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Discussion Starter #1
Some background - I drive mostly city driving, and I have around 14k miles on the car, maybe, after owning it since March 2011 (it's a 2011 model purchased new).

I've never been happy with the mileage this car gets in town, but I figure if my average mph is 18, I can't complain too badly if I'm getting only 34/35 mpg, but this last tank it dropped to a little over 29 and this is with doing the math, rather than trusting the car to tell me the mileage (it was claiming about 30.2 or so).

No lights have come on. It'll be out of warranty in March. I've called the dealer and told them I'm bringing it in Saturday and I want them to figure out what's going on. Their response was basically... they'll check the computer, but since it's not throwing any error lights, they won't be able to do anything.

I'm wondering if it's the 12v battery causing a big chunk of the issue... maybe it's getting weak? I have had to jump it a couple times when I left the overhead light on...

Still, the car does fairly well on highway, but it was horrendous having to fill the tank after having only driven 255 miles!
 

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Have you had a lot of days where you let it idle while clearing snow or ice? Are the temperatures unusually cold? Either will make a big dent in the MPGs. With my 2001 I get low 60s MPG in the cold winter and upper 70s in the summer. Where I live we have had a lot more days with snow, and the temperatures have been brutally cold. I saw -24F on the way to work a few weeks ago, many days the high is around 0F.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have you had a lot of days where you let it idle while clearing snow or ice? Are the temperatures unusually cold? Either will make a big dent in the MPGs. With my 2001 I get low 60s MPG in the cold winter and upper 70s in the summer. Where I live we have had a lot more days with snow, and the temperatures have been brutally cold. I saw -24F on the way to work a few weeks ago, many days the high is around 0F.
I live in the D.C. area so we haven't had a ton of cold/snowy days. This morning was an exception with about 5 inches of snow on the car, so I let it warm up while I cleared things off. It has been cold, with the polar vortex and all, but still I've never gotten closed to the 41 avg they claim I'm supposed to, even in the summer, so it's very discouraging.

Maybe I don't drive, enough? Perhaps that's affecting the IMA?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What are your typical journey lengths? Lots of short journeys will kill the fuel efficiency. 14k miles in 3 years sounds like you'll be doing lots of 2-3 mile journeys if the car is driven daily.

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For work, about 6.6 miles each way, minimum (depends on which route I take). I know that short trips aren't going to help my mileage, though some of that is at 45mph or more, but not for long... The issue is that the mileage has dropped a lot. I noticed a drop last winter too, but this winter has been a lot worse and I still work at the same place. No check engine lights or battery lights have come on, but I'm pretty sure there's something wrong... if it's not the 12v battery I'm not sure what else could cause it though.
 

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I think it could be tire pressures. Pressures drop as the temperature does. One needs to add air weekly going into winter and then let it out going into the spring.
Many folks do not get the idea that tire pressures are checked cold. Like first thing in the morning before the car is driven at all. If one must drive to the nearest station for air, that should be under a mile. Otherwise having an air compressor at home is the best. Never let air out of a warm or hot tire. It will read higher than you want. Once again, tire pressures are checked cold! Many of us Insight owners run much higher pressures than the door spec. You can go up to the limit printed on the tire.
 

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When it's cold and you're at low speed with frequent stops, your gas mileage takes an even bigger hit. The engine takes forever to warm up, especially if you're running the heater. Last time I was down that way it was highs in the 50s and when I left DC driving out with a cold engine I made about 35mpg milking it in a manual civic hybrid the 5 miles or so to the highway.

After that I got about 55 mpg for the trip, but that was with 25 miles highway driving added in.



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Discussion Starter #10
I think it could be tire pressures. Pressures drop as the temperature does. One needs to add air weekly going into winter and then let it out going into the spring.
Many folks do not get the idea that tire pressures are checked cold. Like first thing in the morning before the car is driven at all. If one must drive to the nearest station for air, that should be under a mile. Otherwise having an air compressor at home is the best. Never let air out of a warm or hot tire. It will read higher than you want. Once again, tire pressures are checked cold! Many of us Insight owners run much higher pressures than the door spec. You can go up to the limit printed on the tire.
During an earlier cold snap, around Thanksgiving, my tire pressure light came on and I topped off all 4 (gas station less than a mile away) but I haven't checked since. I'm taking it in on Saturday and don't want them to complain if I over-fill but I'll check again after I get it back.
 

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And do get a good pressure gauge. Never rely on the one built into the hose at a station. I like my digital one.
 

