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Discussion Starter #1
I recent purchased a used Insight, 2002 with 140k miles on it. I have been driving it in the city for 3 weeks (though I plan to use it mostly on 300 mile rides to Vermont soon) and have been getting consistently under 25 mpg. I called the nearest Honda service center and was told that my issue is an anomaly if there is no check engine light displayed. When I purchased the vehicle, the lifetime mpg was about 50mpg. Mind you, I have not been treating it like a roadster at all, and even if I was I expected more than 50% of the project mpg.
The Honda servicing center implied that he would need to take it on an hour road test drive to determine the problem (150$). Can Anyone offer me some insight on all the things i need to do before taking it in and forking over 150$. Any Ideas on why my MPG might be sooooo low?

All insight will be really appreciated.
 

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CVT or manual transmission?
What tires are on the car, and what pressure are they at?
Is the AC or defroster on a lot of the time?
How long are your trips in the city? Lots of stop-and-go?
And where does the 25mpg figure come from - is it from dividing miles on the trip odometer by gallons added at fillup?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update of transmission, tires and psi

CVT or manual transmission?
What tires are on the car, and what pressure are they at?
Is the AC or defroster on a lot of the time?
How long are your trips in the city? Lots of stop-and-go?
CVT Transmission
AC is on 50% of time (heat rather)
Trips are usually less than 10 miles but even on stretches of road with no traffic I get less than 30 mpg.
Tires are radial sp 06 175/65r14 82h m+6 pressure 40psi

Miles per gallon is coming from the heads up display.
 

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Mine is MT but maybe one of the CVT guys here can pitch in.

Do you have the AC off while the heat is on? Are you using defrost a lot?: this turns on the AC.

Stock tires are 165/65-14 so yours are slightly larger.

What part of the mpg display? Average mpg or the instantaneous mpg bar at the bottom? Is the 25mpg confirmed when you fill the tank and make the calculation?
 

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do you feel heavy drag/load while driving? maybe front or rear brakes are dragging? Check after some driving if the wheels are really hot to touch.

When your heater or A/C is on, is it on AUTO or ECON? Because if you are driving mostly city, then no autostop would cause a big hit in mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mine is MT but maybe one of the CVT guys here can pitch in.

Do you have the AC off while the heat is on? Are you using defrost a lot?: this turns on the AC.

Stock tires are 165/65-14 so yours are slightly larger.

What part of the mpg display? Average mpg or the instantaneous mpg bar at the bottom? Is the 25mpg confirmed when you fill the tank and make the calculation?
Ac is off
MPG is displayed on the trip meter (avg) as well as on the instantaneous mpg bar on the bottom, and they both are giving similar results.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
do you feel heavy drag/load while driving? maybe front or rear brakes are dragging? Check after some driving if the wheels are really hot to touch.

When your heater or A/C is on, is it on AUTO or ECON? Because if you are driving mostly city, then no autostop would cause a big hit in mpg.
It is on auto, and i dont believe the brakes are dragging. Should I just send it in to get full service for them to figure this out. I am getting no higher than 25 to 30 on a straight road with no incline and under 300 rpms....
 

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The "AUTO" AC setting can block autostop. Better to set it at ECON.

You didn't say what make and model the tires are. If they are winter tires this could impact mpg (heavier). Also if the rims are not stock.

Normally the iMPG will drop as you accel, rise as you slow down. The average MPG is more stable as the iMPG swings up and down.

It would be wise before going to the dealer to confirm that your mpg is what the display says it is by doing the check I described. If your mpg is really that low, a number of explanations are possible. Brake drag seems like a good guess, clogged EGR or cat or bad sensors is another, though these should generate CEL's.

Many dealers are unfamiliar with the Insight-I so keep in mind there is always a risk that they will make the wrong diagnosis.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The "AUTO" AC setting can block autostop. Better to set it at ECON.

You didn't say what make and model the tires are. If they are winter tires this could impact mpg (heavier). Also if the rims are not stock.

Normally the iMPG will drop as you accel, rise as you slow down. The average MPG is more stable as the iMPG swings up and down.

It would be wise before going to the dealer to confirm that your mpg is what the display says it is by doing the check I described. If your mpg is really that low, a number of explanations are possible. Brake drag seems like a good guess, clogged EGR or cat or bad sensors is another, though these should generate CEL's.

Many dealers are unfamiliar with the Insight-I so keep in mind there is always a risk that they will make the wrong diagnosis.
stock tires are radial sp 06
175/65r14
I will use econ then.
 

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You mentioned city driving. Is that city Fairbanks, or Point Barrow?

In the worst winter weather, I get about half the fuel economy of a good day.

25mpg is pretty extreme, so you must be doing something extreme. Lots of braking? Over your ground clearance in snow? Roof-rack mounted bicycles? 75mph? Mechanical problems?

The driver is always a contributing factor. Try driving for a few weeks without touching the brake pedal more than a hair. This means lifting off the throttle well in advance of when you'll have to stop or slow down for a turn. Plan all your moves out 20 seconds in advance, and keep an eye on the taillights of the traffic three or four cars in front of you.

