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Old 11-23-2016, 03:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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90 day: 44.73 mpg (US)

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Arrow 2010 Insight -- Hyper Black



A couple months ago I started a thread about driving for Uber in the USA, but I needed an Eco Beater. I had already driven for Uber in Ontario near the end of 2015 and things went well for me up there. Anyway, last week I scored a 2010 Insight LX with 87k miles for $6300. All in (taxes, title, etc) it's $6853.


About the Car:
I originally intended to get a cheaper car ($3000 range) but this Insight was too good an opportunity to pass up. I test drove it and everything was in good shape.

There are two new-looking Bridgestone Ecopias on the back wheels, the front wheels are like performance tires, made by Falken, but they're worn. Passenger side is almost at the warning bars. I'll have to replace them sooner than later, and I'll probably go with more Ecopias. All 4 are 175/65/R15. I put 44 PSI in all the tires.

I also installed new wiper blades and really bright (and cheap) LED lights for the interior.




The car ate the curb at some point, and has a ding in the middle of the front bumper, but there's no other major cosmetic damage, and the interior is looking nice.




My first tank came in at 48.1 MPG. I filled up early actually thinking it was close to out, but it looks like the gauge is conservative. It turns out I had over a gallon left.


Fate of the G1:
I can't sell the silver Insight right now because it's still registered in Ontario. I've applied to Honda for a certificate of compliance with US standards (EPA, FMVSS) but I haven't got that yet. Once I get that if I drive to Canada (going there for XMas) then I can drive back to the states with it and register it in Georgia. Honestly though, I'm really attached to the silver car, and its insurance is incredibly cheap, so I'm tempted to keep it. Also, there's the issue of the low market value for G1's in general right now, so if I tried to sell it might end up on the market for a while. Economically however I should sell it since I now have the black car. I'm not driving the G1 enough to save $70/mo in gas versus a G2. Basically, its future is up in the air.


Ridesharing:
I was already familiar with Uber from doing it in Canada, so I signed up with them. I've done like 3 days of ridesharing with them so far. My other job (warehouse & internet work for small online retailer) is up and down with business from week to week. It's feast or famine. Fortunately that allows me to be incredibly flexible with my hours, which makes ridesharing in my time off attractive. I can't do it every day however, so for now on those days I'm using the silver Insight because of its superior fuel economy.

I also signed up for Lyft but they still have to background check me. Once that's done I can drive for them. I heard (from a couple other drivers) they pay way better than Uber. I guess I'll find out.


Benefits of Ridesharing:
My commute is ideal for ridesharing. I drive through a high income area on the way to the highway, and my job is close to Atlanta itself. This means plenty of opportunities for rides.

I mentioned above my current job is kind of a drought-or-flood place. The unreliability of my schedule (sometimes I can get only 20 hours, other times I can get 35+) means my paycheck varies week to week. A flexible second income like this could really help me.

Drawbacks // Risks:
Is the money really worth it? That's the main question. With Uber I think (so far from a very limited time doing it) that I might be in the black. Uber doesn't seem to pay as much down here as it did in Canada, but to be fair the US dollar is stronger. However, in my first 3 days of part-time driving I was able to recoup the monthly insurance premium. But honestly it's too early to tell.

Will passengers or all the miles destroy the value of the car? I feel like I got a sweet deal on it, but I have to acknowledge that knowing me I will almost certainly spend some money to make it better. For example, I'll likely get LED brake lights and turn signals, I'll get two more LRR tires, and I want to change the CVT fluid and filters sooner than later. So the total price isn't going to be $6853, it's going to be higher. I am keeping receipts so I can write off stuff on my taxes. For example I had to get a suction cup windshield mount for my phone, so I've got that receipt. I'll also keep them for gas and for the expenses mentioned above. In any case, add everything up, I'll want to exceed that plus what I paid for the car before the car bites the dust. I am optimistic, I think I can do it and then make a profit afterwards.

Planned Mods:
- Fix lower front bumper cover
- Grill block
- ScanGauge (will take from G1 when I get OBDIIC&C working on G1)
- Underbody Aero
- Possibly a WAI
- Possible rear window wiper delete
- LED brakes & signals
- Window tint
- Full Regen Brake Switch

Implemented Mods:
- LED interior lighting

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Silver 2001 Insight (Sold)

Last edited by Natalya; 11-23-2016 at 03:39 AM..
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Looking good

I had to replace my low beams with HIDs as the halogen bulbs seem to underperform in the projector housings. I got overlooked by other road users as well (but we have no OEM DRLs or side markers here...)
The same H11 halogen bulbs are in the fogs (EX trim) where they seem much brighter. They lose out against the HID low beams though, so I replaced them with LEDs for DRL use.

Cheapo LEDs everywhere except the dash, indicators and brakes.
The LEDs in the license plate lights keep failing on a schedule, so those need regular checking.

