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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So with a jacked up original battery I was able to get about 50mpg or just under for my commute - 25 miles, rolling hills on I-85 in SC and stop and go for a few miles close to the office.

I installed a new BBB - makes the car WAY more drivable and seems to be working flawlessly so far. Good assist etc etc.

However, my MPG hasnt changed at all - I just "assumed" that with the great assist I'm getting from the new battery my MPG would go up accordingly and I'm actually struggling to maintain high 40's - constantly watching the mpg gauge, trying to coast down hills etc.

It seems that even the slightest hint of throttle my mpg meter drops to 50 almost immediately. Any real throttle, even with plenty of assist, it drops below 50.

I'm just a little confused by this and have no idea how folks get 60+ on anything other than completely flat roads.

But I guess my biggest question is - why would my mpg not increase at all with the new battery providing proper assistance?

- edit - In case you're wondering - I've replaced the plugs with NGK's - valve adjustment - can of sea foam in the tank now with first full fill up since I got the car - it does have some generic 175/65 tires on it (44psi) - new ground straps and 12v battery - intake tube is turned around but nothing any fancier like grille block etc - tried to keep it simple until I'm more familiar.
 

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MPG is a very complex equation and it takes a while to really get the hang of it. IMA isn't really all that important for highway miles. Many have reported disabling the IMA entirely and seeing little difference on highway trips. Think of it this way, battery energy used must be replaced. On a relative constant speed highway trip, there is no coastdown or braking phases to replace that energy, so the replacement energy comes from burning gas. The beauty of a new battery is that the car is more responsive - you have good acceleration when you need it.

I'm familiar with your terrain. I think you are probably taking three significant hits, which aren't really changed by installing a new battery:
1. Your tires are hurting you to some unknown degree- 4-10MPG.
2. The car is very sensitive to ambient temperature. We are in the worst of the cold weather and hurts considerably.
3. Your driving style isn't fully developed as yet and you don't likely yet understand the little tricks which add up.
a. Excess speed. The highway MPG is best at 50-55mpg. Anything above that costs MPG. Leave a bit of extra time - you will be surprised how little extra time it takes.
b. Rock solid, "locked knee," throttle. Let a bit of speed bleed off on uphills.
c. Try to figure out what behavior gives you the most lean burn. The lean burn "window" is smaller at high speed.
d. A whole bunch of lesser techniques.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I appreciate the reply.

I've tried to be more attentive about recharge during downhill coasting or min throttle - I've noticed I havent been able to get back to a full charge due to the terrain.
I feel like this terrain is going to force me to manually charge at home from time to time - I might consult BB about that.... I do have a Hybrid Auto Deluxe Package.

Considering the Hybrid Revolt LB/TPS module to help with LB, but still learning about all of this.

And I have read about the tires being an issue. Need to verify tread depth so I can justify to the wife buying a new set :)
 

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If memory serves, BB has typically recommended an overnight charge every 3-6 months for maximum performance and longevity. Best to confirm with BB.

The only choice of tire for normal driving is the RE92 in the stock size. They are unique to the Insight and the only tire that gives optimal performance.

Hilly terrain results in longer periods of charge and recharge. Since recovery is less than 100% efficient vs. discharge, you're going to be at a deficit unless you're ending at significantly lower elevation where you've charged more than discharged. Also, at highway speeds, due to the low torque produced at higher rpms, the IMA doesn't contribute that much and long climbs can rapidly deplete even the healthiest of batteries. If your old battery wasn't recalibrating constantly, then there's probably little difference in efficiency to be had. You've noticed the improvement in driveability.

Driving in hilly terrain is pretty much worst-case for any car. Due to the relatively small energy content in a hybrid battery, it doesn't provide a substantial offset, particularly at highway speeds.

IMA battery energy content:
6.5Ah*144V = 0.936kWh
Typical small 12V battery energy content:
40Ah * 12V = 0.480kWh

When you consider that the IMA battery typically only uses 60% of its total capacity, that changes it to:

Usable IMA battery energy: 0.562kWh
Total 12V battery energy: 0.480kWh

It helps to give you perspective on what the IMA can do. While dramatically different performance between the two in terms of sustained current capability and power output/absorption, you're still improving your performance using little more energy than is stored in the 12V battery up front.
 

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Bottom line is 'Don't blame the batttery or the car", it is a training and experimentation exercise to get really good MPG.

