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Discussion Starter #1
I've now driven my new (to me) Insight over a thousand miles and have an average of 67.6MPG. I've already brought the LMPG from under 49MPG to over 50MPG and am enjoying driving the car more than any car I've owned.

I've read all the tips on this site and many of the threads about getting better MPG and I think I'm doing everything I can but just can't seem to break the 70MPG mark no matter what I seem to do. I'd love to get the 80-90+MPG that I see some on this forum get but when I did research on getting the car I thought that if I could average 65+MPG I'd be in great shape and very happy, so I'm definitely not complaining. I can even keep my MPG above 65 in city driving most of the time, so I think I've got Insight driving technics down fairly well.

I'm a very large guy (6'2", 280lbs) and I bring my dog with me everywhere (1'2", 45lbs) so I'm very close to the "weight limit" of the car even without any cargo. Could this be why I can't seem to break the 70MPG mark or do I just need a bit more time in the car to get the technics down?

I've got my tires at 50PSI all the way around and I'm pretty sure I've discovered lean-burn, though it's tough to tell if I'm actually in lean-burn. I'm amazed how the Insight has changed my driving habits. I'm always in the slow lane and rarely get above 70MPH and often stay between 55-60MPH. I used to keep my speed at just under 10MPH above the speed limit as many years of traffic tickets lead me to discover that most law enforcement folks won't bother you until you're 10MPH above the speed limit. ;)

I try drafting behind semis but they don't seem to like to slow down much up hills, so it can be tough to keep up with them sometimes. Is it best to just keep the throttle steady or keep up with the trucks to take advantage of drafting? Those with 80+LMPG, what technics do you find most effective?
 

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Muftak said:
Is it best to just keep the throttle steady or keep up with the trucks to take advantage of drafting? Those with 80+LMPG, what technics do you find most effective?
Well....drafting with trucks sounds nice, but your mood flips over when you see the bill after a new nose paintjob of your car due to stones from the trucks. To get 80+MPG is possible if you try to modulate the throttle to keep the engine rpm's low when it sudden goes up (normal insight behaviour)-do you live in a place with flat roads and no hills, and do you have a 5speed or an automatic x-mission ? I drive 95% highway, and I drive always 90 km/h=55mph, and I get now in this spring 84mpg, I want to get better(already had few times 95mpg for 60 miles) , but on a highway driving slower than 55mph will kill me someday. But all I can say is: a hill is a kill.....for better mpg :wink:
 
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Hi Muftak:

___70 mph is way to fast for “Oh my God this is incredible” type mileage. 55 and below is where the big numbers appear. Drafting works well with slow movers (< 60 mph) but you will not find very many slow movers on America’s highways unfortunately :( A 65 + mph draft isn’t worth **** so I wouldn’t bother.

___As for the weight and such, I am a 208 #’er and with the overnight and emergency gear I carry, 250 - 275 #’s is about my std. load.

___I am also running my own brand of warm air intake(s) up to ~ 65 degrees F and this is when and only when I remove the radiator block above that temperature while driving Interstates. I also see my mileage usually continuing to improve well past the 60 – 70 mile point. Sometimes even almost 100 miles out is where it peaks as I slow and coast to a stop at my final destination.

___Don’t worry just yet, OK? Just slow down and read about all the techniques available to you here in this forum to start. “Book’s on Tape” makes for a great way to pass the time as just another tip to consider. I just finished the unabridged version of Clancy’s “Bear and the Dragon” just this morning. What a great book over the last 45 or so hours behind the Insight’s windscreen ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:66474gb0][email protected][/email:66474gb0]
 

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Try to keep a constant engine load. I aim for 1800-1900 rpm and get 90+ mpg. I set a min speed limit of 50 mph and let the speed increase on the downslopes. The weight seams to make little difference in Highway driving (I have my car above the weight limit) but in the city the weight will cut down your efficiency more. Have fun, Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've got a 5-speed and travel mostly I44 from mid Missouri to St Louis, so there are a lot of hills, some pretty steep. I try to keep the throttle pretty steady when I'm not drafting, and do the slow up hill, fast down hill thing.

The speed limit is 70MPH though, so keeping the slow up/fast down technic up for long is tough when people are passing you like you're standing still. I slightly panic when I see a car in the rear view coming at me at what seems like light speed.

My goal has been to keep the instantaneous meter at right around 100 or at least 75, and that seems to work pretty well, but with the hills and drafting, the meter can get pretty low occasionally. It seems I'm at over 100 most of the time though. I've not watched the RPMs to keep them steady, maybe I'll try that instead.

Thanks for the great replies so far! I love this forum almost as much as I love my Insight. :D
 

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I know that road (Interstate 44) of which you speak, Muftak, and I'd say you're doing really well with your mileage. Those hills are tough, especially the one between Eureka and Cool Valley. Given the terrain, I think you're doing about as well as can be expected.

The real tough stretch is between Waynesville and Rolla. There are some absolutely killer hills in that stretch. Last week, going against a still head wind, I did about 54 miles per gallon because of those grades. I felt pretty good about that, especially since my miles per gallon dropped well below 50 on the climbs and I had to downshift twice.
 

