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Honda Insight Maintenance and Repair

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,237
If you're having an issue with your Insight, this is the place to ask your fellow owners. And if you've SOLVED a problem, be sure to check in here now and then to share your experience and knowledge!

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  • I have an '02 Insite, and I've noticed that when I'm coming to a stop, either in 1st or 2nd gear, that the vehicle tries to stall (before I've fully stopped), when road conditions are wet and when the car is warmed up. What seems to be happening is that the power supply to the brakes will toggle (on/off), and you have to engage the clutch to get braking power back. It has only happened about three times. It could be something with the energy saver feature where when you are a stop and in neutral, the idle will stop until you put the vehicle into gear. I don't know if there is a defect, or if there is a subtle problem with the way I am downshifting. I think it could be a defect but don't know how to describe the faulty piece. Has anyone had a similar experience?

    Much thanks
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Danielh:


    ___Autostop can happen at anything below 20 mph in an Insight 5-speed with fast work of the clutch and shifter. Unfortunately, what you are describing sounds different then that given you are in gear. You will not lose braking at any time as long as there is a vacuum and the Insight will hold vacuum for many hours when not in use and over many stops from a coast down without the ICE running at all.


    ___Good Luck


    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • As a new owner of Honda Insight, I have a few issues, that I would like to resolve, but let's start with most important one.
    When I apply brakes, as I approach full stop, ABS comes on and car coasts another car length or so. This is very dangerous, but I have been lucky so far and no one has been in the way. I suspect that culprit might be self shutting feature, that is somehow malfunctioning, and turning the engine off before it should.
    Has there been anyone with similar problem?
  • plamboplambo Posts: 5
    I just purchased a 2002 Insight and I love it. But it leaks in the rain. A water stain appears under the rear side window. I'm afraid it's going into the battery compartment and that can't be good. I can't tell if it's the hatch, the side window or the door. Has anyone else had this problem and how did you fix it? The Honda dealer said to go to a body shop and the body shop was at a loss and said to go online, so here I am.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    Go to a diffent Honda shop. Probably rubber stripping or seals need to be replaced.
  • just moved to LA have a 2001 insight and need some repair/tune up. had a NJ dealer work on it and they made a big fricking mess. spilled anti freeze all over it and now the check engine light is always on, we left the dealership and the rear wheel skirt fell off! SO i need a good mechanic familiar with the Insight!

    The car bucks when going at normal speeds in 2nd and 3rd gear. any suggestions????
  • bfchrisbfchris Posts: 2
    Last night, we had high winds and deluge of rain. This morning, I found water in the driver's floor well. I'll take it to the dealer, and let you know what I find out.
  • mileguymileguy Posts: 1
    After 217000 miles I think my Accord is having enough problems to finally make me think about a change. Insight has caught my eye, but I have q's. First, the lay of the land. All my driving is constant high speed highway and very little city. I live in the sticks in MN so there's no traffic, so no stop and go. I will put about 30K a year on the vehicle. I travel for business -- reliability is an issue. Now the q's:

    1. This is Minnesota. How does the Insight do in sub-zero temps that may last a couple of weeks in a row until it warms up to, oh say, +10 or +12 where it will stay for a month before it drops down again?

    2. Since my driving is long range and constant high speed (60 - 75), will the electric motor ever really engage?

    3. I understand the battery is an NiMH. My experience with NiMH batteries has been that they develop "memory". If the gas engine is doing about all of the work, the battery would be on charge almost all of the time. Does that compromise the available range under electric power? Worse yet, do I run the risk of damaging the battery because it's kept on charge so much more than it is actually used?

    Thanks in advance for your replies.

    Mile Guy
  • Hi. My 2006 Insight was new this past January when we had worst-case weather with snow covering sloppy and partially frozen slush underneath on a two lane road with narrow shoulders, in this hilly country in central VA. I couldn't keep it on the road over 15-20 mph. It was a very long drive to work. I resolved to find out about what type of chains would be suitable for this car. Until then I have to make sure my Pontiac GP fwd stays in working condition. I was also wondering how to block the airflow through the radiator to keep the engine a litte warmer since the mileage really drops when it's cold. However, a steady speed on a flat surface would be the best condition to expect high mpg. PF
  • slanislani Posts: 5
    1. Insight will do just fine in sub zero temperatures, I live in Canada and no issues whatsoever.

    2. That is optimal way of using Insight, and best way to get high mileage.
    Electric motor will engage on acceleration, and charging of the battery will take place on decceleration.

