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Honda Fit Real World MPG



  • robotaz2robotaz2 Posts: 7
    Um, actually if a biker tells you that it takes much less energy to pedal on flat ground over the same distance than going up and down hills that cover the same total distance then they do not know what they are talking about and obviously neither do you. Sorry, but true. Pick up a high school physics book and see for yourself.
  • pmeyerspmeyers Posts: 7
    robotaz2 is in error, as he is neglecting the effects of aerodynamic friction. Wind resistance goes up as the square of the velocity (given the same frontal area). As any bicyclist knows, much of your gains going downhill on a bike are eaten up by increased wind resistance, which, is HUGELY greater at 30-70 mph going downhill than at 10-20 mph going uphill. YOU NEVER GET THAT ENERGY BACK! It goes into heating the air. So, your bicyclist friend is right, in that pedaling on flat ground over the same distance uses much less energy than going up and down hill, as any aerodynamic textbook will tell you. Besides, it's impolite to tell someone that they don't know what they're talking about. I would never say that about you. Grin.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    >"Um, actually if a biker tells you that it takes much less energy to pedal on flat ground over the same distance than going up and down hills that cover the same total distance then they do not know what they are talking about and obviously neither do you"

    Those of us, that have been out of high school for a while, understand that driving in the mountains results in poorer mileage than driving on flat ground. If the grades are steep enough to require brakes on the declines, the mileage suffers even more.
    Fuel mileage is greatly affected by several factors. Gravity is one of them.

    Many think that because they might get 20 mpg going up one side of a mountain and 40 going down the same distance on the other side that the "average" for the two is 30 mpg. Not true!

    I've read several times that due to the size and weight of it's body and the size and speed of the wings, physics can prove that a Bumble Bee can not fly. Really? :confuse:

  • wistlowistlo Posts: 13
    Those of us who have been out of high school and also engineering school for a while would disagree.

    Both the the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics apply. The First Law states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed.

    When driving on hills, the First Law tells us exactly the same energy expended climbing a hill is recovered during descent. Think of a roller coaster that gets pulled up by force and then travels its course without any mechanical input. The coaster speeds up as it moves down, converting potential energy from its height into velocity. As it climbs, the momentum is transferred back to potential energy.

    The reason mileage drops on hills comes from the Second Law, the fact that processes are inherently inefficient to some degree. Internal combustion engines are most efficient at steady state. Also, hilly driving usually means curves and speed variation. To conserve all the energy gained going uphill, a car would have to be allowed to accelerate freely downhill, which on long grades results in unsafe downhill speed.

    On longer grades, the use of brakes or engine braking dissipates energy and reduces efficiency (Hybrids recover some of it).

    Bikes are a terrible analogy because we perceive the great effort required to muscle up hill. But in terms of actual energy expenditure, difficulty does not correlate to energy expended or recovered. A car or bike that can traverse hills without using braking will be less efficient only because of incremental differences in engine performance and rolling resistances at varying speeds.
  • gatortom1gatortom1 Posts: 25
    Sorry robotaz2 but you have your nose TOO deep in a physics book. In a vacuum, without factors such as wind drag, you would be correct but not in the real world. Bike a few 50 to 70 mile days over differing terrain for yourself as I do. At 10 to 12 mph, wind drag is nearly insignificant while at 30 mph a biker is exerting nearly 80% of his/her energy just to overcome wind resistence. (The increase with speed is logorithmic and not direct.) When you climb a steep hill you expend and store significant potential energy to overcome gravity. On the way back down you gain the advantage of that stored energy MINUS the extra you loose to significantly increased wind resistence. At least I suspect that is the physics behind the clear fact that multiple hills suck more energy than flat terraine. (My gently rolling training route of 36 miles consistantly takes several minutes less time than my 32-mile round trip climbing route that includes 3200 feet of altitude change.)
  • dadof6dadof6 Posts: 61
    Geez Louise you guys take this stuff way to seriously. '07 Sport AT 40,000 miles.
    3488 miles and 99 gals used comes to 35mpg. (am I allowed to round numbers)
    Trip was from western SD to NY city,1% was in stop & go traffic and 80% was driven at speeds higher than 65mph. Indiana,Iowa,Minnesota & SD have limits of at least 70mph. We used cruise about 95% of the time,stopped every 2hrs for breaks.
    3 adults & 1 12 yr old child + baggage for a 9 day trip. Yes we bottomed out the suspension in the rear a handfull of times. BTW I replace the air filter 1/2 way thru the trip & it had no affect on mpg.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    >"When driving on hills, the First Law tells us exactly the same energy expended climbing a hill is recovered during descent. Think of a roller coaster that gets pulled up by force and then travels its course without any mechanical input."

