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Old 10-15-2010, 10:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CVT owners: How did I do on my mileage?

Here's the lowdown:

2002 CVT

Last fill-up, filled tank to 9.6 gallons, reset Trip A to 0.0 miles on 9-13-10

At 511 miles gas light came on at 1 bar, filled tank to 9.9 gallons on 10-15-10

Trip A read 511 miles with 54mpg average. I did the math by divind miles by gallons added at the pump and got ~51mpg.

So here's the hard facts: 1 month between fill-up with 511 miles when gas light came on at 1 bar.

Driving was 95% city with stops lights--9 miles to work with a very slight uphill grade (can't notice it visually but when I ride my bike to work on some days I can feel it) with mpg in the low to mid 50s--9 miles home with mpgin the high 60s and a few times in the 70s, with 76.x being my highest.

During that month/total miles, I used AC ECON a few times but only enough to cool interior and then AC OFF.

IS this considered poor, average, or good? I was really hoping or perhaps expecting at least 55mpg and 550-600 miles between fill-up.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally i have never done that much city driving. When i do errands i tend to get around 50-60 mpg. But that is avoiding most traffic. I think you still have room for alittle improvement but those numbers seem pretty good to me.

I drive around 95% highway and lately have been averaging around 72mpg for the tank. My trip to work is 23.6 miles, which is down hill and i shoot for >76mpg. return trip is up hill into the wind and at night, so overall i try to get above 70 around 72mpg.


what have the temps been like for you? windy? any mods to the car?
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No mods. Temperature for that time frame ranged from nice 80s to 90s, then there was about a week of 100F temp. A few days of rain. No big winds but some light breezes.

I should also add that my driving was "normal" with a conscious effort to increase mpg by anticipating stops and coasting rather than stepping on brakes unnecessarily close to stop signs/stop lights, and slow and steady acceleration. Of course, there have been a few occassions where I couldn't.

I'm going on my 3rd month of Insight ownership, so I've not perfected nor am I fully knowledgeable about hypermiling techniques. What is P and G anyway?

Been looking at the archives but the mileage people are getting with their CVT seems to vary from high 40s to high 60s. I've read that high 40s/low 50s is normal for city. I don't know.
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirty hippie View Post
No mods. Temperature for that time frame ranged from nice 80s to 90s, then there was about a week of 100F temp. A few days of rain. No big winds but some light breezes.

I should also add that my driving was "normal" with a conscious effort to increase mpg by anticipating stops and coasting rather than stepping on brakes unnecessarily close to stop signs/stop lights, and slow and steady acceleration. Of course, there have been a few occassions where I couldn't.

I'm going on my 3rd month of Insight ownership, so I've not perfected nor am I fully knowledgeable about hypermiling techniques. What is P and G anyway?

Been looking at the archives but the mileage people are getting with their CVT seems to vary from high 40s to high 60s. I've read that high 40s/low 50s is normal for city. I don't know.
Hi I have a manual one and have tried for best MPG for almost a year,
my trips were more than 95% highway and with no AC I averaged 62 mpg for a year with a couple of times above 87 mpg for the round trip, once i went over 90 mpg. At those times my speed was often as lowas 47 mph , but driving at 2 am and with no body else on the highway that was not a problem.

Now I keep above 60 mph and get ~ 70 mpg highway.

For a month I had only local driving, no traffic but a lot of lights. with a little ac on , just to bring the interior to livable condition I manage to get to 44mpg and once I had a tank at 40 mpg, and this is conscious driving,
if i splurge here and there , my mpg will probably fall even more....

so your mpg numbers for a CVT , with city driving and some AC are quite good in my opinion.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It is hard to rate how good your MPG is because your driving conditions are much worse than mine on average.....95% city driving with lots of stop and goes is going to equal much less MPG compared to someone that can travel back roads with only a few stops.

The only true way to know how you are doing in your typical drive cycle is to have another Insight owner drive your car on the same route to see if there is any difference in MPG (if so, it would probably mean a difference in driving style).

Having OEM tires with the PSI pumped up helps even in city driving.

A/C (even in economy mode) hurts your MPG but sometimes you have to use it.

Take your car out on a back road with the least amount of hills or stops (if possible) and drive a constant 45 MPH for about 50 miles (round trip) and no A/C usage with windows closed. Then report back your mileage....That should give you about 74 - 80 MPG for a CVT.

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Old 10-18-2010, 04:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good points, Joe. Unfortunately I live in LA, so it's hard to find backroads or any stretch of road that is flat and has no or very few stops.

I should add that I'm running on stock Potenzas at 44psi all around. Speeds range from 0 to 45 mph +/-5. My highest has been 76.x mpg on a 7-mile stretch. I know the EPA rating is just a reference guide, but I was hoping to get at least 55mpg in the city or at least 550 miles betwen fill-up.

I do have a lot of stop lights on my way to work, but there are some days when I hit the jackpot and the lights at each block is green, but then there are days when every block is red, grrrr.

