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Discussion Starter #1
When I got my insight in late July, it took me a bit to learn the tricks but I eventually got to where at the end of my 51 mile morning commute, I'd just top it off at 70MPG for the trip. Going home was a little less, probably because I was in a hurry :D

Well this morning I managed to top off at 57 MPG. There was a stark drop off a couple of weeks ago where the mileage just disappeared. Colder weather? winter gas? I dont know, but where as I could easily drop into "the zone" and cruise at 70-75MPG, I now find it hard to hit 60. I've often just said the heck with it and ran as fast as I wanted, only to find that im going 15 MPH faster at a cost of only a couple MPG.

Heck the other day I was going 65MPH on a slight downhill at only 60MPG and LOOSING SPEED!

I know one problem im having is with the stupid IMA. It starts background charging at 2 bars below top SOC, and pulls the equivellant of 5 bars charge until its been on 1 bar from top SOC for a while. This absolutely slaughters my MPG, because to try to keep the car moving at 65 I keep dipping into assist, then the hidden charge drags me down, and I dip into assist. I get mid 50's best when this is going on. I know this for a fact because I have an ossiclloscope on the CMDPWR signal and can see what its doing with the IMA. Ticked me off to the point that I shut the engine down and coasted while I reached back there and flipped the breaker off, just so I could get it to stop charging, not for mileage, but because I was tired of fighting the gas just to keep highway speed.

I mean what is the point in having a Kenetic Energy storage system if the damn controller charges constantly to keep it at top charge? I cant get anything from regen, because by the time I get to stopping, the battery is full. I literally cant get the charge below 2 bars from top without it kicking in a hidden charge of 5 bars regen.


AAHHHH!!!!!

So this morning I said the heck with it, and still got 57MPG, a hair below my recent bests. Im thinking about just putting tape over the MPG guage until next spring.
 

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Accept the fact the weather is cooler....consider putting cardboard over the radiator to warm up the engine quicker.

More of a concern is the SoC problem - might want to get it checked, but I like what you did - a forced autostop is advanced hypermiling to get beyond 70mpg ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well I keep it in the garage at night, and its not so much about warm up, as I drive 50 miles, it gets to temp at a decent time, stays there the whole time while im still getting rotten mileage.

Unfortunately, cardboard over the radiator won't help it warm up faster, the thermostat stays closed until it hits operating tempature, so there is nothing flowing through the radiator until the engine hits temp (what is it with these 195*?). It would block some air from blowing on the engine itself, through the radiator, but I wouldnt think that would be a signifigant change.

From what I understand, this is normal IMA programming, I beileve this car has had the MCM update, I have a reciept where it was brought in to replace one of the control modules under a "recall"

I plan to change this IMA operation, im just working out the kinks in m controllers to talk to the MCM. At this point, Id almost say it would be more beneficial for me to just gut the system... Makes me wonder at least. I know the main reason I cant hit "the zone" half the time anymore is because its always charging. I wonder if it was like this during the summer, but I think so, as I remember a while into the trip my mileage would improve. I thought it was the fluids coming up to temp, allong with me not messing with the throttle as much, now I know. Now it doesnt stop charging usually until after 25 miles.
 

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Gas may be an issue -- not just winter vs. summer, but brands may make a difference. Do you use the same brand every time? I just filled up my MT Insight -- it's a rare occurrence (about every 3-4 weeks). I had gotten 64.6 MPG on the last tank, filled with Chevron gas. This tank, I've so far only been getting about 54.7 MPG, filled with Shell gas. Maybe it's a difference between the winter and summer gas, but I'm also wondering if the brand ends up being really, really important.

-fly
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This setup actually works in much the same way as MIMA. I've looked over Mike's site, and in fact he has given me a good bit of advice over email. The advantage of my system will be that its much cheaper, and mostly I can change and modify it at will. Though he freely discloses the source code, so you could actually tweak his as well, I prefer to learn\do things myself, and im more comfortable with the code for my microcontroller. For starters Im just going to enable manual control, so I can turn off the stupid forced charging, then I'll work on cruise control using the electric motor to maintain a set MPG, and some other ideas.



