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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've spent a lot of times pouring over all of these threads on driving techniques to learn as much as I can before posting any kind of ignorant or exhausted questions. Now that I've done my homework I'm hoping for feedback as to why I am stuck at 58mpg. I think I know the factors but would greatly appreciate feedback. It seems many people can comfortably be in the 75 mpg range, unfortunately I am not. I was told that the previous owner was a traveling salesman so I can assume he accumulated mostly highway miles. I would have expected to see the cars lifetime average higher than 55.4mpg(unless he was a lead foot). Please read my stats, then my thoughts and post your feedback. Thank you for your time.


About the Car:
Year: 2001
Transmission: Manual
Mileage: 117,000
Cars Lifetime MPG: 55.4mpg
Front Tires: Michelin Harmony Tires
Rear: (Forgot Name) but noticed size 175/65-14
Battery Pack: Original
Spark Plug Changed: Unknown but seem perfect
Other: Everything is stock and all body panels including undercarriage is present.

About My Driving:

Location: SE Wisconsin(Flat) 50/50 hwy and city
Speed: Everybody passes me(55-60hwy).
Mileage Driven since purchase: 700 miles
Coasting: I coast every chance I get in neutral to maximize distance if the battery is over 75% charged.
Acceleration: Slow
Shifting: I tend to use the 1-2-5 meathod I read about
Lean Burn: I have a good grasp on this, can readily identify it and hold it.
My MPG Average: 58.6mpg over 400 miles
Other: Plan for every uphill approaching, take advantage of every down hill.


My first thought is on the tires, I understand the fact that they are not stock is a big factor. After looking over my stats, other than environmental, is anything else jumping out at anyone? Thanks again.
 

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Your mileage isn't terrible but I would focus on those tires. You didn't say what pressure you were running. There are many things that make the Gen 1 Insight such a mileage champ but lean burn might be the main one. But to keep the car in lean burn mode you need the other factors working at least close to design spec. Wrong tires or pressures combined with underbody aero problems, poor tuning or other factors work to bring the car below the lean burn threshold. It's not incremental. If it won't stay in lean burn you won't get the stellar mileage.

Rick Hall
 

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Most cars for sale have lifetime mileage similar to yours. I don't think you are doing that bad. I'm not sure coasting in neutral is a good idea since the car will be idling whereas if coasting in gear the fuel is cut off completely. Try not to use assist. I wonder if 1-2-5 is a good idea for that reason. Replace the tires and pump them up! I run 50lbs.
 

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You are better off holding a constant load versus idling in neutral, unless the engine is off while in neutral or if you are in neutral coming to a stop where auto-stop will occur. If the load is light enough to where you can be in neutral, that is prime territory to be in lean-burn or if your speed is under about 35, doing a pulse and glide may be more beneficial but lean-burn gets close even at low speeds and always better than idling in neutral.

Your biggest problem are the tires, you need a set of Bridgestone Potenza RE92 165/65/14 tires. It doesn't make sense to swap the tires until they are worn out though due to the large expense it takes to swap tires of any brand, you might need to live with roughly 60MPG until they have worn out. If they are brand new, you might be living with them for awhile, but if they aren't than it isn't too long that you'll need to worry about it. If you aren't running at least sidewall max when cold on the tires you already have, you should raise the pressure to get better rolling resistance.
 

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The problems I see in your post:

The obvious elephant in the room, your tires. Anything other than Bridgestone Potenza RE92 in the 165/65R14 size results in a ~10-15% mileage hit. Period.

I'm unconvinced on the 1-2-5 shift method. I tried it for a while, and it works, but I've migrated to a more traditional 1-2-3-5 or 1-2-3-4-5 approach, and get better mileage. The trick is in using little-to-no assist.

Coasting in neutral: don't do this; its more efficient to coast in 5th. The engine's deceleration fuel cut off mode means that when its in gear and coasting, the engine uses no fuel. You can see this on your dash much better if you flip the display to metric, and watch the difference between coasting in neutral vs coasting in gear. (they both look like 150MPG in US units)

LMPG's of 55 are not uncommon. When I bought my car back in May, its LMPG was 4.6L/100km (51MPG), and its taken me about 12,000km (7500mi) to get it up to 4.5L/100km (52MPG). My car's total mileage is 167,000km (a little over 100,000 mi). I have been consistently turning out tanks in the mid-to-high 60's. I don't understand what the previous owners were doing. My worst tank so far was 4.0L/100km, and that was with alot of aggressive driving and A/C usage.

