No, its not required for you to use every gear. Sounds like I drive my sidekick like the orignal poster drives his insight. Funny thing is, I get 30-32 mpg doing that too.
Many commercial semi truck drivers skip around when unloaded. They typically just shift the main gears. When fully loaded they need all 16,18,21, etc depending on their setup. Some have 2-3 speed differentials in adition to the main gear box if not a secondary gear box. You could say my 4wd sidekick has 10 gears. 5 high 5 low.
I agree with you 3 wheeler. I doubt pressing to redline can help the valvetrain. Id stick to where the power level offs as my redline. You got spring bounce as well as the possibility of breaking a spring.
The Insight's valvetrain is a work of art and seems extremely bulletproof. With the (artificially?) low redline due to the IMA rotor, you'll get 200,000 miles without ever adjusting anything.....
i wish that were true (of mine anyway) 10k, its ticking more then i like.
"Many commercial semi truck drivers skip around when unloaded. They typically just shift the main gears. When fully loaded they need all 16,18,21, etc depending on their setup. Some have 2-3 speed differentials in addition to the main gear box if not a secondary gear box."
The big factor here though-trucks don't have syncros so "short shifting" isn't a concern for wear (its also why "floating" gears is far easier then a trans with syncros). short shifting a syncro trans in essence puts it (the syncros) out of sync,thus causing more wear on the shift forks etc. What would be nice, is if we could put a splitter in like a big truck to give the car "10" speeds, but then you would need 2 of them, and the added weight would out do the benefits.
I usually taper my shift points down as I approach my desired speed. It seems less awkward than redlining through the gears then suddenly dropping to cruising RPM (which probably sounds like a mis-shift from outside).
I doubt anybody is listening to my insight.
To me that's excess wear on the clutch. 1-2-5 vs. 1-2-3-4-5 is 50% less clutch wear. (shrug). Likewise 5-1 is 75% less clutch wear than 5-4-3-2-1. I'm curious if you drove one of the new modern 7 speeds, would you really waste your time rowing through every step?
OWN: 61mpg Insight (greenercars.org score: 57)
both blue and silver,
and a 45mpg BeetleTDI (score: 47).
Second person that said that. 6000rpm was the redline in every car I've owned, even the ones without IMA. My diesel beetle is set at 5200. So why do you think 6000 is "low"?
small displacement engines usually are able to spool out.
valve mass is small, so even light springs can control float.
Honda's 1500 can run out to 7 grand. (ok it is not strong at that point)
but no harm done either.
Based on my 'redlining' my insight...
it was pulling hard and then the rev limiter kicked in.
The power had not flattened any, I was surprised.
The shift to the next gear still had the rev limiter mangling the power.
my guess is 7 to 8 k RPM with good power.
the IMA motor holding together at those revs may well be a concern.
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