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Old 01-22-2014, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Major MPG issues

Some background - I drive mostly city driving, and I have around 14k miles on the car, maybe, after owning it since March 2011 (it's a 2011 model purchased new).

I've never been happy with the mileage this car gets in town, but I figure if my average mph is 18, I can't complain too badly if I'm getting only 34/35 mpg, but this last tank it dropped to a little over 29 and this is with doing the math, rather than trusting the car to tell me the mileage (it was claiming about 30.2 or so).

No lights have come on. It'll be out of warranty in March. I've called the dealer and told them I'm bringing it in Saturday and I want them to figure out what's going on. Their response was basically... they'll check the computer, but since it's not throwing any error lights, they won't be able to do anything.

I'm wondering if it's the 12v battery causing a big chunk of the issue... maybe it's getting weak? I have had to jump it a couple times when I left the overhead light on...

Still, the car does fairly well on highway, but it was horrendous having to fill the tank after having only driven 255 miles!
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you had a lot of days where you let it idle while clearing snow or ice? Are the temperatures unusually cold? Either will make a big dent in the MPGs. With my 2001 I get low 60s MPG in the cold winter and upper 70s in the summer. Where I live we have had a lot more days with snow, and the temperatures have been brutally cold. I saw -24F on the way to work a few weeks ago, many days the high is around 0F.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you had a lot of days where you let it idle while clearing snow or ice? Are the temperatures unusually cold? Either will make a big dent in the MPGs. With my 2001 I get low 60s MPG in the cold winter and upper 70s in the summer. Where I live we have had a lot more days with snow, and the temperatures have been brutally cold. I saw -24F on the way to work a few weeks ago, many days the high is around 0F.
I live in the D.C. area so we haven't had a ton of cold/snowy days. This morning was an exception with about 5 inches of snow on the car, so I let it warm up while I cleared things off. It has been cold, with the polar vortex and all, but still I've never gotten closed to the 41 avg they claim I'm supposed to, even in the summer, so it's very discouraging.

Maybe I don't drive, enough? Perhaps that's affecting the IMA?
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What are your typical journey lengths? Lots of short journeys will kill the fuel efficiency. 14k miles in 3 years sounds like you'll be doing lots of 2-3 mile journeys if the car is driven daily.

If so, your fuel economy sounds about right

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Old 01-22-2014, 01:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What are your typical journey lengths? Lots of short journeys will kill the fuel efficiency. 14k miles in 3 years sounds like you'll be doing lots of 2-3 mile journeys if the car is driven daily.

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For work, about 6.6 miles each way, minimum (depends on which route I take). I know that short trips aren't going to help my mileage, though some of that is at 45mph or more, but not for long... The issue is that the mileage has dropped a lot. I noticed a drop last winter too, but this winter has been a lot worse and I still work at the same place. No check engine lights or battery lights have come on, but I'm pretty sure there's something wrong... if it's not the 12v battery I'm not sure what else could cause it though.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is the terrain hilly? Crawling traffic or related stop and go?

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Old 01-22-2014, 01:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Is the terrain hilly? Crawling traffic or related stop and go?

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Depends on the day. No real hills. Frequent starting/stopping on the first half of the trip, usually on the way home. Still, again, this route hasn't changed by my mileage has.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think it could be tire pressures. Pressures drop as the temperature does. One needs to add air weekly going into winter and then let it out going into the spring.
Many folks do not get the idea that tire pressures are checked cold. Like first thing in the morning before the car is driven at all. If one must drive to the nearest station for air, that should be under a mile. Otherwise having an air compressor at home is the best. Never let air out of a warm or hot tire. It will read higher than you want. Once again, tire pressures are checked cold! Many of us Insight owners run much higher pressures than the door spec. You can go up to the limit printed on the tire.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When it's cold and you're at low speed with frequent stops, your gas mileage takes an even bigger hit. The engine takes forever to warm up, especially if you're running the heater. Last time I was down that way it was highs in the 50s and when I left DC driving out with a cold engine I made about 35mpg milking it in a manual civic hybrid the 5 miles or so to the highway.

After that I got about 55 mpg for the trip, but that was with 25 miles highway driving added in.



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Old 01-22-2014, 02:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egads View Post
I think it could be tire pressures. Pressures drop as the temperature does. One needs to add air weekly going into winter and then let it out going into the spring.
Many folks do not get the idea that tire pressures are checked cold. Like first thing in the morning before the car is driven at all. If one must drive to the nearest station for air, that should be under a mile. Otherwise having an air compressor at home is the best. Never let air out of a warm or hot tire. It will read higher than you want. Once again, tire pressures are checked cold! Many of us Insight owners run much higher pressures than the door spec. You can go up to the limit printed on the tire.
During an earlier cold snap, around Thanksgiving, my tire pressure light came on and I topped off all 4 (gas station less than a mile away) but I haven't checked since. I'm taking it in on Saturday and don't want them to complain if I over-fill but I'll check again after I get it back.
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