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Had a great example of how rain can affect MPG. A trip from Maine down to Massachusetts yesterday, new full tank, good roads, freeway some attention paid to mileage, arrived at destination with 68 mpg including lots of 70mph, 120 miles covered. The return was mostly in a driving rainstorm, the one that dropped 13 inches on LI. Tank now reads 59.6, same road, mostly running 55 mpg or slower. Much of the time spent under 50 mpg.
 

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I too notice a pretty substantial hit when driving in the rain. Guess the "air" is a lot harder to push out of the way when it becomes "the sea." ;-)
Add in the resistance on the tires of water on the road...

Want to see the biggest hit? A warm rain that eventually requires you to run the defogger... Ouch. It can be near impossible to hit 50 MPG for that highway trip.
 

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i drove lat weekend from DC to home in NC and got 66mpg and this was calculated at the fill-up. On the way back, hit rain most of the time and was unable to get into lean burn much if at all and used much more battery along the way. Felt the drag from the rain. Got 58 on the road back with the same driving habit and only one stop along the way.

Price of having the cool car! way better than my S420 at 21 mph on premium...RLTW
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wouldn't driving slower give you better MPG's? Was there more stop-n-go traffic in the rain? Did you have heat and/or defrost on?
Driving slower would help if it wasn't for the rain. Traffic was moving smoothly just down around 50-55 instead of 65-70 due to visibility and fear of hydroplaning. Heat and defrost were off. Just a drag and traction issue.
 

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Indicated 120+ MPG for 40 miles at 80+ mph behind this sailboat... Drafting is more important than anything else that can be done. <-- that's a period.

 

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Most of the time you are drafting you are also driving slowly.
I draft in Chicago pre-rush-hour traffic 80 miles a day most of the time well over 65 mph.

Porsche Cayennes are good for a draft up to 105 mph at 80 mpg. I like big buts and I can not lie!!!
 

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Had a great example of how rain can affect MPG. A trip from Maine down to Massachusetts yesterday, new full tank, good roads, freeway some attention paid to mileage, arrived at destination with 68 mpg including lots of 70mph, 120 miles covered. The return was mostly in a driving rainstorm, the one that dropped 13 inches on LI. Tank now reads 59.6, same road, mostly running 55 mpg or slower. Much of the time spent under 50 mpg.
I too notice a significant reduction in MPG when the road is drenched. I think I've notice two factors. It requires some considerable energy to push water aside in front of the tires. You will nice this effect when you run through a deep puddle. The car will actually pull to one side or another. Second, raising literally hundreds of gallons of water to 10' or so is a tremendous amount of pumping. This is another big loss of energy.
 

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Glad to see this was not just me. I just bought a 2001 mt yesterday and drove back down I-95 5 hours in a downpour. Traffic was heavy but even resetting while moving along just under 70 only showed 55-56 vs it's lifetime 58.9. I surmised it had to do with the rain, but as a certified worrier I was still a bit concerned. Looking forward to learning more about these amazing cars as time goes on.
 

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Welcome to the ELITE FAMILY. You have a whole lot of reading here at ICN just to catch up.
Enjoy and learn as you go.

Willie
 

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Thanks, haven't had a chance to take any pics myself yet but here is a link to one of the pics from the ad.

http://mobile.dealercarsearch.com/largephotos.aspx?id=3824150


On another note, she threw an IMA light this morning, and based on the limited reading I've had time for so far seems to have had a positive recal at the same time. I was coasting around 60, bringing the charge back up showing 3 bars of green "charging" as I typically (well, each morning this week) do after the hill climb on-ramp during my commute that brings me from a half - 2/3ish level of charge to 1/3ish. The charge was slowly climbing as it had in the past, but this time jumped from 2/3 to full and displayed the IMA. Interestingly counter to what I've read so far, once off the highway in city driving it assisted as normal and charged while coasting/braking, dropping and regaining a bar of charge while the IMA was still lit. I got to work and pulled the 12v positive cable to reset. It went to 0 charge, built a couple bars at idle before I took it around the block where it quickly came back up to all but full (guessing the 19 bars I have seen mentioned, I haven't counted yet). I'm hoping it has to do with the 40 degree temp swing from last night to this morning, but since my limited searching has brought up any similar instances that's probably just wishful thinking. Otherwise the only difference in driving style today was running the heat full blast for the first 5 minutes of neighborhood driving prior to said on ramp.

I'm at lunch now, and it started at the same all but full level, used 3-4 bars getting on the highway, charged back 2 under braking/coasting, seemingly normal behavior based on what it has been doing.

Like I said I'm a worrier, and I will be doing plenty of searching and reading over the holiday weekend on my own, but any thoughts/advice is welcome in the meantime. Battery was replaced by the dealer at 58k in '10 per receipts with the car.
 

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You need to know the code, but it sounds like a 1447. You need to grid charge ASAP. I have "fixed" three similar problems lately by grid charging. It may not be a permanent fix, but it will buy you a lot of time before you have to replace your battery.

Sam
 

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Agreed with Sam. My red used to do the same. IMA light and still had assist/regen. P1447. Very treatable. I got a grid charger set-up from Jeff (Jeff652) at Hybridautomotive. Reasonable diy install. Jeff's site has instructions with pics on how to. Jeff is a highly regarded long time member here on IC.

