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Old 08-17-2009, 01:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2001 CVT mileage issues

I recently acquired a 2001 CVT with 133,000 on it. It was a one owner car used as a commuter, approx 60 miles round trip. Much of the driving here in the Washington DC area is stop and go, so I wasn't surprised to see a lifetime MPG of only 49.8. I took that figure as a challenge to me to increase the LMPG to over 50.
I am now sitting at 49.5 and I'm very depressed. My first tank of gas, 475 miles, I was at over 47 MPG. My second tank dropped to 45.5, at 450 miles. My third was under 45, again 450 miles before the gas light illuminated.
I do have 2 new OE front tires with 45# of air. The rear tires are OE as well and only have about 10000 miles on them. I do normally have the a/c on econ at 68 degrees with the fan on just one bar. I am able to do 60 mph for the majority of my commute, about 70 miles a day, but the first 5 miles are backroads in the neighborhood, and the last 1-2 miles are in the city, stop and go.
Am I looking for too much or is 45-50 MPG what I should expect?

Last edited by McNulty_CM; 08-18-2009 at 01:23 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My 03 CVT had a LMPG of 57.5 when I bought her. I'm now getting about 61 MPG in my daily driving which is a mix of highway and city driving. I NEVER put the AC on and I usually stay above 60mpg. Perhaps you should try driving without the AC and see if your mileage improves.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Stop-and-go driving with the ac on is a mileage killer. If you're commuting on the higway, at a steady speed, ac won't cause you to take as great a mileage hit.

You need to change your driving habits slightly to get the most out of your Insight, and do some things to aid your efforts. I have 50#s of air in all four corners, and have had them so inflated since I bought the car. I also have my ac on Econ/72, two bars on the fan, continuously since then. I time lights and try to stop as little as possible in my in-town commutes, but on the highway, I use the "pulse-and-glide" method to maintain my speed within 4-6 mph of my goal. That is, speed up to your desired speed (say, 70 mph), and let off the gas slightly. Your Insight will maintain the speed and drop gradually to 68-67-66, at which point I gently push and "pulse" the gas pedal to bring it back up to speed, and repeat the process. If it's a long drive, or I'm busy on the phone or whatever, I jut use my Rostra cruise control and let it worry about the mileage. If I'm on a downward slope, I let off the gas, as our Insights will travel remarkably long distances without losing a lot of speed. And watching the mileage bars, you'll eventually get a sense for what your little space pod can achieve. It's a learning curve, sure, but it will yield markedly better mileage. Try to keep it at he 75 MPG level, not at all hard to do.

By the way, at 58,000 miles on my 2001 CVT, my LMPG is 55.6, and has not budged in almost two years. Just before that, it was at 56.4, but I had a medical emergency that I sped to at steady 100+ mph speeds for almost ten miles, and ever since ten, as if to shame me, the lower figure glares at me from the instrument panel. So, no racing...

And here's the last suggestion I have for you: Others may disagree vehemently, but hey... it's your car. Do what you want...

RESET the LMPG to show YOUR history with the car. You've got 133K miles of bad juju bringing you down everytime you fire up the car. I'm a firm believer the LMPG should reflect YOUR driving during your ownership, not some other person's habits. It's not like rolling back the mileage on a car, it's just a glorified odometer with a mileage calculator thrown in. Use it to your advantage! Good luck, and happy motoring...
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogetyboogety View Post
And here's the last suggestion I have for you: Others may disagree vehemently, but hey... it's your car. Do what you want...

RESET the LMPG to show YOUR history with the car. You've got 133K miles of bad juju bringing you down everytime you fire up the car. I'm a firm believer the LMPG should reflect YOUR driving during your ownership, not some other person's habits. It's not like rolling back the mileage on a car, it's just a glorified odometer with a mileage calculator thrown in. Use it to your advantage! Good luck, and happy motoring...
I agree....I think that the lifetime mileage should be based on your lifetime with the car to display your driving record....not a previous owner...After all, that is why it can be reset by the current driver (if you want to).