    3. Partly explained in previous answer, just to add that there will always be some use of the battery, and charging as well.
    Every time you start the vehicle, and get it going to cruising speed, electric motor gets used.

    Two issues that you want to worry about are, do you live in mountainous region, and how much snow are you going to encounter?
    If there is a regular and frequent use of Insight in snowy regions, you will need dedicated snow tires.
    If you live in mountainous region, with steep up hills, I would forget about Insight altogether. Working it up the speed, on very steep hills would prove to be a frustrating experience.
  • Anyone have any idea where Honda hides the fuel/gas filter on the Insight? :confuse:
  • I'm looking at my service manual, and it looks like the fuel filter is below the fuel pump, which is on the top side of the gas tank. I'm flabbergasted that Honda would put it so far out of reach. Replace fuel filter AFTER making sure the fuel pump and the fuel pressure regulator are OK, if fuel pressure is out of spec (40-47psi.)
  • I'm a bit puzzled also !!!
    Could it be that they don't trust us to replace our own fuel filter? My check engine light is "ON" and I thought I would start with the least expensive fix AFTER checking to be sure my fuel cap is turned more than three clicks tight...any other 'insights' ? :confuse: LOL
    Thanks 2002insight
  • I am having trouble finding replacement tires for my Insight. I finally found 2 through STS here in NJ but he tells me he got the last two that he could locate anywhere. (Although he did say he had a set of 4 snow tires.) Anyone know a good source? Even the dealer couldn't find any.
  • I've had the check engine light come on once, but it went out a couple of days after I retightened the gas cap (other times, the maintenance reminder light would come on for that.) Personally, I'd rather take it to the dealer to diagnose, instead of buying/replacing parts on the hope that you'll replace the right thing. I used to do all of the maintenance on my cars until they got more complicated (or I got too lazy.) Good luck, thierry.
    p.s. I got the service manual so I can better decide if I should take it to a professional or if it's something I can do myself.
  • Dear 2002insight,
    You're correct, I'll have the dealer diagnose the code for the "CHECK ENGINE" light.
    What's your experience been finding replacement tires for your '02 Insight?
    Thanks so much, I trust your advice.
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS :blush:
  • anyone know about replacing the batteries for a 2001 insight? were having problems with the charge just dropping out. it starts charging again but I think it's soon time to replace the batteries - any help would be great

    we also had problems with an antifreeze smell. we brought the car to three Honda dealers, Essex Honda in New Jersey, Miller Honda in Van Nuys , and auto park Honda in Cary, NC. Essex said the smell was from spilled antifreeze, Miller admitted there was antifreeze on the crossbar but said it was no problem. finally auto park realized the head gasket was blown. they had to remachine the head , a valve job, thermostat all very pricey. the day after we got the car back . it didn't start, somehow the starter battery went bad! a few days later , I noticed the and the freeze smell again. noticed the overflow was empty and brought it back. turns out that a Honda dealer installed an aftermarket cruise control , which rubbed a hole in a metal hose , which no one was curious enough to find themselves. all very frustrating. auto park was pretty decent and at least they found the problem eventually
  • Hi thierry,
    I hope you find the reason for the check engine light. As for the replacement tires, I got a new set of Cooper "165/65 14 S" at 55,000 miles. The tire dealer in my area had to order them, since they only had two in stock, but it only took a couple of days to get them in. Just check that the installer put the rear skirts back on properly (I had to refit mine before I left the tire shop.) I think I made the mechanic grumpy when I asked for a screwdriver, and told him the reason I needed it. :D
    Ho ho ho and Merry Christmas.
  • thierrythierry Posts: 16

    My local Honda dealer replaced the Oxygen sensor, but CHECK ENGINE light is still on. When I asked if there had been any recalls on my '02 Insight that I may have missed; they said they would research the issue and get back to me. :mad:
    However, on the Insight Central website, several other owners claim they've received Recall Letters on the ECM replacement stating:
    ."Your vehicles main computer control module (the ECM) can misinterpret readings from various sensors. If this happens, the check engine light on the instrument panel may stay on."
    Have you received a Recall Letter from American Honda in Torrence or are you still waiting for one like myself? :confuse:

    Thanks for any info...HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! :blush:
  • Hi Thierry,
    Sorry to hear that your dealer didn't correct the problem before giving the car back to you -- and I bet they just scratched their heads and replaced the Oxygen sensor; scratched their heads again, and sent you home. I'll ask my dealer in Ohio if there's a recall on mine (John Hinderer Honda.) They're pretty good at customer service, so I'll let you know what they say after I talk to them.
  • if you are having a problem contact Honda AMerica at 1-800-999-1009 have your VIN # ready and tel them the problem,. they helped me out a whole lot with the trouble we had. they dont want to get dealer complaints so they try to fix them!
  • my passenger seat belt is getting wet but I cannot see any water anywhere else or a physical leak, trail etc. Anyone know about this?

