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Honda Fit Real World MPG

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  • cool, thanks for the tip. i didn't notice this in the 08 Fit manual. but I'll try taking the tires up.... got a road trip gig tomorrrow night in Hyannis (Cape Cod MA) so will see how it goes with say, 38 PSI at first. thanks again.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Think of an air filled rubber ball. On a flat table the ball has very little surface actually touching the table. If you apply a given amount of weight down on the ball, more of its surface touches the table. Adding some air will lift part of the surface off the table. Decreasing air will allow more surface to touch the table.

    With that in mind:

    If a tire is under inflated for the load it carries it may visually appear to be low on air and the side walls are actually sagging a bit. Slightly more tire may be touching the road. This will lead to premature wear on the outer and inner tread surface while the middle of the tread surface wears less. There is also more resistance to rolling, resulting in poorer mileage. Handling on curves, corners and emergency maneuvers will be sluggish. However in ice, snow, mud and such, the traction will be better.

    An over inflated tire will "Balloon", somewhat, and force more of the center of the tread on the road. This lifts the outer treads off the road to some degree. This can lead to the center of the tread wearing before the outer.
    There is less rolling resistance because less tire is pressing on the road. Handling can feel a little crisper. However in situations where "Grip" becomes paramount, there won't be as much with an over inflated tire.

    Tire longevity is best when the entire tread is kept on the road. Tires are expensive. If any part of the tread wears thin, the entire tire is unsafe.

    There is always a compromise.

    Automobile and tire manufacturers try to establish the best amount of air pressure for a tire to have even pressure across the width of the tread for the amount of load that tire has to carry and the best ride. Heavier loads will require more air pressure than lighter ones.

    The maximum pressure shown on the side of the tire is just that. Maximum pressure suggested by the tire manufacturer before danger of blowing. It is not the maximum suggested for any particular weight of car.

    Tire gauges will vary. My gauge may show 1-3 pounds more or less than yours does. To establish the "perfect" amount of air takes a few minutes, but will work.

    Here is how: When tires are "cold" Inflate the driver side front and rear tire to near maximum according to the writing on the tire. Drive around long enough to get the tires to operating temperature, with the load you normally carry. Find a low traffic straight stretch of smooth road and pull over, but leaving the over inflated tires on the road. Put several chalk marks across the treads on both tires. ( Be careful and Watch for cars)
    Note- Make several marks so it will be easier to see them in a minute.. Gently pull back on the straight road turning the steering wheel as little as possible, and drive a mile or two.

    Now pull over as before and check the chalk marks. They will probably be worn off more in the middle than the edges. (If they have worn evenly across the tread it should be OK to leave them at that pressure.)

    If they are worn more in the center, using the gauge, let out a pound or two. Refresh the chalk marks and continue to do this until the chalk wears evenly across the tread.
    Keep this in mind. You may find that the front tire begins to wear the chalk evenly, but the rear was still wearing the center more, as there is usually less weight at the rear of the car.. Simply stop adjusting the front and consentrate on the rear.

    When the front and rear are both wearing evenly, THAT is the maximum amount of air those tires require to have the entire tread evenly carrying the weight of the car and load. You may have been able to decrease pressure more for better ride and still have even wear, but we are after better mileage here. So we are staying on the high side.

    At this point you don't know what the correct "cold pressure" is. You do know that at operating temps the tire have the correct amount of air.

    Park the car in the shade for a few hours to allow the tires to cool.
    After they are cool check the pressure with the gauge you will be using for that car. Now you have the "cold pressure" You may find that the rear requires less than the front, which is normal. Write these numbers down in the door frame with a felt tip pen for reference and put the gauge in the console or glove box. Next time you check tire pressure, use those numbers and that gauge.

    This method will give you the best mileage while maintaining proper tire to road contact for safety and handling and tire longevity. You have established the correct pressure according to your tires, your load and your gauge. This procedure only has to be done once. Although you might wish to do it every 10K miles or so to compensate for norman weakening of the sidewalls.

