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Old 09-22-2016, 11:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Where to go from here?

I've had my car since March and I've put about 6k mi on it. Totally a commuter car, 55 mi/day in NE GA- some hills, some flats, 65 mph most of the trip. There's a thread I started when I got the car that has most of the details: https://www.insightcentral.net/forums...uld-i-buy.html

Anyway, when I first got it, in cool spring weather, if I really worked it I could get ~ 50 mpg max, but at the end of the day it was just too much damn work and too distracting, plus it's hot as hell in Georgia in the summer and Econ AC just doesn't cut it in 98 F weather, esp. in town.

I just want to get in a car and drive, not constantly monitor my mileage, LCD, SOC, etc..., which is what I had to do to get 50 mpg. So I decided I'd just drive it like a damn car and see what happened.

In almost every tank I get 42-43 mpg, which I think pretty much sucks given what other people on here claim to get and which is well below EPA ratings. LMPG on the car is 39.9. I haven't balanced the battery, yet, and it does frequently cycle from 19 bars down to 1 bar, and very rapidly sometimes. Other than that, the battery (3rd for this car) seems okay... at least no IMA light!

So now I'm trying to decide what to do with the car. Maybe spend money on a grid charger and see if rebalancing gives me an extra 10-20 mpg... I'm skeptical. Or, just resign myself to the fact that maybe I have a lemon that will never get claimed mileage and sell the little car (other Insight owners in my area (3) ALL get much better mileage and have much higher LMPGs).

It's an awfully small car to only get 42 mpg, since I can get any number of 4-dr hybrid and non-hybrid cars that would likely get that kind of mileage. When I bought it, I figured the negative aspects- small, noisy, rough ride, crappy radio, etc... would be far offset by superior full economy, but unfortunately I'm just not seeing that.

What to do, what to do?
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would say you have an unbalanced battery if it goes to 1 bar that quickly. Look in the forum for discharging and charging solutions.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah. Recalibrations are mileage killers.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Your posts title is a bit cryptic, but I'm thinking you are asking about how to improve the (relatively) low MPG of your car vs. asking for advice on whether to get rid of it because it's not worth the sacrifices?

A few of the major unknowns: (admittedly, I didn't go researching your old thread).
- What kind of tires are on the car?
- Tire pressure?
- Is it a 5 speed or CVT?
- How many miles are on the car?

An OBD2C&C would display any background charges going on that may be sapping energy without it being displayed on the dash.

[Moved thread to MPG Issues section]
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I assume that you have been running the A/C during the Georgia summer. The A/C is a real mileage killer. Tell us about your driving cycle, your commute, the number of cold starts each day, in addition to questions that freezin4 ask.

As Keith mentioned, having charge virtually constantly is a real killer. Do you get a lot of 4 bar mandatory charge?

It is possible, but not likely, that you have a low compression cylinder, which would cause the engine to be inefficient. If you can come up with a compression gauge, then check the compression, on the 12V starter with IMA battery turned off. It should be around 200 lbs. It is a two person operation, since the throttle must be held fully open during the test.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I just read the history of the car in permalink #48 of the old thread that you referenced. I've never seen so many IMA batteries installed in such a short period. Something just isn't right here, but not sure at moment how to put a finger on it. I think that a good start might be to do the IMA battery bypass and then try some new testing. There is a link somewhere around here with instructions for bypass. I'll see if I can find them.

The lack of IMA will have little impact on mpg on the highway, so that would be a good way to test.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would check to see if the brakes are dragging. A friend of mine kept having hybrid battery draining issues and got terrible mileage. One of his front calipers was dragging. He hasn't had any problems since. Anyways it's an easy fix and worth a look.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I live just over the border from you in TN... I've averaged 73 mph over the last 1300 miles. Here are my recommendations (considering you don't want to watch over your mileage):
-install a Calpod switch and leave it on most of the time; the recals are causing your IMA battery to sink valuable HP into the IMA battery; if the IMA battery is shot, then it does a poor job converting electrical energy into chemical energy (i.e. it's inefficient).
-don't use your AC... I don't unless my wife is in the car.
-Inflate tires properly and use RE92 tires only
-Drive slower.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback, Here are answers to most of the questions:

Your posts title is a bit cryptic, but I'm thinking you are asking about how to improve the (relatively) low MPG of your car vs. asking for advice on whether to get rid of it because it's not worth the sacrifices?
- What kind of tires are on the car?
- Tire pressure?
- Is it a 5 speed or CVT?
- How many miles are on the car?


