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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2002 Insight (manual w/AC). I live in Phoenix so AC is a necessity as it gets to be over 100 for about 100 days each summer with many days over 110.

I purchased the car in September, 2002 and averaged about 60-65 MPG. i got my first oil and checkup from Honda at 7000 miles in May. Since then, my MPG has been averaging in the low 50s and just last week, I averaged 48 for this latest tank of gas. The mechanic at Honda assures me that he used the correct oil (and of course charged me for the "special" blend of Honda herbs and spices).

Now, as it is summer, this may be what I should be expecting. I do have the tires at 45 psi and the AC on 75, econ, blower on full.

Driving pattern: its about 30 minutes to and from work each day. Going to work is mostly downhill and the traffic moves freely. Even if I have one dash left on the battery charge-o-meter, I'm usually full or nearly there by the time I get to work. Going home is another matter. Traffic is very stop/go and my full battery is usually on the last quarter when I'm halfway home. A few times, I've run it down completely and the Insight magically turned into a Geo before my eyes. This is mostly due to construction on SR 51 which I take home and will probably continue for another year.

As it is at 10,000 miles now, I need to change the oil again. Should I be trying another dealer? Is this just what I should be expecting, especially during the summer?
 

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Greetings to a fellow Phoenix area driver. I suppose the question that should be asked is have you checked the tire pressure since that last dealer service? They like to uninflate them down to about 30psi. That and monthly checking of tire pressure is pretty important.

As far as mileage I'd check a few things first if you haven't. Make sure they didn't over fill it with oil. I've only been averaging 55 mpg all city driving since summer began. Many short trips where mileage is in the low 50's high 40's. My LMPG was 64.1 before the air conditioning came on, Only a few thousand miles later I'm down to 62.7 so don't feel so bad. You have to consider the hotter it gets the more the air compressor has to be on and that has to come from the gas tank.

The thing to do is simply not expect the dealership to know what they are doing. Ask for the unused bottle of oil back. Don't take their story of they pump it from bulk. 0W-20 only comes in the quart bottles. And you might request that they don't check the tire pressure, now whether or not they listen is another story. They'll probably give you a talk about how bad overinflating is.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply! I did forget to mention that the tires were dropped to about 30 PSI and since posting, I've read several discussions about dealers overfilling. A dealer will always tell you that no one knows a Honda more than a Honda dealer. So tell me, what then is the advantage of going to one if they are going to do things like this? I haven't checked the oil level at all and I'm going to go to the garage now and check the pressure.

Its reassuring that there are others in Phoenix (I've seen maybe 3 other Insights on the road) and that my MPG may drop in the summers. Its still way better than any other car out there and, seeing as how no gas station in Phoenix has gas anymore this weekend, I know I can make it through this gas drought for another two weeks!
 

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Well thats kind of a sad thing because half the time they dont even know their own car. See the thing is every other car they sell tire pressure spec is about 32 psi all around so they just assume the Insight is the same, which it's not. Half the time they dont bother to check and see that the Insight uses 2.6 quarts of oil. The parts guys know it takes 3 quarts, a filter and a crush washer for an Insight oil change kit, the mechanics half of the time assume they need to dump it all in.

So you ask what the advantage to taking the car to a dealership is. Well when the screw something up you can try pinning it on their ignorance. Me personally, I can never say I've been 100% happy with a dealership service. I do all my own oil changes and other matenience. The last thing I had it in to the dealership for was after becomming tired of having air vents that wouldn't stay pointed. Well that required dropping the steering column down. Well I was in there where they did the work recently and I discovered not only did they use an impact wrench on everything they stripped out the two torx bolts that hold the air bag in as well as tightened the steering wheel down so much that it almost did not come off, part of the pull point threads stripped out trying to pull it. Then to top things off the plastic cover behind that had been broken apart and not replaced so now that gets to be brought up sometime, but I dont know if I want to let them touch my car any more.

Anyway, reinflate the tires, check that the oil level is proper and report back to us. Likely if the tires only have 30 psi in them that would explain the decrease in mileage.