    Also had to replace driver side mirror due to a tornado sandblasting the car. dealer told me how to pop off the old one but to replace it is trickier. got it to pop onto the center but how do you get it on the side pcs? :confuse:
  • elk3elk3 Posts: 1
    My Honda 2002 Honda Insight has 116,000 miles on it. When fixing a judder problem they needed to replace my flywheel. As I drove home from that repair I felt a bumping feeling and later on the freeway there's been an intermittent juddering feeling at higher speeds (the recent judder problem was regarding juddering from idle to acceleration). My Honda dealer says this recent problem is due to busted transmission and engine mounts. I have a lot of miles on my car, but it's strange that the bumping etc. started when I left the last repair. Could they have busted these mounts when replacing the flywheel? Do they have to take out the engine to replace the flywheel?
  • Hi Carybrief:

    In regards to your post:
    "My passenger seat belt is getting wet but I cannot see any water anywhere else or a physical leak, trail etc. Anyone know about this?"

    Here is what I Know:
    The leak is most likely coming in from the side panels that are above the doors. Sorry I’m not very mechanically inclined so this description might not be the best, but I've had water leaking into both the passenger and drivers seat belt.

    I thought it was because of a bad job Safelite Auto did replacing my windshield (they have to remove the side panels above the doors to replace the windshield, in the process they broke the side panel clips, so the side panels didn't go back on right). Water began leaking in (a lot--my seatbelts are dripping with water) and so I am now in the process of having Safelite fix this--however there may be another problem.

    Safelite replaced the side panels, and it Still leaks--they have a test where they spray water into the crevices above the doors (starting at the front and working all the way back to the hatchback) and if you remove the interior plastic moldings around the seatbelts you can watch the water trickle in. I’m trying to find out why this is happening—maybe a crack or something in the body, or a bad seal, or needs some new puddy?

    I'll let you know what I find out—and if you or anyone else has more info on this PLEASE let me know because I’m sure this will be a big fight with Safelite Auto and my insurance company.

  • bjgw66bjgw66 Posts: 16
    We sell a lot of insights were I work; I think the main reason tires are hard to find might be our fault. sorry...(lol) I think we typically have 4-6 in the parts department. We order though Honda parts catalog. they are a bridgestone RE92 and they retail for around 80$ I think you can get something the same size cheaper, but they are a little softer rubber (quieter but not as long lasting) from ????? Kumo??? check by size.

    There have been a few posts in here about leaks... yeah I have seen the guys in the shop with the garden hose out spraying on insights to duplicate the leak... and I am fairly certain that they find most of them... I'll talk to my service MGR to see if there are just a few "more common spots" or if it is all just random seals going bad.
  • my 2000 insight needed a new ima at 120000 miles. this is a $7000 fix but warranted by honda. so we did not pay any of that. the problem is we notice that our mileage has dropped from 65 mpg down to 45 mpg. Honda says that was their intention as the old ima contributed to battery heating. Since they designed it to correct the heating problem they will do nothing about our loss of gas mileage. Are we being snowed by an uninformed dealership or has honda really sabotaged their own car?
  • I just had the IMA battery components replaced a couple of months ago, but the mpg has only dropped to the level it usually does in the winter on my 2002 Insight CVT (mpg is lower 60's in summer; mid 50's in winter.) You might want to give American Honda a call, if you're not happy with the Dealer's response. BTW, my lifetime average mpg is 59.5 right now, but it usually goes back up to 60-61 by mid-summer.
  • I have a Honda Insight with a dash light reading "maintenance required." My manual is temporarily missing from a recent move. Is that a normal warning light for an Insight approaching 55,000 miles (which mine is doing)?

    Also, in case I cannot locate my manual soon, what important servicing must be done to the Insight at 55,000 and what should I be watching for in a car of that mileage?
  • slyhamslyham Posts: 2
    In cold weather, the heater has failed to produce any heat for at least a half an hour. After that it often works, but not often enough. Has anyone else had this problem and/or know the solution. Would love to have an idea before I approach the Honda Service shop.
  • airdog3airdog3 Posts: 1
    I am a new owner of a 2002 insight. Does any one know how to to reset the maint. required light? The car has 66K and I just changed the oil and ck all fluids.
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