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Honda Insight MPG-Real World Numbers

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Comments

  • eliaselias Posts: 1,941
    edited September 2010
    cool. i have an 06 VW TDI now and may have to challenge you to a "pinks" hypermile contest with you, carchief - i can get 50 mpg if i am super careful & shifting to tall-gear absurdly early, and drive 20 mph slower than the usual ~80 mph interstate traffic here.

    is there a way to disable all the Honda Insight dashboard instant-mpg info?
    I drove prius once and found the pac-man "fruit" energy-units going across the screen to be fun, superfluous, and hazardous by attracting attention from the driver.
  • I'm not sure I totally follow your point. The bottom line is that I get 52 mpg and up in normal driving, not by doing anything weird. I do have the ECON button on and I do pay attention to the mpg bar, but I find that fun and I'm driving safely. I haven't gone 80 with the Insight, yet, but I did go up to about 75 on a trip in which I got 47 mpg measured by [distance divided by gallons filled up]. And that was before I even understood what that horizontal mpg bar meant. And yes, I had the air conditioning on for most of it.
    I'd totally be interested in what other Insight (or Prius or Ford Fiesta or Civic Hybrid or *any* hybrid) drivers are getting in the real world.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,941
    edited September 2010
    sounds like you might get 52 mpg on your next tank, carchiel! Please do report the tank-to-tank mpg. mpg should increase as motor breaks-in too - up to 10k miles or so.

    Pal of mine with an early Civic Hybrid gets a constant 38 mpg on his 80 mph highway 680 california commute.

    Ford fiesta has a hybrid model? Cool. The new fiesta is quite interesting to me, even without hybrid option.
  • Hi, just following up about mileage with my two-month-old 2010 Insight. I filled up the tank today (after two weeks) and got an average of 48.1, which included several very local stop-and-go trips of roughly 35 to 39 mpg. So I think those measures on other trips of 52 to 54 are very realistic, and even modest. Today I drove about 15 miles to meet a friend to go running and got 59.7 (by computer measure) on that trip, which was mostly about 45 miles per hour with stoplights maybe every one-third mile. I hope to achieve averages of upwards of 50 mpg when I take it on longer drives more consistently. It's definitely pretty fun, and as one other person wrote, it's totally my new hobby!
    I completely get a kick out of the fact that the Prius is rated, I believe, 46/51 and I'm doing easily that while hardly having taken the Insight on the highway -- and having paid $3,700 less. The one long highway trip I got 47 mpg, but that was before I learned about the horizontal bar that assesses current mpg.
  • Yes, I'll let you know. Going to the gas station has never been this entertaining!
    One more bit of information: I drove downtown and back yesterday (I live in the Chicago suburbs), and got 52.1 mpg average on the computer, and drove much of it around 73 mph or so. So I'm definitely thinking that the 50s will be a very realistic mpg average, as I and the engine get broken in. I'm actually hoping to attain the high 50s regularly, though maybe that's too ambitious. Will keep you posted. As I said, it would be cool if a Prius owner wrote in, too. I would be interested to know what they typically get in the real world.
    Tom
  • Here are my real world numbers from actual calculation (miles driven / gallons refilled). In August I had four fill ups that averaged 56.5 MPG with my highest tank being 57.5 MPG (my best ever). Now I should mention that some of reasons for the numbers being what they are are due to some techniques I've discovered, but many are simply due to situation. I'll explain.

    Situation - I drive almost exclusively highway for long trips (26 miles each way to work; 55 miles each way to the shore on weekends). To work, I only encounter 8 lights spaced far apart, and I don't usually hit them all. I rarely do short trips or city driving. I drive in southern NJ which is very flat. The MPG numbers I've shown are for the hottest month of the year. September, having somewhat cooler weather, had 4 tanks averaging 54.0 MPG. The hotter the weather the better your milage regardless of the make or model of the car or whether or not its a hybrid - but usuall hybrid owners are the only ones paying attention enough to notice.

    I bought the car last April and have over 12K miles on it now, and my life time average is around 52 MPG. Its been increasing due to some "tricks" I've found, some driving style changes, the warmer weather during summer, and having gone through the break-in period of the car being new.

