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Old 11-10-2018, 10:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Seeking Tips to increase MPG

I just purchased a new 2019 Honda Insight.

I seem to be averaging 39-42 MPG.

1) Can I trust the guages.... Are the guages accurate and reflect accurate results?

2) What techniques improve MPG performance?
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Old 11-11-2018, 04:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmarlatt View Post
I just purchased a new 2019 Honda Insight.

I seem to be averaging 39-42 MPG.

1) Can I trust the guages.... Are the guages accurate and reflect accurate results?

2) What techniques improve MPG performance?
My MPG gauge is within 0.5 miles of actual MPG. The best tips I can give:

1. Don't speed! 45mph seems to be the sweet spot for mpg. I drive country roads and have a 62mpg(ish) average.

2. Cruise control isn't as good as a person. We can account for hills ahead of time and manage the throttle better. On a flat highway, ACC works fine.

3. Winter - winter fuel affects mileage. There's not much you can do about that. There are other things related. The need to warm the engine and exhaust or heating the cabin before full-blown EV mode can be used is a factor. I use cabin heat sparingly, but the engine still must be warm to get best EV usage.

4. Longer trips. Short trips kill mpg due to the need to get the car up to operating temperature.

5. All the usual stuff. Anticipation of slowdowns/red lights, no jackrabbit starts or slamming the brakes, use of the re-gen paddles, etc. Common sense stuff you're probably already doing.

39-42mpg seems low. What model do you have (LX/EX/Touring)? What are your typical drive lengths and terrain? Average speeds and traffic (city/highway)? 50mpg is normally attainable unless you drive like a bat out of h**l. While sport mode is fun, it sucks mpg away.

Get yourself registered in fuelly.com and keep track of actual mileage. I went from a Civic to an Insight. I needed to learn to drive differently. Hybrids are "different." Not in a bad way, but driving one required a special type of awareness and commitment in order to get the best out of it.
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Last edited by hasarad; 11-11-2018 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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rjm:

I've not seen a G3 yet, but I imagine a few hypermiling techniques may still be useful.

Here's a link with a few ideas.

The tires likely don't apply to the G3. But airing up a bit, slowing down, etc will help. Check out the article by Wayne Gerdes, it's a long read but has lot's of good ideas.
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Old 11-20-2018, 11:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My MPG seems to be suffering a bit lately in the cooler/colder weather. It seems that is normal for a variety of reasons including slightly less energy in winter blend fuel (I read 2% less).

But one thing you can easily do is probably air up those tires as the pressure drops in cooler weather. At least bring it back up to manufacturer recommendations and maybe a little higher. I tried to go a little higher.

Also stick to lower cabin temps if you use the climate control system as the ICE engine is used for heating. Maybe also turn the AC system off if you don't need it (there's a button for that).
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Some cold weather tips for better mpg.
Get the engine warmed up as soon as possible. Best mpg is at normal (or perhaps higher) operating temperature. With my old gen 2 and currently with my Civic, I'll often put the CVT in "S" to increase low speed rpm,. I'll often leave it there until the cold light goes out. I've noticed doing so gets me to higher mpg operation earlier in my morning drive. How to get more rpm's on a cold gen 3 I can only guess at. The benefit of doing this seems greater on the coldest mornings.

I've not found much that works for maintaining summer mpg while using the heater. It appears though that the heater fan, over time, puts an energy drain on the battery. So what I've been doing is manually, frequently turning the heat on and off. I'll turn the heat off when I have high driving need for battery power, and turn heat on when low driving need, or downhill battery charging situations.

Another idea which doesn't seem to do much, has been to turn the heater temperature knob to its lowest setting when engine is cold. This will cut/reduce the amount of radiator fluid diverted from the cooling system to run over the engine toward the heater fan. The idea here is to prevent the cold/cool radiator fluid from slowing the engines' warming-up process. When doing this I'll turn the heater temperature knob to its highest setting once the engine cold light goes out

All this has given small but measurable mph improvements. But by far the biggest mpg improvement comes from extra air in the tires. Four to five pounds over the recommended pressure I've seen suggested. Two summers ago I spent an afternoon experimenting with different air pressures. I checked vehicle steering response at different speeds, and the vehicles' willingness to travel in a straight line at highway speeds. I found a sweet spot between too much air and my desire to get more air for highest mpg. I try to check and adjust tire pressures to my sweet spot once a month. I also avoid or drive slowly over bumps in the road, they get much harder with the extra air.

