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Discussion Starter #1
I am confused. Some posts indicate to use as little assist as possible. But isn't that the hybrid part of the Insight??? Some say to floor it on starts and acceleration. Once again, isn't the assist there to use the energy stored in regeneration to help boost start up and acceleration without the high use of gas??? Others say just drive like a little old lady (not the one from Pasadena) and you will get the best gas milage.
For now I plan to use assist and regeneration (after all I do live in a very hilly part of the USA) and to drive gently but not so much as to hold up traffic...after all I need to get where I am going in a reasonable amount of time. Oh well, maybe I will never be an ultra high miler.
What sort of actual milage do people get who drive their Insights in a fairly normal fashion? :D
 

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'tis a confusing topic. And one that only you and your MPG meter will know for sure (let _IT_ teach you).

The only accurate answer is: Depends.

Talent, time, temperature, terrain and traffic will all detract from the _ultimately_ attainable MPG in any car. Time is possibly the greatest negative MPG factor that people will "buy" in exchange for lower MPG. After all walking is cheaper. ;) So if you keep it within the speed limit you may be able to attain what I've done and post in my sig and web pages.

And even if you choose to buy some more time (faster) you'll still be able to attain 50%+ better MPG that with most any other car available.

So drive in the manner _you_ consider "normal" and let us know your MPG result. :)

You can then choose to drive abnormally to get better MPG. :p

There's lots of tips in the MPG section. I'd spend some time reading there.

From the technical aspect you've got to remember that ALL IMA SoC energy came from gasoline. Unless you pushed your Insight up the hill to regen on the downslope. ;) Its just that a percentage of what is otherwise wasted is recovered. A clearer example will be that when you use the SoC faster than downhill or braking regen can replenish it you'll find yourself in a forced charge situation. 4-6 bars of charge on steady cruise. You'll see that MPG hit (but don't forget the CVT / IMA SoC management exception).

The full throttle acceleration technique and trade-off's was recently discussed here:

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=4378

HTH! :)
 

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Furthermore, there are two big classes of people involved in the hybrid car driver movement. One wants to drive their hybrid cars "just the same as" they drive their regular cars. They get good mileage, but not the phenomenal numbers you see quoted around here.

The other class wants to get absolutely the best they can out of their cars, and they use the special "hypermiler" techniques.

Step one is to figure out what you want out of the car.
 

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Short answer=depends, long answer as follows.

Driving normally you will use assist, just not as much as flooring it. The problem with assist if you really want the best mileage is that this energy is already reduced by 40 percent (the cost of charging the batteries and then driving the IMA motor through a switching motor control unit.) If that energy is totally free, ie. scavenged from braking then this doesn't matter. Typically you will knock the IMA pack down a notch or two and the Insight will then try to recover this while cruising. This puts a small but steady drag on the engine. If due to speed, weather, or road conditions this drag prevents you from achieving lean burn mode your milleage will suffer noticeably. The key is to only recharge when braking and only use the IMA when there is a good charge or you have an advantage such as a tailwind. :D Obviously the algorithms built into the Insight can not tell if there is a hill approaching etc. Hypermilers develop strategies based on experience over time. Desire, patience and brain configuration play as important a role as techniques such as coasting, drafting, and speed modulation and physical mods such as tire pressure, rad blocks, and hot air intakes.

Many people have time constraints traffic conditions, weather conditions, and short hops that make hypermiling impossible. However, all benefit to some extent by learning the basics. For the hypermile crusaders there are Mima, FAS and other projects in development such as grid charging. 8)
 

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Mileage Techniques

Psuinsight,
Probably the best way to learn what you can achive from your Insight is as was mentioned here, but simply put. Sensible driving and more important, watch your dash display. Let it show you how you can adjust your attitude to adapt to the car. Like learning to drive over again.