On a side note, my coworker who drives an '09 Prius gets about 43mpg in the city and around 55mpg on the freeway.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Our 2001 Insight CVT mileage is 47-52mpg, but I drive it at 73-78 mph to keep up with SF Bay Area traffic on the rolling hills of the highway 280 route.

****NOTE**** I've learned to never let the tank get below 1/4 full. Per my mechanic friends-Dipping the gas tank level to almost empty, 1 to a few bars causes the fuel pump to starve for fuel when driving around corners or bumps, thereby over reving the fuel pump to search for fuel. Gasoline actually helps cool the fuel pump. Premature failure of a fuel pump will eventually happen.

The 1/4 tank rule has cured fuel pump failure in our cars that have over 200,000 miles for over 15 years now.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have had my 2004 CVT for about 6 months. Honestly, I think that 50mpg or so in stop and go is not all that bad.

Around town, I can get about 55mpg to 60mpg, but if the traffic is stop and go, I am lucky to get 45 sometimes.

If the traffic is mostly moving though, I can often get 60 or better.

I think the biggest trick to get high CVT mileage is to make sure the car gets into the highest gearing as soon as possible.

At low speeds, it seems to want to not shift all the way to the highest gear ratio.

What I learned is that if you slightly OVERSHOOT the speed you want, then back off the throttle a tiny bit so that the FCD shoots up... Then HOLD it there, often you will actually feel the subtle final step up of the transmission. It has to be almost totally unloaded to get it to shift up to the highest gear, but once you do, you can hold it there if you are very careful.

This was when I started to get my very best mileage.. Learning to get the car to go into its maximum overdrive range and keep it there.

That being said, my average tank is still only about 55 to 60 MPG average, but I have done MUCH better when conditions allow. I have made 30 or 40 mile segments with mid-70s MPG.

Also, it is very difficult to keep the car in it's highest ratio at speeds over about 58 or 59 MPH. I have seen my Tack reading jump up a couple of lines very suddenly when accelerating between 55 and 60, and other times, I can hold about the same RPM at 60 as at 55.

At least this is the way it seems. The Tac is not very accurate in that it doesn't do a very granular reading. Two bars might actually happen with as little as 125 RPM change. I don't know. Have not been able to figure out how it is programmed to change the bars.. Does it change to 2000 RPM at 1950, or at 2000. And does it change the same way when going down the RPM range. So, some variable there, but I swear you can feel sometimes as the car seems to shift into a very high overdrive kind of gearing.

So, based on your conditions, I think 50 is not bad, but getting 57 or 58 in stop and go would be very difficult I think.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The last tank I decided to do a little test, well sort of a test. I drove the car only in the city, no freeways. I used it strictly as a commuter to work and back and as a city runabout. From last fill-up on 10-11-10 to the most recent one on 11-26-10 (I rode my bike to work on some days), I got 530 miles with a 9.9 fill-up. Funny thing is that with the last fill-up, I drove "normally" many times because I wasn't sure if my gas gauge was working and wanted to see if I could make it lose some bars :P

My route to and from work seems to have lots of lights. Some days I can hit straight greens yay! While other days I'll come to a red at each light grrrr. I defintely get good mpa on the way home since there seems to be "downhill" slope. You wouldn't really notice it, but since I ride my bike to work, I know I have to put in some effort riding to work, but I can coast a stretch of the route on the way back. If I set the trip to segment for home, my mpg can reach 76mpg after about 6 miles.

I'm striving for 600 miles a tank! Doable for a CVT?
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think 60 MPG is do-able in a CVT, but only under excellent conditions, and you would have to WANT it bad. I don't think you will be able to do it in the city wihout long stretches where you can maintain 30 to 40 MPH.

At these speeds, I can get 65mpg to 75mpg with no problem, but your balance would have to be more in these kinds of conditions.

I got 62MPG on a tank on a trip once with no problem. I was driving about 60 mph but it was up in flat states. There were times where I was reading 75 to 80 MPG on that trip.

The problem here though is even on a trip, it is hard to go a full tankfull without encountering hills, bad weather, slow traffic, or other conditions that can pull down the high mileage you get under the best conditions.

I have to say though that I don't "Sacrifice Virgins" in pursuit of good fuel economy. I ride with my tires only inflated a little above the recommended level so as not to endure the very harsh and noisey ride that severe overinflation induces, and I use the freaking air conditioner when the tem is above 80, or when it is humid. And my NORMAL conditions in Tx require AC in all but two or three months.

I also don't do things like coast through turns at high speeds because I don't like the additional tire wear.

So, besides driving with a light foot and accelerating easy, and driving a little slower on local freeways than most people, I use the car in a pretty normal manner.

I am sure I could get better mileage if I were willing to suffer for it, but I am not. It is after all a car to me, and while it is a AMAZINGLY fuel efficient car, to me it is primarly a transpartation device and not a video game.
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