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Cold weather, winter blend gas and weather decrease mpg. A bad starter battery doesnt help, but any auto store can check it for you. A car battery is like 100 bucks to replace. Make sure to have your radio code before hand.

When you look at the assist/regen meter, does it regen a lot, stay in the middle or assist? When you turn off the engine do you see flowers across your screen, half way or just 1 or 2?

With my short trips, I get 29mpg this time of year.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Cold weather, winter blend gas and weather decrease mpg. A bad starter battery doesnt help, but any auto store can check it for you. A car battery is like 100 bucks to replace. Make sure to have your radio code before hand.

When you look at the assist/regen meter, does it regen a lot, stay in the middle or assist? When you turn off the engine do you see flowers across your screen, half way or just 1 or 2?

With my short trips, I get 29mpg this time of year.
Usually I get 4 1/2 of the little plant/flowers, but lately it's been dropping to 2 or so. I'll have to keep an eye on the assist/regen meter, that's not usually what I keep up / watch. The 12v should still be under warranty so I'm having the dealership check it and give the car a good going over, though I'm pretty pessimistic about dealerships... my impression is that even if they find something wrong they'll likely not mention it this close to my warranty ending, but maybe I'm just a cynic.
 

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The plants or lack there of is a way of the car telling you if you are driving or operating it in an efficient manner.

Today I got 30mpg on 50 miles traveled in below freezing temps. For the first 15 minutes my assist meter was either neutral or in the regen area. Im not surprised as it was likely too cold to help and was just recharging the starter battery. IF your starter battery is bad it will do this all the time. After 15 minutes I started to see some assist and better performance.

Hybrids just do not function well in temps over 100 or below freezing. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The plants or lack there of is a way of the car telling you if you are driving or operating it in an efficient manner.

Today I got 30mpg on 50 miles traveled in below freezing temps. For the first 15 minutes my assist meter was either neutral or in the regen area. Im not surprised as it was likely too cold to help and was just recharging the starter battery. IF your starter battery is bad it will do this all the time. After 15 minutes I started to see some assist and better performance.

Hybrids just do not function well in temps over 100 or below freezing. :confused:
Yeah but I usually get very good on the plants except for very short trips. I "won" the game pretty early on. This morning, my car was cold enough that the windshield fluid was frozen, yet I got close to 40 on the trip into work. On other days it has been a lot worse, even though perhaps not as cold. It doesn't make sense. The IMA battery symbol was showing almost empty and then the next time it looked (during my 6.6 mile trip) it was full.

Right now my car tells me I'm only getting about 25 or 26mpg on the tank so far (and I know the car exaggerates).

The Honda dealer called me back and canceled my Saturday service, claiming that with all the tests they're going to do they'll need to call into Honda technical support which is only open Mon-Fri. I suspect they just wanted to fit in more non-warranty customers on the weekend :p
 

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with your commute being only 6.6 miles each way, and the cold weather we have been having, that might be normal. Any chance you have a longer trip to make? I would be curious what a 40 mile trip at 40-50 MPH would give you in terms of MPG. My 2001 insight lately has been taking about 8 miles to get up to temp, and I have a grill block, and don't use the heater until it is up to temp.
 

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You could try resetting the ecu. Make sure you have the radio code, then disconnect the battery for 15 minutes. When you reconnect it and start up it will recharge the ima battery and calibrate everything.

Ive had good luck with parts departments, but not with service at honda. I once left a Richmond Honda dealer to see one in VA Beach as this one was booked. :confused:

I went to checkered flag honda when in VA Beach and they were slammed one holiday weekend. They advise 5000 mile oil changes too. :confused:
 

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While dealers do vary widely (sometimes even the same dealer on different days) I do believe them about not wanting to do diagnostics on a Saturday. I wouldn't suggest it either. The best techs any dealer has rarely work weekends. Same would apply to Honda Corp. I think I'd what Cobb suggests, a reset that you can do yourself. Then I would try to have it connected to the Honda computer in a dealer service area sometime, but it could wait until your next service. A Hybrid vehicle is a computer and will need software updates and an occasional reboot. To add to Cobb's directions: once the battery is reconnected and you start the car, you are supposed to start it with all accessories off, then either race the engine at about 3000 rpm to get it up to temp quickly and then let it idle for a while or just let it idle for much longer, like at least 15 minutes.
 

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Won't resetting the ECU clear any trouble codes that might otherwise get picked up when the dealer plugs it in?

I suspect this is nothing more than tyre pressures, cold weather and / or traffic. I've not heard anything that makes me suspect something is wrong with the car.

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