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Old 07-31-2012, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Help!! Brand new better battery but still only getting 45 mpg

I have a 2000 insight with roughly 140 k miles on it. I bought a BETTER battery a couple weeks before hybrid battery repair closed. The battery charges well and my car has a significant more amount of power.... But im only getting 45 mpg. According to the website i should be getting around 80! Does any one have any suggestions on how to improve my mpg? I was thinking it might be a computer problem or something just cuz my car is so used to getting terrible mpg with my old battery. I also have been putting water in the engine instead of coolent, could that hurt my mpg too? Thanks for the help
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What tires are installed and at what pressure are you running them?

Do you use the A/C regularly and if so, in ECON mode?

About what percentage of your driving distance is at highway speeds, and what highway speed do you tend to drive?

Do you let your car go into autostop when driving where stop lights exist?

Are any trouble lights illuminated on your dashboard and if so, which?

Is your 12 v. battery good?

Do you need to add water to your cooling system regularly and if so, where is the missing coolant going? Adding water to your cooling system won't decrease your fuel efficiency, but it doesn't contain the conditioners, antifreeze, antioxidants, etc., contained in coolants, so you should really be adding coolant.

There are so many things that affect fuel efficiency, so we need to know more about your driving habits and your car to try to understand why your fuel efficiency is below average.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location in your profile please.

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Old 07-31-2012, 03:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have standard tires and have then at 40 psi from the last time i checked. I always drive with the ac on cuz Of the hot climate I live in.. Wat difference does the econ mode make? About 80 percent of my miles r driven on the freeway, usually at about 75 mph. My car does go into auto stop at all lights as well. My maintenance required light has been on since I bought the car... The coolent does not leak, I just spent 3k on this battery and am hurting on money right now. I believe my 12 v battery is okay cuz I drove the car around with a broken hybrid battery for about a year before I could afford to replace it.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Is the car a manual or automatic? That can make a big difference on expectations.

When was the last time your oil was changed and what type was it?

Alignment?

Terrain?

Traffic flow?
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barak View Post
I have standard tires and have then at 40 psi from the last time i checked.
If by standard, you mean 165/65R14 Bridgestone RE-92's, then you aren't losing any fuel efficiency due to tires. You could probably improve your fuel efficiency by a tiny bit with higher inflation pressure but at the expense of some comfort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barak View Post
I always drive with the ac on cuz Of the hot climate I live in..
Then you won't get the 80 mpg that you've read about. The original owner of my car drove with the A/C always on and never in ECON mode. Most of his driving was urban. His lifetime fuel efficiency was 49 mpg. When I bought his car, I pumped up the tires from ~30 psi to 44F/41R, didn't run the A/C routinely, and allowed autostop at all traffic lights. My fuel efficiency with the same car was 62 mpg in urban driving. Most of the improvement was due to my not running the A/C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barak View Post
Wat difference does the econ mode make?
The engine won't go into autostop mode unless the A/C is in ECON mode. But driving most of your miles on the highway, this shouldn't make much difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barak View Post
About 80 percent of my miles r driven on the freeway, usually at about 75 mph.
That's too fast for the engine to easily enter its most efficient mode, lean burn mode, with the A/C on. When I drive about 55 mph, I can average about 80 mpg without A/C. When I drive about 70 mph, I can average about 70 mpg w/o A/C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barak View Post
My maintenance required light has been on since I bought the car...
Search for "maintenance required light" in the Google search field along the upper left edge of this page to find the simple instructions for turning off the maintenance required light.

I think your high average speed and your high A/C use are the primary reasons why your fuel efficiency is low.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The car is manual transmition and I have not had the alignment done since I bought the car. But I have changed my oil recently with high grade hybrid oil ( don't remember name). I have been using premium gas over the last couple months as well.. That's better for the engine and should help my mpg right? Thanks for the info on the tires and ac, I have learned more about my car in he last couple hours than i had over the entire last year.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Make sure the oil is 0w20 and forget about the premium gas. Use the low octane grade without alcohol. Premium branded gas is fine but extra octane just makes the fuel burn slower to prevent detonation.

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Old 07-31-2012, 06:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barak View Post
The car is manual transmition and I have not had the alignment done since I bought the car. But I have changed my oil recently with high grade hybrid oil ( don't remember name). I have been using premium gas over the last couple months as well.. That's better for the engine and should help my mpg right? Thanks for the info on the tires and ac, I have learned more about my car in he last couple hours than i had over the entire last year.
As AClewell mentioned, that is patently false. Octane rating has absolutely nothing to do with fuel economy or being "better" for your engine. In fact, running high octane fuel in an engine not meant for high octane fuel is undesirable. Due to the aforementioned slower burning, it can actually increase carbon deposits. Further, high octane fuel can contain up to 2% less energy than lower octane fuel. The octane rating is simply a measurement of the fuel's ability to resist spontaneous ignition. Nothing more, nothing less.

It's the use of A/C and the fast speeds on the highway that are destroying your fuel economy. If you have tires other than the P165/65R14 RE92s, that will also have a significant impact.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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More specifically on the tires, if they are not the exact brand and size listed above you will probably be losing about 10 mpg.

Speed kills....your mpg. If you are pinching pennies, try running 10 mph slower if possible.

How long have you had the car? Watch closely the fuel consumption gauge (fcd). You can maximize your mpg by looking at it all the time.
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