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Old 01-26-2011, 02:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wintertime Blues

Damn! Just another reason to hate winter.

I have been noticing that the mpg of my I2 drops along with ambient temperatures. I bought my I2 EX w/Navi in June 2010. As the car continued through a "break-in" period the mileage continue to increase...at least until the weather began dropping. To illustrate, here are examples of my mileage.

Jun 24 - 41.06 mpg (initial fill)
Jul 26 - 42.31
Aug 16 - 43.23
Sep 15 - 45.56
Oct 07 - 44.18
Nov 24 - 41.92
Dec 20 - 40.77
Jan 26 - 38.81

In the interest of brevity I only listed every other fill but you can still see the pattern. I should point out that these are calculated mileage figures--not MID values (MID over estimates by 2 - 3 mpg).

Also note that my driving habits vary by season. The majority of my driving May through September is comprised of trips of 20-40 miles, mostly expressway or secondary highways. The remaining months are made up of short trips, 10 miles or less, almost all city driving. That, coupled with winter fuel blends and the fact that the I2 seldom auto-stops when the temperatures are low, all add up to the observed mileage drop.

For the record, I am not disappointed with my I2. On the contrary I really like the car. It is fun to drive and the overall mileage, so far (42.33), is better than any car I have ever owned. My wife's Scion xD only gets about 31 mpg--but she only drives around 2,000 miles per year so who cares!
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Our EX has about 21.5k miles on it. The lifetime average is about 44.6 mpg.

We live in Wisconsin, park outside, and see about an 8-10 mpg difference between seasons. In the spring and fall we average a touch under 50 mpg. In the heat of the summer with AC on we average about 46-47 mpg. In the winter (and it has been COLD) we average about 40-42 mpg.

It is a mild irritation to see figures drop in the winter but I expected it and am not disappointed.


In the winter I do get an intermittent squeak coming from around the glove box. That irritates me more than the mileage.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, 15mpg drop here and thats just using the heat on 70 degrees. The more heat you use the lower it goes.



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Old 01-27-2011, 02:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We get a double hit in winter because it's always windier too.

Try a -30C cold start, 550 lbs of passengers, heat and defrost on full, and immediately heading out onto the highway at 100kmh into a 60kmh north wind. Mileage dips below 30mpg (US). My average this winter is 36mpg (US).
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This winter in New England has hit my mileage hard. Between the Snow and sub-zero morning, I am on my way to my worst tank ever, looking like maybe 34 - 35 mpg actual showing close to 37 on the MID. My mileage has been on a steady decline since November. Looking forward to warmer drier weather and a return to mid 40mpg.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Man, here I was thinking I had dinged my fuel lines (didn't help that the drop in mpg happened right after I bottomed-out).

3 degrees this morning. Getting 38.3 MPG for this tank. I hate coasting, staring at my MID, waiting for it to tick up .1.

Cobb, I thought I was overthinking things, but you say the heat temp will affect it? I usually run at 80 until I get hot (which doesn't happen much these days by the time I get out again), but you recommend dropping to 70 or so?
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, use of the heater lowers the mpg, lessens the likely hood of going into the brief moments of EV only and even defueling of the engine coasting. So, your motor is likely always burning fuel.

Yeah, I bundle up and set the heat to around 70. One reason I like my geo metro. It produces hot heat and can maintain around 50mpg.

If VA Beach is like Chicago, I got 34 in city, 65 on the way down one day I was there for 300 miles of driving. Not bad, my previous car a 09 scion xb got 19mpg, wher eas it normally gets 30.



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Old 02-03-2011, 12:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Does anyone have the service manual? I'm thinking the heat doesn't take away mpg, but windshield defrosting does since it automatically turns on A/C. Many Hondas can have A/C disabled using a easter-egg procedure mentioned in the service manual, similar to:

A/C Always On when defrost [Archive] - Honda CR-V Owners Club Forums
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carniver View Post
I'm thinking the heat doesn't take away mpg, but windshield defrosting does since it automatically turns on A/C.
The defroster definitely affects MPG significantly. However any drain on the electrical system, to include the blower, will have an effect on MPG. However, IMO, I think using the heat without the defroster, has a negligible impact on fuel economy. The way I see it,(and I may be wrong)the heat is a byproduct of the ICE and all you're doing by using it is pumping a little of it into the cabin.


Winter mileage, in all cars, sucks for many reasons(see link below). IMO, not using the heat will not help much.

All that being said, I would limit the use of the defroster as much as possible.


http://www.metrompg.com/posts/winter-mpg.htm

Last edited by firsthonda; 02-05-2011 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Your ICE theory is correct...in theory.

OTOH, the ideal conditions for the engine to get the best mileage comes when the engine is warmed up to designed operating temperature. This is when all the parts and the oil are at the same optimal temperature.

It is possible that running the heater will act as a radiator and wick away the heat that the engine needs. You would need a ScanGauge or something like that to watch your temperatures. If it can maintain about 175 degrees, that's probably fine. If it gets much less than that, there are probably parts of the engine that aren't heating up enough and the ICE is inefficient.

I don't know for sure if the Insight fits this situation. If it was running too cool, I would suggest one of the grill blocking techniques discussed on this forum. There are a lot of factors such as outside air temp, how far you drive, and how you drive to consider.
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