My 7th Honda

2011 Honda Insight EX

Here it is, my 7th Honda and my first hybrid – the 2011 Insight EX.
I wasn’t a big fan of hybrids nor am I a greenie by any means but with the gas prices these days, why not. I said well.., I’d give it a try. So here it is, the 7th on the list of Hondas that I’ve owned that goes something like this:

1985 CRX
1991 Prelude Si
1994 Integra LS
1998 CR-V EX
2001 S2000
1987 CRX Si (current)
2011 Insight EX (current)

Surprisingly, this bargain basement hybrid comes with some features you normally wouldn’t expect in this price range such as; traction control (not sure why you’d need it), tire pressure monitor, paddle shifter (even though it’s simulated shifting), outside mirror heater, auto climate control, speed sensing wipers, tilt & telescope steering. Personally, I don’t really care about the features. I just like how the Insight looks – like a mini FCX Clarity.

Subaru Love? Not for Me…

I wanted to love my Subaru Outback. I really did. It was awesome in the winter – the 4-wheel drive system was like no other – it cuts through the snow like no other 4wd I’ve driven. However, this thing was testing my patience and my love…

I thought it was generally known that Subarus are relatively reliable vehicles. Well, mine must’ve been a lemon or something. My 2005 Outback went through:

– brand new set of tires all around (twice)
– right front wheel bearing (twice)
– front cv joint axle
– ignition coil
– 4 pairs of headlight bulbs (pairs!)
– check engine light whenever it rains or humid like clockwork
– 2 sets of brand new brake rotors and pads
– intermittent shuddering, loss of power regardless of weather
– malfunctioning driver-side heater vents
– exhaust gas leak into the cabin
– a self-developed tear in rear door window molding

All this in less than 5 years and under 67,000 miles.

It almost seems that this car was cursed. I know it’s not my lousy driving that ate through the tires and brakes. Tires and brakes on my CRX is more than 4 years old, and I drive that thing 10 times harder than the Subaru. I’ve owned Integra and Prelude for 5 ~ 6 years close to 100k miles without spending a dime on repairs.

They say ‘Love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru.’ Well…, yes, you really need to have lot of love to tolerate a piece of shit like that. But that’s something I could not do. I’m just glad the Outback is now gone! See Ya! I’m going back to all Honda.

700,000 Fit Recalled — Ouch!

Honda recalls 700,000 Fit worldwide for engine problem.
“Springs can bend, break, or wear prematurely… causing engine to stall…” You know, it’s been known that Honda engines produced after 1999 are not the same as ones we old schoolers are used to. Vintage D-Series and B-Series engines run up to 300,000+ miles day in and day out. No biggie. I seriously doubt that modern Honda engines are capable of such longevity.

CRX, good ol’ faithful…

The car is still pulling strong as ever. I haven’t spent a single dime on repairs since the build (except for the broken glass – damn you thief!). The CRX has proven again and again to be light years more reliable than my 2005, 60k miles, Subaru Outback. This car has left me speechless in amazement. Now with no radio, speakers or amplifiers and virtually no electronics running in the car, it now gets 40 mpg easy!

My only gripe is the car has developed series of nasty rust spots. First, by the left rear wheel well, now on the A-pillar and all over the damn sunroof…

No Radio for Old CRX.

So, some low-life bastard broke the window of my CRX to steal a 10-year old CD player…! Maybe someone needed a radio that only plays CDs really bad….

A note to the thief: Thief, if you needed a plain ‘ol CD player, good for you. Otherwise, good luck selling it. That thing is worth less than the bunch of quarters in the coin tray that you forgot to take. Not to mention there was an iPod in the glove compartment that you also forgot to take. Was it too dark to see? Forgot the flashlight? Were in a hurry? Of course you were.

Anyway, thanks for taking the cheapest possible item in the whole car. Btw, there was a slim credit card Kenwood remote on the passenger seat that you also forgot to take. Oh, I understand. You couldn’t see it because it was buried under all those pieces of glass you broke. What a shame! You could have made about $12 on eBay with that remote which is about more than twice what the radio is worth.

Oh, there also was a Rockford Fosgate amp in the back. I guess you missed that, too. Also, thanks for kindly unplugging my Kenwood-to-iPod connector instead of cutting it like the rest of the wires including the RCAs. You know, the RCA cables do come off really easily. And lastly, thanks for making my car lighter. It’s faster now!

(p.s. Rockford Fosgate? it’s no longer there. I decided to make my car even lighter while I’m at it.)

2011 CR-Z vs. 1987 CRX Si

Edmund’s Inside Line’s article comparing the Honda CR-Z to 1987 CRX Si…
2011 CR-Z vs. 1987 CRX Si

Of course, there was no comparison. The 1987 CRX crushed the CR-Z in every way. Not only these 2 cars have different purpose, the focus of Honda as a car maker has changed drastically over the past 10 years. It’s unlikely that Honda will be able (nor willing) to produce another car with the original CRX’s spirit.

How fast is my CRX? 120+ mph!

One Saturday morning around 5 AM I was on my way to meet up some guys for biking. Loaded up my bike in the trunk of my CRX and I hit the expressway. At 5 in the morning, there were hardly any cars. Suddenly, a GTI zoomed past me from nowhere (I was cruising at 90mph myself) followed by some non-descriptive car (possibly a Pontiac GTO) trying to catch up to it. Yes! with them in front of me, it was now safe to speed. Then I floored it to see just how fast this 23 year old would go.

The needle quickly hit 120 mph but wouldn’t move any further because at the bottom of the speedometer, there is a knob that resets the trip counter. The needle kept bobbing up and down resting on this knob. So I really don’t know how fast my CRX was doing beyond 120 mph.
Surprisingly, it was very stable and controllable even at that speed. There were no unwanted vibrations or twitching of any kind. It felt very well planted. Fyi, I have all-season tires, and stock suspension set-up. Only thing non-stock is the Energy Suspension Polyurethane bushing set.

I remember I wasn’t as comfortable even in my S2000 doing about 130 mph. Largely because the noise from the roof was unbearably loud. The roof on the S2000 starts to flap uncontrollably at about 120 mph. The noise and the vibration in the cabin is enough to make your head hurt after few minutes. Anyway, man, this little CRX is such a joy to drive. I couldn’t ask for anything more from this car.

CRX 120mph