Also, when you accelerate, stay out of Assist. Use a light foot if that's what it takes, because a cycle of assist and regen introduces inefficiencies.
 

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It is on auto, and i dont believe the brakes are dragging. Should I just send it in to get full service for them to figure this out. I am getting no higher than 25 to 30 on a straight road with no incline and under 300 rpms....
3000 RPMs on a straight flat road? How far is your foot down on the pedal and how fast are you going? Cold weather can have a big impact but when I was driving at over 3000 RPMs crossing a country with my foot all the way to the floor during the summer carrying an aerodynamic disaster strapped to the back of my car I got better than 30MPG.

Does your car idle smoothly at 1000 or so RPM?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The "AUTO" AC setting can block autostop. Better to set it at ECON.

You didn't say what make and model the tires are. If they are winter tires this could impact mpg (heavier). Also if the rims are not stock.

Normally the iMPG will drop as you accel, rise as you slow down. The average MPG is more stable as the iMPG swings up and down.

It would be wise before going to the dealer to confirm that your mpg is what the display says it is by doing the check I described. If your mpg is really that low, a number of explanations are possible. Brake drag seems like a good guess, clogged EGR or cat or bad sensors is another, though these should generate CEL's.

Many dealers are unfamiliar with the Insight-I so keep in mind there is always a risk that they will make the wrong diagnosis.
Do you have any insight on finding a dealer that is familiar with the insight 1. I Have about 6 close to me.
 

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If you are getting only 50% of the normal milage you have something really wrong with this car? Possibly the CVT is not putting you into the correct gear ratio and you are running at high RPM's, something may be wrong with the engine running super rich and burning excess fuel, or you've got a fuel leak possibly. My guess is you might have several issues going on at the same time? Make sure your engine air filter is clean, if it is completely blocked that could cause bad gas milage also.
 

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I can tell you from experience with 6 first gen insights now, that ANY tire other than the correct 165/65/14 bridgestone re92's, even if the same size and at the same pressure, will decrease your mpg by a full 10 mpg! No exaggeration.... Get the correct bridgestones put on to start!
 

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Since back in 2004 when I first purchased my CVT until now, I have never come even close to getting 25MPG even trying with a lead foot....Heck, even on initial acceleration going uphill it does better than 25MPG. Living in New Hampshire, I have to drive through all types of weather including deep snow. The lowest I ever got on a trip of lets say 20 miles was 47MPG with snow / slush having to drive at times with assist (when generally not needed).

Even if you have a lead foot and non-OEM tires, you seem to have something wrong with that vehicle. If you mention where you are located, perhaps a nearby Insight owner would be willing to test drive it and provide additional detail as to what may be wrong.

If you are traveling on flat road and averaging 3000 RPM and if everything was operating normally then you are going too fast (like 70-80MPH) for great MPG but you are not even getting good MPG.

I can drive 80 MPH on the freeway and still get around 50MPG. I don't think that it is all related to tire type or driver skill for that low of MPG.

You wouldn't happen to be selecting the "S" button on the steering wheel to drive in normal conditions????? Or if the LED on the dash indicates "S" instead of "D".....That would explain higher RPMs at lower MPH giving lower MPG but unless that button is stuck, you would have to manually select it every time that you drive. The "S" button is really not needed on the CVT....It is like downshifting to "second gear" with a normal automatic and staying there all the time. But since you say you get AutoStops, it may not always be in "S" mode.

Maybe if you are in NYC in rush hour(s) with tons of stop and go perhaps that might explain such a low number but then any car will have low MPG.

Try to take it on a longer round trip at a place without traffic / stop signs and flat terrain (if possible) and reset your MPG right when you start and try to drive at like 55MPH without much variation and report your mileage.

It is hard for anyone to say mileage is bad or good without knowing the real environment that you travel daily.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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Try to take it on a longer round trip at a place without traffic / stop signs and flat terrain (if possible) and reset your MPG right when you start and try to drive at like 55MPH without much variation and report your mileage.

It is hard for anyone to say mileage is bad or good without knowing the real environment that you travel daily.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
I like Joe's thinking here, with one exception. Wait until your car is running hot and reset a trip odometer. Don't include that initial 2-5 miles of cold and tepid running. Try to hold your speed anywhere between 45-60 mph, seems to be a sweet spot that the CVT will get good mileage.

I bought my 2002 about 15 months ago. The lifetime mileage was 37.8 and the gear selection on the steering wheel was on "S". The original owner put 44,000 miles on it in 7 years. His business and home addresses appeared to be less than 4 miles apart (he left a scratchpad from his firm in the glove box, I'm really not that nosy).

I'll concur on early RPM comments, I seem to run at 2,500-2,600 on the highway. Uphill stretches will hit or exceed 3,000 of course. I reset the lifetime last year so it has summer and winter driving on it. I'm at 53.5 mpg now on about 17,000 miles of driving. My typical trip is over 15 miles and typical highway speed is over 70 mph. They push it here in Michigan, but it's easy to draft because everybody tailgates anyway.

Good luck on your research.
Brian
 
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