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Hybrid battery concern

I have a 2001 Honda insight that I bought new. My problem is not that it has been any trouble or that it has any trouble. My concern is my friends.

I have been looking to replace this car as it is nearly ten years old, and two of my friends have expressed an interest in buying it. It has a lifetime mpg of nearly 48, so they see it as a great commuter. I would not hesitate in doing so, but I am concerned about the life of the batteries.

Do you have any info on the actual life of the Honda pack? I would feel terrible if I sold this car and then they had to put thousands in the batteries shortly afterwards.

Never, Ever Sell A Car To A Friend Or Relative, Especially A Hybrid That’s 10 Years Old. End Of Story. Case Closed.


Definitely read CSA’s comments. As for your question, guess what? No one knows yet. Those batteries have been lasting with few problems since the Insight went on sale. I have been impressed. However it still means no one can give you an authoritative answer to your question. We just don’t know.

As CSA intimated, your concern goes beyond the question of battery replacement. I think of a hybrid battery in the same light of any other major drive component, all with finite life expectancies. I would expect problems with a friend or neighbor who bought my car and soon experienced transmission failure too. I’ve seen it done successfully, but it reAlly depends upon the “automotive maturity” and mutual understanding of cars in general and their life expectancy.
A really tough call as they could get equally upset if you sold it to a stranger.
People really don’t get that you sell an excellent car, many times because you anticipate problems. That alone should make all parties think twice about jeopardizing a friendship.
A frank conversation with your freinds with this in mind may help.

Option 1- trade the car in on a new car, then you don’t have to worry about what happens to your old Insight.

Option 2- advertise and sell the car privately, to an unknown buyer.

Option 3- sell the car to your friend or relative with them signing a statement that you are selling the car as is, status of the hybrid battery included. If it needs new battery(s) and when is their assumed risk.

Option 4- keep the car and see how long the battery lasts. Perhaps you’ll get another 5 or 10 years from it. Then you can junk it for salvage value and you’ll have lots of money saved up to buy your new car with cash.

I’m assuming your friends know the car is a hybrid, and are aware of its age, as you are. Is this true, or do they just like the mileage and not know anything about hybrids?

Early Insights are now cult cars, and people want them.

I’ve sold cars to friends with no repercussions. On the other hand, I know why people say you should never sell a car to a friend.

I think it depends on the car and the friend.

Either way, once you sell it you should never feel bad about it. If you’re worried, don’t sell it to any of your friends.

Three experiences with cars being sold to friends/acquaintances/co-workers:

  1. My dad bought a 1954 Buick in 1955 from some friends who had retired, but then were called back by the company to go to Australia. This Buick was their baby. My dad bought the car at a very good price. Two days after we bought the car, it quit running while we were taking a ride. The fuel pump failed. My parents told my brother and me not to say a word to anybody, because they didn’t want their friends to feel bad. The Buick turned out to be a great car. I bought the car from my dad 9 years later and drove it three more years. I sold the Buick at 160,000 miles and it was on the stree three years later.

  2. I had a great 1993 Oldsmobile 88 that I sold to a coworker. I had maintained the car very well, had all the service records, and so on. The car was 10 years old when I sold it. My colleague had the car for a couple of months and the master cylinder had to be replaced. He ran around telling everyone I had sold him a lemon.

  3. My wife sold her parent’s 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis to our neighbors when her parents went to an assisted care facility. They thought it was a great car.

We are to sell only to strangers so a problem is not experienced by relative or friend?
If something negative happens, I would tell them it is just coincidence. Nothing I did nor knew about and likely nothing they did.

I maintain my vehicles well and always change oil frequently so that the next owner has a good engine.

Just remembered. I have NEVER SOLD a vehicle. I have always given them to others less fortunate.

Those batteries seem to be lasting much longer than expected. A magazine with consumer in the mane checked out an old Prius and they were impressed by how well the car was working.

Back in the late 70’s, I made the mistake of buying my brother’s older Chevrolet. Big motor, positraction. That thing was all over the place when we got snow or ice. I put it up for sale, and a fellow employee wanted it.

I told him, no, he didn’t want it. Some young adult with a death wish should buy it for drag racing on the main drag. He looked at it, and insisted he wanted it. I sold it, and a few months later, the radiator failed. I was told by others that he said something similar that it was not a good car.

I agree, do not sell to friends; family; or fellow workers.