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Old 12-08-2010, 08:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First 0 degree day + snow driving

Yesterday I changed out the tires on my 2002 MT insight for the OE Bridgestone tires, had a full oil and filter change and a refitting of some of the underbody panels that were flopping about.

On 20 degree days (F) with the Cooper 195 65 14's, I was able to average 60 mpg (63 mpg corrected for tire size) on a 30 mile trip.

It's been too cold and snowy to test out the new tires for any considerable length, but they preform a hell of a lot better in the snow than the all season Coopers.

We have had a foot of snow and temperatures right around 0 degrees F and today on my commute I averaged around 43 MPG. I noticed a few things about running the insight in cold weather:

- I can't get full assist
- I get substantially lower MPG
- The heater works remarkably well

My driveway is about 300 yards long (uphill) and with the OEM tires, getting out was no problem, while the Coopers spun and spun.

No questions to ask, just some info on how the insight does in the cold and snow.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't remarkable less in snow than on safe roads. That's because of the fear of being hit by a stupid driver and to avoid corrosion on the still beautiful engine bay. But if I drive during winter I want the highest safety I can get. So I went with full-winter tires which consume more fuel but i drive much less...

I agree, the heater is nothing to moan about.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The tough part about using the heater is that its tough to keep the engine above the 155 degree mark to hold lean-burn to keep the MPG high. You get gobs of heat if you are willing to drop lean-burn but if you want it, you usually drive 15 miles to get comfortable after using fan on position 1 of heat after you ease the heat on at about 5 miles of driving on the highway.

Assist and regen, when it was -5f here I got about 5 bars of assist and regen max until the battery warmed up. When we were almost -10f I got my first 12v engine start.

I put Blizzak snows on the fronts to help from getting stuck in deep snow/ice conditions, I'm very impressed with how well they performed climbing the driveway with snow slightly taller than the ground clearance of the car, it pulled a bit of snow into the garage that the underbody dragged in. Any of my previous other car or the Insight with the RE92's or all-seasons would have been stuck for sure in the same situation.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think I've linked this thread enough times yet: https://www.insightcentral.net/forums...r-warm-up.html

MN, I'm also impressed with the Insight in snow. A few weeks ago, I left work and saw the snow in the parking lot was deeper than my ground clearance. In fact, it was slightly deeper than the bottom of my doors. I was able to rock my way out of it, compressing it a little bit at a time.

There's no doubt that an Insight with snow tires is every bit as good in the snow as any other FWD car, and you can handle unplowed roads with a little over 6" of snow.

Be careful with those dissimilar tires mounted front and rear. On snow, your front tires will have a greater ability to grip than your rear tires, which is another way to say terminal oversteer.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Drove from Northern VT to Buffalo, NY yesterday, around 500 miles in single digits to teens. No lean burn the whole way, major bummer. Still managed 55.4 mpg.

I have driven around 1500 miles in the snow and down to -10 F in Vermont. OEM tires are great as long as you don't need to go as fast as you would in the summer.

Biggest disappointment:

Rear wheels hold and keep snow all the way to the drums. This makes for a hell of a ride above 55mph. I took one skirt off (promptly lost a skirt bolt in the snow) and it made no difference in snow accumulation.

Anyone else have this problem?
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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On your way back to VT, try 4th gear lean burn. It works for me during the 50mph segment of my commute, where 5th gear LB would be tenuous at best. But if you're going faster than 60mph, you can probably forget about LB. At some point, it just takes more power to drive the car down the road than you can make in LB.

Nope, I've had no issues with snow accumulation under my skirts.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
I don't think I've linked this thread enough times yet: https://www.insightcentral.net/forums...r-warm-up.html

MN, I'm also impressed with the Insight in snow. A few weeks ago, I left work and saw the snow in the parking lot was deeper than my ground clearance. In fact, it was slightly deeper than the bottom of my doors. I was able to rock my way out of it, compressing it a little bit at a time.

There's no doubt that an Insight with snow tires is every bit as good in the snow as any other FWD car, and you can handle unplowed roads with a little over 6" of snow.

