I've had my Insight EX for less than two weeks, but I really am worried about the low mileage. Yesterday, it was down to 34 mpg average. Down from 37+ mpg.
Also, after the first day, the engine seldom auto stops at stop lights, full stops. I was told 1) the engine has to warm up and 2) the battery has to be "quite" full. My battery usually has one slim dark space at the top. I don't recall it ever being absolutely full.
What is normal for this battery image? My recollection is that it was not competely full when I got the car. It did get down to about a third showing dark (meaning incomplete charge, right?), after I drove about 5 miles to a destination during rain at night, so the wipers were in use and lights were on, and heatalso as it was cold (low 40's). The tire pressure warning was also on.
I was going to the dealer the next day anyway (day 3 of driving the Insight), and they found the tires were all below 30psi (and they were not cold, as I'd driven about 20 miles) and inflated them all to 33. I managed to leave my good tire gauge in my old car, so have to buy another to be able to check for myself what the cold psi actually is.
The service manager told me that the auto stop wasn't working due to a low battery. There are steepish, longish hills on the way to the dealership, so even though I'd driven almost 20 miles, that was not enough, apparently, to get the battery up. Also, at that point, I hadn't been lightly riding the brake pedal to increase charging (that is what I need to do, right?).
I also have slight inclines on the final two miles to my house, so I don't have a way to charge up the battery to have it fuller on that part of my driving.
Would inflating the tires to a higher psi help?
I've picked up from reading here and on other Insight blogs that I should be using the brake, lightly, to get a higher recharge rate to the battery. I also read that in city driving I should get up to the posted speed quickly, then back off to allow regeneration. But I also watched videos which seemed to indicate I should accelerating more slowly. Should I be sort of feathering my gas pedal pressure? Seems tiresome and annoying, but how do I get better regeneration?
I seldom place my full foot on the gas pedal, just the ball of my foot, but I suppose one could lead foot it that way also, eh? But I haven't been doing that. Actually, I've been worried about not getting up to freeway speed fast enough and worry about causing irritation or problems for other drivers.
I'm still trying to remember to turn off the radio, so it's not on when I start the car. That's kind of annoying, but I can live with it...when I finally make it a habit. I also read the heat/fan should be turned off as well? If this is so important to good mileage why didn't Honda make it an option so it would be automatic?
I'm also having to learn that the bright dashboard lights do not
mean I've turned the headlights on! In my other cars, the dash didn't get really bright unless the headlights were on. I've driven farther that I thought possible with the daytime safety lights on.
But the mileage is the big issue: What to do?
I'm beginning to think my driving patterns mean I should not have gone with the Insight, but the Prius, which gets better mileage in city driving. I've been getting a sick feeling in my stomach about my decision....