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Hello all I am new at this, and was hoping for some help. I have recently purchased a new 2004 Insight from a local dealer. Its inital MPG reading was at 25.1 from the lot. After driving 400 miles its MPG reading is only at 48.1 MPG with tires PSI 40 all around, and interstate highway traveling from 65 mph to 70 mph.
I asked the dealer about this and they indicated that in the Northeast (PA.) oxygenators are added to the gas in winter, and that this is the cause for lower perfomance. They said that no other owner has complained about this, and also indicated that since the car does not have 3000 miles on it yet that it still needs to be broken in.

Can anyone tell me if the dealer is correct?
 
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Hi Saboeme:

___I would have to say no on the winter fuel question. I may be a bit off on the timing but the higher oxygenated (lower BTU/gallon) winter fuel went away in mid-March/first of April. I believe I have see an improvement while using it in my own Insight over the past 2 days but it might only be worth 2.0 mpg?

___As for low fuel economy, if you have a CVT, 48 mpg for a brand new driver sounds about right given the 65 - 75 mph speeds you are traveling at although I don’t have any idea as to the traffic conditions you see on a day to day basis or the technique(s) you are driving with. If your Insight had a 25 lmpg shown with let’s say 100 miles on the odometer and you are now at 500 miles (your 400 miles of travel) w/ 48 lmpg showing, you are doing darn good with an actual mileage of ~ 62.4 mpg of your own doing.

___If you own a 5-speed and you are driving a wide open freeway but were to reduce your speeds just a bit, you would be low imho. Bill Kinney drove a brand new 5-speeed (practically off the dealer’s lot) half way across the country and back. IIRC, he received something like 87 mpg + while averaging ~ 60 mph for the round trip! The training he received from his previous 5-speed Insight didn’t hurt his chances for success in regards to his fuel economy however ;)

___Check your pressures when cold again, check and make sure the OEM oil level is in between the high and low marks, press up the tires just a bit more, and learn the “drive with load” technique at your earliest convenience is about all I can add.

___Good Luck and I hope you are enjoying your new Insight.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1jfi8pq7][email protected][/email:1jfi8pq7]
 

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The break in part is 100% correct. Don't expect MPG's in the ultimate range you read about in here until 5000+ miles. And you'll have to be diligent in the technique behind the wheel too!

Also the driver usually needs some break in time. Driving in the high MPG style takes some commitment and _practice_.

Which MPG readout? The Lifetime? If so then it will take some time for its average to improve. Reset one of the trip meters to clock average MPG up to 1999 miles anyway (that's their reset point). And you'll see a big difference in MPG based on outside air temp, speed, rain, wind etc. Review some of the posts in the MPG section for all the techniques and limitations. :)

HTH! :)
 

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I wouldn't be too depressed yet.

Read more in the forums to get an idea of some of the driving methods, and keep an eye on your instantaneous mpg readings.

If you never, ever, see your instantaneous mpg readings go up to 100 and above when you are cruising, then you likely have a problem.

Try just feathering the gas to barely keep the car out of regen charging when you are cruising or going down a slight downhill on the freeway, and you should see your intantaneous mpg go up to 100 or more (which is lean burn) or max out over 150 (which is fuel cut). You can read about this in the knowledge base in this forum.

Lean burn is when you are buring gas, but at a more efficient rate than normal.

It takes a little getting used to things to get the high mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank for the helpful feed back! Your replies have relieved my concerns. As for the MPG the instantaneous read-out is working fine. Whenever I am coasting down hill at a good clip it reads at 150 MPG! The oil level is a possible problem. I just read the dip stick today, and the oil is up to the twist above the high mark, maybe higher. I am having a security system upgrade done at the dealership this coming Monday so I will ask them to level off the oil volume.
 

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Mine was overfilled similarly. I took about 1.5 pints out of mine through the dipstick hole to bring it from the twist to the high mark.

I used some nylon tube and a detergent bottle, but since have gotten the Pela 6000 recommended by others in this group.

My dealer overfilled it. I complained when they did their follow up call and mentioned it to them in person, but it was easier to fix it myself than to make them fix it. I guess they won't learn that way, however.