    Good analogy.

    A roller coaster, with only one mechanical assist, is pulled to it's highest point at the beginning. From that point it is released and gravity takes over. The combination of the up hill grades is less distance and/or angle than the combination of the downhill grades. So it reaches it's destination at the bottom. Some of the larger, longer, roller coasters require more than one mechanical assist.

    Engineers use physics and other stuff to figure in the factors to make the "Coaster" function as it should. I expect those same engineers can dig up some formulas that explain exactly why a car in mountainous terrain gets less mileage than on flat ground.

    A marble allowed to roll down a given hard surfaced grade will not continue and roll up an identical grade for the same distance. It will always fall a little short. When it stops forward momentum and begins to roll backward, it will fall short going back up the first grade and so forth until it eventually stops. That marble likely has nowhere near the resistance to movement as a moving car. When a skate boarder in a half pipe stops exerting extra energy, he will quickly come to a stop at the bottom, because there is simply not enough energy built and stored by the gravity effect to make it all the way to the top of the other side of the half pipe, in the real world.

    So far we haven't found a way to overcome the "slow down" factors in real world, without exerting "Extra" energy.

    Until we do, we are forced to live in a world that requires more fuel to be used in mountainous driving than flat ground driving. :)

  • wistlowistlo Posts: 13
    The "slow down factors" do not vary significantly with the angle of incline. In all the examples cited (marble, skateboard, etc), similar frictional losses exist in both flat and variable inclines.

    The major source of loss in hilly driving is braking, regardless of source of friction (brakes or engine pumping against a closed throttle). Hybrids recover some of those losses by converting deceleration forces into stored energy.

    Engine performance does vary under load, but it's a moderate to minor effect. The evidence is out on the highway: On hilly I-81, I get within 1-2 MPG of the mileage as I do on flat I-10 in both a FIt and a Civic, both with manual transmissions.
  • gr00v3gr00v3 Posts: 6
    In my 2007 Fit Sport, I managed 38.5 MPG on a drive from RI to NH, doing 75mph average, with the car loaded up with camping gear, and with the A/C on.

    No, I'm not having you on.

    All I did was to ensure that the tachometer never--or rarely--went above 3000rpm.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Well we live in the middle of NH and our last tank was our best at 37mpg and we have a lot of hills here, not to mention the 10% ethanol required in all gas sold here.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,748
    Regardless of the driving conditions where you happen to live, ethanol is a huge cause of decreased mileage performance. The The Inconvenient Truth About Ethanol discussion is a good place to chime in on your ethanol experiences

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  • roxy11roxy11 Posts: 27
    i hope everyone posting their mileage for the fit arent using numbers from the computer mileage display since most fit owners know it is consistently high, 10+% high quite commonly.
  • byron2byron2 Posts: 12
    '09 Sport Automatic. On a trip from San Francisco to San Diego I got gas in Santa Barbara. On the last leg to San Diego the Fit got 46 mpg. I know the computer is a bit optimistic but wow! Great car.
  • bilbofettbilbofett Posts: 3
    In almost a year I have never, ever, ever broken past 18 mpg or gone over about 200 on a full tank on the odometer! Please read and offer any advice/tips/help you can.

    I'll give you the full story so someone can maybe identify something I haven't thought of yet.

    Bought my 08' Automatic Fit Sport in August of 2008.
    It only registered 30 test-driven miles on it, being brand new.
    The dealership was a good hour from my house, and they filled up the tank all the way, and I drove it all the way home on the freeway, averaging between 55-70 the whole way.
    Even then I wasn't that excited about the gas mileage.
    The next day, I was almost broadsided by some jerk who was going about 150 and going into my lane. I had no choice but to slam on the breaks and swerve left and right really fast so I wouldn't hit the car next to me, avoiding him.
    That incident balded my tires a bit, and I think my car eventually got out of alignment from that.

