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Old 05-09-2011, 10:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default General MPG driving tips

Hi,

I just got my 2011 Insight this past weekend and was hoping an experienced Insight owner could give some MPG driving tips. I generally keep the Eco Assist green as much as possible and always drive with the Econ button enabled. Most of my commute is on i495 on Long Island and I use cruise control to keep it at 55 for most of the way or slower depending on traffic. Coming home it's bumper to bumper sometimes so I exit and drive on service roads to escape the traffic however the service roads have stop lights and is very hilly at times.

I'm not sure what provides for better MPG, the bumper to bumper traffic or hilly service road and stop lights.

Also, at stop signs how do I disable the auto shut off when I'm just briefly stopping and then going as opposed to sitting at a light? I figure for stop signs it probably wastes fuel for the engine to stop/start for such a brief moment.

Thanks
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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55 on the LIE ? now that's dangerous !

in my experience the I2 shines in highway cruising v. stop & go

anticipatory braking also yields big dividends but takes discipline
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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When it comes to stop n going, you need to coast/ride the brake as much as possible. I find highway too yields the best mpg. The secret for either is to conserve energy, accelerate as slow as possible and include a lot of coasting.



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Old 05-10-2011, 10:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Have owned 3 honda honda hybrids , 1st Gen 03, Civic 09, 2nd Gen 10, and all have the same characteristics. Staying conservative but not radical , here are some tips.

You cant overcome air friction and displacement without cost. Anything over 60mph will eventually cost you.

Cruise control will only save you if it is on fairly level ground for most of the trip.

Getting off the gas early and coasting to stop signs and lights , pays off in consuption and regen.

Windows open does not pay off at speed. AC at highest you can tolerate will.

Higher tire pressure = mpg, although slight, and could cost you tire wear , rotating is the key.

Constant pedal not constant speed (within reason) is the key on hilly interstate driving , the truckers know what they are doing.

Drafting can be dangerous and always leads to the demise of your paint job
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default not a hypermiler 2

Dont think you are right about the auto stop. If car is warmed up, IMA spins up engine to idle speed almost instantaneously so no real cost there- no fuel flow is usually better than any fuel flow.

Stop and go always is worse. You cant overcome physics. If you are constantly trying to accelerate mass over and over again no amount of auto stop will overcome the cost. High speed costs as well. Logic and 250K of hybrid experience says steady 50mph on back roads with few stops trumps all.

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Old 05-10-2011, 12:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips. I read through other posts and had some more questions.

I read on other posts that some people say the power curve of the engine gives better gas milage at higher speeds. I've only had my car for three days now so I'm still in the break in period and only driving up to 55mph. Has anyone else found that speeds on the highway above 55mph yields better MPG?

For hills I thought I would burn less gas by taking it out of cruise control as I started up the hill and letting my speed slowly reduce and then slowly picking up speed again going down the other side of the hill. Does this work out better or does letting cruise control maintain the speed up the hill work out better?

I also read on other posts that some people feel disengaging the Econ mode when setting cruise control will produce better gas milage. Currently I have the Econ mode on at all times with or without cruise control and no matter the speed.
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Shuttlecraft, I think the use of cruise control on hills is not in the best interest of fuel mileage. I am new to hybrids also, only had my Insight base 3 weeks so far, and found that my foot on the pedal gives me better mileage then the cruise control can. I very rarely use the after market cruise that I had to have installed thinking I would drive this car like any other, but was I wrong. My advise is anticipate stops and lights as much as possible, coasting whenever possible. And take off from stops slowly, working your way up to speed always staying in the green as much as possible. Don't let the drivers behind you intimidate you, drive like there is an egg between your foot and the gas pedal. I am new to this but have reached 53.1 MPG so far which is darn good for upstate NY weather conditions. Hope you enjoy your car as much as I have so far. The only thing that bothers me about the car is when cold (like sitting over night) the transmission feels like it is slipping for a few moments before engaging. From what I have read, that is normal for the Insight but feels odd to me.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I drive back and forth from Springfield MA to Hartford CT..