When the car starts surging on the highway, there's nothing wrong with it. You've just gotten to the stage where your experiencing lean burn/purge mode. Don't rush it, enjoy the experience. Take a look here...
http://www.insightcentral.net/KB/faq-index-driving.html

There's many things you can do to enhance your mpg, such as increasing tire pressure and modifications galore :D . And all the wacky ideas anyone could imagine, we will take great pleasure in pummeling you with these :roll: . Be patient with us...
 

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Thought I might add my two cents here, for what little it might be worth.

In a posting here at Insightcentral one individual made mention that in his opinion if all cars had MPG gauges gas savings might go up by some ten percent. I suspect the man is correct, except I believe mpg would go up considerably more than his suggested ten percent figure.

In my case I do keep an eye on that mpg indicator (updated every sixty seconds or so) to see how well I'm doing. When bringing that car back home from the dealer in NY, while on I-80, I was getting about 57 MPG. It should be noted that this was a little over a one hundred mile run, at indicated speeds varying between fifty to sixty MPH. Were I to do less than that out there, I would probably prove to be a hazard to the others. Going faster (which most were and did) would cut my MPG rate considerably. So I just stayed in the right hand lane most of the way - and did my best to stop grinning as those large SUVs zipped by. I knew the MPG I was getting and had a good I dea of how little they were getting.

About ten years ago I was out your way, in central Pennsylvania. Drove to the Latrobe airport to inspect a Hughes 300 which landed hard and I do recall the hilly driving conditions you made mention of.

On this end the "Silver Bullet" has an automatic (CVT) transmission and if your's is the same, there are two buttons/tabs on the steering wheel which you might want to have a look at - and use: "D" and "S". When going up or down steep hills, use the "S". When on a relatively level straight-away, press the "D" tab. According to the owners manual, that "S" tab, when engaged will decrease the load on your little engine and when going downhill, the regeneration you have an interest in will increase.

Although you aren't it seems one of them, for those who do like to drive fast, I used to be on the local volunteer ambulance corps here and that experience clearly and repeatedly demonstrated that Speeding and Bleeding have a lot more in common than just phonetics. Speeding from traffic light to traffice light in the cities or running at sixty or more out on the Interstates wastes gasoline - a lot of it. The question a good many of today's drivers should be asking themselves as they zip along at seventy or more miles per hour is - is the risk worth it? I for one say it is not. Tire blowouts still happen. Deer and other wildlife (including pet dogs and the like) still don't understand what cars can do to them - until it's too late for them and the motor vehicle; the other week I was sent several JPGs showing what a Moose can do to a small car in a head-on collision. If you're curious, the Moose went in the front windshield and was halfway hanging out the back window when the accident concluded. The woman driver survived the collision, barely but I'll bet her days of speeding are over.

So, to keep or increase that MPG rating. Do what you may already be doing. Accelerate slower. On the straight-aways, run at fifty or perhaps sixty. Consolidate trips where you can. Carry less cargo in the back of that little car; note the "cargo" weight limits in the Owner's Manual. If you have a CVT, if you're not already doing it, start using that "S" tab.

... now off my soapbox.

Hope this helps some.

Fred

I am confused. Some posts indicate to use as little assist as possible. But isn't that the hybrid part of the Insight??? Some say to floor it on starts and acceleration. Once again, isn't the assist there to use the energy stored in regeneration to help boost start up and acceleration without the high use of gas??? Others say just drive like a little old lady (not the one from Pasadena) and you will get the best gas milage.
For now I plan to use assist and regeneration (after all I do live in a very hilly part of the USA) and to drive gently but not so much as to hold up traffic...after all I need to get where I am going in a reasonable amount of time. Oh well, maybe I will never be an ultra high miler.
What sort of actual milage do people get who drive their Insights in a fairly normal fashion? :D
 