    I'm out of time right now but will post periodically for some of the tricks I've found. Stay tuned.
  • I promised to share some tricks I've found. I will do this over several posts. Some of what I will share will be specific to the Insight, and other techniques will work universally.

    The first one I will share is specific to the Insight. Some of you have already mentioned that you've found the display in the center window of the dash for the "instantaneous" milage. This is key and is needed for the first trick. For those not familiar with it - find it. It can be found by scrolling through the displays using the buttons on your steering wheel. It is a segmented horizontal bar graph that displays what milage you are getting a that second. It starts at the number 0 has a 50 in the middle and a 100 at the far rignt side. Each segment of the bar represents another 5 MPGs. Get this on the display every time you drive (you have to manually bring it up again every time you start the car). Look at this display often as you drive - it will tell you alot about how economically you are driving. Ignore the stupid speedometer background changing color - it doesn't tell you nearly as much. Above the bar graph is a large number that is the average of the MPGs you've been getting since you last reset your trip odometer. Although that's a nice thing to know, you really want to concentrate on the bar graph for the instantaneous number. When you're starting from a stop, this graph will be about two or three segments (10 or 15 MPGs). When you are coasting it can easily be all segments full (100 MPGs). Try to keep it over 60 MPGs most of the time. Experiment with what it takes to get there.

    Now that you've found the display, we can discuss the first trick I've found when using this display. But I have to go right now, so I will pick this up in my next post. Sorry.
  • Spunjorno,
    That's like the end-of-year cliffhanger for a tv series!
    I'm totally interested in the tricks you've found. My new Insight now is a little more than three months old. I'm getting typically 48-49 mpg overall for every tank. On highways it's more like 52-53 per trip, and on roads where I go about 45 with few stops, I average 54 and even up to 60 and more. But the lower tank average is because of doing many one-mile trips with frequent stops. Anyway, I am totally interested in any tricks for getting the overall average up into the 50s on a regular basis -- especially highways.
    Thanks,
    Tom
  • Sorry for the cliffhanger, but there's too much to put all in one post. Okay, so you have your instantaneous mileage display showing. Now remember that it exaggerates a little from real calculated millage (not just on Hondas - it seems they all do it). In fact, the better your real millage is the more it will exaggerate. On my very first tank when the car was new I got 49 MPG (real world) and the display showed 52 MPG for the number synched with trip odometer 'A' (I reset it with every fill up). But when I improved to 57.5 MPG, the display showed 64 MPG. The error increased in both number of MPGs as well as percentage of error. All of the different millage displays will do this. So use your dash info only as a relative guide to see if you are improving millage compared to what it used to be.

    So now when you are cruising on the highway and just maintaining speed with constant pressure on the gas pedal on flat level ground, look at the instantaneous display. It will be...whatever... say 50 MPG. Here's what you do (and I found this by accident -- maybe others have found it too.) If you release your foot off the pedal and momentarily coast (for, say, one second), you will see the instantaneous display climbs to full (100 MPG). You don't have to wait for it to get to 100. But as it starts to climb gently reapply pressure to the gas pedal. Don't press as hard as you had been pressing. Just ease in enough to maintain speed. You'll now find that you don't have to press as hard to keep the same speed. And the instantaneous millage display will settle in at a higher value (say, 60 or 70, or sometimes higher). It might not always happen on the first try. Do it again. It won't happen easily when the car is cold. Or even when warm but you haven't been driving long enough that the engine has reached it's most efficient temperature. On a slight incline, it is harder yet to do. But keep trying 'till you get it. Once you get it to stay higher, keep checking on it periodically. Road conditions (slight inclines, bumps, curves, speed changes due to traffic) will cause it to drop back to a lower value. So do it again to get it back higher again.

