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Discussion Starter #1
My 2003 standard Insights mileage over the winter months went from an average of 61mpg to about 51mpg due to a few factors, four Blizzak snow tires, winter gas and cold weather. So as spring arrived I was surprised it had not improved so I did a test against my brothers exact car with the same driver. My car, 51mpg, his 70.2 so I was quite upset and my car seemed way under powered. He recommended to increase the tire pressure to 44 psi and to use high test gasoline and thats all I did.
I found I can now use 5th gear without it dogging down and at 60 mph my average jumped to 88mpg average in 5th on a level road...what a difference! I don't care if I have to pay a bit more for the gas...its worth it.
 

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Your "tire pressure" will have more of an effect on your mileage than high octane fuel. The Insight engineers spend many hours and a lot of money on designing teh INSIGHT ONE for "regular" gas use.
Numerous papers, debates, arguments, fights, etc. have been done on the factor of "high octane" gives better mileage.
"Most" Hypermilers use 50 psi as the normal tire pressure.
It will give you a firmer ride and if you have "pot holes" in your area, it will rattle your molars.
You changed two factors in your quest to improve mileage, so your experiment is flawed.
I run regular most of the time, even with the "TURBO" setup. (Unless I know I will be running hard).

(My opinion)..........Willie
 

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Low MPG

Did you remove the snow tires?

Good idea on the tire pressure. I run 50 psi all around.

The gas station may have just switched from winter to summer blends.(?) This would make an immediate improvement.

I have tried mid and high-grade gas once each. I did this in cooler months when my mpg was down. I guess I was desperate to find a fix. I never noticed any obvious change. However, it was during the winter when conditions change a lot day to day and week to week. Therefore comparing this 2 week tankful to the last is difficult. I think I would have noticed an increase such as yours.

Was this change noted immediately after filling up the tank? I have noticed a couple of times that right after a fillup, I get amazingly better performance and mpg. For example, I recall a nice warm summer day last year that I got over 90 mpg on my cummute home after filling up. The day before and the day after, I was right around 80 mpg. When this was occurring, I noticed how high the FCD was under various conditions (speed/throttle/acceleration/incline/decline etc.) While I found it very unusual, I also felt I had more power and could stay in leanburn with more throttle than usual. Very odd. I recall hearing about this phenomenon before. I don't know if the "fresh" gas is actually better due to it's cool temperature, or oxygenation from splashing into the tank, or...??? Or, is it some type of computer glitch that the FCD says you are getting much better than is reality. Whether "real" or not, it's kind of nice.

Let us know how your car responds on the next few trips




My 2003 standard Insights mileage over the winter months went from an average of 61mpg to about 51mpg due to a few factors, four Blizzak snow tires, winter gas and cold weather. So as spring arrived I was surprised it had not improved so I did a test against my brothers exact car with the same driver. My car, 51mpg, his 70.2 so I was quite upset and my car seemed way under powered. He recommended to increase the tire pressure to 44 psi and to use high test gasoline and thats all I did.
I found I can now use 5th gear without it dogging down and at 60 mph my average jumped to 88mpg average in 5th on a level road...what a difference! I don't care if I have to pay a bit more for the gas...its worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I removed the snow tires and I just took a 40 mile trip in the rain and I was sorely dissapionted with my battery almost empty and 52 mpg again. My tires are now at 50 psi. Yes my earlier readings were just after I filled up.
I've read posts of many insight owners with long trips of 700 miles at 90 to 105 mpg averages...I just don't buy it. I say prove it to me...
I think the truth is that a good driver in the summer...no wind, no drafting, all stock std. insight on the level will average no more than 65MPG. If someone is doing better then they are going down hill or being pulled by a rope. I just don't buy it! Feel free to comment...I want to learn...
 

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Are you running the stock tires in the stock sizes? If not, that can make a difference as the stock RE92's were apparently specially engineered for the Insight-I in terms of weight and low rolling resistance. Also, non-stock sizes would also affect the mileage readings (obviously).

I run mine at 65psi, no problems so far and the ride seems fine to me.

Rain will reduce your mpg, especially if it is heavy enough that water puddles on the pavement. Wind direction has an effect too, as does outside temps.

Not sure what sort of "proof" of mpg you expect on an online forum??
 