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Going on a long trip from east of Tucson to 70 miles east of Houston Texas with another person and three dogs and a couple days wardrobe in my insight, I got 68 going down and 64 back, with a head wind.

There is always wind from somewhere on that trip. Wish it was always a tail wind.

Really the trip was pretty good and I would say we were over the load limit.

Otherwise, on my work commute, about 50 miles, one way, I get around 76 to 80. That is me alone, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've done it! 71.2MPG on a 109.1 mile trip!! I'm very happy! I know 71MPG isn't a big deal for some, but it seriously seemed as though it wasn't possible to get over 70. Now my goal is 80+ :D Especially since I feel I actually did pretty bad because of traffic and wanting to keep my speed up because of people coming up behind me too fast. 50-55MPH is just too tough to do out here when there's a lot of traffic on the road. People doing over 100MPH is not unusual and 75-80 seems like the norm.

rwarn17588, yes the hills can be pretty tough out here. I saw your post in the other section about the hills from Rolla to Waynesville and yes there are some doosies there. The big one where they just finished the new construction right before St. Roberts is probably one of the worst I've ever been on. Great for coasting down though!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
On a trip to Texas this weekend I got 84.6MPG! That is until I hit Missouri again and those damn Ozark mountains. Once I hit Missouri I saw my MPG drop steadily until I got home with an 80.1MPG.

Now for 90+ :)
 

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Nice going! That's got to change your LMPG!
 

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xcel said:
A 65 + mph draft isn’t worth **** so I wouldn’t bother.
Beg to differ with that one, sorry. Any aero aid will help, and the faster the more it helps. When I get a good draft from an 18 wheeler at a reasonable speed (which is not often :roll: ), I can get a big boost in my MPG's. I will draft one from 65-75mph.

Hills are what reduce my lean burn time, not speed. If I had a flat commute, I could easily average >80 MPG at 65-70 mpg, unless there were headwinds (there's that aero thing again). I don't care how slow you were going, these grades would knock you out of lean burn every time.
 
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Hi Holicow:

___If you are picking up 65 mph + drafts, your mileage isn’t nearly what you will receive when simply driving 50 - 55 mph without a draft at all. That is why it isn’t worth $**t. 50 - 55 mph in warm weather with high pressure tires and warm air intake will get you 100 + if you don’t have a head wind. If you do, (< 8 mph) you still might squeak out 95. I have never heard of anyone receiving 100 + with a high speed draft although I have heard of it in a possible low speed draft from the Car & Driver guys 4 or so years ago … The best mileage would probably come from a UPS dual trailer going 50 or so mph and you within 1 car length of the under ride guard (plate on the UPS trailers) but has anyone ever been behind a UPS dual trailer doing 50 mph? Not in my lifetime anyway …

___As for large hills and mountains, you are screwed unfortunately :(

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3mb715ls][email protected][/email:3mb715ls]
 

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xcel said:
I have never heard of anyone receiving 100 + with a high speed draft
Oh yeah, I've done that on US 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara, CA, many many many times, behind 18-wheeler trucks. 125+ mpg instantaneous while moving a steady 65 mph on flat, level roads with no winds, 3 seconds behind one or more of these trucks. This is the flattest road I've ever driven, about a mile or two long, at a constant 30 ft or so above mean sea level.
 

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Different vehicles will give you different results. I "draft" and "surf" when I'm traveling across country (every year) when I'm bored or want to experiment.

I could probably write a book on drafting. (which vehicles are the best)

Best Safety Rule:
When drafting, NEVER get closer than the line of sight with his mirrors.

The faster the draft goes, the further back you can be and get the same benefit. (I think it is the "vortex")

Flat bed trailers with irregular loads are better than Semis.

Best draft so far was behind a grain truck (probably empty) from Lordsburg, NM to Las Cruces, 125 miles at 90+, average 65.3 mpg for a distance of 125 miles. Stayed over 100 yards behind the truck because he was sucking up gravel from the edge of the road and depositing it on my windshield. (Also have a picture showing the 100 mph draft and geting 56.6 mpg) Do not recommend this as a habit or for the un experienced driver.

Love to draft sports cars with "big air foils" on back.
 
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Hi Tim:
Tim Maddux said:
Oh yeah, I've done that on US 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara, CA, many many many times, behind 18-wheeler trucks. 125+ mpg instantaneous while moving a steady 65 mph on flat, level roads with no winds, 3 seconds behind one or more of these trucks. This is the flattest road I've ever driven, about a mile or two long, at a constant 30 ft or so above mean sea level.
___Tim, I have had instantaneous 125 + mpg’s with a 20 mile head wind and no draft for a few seconds when I lift off the accelerator as well but it was not sustainable. On your perfect day, what did you average over 50 + miles? How many > 100 mpg segments have you had? If you want to achieve 100 + mpg over any distance (like lets say 96 miles ;)) again and again, you won’t be doing it with a draft at 65 mph near me anyway? That is unless you have a 20 + mph tail wind as well … I should never say never as there might be some that may but I am nearing my limits now and 65 + mph and 100 mpg even with the perfect draft (UPS dual tractor trailer) from .5 seconds back won’t give me a sustainable 100 + mpg. Short stretches will give me the magic 125 - 130 mpg on the game gauge but again, it isn’t sustainable. I have tried as you can tell … Maybe your Insight is a bit better then mine in the warmer temperatures or your roads are flatter or you have harder pavement surfaces but I had a nice string of (9) 100 + mpg 96 mile segments in a row just last week and it could not be done from a draft at 65 mph but a simple stay in the far right lane doing 50 – 55 mph and driving with load in my experience.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2t7km70k][email protected][/email:2t7km70k]
 

