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Old 06-16-2014, 09:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Introduction to my 2000 MT Insight and the quest for more MPGs since purchase

When I first bought my 2000 MT Insight back in April it had an IMA and check engine light on and just under 200k miles on it (50.0 LMPG displayed). During the trip from Georgia to Texas I got about 42-43 MPG. The code was for the motor position (commutation) sensors. In my case the sensors were physically damaged by a spring that had broken loose from the clutch.

A few weeks later, after a new clutch, sensor, sensor plate, master/slave cylinder, and rear engine mount; I was able to get it inspected and transfer the title. I was now able to get about 45-46 MPG combined. The transmission still has common syncro issues, but seems ok aside from that. According to previous owner, the IMA battery was replaced recently with one from Bumblebee. So far it appears to be in good condition.

After making undercarriage panels for the front that were missing, and cleaning out the EGR plate (wasn't really clogged, but not clean) and getting the tire pressure at > 40 psi I was getting closer to about 48-51 MPG combined for a full tank. Recently I've replaced the EGR valve, rotated the tires, and upped them all to 50 psi. cruising at low speeds is a lot better with the new EGR valve and can I can maintain about 53 MPG.. maybe a bit better; I haven't driven much since, but definitely still in the 50s.

The wheels are not stock. The rims are Honda, but they're 15" (maybe for a civic?). The tires are Kumho Solus KH16 175/55R15. These tires are a tad wider and weight about 3 lbs more than the RE92s. I don't know what the rims weigh. They have great grip, but this is obviously not ideal for MPGs.

Possible future improvements related to MPGs:
- clean vtec screen
- more undercarriage panels for the rear
- modify intake for slight "ram air"
- relieve exhaust back-pressure by modifying/replacing cat and/or muffler
- (once they're a bit more worn) investigate tire options
- (when the battery is older) replace the 12V with A123 pouches
- at some point, MIMA

I also have the components for a grid charger (Mike's simple design). I just haven't put them in a case yet. I'm planning on replacing one of the potentiometers with a panel mount one so I can easily vary the float voltage. On occasion I may want to balance the pack, but more frequently I may just want to bring it back up to ~90%. This isn't that useful without a MIMA solution, but pretty easy to to do and I already bought the parts.

I'll post more here as I do any modifications/repairs on my car. It'll be kinda my car's story thread.
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Best tank: 69 MPG . . . Recent tank: 64 MPG, June 2016
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Today on my way home from work I was actually able to maintain speed at ~54 MPH for minutes with the FCD near the 75 MPG mark. Previously I hadn't been able to do that at any speed for more than a few seconds without getting some hesitation and slowing down. I think I even had the A/C on (econ mode). I haven't done anything to the car since I replaced the EGR valve last week, but I also haven't driven it much since then. Maybe it's taken that long for the ECU to relearn and the valve was significant problem.

I just filled up. I went about 480 miles on that tank. MPGs were 52.6 on the FCD, 50.0 calculated. Most of that tank was before the new EGR. I'll post my next tanks numbers once I have time to go another 500+ miles. I'm guessing it'll be a bit better.
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Best tank: 69 MPG . . . Recent tank: 64 MPG, June 2016
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Congrats on your car and the improvements! That is really good for non-OEM tires.

But don't forget to calculate the difference in speedo/odo error based on your tire size.

PS: Those look like 05 Civic Special Edition wheels.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice job on reviving this little gem!

Since the words "lean burn" don't appear anywhere in your post, we all recognize that you are just in the early stages of learning to drive this car. Driving in lean burn is the key to taking your fuel economy from merely wonderful up to phenomenal.

In Texas, with higher speed limits, you will often be challenged to spend a lot of time in LB. What you need to do is to learn to recognize when you are in it (I would highly recommend the OBDIIC&C gauge for this), then start working to increase the speed that you can maintain in LB.

The car is extremely sensitive to minor changes when you are trying to maximize speed in lean burn. Those tires and wheels, while not making a huge difference in mpg at 75 mph, will make a huge difference in how fast you can go while maintaining LB.

