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2003 Silver CVT | 'TRONICS'
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking through the pinned superpost on the modifications page, and it seems a lot of the forum discussions on fuel efficiency mods are a bit old and not as recent. So I'm wondering what fuel economy modifications people have been doing recently that really increase your miles per gallon (especially in these times lol). I'm new to the Insight game, as I got my Silver 2003 CVT about a month ago, and I'm impressed by the people and community that support this car.
 

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2000 Silverstone G1- 200k miles
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239 Posts
I was looking through the pinned superpost on the modifications page, and it seems a lot of the forum discussions on fuel efficiency mods are a bit old and not as recent. So I'm wondering what fuel economy modifications people have been doing recently that really increase your miles per gallon (especially in these times lol). I'm new to the Insight game, as I got my Silver 2003 CVT about a month ago, and I'm impressed by the people and community that support this car.
There really isn't much else that people haven't tried. Most advancements have been relating to the battery pack

If you look at the Toyota Prius of the past few generations it really hasn't gone up much higher in fuel efficiency even though the Toyota engines have variable valve timing. It's just hard to improve on things without either making compromises or having miniscule gains for the amount of money you'd be putting into it
 

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A few things off the top of my head.

1) Slow down a lot.
2) OEM tyres at 50psi+ with correct alignment.
3) Manual Car or CVT with Lean burn ECU
4) Brakes perfect and not dragging.
5) Engine state of tune etc ditto. Clean EGR, good O2 sensor, plugs etc.
6) Hot air intake mod for winter.
7) Aerodynamic mods. (Boat tail etc)
8) Manual IMA control. (This can help with variable terrain)
9) Don't brake, glide upto every junction.
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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12,041 Posts
Tighten up the loose nut on the steering wheel.
Driving style has a major impact.
 

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This is a subject dear to my heart;)

The best site to cover hypermiling, or general MPG improvements, is ecomodder.com. While IC is the very best Insight specific site, there are not a lot of aerodynamists here. For example, see this link:

In addition to the specifics offered by retepsnikrep and Willie(As he intimates, driving technique is a huge factor) I offer the following additions:
1. Block off as much of the grill openings as possible. Engine compartment air flow is very turbulent and the less flow the better. CAUTION: YOU MUST HAVE AN ACCURATE COOLANT TEMPERATURE GAUGE. WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE A/C.
2. External mirror removal is worth 3-5% MPG depending on the car. In most states you can only remove the passenger side legally.
3. A full underbelly cover.

Not aero, but a FAS circuit(Forced Auto Stop) circuit will hype MPG quicker than about anything.

Also realize that the best MPG is established on the hottest days. Winters are a terrible hit.

Check my signature for my credentials, which were established in open competition:sneaky:
 
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Everytime you move the steering from directly straight ahead/parallel you lose mpg.

Try to drive in straight lines LOL.. I do round roundabouts/turns. (y)
 

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In my hilly area, coasting makes quite a difference. Take any downhill opportunity, even if only for a few seconds. Not in neutral which some may consider illegal but just with the clutch down.
 

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Driving style is top priority...
-Idling sucks. Don't "warm up" your engine, just start and drive (as long as ice/fog isn't an issue of course)
-Get your foot off the gas early and hover the brake pedal without pressing it. Coast to your stops. Don't hold up traffic doing this.
-On the highway, 45mpg is optimal for MPG. Every 5mph you go over this = much more fuel you'll consume. Going 80mph in an Insight is a great way to get terrible MPG.
-Hills are challenging... basically, take advantage of the downhill and get a little more speed, but go easier on the uphill. You'll have to experiment to see what works best for you.
-Change your routes as needed. Can you avoid more stops with an alternative route? Does going through older highways allow you to drive slower, safer? Most importantly: Avoid traffic!
-Don't run the AC if you can help it and don't click the heat not even 1 click over the coldest setting until your engine is warmed up. I see a 20*F coolant temp drop on that first click on engine temps because of the valve (heatercore is bypassed completely when knob is completely counter-clockwise).
-If you have leanburn, use it the best you can! This can be hard, especially in city, but it is rewarding. Further mechanical tuning, aero mods, and proper tires make this much easier to accomplish.

Mods wise, assuming you have a perfectly tuned and working vehicle... (not in any specific order)
-Pump up the tires! Safe up to your max psi on your sidewalls, but many people (including myself) have had fine luck going beyond that. (note your traction will suffer and it'll be noticeably louder!)
-Remove that rear windshield wiper. It's pretty worthless and doesn't help aero at all.
-I run without front wipers and use Rain-X water replant about once a month. I keep one wiper with me at all times under my seat, though. Laws and safety and all that apply here, so tread with caution.
-Block that front grill! I have 99% upper and ~50% lower (passenger side) myself, but you have to test this yourself. 100% block possible in winter... again, experiment and use something that gives you exact coolant temps!
-Make sure your under body is smooth. Use coroplast and a little time to get it all fitted. I have aluminum around the exhaust as well, smooth until the rear axles. Need to get my rear done still...
-The mirrors are drag monsters. I find the passenger mirror unnecessary and that's easy to remove. I made a tiny drivers side mirror that works great for me, but follow your laws and be comfortable and safe with it.
-Your antenna and rear squirter on your roof... it's not the easiest to remove, but it does add a little drag!
-If you have IMA, charge it on a grid whenever you can (this takes a lot of research to understand, don't just willy nilly throw power at it 24/7)
-Warm air intake can help. Aim for 120-130*F. This is especially crucial in winter. You'll want something to monitor intake temps, like a scangauge or maybe Torque app.
-Killswitch. IMA or not, killing your engine when gliding helps a ton! Idle sucks, as said prior.
-Weight removal where you can... but frankly, this is tiny amounts of gain for a lot of work. If you're mostly city driving, weight matters more. Highway? Don't waste your time.
-Lower your electrical load. LEDs where you can (look up the laws and get quality parts here!) Won't see much for gains on MPG, but if every little bit counts...
-Since you are CVT, I know there's ways to get leanburn. Research that and apply, that seems to help considerably on any highway. Not much in short drives or city driving, though.

All that listed is pretty much my insight and me. Despite being far more city driving these days, the aero mods still help (just not as much). I don't have IMA anymore, but my best highway tank (96mpg if I recall) was without it, though I probably average lower 80's on the highway. City wise, I hold around 60-70mpg (pending weather really). IMA mostly helps in City, bad battery hurt my highway more than anything since it was recharging all too often then. Miss the torque and the auto stop/start features, but don't miss the issues of a dying battery, the cost of a new battery, or the giant paperweight in my trunk.

Here's my car's MPG history: 2000 Honda Insight Gas Only (unHybrid) Gas Mileage (Frogger) - EcoModder.com

Good luck!
 
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