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Hello everyone: I returned today from a fun roundtrip, Yakima, WA; to Las Vegas, NV. I attended a football game in L.V. and had a great time. I really enjoy my 2003 silver 5-spd, (lmpg 86.2) as most of you know. I kept very close track of gas mileage using fuel receipts, the GPS out of my airplane, and the car's trip meters. The distance was 1062 miles each way. I achieved 95.26 mpg on the way to LV, and 89.65 mpg on the return, for an average of 92.45 mpg. This beats my 88 mpg round trip to florida, so I was pleased. I was travelling alone, have no right side mirror, front licence plate or rear wiper, drove between 58 and 68 mph, had 49 lbs in the tires, and tried my very best to drive smoothly and keep it in lean burn mode. On the return I filled the tank in LV with Chevron regular and actually made the 1062 miles without refueling! Now for the real question??? Yes, I resisted the temptation to contribute all the gas money I saved to the slot machines! Billy......
 

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All hail Billy, the mileage master. Good job, I'm impressed.
 

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damn that's good mileage - how long were you driving?
 

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I was driving for about 17 1/2 hrs straight. I enjoyed the sights, listened to talk radio and also CD's, and ate food and cold water and soda from my cooler. Billy....
 
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Hi Billy:

___Absolutely outstanding mileage! Does that trip include many hills (3,000 + ft climbs and drops) along the way? If it did, this is even a greater achievement and with just the loss of the mirror, a 60.68 actual mph average is great speed over that distance as well! A professional trucker would be proud.

___Next question: You did stop to relieve yourself every once in a while, didn’t you? I don’t want to hear that you rigged up a 1 Liter Soda bottle with a funnel like contraption or anything like that ;)

___Great job and Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2cqp6xm2][email protected][/email:2cqp6xm2]
 

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Hi Mr. Excel; Yes, there were 17 summits or mtn passes each direction, the highest being 7,400 ft near Austin, NV. I use planned techniques to negotiate them, such as gradually allowing the car to slow going uphill, and then a combination of coasting and compression cruising to let the batteries charge on the downhill side. Yes, I stopped twice for relief. Billy......
 

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Yeah, the Insight is an amazing machine. What other vehicle can travel for so cheap, cut through the wind, go 1000 miles without stopping, and look beautiful doing it? I guess I'm sort of an "Insight freak" or fanatic, but I really enjoy driving the car, and then cleaning/detailing it when I return from a trip. Billy.......
 

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We need someone like you to do a story for a national publication. :idea: Let the public know there is a solution for oil dependancy and it's a blast to drive as well. I loved to read about stuff like that when I was in highschool and that's one reason I studied technology & drive an Insight. :D

Kip
 

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Billy your tale of amazing mpg comes at good time for me. I try in my 5spd to get the incedible mileage that I read of here or see on the Life Time Average page and just can't. I'm drivin' like Miss Daisy in the slow lane, drafting trucks (or at least using them as my excuse for going so slow down the freeway), accelerate like there is an egg under my throttle foot (I've tried the floor it to use the most boost method but the mileage is better doing it slow). I coast, I shift per the indicator and still I struggle to maintain 70mpg lifetime avg. My daily commute is 31 miles one way with a about a 900 ft elevation gain going and that much elevation loss headed back. Yes I've gotten over 90mpg several times going home but never over 70 going to work.

I explain all this because I'm about ready to give up and just drive 70 to 80 like I used to and settle for 50mpg. Anybody care to talk me down? I was passed today by only the second other Insight I've seen on the road. I was behind a big rig going 60mph and they were weaving in and out at, I'm guessing, 75mph.

How the heck do the mileage champs drive 60 to 65ish and still get such great mileage?

Thanks up front for any advice, AJ
 

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Hi AJ, don't give up hope! You are doing many of the right things. Do you have a little extra air in the tires? I never follow trucks because I found it's a great way to find tiny rock chips in your hood and bumper. Keep on getting near 90 mpg on your way home, and if you can increase your morning trip to 75 mpg you will have a great average. The key is to get going 60 mph, then concentrate on gently LETTING OFF the gas pedal, watch your mpg graph, and use as LITTLE pedal as possible to keep the car at 54-62 mph. If you have a tailwind, slow down slightly, and if there's a headwind, speed up slightly (less time spent under unfavorable conditions) Billy.....
 

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Oh yeh, 50psi all around in the tires and check them weekly.
Follow trucks at a safe distance and use them as an excuse for going so slow. In SoCal if you are the cause of a sub 70mph pace even in the slow lane you can find yourself being hassled.

The hard thing for me are the grades going to work. To keep the car in lean burn the speed gradually is scrubbed down to 45 or 50 and that is a drag on a SoCal freeway.