Ditch the cruise control, control the pedal with your foot, the cruise control wants to keep your car at the same speed and will sacrifice MPG in doing so. For New England hills, leave it off.

When going up and down the hills...going down, let the car accelerate, going up let the car decelerate until you have to apply more pressure to maintain speed.

Example, at top of hill going 57, let car speed up going down the high, say to like 65, while maintaining 60 to 90 MPG, then when going up next hill, let the car decelerate back to 57 and then apply constant pressure to keep car at 57. It takes some practice, but if you can average 50MPG going up the hill you will be in good shape. Use some of that momentum to get back up the hill, eventually you will have to accelerate unless there is more hill going down than going up, if that if the case you can get some great MPG, but on the return it will average out in reverse.

Stay under 65 and if possible under 60. 55 to 60 is good with some spurts (going down hill to 65/70)

You will not get better MPG going faster, try and keep the revs under 2000 RPM at highway cruising and watch your real time MPG display. Slight differences can pay big dividends.

If you drive the same commute every day, learn the road's little secrets. Nothing is really flat in New England, so knowing what's coming up you can plan ahead to maximize MPG.

I don't use econ mode, monitor tire pressure (keep at recommended or higher)
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've been using all the ideas listed here and they really do work, and often work very well!

My biggest challenge in getting to high mpg has been to learn patience. Most especially when accelerating. What has been helpful is to use the real time - mpg slider to moderate my urge to get up to speed. What I do is accelerate with traffic to close to 30 mph, then reduce acceleration rate to 45 - 55 mpg on the slider. Samething on hills - use the throttle to hold the slider in the 75 -100 mpg range on the down grade, and then at 50 mpg for the up grade. Mostly I let the mph take care of itself and seek to get the most benefit I can from gravity.

Best mpg is when coasting (150 mpg on the MID). Coasting distance can be increased with a very slight pressure on the throttle (keeping the gasoline icon dark -energy flow screen - ev mode), but this will run down the battery. But that can be ok if there is a downgrade up ahead which can be used for battery regen via gently riding the brake.

Best speeds for high mpg is 30-50 mph range, with around 38-44 appearing best of the best. I use econ on most of the time. Econ on makes the throttle less sensitive and helps me run close to 100 mpg vs 70-75 mpg at various points on my trip. Econ off is said to reduce the battery's "affinity" for chargeing and dischargeing, hence with it off, there should be some delay in mpg killing forced regen when hill climbing, or when maintaining steady speed on flat terrain after a battery draining period of acceleration.

When all this becomes one's habitual way of driving, better vs worse mpg seems to be most greatly influenced by traffic, the luck of a green light, outside temperature and tire roll resistence. Less traffic is better then more traffic. Warmer temps. are better then colder. Higher tire pressures better then lower. Dry roads better then wet. Smooth and newly paved better than old and bumpy. Battery fully charged (level 5 or 6) vs less (level 4 or 3).
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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; 05-12-2011 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moviemike View Post

When all this becomes one's habitual way of driving, better vs worse mpg seems to be most greatly influenced by traffic, the luck of a green light, outside temperature and tire roll resistence. Less traffic is better then more traffic. Warmer temps. are better then colder. Higher tire pressures better then lower. Dry roads better then wet. Smooth and newly paved better than old and bumpy. Battery fully charged (level 5 or 6) vs less (level 4 or 3).
yep; most influences we are helpless exposed to, have much more impact on fuel consumption than all those technical gimmicks which are nice to look at but sometimes draw off the drivers attention to look better on traffic instead off little screenies or HUDs

here in germany many driving instructors tells the young accelerating quick with flooring the pedal gives better mpg; driving many years and much but never do this except im forced to.
...could also be a reason why Hybrids are so rare in our country....people with much milage per year take a TDI or common rail Diesel and rushing the highway with 100 and more mph....a Prius driver with 80mph seems pitiful.
find this a scandal for a country which claim leadership in worlds eco affairs
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