    Why does it work? I think it has to do with the Constant Velocity Transmission. Perhaps it works on all CVT cars, but I don't know since this is the first CVT I've ever driven. My theory is that by letting off the gas, you coax the transmission into a higher "gear" for lack of better word. Even though the car tells you that it has 7 gears (found when playing with the paddle shifter), it really has lots of gears in between. It's more like a tapered funnel allowing for infinite gears. So even though you may be in 7th gear when cruising, you may be in a low 7th. (7th is really a range of available gear ratios). By letting off the gas momentarily, the car's computer realizes that it doesn't need to worry about brisk acceleration. So it slides up to a higher gear ratio within the range of 7th gear. If you reapply the gas too quickly or too hard, the transmission will think you may want more performance and so it will go right back down to the old spot on the funnel. But done right, it coaxes the transmission into a less performance but more economically efficient gear ratio. At least that's one possible explanation for why it works, but I could be completely full of it. Maybe it has more to do with fuel injection - but I'm sticking to my story 'cause it makes sense to me.

    Now when you do this, with time you'll be able to hear and feel a difference. The engine seems to sound and feel like its running slower (lending credence to my gear ratio theory). Try it at all speeds. If you can boost the instantaneous millage display one or two bars up further than it would have been, you've gained 5 or 10 MPG for that moment. And since the overall gas millage during a tank of gas is the average of all the instantaneous measurements, the longer you keep it up the better your tank millage will be.

    Try it if you haven't already found this on your own, and post back to let me know if this was helpful. Next time I'll reveal another twist on the same theme. (There's that cliff hanger again.)
  • I have both current TDI sportwagon 6 spd manual and new insight for my wife. We came home through rural and city driving from the same location a few days ago and were each driving the others car. She mentioned that she got 40.8 mpg from the Jetta so I checked and had gotten 42 and change from the insight, both based on the trip computer. I tried comparing the 2 over same routes by driving Insight on courses I already knew TDI numbers for like work and back etc. On the freeway the Sportwagon could be babied into about 55mpg on a 30 mile loop that I had previously logged so I drove it in the Insight and got 47 mpg. To be fair the Insight still has less than 1000 miles on odometer and TDI numbers were during the summer while the Insight was tested in 37 degree denser air. Not putting much effort into maxing mileage the TDI will read about 51 mpg on the freeway and I have checked, the computer is about 2 mpg optimistic..

    To work and back (13 miles) TDI gives me 34-41 mpg depending on how the traffic and lights hit you. The Insight got 52 mpg, again in cold weather but unusual good luck hitting the lights and little traffic. Still I was impressed and don't think the TDI could hope to match it. I saw a "pinks" competition of a TDI with an insight suggested in one of the prior messages. For the TDI to have a chance it better be on the open road! That said, the TDI does have more power and accelerates quicker, weighs 550# more, rides a little smother and quieter, has a better rear seat and twice the cargo volume, a super sunroof and roof rack, and that manual shift that I find so sweet. My continued affection for it is quite secure.
  • Many thanks for that tip, and I will look forward to the next twist.
    I'm convinced the Insight ought to be rated higher by the EPA. If these tips are very usable by the average driver, and if these immediate-feedback mechanisms are almost hard to avoid, it seems to me the EPA testers ought to use these mechanisms when they test the Insight. This makes me believe the Insight mpg rating ought to be roughly equivalent to that of the Prius. Of course, I imagine the Prius will soon have such tools if it doesn't already.
    I also find it disappointing that Honda seems to have essentially abandoned marketing the Insight. Personally, I'm convinced it's a great car. I consciously chose it over the Fit and Prius (one for appearance/mileage reasons, one for cost reasons) and it seems to me that Honda ought to capitalize on these clear advantages.
  • My next tip is to take what was discussed in my last two posts (#s 38 & 40) and apply it to acceleration.

    When you start off from a stop light and accelerate to your final speed, you'll notice on your instantaneous gas milage display that you only have two or three bars (10 or 15 MPG at that moment). It makes sense to be this low because you are doing a lot of work to accelerate a heavy hunk of metal. It will stay that way until you approach your final speed and relax the gas pedal. So perhaps that's maybe, 15 or 20 seconds of really low gas milage that will get averaged into your total MPG number. What if you could increase the poor milage for at least part of your acceleration time, that way it would cause less of a toll on your overall milage. Here's how.