Im thinking about the hot air mod. I'd like to build a capsule around the cat that I can hook onto one side, and put holes in the other, so it actually has to draw the air over the cat, heating it further. If I wasnt so hesitant to hurt the cat, Id seriosuly consider welding heat sinks to it too. But then you have to worry about over cooling the cat, welding holes in it, and well thats a whole 'nother project.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
flymuck said:
Gas may be an issue -- not just winter vs. summer, but brands may make a difference. Do you use the same brand every time? I just filled up my MT Insight -- it's a rare occurrence (about every 3-4 weeks). I had gotten 64.6 MPG on the last tank, filled with Chevron gas. This tank, I've so far only been getting about 54.7 MPG, filled with Shell gas. Maybe it's a difference between the winter and summer gas, but I'm also wondering if the brand ends up being really, really important.

-fly
I was hoping that too, but its been the same for the last 3 tanks or so (I do a tank a week, which is a LOT of driving in an Insight :D )

Its a 5spd btw.

I last time I got Marathon, before that I think it was BP, before that it might have been speedy or something.

The other thing to watch for is when you get your gas. If you happen to get to the station when there is a filling truck there, go elsewhere. Filling the underground tanks stirs up the layer of water that the gas floats on, while they try to keep it down, you can never get it out, as more collects, anyway, that gets stired into the gas when they fill and you're likely to get a bit in your tank if you fill immediately after they do.

I'll try getting gas at some of the stations I did when I know I was getting good mileage.
 

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Honda has "preferred providers" for gas for the cars they make -- I know Chevron is one of them (I thought Shell was too!). I think it's on Honda's website somewhere (no time to look now). I would try your next tank with a preferred provider's gas. I find that it's worth the extra $$ (Chevron is $.20/gal more expensive than the Shell station I went to), but for the mpg, it's worth it -- if'n it actually makes a difference. :) Good luck! Let us know! :D

Edit: it's called "Top Tier Detergent" gasoline, and it's made by Chevron, Shell, Phillips 66, and others (not listed on the page I found). Maybe there's something not right about the Shell station that is so cheap... :?
 

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"Unfortunately, cardboard over the radiator won't help it warm up faster, the thermostat stays closed until it hits operating tempature, so there is nothing flowing through the radiator until the engine hits temp..."

That's not entirely true. Most thermostats (though I've never taken the Insight's out to check) have a small bypass, so there's always some coolant flow. The radiator block could also block some airflow. Whatever the reason, the radiator block does make the engine warm up faster, and keeps it warmer on long downhills.
 

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It blocks a lot of cold air coming into the car that would normally cool down the engine while it is heating up. It also helps keep the engine closer to summer time temps.

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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Boo hoo, you only got 57 MPG!

Funny how your expectations change after having an Insight for a while... :)
 

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You didn't say what part of the country you're in, but it sounds like it must be cooler.
I have:
radiator block
lower grill block
hot air intake mod
block heater. Timer turns it on 3 hrs. before I leave (at 5am)
Scangauge
70 psi tire pressure

I have been getting 70 to 77mpg in the morning and 76 to 88mpg on my way home between 3:30 and 5:00. Temps in the morning have been 32 to 50 and 50 to 65 in the afternoon. My commute is about 50 miles each way.

You can get rid of the background charge if you have lights and ac/heat fan off.

Do you use synthetic 0-20w?
 

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Psi

LoNOx 1 said:
radiator block
lower grill block
hot air intake mod
block heater. Timer turns it on 3 hrs. before I leave (at 5am)
Scangauge 70 psi tire pressure 70psi!!! :shock: :shock:
I run 50psi in the Oem tyres for info! 70psi is going some! :) Too high for me.
 

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This spring I was anything but dismissive about the radiator block driving 200 miles with the outdoor temperature at 65F. ScanGage indicated the coolant temperature - normally at 195F was at 227F at times. :shock:

I put the heater on to get it down 15F, then removed the cardboard at the end of the trip. Afterwards, I was told that 225F was probably the highest temperature for improving FE.
 

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In northern Wisconsin, the onset of cooler weather has resulted in a 13-15 mpg decrease in gas mileage already on the same daily route. I do run the radiator block, but not the hot air mods described on the site. I have a 95 Civic that maintains 45-50 mpg through the winter. So I put the Insight on a demand charger in the garage and store it out of the salt for 12-14 weeks. I realize I am fortunate to have a backup economical car. It is true that you get used to high mileage from the Insight and become spoiled when that mileage drops.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I would classify 70PSI as insane in my book, but hey, whatever works for you, it does make me feel more comfortable knowing the limit is high up there.

Well I found a major culprit yesterday. Apparently all 4 of my tires leaked exactly 8 psi each over the last month. That or the Honda dealer screwed with them when I took it in to have a knocking noise in the engine looked at, you guess which. Nice of them to tell me they made changes to my car.... I set them clear up to 45 this time.