    I was a little suspicious of the dealership because they were selling another color of the new '08 Fit and it had custom tinting on all the windows... the Fits don't come that way.. so what gives, were they selling a returned one and saying it was new?

    Ok... thats the sum total of the negative forces (that I'm aware of) that have impacted my car.
    I've only done 1 oil change, and theres less than 6,000 miles on it now, almost a year later. I've only EVER put in Mobil or Chevron, and never used the cheapo gasses. On this recent oil change, I put in a synthetic Mobil1 oil filter. I changed the air filter and cabin filter, even though it was way under the time needed, obviously.

    I took it to another dealership and told them my story and had their service department check it over. They (said) they checked it top to bottom; no faults or codes on the computers, the breaks aren't sticking (thereby causing extra friction which I was suspicious of). They offered to have one of their technicians drive it an hour away and back and check the mileage but I told him I've done that over and over and over. They said they didn't know what to tell me. They offered stories of salespeople who own the Honda Pilot and they were very displeased with the mileage until after about 15,000 miles the gas mileage suddenly went up, apparently after the engine was broken in.


    I don't drag race it, I don't drive it like its a sports car, and even when I've done entire tanks driving like a very cautious old lady, the mileage is pretty much the same. Whether I drive 90% freeway or 90% city, the mileage is the same. Whether I have lots of passengers or just myself, the mileage is the same.

    When the dealership says they can't find anything wrong with it.. .what am I supposed to do?

    I'm a young single guy and I could've bought a Mustang for this kind of mileage. I tried to be wise and sensible and I wanted to save more money on gas in the longrun than look cool and impress people. I test drove the Yaris, the Nissan Versa, and the Fit. I had to go with the Fit because of the safety rating, the cheaper auto insurance, and the overall features and kudos/awards from all the car magazines.

    I know, this was a very long story and I'm sorry for that but I wanted to give you the full details so y'all wouldn't have to ask for them later.

    My parents drive a 6-cylinder GMC Jimmy SUV thats from 2001 and it gets... 18-20 mpg... the same as my damn Fit!!

    I saw a guy today driving the 2009 Fit Sport and I asked him what kind of mileage he is getting and he looked on his dash and said it was reading 33, and he said thats about right.

    That's when I decided enough is enough.

    The fact that it needs an alignment and the tires are slightly balded a little can't possibly kill the mileage by 10 mpg or more??? I've checked and re-checked everything over and over. The air pressure in my tires is correct. Like I said, I've never used cheap gas. Its only had 1 oil change. All the filters are brand new in it since I changed them a few weeks ago. I run the AC alot but so do others who live around here, including that guy who gets 33 mpg average.

    I need some advice/help on who to contact.. Honda corporate? I have absolutely no idea who I would call or email there.... maybe contact a consumer advocate to put on the heat? the dealership I bought the car from?? I want to start getting the 27/33 mileage this car is rated for, or I want a different car.

    I'm sick of this. I'm tired of throwing my money away. Maybe I should've bought a Prius like I was thinking. I know, I know... you end up paying about 7,000 more in the long run. But I could *REALLY* use that immediate gas savings in my wallet right here and now!

    Someone, anyone... please help me figure this out... shed some light on this!

    P.S. Thanks for listening
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Wow. One quick question: what rpm is the tachometer showing on level ground at 60 mph?

    The reason I ask is that it sounds like you might not be getting all the way to top gear in the automatic.
  • staticdstaticd Posts: 3
    dude, you've got some serious issues...

    That being said, I drive the you-know-what out of my 08 Honda Fit Sport (auto) and I get anywhere between 30-42 MPG.

    Saying that, what is the difference between my car and yours?

    Part of me says that you are full of it but your long post makes me think that you are sincere.

    There are so many variables involved with how much fuel your car actually consumes that most likely your problem is either major (not likely) or incredibly simple.

    So, you must post on this blog, your exact driving habits for someone to actually give you good advice.

    That means, all of the details that you can possibly think of...including but not limited to...