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Fred said:
When going up or down steep hills, use the "S". When on a relatively level straight-away, press the "D" tab. According to the owners manual, that "S" tab, when engaged will decrease the load on your little engine and when going downhill, the regeneration you have an interest in will increase.
I had to go back and check this out in my 2001 Owners Manual. It does mention using "S" for going up or down hills but also refers to it as Second (as opposed to Drive). To me, this sounded more like downshifting in a manual car and would actually increase RPMs (and load on the engine). Others can jump in if I'm wrong or this has been updated but I've always felt driving in "S" can only hurt overall MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am now in my third week as a new Insight owner. Wow, it seems longer somehow. Must be from all the fun I have driving the little 5 speed Power Puff. I logged a one way commute today at 71 mpg. This is on hilly rural roads and I kept pretty well at or a little above the speed limits (35 to 45 mph). My driving technique was to use an even start up speed without flooring it, a judicious use of the gas pedal to get into lean burn as much as possible, getting into high gears as soon as possible, going into idle stop at stop signs and lights, use of plenty of regenerative braking on the downgrades and stops, and about 4 to 8 bars of assist on the upgrades when nedded.
Thanks everyone for the great tips!
I still haven't been out for a nice cruise at highway speeds. I can envision mpg ratings in the high 70's or better.
Go Insight!!!
 

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Sean, S allows the engine to rev higher. It effectively keeps it in a lower gear. Thus it would have the results you described.

It may be easiest to remember it as Scoot and Dawdle, Or perhaps Doughnbugme and Sunnoffabeach, :badgrin: but I believe the correct terms are Sport and Drive.
 

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Actually, Kip and Sean are both right about the name. It depends on the
documentation that you are currently reading. The owners manual will
say one name and specifications and reviews will say another. When I
place my car in "S" mode it seems more like driving in between a "second
gear" mode and a sport mode...The engine RPMs do not go down when
even light on the throttle but at the same time it doesn't sound or look
ike the engine is pegged at the highest RPM when going highway speeds.

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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Getting that high MPG ...

A better answer than my previous one is have a good look at that CURRENT FUEL MILEAGE (CFM) indicator. It's the sometimes rapidly moving "slider bar" located directly under the current MPG and miles driven; Trip A, Trip B or LMPG and Total Miles.

If your CFM indicator has been disabled, you might want to activate it and I suggest this as due the installed instrumentation (and this guage in particualr) these little cars are not like any I've (you?) ever driven before.

If you really want to raise that LMPG, coasting may well become a part of "the driving plan" you'll have to change to.

If you want, try driving with an eye on this CFM guage. Note that it has MPG indications which go from zero to 150, and yes, you can repeatedly get 150 MPG readings IF AND WHEN it's safe to coast along.

A further change in driving habits may also be in order. For example;

.1. Is it really necessary to race to the top of the incline, only to have to brake and wait for traffic once you get there?

.2. If there's no one behind you, press on the gas only far enough to come as close to a reading of 50 or 60 MPG on your CFM -- at which point ease off on the gas and coast - again only if it's safe and no one is behind you. Driving too slow for conditions can be just as dangerous and driving too fast.

.3. In city and suburban driving, is it really necessary to race from red light to red light? Again, if no one is behind you, speed up to where you're CFM is indicating 50 or 60 MPG, then coast to the next light.

.4. If you can see far enough ahead, and that traffice light is already Yellow, and if no one is behind you, ease off on the gas and coast up to the Red light.

Some individuals have suggested (in the MPG issues forum) that drafting behind large tractor-trailers is the way to go. I don't agree as I don't like bleeding and in these little cars, as well built as they are, air bags and all, humility should always be your co-pilot.

With the above in mind and for what it may be worth, the other day, on a thirty mile run, to the supermarket and back home, with an eye on my CFM the CVT I have averaged a little over 57 MPG.

If you try this, let us know how you make out. As was suggested above, these little cars are different and a change in driving habits (not only with these Insights but other cars as well) is what is needed these days.

Hope this helps

Fred
 

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If you do a lot of short trips your engine will never really warm up properly for you to achieve maximum mileage. :idea: A block heater turned on for an hour or so prior to departure may help significantly.
 
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