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Old 03-18-2013, 10:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Using 7th gear in sports mode

I came across several posts by Cobb where he used cruise control in combination with 7th gear in sports mode for maximizing mpg just around 50 mph. I never tried this and wonder if others have. Also perhaps Cobb could comment whether this is still an approach he recommends.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default 7th gear SM

Not trying to muddy the water here, but on my latest tank of gas on my 2013 CVT I averaged 54.2 mpg in combined city and rural driving simply using the CVT and econ mode--and this in wintertime Ohio with only one day in the last month [day on which I was driving] above 40*F.

I have to admit that I would never have thought to run in 7th gear sport mode for fuel economy... Would that make a difference in any regard, such as torque or rpm? Most of the time when I have at least a few miles of open road ahead of me, I do use cruise control rather than manually controlling the accelerator. I might be able to eke a bit more economy out of manual control, but if I have passengers I'm talking with, the conversation tends to make my mind wander and I get above my optimum cruising speeds. If you watch the cruise control operation, it's rather enlightening. For example, if I'm running 62 mph on a level highway and an uphill stretch arises, the cruise control uses the car's momentum as long as possible, then lets the speed bleed off at least 2 mph, and only then does it tweak the accelerator just enough to get back to 60 or 61 mph until the hill has been crested. That's exactly how I would handle the situation if I were in control, and the cruise control does it very efficiently and consistently.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I sat down with a retired engineer one day and he drew me a photo that looked like a topigraphical map of a mountain with a bunch of circles that kept getting bigger, bigger and bigger. He said it was some type of fuel economy/load map of most engines. It occured to me if I could "lug" the engine we would get better mpg, but unless you hack the cvt, the other option is using sport mode and the top gear at a speed slow enough it runs comparable rpms to regular drive mode.

Well, that ended up being 7th gear in sport mode with econ on around 45 mph.

No, I havent really done much for fuel economy other than the brake springs. Guess I need to adjust the nut behind the steering wheel?

Id like to hack the cvt to leave it in its highest ratio by way of toggle switch once up to speed on mainly level routes.



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Old 03-19-2013, 08:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using 7th gear in sports mode

Cobb so do you still use this technique? Any mpg numbers on this versus using Eco mode at 45mph on a flat road.

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Old 03-19-2013, 08:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am not familiar with the gen2 insight...you talk about gears and 7th gear, but also mention a cvt.....does the G2 have fake gears that you can command the cvt to specific ratios?
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using 7th gear in sports mode

Yes it has fake gears, as it has a cvt. However, using the paddle changer does have some benefits in certain instances. Also the only way to activate the "lowest gear" on some models is to tap both paddle shifters at the same time.


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Old 03-19-2013, 09:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I can see selecting top gear and lugging the engine to maximize mpg like Cobb said.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No, I dont drive for fuel economy, but I did remove the egr blocker plate. Keeping up with trafffic I see 56 vs 54 mpg with the brake friction reduction springs mentioned in another thread.

I no longer use L or low that requires use of both paddles as its not lower than first to get my car on the ramps for service. Seems the cvt does pretty good after all selecting the best low gearing.



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Old 03-20-2013, 08:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using 7th gear in sports mode

At higher speeds, 7th doesn't give quite as low rpm as leaving the car in CVT. At 70mph CVT in D gets around 2200 RPM (ish - I don't remember exactly). In 7th it's around 2600 RPM. The behaviour is the same irrespective of whether the econ button is pressed.

It's a shame, as I don't think it's possible to get optimum steady state fuel economy at higher speeds on flat terrain in simulated manual mode.

When hills and speed changes are involved, I've got slightly better mpg by using manual mode to manipulate the IMA state of charge but it takes a lot of concentration.

I'd love to mess with the gear ratios a little to give a better manual setup for high speed cruising fuel economy.
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