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Honda Element Real World MPG



  • ccirelliccirelli Posts: 22
    30.67? Wow, I thought my record of 28.01 (non-highway) was good. Nice job!

    Sounds like that automatic transmission is doing just fine for you! ;)
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Individual tank measurements are unreliable. There is too much fill variation. You have to average tanks for reliability. At least measure mileage the tank before and the tank after. You may discover that one of them is abnormally low, indicating that you had a fill variation not a
  • ccirelliccirelli Posts: 22
    I think the end of your message was cut off somehow.

    Fill variation - well, for me, I fill up at the same Sunoco (and usually the same pump) and I will go $.75 to $1.00 over the first "click". Trying to be as consistent as possible. Under my conditions, would I really see significant fill variation, to the point where that would effect mpg more so than everyday driving variations and conditions?

    Not arguing - just curious. :)

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Same pump with "one click over" is pretty reliable. I've found there is quite a variation at SOME stations in the amount of "fill" you get. You have to watch for level ground. But using the same pump at the same station with your vehicle oriented the same way is pretty reliable.

    Part of the fill variation comes from the air bubble that fuel tanks are supposed to preserve to allow for gas expansion and vapor recovery system operation.

    Let us know if you get some repetition of that high mileage number - try to trace it to driving conditions, driving style (lighter throttle?). That type of mileage on the 3400 pound, big square box, AWD Element is phenomenal.

    In my own case, after 4,500 miles of driving my Nissan Versa (2008, 6 speed manual) I finally got a single high mileage tank - 35 mpg vs. the more usual 32 mpg. I am trying to figure out if that is a false reading due to fill variation, of if I did less weekend and after work surface street driving, and more of the freeway commuting.

    BTW I write down the mileage on the receipt and use a calculator to figure the mileage.

    The thing about mileage reports is that people often due the math "in their head" or round up or down on the miles or gallons to make it simpler. So anecdotal reports from the general public who winced at math and science classes is often suspect, particularly when the numbers are unusually high or low. Although given the prevalence of "lead foot-itis" in modern America, unusually low numbers don't seem that unusual anymore.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,004
    My Excel spreadsheet keeps track of my mpg out to 9 decimal points.

    Tidester had a little problem with that, lol.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • ccirelliccirelli Posts: 22
    Oh I agree, I use the calculator on my cell phone right there at the pump. No rounding at all.

    I would definitely say I have "re-trained" my foot since getting the Element. My previous car was a ~36 mpg Civic, so I really wanted to narrow the gap in the difference in fuel efficiency with the Element. As I read in another post, I drive "like there is an egg shell between my foot and the accelerator."

    I always keep this thought in the back of my mind: what is the least amount of fuel I can use to get up to, and maintain, my desired speed? (which is usually 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit - realistic cruising speeds)

    So even in the back-roads, hilly area where I am (not much highway driving, maybe 10%) averaging 27 mpg is not too bad.

    My next venture is to explore the HHO devices, which from what I've read will cost about $100 ($50 for the plans, $50 for parts). I will approach this with caution... :)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "Fill variation - well, for me, I fill up at the same Sunoco (and usually the same pump) and I will go $.75 to $1.00 over the first "click". Trying to be as consistent as possible. Under my conditions, would I really see significant fill variation, to the point where that would effect mpg more so than everyday driving variations and conditions? "

    Most US gas stations have vapor recovery systems. These systems suck the fumes back into the gas station tanks while fueling. They are intended to reduce air polution and fumes. If your gas tank spills a bit of gas back, it will go into the vapor recovery system rather than your tank. That means you lose gas and your MPG goes down - you thought that .75 cents was going into the tank, but it was (possibly) going back into the gas station owner's pocket!

    That is the reason that it is recommended that you stop at the first click.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Tidester had a little problem with that, lol.

