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Honda Fit Real World MPG



  • boord1boord1 Posts: 17
    I bought my 08 Sport AT (3,100 miles on it now) for (1) better mileage than my Toyota Tacoma, (2) an in-town run around capable of handling lots of inside packages/bags/stuff hauling, and (3) the fun of a small, whip around car. I expected better mpg than I am getting - but I should have looked into the MPG game a lot further than I did before buying (my fault, nobody else to blame). But the Fit passes on all points noted above - I just had higher expectations.

    After I noticed my lower than expected MPG I went on this forum for advice. Here is what I did (1) thanks to Kipp, I reset my ILP which reduced the idle from 1200-1300 rpm to somewhere around 850, (2) I check my tire pressure once a week and keep it at 33PSI, (3) I changed my driving habits of over 50 years by (a) keeping rpms below 3000 at all times and trying to keep between 1500 and 2500 as much as possible - don't know how some of you go from a side street to a busy thoroughfare without getting over 3000 or getting killed, (b) do a lot of coasting to the stoplight or stop sign and avoid using the brakes as much as possible. I also go the same gas station and use the same pump using the slow fill position but also using a "second click" as the stop point. I don't "push" my Fit out of the garage or go 55 in a traffic pattern where every lane is moving at 65.

    My results? I went from 24mpg to around 30 mpg. That's a 25% increase for mainly (85%) in town or rural driving. Good increase? Yes! Equal to this forum's posts of 35 and over MPG right off the show room floor without any special driving techniques? NO! My guess? With such a small engine any minor engine manufacturing variation is probably within quality control standards but significant enough to have a real impact on mpg.

    So...I can enjoy the lemonade of having a car that meets all my initial specifications or I can suck on lemons because the MPG puts me - as I stated in my original post #1929 "Looks Like I Am in the Unlucky Half" - in the second half of Fit owners.

    My wife and I love the Fit and it is teaching us how we must adjust our driving habits in a changing world.
  • after reading posts like the above, i've got to admit i'm worried.

    just took delivery yesterday of an 08 Fit.

    i guess i was hoping to be averaging in the mid-30s for MPG.

    we'll see..

    what is "hypermiling" ?
  • So far what I've been reading in the posts is that the MT and AT Fits get about the same MPG due to the fact that the AT Fit will run at a lower RPM at any given speed. (All taken from the posts) My question is, theoretically shouldn't an AT Fit Sport get better MPG than a MT Fit since RPMs are lower and you can also "shift" at different RPMs with the paddle shifters? Just throwing this out there... Also, if this question has been asked previously I'm sorry. I haven't gotten around to reading all 2114 posts.
  • fitman548fitman548 Posts: 172
    say it again. I do 80 mph on the freeway at a constant 2900 rmps, and I still get 35-36 MPG.
  • vbnsmanvbnsman Posts: 15
    I have a 08 Sport AT. 1st 5000k I was avg 27mpg in the city. I try to coast when I can, keep the revs low when I can and occasionally cut the engine off during long stops. Othertimes I rev well past 4000k because I need the speed. last 850 mi I have avg a little over 30mpg city. Same driving habits. The only thing that has changed is now I have almost 6K on the odo and I have increased my tire pressure to 37 psi. Don't really know if its the break-in period, tire psi or a combination. But my last tank at 85% city driving was 31.4 mpg. On pure hwy I have always avg 38+ mpg.
  • 2900 @ 80mph?

    then why do i have that at 63 mph in my new MT fit ?
  • watsacwatsac Posts: 49
    boord1 / kipp - many thanks for the ILP (Idle Learning Procedure) reset tip. Just finished the process and filled up the tank so I'll keep you posted on my MPG changes. I'm hoping for improvements because, like boord1, my idle was at 1300 rpm before the reset and it is now around 850 rpm. For the record, I followed the following ILP reset steps:

    1. With a cold engine, turn off all accessories and disconnect the battery for a few minutes.
    2. Reconnect the battery.
    3. Without touching the throttle or turning on any accessories (including dome light and radar detectors), start the engine and let it idle. Watch the radiator cooling fans. After a while, they will come on for a short period and shut off. Keep watching. Eventually they will come on and shut off a second time.
    4. Turn off the engine; the ILP reset process is complete.