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xcel said:
___As for large hills and mountains, you are screwed unfortunately :(
Nahhh...perhaps if I were trying to set some sort of record, maybe. But I'm happy with my current usual 70-80 mpg.

And I can easily maintain 90-110 MPG at 65 mph on a flat, even without a draft, but they help. Just not enough of them (flats) around here...
 

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Hi Holicow-

“I can easily maintain 90-110 MPG at 65 mph on a flat”

Man you must have some better gas, or stronger tail winds, or smoother pavement, or maybe juicier electricity than we have out here…or maybe it is just another aspect of that immortality thing. :lol:
 

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xcel said:
On your perfect day, what did you average over 50 + miles?
Here's an aerial photo of the roadway in question.

90+ mpg. The flat section of road wasn't 50 miles long, and my 100 mile round trip commute included 10 miles of on-campus driving. Stop signs and speed bumps, you get the idea.

Grinding some numbers, increasing speed from 55mph to 65mph results in a 40% increase in drag. That's quite a bit to offset with a draft but it can be done behind a semi. I didn't do it often because of the rocks they kick up, however.

From memory (it's been over 2 years) I would routinely get 100mpg on this piece of road without a draft. The flat part was real nice. Truly flat roads are so very rare and a thing to treasure in an Insight.
 
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Hi All:

___I have had 16 > 100 mpg : 96 mile segments since March of this year (16 out of 88 in total since I purchased her in December of last year) and none, absolutely none came from drafting semi’s at 65 because I can’t maintain 100 - 110 + mpg on the instantaneous for any length of time when doing so. If there is a semi doing 55, I can but at 60 +, it doesn’t work here near Chicago. And as said above, there aren’t any semi’s doing 55 in my neck of the woods. Maybe Rick Reese can chime in as well since I have read the same coming from him. The one time he did hit one of those magical moments was a string of school busses going 45 mph for over 25 miles. IIRC, he had reset the FCD and had a 128 mpg segment in the draft of that parade … The only time I even pull the straight-close drafting techniques out of the tool box is when I have 15 mph + headwinds and the best I can hope for is to match my lmpg at best.

___Another item of note … The best drafts I have seen in both the MDX and the Insight are the slower ones and behind the UPS dual trailers with the plate as an under ride guard. Above 65 and the drafts in either vehicle are not worth following no matter the tractor-trailer rig being followed. At those kind of speeds, I am at my threshold of fuel economy pain of < 30 mpg in the MDX and < 80 mpg in the Insight. I haven’t had any travel in 85 + type ambient temperatures in the Insight yet which may speak volumes as to what are Insight’s are capable of in even warmer temperatures but I can easily knock the hell out of my best draft driving with a much simpler far right lane, never exceeding the limits, and driving with load in the 17,700 miles I have driven so far. I just see drafting in the Insight at 65 mph + as overrated given what our little beauties are really capable of at 50 - 55 mph in the colder temperatures I have driven in over the last 5 months …

___As for mpg techniques including the 4 types of drafts I have seen, the following post I wrote up for the Focus Fanatics guys last month is accurate for my daily driving conditions …

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/show ... genumber=2

___Finally if you all don’t mind my asking, how many here have achieved a number of > 100 mpg segments over a distance of lets say 15 or more miles from initial start to final stop? It is a SOB in my neck of the woods and Chicago’s Interstate system is somewhat flat with the overpasses and bridges screwing me into the ground every 2 miles or so? I can’t imagine it is possible in the East and West coasts given the mountains but I know Rick Reese on the East coast does it time and time again and Billy in the West does it time and time again as well …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:x9a57t77][email protected][/email:x9a57t77]
 

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I drafted quite a bit during my indoc to the Insight. It did save over trying to maintain the same speed without drafting but I found reducing your speed by 10mph will help far more than drafting. My best drafting was from a line of slow moving school buses followed by those enclosed car trailers used by the NASCAR circuit. Now I believe trying to maintain a level engine load (in learn burn) is better than trying to maintain a constant speed. So my speed varies from 50-75 with an average speed in the mid 50's. I'm working on my 6th 1000+ mile tank of gas this year. The nice part about the Insight is that no matter how you drive it you are going to outperform the US average. I seam to remember someone haveing a high 20 average during drag races where theyu were idling between runs to recharge the battery. Have fun, Rick
 
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