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Old 05-22-2014, 06:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Anybody have a Gen 1 Insight automatic?

I have a chance to pick up a 2002 Insight with 182,000 miles on it for around 3,500 bucks. It's in great shape, has A/C, looks like it's been maintained very well, and the IMA was replaced two years ago. I searched through the garage here, but it seems like everybody has the manual version. Every manual I've found in Florida has a dead IMA and 2nd gear grind, and they all want almost as much for theirs as this guy is asking for this one.
In two weeks my wife will begin car pooling with me, and my current vehicle has no A/C, and that's not going to fly, so I need a vehicle quick

Think this is a good deal, or pass it up? I'd appreciate any knowledge/comments you guys could pass on!

Honda Insight-great Fuel Efficiency

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Old 05-22-2014, 11:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The transmissions typically fair around 200k ish but some don't, along with that they get far less fuel economy.

My recommendation would be

1. Pay $350 for a japanese CVT ECU
(eliminates your transponder in the key and adds lean burn)

2. Be carefull with auto fluid changes and drive gently.

3. The an IMACC&C MIMA or whatever.

Also the grind is not due to the xmsn failing but due to the clockng of teh syncros moving (which could be corrected without parts)
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info!

You don't happen to have a link to the site for ECU you're talking about, do you?
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nope, the guy that bought a couple has them sold.

Otherwise all information insight comes from insightcentral.com
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I do consistent low 70's all summer, best tank was 72.3mpg, right now i'm at 69.3mpg for 430 miles. I can cruise along at 70mpg on the flats if i keep it under 60mph. 65mpg tank with little effort would be typical, 62mpg tank not trying. So yeah, not exactly far less fuel economy. But ideally you want a manual with lean burn on the flats. Since your in Florida you could lean burn all the live long day.

Of course AC will take the biggest hit in mpg. But even if you're doing 50mpg at 75mph with the AC on full blast, it's not much to cry over.

I've never read of an anyone doing an ecu swap for a cvt, though it's it's been contemplated many times!

If you look on craigslist, many CVT Insights in the 210-220,000 mile range will most likely say "cvt transmission replaced recently." So, yeah budget that out in the future. But it's not like MT's don't have a long list of issues with grinding gears.

The CVT is smooth as butter. So smooth i can space out 20 miles of driving! Hypermiling is easy because you only focus on driving with load. I can drive at 60mpg load up and down a hill from 50mph to 15mph and back to 50mph again completely smoothly.

I would not invest in mima or anything for flat land. In florida you don't have inspections right? If the battery dies pull it out and run on gas. If you can do 70mpg even, there's not much return on investment spending money beyond aero mods. 70mpg to 90mpg (if you could pull it off) will save you maybe $100 a year. Why even buy a replacement battery if you don't need to.

I would check it out at least, see if you can get it for less, and if you don't want it walk away. The body looks really good, which i wish i had when i got mine. Driver side sash is from "wet seatbelt." he took it off to try to fix it.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepdog 44 View Post
I do consistent low 70's all summer, best tank was 72.3mpg, right now i'm at 69.3mpg for 430 miles. I can cruise along at 70mpg on the flats if i keep it under 60mph. 65mpg tank with little effort would be typical, 62mpg tank not trying. So yeah, not exactly far less fuel economy. But ideally you want a manual with lean burn on the flats. Since your in Florida you could lean burn all the live long day.
.
In the summer my half dead 5MT pulls over 80mpg without effort (I had tank after tank of 84mpg during the hot season last year) That is with a bent up car that doesn't run right and is missing the belly aero panels.

But the instant it drops into the 60's and lower it becomes hard for me to keep even 70mpg.

My best tank was 92mpg, worst was an EVEN 50mpg in the dead of winter.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm going over to look at it tomorrow, hopefully it's as nice and good-running as it looks like in the ad
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Gosh you guys are making me want a 1st gen Insight more and more. Although I haven't really been looking for any for sale I imagine if they do surface, they must sell quickly. I've only seen a handful on the roads here in the twin cities.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, I looked at the 2002 Insight and it was really a nice little car. Looked really good from the outside, had a nice (although dirty) interior, and started right up. I was pumped about it until I actually drove it.
Problem was, it had a pretty noticeable shudder at take off. Everything else was good, but I couldn't get past that shudder! Finally the guy confessed that he'd had it in the Honda dealership twice for the issue and they told him both times nothing was wrong with it.
Did some research, and apparently it's a pretty common issue concerning the wet clutches engaging on the CVT. Sometimes you can replace the fluid and filter, or you can try to burnish the clutch plates, but it definitely needed work

So I passed on it, it was hard to walk away, but he wanted top dollar for a fixer upper

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