Your description of a loss of power in the low 50-55 mph range is lean burn cutting in. Being able to run @53 while maintaining 75+ mpg sounds like you are there. You can see that driving in TX at that speed will not be popular. I can regularly maintain 65 mph in LB, which is a little more useful, but I still only average about 63 mpg in TX.

MIMA is great for the control it gives you, but learn the car first before trying to find one. A clutch and brake switch (search here for Calpod switch for more info) will probably give sufficient control and the IMAC&C will probably be a good alternative to the MIMA.

Learn lean burn!
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I understand the concept of lean burn, I simply didn't mention it. I'm likely slipping into lean burn when I get that jump up to 75+ MPG on the FCD and from what I can tell, the car doesn't struggle to enter and leave lean burn, but until yesterday I hadn't been able to maintain any speed for any length of time while in lean burn. I have no OBDII monitoring of any sort at the moment, but I will at some point. Once I figure out exactly what I want and have the spare money, I'll likely be ordering some things from Peter.

I was looking at the difference in the tires last night. For purposes of odometer reading, the "revs per mile" spec is probably most relevant. According to tirerack.com, the OEM RE92s have 926 rev/mi and my 175/55R15 KH16 go 919 rev/mi. Not a huge difference, but if my math is correct, this means that my MPGs are really 0.4 MPG better than displayed at 50 MPG.

For my next set of tires, I'm thinking about staying with the Kumho KH16, but going with the smaller 155/60R15 size. As long as my rims aren't wider than 5.5" (I need to identify these rims) they should fit and be a slightly closer match to OEM size and weight. That's a while off though, I've got a bit of tread to get through.

Edit: The rims do look like Honda P/N 08W15-S5D-100B, but I haven't been able to find a width spec
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#1 2000 MT, 200k+ mi, owned since 2014, got new old engine in 2016
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Best tank: 69 MPG . . . Recent tank: 64 MPG, June 2016

Last edited by johnnyviri; 06-19-2014 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you are looking for mileage, put the stock rims and tires (and ONLY the exact size tire, brand, etc) that came with the car. Borrow a set from another member, take it for a spin. The factory tires are probably worth 10 MPG over what you have.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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+1

Those tires/wheels are killing you. The tires weigh 16 lbs, I'm guessing the wheels weigh 20-22 lbs. I just weighed an RE-92 on a stock rim, and it is 24 lbs.

You're spinning 56 lbs of unsprung, rotational weight. That, combined with a non-LRR tire, is HUGE.

Those tires will probably last you a LONG time, which would be a horrible situation to live with. There is no point in trying anything else for good mileage as long as you're driving around on these anchors. Sell them to somebody with a Civic or something and get a set of stock rims and RE-92s. They will make a huge difference.

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Old 06-19-2014, 03:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Look, I didn't pick the wheels. This is what is on there from the previous owner. If I do keep the rims, I will likely downsize to the KH16 155/60R15 which is only 1 lb heavier than the RE92 sccording to tirerack.com. The weight of the rims is really the wildcard here. I'll probably have to weigh one at some point.

I bought the car to replace my Vespa GTS 250. If I can get near 60mpg I've accomplished my original goal and I think it's better with the new EGR valve. Right now I'm at about ~55 mpg city since I filled up yesterday and it's noticeably easier to maintain a decent SoC in city conditions. Once I'm able to sell my Vespa I can spend a little more on the Insight, but until then I can't.
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-><- Johnathan Valentino -><-
#1 2000 MT, 200k+ mi, owned since 2014, got new old engine in 2016
#2 2000 MT, 200k+ mi, owned since 2015, No A/C, lots of dents, works
Best tank: 69 MPG . . . Recent tank: 64 MPG, June 2016

Last edited by johnnyviri; 06-19-2014 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is a topic that's been discussed and tested to death on here. 15" civic rims and ANY tires will probably cost you 7-8mpg city/5mpg highway.

Even other eco tires the same size as the stock tires on stock rims will cost you a significant amount.
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you are satisfied with 50+ MPG and drive 70+ most of the time keep those wheels, they are beautiful. If you want maximum MPG get some stock wheels or Kosei K1's with the proper RE92 tires, and drive under 65mph.

http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/Wheel...All&sort=Brand
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