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· Premium Member
595 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see this addressed in some posts but not answered fully.

I would like to start a thread for 5-speed drivers which addresses the question of what gear is best for conditions:

(1) STOPPING: Stopping from a higher speed/gear

- when you are coasting to a stop from a higher gear (and speed), should you downshift and when?

- since the regen breaking quits at under 1000 RPM, if I coast to a stop in 5th gear, the green charge bars stop when I am still going rather fast, and I have to break, which doesn't light up the charge bars

- if I downshift, I can get the green charge bars to light up again, because the RPMs go over 1000 again

- sometimes it seems like I am abusing the car to downshift and get the regen breaking to come on...


(2) DRIVING: Gears for driving other than just coasting

- If I am driving where I have a little uphill and downhill mixed, but not stop and go (which is addressed above), I feel that I am often lugging the engine or coming close to it when I follow the upshift light or try to get as quickly as possible into a high gear

- I am trying to watch instantaneous mileage, and I think that often, even though there is no downshift light, I IMPROVE my mpg by downshifting even if sometimes it may make the upshift light come on

- what are other 5-speed drivers comments?

- obviously, I can see the road ahead, and the car electronics can't, so I feel that I am doing better on many occasions to stay in a lower gear for longer than the car is directing

- what are your experiences?

p.s. I don't mean to talk about coasting along, that is pretty clear. I mean when there is a periodic need to accelerate, and being in 5th or 4th (or even 3rd sometimes) seems to make the car lug and be inefficient and thus losing mpg

· Premium Member
766 Posts
Stopping, what I do is regen-brake without downshifting until RPMs drop so low that the car is just about to restart the gas engine. At that point I smoothly drop into neutral and press harder on the brake at the same time to engage the physical brake pads. If done right, the car won't restart and the car goes directly into auto-stop from regen-brake.

Yes, if your car is lugging then you shouldn't pay attention to the upshift light.

· Registered
614 Posts
What upshift light? :wink:

If I payed attention to that thing, I would go bonkers (speaking only for myself, here). It tells me to upshift to 5th at 38mph or so if there is little load. I think that is a little silly.

I really just shift like I think it should be shifted.

I usually don't downshift when stopping, unless it is a LONG stop, like from highway speed and I want to use the regen/engine braking a little more.

Hi Figgy:

___From my reads of this forum and understanding, you may want to use regen when your SOC is below a few bars from full and coast when you don’t. Here in the Chicago area, we have very few hills and I am very gentle on the accelerator. With that, I have never seen below 2 bars from full in my short 5,000 miles with it so coasting works for me most of the time. There has been some discussion in regards to how much fuel the Insight uses while idling. It appears to be somewhere around 16 thousandths of a gallon/minute. Coasting is not going to hurt your mileage at that rate although you should shoot for Autostop below 20 mph or so with a quick jab at the brakes while coasting can’t hurt ;)

___Gears … Forget the diamond if you are in a situation where you need to accelerate and the Insight is telling you to move up to 4th or 5th. The instantaneous will show you what is best. If there are no cars behind, stay in 5th at 38 mph + and accelerate so slowly as to keep the assist at 0. Crawling up to speed can give you some great mileage but only if you don’t need to accelerate very hard. If I am at the beginning of an incline, I will shift down only to keep the Assist from engaging. This works decent enough for me.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2z6x8zne][email protected][/email:2z6x8zne]

· Registered
427 Posts
A clutch will cost you alot more than brakes. Just pay attention to the road ahead so that you can keep the speed. So I never downshift.

Up hills. For me I try if I am in a hilly area I'll leave the car in 3rd gear. The rpms could be ranging from 2-4k yet I'll be using very little to none IMA. As long as I have a light foot the mpg will be OK. I'll also use a low gear in the thick rush hour traffic.
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