Who can offer advice on coasting clutch in vs. coasting clutch out. I have a 2.2mi 6% or 7% down grade on the way home. Coasting clutch out sure gets the battery topped off and coasting clutch in the engine doesn't get into the fuel shut off mode. Often in town if the battery is charged well I coast thru corners or when decelerating. Any coasting technique comments?

AJ
 

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Hi AJ; "Coasting" means gear shift in neutral. It is NOT a good idea to coast with the clutch depressed. Always leave the clutch pedal alone while coasting. In fact, I seldom use the clutch or the brakes. When descending a hill, I often leave it in 5th gear (or 4th if steep enough hill) and have my feet on the floor. This charges the batteries and avoids using brakes, but is not considered coasting. It is known as compression slowing. Anyway, my technique is to coast if possible, but slip into 5th gear for a time if you need to recharge. Balancing these 2 will produce an efficient downhill cruise. Billy......
 

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Most people call driving in-gear with the foot off the accelerator "fuel-cut mode" and with the foot lightly on the brake they call it "regenerative braking." In both cases you are consuming no gas as you go down the hill, and getting some degree of charge to the battery. The problem is it slows you down. If you cannot maintain speed, then coast (put it in neutral) or just drive (put it in gear).

AFAIK Rick Reece drives mainly in gear, even over hills, allowing himself to slow way down going up and accelerate going down, rather than doing what I do which is to mash the pedal (using ASSIST) going up and go down in fuel-cut or regen-brake mode. He gets better MPG than me :)

The only time I would put the clutch in during a coast (gearshift in neutral) is to trigger an idle-stop. Then you can sometimes coast down the hill, accelerating past 20mph with the car still in idle-stop. If you keep it in neutral there won't be any wear on the clutch from holding it in while the wheels spin.
 

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if you are trying for extreme mileage little things count. Are you driving home in the dark? Headlights definately soak up the gas. An aging 12 volt battery will soak up energy too, as the DC to DC converter will try in vain to maintain 13.6 volts in it. Have you changed your air filter? Are you running synthetic oil? Wheel alignment?

The Insight was designed for peak efficiency at 60 in 5th. Some report doing better in 4th if their speed is 45 to 50ish, disregarding the arrow. Just a thought.

Don't beat up on your technique until you establish a baseline. Only a round trip of over 100 miles on level ground in warm dry conditions, smooth pavement, straight road, little or no wind, will tell you what your best mileage for your driving technique is. Otherwise low efficiency due to a cool engine and perhaps battery self discharge will predominate.

Kip
 

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Amazing how these treads morph into different topics. :wink:

I don't actually coast much at all and if for some reason I do (usually because idle stop is on and I'm in creeping traffic) I usually have the car in neutral, foot off the clutch. I described my coasting as clutch in only because I thought I might hear some noise about how dangerous coasting in neutral can be. I forgot where I was for a minute....

Just for grins and giggles I did throw her into neutral going down the Conejo Grade one evening and was going about 100mph in short order. I always go down the Conejo "give me back some of what you stole from in the morning" Grade in gear getting the advantage of fuel-cut mixed with regen braking as the speed notches up too high.

I guess one off the problems I may have is that the headlights are on both ways. Going up I have experimented with a number of things. I reset one of the trip meters at the bottom and check my mileage for just the climb. If I roll into it at 65mph to 70mph and let the speed drop as a constant throttle postion is maintained shifting down eventually into third where I stay holding the rpms at 3000 the rest of the climb I manage to get the best mileage with out slowing to a crawl. Any advice on this would be good because this climb is what really drops my fuel economy on my commute. When in third at these elevated rpms the shift indicator is telling me to shift up but, if I do shift to fourth the foot has to go down as the boost goes up and soon the shift indicator is telling me to sihft down.

Well there is more of the story of my sorry daily commute.

AJ
 

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You are in my old stomping grounds. I bought my Insight at Vista and know the Conejo Grade very well. You have the best approach; it can't be summited in 4th or 5th in the Insight so go up in 3rd. When you crest the top, feather the accelerator instead of zooming off like everyone else.

On the way back down, use fuel-cut or a light regen brake and you won't burn gas -- this will double your mileage on the round trip (up and down) for the grade. Which isn't so bad - if you get 25-35 mpg on the way up your average is 50-70 mpg. If nobody slows in front of you and forces you to use the brake pads, that is.

The Oxnard plain is fantastic for driving the Insight, so you can also make it up out there. I trained myself to keep the throttle feathered so that instantaneous mpg was always over 75 mpg, and out on the flats of Oxnard / Camarillo I could often hold it over 100 mpg. This helped offset the grade.