    Use the same technique I've previously discussed where as you let up on the gas pedal momentarily to coax the CVT transmission into a higher gear ratio, and then gently reapply. Repeat this every 5 seconds or so while accelerating. On the first lift and reapplication, you'll notice that instead of only two or three bars, you'll now have three or four bars. The next time you do it (five seconds later) you'll have maybe five or six bars, and so on. You will allow the instanteneous milage to creep up from the basement during the acceleration period. It will take less of a toll on your overall milage.

    There's more tips to follow. Stay tuned.
  • Great, I am totally interested. Thank you for posting these.
  • cjl49cjl49 Posts: 4
    It would be nice to know what "instantaneous" really means in terms of sorting out what the readings are really telling you. It is likely a time-averaged reading that is over a period longer than some of the manipulations being done to affect that reading.
  • You're probably right -- I am no engineer or car expert at all. Have you driven an Insight? The instantaneous mileage graph we're talking about is a horizontal white bar that gets longer as your mpg gets better. And it does seem to react almost instantaneously to accelerating or easing off the accelerator. So these tips (of easing off accelerator periodically while maintaining speed) do in fact immediately affect what the graph shows your current mpg to be.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "I think it has to do with the Constant Velocity Transmission."

    CVT = Continuously Variable Transmission
  • CVT - ahh, yes. Good catch. Thanks for the correction.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    edited November 2010
    Letting up on the gas momentarily when accelerating with an automatic or CVT will cause it to "upshift" to a higher gear or band for the CVT. I had a Ford Freestyle with CVT and currently own a Prius, as well as a Honda Fit with an automatic transmission. For all three, it's a good idea when accelerating from a stop to let off the gas slightly and not just hold it down until you reach your desired speed.

    BTW...I bought a used '07 Prius and I average 50mpg (highway/city and everything in between). For me I'd rather have a used Prius than a new Insight mostly because the Insight was too small inside for passengers & cargo. My Fit averages in the mid to upper 30s MPG and has even more cargo space.

    But I think the Insight would be great for those who don't need a lot of back seat or trunk space.

    As far as the VW TDI. For me the problem with diesels in this country is that the cost of diesel fuel makes the cost per mile to drive a diesel too low in comparison to a hybrid. If diesel cost the same as 87 octane, then I'd consider them.
  • The bar graph we are talking about is really instantaneous. We know this because it swings wildly from 0 to 100 in less than a second, depending upon what you're doing. If it were a time-averaged reading, it wouldn't be able to change that far that quickly. "Averaging" would tend to mute wild swings. This particular bar graph is only concerned with the "right now", with no memory of what happened in the past or prediction about the future.

    What this is good for, is to show you what you're overall milage *would* be if you could continue to keep the bar graph at that number for an extended period of time. And it can teach you how and what driving styles or road conditions affect your milage, and by how much. For instance, if all I did all day was accelerate, the graph shows me that my overall milage would be about 15 MPG. But if all I did was coast, my milage would be 100 MPG (or higher - the display can only go up to 100 though). And because I know that the overall milage for a tank of gas is the average of all of the instanteneous readings during that tank, I can see and try to avoid the things that make it go lower. The other displays are tougher to interperet because if you get a lower number you might not know what caused it. Whereas the instantaneous graph gives you immediate feedback and shows the severity of the penalty or reward (unlike the green/blue dash color change, which may also be instantaneous, but doesn't show severity very well.)

    Don't be confused by the large numerical display above the bar graph. THAT is not instantaneous - it is an average since you last reset your trip odometer. As such, it is not related to the bar graph. It just happens to be on the same display screen.

    I'll try to get to my next tip next time...
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "Letting up on the gas momentarily when accelerating with an automatic or CVT will cause it to "upshift" to a higher gear or band for the CVT. I had a Ford Freestyle with CVT and currently own a Prius, as well as a Honda Fit with an automatic transmission. For all three, it's a good idea when accelerating from a stop to let off the gas slightly and not just hold it down until you reach your desired speed. "

    This technique is know as the "Fake Shift", and I used it on my 2006 Freestyle and current 2008 FEH.
  • Next tip -- Drive using only stored battery power (no gasoline) for as long as you can and as frequently as you can. Some of you may have already figured out how to do this. Others may be doing it without even knowing. Here's how to do it, and here's how to tell when you are doing it. (And, no, -- when this happens, the egine doesn't shut off like a Prius does. The gas engine will continue to idle, but won't use gas for propulsion purposes - which means it barely uses any.)