And yes there are others of us in Phoenix. I think you bring the grand total to about 5 now. Maybe we should have a meet some day. On the issue of the gas drought yeah it's been interesting. There was a line probably a quarter mile long to get gas at a station behind my house earlier today right after a supply truck had delivered fuel. It was interesting, I took pictures. For everyone out there who's saying what gas drought, the main fuel supply line to phoenix ruptured near Tucson and they are saying it will be 2 weeks before it gets repaired. Most gas stations have ran out of fuel and the ones that do have it are charging a lot of $$$ and they have lines to get gas now. I some how got volunteered to go fill my dads truck up late tonight hoping to avoid lines, well I had to drive around and wait for 45 minutes just to get gas. Good thing I have another three weeks worth of fuel in my tank. That and they are only delivering unleaded now.
 

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Looks like all the basics are covered (correct oil, not overfilled, tire pressure...)

kelinger said:
in May. Since then, my MPG has been averaging in the low 50s ...
I do have the tires at 45 psi and the AC on 75, econ, blower on full.
I assume that even in Texas, it gets hotter in summer. So if you keep your AC thermostat set to the same temperature, the compressor will need to work harder to keep the car cooled. That could account for quite a lot of the mpg drop.


kelinger said:
As it is at 10,000 miles now, I need to change the oil again.
Why would you change your oil again? It won't be due until 15000 miles... Don't give the dealership more chances to screw up than you have to!
 

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Armin said:
I assume that even in Texas, it gets hotter in summer. So if you keep your AC thermostat set to the same temperature, the compressor will need to work harder to keep the car cooled. That could account for quite a lot of the mpg drop.
A funny testament as to how hot in Texas it gets: A month ago I left a six-pack of cola in the back all day long. I paid for not taking it in to work. Leaving for home in the 100-degree (39 C) weather, I heard a pop (pardon the pun). A couple of minutes later, the second pop splattered cola all over the hatchback window. Thirty minute later, all the cans were almost too hot to touch with the tops bulging. This is a bad thing to forget as they were sitting over the battery pack. Doubt it harmed it.
 

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I have a feeling that your low mileage may have something to do with how much charging of the IMA battery takes place while cruising. If your battery gauge is often at zero, the engine has to use alot more gas to charge that battery back up. I will often get about 50 MPG on a trip that a recal of the battery takes place on.
~Martin
Recycled
2000 5 Spd
 

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Kelinger
Welcome. I'm also a Phoenix area Insight driver. The air pressure will help a little, and depending on where you live and work, you might take the 51 south and the 17 or 101 north. Use the roads to your advantage, the 51 is down hill south and the 17 and 101 almost level.
Your biggest mpg killer is the A/C. I only use mine when my wife is in the car. The other day with 100 miles on the tank, we drove 11 miles with the A/C on, the current mpg went from 90.7 to 81.7. It took 700 miles with the A/C off to get it back. I finished that tank with an average of 91.1. On this tank with 400 miles, under similar driving conditions but with no A/C, I'm at 94.2.
Stay "COOL" (yea right)
Louis
 

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I still dont know how you can stand not using your AC durring the summer here. I'm still going to stick with my use the AC for the sake of teh batteries argument as well.
 

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I'll use the A/C if ever it gets hot here. (just kidding) It's just a matter of prioritys. I prefer 94.2 mpg or better to cool air. As for the batterys, you seam to have more trouble with the A/C on then I do with the A/C off, but I think that can be traced back to the shade I park under.
Louis
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm jealous. Some of you sound like you're getting fantastic MPG around Phoenix. I filled up the tank before the whole gas "crissis" in Phoenix (between you and me, I wish it would go to $5 per gallon nationwide and just stay there for 6 months although gas guzzlers would probably end up getting an extra tax refund check because of it) and I've stayed away from the gas stations altogether until yesterday.

My wheels were last filled and checked about 4 months ago. The pressure was between 40 and 41 for all four tires. I consider that pretty good and it may not be the 44 I filled them to 4 months ago, but I certainly don't think that it accounts for the horrible milage.

The only other thing I can add is that I noticed the lining is pulling away from the passenger front-side under the bumper. Not sure if that could cause any issues (such as extra drag) but I'm going to get it fixed. The car is going to have its first birthday September 7 and it also has an extended warranty so I don't feel I should have to pay for this (its not due to any accident or going offroad or anything).

Ken
 
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