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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my insight has reached 60 mpg a few times.

I noticed the battery meter never goes very low, stays near fully charged.

Could it be that my "low" mileage is due to the electric motor not being used...assuming the battery meter never going below 90% indicates the electric motor is not draining it.

Thanks

Greg
 

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Just to check the obvious - you don't happen to drive around with the engine revving above 3,000 rpm all the time do you? That would explain the high charge and the low MPG.......Or do you drive around with your headlights on? Those are two obvious causes that spring to my mind.
 

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Ok, obvious question. What transmission do you have? More details. What tire pressure are you running? Are you running stock tires? What are your driving habbits like? Weather conditons? Where do you live abouts?

Your described "low" mileage is not due to the motor not being used. Having the SOC stay 90% or above is normal unless your climbing a big hill or something similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
more details....

This is a 2002, purchased new just a month ago, June 2003 from the dealer.

I drive with the lights off unless wipers are on or when it is dark. :wink:

I have stock tires and have yet to take in in for the first "oil change"....I will assume the tires are ok pressure.

Most of my driving is long distance commuting with a lot of open road but on certain days there is the stop and go in rush hour.

It is CVT trans.

I try to monitor the mpg and adjust my habits to maximize the numbers.

It just seemed odd that the charge meter has never gone down much at all.

BTW, the mileage average for the life of the car is at 47.9 and climbing -- a good thing.

I saw the estimate was 57mpg and have heard of others getting 60++.

Thanks for the help, I'll try to fill in any more information if you have the time to help.

I will ask the dealer but have a fear that since there are only a few of these on the road in this area, the dealer will not be of more help than this list of Insight owners.

Greg
 

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What sort of country do you live in - flat, big hills, or what?

I don't think you will really see the charge go down much unless you have long hills to climb - at least several hundred feet of elevation change. Do you see the "assist" meter come on when you acellerate from a stop?

Other people have mentioned that new Insights take a while to break in and achieve their best mpg - bought mine used, so I can't confirm this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
local conditions

I live near DC so it is fairly flat, not Kansas City flat but not Vail Colorado hills by any means.
 

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Well I would start by checking the tire pressure and not assuming it's ok. If you read around in past posts you will find many run their tires at a higher pressure than the 38 35 recommendation. I (and most others) would recommend 44psi all around and 50 psi all around if your not afraid to go above the max sidewall. Actually, at 50psi the tires will actually wear much more evenly than at factory specs. Most dealerships do not know that the insight's tires require a different pressure than all the other cars so generally they will inflate them to 30 psi all around, which is way too low. Check them, and they do saftey rate them to higher than 50psi cold inflation.

Secondly, the CVT takes a good 5,000 miles if not more to properly break in. After a certain point it will go up once it's broken in. From most of the CVT's I've seen a lmpg of around 45 to 50 mpg seems to be average for typical drivers. While 60mpg is probably easily possible with an Insight you'd have to keep it around 55 to 60mph. If your getting above 50mpg in a new Insight that isn't completely broken in yet I'd have to say your doing pretty good. I have a 5 speed, but even with that I'd say that the car wasn't really broken until after the 2nd oil change.

I suppose it comes down to how conservatively do you want to drive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
a bit more data on my driving habits

thanks for the very thoughtful replies.

Last night I though to chech the rpm I am at. It is about 2500-3000 tops. For curiosity sake I tried the "S" drive option and the rmp doubled to near 4000 or more.


I will check the tire pressure today.

I need to research the way the car works to better understand why the battery does not discharge more. It is my "***-umption" that when the gas engine is in use it burns gas and lowers the mpg. When the electric motor is running it does not burn gass. For the electric motor to run, it must discharge the battery and if the battery has not noticibly gone down I must not be using the electric motor a lot and therefore the gas mileage is lower than it could be.

I would appreciate a pointer to a good article on the general concept of the car and how the two engines work, I have read some of this but will need to read it again for it to sink in more.
 

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when the gas engine is in use it burns gas and lowers the mpg. When the electric motor is running it does not burn gass.
This is inaccurate. The Insight Internal Combustion Engine always runs to propel the car. The Electric Motor is only used to provide additional boost when needed such as accelerating and climbing hills. The Electric Motor also is of course used to regenerate power when the battery management equipment deems it necessary.
As a side note, the mileage per gallon of gasoline you are getting is great! :) It is more difficult to drive for best mileage with an "automatic transmission" which the CVT is basically. The reason is that automatic transmissions are simply less efficient than manual.
~Martin
Recycled
2000 5 Spd
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
assist light

i will try to pay attention to the assist light.

As I recal, that comes on when I mash the gas but not much otherwise...I guess that explains the lack of battery discharge, if my recollection is accurate.

Could that be in need of adjustment to trigger the electric assist at a lower trigger level?

If the electric assist was triggered more often would my mpg be higher?



GG
 

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elec problem?

After many many (82,000) miles of driving, testing, and researching it is my conclusion that the IMA works more off of vacuum than RPM. I have always driven with my vacuum/boost gauge and the IMA acts more readily to "0" inches of vacuum, especially in the higher gears. If you have a CVT the rpm is kept in the range (3,000 rpm) where the IMA battery is constantly being charged so you will not show much battery drain. Also if you pay attention you will see that even with a low battery and a "no charge or assist" indication, the IMA battery will charge back to nearly full most of the time.........Willie (60 mpg with a CVT, don't complain.)
 