    Now, you will have to reset the radio and possibly the drivers "AUTO" window.
    - Turn on the ignition (or start the engine) to activate the accessories.
    - Turn on the radio. Enter the radio code. The previously preset radio stations will return.
    - Check the drivers "AUTO" window feature. If the "AUTO" feature stopped working, re-activate the feature by pushing and holding down window switch until the window goes all the way down (open). Then pull and hold up the window switch making sure the window goes all the way up (closed). Then hold the switch up for 2 more seconds.
  • I'm curious about this. It only affects the idle of the engine when not moving, right?
  • boord1boord1 Posts: 17
    I am not an auto mechanic. After reading the posts on this forum and the discussions on other Fit blogs, it appears that the ILP MAY do more than just reset the idle at rest. The reset effects the drive by wire computer that not only controls the idle but also MAY effect shift points and fuel/oxy mix. If you believe....swell. If not, and your idle isn't high, don't mess with it. But as Kipp said to can't hurt and it just might help. In my post today there were to many variables to attribute my increased MPG to any one factor.
  • feddupfeddup Posts: 11
    The final drive ratio is different between the MT and AT. The MT is turning 3500 at 70MPH while the AT is more like 3000. Generally the AT is reputed to do better on the highway while the MT does better on the highway. The varying final drive ratios are listed in Honda's sales brochure and, I believe, the manual. Why is puzzling. I'm actually pondering using slightly larger diameter tires when I replace my tires to bring down the highway revs on the my MT.
  • I am surprised by the lousy fuel economy some folks are reporting. I drive a 34%-33%-33% mix of country roads, highways, and suburbs and am averaging right around 40mpg (sometimes better) in my 2008 base model Fit (MT).

    If you really desire good fuel economy I recommend you purchase a fuel economy computer ( This devise will train you to drive effectively.

    Don't want to drop the cash. Here are some pointers.
    #1 - Change your mindset. Think of performance in terms of economy rather than speed. Anyone can drive fast. Driving cheap is MUCH harder.
    #2 - Give yourself plenty of time and slow down. Obey the speed limit. Better yet, go a little slower than it. Let the other cars rush by you. They don't know you, you don't have to impress them (see #1).
    #3 - Shift as soon as possible. The engine is most efficient in the highest gear possible. Keep it between 1400 and 2000 RPMs. When accelerating through 1st-2nd-3rd, 2500 RPMs is fine. Just go very easy on the throttle.
    #4 - Allow the car to lose a little speed when going uphill, gain it back on the other side. Constant throttle will give you better economy than constant speed.
    #5 - Anticipate stops and traffic patterns. Coast in as much as possible. Again, let the people around you blow by, you'll probably catch them at the light. Try not to look too smug as you coast by them.
    #6 - When coasting in to stops, keep the car in 4th or 5th (5th is better) until the RPM's drop below 1000. The car's computer cuts the fuel supply to 0 if the car's momentum is keeping the cylinders turning, but gas will start flowing again if the RPMs drop below 1000. When the RPMs drop below 1000, downshifting to 4th works, but it's tricky to make downshifting to 3rd or lower work.
    #7 - Buy the computer (about $150 at It will pay for itself and is fun to use. Read the manual. Put it on the dash where you would put a radar detector so you can keep an eye on it.

    One more suggestion. Fill your tank and try these suggestions (non-stop) for 150 miles. The fuel gauge should be all the encouragement you need to keep going.

    Happy trails!
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Good Post! :)

    I especially like: #1, as it sums up all the others in a nutshell:

    "Change your mindset. Think of performance in terms of economy rather than speed. Anyone can drive fast. Driving cheap is MUCH harder."

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576

    Hopefully you let it idle the additional 10 minutes after the 2nd fan cycle.
    The Idle Learn Procedure may not help you at all. However, It only takes a few minutes to do and and can't hurt anything as it is part of the Honda new car get ready. A 10mm wrench or adjustable works good.

    Easy version:

    NOTE: This is the IDLE LEARN PROCEDURE. Stress the IDLE part. It is not a race the engine to see how fast you can get it to warm up.

    Start with a cold engine.

    Turn on ignition switch and make sure that every accessory is turned OFF. AC,radio,all lights, everything.