I was able to nurse that ailing pack for 2 years while I saved up for a replacement pack.

Next time the IMA light comes, get the code read (unhooking the 12v lead erases the codes). A friend or nearby Insighter with an OBD can read the code for you. Autozone and the such will often read codes for no charge. Blink coding is another option that you can do yourself.

Here is a link to Mike D's website and how to blink code. Here is a link to a blink code spreadsheet AbCaRed00 put up, so you can interpret the codes.

As Sam said, get a grid charger. A grid charger is an invaluable piece of pack maintenance equipment and worthwhile investment. Many owners have one.
 

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Thanks for the advice guys. I was beginning to suspect that a grid charger might be the way to go. If (when? Gulp) it does this again I'll definitely get the code checked. Ideally I would have this morning but, you know, work and bosses and whatnot. Would I have done any damage if I had just parked it without resetting and gone the few miles to auto zone this afternoon?

As for the grid charger, two things come to mind that I think I know the answers for already, but let me show my ignorance a bit more:

1. Is it possible this morning was a fluke, warranting waiting it out a while to see if it does it again before shelling out 400 bucks for a grid charger? The budget would like me better if I didn't take another chunk this soon after buying the car.

I'm guessing there isn't such a chance and I'll only do more damage waiting. Or that there is a slight chance but no way to know without seeing which code it threw, at best.

2. How long is a lot of time? Is 2 years of nursing along a reasonable assumption considering the age of the battery now?

I'm guessing this is one of those no way to tell/to many variables situations, but perhaps there is at least a foggy idea of "typical" results.

Thanks again all . I'd like to think I'm at least semi competent mechanically, but I'm decidedly very new to the electrical side of this. All my under hood time has been spent with ancient 4x4s and one particularly finicky VR4. So if anyone is in Southeast GA and wants to help out down the road (or needs a second set of hands themselves for that matter) , the beers are on me.

Nate
 

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Thanks for the advice guys. I was beginning to suspect that a grid charger might be the way to go. If (when? Gulp) it does this again I'll definitely get the code checked. Ideally I would have this morning but, you know, work and bosses and whatnot. Would I have done any damage if I had just parked it without resetting and gone the few miles to auto zone this afternoon?

Just waiting a little to get the code read should be ok. The light will come back, 'cause your pack is likely 'out of balance' Read up on Hybdriautomotive's info, Jeff explains it well.

As for the grid charger, two things come to mind that I think I know the answers for already, but let me show my ignorance a bit more:

1. Is it possible this morning was a fluke, warranting waiting it out a while to see if it does it again before shelling out 400 bucks for a grid charger? The budget would like me better if I didn't take another chunk this soon after buying the car.

Probably not a fluke, the car will set a code when it see's a problem. An exception I have read about several times is if lots of codes and weird dash light behavior is going on, many times that is loose grounds. Knowing your specific code will answer that.

I'm guessing there isn't such a chance and I'll only do more damage waiting. Or that there is a slight chance but no way to know without seeing which code it threw, at best.

The pack will continue to get further out of balance, leading to a P1449 code (worse situation). Grid charging will help in avoiding or delaying that.

2. How long is a lot of time? Is 2 years of nursing along a reasonable assumption considering the age of the battery now?

That varies. Every car and pack is different. Some folk have been 'balancing' for longer. Some folk not so lucky. Either way, anything you spend on a grid charger is a good investment.

I'm guessing this is one of those no way to tell/to many variables situations, but perhaps there is at least a foggy idea of "typical" results.

Agreed on the variable, each pack is different. Typical result most times is improved pack performance.

Thanks again all . I'd like to think I'm at least semi competent mechanically, but I'm decidedly very new to the electrical side of this. All my under hood time has been spent with ancient 4x4s and one particularly finicky VR4. So if anyone is in Southeast GA and wants to help out down the road (or needs a second set of hands themselves for that matter) , the beers are on me.

Nate
Since you're already an 'underhood' guy, you should be able to do an install ok. (I'm not an underhood guy, and I did it) Just follow the safety precautions which Jeff posts in his instructions. Primarily: shutting off the pack breaker and waiting a few minutes for capacitors to discharge. There is plenty of juice in the pack to be fatal. Good idea to get an inexpensive voltmeter from Harbor Freight or similar, to verify no voltage after shutting off the pack. If you're still uncomfortable, maybe an Insighter near you or an electrical type would lend a hand. There are some 'rebel' ;) Insighters down your way.

Good luck. Send an update now and then, and Happy New Year !
 

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Thanks again sir. I'll post a little write up on the car with a few pics sometime soon so there is a decent place to update as I go.

If it hasn't been done to death I may even try to document the learning process of a new to hybrid DIYer. Seems like, especially as time continues to go on, that most purchases of these little beauty's will or should involve some battery work, and I know I would love to stumble upon a similar case study right about now.

Thanks again and Happy New Year!
 

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Glad to help, if even just a little.

Check out the 'stickys' at the top of each forum area. Especially in the problems and troubleshooting. Good info in there on just about any trouble you may encounter. As Willie does say, "search is your friend".

Regards,
 
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