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I bought a 2000 Insight from my father a few years ago after he bought a new car. He had bought the car new and got about 65-70 MPG for the first year or so. Then he started having problems with the check engine light coming on and found out that a part had been recalled and needed replaced (i think it was the voltage regulator). Ever since then, no matter how i drive, i cant get over 50mpg at any speed. I'm averaging about 43 mpg now at 74k miles and am getting kind of angry when i read that most of you are gettting 70+ mpg.

I asked honda about this and they told me i was running the air conditioner too much and basically blew me off.

Is there anything I can do to get my mileage up? I'd even put the old part back in if I had it. Anybody find a fix or work-around for this problem?
 

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Determining why MPG _appears_ to be too low is a very complex task. And most of the time its the loose nut behind the wheel. ;) (no insult intended)

Have you thoroughly read the MANY related threads here in the MPG forum :?:

By far the easiest thing to do would be to hook-up with a near-by hyper MPG accomplished Insighter and let him take a look and a drive.

HTH! :)
 

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If you watch the instant gas mileage while driving (the green MPG bar), does it ever go above 50 MPG while driving on the freeway?

James Brasure
 

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jbrasure said:
If you watch the instant gas mileage while driving (the green MPG bar), does it ever go above 50 MPG while driving on the freeway?

James Brasure
only when my foot is totally off the gas. i tried some stuff off this forum today while driving and it helped my short term but it was stop and go traffic. i think when i have a stretch where i'm driving more than 1/4 mile w/o stopping it should greatly increase my mileage. driving that car like it's a school bus really helps the mileage.
 

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holden_caufield9 said:
i think when i have a stretch where i'm driving more than 1/4 mile w/o stopping it should greatly increase my mileage.
Doubt it.

If your trying to get near highway MPG *averages* in 1/4 or even 1 mile segments its going to be _VERY_ difficult. For the first 3-5 miles (depending on outside temps) the engine is in its warm-up phase where MPG's will be lower. After that point if you can find some low traffic highway that allows constant 45-65 MPH with little or no elevation change, then you can _begin_ to get 70+MPG's.

HTH! :)
 

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Simple Test

It took awhile to get used to the nuiances that improve the fuel economy on the Insight. For me it was worse, because I went from a really heavy foot to a very light one.

I'd find a level road that it's safe to cruise at 45-50mph. The engine is warmed up, etc.... Reset the FCD. Check both the instant and trip mpg. While you are cruising on that road, you should be getting 70-110mpg if the outdoor temperature is reasonably close to warm. The assumptions is the traffic and is light enough you can cruise at this speed and you can keep a feather foot on the pedal. No starts and stops, significant speed variations, significant hill climbs.

If you can get high fuel economy doing the test I described above, it's very likely your Insight is in good condition. The test is relatively simple. If you experienced difficulty getting even 70mpg, I'd suspect car problems.

Let's assume you passed the test with flying colors. In good weather, 90mpg or better is not that hard. If this is the case, it's driving technique. Real world driving will not be like that test I described. This is probably the biggest factors 1) keep speed in the 40-65mph range (some don't go over 55) 2) Reduce the number of accelerations as much as practical. It takes just a few seconds of a hard acceleration to ruin a good segment. 3) Glide to stops as much as practicle.
 

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holden_caufield9 said:
i think when i have a stretch where i'm driving more than 1/4 mile w/o stopping it should greatly increase my mileage.
You'll need far more than a quarter of a mile. See if you can find a streach of relatively level road nearby and run out twenty or thirty miles or so. That run plus the return trip should prove one way or another if it's YOU or the car which is at fault. It could be the car, the instrumentationi or you, and no insult intended, odds are it's you. If you have a "heavy foot", understand that these little cars are VERY SENSATIVE to such things; i.e., it does NOT take too much movement on your part (your foot) to increase or decrease speed.

I suggest this as, as others here with Insights have found, as time goes on and as you gain experience with the little car, you'll find that you're driving more by MPG than MPH. These little cars are well thought out and if you don't yet realize it, they are considerably different than the big American, European or Asian gas guzzlers you may have been used to all your driving life.