    It is relatively easy to do on lower speed roads (i.e. 25 - 30 MPH) and much more difficult to do (or to maintain for any appreciable length of time) on highways. It also needs the hybrid batteries to be at a sufficient charge level.

    When you back off the accelerator as I've described in a previous post, and gently reapply, you might notice that the instanteneous bar graph display reaches full (100 MPG) and stays there while you maintain speed. If you look at the needle display on the far right hand side of the dash you'll see that the needle is in the "Assist" area on the top half of the display (the blue area). The means the hybrid batteries are assisting with propulsion. The reason the instantaneous MPG display is full is because you're not using gas for propulsion and only using the batteries. If you quickly page over to another display, you can see what I'm talking about. Go to the display that shows the level of your battery charge. It shows a gas pump, a car, and a battery. There are arrows that show where the power is coming from. At the moment you are only using battery, you will see an arrow out of the battery to the car. But you won't see an arrow out of the gas pump to the car. If you step on the accelerator a little more, or if you've keep doing this to the point where the battery depleats and can no longer supply the needed power, you'll feel the engine change slightly (it will feel a little like a gear shift). At that point, you are back to using gas for propulsion, the arrow will point out of the gas pump towards the car on the battery display, the instanteneous MPG display will no longer show full, and the needle on the far right display will return to the middle or green area (unless you're trying to accelerate, in which case it may stay in the blue area).

    More about this later. Let me know if you've found this on your own or if its new to you.
  • Aha, because this is new to me. This makes perfect sense, though I didn't realize the battery was powering the car at that point. I suspect these tips will further increase my mpg.
    Lately I have been getting only an average of 45-46 mpg per tank by the display, though I suspect that is mostly because I have been doing so many 1- or 2-mile trips, stop and go, and because the weather now is in the 40s. But I still have been getting 51 or so highway by the display and as much as 53 to 61 on suburban drives of 40 to 50 miles per hour with fewer stops.
    I'm going to check my mpg more precisely this time by the old-fashioned method of dividing miles by gallons used. What do you get when you calculate this? How much is a reasonable goal to shoot for?
    And why in the world doesn't Honda (or the EPA, or a consumer magazine) let potential customers know that these rates are very attainable?
  • "How much is a reasonable goal to shoot for?"

    Well, with the cooler weather, with temps in the 40s, my display has come down to 57 MPG (translates to 53 MPG calculated) for almost exclusively highway driving. In the summer, almost every trip was at 62 MPG on the display. That's the highest the display can go for the screen that shows your present and last 4 trips. Which means that those trips probably registered higher but the display was "pegged".

    "And why in the world doesn't Honda (or the EPA, or a consumer magazine) let potential customers know that these rates are very attainable?"

    They do. They say what all manufacturers have to say... "your milage may vary". I'm sure there are some Insight drivers that are getting in the 30s for MPG, due to the conditions of their commute and their driving style.
  • Back to driving on battery only:
    To get the best gas milage, do this as often as possible. If the car kicks back to using gas, then back off the accelerator and gently reapply again. On a 25MPH level road, I've been able to sustain this for over a minute. Sometimes when the battery gets to about half charge the car will switch back over to gas. But if I keep trying I can get it back to battery-only for another 10 seconds or so -- several times over again. At some point, it just won't do it anymore until it has a chance to recharge. But after a few miles of driving on gas, it has recharged enough to do it again for a short period of time.

    Doing this is like a coupon for free milage. Anytime there's enough battery charge and the right conditions to do it, you should or you're leaving money on the table.

