Honda Insight
Current MPG (August 2014): 51.9

Since the car is running quite well, I’ve done a few smaller fixes that have been nagging me. Stickers! Yes, stickers. They’re important, I tell ya! And I mess with the under-engine covers that protect it from road debris.

The car is 12 years old. Years of heat, rain, snow, debris, and ultra-violet radiation have taken a toll on some of the more volatile pieces on the car – the stickers and emblems. Many people wouldn’t take the time to ‘fix’ these things as they’re purely aesthetic, but I like the car to look as nice as possible.

First, as you can see from the image above, Honda was quite proud of their new IMA technology. They were the first rival to the Prius, far exceeding the MPG ratings of their opponent upon release. And to show off what their 3-cylinder, 1.0 liter engine could do, they put a big black aluminum sticker on the engine cover to show it off. Mine was missing. And so it was replaced.

Next, and probably one of the more important stickers on the vehicle is the rear emblem. There are three in total on the rear hatch – a Honda sticker, the insight logo, and a hybrid sticker. The Honda sticker was in really bad shape, greyed and worn down. For $9, it’s kinda expensive when you realize it’s just a large sticker, peeled off a 3M backing, much like you get for your child at the dollar store. BUT, an insight owner should be proud of the Honda emblem and so it was replaced. I have a few bubbles in it that I’m attempting to smooth out. Huge improvement.

The last major fix required the purchase and installation of the right side engine cover (the clean one on the left of the image.) These aren’t cheap either, roughly $60. In addition, there’s a vertical $30 cover that connects to it to the left which holds up the cover, connecting it to the wheel fender cover. It had a destroyed mounting point and had to be replaced for the covers to fit together properly. It also protects the main belt from damage from road debris. Not only that, they aid in the aerodynamics of the car. The missing cover and broken vertical cover can be seen below.

I purchased a few new nuts and bolts of various sizes as well as they had been missing/broken from curb scrapes. Many of them are plastic and have been lost to time.

What I didn’t remember was that the air dam (pictured below) that sits under the front bumper. It funnels air down in front of the wheel, over the brakes, and out to the left of the car. The mounting hole which connects to all of these covers and subsequently holding them from falling to the ground is completely torn (it’s rubber). Not cheap at $30, it’s something I’ll wait on until possibly next month.

The covers are secure with the new bolts, and a twistie tie or two in places that need attention. The aluminum cover was filthy with road grit and grime, and was cleaned. But I can at least rest assured that debris is now a lot less likely to do damage to the engine.

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