Everything is "LOAD" related, simply put, less load = better MPG.
You also have to add "momentum" to the equation. That is my favorite.

HTH
Willie
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bottom line is 'Don't blame the batttery or the car", it is a training and experimentation exercise to get really good MPG.

Everything is "LOAD" related, simply put, less load = better MPG.
You also have to add "momentum" to the equation. That is my favorite.

HTH
Willie
Oh... I'm not blaming either, I get it.
Was just inquiring because my expectations were obviously different than reality.

With everything said, It's still slightly baffling that the proper assist didnt offer any mpg improvement over the same route.
It IS working well though, so I'll continue working on the nut behind the wheel - proper tires etc.....

I really appreciate the detailed responses......
 

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I'm not used to driving a car w/o MIMA, but I drove a MT car with a new battery and wrong tires recently and I had trouble keeping the SOC up and I had difficulty making better than 50 mpg. My time with it was limited, so I didn't get to try putting my RE92s on it from my other car, but it reminded me of driving my car with a bad battery in the rain or with AC on. I'm curious if those Michelin 175/65s on the car I drove was the culprit.

But I agree with you that I would have expected better mpg, all things considered. I don't really understand how it could be the same.
 

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IIRR, it has been proven and stated over the years and by other Insighters, the best MPG is around 65 MPH.

HTH
Willie
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My current trip meter is at about 180 miles
I made a point to SLOW DOWN this morning and stay in the right lane - monitor coasting etc and managed to add 2mpg to my overall trip average and get the battery up to 3/4 charge.
Starting avg was 46.7 - ending was 48.8

The rolling terrain makes this difficult but its obvious there are improvements to be had.

Thanks for all of the input......
 

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IIRR, it has been proven and stated over the years and by other Insighters, the best MPG is around 65 MPH.

HTH
Willie
I respectfully disagree. I think your senior memory is off - or is it mine. But may be the case on turbocharged LRR;)

As the TV ad says, "Show me the Carfax." Ops, I meant show me the posts where folks relate this observation.

Please see my signature block:D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
There's part of the problem. Much too fast for best MPG.
As I'm sure you've experienced - I cant really drive much slower without being a hazard. Speed limit on I-85 where I am is actually 60 but 65 seems to be "safe" in the right lane... LOL - I used to drive in the left lane in my Volvo doing 75-80 with everyone else.....

I noted earlier this morning that I did drive slower - tried to sit about 65 with the flow of traffic in the right lane and yielded about 2mpg increase over the course of this 180 mile Trip A reading.
 

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As I'm sure you've experienced - I cant really drive much slower without being a hazard. Speed limit on I-85 where I am is actually 60 but 65 seems to be "safe" in the right lane... LOL - I used to drive in the left lane in my Volvo doing 75-80 with everyone else.....
Yes I know it is a challenge on the interstate. I know that stretch of road, and I know commuters really fly in all the lanes, but you deserve the speed limit in the right lane if you want to go that slow.

One thing I do is use the flashers. If a cop pulls you over, just say you were on the shoulder a few miles back when you thought you had a loose wheel. Forgot to turn them off.;)

You can use the flashers intermittently when you see fast traffic approaching. If you flash the trucks when they are 1/4 miles back, then most of the rest will get the message.

I noted earlier this morning that I did drive slower - tried to sit about 65 with the flow of traffic in the right lane and yielded about 2mpg increase over the course of this 180 mile Trip A reading.
You have a B trip odo also. Use that for experimenting with different speeds and techniques. Refer to my earlier post.

Try to get the Bridgestone Re92 onto the car as soon as you can. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised.

A confession - gas is cheap right now, so I sometime "fly" also, depending on demands. I Just wanted to help you understand the problem.
 

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Killer:

Here's a few mpg tips I've picked up along the way.

In my signature is a 76 lmpg link with some brief notes on hypermiling, and in those notes is a link to a lengthy but very informative article by Wayne Gerdes (an expert hypermiler). Using even only a couple of his methods is helpful.

Please make note of the first cautionary line about "Conditions Permitting", which you've already mentioned: traffic.

And as the others have stated, it takes some time to learn the little things, especially how touchy the throttle is.

I will try to locate a chart 'olrowdy used to post comparing speed and mpg. Found it: olrowdy's chart .

Easiest things to do to increase mileage is slow down some, get some RE-92's, and air up the tires a bit.