I also agree w/ others. Be sure your tires are pumped up. I use 44psi all around.

Hope this helps!
 

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slideways said:
How the heck do the mileage champs drive 60 to 65ish and still get such great mileage?

Thanks up front for any advice, AJ
The key isn't slow speed. The key is momentum. If you drive 55 mph and start to negotiate a hill, you have to use more gas than if you were going 65 mph. You can lose speed, but you can never lose your momentum until you can gain more, such as cresting a hill.

Also, many trucks aren't draft friendly. The type of hood they use in the front or the grill they use can make a huge difference on the vacuum behind them. So if you are drafting a truck and your mileage isn't picking up, that will probably be one of the reasons. Personally, the larger the better, or duel trucks works even better. Or the trucks that carry the automobiles, those are great too.

If you are getting 90 mpg going home, then you've got a difficult drive going to work. A slight incline is still an incline. There are some people getting mad mileage out there. I thought I was doing well, getting ~75.0 mpg from Akron, OH to Plymouth, MA, a single tank! Or beating 100 mpg on a short 30+ mile trip. Honestly, I don't know how some of these people do it. It may come down to wind, tire pressure, or topography. Just relax. I find sometimes that its just easier to drive and feel the road and get great mileage than it is to get all uptight and starring eye at the mileage gauge.
 

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My Insight is getting a bit long in the tooth now, with over 84K on it. The mileage is beginning to drop a little as the batteries weaken, but it still can achieve a full charge. It just doesn't hold it as long as it used to, and while it used to average about 3/4ths fully charged, now it averages only a little over half charged.

I have a lifetime average of only 56.6 mpg now. This is because I live in Orlando and almost all of my driving is done with the A/C on. But I have had some absolutely spectacular trips.

This area is very, very flat. The nearest thing to any hills we have around here are bridges that arch up and over waterways to accommodate sailboat masts. When I have tried I have gotten some spectacularly high-mileage trips.

When it was only a few months old I took a 144-mile circular drive from Cape Canaveral, where I lived at the time, up to Mims, across on a 45 mph 2-lane country road to Sanford, down city streets to and through Orlando (including about a half-hour stuck in stop-and-go, rush hour traffic), and then back on a 55 mph 2-lane road home. On this trip the FCD showed that I got 94.7 mpg, driving alone with no cargo and with standard 38/35 tire pressure.

That was my best trip until I had a small problem involving the O2 sensor, which had cut my mileage significantly. The problem was very difficult for the guys at Merritt Island Honda to rectify, and was finally repaired after more than a week in the shop and a lot of back-and-forth between the techs there and the techs in Japan. They gave me a new Civic as a loaner and the experience made me realize that I will never be able to go back to driving such a gas guzzler.

Anyhow, after they finally fixed the problem (which resulted in a redesign of the O2 sensor throughout the whole fleet), I did a test run in a circle between Cape Canaveral, Melbourne, Merritt Island and Titusville, a total of 122 miles, over which I got 97.7 mpg, mostly with myself and one passenger, and no cargo. This the best I have ever gotten for a round trip over anything but a couple miles at a stretch.

There have been times when I averaged over 100 mpg up to about seven miles or so on city streets, the best such short stretch being 111 mpg, but I have never been able to sustain anything like that over a round trip. For one thing, I need to hit ALL the lights, something that can never be more than a passing streak around these parts.

By the way, my lifetime mileage (even with the O2 sensor problem) was 63.7 until last August, when the mileage dropped dramatically following a service in response to the "check engine" light coming on. The car behaved normally in all respects, however, including what had been typical mileage usually in the 70s and 80s for trips.

After their "repair," however, there were whole tanks where I never broke 40 mpg! My original dealer, Merritt Island Honda, had now come under new management and was now named Space Coast Honda. They moved into new, more modern digs on the outskirts of town and they hired a new, "bottom-line" oriented service manager. I was suddenly a stranger at my old dealer where I had been a celebrity of sorts, and their attitude changed from "Do WHATEVER is necessary to please" to "Do the minimum we can get away with." After returning the car to them time and time again (six times in all) they just flatly refused to fix whatever problem it was that they had caused. I almost tore the place apart. I will NEVER go back there and I lodged a complaint with Honda of North America.

I took it to Coggin Honda in Orlando and they fixed it up, but it cost me about $150 for something that should have been goodwilled. The first tank I used after their repair I averaged 82.2 mpg over 660 miles. This was last April. I have never been able to do as well since. Part of the problem is worn tires, which will be the subject of another post.

But it still beats anything else on the road, that's for sure.
 
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