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Old 03-08-2017, 12:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default MPG issues 2000 5spd

I am having some mpg issues with my (new to me) 2000 honda insight 5spd with 167k miles on it.

The lifetime MPG when purchased was 64.3 (now 64.1 500 miles later, woops). Also just to gloat I got this car for 900$ No issues other than needing a new 12volt, cracked windshield and the car smells a little musky. (autozone charged me 130 for 12v! dang! better be good...)

Currently getting 45-50 mpg. Got 49 mpg last night on about a 50 mile trip through some hills and flats and was really trying to get better than that (was going 50 on all the straights when it was a 55).

I live in Seattle and temps have been in the high 30's to low 40's. Often rainy.

The car sat for around a year when I bought it and the 12volt was disconnected so I am not sure how that affects the hybrid battery.

Has Re-92's with lower tread (better for mpg in my experience anyway).

All maintenance done at honda and seems well taken care of. The owner is now deceased and the older son sold it to me, but the dad owned 2 of these and a first gen prius and a crz (quite the enthusiast).

The son said before he parked it the IMA light came on and off a few times.

About me; Ive been hypermilling to some extent for a while now. Start with a metro and have owned two insights before (installed grid charger for both). and now own this insight as well as a 08 prius (now the wifes car).

I installed a grid charger (I use hybrid automotive grid chargers for all my hybrids) on the current insight and have now balanced the battery twice as well as I discharged it once to 140 volts and balanced it again and then I just took it down to 96 volts and balanced it. I should note that I am using the prius power supply (thought it would charge it faster then...no longer have an insight power supply.) and on this last balance from 96 to 168 it took 36+ hours just to get to 168volts then I left it on for a total of I think 46 hours so ensure it balanced.

I do not get re-calibrations as far as I can tell. Though when normally driving the battery gauge seems to stay near the same spot most of the time. Ive been going into higher gears earlier and flooring it in order to used the assist and that makes the battery fluctuate.

I feel like the car boggs down a bit in first and second gear, but I haven't driven manual in a year so maybe I am just relearning :P

Anyone have any idea what might be wrong? Would rather not buy a new battery pack (first baby on the way). Sorry for the long post, I struggle gathering my thoughts and organizing them.
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Old 03-08-2017, 02:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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your current weather is going to be a major limiter on the mileage you see, those numbers aren't abnormal for cold and wet weather as these cars take a big hit when the roads are wet or the temps are cold, put both together and you are lucky to get 50mpg with a relatively stock insight. a radiator blocker would help a bit to get the temps up and engine operating more efficiently but you also have to be careful once summer comes around as not to starve the engine of air to keep things cool.

since you discharged and balanced the battery, i doubt it is background charging causing the majority of your low mpg.
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Old 03-08-2017, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I appreciate your reply! I am newer to seattle and back in california I was get 55-60 mpg on a insight with snow tires on(came with car), so it is a relief to hear that wet and cold is what is hurting my mpg. Hopefully nothing else is the issue.
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Old 03-08-2017, 02:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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probably not, when it rains here my car loses about 15+ mpg, worse if the rain is heavy. that's not even factoring in your cold weather as a sub 60F day in florida is pretty uncommon.
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Old 03-08-2017, 02:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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probably not, when it rains here my car loses about 15+ mpg, worse if the rain is heavy. that's not even factoring in your cold weather.
hmmmm....not sure why that is, I feel like rain would reduce rolling resistance (hence hydroplanning and longer stopping distances).
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Old 03-08-2017, 04:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, no. The tires are constantly pushing water out of the way, consuming energy.

Also, from my experience in Seattle (I wasn't in an Insight) you don't go anywhere without dealing with hills. You need to learn the best ways to conserve energy going up (slow down, downshift, etc) and get as much back as you can going down (foot completely off the throttle to shut off the injectors, coast with engine off, etc). These cars are very sensitive to SO many things, and you need to adapt. Don't use the defroster if you can help it. That will run the AC. Air your tires up as high as you dare. But you probably know all of this. Just stay alert and practice.

Sam
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, no. The tires are constantly pushing water out of the way, consuming energy.

Also, from my experience in Seattle (I wasn't in an Insight) you don't go anywhere without dealing with hills. You need to learn the best ways to conserve energy going up (slow down, downshift, etc) and get as much back as you can going down (foot completely off the throttle to shut off the injectors, coast with engine off, etc). These cars are very sensitive to SO many things, and you need to adapt. Don't use the defroster if you can help it. That will run the AC. Air your tires up as high as you dare. But you probably know all of this. Just stay alert and practice.

Sam
Lots of hills and mountains around here, luckily I don't live in the city so I don't have to deal with those crazy hills.

With the insight is it best to be in the proper gear for power from the gas engine (ie up a hill I usually need to be in 2ed to have throttle response) or should I be in one gear up and gas pedal to the floor so it uses the assist? When I seem to always be in the proper gear for gas engine and throttle response (usually shifting 2-2.5k rpm) my battery level charge doesn't change much as all.

Unfortunately I need the defroster just about every morning, I don't like not being able to see out the front window! Maybe rolling down the window will help a little. Once the car is warmed up enough for auto stops I turn off the AC system completely so it can stop and start again (I find pressing the econ button when I have defroster on doesn't let me turn off the car as easy).

I set tires 2 weeks ago to 40 psi all around, planning to go higher soon, just wanted to do it in small increments so I can feel the differences. Car had 20 psi all around when I bought it! It is a pain trying to air up the rear tires though.

I know all about fuel cutoff and what not. Still need to learn Lean burn but I need to figure out how to show that on my Scan guage II. I like when the engine is warmed up to break a little harder before I know I have to stop the the autostop turns engine off and I coast. Is that the same as engine off coasting? When I first started hypermilling and people talked about turning off engine on downhills I tried it and freaked up because my breaks stopped working and I needed to slow down before curve...not sure if I trust doing that again!
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Old 03-08-2017, 07:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Install a CALPOD switch and use it as a "Boost" command, kind of like a "NITRO" button.
Shifting at those rpm you won't see much power for accelerating, and rely mostly on the IMA for power. Winter Weather and Fuel Blend is a killer for MPG.

Learn to keep your momentum up and NEVER shut the engine off And COAST.
A very bad habit to get into. (My opinion)

Sacrifice a few MPG for Safety.

USE YOUR BREAKS , ........."brakes", or it will be costly. Your car could break!
(Couldn't resist.)

HTH
Willie
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Old 03-08-2017, 09:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You're at 167k miles, pull the upper/lower catalytic converter and punch them out. Make sure you remove the oxygen sensors before doing so, and install a spark plug anti fouler on the #2 (lower) sensor.

My bought my car at 140k and by 155k miles and I went from getting 60-64 without effort to low 50's because my cats clogged. Punched them both out, wazzam, back up to specs.

Just punched a fellow forum members out a week or two ago, he went from high 30's/low 40's to mid 50's afterwards. (he has 175/65 tires and a bad IMA).
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i am not so sure punching out the cats helps on a 5MT insight. my car actually runs worse on cruise without them. if they are healthy at least, i believe leaving them alone is the best course.

it might be a CVT thing, or it could just be my car, i don't know.

plus, don't punch them out, chop em out. that's a couple hundred bucks of recycling you're throwing away. :P
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Last edited by Lyger; 03-09-2017 at 01:35 AM.
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