    Turn off ignition switch.

    Disconnect the negative (Black) battery cable for 5 minutes.

    Re connect battery cable. (**)

    DO NOT TOUCH THROTTLE. Turn ignition switch on for 2 seconds,................ then start car.

    DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE. Let it idle with all accessories turned off.

    DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE. In about 10-15 minutes,in 70-80 degree weather, the radiator cooling fans will cycle. (It will take longer in colder weather.)

    DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE. After the second cycle let it idle an additional 10 minutes.
    (The fans will probably cycle some more during this additional 10 minutes.)

    Here is a TIP: No reason to stand around waiting for those 1st 2 fan cycles. After re connecting the battery cable (**) above. DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE. and start the car. Go back in the house and do something for a half hour or so. Give it a chance to warm up. Then go back out and listen or watch for the fans to cycle twice. Then go back in the house and let it idle that additional ten minutes.

    It doesn't matter if you missed "SEEING" the very first two cycles. The important thing is that it got AT LEAST 2 fan cycles and the additional 10 minutes, and any cycles that may have occurred during that additional 10 minutes.

    Then: Switch off engine. Reset radio and driver AUTO window.

    To reset driver window:

    Turn on ignition switch. Get the window to the top.

    Push down and hold driver window button including that extra little "AUTO" click

    Continue to hold an additional 2 seconds after window stops at the bottom.

    Pull up the switch including the "AUTO" click and hold up an additional 2 seconds after window reaches top and stops moving.

    Release the switch.

    Now "auto window" should be working.

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    boord1 ,

    I agree with: " it appears that the ILP MAY do more than just reset the idle at rest."

    I don't know or understand just what all is being learned during this procedure. Just that the teaching and learning is done at idle.

    I do know that, after disconnecting the battery on my Pilot to locate a wiring short, the mileage ,dropped from an average of 17-18 down to an average of 13-14.

    After reading about the ILP and actually reading it in a TSB, I learned it is actually part of the "Get Ready" procedure at the dealer. The TSB further stated that the ILP should be performed any time the battery goes dead, battery is replaced, or certain fuses have been disconnected.

    After disconnecting the battery, the idle really did not change, any. Just the mileage went in the toilet.

    There may be a lot of Hondas that idle just fine, but get sub par mileage because the ILP was not done, or not done properly, during the dealer "Get Ready".

    If it was done properly at the dealer, doing it again will not change anything. However, if the Get Ready folks took some short cuts....! The ILP can't really be verified, as having been done, other than a check mark on a piece of paper. :sick:

  • watsacwatsac Posts: 49
    kipk - what is it about the 2 fan cycles that is so important? I know I let the car idle for a good 30 minutes but can't really say that I saw those fans kick in twice. Either it happened while I was in the house or it maybe did not happen at all. The outside temp was about 75 when I did the reset.
  • yeah, i'm very curious about this too :)
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    I really do not know the reason for the 10 minute wait after the 2nd fan cycle. I figure Honda knows more about it than I do. After the engine is warm the fans will cycle pretty regularly. To me it was worth the short time to "SEE" 2 cycles and go do something while it idled for 10 more minutes.

    As I said before, my Idle did not change at all, but there was a significant difference in mileage. Your dealer service manager will likely tell you that the ILP only affects Idle. But he can't tell you why a particular Fit gets crappy milesge. :confuse:

    Here is what the TBS for the Pilot says.

    (This is on top of page 3 on left side. Starts under the picture of the seat.)
    The Idle Learn Procedure
    Before Starting the Idle Learn Procedure
    NOTE: Clearing DTCs with the PGM Tester does not
    require you to do the idle learn procedure.
    1. Make sure all electrical items (A/C, audio, rear
    window defogger, lights, etc.) are off.
    2. Start the engine, and let it reach normal operating
    temperature (the cooling fans cycle twice).
    3. Let the engine idle with the throttle closed and all
    electrical items off for 10 minutes