    Next time, I'll relate a story that shows why you should not be trying to save-up your battery charge.
  • Here's my story on saving-up battery power -
    While watching the battery display, I used to try to get as close to a full charge as possible, thinking that the more I had, the better my overall milage would be. I hadn't yet discovered how to drive on only battery power and thought that hard acceleration was the only way to depleat the energy stored in the battery - and I didn't want to be wasteful by accelerating hard. So I was near full charge and driving in a hilly part of eastern Pennsylvania. The road I was on was going down a hill. A *long* and somewhat steep down hill. I was not on the gas pedal, but the car was accelerating quickly. When my speed climbed too high, I began to press the brake to stop from gaining any more speed. And like a good little hybrid, the car converted my momentum into electrical energy which got stored in the battery, thus slowing me down. No energy was wasted, and all was right with the world -- at first. Until the battery became too full to accept any more charge (remember I started out nearly full charge, so it topped out rather quickly.) And now my hybrid could no longer be a hybrid. With no more battery capacity left to store energy, the only way the car could slow down was to use the conventional friction brakes - like any old "ordinary" car would. Wasted energy spilled out all over the place in the form of heat into the atmosphere. I knew this because my gauge on the far right of the dash was no longer in the green to show that I was charging. Instead it was in the center. I knew then that had I used more of the battery earlier, I would have been able to recover this lost energy for future use and gas savings. And I wouldn't of had to use up as much brake pad life thus prolonging the time until my next brake job. The End.

    Moral -- Use up that battery power. It won't let you depleat it so much that you won't have enough for your next acceleration. It stops letting you drive on battery-only long before that point.

    So far, all my tips (at least three or so) have revolved around how and when to let up and reapply the gas pedal. Next time, I'll move onto some tips that don't involve that.
  • accordguy0325accordguy0325 Posts: 169
    edited November 2010
    """I hadn't yet discovered how to drive on only battery power""""

    In the coming year - you'll be able to do so with Honda's 2012 Civic hybrid that uses two electric motors instead of one, and a lithium Ion battery instead of the current nickel-metal hydride batteries.

    You can expect the 2012 Civic hybrid to be rated at 50MPG - and can view some more information about Honda's new hybrid technology through Honda's main webpage - honda . com - under news, although information is limited.

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com">
  • A couple last points I should mention before leaving the topic of driving on only battery...

    Keep in mind that you can't usually do it until the car has warmed up. So for those of you who do frequent short trips, this may not help get your milage up as much as those who have long commutes.

    Also, I should have pointed out that when you do this and your instantaneous milage reads 100 MPG, your actual instantaneous milage is much higher. But you can't see how high it really is because the display only goes up to 100 MPG. (I wonder what it would read if it could display the real number...) Because that the milage is so high, it has a really positive effect when averaged into your overall milage, even when only done for a short period of time (like 30 seconds or so).

    Okay, next time I'll move on to something else.
  • All my tips thus far have been specific to the insight.

    [With the exception that someone pointed out that you can "fake-shift" on any automatic transmission. Well, one last word on that. On an ordinary (non CVT) automatic transmission, it only works if you are already close to being at the shift point, and by backing off the accelerator you can coax the transmission to shift slightly earlier than it would have -- and that's all. But if you're not near the shift point you will probably just remain in the same gear. And when you're in the top gear, it can't be done anymore 'cause there are no more higher gears. Because of these limitations, it will hardly effect your gas mileage on that car. However, with a CVT car (like the Insight), there are in essence soooo many gear ratios (let's call it infinite for discussion purposes) that you are always close to the next gear, so it's easy to coax to a more economical gear ratio, and do so often enough to cause gas mileage to go up. And even at cruising speed, there are still more higher gears for you to continue to push to so you can boost mileage. ------- But I digress.]

    Anyway, the point of this post was to take a moment to discuss one tip that I've been doing on my Insight that can be done on any car. But I confess that it isn't something new or original, but I still want to divulge it since it is one of the many ways I've gotten my mileage to be as high as it is. --- I slightly overinflated my tires.

    The tires on my Insight say on the sidewall that the maximum pressure they can continuously handle safely is 44 psi. Now, I wouldn't want to push right up to that limit, but the car's driver's door nameplate states that 33 psi is recommended pressure for these tires on a car of this weight. That's a big range in between those two numbers.