Together with uphill, downhill battery management, and traffic concerns, this turns driving into something more like piloting an airplane, or playing a video game, as my daughter puts it.
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Principles supporting my driving style for even higher EX mpg:
Have the engine operate as little as possible, especially when standing still or moving slowly; while also meeting my demands for power and maneuvering. This means most battery charging while cruising city streets and rural roads, max regen from slowing down and downgrades, and only using heater or A/C when the engine is on for other purposes.

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Old 01-27-2019, 07:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think I'm starting to get better battery management for better mileage now. Even though it's in the upper 30's here, I hit 56 MPG over a mostly flat (some small hills) mixed highway and city driving on a 57 mile drive.

My first efforts in Econ Mode didn't do well at all. Low 40's. Sometimes in the 30's. The engine had to work way too hard on hills. Didn't sound good. I tried Normal Mode, and results were not much better. It's when I discovered Sport Mode battery charging, and Regen Breaking at maximum...which holds the maximum regen setting in Sport Mode if you don't use Cruise Control. I wish it did hold in ACC, but using cruise control is not the best for conserving power anyway. It pushes you way into the power range on startup. I actually really like Sport Mode the best. Not only is the torque better for starts, hills and passing, but it recovers battery charge with the regen breaking held at maximum. It can really move fast in Sport Mode, and even racing around...not trying to conserve...MPG wasn't that bad. About the same as Econ Mode!

So what I attempted to do to charge the battery to full, which is almost impossible to do in any other mode, is run Sport mode trying to keep the charge going into the battery until full (usually charges when at the middle tic mark between CHARGE and POWER), then switch to Econ Mode and force EV Only by keeping it under the POWER line. You can go a long way on EV only mode, even at highway speeds by doing this. Plus the Econ Mode doesn't try to keep the cabin as warm, so you're not getting shut down for cabin heating. Once the battery reaches 20% you go back to Sport Mode and fully charge the battery again. That maximum Regen Breaking helps a lot in traffic to recover energy while slowing down without breaks. And if you do enter a city area, where you have stop and go traffic, as long as there is a charge I switch to Econ with EV Mode to quietly cruise around town. When back in Sport Mode, the car heats up again while charging the battery. This works for me.

So I think that is using the battery to better use with full charge/discharge cycles. I wish Honda could create an algorithm just like all that mode switching...especially the Regen Break (M) hold in all modes. I'm betting I will get much better mileage once the weather warms up some. I'll keep trying to top 56 MPG on the same course. It's fun to see how good you can get it (without holding up traffic). Oh, and once again BP gas, from one station on the lower tip of this test course, is getting me better numbers. Quality gas matters.

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Old 01-28-2019, 11:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default better mileage with gen3 insight

Switching modes is a hypermilers way of life. If you want better mileage you have to experiment and think like you think the car is thinking about the way you are driving it (the car). At least that is the only way I found (without using mods) to understand how the car is working. And that takes a lot of time and learning.

in the HCH2 there is only the one drive mode. But having others makes the car more adjustable to current road and traffic conditions.

I use non-ethanol premium gas in my 2006 Civic Hybrid (HCH2), because I get it for less than local regular prices. ( some people think non-ethanol and/or premium gas is/are beneficial especially with smaller engines and some people think it makes little or no difference at all). It's a 100 mile round trip for gas, but it's helpful in my situation for a few reasons.
Longer trips, especially in colder weather (but also applies to warmer temps too for better mpgs), help the older weaker pack stay in balance or get a deeper charge up and top off of the high voltage battery.

I've found that 10 mile trips in winter weather especially, really hurt mileage, interior comfort level and battery pack health.

The HCH2 hardly warms up the interior after 10 miles, it gets more comfortable after 15 or 20. And compared to my 2002 civic EX non-hybrid both heat and A/C are reduced a lot both in max temperature reachable and speed of interior temperature change.
In the older Honda Hybrids the A/C is run from an electrical power supply in the IMA, using the high voltage IMA battery to power it, so that the A/C stays on when the gas engine (ICE or internal combustion engine) is not running. This hurts mileage a lot in the older hybrids. If the newer models use the same A/C power source, unless honda made big changes in the A/C's efficency, using A/C will hurt mileage as well. In the HCH when I turn on the heater in Auto mode the A/C is also ON and I have to switch it OFF manually, and I forget to do that a lot.