Its taken me 2 months and nearly 15,000km (9500mi) to reach a point where on my current tank, which I'm halfway through, I am sitting at 3.3L/100km (71MPG). Forum member Eli said it took him 2 years before his first 70MPG+ tank. You simply haven't gone far enough to get really in tune with your car.

Remember: the EPA rating on these cars according to EPA's new counting method (more realistic than their old method), is 48MPG City, 60MPG Hwy, 53MPG Combined.
 

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Also:

with 175/65R14 tires, you're travelling 2.2% farther than your dashboard says you are, and therefore, you can multiply your mileage by 1.022.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you.

Thank you all for your input. I never use the A/C and my tires are at 45psi. I'll jump it up to 50 and replace with oem when the time comes. I love this car and look forward to becoming one with her. I came from a 300hp car and I have much more fun with this and the science behind high mpg driving.
 

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I'd say you're doing pretty good with only 700 miles under your belt.

It looks like everything has pretty much been covered. I encourage you to keep experimenting with the car, to see what works best for you and your driving conditions. The worst that will happen is you'll find your new technique hinders MPG. But it may help MPG, so it's worth trying.

And yeah, 55MPG is fairly standard for a lifetime MPG.
 

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Also, switching back to other vehicles, even for a day at a time hurts.

I'm driving my Dad's Toyota T100 today because I'm using it to haul a dead prelude back to our shop for conversion to a race car after work. Round trip to work in my insight yesterday, I pulled 3.0L/100km on my 150km round trip. (Fuel is about $1.29/L here right now). Dad put $30 in the truck the day before yesterday, its nearly empty with only 180km on the meter.
 

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+1 ^ All of the above.

58 mpg is very good for new I1 owner with non-OEM tires!

Also: If you can't verify what's in your oil pan, at least be sure your next oil change is with 0W20 oil and with only 2.5 qts.
 

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It is a VERY common story - though your MPG mileage is good you're driving a car you really don't know about... for all you know the previous owner put canola oil or WD-40 in it. Why not make sure about your car here-forward and do a complete tune-up (costs very little especially if you do it yourself) , replace the tires with those that are recommended (pump them to 50#) and known to give the best MPG then you'd have not only peace of mind but also a better baseline to determine what issues there might be? Each mile you drive it you have no idea as to what had been done or how well it was done. Trying to guess as to what someone else did or driving on the wrong tires is just not sensible. Perhaps if money is an issue there might well be other Insight owners around you that could lend a hand in the labor and tools part of maintenance.

Good luck and welcome aboard
 

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Good to see another Southern WI owner on here. I know much less than every one else who has already replied so have no advice to give. I just bought my Insight and the previous owner had a LMPG of 57. I reset it and it was at 65 last time I checked. Unfortunately, I still like to drive fast and like my AC. :rolleyes:
 

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I am also a newer insight owner and in the same MPG range. However I have the CVT unfortunately.

Mine is just shy of 200k miles, and the first thing I've done is change the engine oil to full synthetic 0w-20, new air filter, pump the tires up to 40#, and change the plugs.

The first tank I was at 54mpg, second tank was 57mpg (with a segment high of 72.8mpg and also a 66mpg over 60 miles day). If I hypermile I tend to get low to mid 60s out of it and if I drive like everyone else at 75-80mph with the AC on it drops to high 40s.

I did a poor mans upper grill block with some painters tape, it seemed to a little slicker at freeway speeds and I noticed about a 2-3mpg increase compared to similar conditions.

Also, drafting whenever possible at a reasonable speed will help get those numbers up.

The EGR valve, EGR plate, and throttle body are on my cleaning agenda (still haven't cleaned the interior out yet haha). Also a valve job this weekend if I have time between my other projects.

Give the pulse and glide technique a try, for me I make sure the assist kicks in a little bit when I pulse to an extra boost. Then I hold it in lean burn with a little bit of background charging to keep me up in the 70-90% SOC range.
 
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