    I don't have a problem with it. I just want to know where they dispense gasoline measured to the nearsest thousandth of a drop and who has odometers calibrated to the nearest Angstrom. :P

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • 0311vn0311vn Posts: 48
    That is my way of being consistent when figuring mpg on my car. A cup or so of gasoline more or less on a tank of 15 or so gallons will not throw off calculation much. My thing about clocking a fill up for mpg is to have a sense if my car is under performing due to low tire pressure or some mechanical issue.

    I am surprised at the number of people when discussing cars say that they seldom if ever clock a tank for mpg when filling up. Like, how much math is involved in figuring out mpg?
  • I am going out shopping today for an 08 Element EX AWD and would like to commend the folks on the Edmunds boards for being so thorough. What I have done for the past 25 years in all of my vehicles is to top off the tank right up to the top of the filler neck. I have done this consistanly on almost every tank where self-serve is available with no issues or harm to my vehicles. Since I can visibly see the level of fuel in the top of the neck, I know that there will be no variation of my MPG based on quantity.

    Going 1 click or $.75 over the 1st click is not as accurate as a visual since all pumps don't shut off consistantly. Some vehicles have such a severe bend in the filler necks that they shut off early, when, in fact, there is more capacity in the tank and neck. Some vehicles will accept another 2 gallons after the first click. Our 06 Sportage will take approx.1.75 gal. after the 1st shut off. My 05 XB can take another 1.0 to 1.5 gal. after shut off.

    By not being consistant with tank filling procedures, MPG calculation will not be accurate.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,004
    The problem with filling your tank beyond the first click is that you can damage the vapor recovery system and trigger your emissions codes. And on some cars, gas will slosh out of your tank on the first turn out of the gas station.

    After several dozen fill-ups, the mpg discrepancies will even themselves out anyway. I've put ~300 tanks of gas in my minivan and I could skip writing down an entire fill-up at this point and it would barely affect my lifetime mpg. A half gallon here or there difference in where the gas pump clicks off isn't going to matter over time.

    Your Element owner's manual says to stop filling the tank after the nozzle automatically clicks off. "Do not try to "top-off" the tank. Leave some room for the fuel to expand with temperature changes."

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The safe way to assure reasonably consistent fill (beyond filling at the same pump all the time, so the angle of the ground is the same, the adjustment on the filler shut off is the same) is to do a "normal" fill where the nozzle kind of "leans" up and almost out of the filler, wait for the automatic shut off, then SHOVE the nozzle deeply in (against the spring on the nozzle) and slowly fill until it clicks off.

    I've never had a problem with check engine light or sloshing, because the auto fill shut offs are pretty good. Generally I try to NEVER fill this style unless I am at the start of my commute, so I will burn off a gallon or slightly more on the way to work (35 mile commute). Still I haven't even had a problem when filling upon arrival at work, although I make sure to park in a level spot in our parking ramp.

    The way the prior poster described to fill - tilting the nozzle up and out of the filler - to visually fill up to the top of the filler neck - is wrong or all the reasons you describe.
  • Sorry but I don't agree with your synopsis of visual filling. By pulling the handle on the 1st click you never know how full you tank is. I have NEVER had damage to a vapor recovery system and my vehicles do not slosh gas out of the tank or get an engine light.

    I fill up on the way to work and then take a 30 mile commute down an interstate. By the time I get to work any gas in the filler neck is is down into the tank. I've never had an issue and I know that my MPG tank calculations are accurate.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    Around town, I always fill up at the same station, and usually the same pump. Plus I always record which pump/station I used for a fill up. I stop at the first click.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    On a road trip from minneapolis to the wisconson dells. Best i have ever got in my E, then again it was all hiway.
  • 07 EX AWD MT I'm 60 years old and drive to get good economy. I'm in NE Indiana and it's pretty flat around here. At 70 mph I get around 22mpg. At 55 -60 on state highways I'll get 26 - 27 mpg. Tight Urban gets me about 19 mpg. Adding a little outer urban trips gets me back to the low 20's again. And at 31000 miles my original tires still look good if that's an indication of my driving.
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