Think also about when you want to charge and not charge as you drive. If you know you are going to have a downhill, then drive with just enough gas to avoid the charge bars from lighting up or drive to use more assist than normal. That keeps your battery empty for the downhill ahead. Going downhill with a full battery won't be as good as with one that is charging.

In the reverse sense, If you know you will have a big uphill ahead, then go ahead and drive with a bit less gas to help the battery get charged for the hill (if you need it).

When I first started out I always seemed to be at the top of hills with the battery already full!

figgy
 

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I can attest to the fact that you can get good mileage here in the northeast, even in the cold. I live in New Hampshire, and bought my 2004 a couple of months ago. It is a 5 speed without AC. When I got the vehicle it had ~50 miles on it and showed 19.2 LMPG. After allowing the car to teach me how to drive it efficiently (I have drastically modified my driving style), and taking no extraordinary efforts, I am now at 3K miles on it and have a LMPG of 67.4 (and climbing).

My mileage can probably be attributed to a couple of factors. In addition to the fact that mine is a 5 speed, I have found that I now drive with a much lighter foot and tend to stay over in the low speed lane (while making sure that I am not making myself a hazard by going to slow). This brings up one of the intangible benefits of Insight ownership, at least for me... I am much more relaxed on my daily commute and no longer care who gets ahead of me.

Chris in Washington, NH
2004 silverstone metallic
#37
 

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Hi Sabeome, Chris G-

Welcome. It’s nice to have some fellow ’04 folks around (Someone has got to buy the new ones so that the dedicated recyclers have a source of affordable stock.) :wink:
I would agree with everything the other folks have said, but like to add that “city miles” can be very tough on your mpg. Around here city driving means it is rare to go a quarter mile without stopping or slowing, and frequently involves stop signs on every block. So far I have yet to get close to 60mpg around town. Highway driving is a different matter. It is not so hard to beat the EPA numbers as you get better at balancing the LEDs with your right foot.
I think patience is a key here, both with your speed, and with your personal learning curve. We’ve had our car now for 4 months and both my wife and I feel like we are still improving. I never even hope to achieve Xcel’s lmpg as our driving conditions are so different. (I suspect he has DSL in his car to keep himself occupied as he patiently watches the miles tick past.) :lol:
 
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Hi Dan:

___I always wondered how Rick Reece does his monster commute myself ;) I will never unfortunately reach Rick’s lifetime achievements as he must have liquid steel in his blood to maintain the instantaneous readout > 90 mpg all of the time!

___I love “Books on Tape” and “Books on CD” so that is my only saving grace when driving patiently along … Oh, and the game gauges definitely keep me occupied :D

___Saboeme, just keep working at it. Eventually, the whole car just seems to click and everything begins to work like it should. It just takes a while to get the feel for it is all.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:367xjv6y][email protected][/email:367xjv6y]
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for the helpful replies. I am begining to get the hang of relationship between the real-time MPG readout and my right foot. I failed to mention earlier that the the car is a CVT. Most of my approx 38 mile one way commute is on interstates. It is difficult for me to maintain a constant MPG rate with the inclines and changing traffic paterns in route. The Pela 6000 idea looks pretty good for leveling off the oil. Especailly since I have a pass for nine free oil changes form the dealership.
 
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Hi Saboeme:

___It is good to hear that you are settling in …

___In regards to the free oil changes, might I suggest that you bring in 3 Qt’s of Mobil1 Trisyn with you at each and every oil and filter change visit? Since the Insight has such a small oil capacity, the $10.00 or so for 2.6 qt.’s of better oil isn’t going to hurt and it will give you an ever so small increase in fuel economy as well. I have no idea what the local dealer will install in your little beauty but I doubt it will be 0W-20 and it more then likely won’t be Mobil1 0W-20.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:wwf4cewg][email protected][/email:wwf4cewg]
 

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Picked up my car yesterday. It had 30 miles and a 28mpg on the dash. (The car dealer could not keep his hands off of it).

A last second change of plans kept the wife and I from enjoying a nice liesurely trip down the coast. I left Petaluma (north of San Francisco) at 12:45PM and hightailed it to Los Angeles. I had to be back by 6:00PM. I spent most of my time in the left lane using the next one over mainly for passing. My 440mile trip came out to 50mpg exactly. I can't think of any other time in the future I will get less than that ...so everything else is downhill regen (so to speak) from here.

