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Old 02-20-2021, 09:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Should I Buy This 2000 Insight?

Hey all, Iím still driving my 97 Civic SI and getting 38-40 MPG. Whoever had it to previously beat it to you-know-what and its got a ton of little problems. Doable, but annoying.

I seen this ad, and it got me curious. Is that a good deal? It looks as though itís in good condition. Would these do better than my civic by far or is it not worth it?

http://https://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-...rce=ios_social

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Old 02-20-2021, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I drive a 2000 Insight. I get about 55 MPG in the winter and about 65 MPG in the summer. I'm not really trying and it doesn't run right. Anywhere from about 50-100 US MPG is possible with an Insight. That one looks good with the limited info in the ad. I'd obviously want to know more about the rebuilt status.
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Can’t see the ad while at work...how much is it?
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It’s $2900, though he may go lower. I call dibs

That’s crazy good mileage. What’s the coldest you’ve taken it to? Any problems in the cold?
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Old 02-21-2021, 04:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Will you need to get a provincial inspection done on it? (it's usually enough, around here, to stop people "importing" out-of-province older vehicles)

Link was the problem:
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/c...rce=ios_social

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Originally Posted by JacobLeSann View Post
Itís $2900, though he may go lower. I call dibs
Too rich for my blood - she's all yours!
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Old 02-21-2021, 04:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've never noticed any problems in the cold. It's rarely less than 10įF (-12įC) where I live. I don't think the Insights have any cold weather issues. They call for 0w-20 oil, which will flow at really low temps. I'm using 0w-16.
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Old 02-22-2021, 02:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds good. I’m sure I probably would need an inspection. Have to see how that will go down. I may negotiate the price with him, but it seems quite good for the shape it’s in. It’s been rebuilt and the battery has been changed.

I think I meant the battery moreso. It gets to -45 Celsius here at worst. Then again, it would probably be the same as a standard car battery in terms of handling cold.

How’s the maintenance? Expensive? Tricky?
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Old 02-23-2021, 04:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Limited experience on the insight, but so far the maintenance is pretty simple/typical, just with typical Honda/insight-specific twists to it, like having to press the front wheel bearings on rather than simply replacing the whole hub. No timing belt to snap, fortunately. Synthetic oil. Specific way to change the coolant. Specific, indexed spark plugs. Etc.

(Aftermarket) parts are limited, and will probably get more and more scarce. Most wearable/consumables are available, but some you might expect aren't...like the front struts.

Easy enough to work on. Not quite as easy to get at everything as on a Geo Metro, but still more room to get at things than on more modern cars that use every inch of available space under the hood.

This is all presuming you're doing your own work. If it's on the easy side for a DIY'er, it shouldn't be too costly to pay a tech by the hour, unless he's chasing gremlins.

My opinion, take it with a grain of salt.
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Old 02-23-2021, 04:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hm. Lack of replacement parts worries me. Conditions can be super brutal on cars here. The cold especially. Should I be worried about it so much that I reconsider buying one?
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Many parts are available from RockAuto, but there are a few you'll scratch your head over, or are just more expensive. Others are typical Honda cheap. E.g. $12 for brake pads all around, ~2.3L oil changes, inexpensive tires.

I drove my Insight in -40 conditions in Vermont a few times. I don't imagine any vehicle "likes" those conditions, but it started reliably. Once fully warm, 70mpg+ is even possible in those conditions, but you'll be fighting for every scrap of heat.

Generally speaking, these cars are pretty reliable, but they have a few common (non-critical) issues that nearly all of them experience at some point.

A couple of examples:
-The trunk latch motor has a plastic piece inside that breaks - Insight Central has a $2 3d printed replacement part, compared to the $80 Honda asks for it.
-The driver window switch breaks, Insight Central has a $2 3d printed replacement part, compared with $250 for Honda's switch assembly.
-These cars are aluminum and don't rust, so people don't protect them from salt at all. You can get bad corrosion on the few steel bits they have - such as ground straps, which cause all manner of electrical gremlin when they go.
-The rear engine mount tends to last ~150k miles. A new one is only available through Honda, at ~$100, unless you want to fill it with urethane or something.
-Manuals usually eventually develop a bur on the 2nd gear synchro, which causes it to grind when downshifting into 2nd. You can fix this basically for free by opening the transmission and grinding the locking tabs off of that synchro, or you can just double clutch and it won't grind, but it's somewhat annoying.

Then there's the big one, the hybrid battery. OEM packs tended to last 10-15 years. They're all gone now. There are some aftermarket packs, but they're only as good as the warranty, and $1-2,000 for a new battery every 3-6 years is a tough sell for some. OTOH you can flip the breaker to the hybrid system and just shut it off, and drive the car as a conventional gasoline vehicle, with very little loss to fuel economy. There are a few tricks that can even shut the CEL off that this causes, allowing one to pass strict smog and vehicle inspections. A number of people (on this forum, even) have replaced their NiMH packs with custom lithium-based packs, so that's also an option if you're feeling ambitious.

And then there's mine - I put an Acura TSX engine in it (~230hp), just because, and I'm still seeing 40mpg+ in the coldest and snowiest parts of Vermont winter, with tanks near 60mpg possible in summer if one has some self control.

Overall, I think it's a very rewarding car for an enthusiast. Due to tons of little quirks and DIY'able but otherwise expensive small issues, it isn't a car I'd recommend to someone who doesn't like to tinker.

EDIT: I can't access the ad, but at that price it sounds like a steal. These cars are starting to go up in value as they become increasingly rare, and become better-known in the swap community - much like the VX's which were often swapped because they were the lightest chassis variant.


Last edited by Ecky; 02-24-2021 at 05:14 AM..
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