Swapping the horn for an Accord one is almost mandatory. The Insight OEM horn somehow sounds pathetic. The Accord horn sounds right without being much louder, just more real car like.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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About the WAI:
I tried removing the intake snorkel and drove with varying levels of grill block, resulting in higher intake temps.
Removing the snorkel has little effect without grill block, but once the radiator heats up the intake air it really takes off. Like 15 miles of nothing, then poof.
I keep it on nowadays and just partly block the grill; that seems to heat up earlier and more gradual, less prone to overheating except in traffic jams with A/C on.

Apparently there is no FE benefit from taking it above 30C (86F); beyond 50C (122F) efficiency even drops. I bet it troubles the EGR function.
As grill blocking raises the under hood temperature it may cook the 12V battery - a 2nd gen weak spot anyway. I have a gauge setting monitoring battery voltage...
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2011 Honda Insight + HID, LEDs, UG, partial LGB, extra brake pad return springs, neutral wheel alignment, 44/42 PSI (air), PHEV light (inop).
lifetime FE over 0.1 GigaMeter or 69 KiloMile


Last edited by RedDevil; 11-23-2016 at 11:21 AM..
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Congrats on the new car! The G2 already has LED brake/tail lights, so you'd only be looking at turn signals, reverse lights, parking lights, head lights, license plate lights to be full LED on the exterior. Try the Philips Vision for the 168/194 license plate bulbs; they're warrantied for 12 years.
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Also, if you ever need to replace the rear bumper cover, consider switching to the 2012+ design, which has a sharper cutoff line on the sides. It was good for +1mpg on both EPA city and highway tests.

2011 (same as your 2010):


2012-2014:
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My rear bumper is damaged a bit, but I was told I could not retrofit a 2012+ bumper without modifications. That would not stop me if I needed one hard enough, but as yet I do not need it hard enough.
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2011 Honda Insight + HID, LEDs, UG, partial LGB, extra brake pad return springs, neutral wheel alignment, 44/42 PSI (air), PHEV light (inop).
lifetime FE over 0.1 GigaMeter or 69 KiloMile

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Old 11-23-2016, 12:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nice new wheels, congrats!
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Old 11-24-2016, 02:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hyper Black - '10 Honda Insight LX
90 day: 44.73 mpg (US)

Unit-02 Red Insight - '00 Honda Insight 5MT
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@RedDevil:
12V batteries are a weak spot on the G1 as well. I guess in both cars Honda didn't adequately isolate them from the engine bay temperatures, although with the G1 it might be possible to finish the job with some kind of rubber seal. The G2 12V battery is in a tough spot to insulate.

What year Accord do you take the horn from?

@Vman455:
It looks like the rear hatch is also different on the 2012+ model. Would they be able to fit? I have a 2006 V6 Mustang that got rear-ended. I had them replace the rear bumper-cover with the bumper-cover for the 2008-2009 GT500 and it fit almost perfectly. There's like a small I guess indentation that doesn't line up 100% but anyone who didn't own a Mustang and just looked at it would not have been able to tell the difference. Maybe with the Insight it's the same situation?


Oh and I got approved for Lyft. I only did 1 night of Lyft driving so far, but the money was almost twice the Uber money. I don't know how Uber is going to keep drivers with a difference as stark as what I saw in just one night. I know they're developing UAVs but it's going to be a while before they can build a functioning fleet of them.
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Old 11-24-2016, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Red Devil - '11 Honda Insight Elegance
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90 day: 29.79 mpg (US)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalya View Post
What year Accord do you take the horn from?
Dealer did it, guess they took a new one so it must have been a 2012 or 2013 model.
The Accord has two horns, one low and one high tone. I got the high tone one. The frequency is slightly higher than the Insight horn, but it sounds much richer; like trumpet versus tin can/kazoo.

Somehow the kazoo infuriates other drivers.
I had one change lane towards me on a crash course, blew the kazoo, he jerked back startled, then angrily drove into my lane again.
I was on the brakes already and missed him by an inch.
Then there were the cars and bikes that even though they should have heard it ignored the horn completely apart from the odd middle finger.
Accord horn, problem gone.

My old '85 Civic had the same problem and solution.
Getting my Insight was a feast of Hondanese recognition having driven 4 other makes in between.
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2011 Honda Insight + HID, LEDs, UG, partial LGB, extra brake pad return springs, neutral wheel alignment, 44/42 PSI (air), PHEV light (inop).
lifetime FE over 0.1 GigaMeter or 69 KiloMile


Last edited by RedDevil; 11-24-2016 at 04:25 PM..
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Old 11-25-2016, 03:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vman455 View Post
Also, if you ever need to replace the rear bumper cover, consider switching to the 2012+ design, which has a sharper cutoff line on the sides. It was good for +1mpg on both EPA city and highway tests.

Interesting factoid! Thanks.

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