing. Now I got the car at a great price, about a grand less than the private seller 'book' price. So, if I factor in 1/2 of the cost (my share) of the battery fiasco, then it comes up to the average 'retail book' price for the car in Atlanta market. But then, what's going to fail next on a 105,000 mile car? I know it saw mostly stop and go driving, because the brake and clutch pedal pads are worn thru to the metal. That takes a whole lot of foot work to wear like that.

Optomists, chime in here ______ :wink:

Factored into 100,000 miles (if it lasts another 100k) the battery failure "only" adds .05 per mile cost. Then the average clutch job for one of these is, what, another $800 or $1,000?

I'm really hesitant to throw in the extra $2,500 and be saddled with even more problems for my trouble.
Wayne M; Don't know if this is any help but on this same forum under (Buy/Sell Insight Related Products), mbarrett which lives 50 miles North of Atlanta just posted his Two Week old 2005 Honda Insight, New Formula Red, 5-Speed W-A/C 4-Sell. He just lost his job per his latest posting.

Hope this helps :)

Regards
Terry

"Buy/Sell Insight Related Products"
 

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Thanks, but also out of reach.

Terry, thanks for the for sale tip, but a new '05 is also out of range of my budget too. :cry:

What a coincedence, a Honda customer satisfaction survey (triggered by a local dealer oil service on the car) arrived today! Boy, did I give 'em an earful in print! :) :p

UPDATE 7-27-05 Found entire IMA system from "low milage" '04 salvage car. Shipping from WI to GA. Cole's used car guy still working for me, bought the whole thing, still no cost to me (so far). Should be on the road again in a couple weeks or less.
 

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IMA RESETS - SHOULD I BUY THE CAR?

I've never written ANYTHING in all Caps before, so this is an important post-

i am about to buy a used insight (2000 model with only 17k miles) and the owner says that "sometimes" the IMA resets... no specifics, but suppose i take a test drive, and it resets during the test drive... is this something to be concerned about? does it mean big IMA problems? i read the post where the IMA reset during the test drive and the whole IMA system went down soon thereafter... how often does the average insight have an IMA reset?

Eric

urgent replies requested! thanks!
 

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recalibration

Eric - do a forum search for IMA or recalibration - all the info you need is here. The recalibrations occur more in hot weather when you're running the air conditioner in stop and go traffic. This time of year, they don't occur as often.

Good luck!
 

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Aaron Cake said:
I wish I had known that Honda dealers are techincally incompetant, have no actual interest in solving problems even if they could, and Honda as a company is even worse.

What aaron is saying is very true, there was a point where I loved my insight but that was in the past, After dealing with Honda, if you are going to buy an insight, the worst thing you can do is put it in the hands of a dealer.

Basically I have done alot of my trouble shooting through these forums and other Insight news groups. unlike aaron and others, i had very little knowledge when taking on this car and i sure am regretting it now.

Familiarize yourself with some common problems that come up often in the troubleshooting section so you will be aware of malfuction
 

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As you are aware there are always reports of BAD repair shops, all makes, all models. "Good" reports are rare since a good expereince dosen't motivate someone to the same degree. :twisted:

Any marketing person who has studied the data will tell you its around 7:1 in favor of bad vs. good.
 
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