Easy does it. Like most of us, learn to stay in the right lane and keep your speed down to about fifty or sixty MPH and if you will do that, then watch that MPG soar!

Hope this helps :)
 

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So what's up with the commentary in the main driving section of this site that says, Mash the peddle when you are accelerating (to get up to your speed) then feather it as much as possible?
Is he a nut job? Is that only on the manual models?
BTW, I am new with only about a month under my belt on an 02 CVT with 45k. So a little confused now. MPG on first two tanks (8 mi commute 50:50) is 43-48, although I got 51 on a trip between Columbus and Cleveland. I think the formerly 30 psi and 15 degree temps on such short commute were/are killing me.
Jeremiah
 

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ortgeard said:
So what's up with the commentary in the main driving section of this site that says, Mash the peddle when you are accelerating (to get up to your speed) then feather it as much as possible?
Works in the city drive cycle _IF_ there is also enough regenerative braking required to replentish the IMA SoC _without_ requiring an otherwise inevitable forced charge. Ultimate high MPG is not attainable in the city drive cycle (frequent stop & go).

For ultimate MPG (of the almost insane degree, and requires a comperable driving technique, s l o wwww) little or no use of the IMA for acceleration is the proven technique.

For the average Joe, most of us find a comfortable point in between.

HTH! :)
 

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I see. :idea: I guess that was directions for entering a freeway rather than a city cycle.
So what does your console look like when you are on the "on ramp?" I usually have 4-6 orange bars (IMA?) as I accelerate from 35-60 mph. Is that too aggressive to match your 71 LMPG? Do you just go as slow as possible without disrupting traffic flow?
BTW, my car's LPMG is 44.4 - hasn't budged since I bought it around New Years. I assume first owner didn't reset it....
Thanks,
Jeremiah
 

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Just remember the 6 "T's"

Temperature - cold weather is an MPG killer
Traffic - will almost always push you outside the ultimate MPG envelope. (Remember compromise is better than conflict :!: )
Terrain - hills - need I say more :?: ;)
Throttle - heavier = lower MPG (with the exception as noted above)
Time on trip - Ultimate high MPG simply can't be accomplished in 5 mile segments.
Tires - OEM Low Rolling Resistance & 44 psi = +12% MPG (+-) vs. non LRR types

Use your FDC button to begin monitoring segments of you trip for MPG performance. Learn the techniques. A few extra minutes of commute time can equal +10 (or more ) MPG.

Search the MPG forum. There are several extensive threads on maximum MPG driving.

[Edit; Missed the 6th "T". Thanks Scott]

HTH! :)
 

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An 8 mile commute at 15 degrees with tires at 30 psi. I doubt the engine and fluids are even up to operating temps. 43-48 is pretty good under those conditions. My 02 CVT is lucky to get 48mpg at 15 degrees and thats on a 20 mile commute with OEM tires at 45 psi. Also Mobil-1 0W-20. That same ride in summer, 70-80 degrees gives me 60 mpg. Cold KILLS mpg.
 

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I agree....

ortgeard said:
For ultimate MPG (of the almost insane degree, and requires a comperable driving technique, s l o wwww) little or no use of the IMA for acceleration is the proven technique.

HTH! :)
I have been driving with NO IMA for a while now....still getting 52.6 MPG!

[Mod Note: trunkout has an IMA failure not related to the IMA batteries. It has disabled Charge and Assist, but there is sufficient background charge (the IMA "alternator" function) to maintain the 12v]
 

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Back to the thread . . .

I bought a 2000 with 86,500 miles, lifetime 43.2mpg last month. First time I drove it (or any hybrid) was last Saturday (just got in town - my wife picked up the car). With only the Forum advice to go on, I got 78mpg on my first 29 miles around town! :D My first 129 miles commuting and going to the store have been 66mpg.

