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Old 01-31-2018, 08:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Battery - Same MPG - etc

So with a jacked up original battery I was able to get about 50mpg or just under for my commute - 25 miles, rolling hills on I-85 in SC and stop and go for a few miles close to the office.

I installed a new BBB - makes the car WAY more drivable and seems to be working flawlessly so far. Good assist etc etc.

However, my MPG hasnt changed at all - I just "assumed" that with the great assist I'm getting from the new battery my MPG would go up accordingly and I'm actually struggling to maintain high 40's - constantly watching the mpg gauge, trying to coast down hills etc.

It seems that even the slightest hint of throttle my mpg meter drops to 50 almost immediately. Any real throttle, even with plenty of assist, it drops below 50.

I'm just a little confused by this and have no idea how folks get 60+ on anything other than completely flat roads.

But I guess my biggest question is - why would my mpg not increase at all with the new battery providing proper assistance?

- edit - In case you're wondering - I've replaced the plugs with NGK's - valve adjustment - can of sea foam in the tank now with first full fill up since I got the car - it does have some generic 175/65 tires on it (44psi) - new ground straps and 12v battery - intake tube is turned around but nothing any fancier like grille block etc - tried to keep it simple until I'm more familiar.

Last edited by KillerInsideMe; 01-31-2018 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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MPG is a very complex equation and it takes a while to really get the hang of it. IMA isn't really all that important for highway miles. Many have reported disabling the IMA entirely and seeing little difference on highway trips. Think of it this way, battery energy used must be replaced. On a relative constant speed highway trip, there is no coastdown or braking phases to replace that energy, so the replacement energy comes from burning gas. The beauty of a new battery is that the car is more responsive - you have good acceleration when you need it.

I'm familiar with your terrain. I think you are probably taking three significant hits, which aren't really changed by installing a new battery:
1. Your tires are hurting you to some unknown degree- 4-10MPG.
2. The car is very sensitive to ambient temperature. We are in the worst of the cold weather and hurts considerably.
3. Your driving style isn't fully developed as yet and you don't likely yet understand the little tricks which add up.
a. Excess speed. The highway MPG is best at 50-55mpg. Anything above that costs MPG. Leave a bit of extra time - you will be surprised how little extra time it takes.
b. Rock solid, "locked knee," throttle. Let a bit of speed bleed off on uphills.
c. Try to figure out what behavior gives you the most lean burn. The lean burn "window" is smaller at high speed.
d. A whole bunch of lesser techniques.
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Last edited by jime; 01-31-2018 at 06:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I appreciate the reply.

I've tried to be more attentive about recharge during downhill coasting or min throttle - I've noticed I havent been able to get back to a full charge due to the terrain.
I feel like this terrain is going to force me to manually charge at home from time to time - I might consult BB about that.... I do have a Hybrid Auto Deluxe Package.

Considering the Hybrid Revolt LB/TPS module to help with LB, but still learning about all of this.

And I have read about the tires being an issue. Need to verify tread depth so I can justify to the wife buying a new set
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If memory serves, BB has typically recommended an overnight charge every 3-6 months for maximum performance and longevity. Best to confirm with BB.

The only choice of tire for normal driving is the RE92 in the stock size. They are unique to the Insight and the only tire that gives optimal performance.

Hilly terrain results in longer periods of charge and recharge. Since recovery is less than 100% efficient vs. discharge, you're going to be at a deficit unless you're ending at significantly lower elevation where you've charged more than discharged. Also, at highway speeds, due to the low torque produced at higher rpms, the IMA doesn't contribute that much and long climbs can rapidly deplete even the healthiest of batteries. If your old battery wasn't recalibrating constantly, then there's probably little difference in efficiency to be had. You've noticed the improvement in driveability.

Driving in hilly terrain is pretty much worst-case for any car. Due to the relatively small energy content in a hybrid battery, it doesn't provide a substantial offset, particularly at highway speeds.

IMA battery energy content:
6.5Ah*144V = 0.936kWh
Typical small 12V battery energy content:
40Ah * 12V = 0.480kWh

When you consider that the IMA battery typically only uses 60% of its total capacity, that changes it to:

Usable IMA battery energy: 0.562kWh
Total 12V battery energy: 0.480kWh

It helps to give you perspective on what the IMA can do. While dramatically different performance between the two in terms of sustained current capability and power output/absorption, you're still improving your performance using little more energy than is stored in the 12V battery up front.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Bottom line is 'Don't blame the batttery or the car", it is a training and experimentation exercise to get really good MPG.

Everything is "LOAD" related, simply put, less load = better MPG.
You also have to add "momentum" to the equation. That is my favorite.

HTH
Willie
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Use: 438,000 mi. @ 58.2 LMPG.



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Old 01-31-2018, 02:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Williford View Post
Bottom line is 'Don't blame the batttery or the car", it is a training and experimentation exercise to get really good MPG.

Everything is "LOAD" related, simply put, less load = better MPG.
You also have to add "momentum" to the equation. That is my favorite.

HTH
Willie
Oh... I'm not blaming either, I get it.
Was just inquiring because my expectations were obviously different than reality.

With everything said, It's still slightly baffling that the proper assist didnt offer any mpg improvement over the same route.
It IS working well though, so I'll continue working on the nut behind the wheel - proper tires etc.....

I really appreciate the detailed responses......
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm not used to driving a car w/o MIMA, but I drove a MT car with a new battery and wrong tires recently and I had trouble keeping the SOC up and I had difficulty making better than 50 mpg. My time with it was limited, so I didn't get to try putting my RE92s on it from my other car, but it reminded me of driving my car with a bad battery in the rain or with AC on. I'm curious if those Michelin 175/65s on the car I drove was the culprit.

But I agree with you that I would have expected better mpg, all things considered. I don't really understand how it could be the same.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What speed are your driving?
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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On the highway, between 65-75 depending.
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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IIRR, it has been proven and stated over the years and by other Insighters, the best MPG is around 65 MPH.

HTH
Willie
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MaxIMA Battery (Serial #2), on 8/25/12 @ 301,000 miles
Another MaxIMA Battery, on 6/25/17 @ 399,252 miles
Use: 438,000 mi. @ 58.2 LMPG.



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