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can see how much of a learning curve there is. My most recent tank I did hit 500 miles and I show 48.1 mpg. It seems that I am getting better at this 'game'. The pulse and glide technique is something I have tried, however, my marriage is at risk when my wife is in the car, she hates the constant acceleration/deceleration, so its more traditional keep up with traffic when she's in the car. I think I can easily break 50 on this next tank as I will also inrease the air pressure all around.
I think I need new shocks in the rear. How much could that effect mileage? My goal is to keep the rpm between 1800-2200 and even under hard acceleration I try to stay below 3000. Im figuring this is a reasonable method, let me know if I am wrong.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Joe, I have a CVT mileage question for you.

How much of an increase in MPG did you see when you bought MIMA? I'm thinking about getting one and wonder what kind of mileage increase I can expect.

McNulty_CM might find your answer of interest too
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
The pulse and glide technique is something I have tried, however, my marriage is at risk when my wife is in the car, she hates the constant acceleration/deceleration, so its more traditional keep up with traffic when she's in the car.
If your SO is noticing your pulse-and-glide technique, then you're being too sudden. The trick is gently, gently, like there's an egg under the accelerator, depress the accelerator, and gently, gently, release it when your speed is reached. Practice, it will become second nature, and be almost unnoticeable to your passenger. My incredibly sensitive Beloved has never ever mentioned it while I'm driving, something she would not hesitate to (lovingly) bring to my attention, and she is the one The Princess And The Pea was probably based on. Her sensitivity to out-of-normal events is acute, annoying, and amazing...
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey View Post
Joe, I have a CVT mileage question for you.
How much of an increase in MPG did you see when you bought MIMA? I'm thinking about getting one and wonder what kind of mileage increase I can expect.McNulty_CM might find your answer of interest too
Hi Corey,

I built one of the orignal versions of what is called MIMA_L using schematics that Mike Dabrowski posted a long time ago. This is a more simpler version of MIMA that does not have all of the functions of MIMA_C (aka the MIMA version that you purchase nowadays). I modified Mike's design a bit so that the joystick is replaced by a MIMA pedal close to where the clutch pedal would be on the MT model.

When I first built and installed MIMA_L, my daily commute was 22 miles each way and I would use it only in assist mode on very slight inclines going about 45MPH. I found that if you only use about 4 bars of assist, the SOC can last a long time without much penalty at regen time. I didn't have a long down hill for regen to occur. Using this method, I could get about 4 MPG more.

You can see my MIMA install on Mike's web page:

DIY MIMA L - MIMA Honda Insight Modified Integrated Motor Assist

Your terrain may give you a benefit of a long downhill regen so you may be able to use more of your battery. On near flat terrain, it only makes sense to me to use very slight battery usage on very slight inclines because heavy usage will lead eventually to a much needed regen either through MIMA or normal force charge and part of that will destroy your mileage gains so that has to be calculated into the best usage routine.

Mike has many more options in his MIMA product now so you may benefit from those as well.

I work from home now (for the past couple of years) so my commute is usually just local area so my opportunity to use its benefits is a bit more limited.

Hope that helps.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
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2003 CVT Blue Insight
Modified version of MIMA_L (with foot pedal)
Automatic warm air intake (all season)
Low Speed Auto Stop (LSAS)
ABS - IMA regen enabler (allows regen during ABS)
Relocated outside temp sensor near mid engine
Cooling fans powered by 12V Solar Panel

2004 CVT Red Insight
Relocated outside temp sensor near mid engine
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm glad I'm not the only new Insight driver that's struggling with mpgs. I bought my 2001 CVT Insight (168K miles) last Friday so today was my first day commuting with it. I managed to get 49mpg over ~80miles, but I was hoping for more like 60. Hopefully I'll get better at driving it, I already noticed a big improvement from the first day I took it out. I haven't even finished a full tank yet, so we'll see.

One last question for MIMA owners: do you think it's worth it if you live in a really flat area? I live on the South shore of Long Island which is excessively flat. I'm just wondering if it'll be worth it in the long run.

By the way, thanks everyone for this site and forum, it was definitely a contributing factor that there is such a community around this car.

-Andrew
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well scratch that. I think I managed to put it into lean burn mode on this morning's commute and I pulled 59mpg over 30 or so miles (80% highway). Much happier now.
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