    With proper tire pressure, the driver has more to do with good mileage than anything else. I consistently get 3-5 mpg better than my wife. She drives to get there, and I drive for mileage. :)

    Kip
  • Thanks tons for the great info hypermiler and Kipk--I always knew inflated tires are better, but had no idea of these details you each set forth so clearly.

    This is invaluable information during these times.

    Will help not only with my budget but also as my carbon footprint! :)

    BTW, in a separate but related question, does anyone know if running the A/C higher versus running A/C lower also affect gas mileage? Or does it make no difference once it's on? Thanks in advance if anyone knows...
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    With most vehicles (my Honda included) the Compressor will cycle on and off in a similar manner, whether the fan is set to low speed or a higher speed, so if you're going to run the A/C, just run it where you are comfortable.

    The short answer: I don't think so. :D
  • fitman548fitman548 Posts: 172
    IME makes maybe a 1-2 mpg difference. maybe. I turn it off when I hit the on ramp to merge on to the freeway, just to get the extra horses.

    I think the AC is like the 6th thing on my list of ways to increase your MPG.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I turn it off when I hit the on ramp to merge on to the freeway, just to get the extra horses.

    Just a little FYI ;) :

    If you need extra power (pushing the throttle hard), the A/C should disengage, only to re-engage once you've backed off the throttle. Even my old '96 Accord does this.
  • Hey everyone,

    I just bought my 08' Fit this past Monday and I love the car. It's a black sport model with an auto tranny. Just had to fill up the tank for the first time yesterday and my computed MPG was about 36. I did a lot of highway miles this past Teusday (120 miles), but other than that it has been mostly around town driving. I used the cruise control for all highway travel but kept the speed at 60 miles per hour tops. (Has anyone else ever thought that that big rig barreling up behind you was just going to fling you off the road...?) Anyways, I have also been using the AC every day. I haven't had the windows tinted yet and this Florida heat combined with that black interior is too much for this former New Yorker to bear. I think I've had excellent MPG though due to the fact that I've been actively trying to drive more efficiently.

    For my next tank of gas, I'm going to try to avoid using the cruise control and just try to keep the rpm's at a good level on the highway. I will let your all know if I see any difference in MPG's. For the third tank I was thinking about trying to use the paddle shifters to "manually" select my gears and see if that has any difference on fuel economy.

    One last thing... Kinda off topic, but the only dealership in town didn't have the black color I wanted so they had to trade with another dealer. I was almost done signing paperwork when the dealership manager himself came out and apologized for not telling me sooner, but the car that I was going to get had an aftermarket chrome grill installed by the other dealership. He went on to tell me that this was a $275 upgrade and I then told him to take it off the car when it came in and trade it with one of there other Fit's grills. Come on... the Fit's grill is about 6 inches wide and 3 inches tall. $275???
  • jootjoot Posts: 2
    Hasn't Honda figured out the mileage problem in some Fits yet?

    My Fit Sport automatic has 8500 miles on it now, so the low mileage can no longer be blamed on breaking in the engine. Over time it did improve from about 25 mpg for the first few tanks to now about 28.5 mpg. Overall since I bought my fit I have averaged 27 mpg. Even cruising at 60 mph on flat ground for a whole tank, the best I have ever gotten is 35 mpg. I can't imagine getting >40 mpg or going 370 miles on one tank like some here have described - I have never reached 300 miles on one tank, even when pushing it after the E light comes on. :cry:
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Hasn't Honda figured out the mileage problem in some Fits yet?

    They will never admit it and all the Honda fans that do NOT have a problem will tell you that it's you and your driving style and not the car. This is utter BS. But also why Honda doesn't have to fix it.
    I suggest that you trade it in towards a 2009 Fit. Your 2008 won't lose much value and you stand a good chance of getting a good mileage Fit. If the new owner complains about poor fuel economy tell him/her to read this forum and that it's all in their imagination and or driving style.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    ...now about 28.5 mpg (average). Even cruising at 60 mph on flat ground for a whole tank, the best I have ever gotten is 35 mpg.

