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Old 08-01-2014, 06:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2000 Honda Insight, Good Buy??

Here's the scoop on the carů it runs, drives, gets 40mpg.
The automatic transmission has the typical Insight/CVT "judder" - it makes a noise and has an improper "feel" when accelerating from a dead stop, and sometimes when at idle. It's done this since I bought it, but has become more pronounced recently. Personally, I can adjust the way I accelerate and it's barely noticeable. You can Google "Insight CVT judder" and get more info.

Another issue is the driver's side strut. It's basically a shock absorber, and my mechanic says it has lost it's oil. The part itself is only about $82, but it's part of a larger assembly that is more expensive to replace. My mechanic quoted me $250, others as much as $1200. It makes some noise, but doesn't cause any problems.

Also needs front end alignment - it starts shaking at about 55-60mph.

The more critical issue is that the Hybrid battery pack ("IMA") has gone bad - the dash displays the IMA & Check Engine lights. It will still run & drive & get 40mpg, but it has very little torque, especially from a dead stop.

You can disconnect the 12v battery to "reset" it, and it operates correctly for varying periods of time - from 20 minutes to 2 weeks - then the "Add More Money" lights come back on.

Various places on the interweb say there's ways to "trick it" into working properly by temporarily removing specific fuses, and that the Hybrid battery packs can be refurbished - they have "cells" in them, and some cells can be perfectly fine while others can be bad - I have 2 battery packs: the one in the car is a salvage from a car with 33k miles on it, the one outside the car is a Honda factory remanufactured one. Theorectically, you could get one good (or better) battery by combining them. This is pure speculation on my part, but neither of these battery packs lasted nearly as long as they should have - there may be some other issue that I don't know about.Some people even disconnect the battery pack and drive it.

I'm about $11k into the car (bought it for $7k in 2008), and I'm done messing with it.

I love the car - drove it for 6 years. For a car with 225k miles on it, it's exceptionally clean and in good shape. The salvage battery came with a pair of seats, so the interior looks practically new.
In my (obviously biased) opinion, it's still worth what I'm asking for it, even with the bad battery.

Thanks for your interest - feel free to make an offer.

This is the message the guy sent me about the car off craigslist. Do you think this thing is worth messing with and what price do you think would be fair?

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Old 08-02-2014, 12:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Low ball him. If he doesn't accept then don't buy it. It sounds like a basket case of problems waiting to happen. I've never seen a CVT trans go very far past 200k miles without needing to be replaced. Basically he wants his problem to be your problem. The price should reflect that.
I try to be helpful. I'm not an expert.
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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offer like idk 1,000-1,500.


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