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lugging the engine for the best mpg

4834 Views 23 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Insightful Trekker
Hi guys,

Please have mercy if you think this issue has already been covered: I pledge that I did have searched the forum, and haven't found a satisfactory answer, nor topic that is devoted to this.

In short wording, I am concerned that chasing the best mpg number could be damaging to the Insight's engine. (This obviously seems a bit paradoxical, right?) What I frequently find myself doing is driving around 1500 rpm, gas pedal floored to maximize the assist (like when my speed drops on a hill, and my battery is full).

Now every normal gas engine would suffer from this kind of lugging practice, loading it to the max at low rpm's. My question is purely technical: is Insight engine in any way designed to handle this abuse better? Perhaps the VTEC valve system helps a bit, or perhaps it is just tuned to work ok at low rpm's...

Does anyone feel competent to speak for the engine designers? I would be most thankful, and would sleep better too!

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I agree with Mike on this. The myth that luggiing can hurt an engine formed decades ago. Carburators do a poor job with slow, pulsey air flow, causing engines to run too rich or too lean which could damage them. Engine knock also most likely occurs under full throttle at low RPM.
Poor engine mounting and internal balancing caused lots of shaking at certain RPMs too.

Result: "Do not lug your engine! It's bad for it!" That's what my grandfather used to tell me.

All these problems are solved in modern electronically controlled fuel injected engines.

Sometimes, accelerating from a stop I use full throttle with 2K (or lower) shifts points. Acceleration is about the same as normal traffic. The advantage is getting to cruising speed and lean burn quickly. The result is about the same MPG as normal throttle and shift points.
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