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Old 09-27-2018, 10:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Insight with dead battery

Car listed for sale in my area with a dead battery.
From the ad:
"2000 Honda Insight, hybrid, 50mpg, 180,000 miles, Needs new hybrid battery, no AC, Has brand new tires, $1000.

Hybrid battery runs about $3,000.00. Cash only. You will have to haul away."

Shouldn't I be able to bring a car battery, start it and drive it home?

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Old 09-27-2018, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Theoretically, yes. If there are other issues it might prove more difficult. Example, the car has a 12V starter, but it really never gets used as long as the high voltage pack is working...
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The 3 cylinder engine operates, even when the MAIN HYBRID BATTERY is dead. If the car does not start up with jumper cables, then that poses a problem beyond the need for a replacement of the small battery that starts the car.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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They are annoying as all get out when the starter battery is dead. Jumping them sometimes doesn't work no matter what the drive battery status is. Something about a critical minimum voltage for the controls of at least 10.7 volts which is new battery and stout cables. Or at least the one at work was like that.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If it won't start, call any local Honda dealer and speak with "someone who is very familiar with early (1st gen) Insights." You might ask for the service manager at one dealer, and if you don't get through, ask another dealer, and do the same with as many other dealers until you speak with someone who actually knows what they are talking about. THE LAST THING YOU NEED TO OWN IS AN INSIGHT THAT WILL NOT DRIVE. How much money are you paying for the car?
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougfromdenver View Post
THE LAST THING YOU NEED TO OWN IS AN INSIGHT THAT WILL NOT DRIVE.
Exactly what he said.

Have you contacted the seller and asked him why the car will require towing? in case he knows the issue being something other than the battery.
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I own or have owned a total of 4 Insights over the years. I currently own two, one that has structure damage.

I believe the car you want to buy is a 2000 Insight. Would you tell us the sale price, whether you ran any VIN histories, and the odometer reading.

Did you intend to buy this without a full prepurchase inspection?

Also, you quoted the cost of adding a new main battery quoted seems VERY HIGH. Also, what part of the country do you live?
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Doug- location is given under the name of the user, where it says Location. OP lists Coeur D Alene, Idaho. He also says the sales price is $1k and OD is 180,000 miles. It's all in the first post except for your question of VIN history and intent to inspect.
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Exactly what he said.

Have you contacted the seller and asked him why the car will require towing? in case he knows the issue being something other than the battery.
If the hybrid battery is well and truly dead, then the car won't charge the 12v battery and it's probably also been killed. You won't make it far down the road in this case, even if you bring a new one.

Probably the seller doesn't know the trick about disconnecting the plugs from the BCM that will re-enable 12v charging between 1100-4500 rpms.
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My profession for the last 32 years has been somebody who people pay to buy used cars and new cars. And given the low $1000 price tag, most very cheap cars end up being far more expensive than the frugal buyer could have ever expected. it's better to spend more money for a better vehicle that's going to require less work after the purchase then to go after a really cheap car that could turn into a money pit

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