Both, actually. Would like to get much better mileage and, if not able to do that, I would be ready to sell it.

Bridgestone Insignia SE 200s P175/65-14
80 psi, I think
5 spd
43k

I assume that you have been running the A/C during the Georgia summer.

Absolutely, all the time, but it's kind of a crappy AC compared to my other cars, so when it's > 95F I don't drive it.

Do you get a lot of 4 bar mandatory charge?

Not sure what that is, but I will be driving to work or home, 25 mi one-way trip, and it will often cycle over the full range, in my case high = 19 low = 1, usually at least every other day.

I've never seen so many IMA batteries installed in such a short period.

The gentleman I got the car from drove only city driving sn the car sat alot, hence the low mileage. There is a note from the dealer (always service there) after last battery replacement that says, in effect, "This car is not being driven enough to keep the batteries charged and we won't warranty the battery pack."

I would check to see if the brakes are dragging.

No sounds or evidence of dragging, but I'll check (I turn my own wrenches).

...might be to do the IMA battery bypass and then try some new testing.There is a link somewhere around here with instructions for bypass. I'll see if I can find them.


Please do. I'd like to check it out

-install a Calpod switch and leave it on most of the time; the recals are causing your IMA battery to sink valuable HP into the IMA battery; if the IMA battery is shot, then it does a poor job converting electrical energy into chemical energy (i.e. it's inefficient).

Probably not shot, since it's so new, but I'm sure it needs recalibration.

-don't use your AC... I don't unless my wife is in the car.

Not an option. I refuse to sweat while I drive a car... unless I'm driving the 'Cuda!

-Inflate tires properly and use RE92 tires only
Not RE92's. Tires are for a 2nd Gen Insight, I think. Slightly wider and better ride. Some on here say tires impact mileage by ~ 10%. If true, that puts me at 46 mpg, which is still too low.

-Drive slower.

I can't. I really don't consider 65 mph on my commute driving fast. My GS300 Lexus has an EPA rating of 18 city 27 highway and I average about 21 mpg when I drive it, just like I want to be able drive the Insight, i.e. just drive it, no special attention, monitoring, turn off AC etc... this is what irks me: My Insight is so far off the EPA ratings it's a joke and so many with these cars report much better mileage and, especially, better LMPGs. This car was almost exclusively city driven by an old guy and his wife for 15 years and it had only 37 LMPG when I bought it. Up to 39 now.
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Last edited by WaltL; 09-24-2016 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok, from you most recent post I see several improvements you can make. First, I understand about the A/C, grew up in deep south myself, but it really is a very big mpg hit on an Insight. Try setting your mpg goals in the spring and fall, with just dash ventilation, and I think you will see 8-10mpg improvement there.

Second, no tire performs on an Insight like the Bridgestone RE-92. All the comparisons you are making are to cars on RE-92. Around 8-10mpg there alone, depending on tire your are comparing. Air them to around 50psi.

Not sure what speed mix was used to determine the EPA numbers for the car, but those who report mpg in the 70mpg+ range are probably doing in mostly on the highway with a lot of it at 55mph.

I think the first two improvement will get you up to the EPA number. The Insight responds well to specialized driving techniques and you can find lots of that by using the google search bar in top left of page. If you just want to drive it without effort, then don't expect to do better than EPA, maybe not quite as good if you are impatient with learning the techniques.

If you are still unhappy with the Insight, then sell it. You have a low mileage car and if it is in good cosmetic condition it should bring 5-8K depending on buyer.
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