Thank you, forum members for all your postings! Gave me the confidence to watch for/drive with: 1. Granny slow starts (in light traffic) to avoid the battery boost (and later the engine charge) 2. Charging with pedal off the gas downhill and braking lightly (to prevent the charging from kicking off). 3. Steady on the gas on straight shots to get the Lean Burn going. 4. Auto off at stoplights. Thanks everyone!
 

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00SilverDan said:
2. Charging with pedal off the gas downhill and braking lightly (to prevent the charging from kicking off).
[mod insert since page break obscured reference. ;) ]

hi 00silverdan,
can you please describe your #2 technique in more detail
 

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Light Brake Pressure

fuzzymutt:

What I have noticed is that when I let off the gas, I get a few bars of charge. When I apply light brake pressure, I get a full set of bars on the charge. So that's what I mean by applying light brake pressure. If I apply too much brake pressure then the charging kicks off. (same as I had read in one of the threads)

I am pretty sure I don't have the latest "upgrade" people have been talking about, unless they installed it last August when the new IMA and boards were put in for the previous owner. The descriptions people give about losing mileage, etc. don't quite match my experience - I can apply quite a bit of brake pressure before the charging kicks off, and I can keep the battery fully charged without the motor charging the battery (and subsequently reducing mpg).

Does any of this make sense?

I haven't quite got the hang of getting the "auto off" to start above 20mph. I think it will sometimes "auto off" by disengaging the clutch, but then it starts again before I get to 20mph. I will have to read up on that.

Dan
 

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Reads like Dan is maximixing regenerative braking.

1) Saves the additional wear of the friction brakes.
2) Helps maximize MPG in the city drive cycle. Where traffic conditions can rapidly deplete IMA SoC, resulting in a forced charge (and lower MPG).

The specifics of individual circumstances and "better" MPG with this or any single technique can vary greatly. Let the MPG gauge by your guide. :)

HTH! :)
 

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Re: Simple Test

Delta Flyer said:
... took awhile to get used to the nuiances that improve the fuel economy on the Insight. ... went from a really heavy foot to a very light one.

... keep a feather foot on the pedal.

... it's very likely your Insight is in good condition.

... probably the biggest factors 1) keep speed in the 40-65mph range (some don't go over 55) 2) Reduce the number of accelerations as much as practical. It takes just a few seconds of a hard acceleration to ruin a good segment. 3) Glide to stops as much as practicle.
Couldn't have said it much better if I really tried and with that said, if I may, experience has shown me that once you're out there on a good ten, twenty or greater mile run, once you get "settled" (emphasis on your right foot), a second and perhaps a third "adjustment" may be needed - but note, these are for want of a better term, fine tuning your foot relative to that very sensative gas peddle. It doesn't take much, it doesn't take very much movement at all to "lock" your foot into position relative to that gas peddle and when cruising along on a relatively flat road your MPG digital guage will indicate seventy five or so MPG, and as a CVT owner - man that's sweet.

Fred / Proud Owner of "The Silver Bullet"
 

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Holden, I feel your pain! I am a new Insight driver (I have a 2001 with 95K on it, lifetime MPG- 57.1). I drive a short commute to the gym and then to work everyday and my MPG is averaging at about 47. Last week I drove it for 110 miles straight, 95% on the highway, and then another 150 or so and it brought my average up to 61- 1/2 the tank was city driving and the last half were these 2 trips. Now, I was probably getting in the 70s and 80s despite the fact that I was driving north in NH through the mountains! So, I'm sure if you try to drive it for a few dozen miles on the highway maintaining a consistent speed and using hills to your advantage (going down I would alternate between coasting to regenerate and lightly applying the gas to gather speed to climb back up again), you should see a big difference.

On the plus side, I can only imagine what other, bigger cars get on a similar commute! I know that in the relatively efficient Matrix (base-model, not AWD) I traded for this Insight I was only getting about 225-250 miles per 10.6 gallon tank! I cringe to think what those SUVs get (they must measure in gallons per mile!).
 
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