Your new pack will rarely go into recal or forced regen, which will increase mpg over time.

btw: with spring approaching, the mid-atlantic group will begin planning a get together or two. Keep an eye on the socials forum for advertised meet ups.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So last night, I reset my Trip B - I had a extra stop for pizza but managed 58.8 avg and routinely saw over 60 on the highway.

This morning reset it again - 25 miles half highway half side roads - I take more side roads in the morning to avoid stop and go on the highway - 50.2 avg

I've finally figured out what triggers auto-stop and I have plenty of opportunities in the morning - I sit at one light with up to a 1.5 mile backup - stop and go and try to employ the auto stop as much as is feasible. Working good so far.

It still amazes me to realize this cars tech works so well at 18 years old.
1st model year, cutting edge tech and they pretty much got it right the first time and 18 years later still amazing.
 

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It may not be going into lean burn yet if the primary o2 sensor isn't right, or the plugs aren't right. I would use the plugs from honda, which are based on the head that are on your insight, there are 3 different types. You have to look at your engine. You can feel if your car is going into lean burn if you let up on the throttle until it is up to 100 mpg and hold for 4 seconds or so and then you will see the mpg jump up towards 125. From there you can gently get back onto the throttle as low as 70-75mpg, but if you push it beyond that it will jump out of lean burn. When it does this you will see it on the display and feel it. Mine is still going into lean burn, yesterday with 3 snow tires on I managed 65MPG on a 60 mile trip in 40 degree temps. Your car is a 5 speed, correct? I would also check to make sure none of the brakes are dragging. Take the front brakes apart and clean and lube the sliders if necessary. Are all the underbody panels there? Have you blocked part of the grill up? You can do this in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It may not be going into lean burn yet if the primary o2 sensor isn't right, or the plugs aren't right. I would use the plugs from honda, which are based on the head that are on your insight, there are 3 different types. You have to look at your engine. You can feel if your car is going into lean burn if you let up on the throttle until it is up to 100 mpg and hold for 4 seconds or so and then you will see the mpg jump up towards 125. From there you can gently get back onto the throttle as low as 70-75mpg, but if you push it beyond that it will jump out of lean burn. When it does this you will see it on the display and feel it. Mine is still going into lean burn, yesterday with 3 snow tires on I managed 65MPG on a 60 mile trip in 40 degree temps. Your car is a 5 speed, correct? I would also check to make sure none of the brakes are dragging. Take the front brakes apart and clean and lube the sliders if necessary. Are all the underbody panels there? Have you blocked part of the grill up? You can do this in the winter.

I've read about most of what you mention here -

The issue with LB on my commute is the rolling hill terrain I have to deal with. Meeting the requirements you mention and going uphill may never work - not sure yet.

I read a lot about the plugs and decided to just go with NGK Iridiums. I understand the indexing but decided against it.

It is a 5 speed.

I have only the stock front under belly panel but want to do the rest after I get the aluminum panel from klr3cyl.

I have not done a grille block at all. Working towards that too - partial radiator block and lower grill block out of coroplast most likely.
I do have a BT OBD and Torque so I can monitor coolant temps.

I need a meter or digital gauge vs my phone because I like to watch Google Maps on my commute because traffic dictates which exit I get off on :)

It seems from reading various "expert" comments and suggestions that these tires are possibly having a substantial effect on my MPG - I dont recall the brand, but they are the wrong size. I need to check the treadwear and justify new tires appropriately though so theres a cost benefit.
 

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When I got mine it had 175/65 14 tires, and the wrong spark plugs(irridium). Also had a dirty air filter, etc. It would still go into lean burn but it couldn't hold it for any amount of time. On a warm day it should be able to hold lean burn on the flat, downhill, and very gentle uphills in the summer. Even on a perfectly functioning insight it will not hold lean burn on hills. I would try and see if you can get the car into lean burn on a slight downhill grade, and practice going in and out of it. On the uphills, if you are good and the hill is not too steep you can downshift to 4th and get back into lean burn for the rest of the hill. If you do this and keep speed at 65 or below (or draft trucks), you should get 70-75 mpg on a warm day on the interstate (if not going against the wind).
On another subject, I would avoid using a lot of battery to climb hills. On a large hill climb, even on the interstate, I go up at 57-64 MPH in 3rd or 4th, depending on steepness. If you go into 3rd and you are not on the throttle too much it won't use the battery.
 
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