Also fortunate that the hiway patrol was checking oncoming traffic on the other side of the freeway.

There were a few opportunities to draft behind large rigs. And it was substantially better gas mileage (80+mpg) simply keeping a safe distance behind - at 60+ mph. Wives do make interesting noises when you try to belly up to the back of a 16 wheeler.

I was surprised how fast the car took a 10 mile long uphill (70's for over half of it)... milage sucked of course and the battery was almost completely drained, but the 15 mile down hill made up for most of it.

So time to reset and start anew with the second tank of gas. I might still get 600 or so out of this one. It has 505 and just under a 1/4 tank of fuel remaining indicated.

I can't believe that the mpg was so high considering I did nothing right in trying to get the most out of a gallon. It was mostly pedal to the metal (brake or gas) for 5 1/2 hours (including a hamburger stop at a fast food place). Made it home at 6:15PM...just enough time to shower, change and make a 7PM meeting.

And to show off the car to interested bystanders. It does draw a crowd!
 

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SPeacock said:
I was surprised how fast the car took a 10 mile long uphill
Nice trip report. The above sounds to me like the Cuesta Grade just north of San Luis Obispo on US 101... I'm assuming that you didn't go Highway 1 judging from your reported trip speed.

Wayne, I have never had a problem with a dealer installing oil other than Honda 0W-20. Still on the hunt for that Mobil1 though...
 

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Tejon pass on the southbound I-5 just north of LA. Only had to get over to the sloooooow lane with all of the big trucks on the upper portion just before Lebec - and then it was mainly for passing opportunities. The battery was nearly drained from my lead footing it up. Mostly V-8s and other power cars going faster than I up until that time.

I was the most impressed person on the road during THAT portion of the trip :eek: (including the ones that either waved or possibly gave other signals)!!! Our (4 cylinder) Accord can not do as well there.

That trip followed the I-580 to the I-5. Once to the I-5 it is generally considered a NASCAR run without turns. Plenty of big rig trucks pulling out in front of you (to pass slower rigs) with a large speed differential to make it interesting. :shock:

I am looking forward to a humdrum commute the entire length of I-710 every day. 3 lanes of traffic including 2 1/2 lanes of trucks. I figure I can tuck inbetween the trucks in the truck lane(s) and draft 100mpg all the way to Long Beach and back. :roll:
 

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Hi SPeacock-

I’ve been experimenting with the hills going up Hwy 80 for spring skiing. Third gear is the place to be for the major up hills! 70-75mph is no problem and downshifting early helps maintain your battery charge (a little longer). It does kill the mileage though. You can make some of it up on the way back down.
 

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I second that.

It also helps to 'become one with the Insight' which is to say that as you drive more you get more accustomed to how she goes, and you can fly up a hill that you first had problems on.

I remember the very first time I went up Cuesta grade on 101 N of SLO, I got to the top with no battery and was dragging. That was when I was a newbie. Now I can zip up and still have lots of battery leftover, and I don't see a huge impact on mpg.

Everything builds up in your subconcious, and over time you get better without knowing it!
 

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SPeacock said:
Tejon pass on the southbound I-5 just north of LA.
Ah, the infamous Grapevine. That would have been my first guess but I assumed you were taking the coast route. I know what you mean about I-5, which is why I prefer 99. Fewer semis plus more In-N-Out burger.

Keep us posted on how your new daily commute is going...
 

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My first 9.2 gal were fun. 50.2mpg average overall with 420 miles of it in 5.5 hrs (which included a pit stop and a hamburger). The handbook says not to use the brakes heavily during first 600 miles.

Ok the fun is over. I reset and starting off anew. First 48 miles (roundtrip commute in business day traffic - 0 thru 75mph) is now 82mpg. I don't expect that to hold up. I followed my normal driving pattern but traffic was relatively light. Most of time in left lane keeping up with traffic and some accordion movements at times. I'll be happy with 60's mpg but am learning to touch all the pedals lightly (including the clutch).

I'll check back when I get my first 1000 mile tank.
:lol:
 
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