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Wonderboy 04-21-2018 02:06 PM

01 Insight: To sell or not to sell?
Hi EM - I've had a case of the 2nd gear synchro grind on my Insight for a while now. I've gotten used to it, but don't have the time or the tools these days to do anything about it - at least in a meaningful human amount of time. Meanwhile, I have been compelled by Daox's recent Mitsubishi Mirage post because when I do drive, it is often a regional roadtrip where I'd like to bring along more than one other person, and/or have someone else drive. No one else can drive my car without some serious 2nd gear grinding at this point. It's not super important, it would just be nice to not deal with anymore. Just trying to think of the economics of the situation (not just monetary, but utility - you know, real economics)...

I could pay a mechanic to deal with the 2nd gear issue (I know one who is excited to work on a "cool car" like mine) as well as other items in that area (should probably do the clutch as well as timing/water). That's a breath of life into a car that generally stays free of winter's salt, but there's also no way that's not going to be a pricey job. If I do that, I could then more easily sell it if I still really want a 4-seater.

What does the EM community think? Attempt to sell the grindy Insight to a mechanically-inclined Ecomodder? Fix up the Insight and keep going? Fix up the Insight, sell, and get a Mirage? I don't foresee a time in the near future where I'd be able to do any work on my own car that requires the use of an engine puller, but pretty much everything else I can do on my own. I also have more money than time at my disposal these days - I could even afford to get a Mirage right now and have both for a short time, but I definitely don't want to pay for two cars. Illinois/Chicago policy definitely dis-incentivizes car ownership in general, but I think that's probably a good thing. It certainly influences me.

mpg_numbers_guy 04-21-2018 11:47 PM

I'm just jealous you have a Gen-1 Insight, regardless of its condition.

I'd say it depends on how much you're driving. Hondas generally are many times more reliable than Mitsubishis, especially the Mirages and all their known issues (regardless of if you're a fan or not). The Mirage would get 40-50 mpg instead of 60-70. Personally if the costs weren't too sky high I'd keep the Insight and repair it unless you're needing the extra passenger or cargo capacity of the Mirage, but I'm partial to Honda and biased against Mitsubishi...reputable reliability is king.

Depending on what's all wrong with the Insight, fixing it now and having few issues down the road may be better than getting a Mirage and dealing with all it's issues past the 100K mark. But if there's a lot wrong and the cost of repair would run you several thousand dollars, I'd sell--but only to an ecomodder. Gen-1 insights are too sacred to be sold to ricers or the junkyard. And I'm sure on a site like this there'd be plenty of members who would love to have your car and fix it up. Those Gen-1 insights are gems, and it's highly unlikely you'll match the MPG of an Insight in a Mirage, unless your Insight had a messed up O2 sensor or something like that. It really depends on your circumstances, there's a lot of factors involved.

cr45 04-22-2018 06:27 AM

Must say that I am puzzled why you suggest that the Mirage is a 40-50 car.

I am averaging 62 mpg (US) with only very mild hypermiling.

One suggestion I would make is to run steel wheels with 165 tyres as this is worth 5% in the official European economy tests. My car has these as standard.

The difference in yearly fuel cost between a car doing 60 mpg and one doing 70 mpg must be quite small with US gas prices.

mpg_numbers_guy 04-22-2018 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by cr45 (Post 567474)
Must say that I am puzzled why you suggest that the Mirage is a 40-50 car.

40-50 mpg, without hypermiling. I should have clarified. :)

Wonderboy 04-22-2018 05:05 PM

I hear you on the Honda engineering thing - I definitely respect that and know I have a gem (I'm driving my dream car, but I'm also realizing a dream car is still just a car: it needs to be used and has a lifecycle). The question is to pass off the gem now when it's still shiny and useful, or less shiny when it's more of a parts car? There are benefits to both, but I don't know what's best. no matter what, I would expend a good deal of effort in ensuring a good home for my Insight.

Also, I'm curious about the known issues with the latest generation Mirage. What's the word on the street about that?

mpg_numbers_guy 04-22-2018 06:42 PM

Well if you're going to let your Insight rot away then for sure I'd recommend selling it.

A simple Google search has many - some of the highest being noise and vibration (buzzy engine + poor vehicle construction), poor build quality, and low safety ratings. There's a reason it has one of the poorest resale values of any car and why most people are eager to get rid of them before the 100K warrenty expires.

Vehicle History Reports rates the Mirage as a 4.2 out of 10--it's only saving grace is the 9/10 rating for fuel economy. Quality is a 4/10 and safety is a 3/10.


cr45 04-22-2018 07:08 PM

The Mirage scores well in Europe on safety.

The driver actually fairs better than a 2017 Ford Fiesta despite the Fiesta being 250 kG heavier.

I find my Mirage to be perfectly quiet enough even though I rarely play the radio.

At present I have the backs of the rear seats out of the car with no noticeable increase in road noise.

The quality of the car is perfectly acceptable for a cheapish small car.

mpg_numbers_guy 04-22-2018 07:17 PM

I want to like the Mirage because it's a fuel efficient car, but all the reviews and such make me wary. Cheaper cars like the Versa and Micra don't have this kind of negative feedback, and they're cheaper cars pricewise. Maybe I'm unnecessarily biased.

Ecky 04-22-2018 10:04 PM

A "new" transmission (with a fix so it will never develop the grind) from Scott over at IC is ~$800, and I can't see it costing more than $3-400 to have installed. The transmission is light enough you could literally do it with the car on jackstands, unaided, from underneath, in a few hours.

A G1 Insight hypermiled is easily good for 80-100mpg in the conditions you'd get 60 out of a Mirage. Some have even had 120+ out of these cars over entire tanks.

That said, if you're the only one of your friends who can get access to a 4+ seater, it's important that you haul around more than one other person with some regularity, and the cost of a new vehicle plus increased operating costs aren't that big of a consideration, I'd say go for it. A car that can't do what you need it to is a lousy car to own, regardless of what other virtues it may possess.

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