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I've just moved from a 1985 Buick Skyhawk to my shiny 2002 CVT, and I think I need to shake some of my old driving habits to improve my MPG. I'm flirting with 60mpg on the way to and from work in Seattle-area rush hour traffic, but often end up with 54-55mpg after climbing the big hill to my house. Please critique me! =D

Heading into work, I begin with ~7 miles of twisty 35mph road, followed by ~8 miles along a hilly 60mph freeway. The freeway begins with a big hill, which I've been trying to power up quickly on the theory that the more I use the battery for hill climbing, the better it will be. I've been learning how to feather the gas along the twisty road, but still tend to be a little lead-footed after driving the Buick for 8 years.

My car tends to really sip the battery. I don't think I've ever seen the monitor drop more than a couple of bars, but I can't decide whether there's a problem or it's simply my driving habits.

I'd dearly love to bring my trips - and eventually, each tank - over 60mpg. The car's lifetime average was at just 48.6mpg at 26k miles when I got it, so I think I may have to make up for the previous owner's neglect. Best MPG so far was along a slight downhill at freeway speeds - 140 over a couple of miles - but that came down to 60 by the time I got home.

Advice? =)
 

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A LMPG of 45 with a CVT is pretty typical from what I've seen (although you can deffinitely raise that). Remember the EPA figures are 57/56 for a CVT Insight. The hill is not helping any either. Considering the driving situations you described your doing quite well.
 

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I have a 5 speed, so no experience with the CVT. But when going up long hills, I try to stay out of the assist system as much as possible, on the theory that when you use assist you're moving energy from gas->engine->generator->battery->motor, which is inefficient.

On the 5 speed, that means shifting into third or second on long hills, depending on the steepness, and running the engine at 3000 rpm or more. With the CVT I understand that you can do this with the S button. Might be worth a try.
 

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I agree, 54-55mpg is good for a CVT. 60mpg is exceptional. I can get 55-56 at a steady highway speed, but my daily commute is usually around 51.(lots of hills.) The LMPG is not only affected by driving habits, but other things such as climate. Here in the northeast, I'll lose 10-15%mpg in the winter months. I hardly ever see my battery level go down more than 2 bars. I thought this was abnormal at first, but I've read that this is normal from other CVT owners.
 

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I have lived in the Tacoma, Seattle area when I was still in the Army. Please give a DETAILED descriptions of your roads/freeways, and I will try to help!

Main thing is, the long hills from Federalway to Seattle, you are going to end up driving MUCH slower then traffic to keep good FE, and then on the hills down like around South Center Mall/Air port exit, have your car in 150mpg feather to try and increase the lost FE! :twisted:
 

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CVT driving

I have 57 LMPG on my 2005 CVT after 5000 miles. I can get 65 mpg on my way to work and about 58 on the trip home (73 mile round trip). I'll average above 60 for the commute. LMPG comes down from short trips around town. I've gone 75 miles on 1 gallon.

Tips

(1) drive slow on freeway. I keep it around 60. Drive to the FCD not the speedometer.
(2) rollercoaster hills. I'll try to keep the FCD at > 75 mpg downhill and let the speed climb. Uphill, slow down, stay out of IMA assist as much as possible.
(3) accelerate medium from stoplights
(4) I can coast downhill in neutral a lot on my hills. I keep the engine running. I can max out the FCD above 125 mpg for a long, long time. The difference between this and coasting with the foot off the gas is not charging and not engaging fuel cut mode. But you can get a net gain. When ready to re-engage the transmission, I bring the engine RPM up to about 2500. Do not do this with the engine off, and don't go more than about 5 minutes.
(5) Every single day I use the trip meters and try to set a new "world record". I've gotten home to work at 68.5 mpg and work to home at 64.
(6) pump tires to 45 PSI and check often. Don't carry unecessary weight.

Concentrate. Don't ever "just punch it". One time will pull the daily mpg way down. Let the jackrabbit, pass on the right, idiots just go. Be patient. Turn the engine off with the key if forced to wait in traffic for more than a few minutes. Creeping along will disable the autostop.

Hyper mileage tips. I don't use these all the times but sometimes.

(7) Drafting large trucks can bump your freeway mpg from 55 - 60 to 75 - 85. When you drive up behind you will feel the point when you get "sucked in". Ride it there as long as you can.

(8) Pulse and glide techniques can really help. Accelerate medium to about 45 mph. Shift to neutral, engine on. Coast until speed drops to about 25 to 30. Repeat. This will bump your MPG from 55 - 60 to 70 - 75. Obviously you can't use this unless its late at night and not much traffic.
 

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Wow, hypermiler CVT tips. Thanks. I suspect many with CVTs don't try because they figure there is nothing they can do. :D

Don't coast for more than 5 minutes. :shock: Well the farthest one can coast around here is about 2 miles. (Consider standard coasting warnings, disclaimers, discusions, legalities etc. added here.) :wink:
 
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