    Perform the Idle Learn Procedure
    The idle learn procedure must be done at PDI after the
    fuses are installed so that the PCM can learn the
    engine idle speed characteristics. If it is not done or
    done incorrectly, the engine may have an erratic idle.
    This procedure also must be done whenever you do
    any of the following:
    • Disconnect the battery.
    • Disconnect the PCM.
    • Reset or replace the PCM.
    • Remove the driver’s or passenger’s under-dash
    fuse/relay box.
    • Remove the BATTERY (120A) fuse from the underhood
    fuse/relay box.
    • Remove the BACK-UP, ACC (40A) fuse from the
    under-hood fuse/relay box.
    • Remove the No. 13 CLOCK, BACK-UP (15A) fuse
    from the passenger’s under-dash fuse/relay box.
    • Remove the PGM-FI main relay.
    • Disconnect the starter cable terminal from the underhood
    fuse/relay box
    • Disconnect the connectors between the engine wire
    harness and the left engine compartment wire
    • Disconnect the connectors between dashboard wire
    harness A and dashboard wire harness B.
    • Disconnect ground terminal G1, G2, G101, or G102.

    Obviously it is important to do the ILP. Also notice that they only indicate that the idle is affected. I know it made a significant difference in my mileage.

    Here is a link for the ILP on the Fit, but it seems to be inactive now.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    This is a MAJOR long shot, but what are the odds my old '96 Honda would need the ILP?

    How new is the ILP?
  • boord1boord1 Posts: 17
    I think I remember reading a very old post in this forum stating that a potential problem in gaining better MPG may be a faulty oxygen sensor that passes the electronic diagnostic test at the dealer but still is faulty. Does anybody have insight into this potential problem?
  • watsacwatsac Posts: 49
    May have answered my own question today by calling the local Honda Service Manager. He said the main reason for the 2 fan cycles is so it can 'learn' where to set the idle for when the fans kick in. Since the fan activity adds a load to the engine, the idle has to be high enough to handle that load. You run the risk of setting the idle too low if you were to stop the learning process prematurely (i.e., before the 2 fan cycles).
  • Kip,

    I have the 2007 Fit: PDI and New Model Information
    (Supersedes the Preliminary 06-017, dated April 14, 2006). The file is in the PDF format (11 pages), however, I have no knowledge of how to put it up on edmonds for others to use.

    Bubba :) :shades:
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    There may be a lot of Hondas that idle just fine, but get sub par mileage because the ILP was not done, or not done properly, during the dealer "Get Ready".

    The dealer can adjust the idle to whatever you want technically. If it was me I'd just ask them to set the idle at 850rpm when i bought it. It's no big deal for them. They do this sort of thing all day long.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    ."May have answered my own question today by calling the local Honda Service Manager. He said the main reason for the 2 fan cycles is so it can "Learn"' where to set the idle for when the fans kick in. Since the fan activity adds a load to the engine, the idle has to be high enough to handle that load. You run the risk of setting the idle too low if you were to stop the learning process prematurely (i.e., before the 2 fan cycles). "


    Over the years I've learned to understand that service managers don't need to know much technically. They can be good managers with very little technical knowledge. Their main job is to do scheduling for their people, set up schooling for the techs, do evaluations, handle customer problems the service writer could not, and get "HONDA" involved on hard to fix problems. That manager may have been a tech at one time, but as the years go by, the technology passes them by, because turning wrenches is no longer their job. I say this in all due respect!
    At a local toyota dealership, one of the female service writers became the service manager. And she was a good one ! Great manager, with little to no knowledge of wrench turning.

    You asked your Service Manager about the ILP. The cooling fans are most likely electric on the fit. They run off the battery, not directly off the engine. There may be a slight load imposed on the alternator or there may not be when they kick in.. That would depend a lot on the charge condition of the battery at the time. That's probably why they want to make sure all electrical devices are "OFF" during the ILP. They want as little load on the alternator as possible.

    If his answer was factual about being sure the idle remained constant during fan operation, then why not be sure it remains constant during AC compressor operation, which imposes a direct mechanical stress on the engine as well as turning on it's own fan. Putting an automatic trany in gear, and turning the steering wheel also add mechanical stress on the engine and would greatly affect idle more that the cooling fan. Then there is the extra 10 minutes of idle consideration. :confuse:

    As I said in above post, I dont know why.

    Paraphrased to my understanding. The TSB says to start the car and let it run until it reaches operating temperature. It will be at operating temperature when the fan cycles the second time.