I also blocked about %75 of the radiator, leaving the drivers side open so any air going through blows on the transmission. I still dont think this is going to help much, but whatever, nothing to loose.


Thermostats do not have bypasses in them, they sometimes have a very small hole, usually with a makeshift one way valve, for burping purposes, as in the one below. The coolant does however constantly circulate through the heater core (except on some cars with a valve, like older Chrysler's) so if you really wanted to optimize warm up time, you should keep the heater off until it reaches operating temp :p Lets see who has the balls for that, not me! :D. I do see where the lack of cold air blowing on the engine might have some effect, albeit small, I think it would outweigh the minuscule drag imposed by stopping the air at the radiator, so I went with the radiator block.




The other warm up ideas are nice, but I'm usually up to temperature by the time I hit the highway, maybe 1.4 miles, which is stop and turn driving, so I cant get the best mileage anyway. I'm content to let whatever mileage that is. Lets look at some math.

Say I go 50 miles, the first 2 miles are my warm up time in the city. We'll say 50MPG normally, what 55 if I could leave with a piping hot engine. I also get a respectable 65MPG on the highway.

So, I'm using .8 Gallons on the highway and .04 in the city, .84 gallons total if I leave cold

If I heat the engine, I use .03636 (call it .036)
So I use .836 gallons if I leave hot. Thats .004 gallons I saved, at $3.00 a Gallon, I saved .0013 cents.

Now say I'm firing up this block heater, which, the smallest I see is 150watt, for 3 hours, so I'm using 450 watt hours, or .45KWH. At my electric rate, which is 6.5c/KWH, I used .0292c of Electricity, so actually in the big picture I'm loosing just shy of three cents, plus the cost of the block heater.

Just my observation, please correct me if I'm wrong on any of my numbers. I suppose there are circumstances where this might break even, but in general, the numbers dont look good. Then again, there are some people, myself included at some times, where the fuzzy feeling of seeing that extra 5MPG on the display is value enough, lol.


That all being said I do see definite promise in the hot air intake, I just have to get some tubing. Should help with raw efficiency and widen the range for lean burn.

As far as my complaints about the constant charging, well last night I got into town and was trying to get some regen from my stop and go, I couldn't because the friggin pack was full, it would only regen a few bars. So again, what is the point of a kinetic energy storage system when it uses the gasoline engine to keep it full all the time? Turns out 100% on my gauge is 1 bar below top, so at just under full, its forcing a charge until its almost completely full. What moron programmed this?

But on the plus side, I was able to get better mileage this morning. The combination of the higher tire pressure, radiator block, and a full pack helped me to get into a 75MPG groove at 65 MPH for a while. I dropped out after a while, but then later dropped in behind a minivan at 72MPH and 70 MPG. Not bad since the tempature was ~30*, I averaged over the whole trip ~61.5 MPG.

And yes, its quite ironic, all of a sudden 58MPG is just horrible, where as two years ago I built a car that got 18, and drove one that got 24 daily.
 

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Just a nit. Honda's Block heater is 400 Watts. It gives around a 60 degree gain over ambient temperature. I find that reaches max temp gain in around 1 hour.

(Mod Edit) Wattage above corrected to 400w (End Edit)
 

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I think you'd be surprised how much convective / conductive cooling airflow over the engine @ 65 mph occurs - I've seen even a couple people experimenting with thermal "engine blankets" to help the engine retain heat. This would render the radiator block unnecessary and allow the factory engine cooling system to work optimally.

I've also personally though of rigging up a MIMA-L, if you've seen the schematic's at Mike's site. Seems fairly simple and straightforward in operation, use a pot to adjust the length of a 555 timer triggered by the rising edge in the MCM signal.
 

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Just a nit. Honda's Block heater is 400 Watts. It gives around a 60 degree gain over ambient temperature. I find that reaches max temp gain in around 1 hour.

(Mod Edit) Wattage above corrected to 400w (End Edit)

I get more gain than that.
This morning, the air temp was 32. I turned the key on and scangauge read 160. Started the engine and it dropped to 134. Its about 1 mile to the highway and I got there with 71mpg. Yesterday, I forgot to plug the block heater in.
Air temp was about 45 and when I got to the highway, I was at 51mpg.
 

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i gotta get one of those. in the summer i am doing good to see 70 mpg by the time i hit the highway. its 5 miles from the house. in the winter i'd rather not think about it...
 
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