My best for a 55 mile trip is 69.9 mpg on the gauge. But that was at 35mph and 60 degrees F and no traffic. I agree it's fun to watch the gauge when it shows great mileage. I've also found that the mpg gauge I use for per tank mpg drops quickly after a hi mpg 55 mile trip right after fillup with the engine at running temperature and mpg gauge reset.
But after that the per tank gauge than seems to drop more quickly and shows reduced miles per tank typically. No where near the best 600 miles per tank I got once and the typical 500 miles per tank I can get in the summer heat with a healthy grid charged battery pack and without using A/C ever.

Head winds and uphills will reduce mileage too. If you pay close enough attention to the gauges it become apparent when the car is going uphill and when it is going downhill even when the road looks flat to your eyes.

It's hard to notice tailwinds because the car is usually going faster than the tailwind. But it is easy to notice headwinds if they are strong enough. So if you take a long trip and most of it is into the wind you will most likely see an mpg decrease, that is if you are watching for it.

Slower speed reduces wind resistance. The slower you drive the better mileage you should get due to both wind resistance and algorithm efficiency generally, especially with the best hybrids and EV's.

Higher tire pressure reduces rolling resistance. It's much more noticeable in a smaller lighter vehicle. But it also helps get better mileage in larger vehicles and will only be noticable if mpg is important to the driver. I usually inflate to between 40 and 45 pounds, depending on the tires max pressure rating. I'll go higher with good tires occassionally to experiement.

In short getting better mpg takes time and a desire to learn which driving habits can be adjusted in the traffic conditions the car is driven in.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you for the good advice. I am slowly inching my MPG up to an average of 43 MPG.

Managing the power seems to get the best results

Costing downhill using regenerative breaking is worth 1 MPG

Left Paddle gets you to 2 and and 1 Right paddle gets you to 1 for a long glide

I find going on freeway behind a good wind break seems to improve mileage using the ACC.


I will experiment next with the Sport mode for accelerating.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you Phil and WillS for interesting posts.

I strongly agree "Switching modes is a hypermilers way of life," and "getting better mpg takes time and a desire to learn which driving habits can be adjusted in the traffic (and topographical) conditions the car is driven in." I find it fun to think about all this and experiment then create new driving habits. It ends up more like piloting then driving.

Here is a new tip. I've recently discovered how sunshine helps improve winter time mpg. It does it by helping the IMA system (in "Serenity" below) get warmed up to better/best operating temperature sooner. On normal (for here) cloudy wet rainy days it can take 6-12 miles before I can get electric motor only operation. By parking where the morning sun shines on the hood, I've been able to get electric only operation after only 3.0, 3.2, and 3.8 miles. (Over night and morning temperature about the same, cloud-free morning required.) Electric motor only operation is key to my mpg numbers. Driving without attention to it leads to tankfulls ranging from 38 to 44 mpg. Attention to this leads to summer tank fulls in the 53+ range.

This looks like potential for a big percentage mpg improvement for just choosing a different parking place!
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Principles supporting my driving style for even higher EX mpg:
Have the engine operate as little as possible, especially when standing still or moving slowly; while also meeting my demands for power and maneuvering. This means most battery charging while cruising city streets and rural roads, max regen from slowing down and downgrades, and only using heater or A/C when the engine is on for other purposes.

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Last edited by Moviemike; 01-29-2019 at 04:19 PM. Reason: correct typo
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmarlatt View Post
Thank you for the good advice. I am slowly inching my MPG up to an average of 43 MPG.

Managing the power seems to get the best results

Costing downhill using regenerative breaking is worth 1 MPG

Left Paddle gets you to 2 and and 1 Right paddle gets you to 1 for a long glide

I find going on freeway behind a good wind break seems to improve mileage using the ACC.


I will experiment next with the Sport mode for accelerating.
ENJOY !!! and have fun with it. Its lots of simple stuff piled up

The less you accelerate, using any mode, the higher your mpg will be.
"Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion."
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Principles supporting my driving style for even higher EX mpg:
Have the engine operate as little as possible, especially when standing still or moving slowly; while also meeting my demands for power and maneuvering. This means most battery charging while cruising city streets and rural roads, max regen from slowing down and downgrades, and only using heater or A/C when the engine is on for other purposes.

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