    As it is the "IDLE" Learn Procedure, I believe the Idle should be maintained.

    Then they want an additional 10 minutes of idle after the operating temperature is reached, which is indicated by the fan cycling twice.

    I don't understand why they don't set the idle speed at the factory that would be good for anywhere. But I have a theory.

    (continued in next post)
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I read an online ILP for the Honda Fit, where you're supposed to 1) turn the key to the ON position for 2 seconds before starting, and then hold the RPMs to 3000 until the fan comes one, and then let it idle for 10 minutes.

    The procedure listed above makes no mention of turning the key to the ON position before starting or the 3000 RPMs.

    Which is correct?
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    The TBS says that any time certain fuses are disconnected or battery is interrupted, the ILP should be done. Apparently those items interrupt the computers memory in some way and it needs to be re taught the characteristics of that particular individual engine. I believe know the engine will idle after disruption, because mine did. So there is more to it than just achieving a smooth idle. (End of theory)

    What if the "Get Ready" department person goes to the lot or the delivery truck and drives the car into the service bay. During the summer he will most likely turn on the AC. By the time he gets into the bay, the engine may have warmed up quite a bit. He plugs in the fuses and cranks the car again with an already warm engine. The TBS says to start with a c~o~l~d engine. The AC, or heater, or radio, or open door ,or all the above may be operating while he lets the car warm up. If it was already somewhat warm, that won't take long. He assumes the fans cycled twice plus the additional 10 minutes as he was doing other things to the car.

    Consider the term "Idle Learn Procedure". Is the learning process only for Idle?
    Or is the computer learning many things while the engine is at idle?
    Kind of like sleep learning with some type of teaching aid going on while we sleep. We are not learning to sleep, we are learning something while we sleep.

    My take is real simple. I don't know what all happens! I do know the effect that disconnecting the battery had on my car. I know that my Pilot and CR-V as well as my son's and my neighbor's Ridgelines get considerably better than EPA ratings. All 4 vehicles were all subjected to ILP at home. ;)

    1. Turn on key and make sure all devices are turned off.= 20 seconds.
    2. Disconnect battery = 1 minute
    3. Get a cup of coffee and return to re connect the battery.
    4. Reconnect the battery, = 1 minute.
    (This technical stuff has taken less than 3 minutes.)

    5. Start the car
    6. Go do something for a 30 minutes like put the wrench up, shave, pester the spouse, fix breakfast, check the tire air pressure, wash every part of the car that won't get the engine or radiator wet, etc..
    7. By now the engine is warm and the fan will cycle every few minutes. So watch the fan cycle twice = 2-10 minutes while you drink another coffee.
    8. Go away for 10 minutes (see # 6) and let the procedure finish.
    9. Come back and shut off the engine
    10. If needed, reset the radio and/or driver auto window.= 2 minutes.

    How much personal time did it really take to be sure the ILP is done correctly ? :)

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576

    In post #2126 just after " re connect the battery"
    "DO NOT TOUCH THROTTLE. Turn ignition switch on for 2 seconds,................ then start car."

    In the TBS it does not mention the 2 seconds. I entered that because someone a lot smarter than me suggested it would give the computer a "heads up" on conditions. Don't think it would hurt any thing. Just might help. :)

    The HONDA published TBS I referenced says to start with a cold engine and let the car warm to operating temperature. It says nothing about 3000 rpm.

    There is always someone trying to take a short cut.

    If we think about it, sitting in the car and holding the throttle at 3000 rpm would take more "Personal" time than letting the car IDLE During the IDLE Learn Procedure. :)

    I recon that after turning wrenches for IBM for 30 years, I learned that the instructions work, (Most of the time)

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    >"I have the 2007 Fit: PDI and New Model Information "

    That would certainly help. How did you obtain it?

    Could you scan to your computer then copy and paste to the message section on this thread, or copy by hand the info on the ILP?

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Okay, I"ll do it again. It's much easier anyway just to let the car idle for 1/2 hour by itself.
  • 1st tank of gas on the new Fit MT base now at halfway point, and I've driven 170 miles. So if I stay on that track, i'll believe get about 31mpg on the 1st 10.8 gallon tank of fuel. This is with quite a bit of daily city driving, commuting back and forth to work.
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