Be careful with those dissimilar tires mounted front and rear. On snow, your front tires will have a greater ability to grip than your rear tires, which is another way to say terminal oversteer.
I know all about keeping the heater controls on cold until the engine warms up, I've been doing the same thing since I got my 95 Prizm back in January of 2006, doing it more for engine life and fuel economy than anything and it allowed for hotter air instead of a bunch of semi-hot air while things warm up.

With the snow tires, this car is the best driving FWD car that I've ever driven, all of the rest of my cars would struggle in many of the situations I've put this one through already with the all seasons I've used on them.

I'm very careful with different tires on the front and back and its easy to figure it out too when you steer too hard or brake too hard you can feel the back end loosen up its grip. I'm not putting them on all 4 because I'm using them so I don't get stuck and getting 60+ MPG on the highway on the way home from work is still possible with this configuration and I managed nearly 70MPG at about 0 degrees the other day so I'm not too far off base but without a hot engine and in marginal lean-burn conditions it can be a pain and I find myself speeding up outside of lean-burn and reengaging lean-burn and pushing as much power in lean-burn I can to hold my speed in 5th, especially around the tough 55-60MPG range.

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Originally Posted by danpittenger View Post
Drove from Northern VT to Buffalo, NY yesterday, around 500 miles in single digits to teens. No lean burn the whole way, major bummer. Still managed 55.4 mpg.

I have driven around 1500 miles in the snow and down to -10 F in Vermont. OEM tires are great as long as you don't need to go as fast as you would in the summer.

Biggest disappointment:

Rear wheels hold and keep snow all the way to the drums. This makes for a hell of a ride above 55mph. I took one skirt off (promptly lost a skirt bolt in the snow) and it made no difference in snow accumulation.

Anyone else have this problem?
I haven't been having issues with the skirts grabbing snow, at least not yet.

Are you allowing your engine to get hot or are you using auto for the heat? If the engine isn't at 155 degrees or above(6 bars on the coolant gauge will be above this) you won't get any lean-burn, I find myself slowly turning the heat up from fan position 1 and after about 10 minutes of driving at that level without losing the temperature can bring it up to fan position 2.

Verify your tires pressures are still high too as I've pumped mine up a few times with the cooler weather.

Like RobertSmalls said, 4th gear can really help in the marginal lean-burn conditions but if you are running over snow, you might be out of luck.
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Firestone Winterforce...

I bought a set of 4 steel rims and Winterforce tires and I have had no issues in deep snow ( 6+ inches ). Currently I have only the front tires switched to snows, and Im acutely aware of the over steer I may encounter. My mileage really took a hit from 63mpg to 54mpg with just the fronts switched out.

I have not had any heating issues like many have posted up. My car actually seems to run hot. I average 214-238 degrees at 55 mph with outside temps in teens to 20's, even with heater blowing. I was anticipating having to install the cardboard mod, but my car seems to run hot already. I just purchased my car in September I immediately installed my own version of a hot air mod prior to driving it in cold weather, so perhaps that is adding the cars ability to stay warm? My IAT runs about 70 degrees with the colder outside temps and the car warsm up very fast. Operating temp within 5 miles of leaving my home in the morning ( it is garage kept ).

I do notice that I get very warm air out of the heater for while then it goes cold again, then hot again. Is the thermostat opening and closing thats causing this? I see no relation to the engine or IAT temp, when I notice the cold air coming out of the heater. Collant levels are normal.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I average 214-238 degrees at 55 mph with outside temps in teens to 20's, even with heater blowing...
Insights very consistently open the thermostat at 195F and switch the radiator fan on at 205F and off around 198F. If you see temps higher than this, you have a problem. Either with the coolant temperature sensor, or with the cooling system. The latter might also explain your erratic heat, which isn't normal.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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238 degrees and hot/cold swings through the heater? Sounds like you need to bleed the air out of your engine coolant system. Does your temperature gauge jump past 6 bars when it gets that high? You could warp your head when temperatures get too high, serious engine damage happens when you overheat the engine.
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