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hi all,

i would love to get my gas mileage up in my 2002 automatic insight.

i've had tessieblue from her beginning. i've just passed 20,000 miles. i mostly do san francisco city driving which is quite hilly. i probably aveage in the hgih 40s in the city, and in the high 50s on the highway. my highway driving lets say averages around 65mph. i am amazed when people say they get 70+mpg on average in their insights! what am i doing wrong? what can i do to go right?!

my questions are: are the hills of sf that keep me low? am i driving too fast on the highway? is it b/c she is an automatic that she is low--that stick shifts get more? is tire pressure that important? what is the best inflation to have our tires at? how often do you fill your tires? i bought the car in southern california and drove her up to SF (i recommend that to all northern california people, by the way, as i paid $3,000 less down in LA then what they were charging up here. that was in 2002, but it might still be the same.) but i wonder did that first road trip do her in? i've heard you are not supposed to go over 55mph on a new engine, and i did my best to stay down there but did go up without intending to... ;)

finally, i've jsut heard that the toyota prius will go fully electric on the highway when you drive a constant speed and on flat terraine. will ours do that too? mine has not done that yet.

any articles on tips for better gas milage would be so apprieciated. thanks fellow hybrid folks!
 

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The CVT does not have lean burn and will not get the same mileage as the 5 speed. To improve your mileage make sure your tires are well inflated. You might want to try 45 psi for a while and if that helps eventually move to 50 psi. The ride will be rougher but the mpg will be better. Going slower will help improve you mileage as well which is true in any car. Have fun, RIck
 

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Hills kill my gas milage and its taken close to 8 months to fully master a few commutes home.

CVT's as stated before do not have lean burn which is the real feature that allows people to get those high milages above 70mpg. Most people who have sticks/lean burn and get the mpg will tell you they hardly use the battery. The only times itll get drained are for recalibration where it dies faster than it ever has then charges up normally. So do what you can to not use the battery up hills.

Also pick your mpg goal with the green bars, for instance mine is 75 on the highway and 50 on hills/streets. And I let that determine my speed up and down hills to a point. I try not to stray to 5mph below for everyones else's sanity.

FYI-
The prius II does not go fully electric ever above 20MPH the faster you go the more %gas to % electric ratio will climb. My friend who has one averages/coasts at 75 and gets 45mpg on good days.
 

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Things working against your mpg.
1. Hills
2. Cvt (compared to 5sp)
3. City driving
4. Speed (faster=more drag)
5. Tire pressure is likely lower than optimum for mpg.

Suggestions.
1.Examine car/driver interaction. Do you crank the engine, and then do all the other stuff like fasten the seat belt, take off the parking brake, etc,. Do all you can before starting the gas engine. Save the startup until you are absolutely ready to move the vehicle.
2.Research alternate routes. Perhaps there are fewer stoplights or a lower speed limit posted along another path. Any reduction in the amount of accelerations from dead stops will help. The less dead stops you have over a greater distance traveled the better. If you travel short runs and see lots of stoplights, this is not as good as traveling long distances with only 1 dead stop from the house and 2 stop signs on a 84mi commute. Perhaps there is a route used by intown delivery trucks you could use. Maybe these guys are driving a little slower and the folks behind you won't be thinking bad thoughts about you since there is a big truck in front of you. (Read SUV/HYBRID mental battle).
3. Work with that tire pressure and check it once a week :!: See my sig for my pressure, and remember, YMMV. Also if your Insight is seeing a lot of rough roads, potholes and such; the alignment may need to be checked. If it is out this is creating an opposing force(more drag).
Most of this applies to any vehicle. But there again without the 5sp and the techniques that go along with it, you are limited somewhat.
 

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You have to be realistic, too. You're always going to be getting lower mpg than the average CVT, simply because of where you're driving. The traffic and all those hills and stoplights are going to kill anyone's mpg, so you just have to look at the bright side, and think about how much better you're doing than they are.

Or, of course, you could move to a small town in the midwest :)
 

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I think your mpg is pretty good considering that you commute in SF, CA!

I can't imagine driving in SF & getting 70mpg. That would be insanity!

Just check your tire pressure often, and enjoy the drive! :)
 

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Tire preasure is the easiest mpg improvement. The rest is going to be driving habbits. No hard accelerations, don't drive fast (even if it's a 65mpg road, I generally do 61-63 unless I can tail a truck), make the most out of downhill, learn your pedal to maximize your instant mpg meter.

- Brenton
 
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