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If the electric assist was triggered more often would my mpg be higher?
Probably only by a couple miles per gallon at the best.
Most people get best mileage by watching the instantaneous fuel mileage display and trying to keep it at a high level continuously.
 

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If your average mph is above 60 mph you'll notice a decrease in fuel economy. For instance I have a manual trans that gets about 85 mpg if i drive on the freeway between 55 & 60 mph over the 30 mile commute to and from work which is all Freeway in S. Calif.

When i drive over 75 mph and above there is a severe drop in mpg and i average more like 65mpg over the same commute.

When i'm not in a rush i usually hang out in the slow lane and coast my way to work at 55 to 60 mph. By the time i need to refuel the car i average between 64 to 68 mpg for the entire tank with city driving factored in
 

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"It is my "***-umption" that when the gas engine is in use it burns gas and lowers the mpg. When the electric motor is running it does not burn gass."

Hummm... Are you sure you have an Insight, and not a Toyota Prius :) Because that's the way the Prius works (I think). Honda uses a different system. The gas engine is always running, and the electric motor assists it when it's under heavy load, like when starting from a stop, or going up a hill.

This works because it takes much less power to move a car at a constant speed than it does to accelerate it to that speed. Therefore the Insight can have a smaller gas engine that is more efficient, and gets better mpg. That's also why you never see the battery charge indicator go down much. It stores enough power for many starts, and when you brake, puts part of the energy back in the battery. If you want to see it go down, maybe a trip to the Blue Ridge Mts would do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
air pressure is the trick! (at least a big BIG part)

Now I know why am labeled "driver in training" :oops:

I "***-umed" too much, like the dealer would air up the tires right.

After the advice from this list I checked the air, the rear tires were only 25 psi in the rear and the front were 29 psi or so.

The advice to take them to 44-50 was sa little scarry so I did all 4 to 40psi. Now with this discovery, I'll try 44pso, the max on the tire and see what this baby can really do!!! ( I saw somewhere the front should be different than the rear psi...anyone can validate that?)

The drive home was not near the conditions I made my record 60mpg but even so I increased my mpg to in the mid-60s, 66 mpg I guess.

When I can take it out in the same ideal driving conditions that I had reached 60 mpg earlier I bet now I will approach 70 mpg. :D

Quite a jump and I am shocked that air made that difference.

Well, you all helped me a lot. The reason was not what I was guessing.

I am really happy to find this but I guess the first oil change would have shown the air low--- or maybe not if I let the dealer (not the one I bought it from which was in NYC area it is an eBay Motors baby) didn't check or know that 44 psi is best.

BTW Leaving the gas station I hit a curb and thought I damaged the "skirt". no damage.

I realize this conversation has taken place somewhere else here... sorry to repeat.



THANKS all, I'll give an update after 44 psi.
 

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When you take it in for your first oil change your best bet is to ask for the unused half quart back. Don't let them BS your about how they pump it from bulk, 0W-20 only comes in the quart bottles. Also, they will likely "check" your tire pressure which means they will deflate them to around 30psi and then probalby give you a speal about how bad you are for overinflating them. You might request they leave the tires alone, but I would personally check all their work before leaving the dealership. This is why I don't do the dealership thing, but I'm lucky, I have access to a lift.

Now as far as tire pressure. Factory specs are 38 front 35 rear. However when your running higher pressure like they should be ran at keeping then the same all around is fine. Again, I'll recommend 44 all around as a minimum. Bear in mind that they are saftey rated for more than 44. Most of us run 50 all around and have had no problems at all. I was skeptical at first too, but after trying 44 I went to 50 the next day. My outer tread is still wearing noticably more than the inner tread. I contribute this to my love of handling in corners.

I actually got in to a heated debate about this with a tech at the dealership once. I finally had to show her my tires and said "ok now can you honestly tell me this wear patterns would be that of an overinflated tire" with the outer tread half gone and the inner tread brand new looking still. She still thought I was crazy, but all well.
 

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Ricky Suiter wrote:

> Now as far as tire pressure. Factory specs are 38 front 35 rear. However
> when your running higher pressure like they should be ran at keeping then
> the same all around is fine. Again, I'll recommend 44 all around as a
> minimum. Bear in mind that they are saftey rated for more than 44. Most
> of us run 50 all around and have had no problems at all. I was skeptical
> at first too, but after trying 44 I went to 50 the next day.

Just a further safety warning:

Tires are _only_ safely rated to their maximum as molded into the sidewall. In this case 44 psi. However there is a large margin of safety in most tires. Just remember that if you go over the rated inflation your using some of this margin. (BTW I too inflate to 50psi)


> My outer tread is still wearing noticably more than the inner tread.
> I contribute this to my love of handling in corners.

Enjoy the corners guilt free. Most tire wear reports I've read on Insight forums say the same thing regardless of inflation and driving style. Edges wear first. Its almost certainly due to the tires low rolling friction design.

I only post this so as to discourage someone trying to find the optimal wear inflation which more than likely will result in a tire blowout while driving.


John K. Bullock
aka. Insightful Trekker
 

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One Warning to in responce to the last post,
For all of us living it the hotter climates Like myself in Southern California. Keep in mind that as you drive your car and the tires warm up tire pressure will increase as heat increases inside the tire.

Keep in mind that if you inflate your tires past 44 psi while cold. They will be much higher when hot.

Yeah a few extra mpg is great but if that tire blows it will cost you time and money to get a new one.

My personal sugestion is don't exceed 44psi in hot climates. consider getting a K&N Air Filter. which will help yah get some more power and mileage.
 
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