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Old 05-27-2012, 01:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Miss my 89 CRX HF! (*sniff*) (now looking for a gen. 1 Insight)

Hi all,

I've looked enviously on at each 1st gen Insight I've seen on the streets of San Francisco, ever since I've learned what they were. My 45 mpg doll was stolen in 2005, haven't owned any car since. I'd like to get one of those Insights but finding one has turned out to be hard. Have joined up here hoping for some advice from like-minded drivers. (Especially someone named Donovan who recently sold his lime-green model. That was fast! I hardly had a moment to think about it before it was gone.)

Cheers,
- Eric

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Old 05-27-2012, 03:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

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90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

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90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
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Hi Eric -

Bummer about your HF.

If you're in the market for a gen. 1 Insight, you'll want to have a look through this list:

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ems-18892.html
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Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



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Old 05-28-2012, 04:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Hi Eric -

Bummer about your HF.

If you're in the market for a gen. 1 Insight, you'll want to have a look through this list:

... omitted link (I'm new, can't have links yet)...
Metro,

Thank you for the welcome and the sympathy! Actually it has been good to learn how to live w/o a car in the Bay Area. I've gotten much closer to my bicycle. And membership in City Car Share has cost less than owning a car, even the CRX. But with a change in address my wife and I will need a car. And it seems there could be no more fitting successor to our HF than an 1st gen Insight.

And thanks for the link. I figure I will look up those items and learn them after buying one, though. I'm mostly concerned about the major things: the IMA and CVT. Are there any ways to test or detect they are about to go before buying the car? My favorite mechanic from my CRX days said to have those checked but I couldn't have him do it; he's in San Francisco and the Insight I'm looking at is in San Diego. The Honda dealership service dept there said there was nothing they could do to check those but confirm there were no warning lights about them. I don't need to pay a mechanic to check the warning lights! By the way, they praised the car to heaven saying it was absolutely clean except they worried about its engine shake in idle.

From scanning these forums for clues about that I've gotten very fond of this community. It seems owning one of these can give hours of rewarding challenges to engineer/hacker types. I wonder if *any* other car has such a following!

Also, by the way, I think I've found Donovan; working up the nerve to ask his advice.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)

Appliance car - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage ES (base)
90 day: 50.04 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,918
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There is a way to roughly test the health of the hybrid battery by driving the car, but it requires you to be able to find a long enough hill to do a test involving a long stretch of maximum assist (and a test of regen, ideally).

You should be able to draw the hybrid battery level down (to ~2/20 bars) without triggering any trouble lights (obviously) or without causing the charge level to drop "suddenly" -- the battery charge level should change gradually. The inverse holds for testing extended strong regen.

The easiest way to predict if you'll have battery problems is to know the age of the pack. Is it original? Is it nearing 10 years old? If so, expect it's on its last legs. If it's been replaced with a new Honda pack under warranty, then it should be good for years.

The "good" news about these cars is you can drive them with the hybrid functions disabled (ie. "dead" hybrid battery), and still get very good fuel economy.
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Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you! I'll pass that battery test description to the next mechanic I have look at a candidate.

At this point it seems I have a toss-up: a 2003 that has the extended (10 yr) warranty good for just over one more year, with a battery that was replaced 23K miles ago, and a 2005 with its original battery, under only the original warranty, expiring in one month.

Anyway, the CVT costs far more to replace than the IMA battery, and I've found only a little info on how to test the CVT before buying. One mechanic said it's a listen test on driving it through its paces, and he couldn't do that on one candidate because the engine vibrated too much due to broken engine mounts. Those must be fixed before he could judge the CVT. Another mechanic said there was a smell test of the transmission oil, and a "feel" test for any grit in it. But he didn't perform those tests. The shop I had do an inspection said all they could do was see if there were any warning lights. So I'm looking for another shop.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)

Appliance car - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage ES (base)
90 day: 50.04 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,918
Thanked 6,769 Times in 3,511 Posts
Is the CVT a requirement? The manual transmission is more efficient (not to mention more fun to drive).

__________________
Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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