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I just took the longest trip since I owned my Insight - 250 miles each way - and was looking forward to keeping the car in lean burn most of the time. Although I managed to average 70 mpg going and 65 mpg coming back, I found that once the car went into lean burn it almost immediately began to lose steam. Is that how lean burn works - you get it going (so the instantaneous meter reads about 100), the car slows down, you accelerate to your desired rate of speed, enter lean burn mode, then repeat? Or should the car remain at a constant rate of speed while in lean burn mode if I were more skillful? If the latter, how in the world do I do that?
 

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IF you'd have slowed down 5 mph you could have kept it in lean burn. There just isn't enough power to push the car faster than about 60 in lean burn so dumping more fuel in to the equation is necessary to maintain the extra speed. Best thing to do is plant your foot as a certain spot, usually about 90mpg in lean burn and let the speed varry depending on the terrain. Thats how you get mileage in the 80's and even low 90's.
 

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As Rick stated, to maintain a desired MPG you drive by the MPG indicator and allow speed to vary by terrain and traffic.

Additional variables that will limit how high a MPG you can hold without getting out and pushing are temperature, grade of the road (uphill or downhill), wind and rain. And to a smaller extent the roughness of the surface.

And never forget your tire pressure, 44 min for the OEM tires, but you can almost always get away with 50 and live to tell the tale. <g>
 

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On my 5spd the "lean burn" threshold is around 70 mpg or maybe 65 mpg, below which it drops rapidly and the power jumps up, maybe even with assist kicking in. I can easily maintain 100 mpg at 65+ mph on flat, level road, and I can maintain my mpg at 75 or higher and allow myself to occasionally get as slow as 55 mph. Lifetime mpg over 70.

As you learn by watching the MPG indicator, you'll get the hang of feathering the throttle and maintaining a steady mpg rather than a steady speed. Eventually you won't even have to watch the MPG indicator anymore -- the Insight will have trained you!

Study up on the mileage tips on the main site. Good luck.
 

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Tim is a Guru,
I've learned alot from this guy and never met him
 

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Two questions:

1. Lean Burn mode is only available with the 5sp, yes?
2. How do you "feather" the accelerator pedal?

800 newbie miles on my Silver CVT and 56mpg lifetime.
 

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The CVT engine is listed in the specs as a VTEC-E lean burn engine, and it has all the same emissions equipment that allow it to run in lean-burn cleanly. But there have been press reports and people who have heard from Honda dealers that the CVT "does not have lean burn." The evidence suggests that it does, but that the losses from the torque inverter of the automatic transmission are enough to prevent the CVT from entering lean-burn mode.

Feather the pedal by slowly releasing your foot from it. At some point you'll see a big jump in MPG; that's lean-burn mode. See the "holy grail" thread for more details...
 

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Brett,
In my experience, it's a real challenge to maintain steady extremely light pressure on the accelerator pedal while in lean burn. It makes it even more difficult for me since the Champlain Valley (Verrmont) has a whole lot of slight rolling hills.
 

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lean burn

Lean burn is ONLY on the 5-speed version. I have this from 3 sources. Right here on this web site encylcopedia, under the heading of lean burn oxygen sensor, it says this is the case. Also, in the 2003 Insight brochure you get at the dealer, in the spec section the 5 speed says lean burn and the CVT does not. Also, my friend Mark works at American Honda in Torrance, CA. He told me lean burn was excluded from the CVT for at least 3 reasons: The CVT weighs nearly 100 pounds more than the 5-speed, Honda could acheive the SULEV emissions rating by eliminating lean burn, and also the mechanics of the variable transmission would not lend itself well to maintaining lean burn once you got it there.......Billy......
 

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It's good Honda is clarifying this in the owner's manual. So, it describes the 5spd as VTEC-E lean-burn and the CVT as simply VTEC-E?
 

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Took a look at the 2002 brochure and it states only the 5 speed has lean burn. Now I'm wondering if I should of bought the 5 speed.
 

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Re: lean burn

Billy said:
Also, my friend Mark says..... The CVT weighs nearly 100 pounds more than the 5-speed, Honda could acheive the SULEV emissions rating by eliminating lean burn, and also the mechanics of the variable transmission would not lend itself well to maintaining lean burn once you got it there.....
The Civic Hybrid CVT has lean-burn. Ditto the Civic HX CVT. So the problem is not the transmission.

Honda simply decided achieving SULEV was more important than keeping lean-burn, and so they turned it off in the Insight CVT. I don't agree with that decision. I prefer MPGs over emissions reductions but... whatever. (shrug)

I test-drove the Civic Hybrid CVT, and it's amazing how high the MPGs go in lean-burn... upto 70mpg on the Instant MPG Bar! That's amazing for a 4-cylinder, standard-body car.
 

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They "turned it off?" How did you turn it back on for your test drive?
 

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re-read his post... he test drove and said that the Civic Hybrid CVT does have lean-burn, while the Insight CVT does not.

If there are Civic Hybrid CVT owners out there I'd be curious to get confirmation of this... it is consistent with the Civic Hybrid being rated ULEV.
 

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jcollum said:
They "turned it off?"
Yes, on the Insight CVT. No lean-burn.



jcollum said:
How did you turn it back on for your test drive?
I was test-driving a Civic CVT. It has lean-burn.
 

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The interesting thing is apparently there is a SULEV Civic Hybrid on the way for California. The main question being, do they eliminate lean burn to do this, or just slap on another catylic converter or two? I remember seeing a spot for specs on the civic hybrid sulev in the mailing brocheure they sent me. The only difference that they had listed was it weighed 8 pounds more which would lead me to believe another catylitic converter. The mileage figures wern't availalble. Should be interesting.
 
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OT

If Honda would just put the Civic Hybrid lean burn manual tranny in the Civic Si body, I might be interested...

rodney
'03 silver MT
barefoot driver
 
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