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I drove a 741 mile tank of 10.3 gallons last week. Through the Flint Hills and Smoky Hills at 60-70mph. Kansas is not flat. I wish, I'd get 80-90mpg or better. Did get 86mpg for 50miles with a little tail wind up in southern Nebraska one afternoon. This was 95% highway driving.
Run 60# in stock tires. Use the scan gauge and go shoeless to try and keep it in lean burn as much as possible. You have to work at it some, let the terrain dictate your actions. Drive a little slower than you might like, I see a big gain going 55 instead of 65. Trouble is with 250 miles to go I'm inclined to do 65 if that's the speed limit.
If I don't have to be somewhere in a hurry I'll take the 55mph blue highway that follows the flat river valley instead of staying on the 65mph main road(one such detour is actually shorter by quite a few miles).
There's a big correlation between temperatures and mpg which has led to many installing the hot air intake mod. I'm looking forward to summer temps. On level ground in 80F temps I was pegging the FCD around 100mpg. It's still 45F starting out in the morning though.
A head wind kills mileage. Rain will drag it down too. Ridge ride to limit it's effect. A stiff tail wind got me 93mpg on a segment once. I don't have any control over the weather though!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I had 2 Bridgestone 165 -65-r14 Ponenza tires put on a month ago. The car has lost mileage ever since I had Honda do a diagnosis on my car. It has lost a bit of power, in fact it was raining yesterday and the battery totally discharged on my normal trip where it usally recharges.
 

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Low MPG

I agree with your 90-100mpg observation. Do these people live up on a mountain and only drive to work in the morning. In the afternoon, they must get towed home every night. LOL

I'm sure it definitely helps to live in the right place. In the winter, I'm lucky to get near 70. Spring/Fall near 75. Summer 80+. If it were 80 F here all the time, the hills were eliminated, and the DOT nicely resurfaced my bumpy roads, I'm sure I'd be over 90 mpg. Unfortunately, I woke up this morning from a nice dream and realized I live in Wisconsin.

I have to strongly agree with getting a ScangaugeII. You can get one of $150 including S/H from a group by at cleanmpg.com. Its a great device that with easily help you increase you mpg. I would say you may get 5 extra mpg using this device. The best things it does is let's you know the numerical value of your throttle input (which you can maintain, or lower for cruising) and to see exactly when you are in "lean-burn" (so you can maintain). Also, once in "lean-burn", you will know how much throttle you can give to accelerate before you will lose "lean-burn". This device will also detect (and reset) any trouble codes for you, which easily pays for itself.

You should look over your invoice and/or talk to your mechanic to try and figure out what they may have done to cause a change. The first thing I would check is your air filter, maybe it got clogged up over the winter.
 

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I had 2 Bridgestone 165 -65-r14 Ponenza tires put on a month ago.
What brand and size are the other two tires?
..in fact it was raining yesterday and the battery totally discharged on my normal trip where it usally recharges.
How hard was it raining? Was it windy too? Often when it rains there is wind as well and driving into the wind in the rain can have a devastating effect on mpg.

How fast are you driving? If you want better mpg, slowing down to 50-55mph usually helps, as pointed out above.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I just ordered a new air filter, its in good shape but over the winter I found that a deer mouse totally filled the air cleaner box full with peanuts. The mouse was quickly dispacted without loss of life or limb. The guy changing my oil wondered how the car ran at all...LOL.
I did have the mechanic check the spark plugs and he said they were fine but I read that they are numbered per the cylinder 1,2 and 3? So who know if they went back in correctly, in fact thats when my mileage took a dive.
My brother has one of those meters you mentioned, I may have to get one. Seems like all I have done is put money into this car...spend a grand to save $100.00 deals.
I would like to keep the car as gas is going up and I have so much invested thus far and its perfect for running around compared to my Tundra at 13 mpg.
I just wish I could find a honda mechanic who knows what he's doing, thats why I'm here asking the best of the best!
 

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Low MPG

I think you just determined your own problem. Spark plugs! I'm sure the mechanic took all 3 out, looked at them, then put them back in randomly. The 3 are indexed A,B and C. I would suggest taking them back out an putting them in the correct cylinders. If they are near 100k, I would just replace with new ones since you are going through the trouble of taking them out and replacing them anyway.

As for a good honda mechanic, I'm sure someone here can suggest one. Where are you located?
 

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I think you just determined your own problem. Spark plugs! I'm sure the mechanic took all 3 out, looked at them, then put them back in randomly. The 3 are indexed A,B and C. I would suggest taking them back out an putting them in the correct cylinders. If they are near 100k, I would just replace with new ones since you are going through the trouble of taking them out and replacing them anyway.
That's probably what happened, but the A,B,C,(D) labeling is NOT for the different cylinders. The indexing is explained here:
InsightCentral.net - Encyclopedia - Honda Insight Iridium Spark Plugs
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Without checking my plugs yet, I just went on a 30 mile trip with a 30mph tailwind...52.7mpg. I pulled the air cleaner completely out and did my upwind trek back home...64.8! I think we are getting somewhere.
As you look at the engine, is #1 on the left and #3 on the right? You guys are really helping me out here. I just knew there had to be about 5 must do things on this car or it could kill the mileage.
I will replace the filter tuesday as soon as it arrives.
Where can I get the spec. plugs?
 