    Congrats, you are beating EPA Estimates.

    2008 Fit Sport Automatic

    27 City / 33 Hwy

    Don't be so glum, chum. :)
  • watsacwatsac Posts: 49
    joot - have you done an ILP reset?
  • vdalvdal Posts: 6
    I disagree with that.Like i wrote before I was driving Ford Taurus 03'. 3.0 engine and i was getting better millage in city then with Honda Fit.The same trip everyday.I didin't have to worry about turning on AC(lower mpg),opening windows, accelerating from time to time.I drive 100% city, nad still My best result was 21 mpg, when I didn't turn on AC, dirving by the limits, keeping low rpm.We switch with my husband and the same thing., but the funny thing is that on hwy is not that bad cause this weekend full packed we had 35 mpg:D.I've got 1600 miles, so maybe finally this will kick in:D
  • just got 36 mpg on my last tank, and just reach 1100 miles on the new Fit. more HWY than city on that particular tank. i'm very pleased.
  • Trade it in, don't waste more time with it. I did exactly that, after 3 1/2 months of frustration I got rid of the headache. The fit is a cheap replica of the original Japanese Jazz version. The tank is too small the mpg tales are probably written in by honda freaks and it's not worth your hard earned money. If you paid off your insurance just get rid of it now while it's still worth something because when the september 2009 fit hits the road it's going to be impossible for you to get rid of it. There are plenty of people buying the 2008 fit, dealers wont have a hard time reselling it it days but if you wait... you'll be stuck with 7 year old lemon that's about to change in 2 to 3 weeks. Gooo do it. I went to Mazda dealer and picked up a M5 Mazda sport and it's giving me 24 mpg's combined, 31 highway and it comes loaded with all options for a small family minivan. If you check out the M3 on CR it's ranked number 1. Don't get mad get glad and move up to better life. Honda is a fairy tale sold at an expensive tag price, Mazda's are pure performance and value.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    The fit is a cheap replica of the original Japanese Jazz version.

    Just to set the record straight, in Japan this car has always been called the Fit. And the Fits that you see in North America are assembled on the same line as the JDM Fit, Suzuka's Line No. 2.
  • hey mazda boy
    lets see who's car is worth more money in 7 year's.
    :lemon:
  • Is your Fit manual or automatic? So, you actually gained fourteen miles per gallon driving on a highway that was fully packed with traffic, or a car that was loaded down with people and your/their 'stuff'? I get about 21 in the city and perhaps 24 on the highway. Have about 1200 miles on it now and do plan to implement tips read on this site once I return from a nonroad trip, Really want to hang onto the car, as it is my sixth or seventh Honda and the resale value is utterly amazing!
    Just need clarification regarding your transmission! :confuse:
  • I have a 2008 Base Fit with automatic. I am running it as a 2 seater and have some tools and golf clubs in the cargo area. I average 27 in the real city and 37.5 mostly highway. At 8000 miles on the clock, I have had mileage up to 39.2. I try to keep the tach well below 3. I don't drive like a little old lady but some drivers think I do.
  • vdalvdal Posts: 6
    Here is clarification.honda Fit Sport 2008,automatic.We drove with my husband(so that'a 2 people),and back was full almost to the roof:P with camping staff(tent-14X16ft-kinda heavy:P,cooler,matress,chairs etc).We drove with speed maximum 80 mph with no traffic.My first 800 miles was done only in city(done in 1,5 month:P).Next 800 we done it in 4 days.Mostly highways.that's what i don't get it on highway is good in city not really:/
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Getting 35 mpg at 80 mph is darn good mileage in any car.

    Can't help but believe that the foot might be a bit heavy in city driving. The Fit 4 cylinder is not going to perform like a V6. Trying to force it to do so will burn a lot of extra fuel.

    Kip
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