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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I've had my 2005 CVT for about 2 1/2 months now. Purchased it with 75 miles (with 30 LMPG), and I've since put about 5800 miles on myself. I really like the car but the performance on mpg is starting to irritate me as I don't feel I'm getting even what the vehicle is advertised at.

I have the tire pressure set at 42psi on all 4 tires. I live in Texas and its pretty hot right now so the AC is on in Econ mode and usually have the fan set to 3 or 4. I had the oil changed at about 3500 miles and had 5W/20W oil put in.

My normal route to work is exactly 26.7 miles one way. About 5 miles of this is tight curves but flat, avg speed about 35mph. The next 15 miles are filled with small to medium hills and avg speed about 55mph. The last leg of the trip is 30mph tops. The entire trip has only 3 stops.

Other than driving to/from work and around town I've put one large road trip from Texas to Illinois and back on the car.

Right now my LMPG is 47mpg. Lately its been very difficult to even maintain a 50mpg per trip (although I've had multiple trips of about 60mpg, but hard to replicate that). As soon as I let off the gas enough to try and stay at 50mpg I start to lose speed. Around town at 30mph I can hardly even keep it above 30-40mpg, which in my mind is unacceptable.

I feel like there's a problem with my gas pedal in this regard though. I know everyone has said that you have to drive with a light foot, but I'm having to drive barefoot to keep control over the gas pedal. I typically get up to speed and then ever so slowly begin to lift my foot off the pedal. At the point where I can keep the car at a steady speed and steady mpg, I probably only have the pedal pushed in a cm or two. Its impossible though to keep that light of a touch on the pedal.

I'm not sure if this is typical of the Insight or if I need to have the car looked at by Honda? Anyone have a similar situation with their CVT?
 

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Increase your tire pressure to 50psi. A/C takes most of your gains away, so I would only use it when going downhill. Sounds like you just need to learn more about how to drive your Insight. I had the same problem back when I first bought my new 2001 CVT. You should strive to keep the instant mpg display at 75mpg. Take your foot off the gas as early as possible when coming to stops and going down hills. Get up to speed as quickly as possible then ease back on the gas to find the sweet spot where mpg gains are high and speed is constant.

Looking back on my purchase in 2001 of my CVT, I now wished I had gotten the 5 speed for greater mpg gains. The best segmented mpg's I've gotten with my CVT has been 71.2mpg. But that was only for a 7 mile trip. City driving really takes a dump on your lifetime numbers as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunatley the AC just isn't something I can do away with right now, temps are over 100 in Texas right now, so rolling down the window (even at 60mph) isn't going to keep me the least bit cooled off. I try to run it low once I get some initial air flow going in the car though.

The 75mpg mark on the FCD is a pretty lofty goal... are you saying there is a sweet spot somewhere between "pedal to the metal" and "my foot isn't even touching the pedal anymore"? From driving my particular Insight it seems that the only way possible to get higher mpg is to take my foot almost totally off the gas, at which point the engine can't sustain even moderate speeds on level terrain. Like I said, I have a hard time even keeping it slightly above 50mpg on the FCD and still keeping my speed.
 

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Zach24702 said:
Unfortunatley the AC just isn't something I can do away with right now, temps are over 100 in Texas right now, so rolling down the window (even at 60mph) isn't going to keep me the least bit cooled off.
I'm not saying to leave the A/C off all the time. Just use it to get the cabin cool then shut it off. Then only turn it back on when coasting or going down hill, putting the fan on high. Turn it off when accelerating.

The 75mpg mark on the FCD is a pretty lofty goal... are you saying there is a sweet spot somewhere between "pedal to the metal" and "my foot isn't even touching the pedal anymore"?
Getting to the instant 75mpg is very easy. On level roads with a tire pressure of 50psi should not be a problem. You have to back your throttle off but not enough to get regen. But again, get up to speed first.

Also if you have Chevron gas in your area, I'd use it. All Chevron grades of fuel have Techron, which helps to keep your valves clean, which means a better performing engine and fuel mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok I'll look into the Chevron gas tomorrow. I'm also looking for an autozone nearby that sells the K&N air filters that everyone is raving about.
 

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I used this air filter for a year on my Insight and didn't notice any mileage increases. I use K&N's in other cars but on the Inisight I think it's a waste of money.
 

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A/C is your biggest enemy for MPG. I take a 10-15% hit when running A/C over the same commute. It's not quite as bad on an extended highway trip, but hills and stopping with A/C on will hurt MPG. On a commute where I would get 53-55 mpg without A/C, I'll get around 45 with A/C on in econ mode. Being that you have increased your LMPG from 30 to 47 in so few miles, it doesn't sound as though anything is wrong. Most insight owners run 0W-20 year round, but I doubt running 5W20 in 100+ degree heat makes any difference at all. Your LMPG is your best source of how you are doing overall. Here in the northeast, I get my best MPG in summer and worst in winter. Cold is just as bad as running A/C IMHO. If you get your LMPG over 50, you'll be near avarage of what I recall the average was for CVT's when the Insightcentral MPG database was functional. Patience and practice!
 

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The best I can usually do in my CVT is about 65mpg, mostly highway. I've averaged over 70mpg in long streaches in the southwest, but that's hardly common.

Like everyone else says, unless you go 50mph the AC is gonna kill your mpgs. The car simply isn't powerful enough to power the AC efficiently. When I'm going 55-65mph I can easily get over 60mpg in warm weather without the ac. I use the ow-20 oil and tires are at 50psi. My car also has 90k miles so it's pretty well broken in.

In the winter, even with the winter mods, my mpgs get annihilated. I probably average around 50mpg during the winter season.

To stand the heat in the summer I buy those seat beads and keep the windows all the way down. I'm also getting my windows tinted soon.

-BT
 

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Scott said:
Most insight owners run 0W-20 year round, but I doubt running 5W20 in 100+ degree heat makes any difference at all.
5W-20 oil won't make any difference, unless you live in a very cold climate. Remember with 0W-20 oil, the oil doesn't stay at 0W oil for very long. Usually only minutes after starting it's already past 5W oil. Multi weight oils get thicker up to their rated max, as they get hotter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the discussion on this. I went out quite a bit this week and tried out running with the AC totally off and driving with windows open. Gas mileage soared. I did a 130 miles yesterday at 61.8mpg, and 140 miles the day before at 59mpg. I had no idea that the AC did that much of a hit to the mileage.
 

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Zach24702 said:
I had no idea that the AC did that much of a hit to the mileage.
Did you not watch your instant mileage as you use A/C and then with it off? If you want even greater mileage get the 5 speed instead of the CVT.
 

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I developed a theory last night that high ambient temperature reduces the density of the air, and thus reduces drag. (It does, by about 4% if you go from 70 to 100 degrees, or 2% if aerodynamic drag is half of the total drag.) Based on this theory I drove down towards Pueblo this afternoon where it was 101 degrees, hoping to improve my personal record of 93 mpg on a round trip segment.

Unfortunately, when it's 101 degrees outside, with strong sun beating down, you SERIOUSLY need to run the A/C. Result: 84 mpg. :(
 
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