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From following discussion on this site for two years or so, it has been mentioned that most plugs for the Insight are 'B' types.

This means that all three cylinders on your car are 'probably' this type as well. But it sure wouldn't hurt to check. The number is stamped on the top portion of each plug for reference.

Jim.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
All 3 cylinders are marked "C". One plug was loose, they are all in fine shape. I played around at speeds to drive and highest mileage was at 40 mph in 5th gear and that took it up to over 100mpg on a flat road.
Thanks for all the help!
 

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Mileage is best at 40 and 50 mph, over 100mpg, but thats not a practical speed for long distance driving. I'm currently around 60mpg average at normal highway speeds and while recently drafting a flat bed truck at 70 mph with many hills on a 400 mile trip...78.7 mpg average. Much better.....
 

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2003 insight 1st gen rough idling cold starts

The car runs great but once I stop at a sign the idling is rough when the engine is still cold. I don't have any lights, but I notice my mpg is down to 43.3 which is very low. I used soform for clearing the valves which now I'm at a lost on what the issue might be. Could this be a timing or coil problem? A vacuum leak somewhere on the engine. If anyone would like me to check certain items please provide me with the location and a picture if available because I'm very new at locating components on insight, and any suggestion on what can be causing my mileage to get so low.

R/
John
 

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The car runs great but once I stop at a sign the idling is rough when the engine is still cold. I don't have any lights, but I notice my mpg is down to 43.3 which is very low. I used soform for clearing the valves which now I'm at a lost on what the issue might be. Could this be a timing or coil problem? A vacuum leak somewhere on the engine. If anyone would like me to check certain items please provide me with the location and a picture if available because I'm very new at locating components on insight, and any suggestion on what can be causing my mileage to get so low.

R/
John
Since it runs good off idle, I'd consider a bottle of injector cleaner in the fuel. Cheap and easy. I've had bad luck using Seafoam. I poured some in a fuel tank once on a high mileage Blazer, for injector cleaning and it took out the fuel pump. A customer poured some into the crankcase of a Northstar V8 and even though they are notorious leakers this one did not until then. Sludge I guess held it together. So I can't recommend that product, but your mileage may vary.
Happy Motoring
 

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I think the truth is that a good driver in the summer...no wind, no drafting, all stock std. insight on the level will average no more than 65MPG. If someone is doing better then they are going down hill or being pulled by a rope. I just don't buy it! Feel free to comment...I want to learn...
It is possible. With 100% city driving (pizza delivery) my car has been averaging ~66 MPG in the winter and ~76 MPG in the summer, with no IMA and no hypermiling (other than timing lights, shutting the car off at longer intersection stops, and cruising in the highest gear possible), plus a pizza sign on the car. I also have mods on my car to help (see here). With hypermiling I can get over 80 MPG winter and over 100 MPG summer. Tire pressure does help a lot, although I wouldn't recommend going over 60 PSI. The ride does become harsher. Even little things improve the car's economy, such as staying in leanburn and avoiding jackrabbit starts. If you find that your IMA battery is low all the time, bypassing it may improve your mileage. Lean to allow the car to slow down a few mph on hills and speed up a few mph on the downgrade; trying to maintain a constant speed on rolling hills will often kick the car out of lean burn and reduce mileage.

Honda's IMA systems are different from a "normal" hybrid like a Prius. In a Prius, you can drive smart, and drive dumb and still get good mileage. In a Honda hybrid with an IMA system, you can drive dumb and get bad mileage, and drive smart and get really good mileage. In other words, a Honda hybrid's fuel economy is a lot more dependent on driving style. Slowing down 5 MPH saves more fuel on the Insight than in a Prius, for example (I own an Insight and my mom owns a Prius, so I've driven both and can claim this).

Also note that when we're talking about hypermilers getting 20 MPG better than non-hypermilers, in reality we're still saving less gas than, say, a van going from 17 MPG to 20 MPG, as seen over a theoretical 200 mile road trip at $2.50/gal gasoline:
- Insight, 70 MPG: $7.14
- Insight, 90 MPG: $5.56
- Van, 17 MPG: $29.41
- Van, 20 MPG: $25.00
So gaining 3 MPG on a lower mileage car is actually a greater savings and a larger reduction in fuel consumption than gaining 20 MPG on a more fuel efficient Insight. The more fuel efficient a car is, the less is saved per mpg added, which is why it is easier to gain 20 MPG on an Insight vs a heavy van.

Hope this makes sense and helps clear up some things. :)

~ All the best.
 
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