    I've been inflating to 37 psi on my Insight. The tires being slightly harder at that pressure causes the rolling resistance to be less, and less energy therefore is lost to heat from friction, causing the tires to run cooler (in theory, but I haven't measured the temp for comparison) and allows longer coasting with less speed loss. This helps boosts mileage. I'm not sure how much it is contributing since it would be difficult for me to keep all other conditions constant for comparison sake, but I've heard numbers like 1 or 2 extra MPGs per tank from doing this on other cars. I expect that on the Insight it would be on the lower side of that range because they are already low rolling resistance tires to begin with. But I figure, every little bit helps.

    The other advantage I find from doing this is that with firmer tires, the car becomes more responsive and handling is improved. It has similar effect on performance as does changing to a lower profile tire, but maybe to a lesser degree. Braking performance has not seemingly degraded either, in fact I understand that it is usually slightly improved by doing this.

    So what's the downside? Everything comes at a price, right? Well, with more responsive handling comes a harsher ride. The tires, being harder, absorb less bumps, so more of that energy is passed through to the cabin. But that doesn't bother me because I don't like driving cars that feel like their floating on a cloud anyway. That's why I didn't buy a Prius (That car drives like a hover craft -- you don't drive a Prius, you *guide* a Prius). I like the feel of being "connected" to the road. And I find that the Insight's suspension is rather compliant and can absorb much of these bumps, so it's not too harsh for me.

    The only other downside I'm aware of is tire wear. Over-inflation can cause uneven wear such that the center of the tread wears out more quickly than the edges. But I expect it to be quite mild at this pressure. I will monitor this frequently to see if it's the case, but so far I'm over 12K with no signs of any trouble. I can always back down a little if it becomes an issue, but for now I'm staying put.

    Disclaimer time -- I'm not suggesting anyone else over-inflate their tires. I'm merely telling you what *I* have done on my Insight (and I also slightly over-inflate my Accord too). I'm NOT recommending that you copy my example, even to a lesser degree. So if you decide to do this, then you do so at your own risk. Use your own judgment. I nor Edmunds shall be held responsible for any consequences of not following the maker's recommendations. 'Nuff said.

    Coming soon... I'll go back to more Insight specific tips.
  • A question or two: I've been trying your techniques to good avail, I think. But how can you tell if the battery is actually powering the car -- as opposed to the car just coasting? I've driven several times for 10 seconds or so with the horizontal mpg bar at 100, and staying more or less up to speed. Does this mean the battery is being used at that point?
    Also, with weather in Chicago having gone down to the 20s, 30s and 40s, my display mpg has been lower. Yesterday on a highway, though, I got 50-51. On a suburban road driving about 40 miles per hour, I got up to 52 for that trip, and am at 47 for the entire tank so far because of lots of short, one-mile drives with lots of stops. Is this going to be the best I can do (which is great, by the way), or are there ways of getting it higher still, do you think? Is your mpg higher mostly because it's longish distance? Or is there more for me to do? (I have kept tire pressure at constant 33 all along.)
  • spunjornospunjorno Posts: 45
    edited November 2010
    How do you know when you're on battery only?

    Well, when your instantaneous mileage is at max it may mean you are using only battery, or it may mean you are coasting. Look to the meter on the far left of the dash to tell which it is. The tell tale sign is that while the instantaneous mileage is max (100 MPG), the meter on the far left side of the dash is in the blue (assist) region. Both must happen simultaneously. If the battery is "assisting" then by definition you are not coasting. Besides, when coasting you'll notice that the meter is in the green "charging" area. So when you're getting 100 MPG, look at the meter. Green means coast and blue means propulsion on battery only. The double check is to click up five display screens to see the battery charge display. It will tell you the direction of power flow and from where. Try for no arrow from the nozzle to the car (meaning no use of gas for propulsion) and at the same time an arrow from the battery to the car (this means using battery).

    Is my mpg higher because of driving mostly long distance trips or is there more you can do?

    The answer is "yes" to both. I still have more tips to devulge which may help. Also, my mileage has recently tumbled to 50 (down 7 MPGs) on the display as a result of driving to see family in the city on Thanksgiving and with temps in the 20s. It's starting to climb again though.
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