    -type of terrain you drive on
    -type of fuel you use
    -exact condition of your tires
    -air pressure on all your tires
    -exact percentage of highway v city
    -exactly how many miles do you get per gallon
    -how often are you merging with traffic

    ...and so on

    Details are important if you expect resolution; your post was mostly ranting--justified but not really results driven, if you will.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    There just "Seems" to be something wrong with this picture.

    Can't imagine how the mileage could be so bad and not be getting error codes.

    First thing I would do is the Idle learn procedure (ILP). You can find that on page 11 of the Pilot "Real World Mpg" forum. Do it EXACTLY as it is written. No short cuts.

    If that doesn't help, you need to become a Fixture at your dealer. Top off the tank and have a technician drive the car for a hundred miles or so and check the mileage, with you in the car. Another thing, would be to drive one of their demo Fits for a hundred miles and see what kind of mileage you get.

    With legitimate mileage that bad, possibly the states "Lemon Law" would help. The car is not as "Green" as it is supposed to be, therefore not meeting EPA standards.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I think you are on to something there.

    You can actually do a test yourself: find a level stretch of highway without much traffic (might be hard to do in the Bay Area, may have to travel a bit to find that). Top off the tank at a gas station that is as close as possible to an entrance to the highway. Fill the tank until the pump shuts off, and STOP. Clear out the trip odometer. Then drive as far as you can in one direction on this level highway, with the cruise set at a moderate speed--either around 55-60 mph or whatever the speed limit of the highway is (if no cruise, try to maintain a set speed with light pressure on the pedal). (As was mentioned, be sure the transmission is in the highest gear.) Then turn around and do the same thing in the opposite direction until you return to the same gas station you used before. Fill the tank at the same gas pump you used the first time, until the pump shuts off. And calculate your fuel economy for the trip (the longer the trip, the better). The mpg should be close to the EPA highway estimate for the car, at least. If the speed was around 55-60, I'd say the mpg should exceed the EPA number. If not, if instead it's closer to 18 mpg, then I'd say the car really does have some kind of problem.
  • thurst1963thurst1963 Posts: 42
    Hello I had the same thing going on with my 2008 sport auto tran fit look back at post from the first half of 2008 18 mpg all the time no cheap gas after i got around 7000 mile mpg went up i think 21-23 around 8500 mile went up around 25mpg 10000 mile 27-29 i have 15500 mile now I get 35-40 PS I drive 90% highway and have got all the way up to 48 mpg really watching on long highway trip
  • xcentrickxcentrick Posts: 16
    I have an '07 FIT Sport that got low MPG (~27) for the 1st 30K miles. Then, it seemed at exactly 30K miles, the MPG went to 33 and has stayed there. I now have 70K miles on it, no problems except had to change brakes and rotors at 30K miles. The rotors were not scored, just worn past the legal width for tuning.

    Only thing I can offer is try the ILT mentioned in other posts.

    The thing that really puzzles me about all the FITs is the wide range of MPG reported, from 15 to 44. That just doesn't make sense to me even with all the different factors that play into MPG.
  • madams1madams1 Posts: 101
    18 mpg sounds awfully low. My wife initially got 28 average on her 2008 automatic sport and now she averages about 30 with about 50-50 city and highway miles. Also, this mileage includes using gas with ethonal which is about all that you can find around here.
  • jarewjarew Posts: 2
    48.4 mpg for my first tank of gas using on board gauge Wow or what gives?
    Actual from mileage to gallons used was 37.5 mpg which is still a WOW.
    Base model five speed manual 80/20 highway/city.
    love my new fit.

  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Nice mileage. But what's not so nice is the 25-30% error in the gauge.

    I got an indicated 42.4 during a rather "aggressive" test drive session a couple of weeks ago. Even if that translates only to a real-world 34 mpg, it's still better than my Civic gets when driven comparably.
  • roxy11roxy11 Posts: 27
    those disparities between the computer and the actual mileage are outrageous. i seen people brag about 42 mpg, but they never wonder why they are using 10 gallons of gas to fill up after a 350 mile tank. on my 09 corolla, if the dispay shows 43.4 mpg, then i consistently know that my real calculated mileage will be over 41.4 mpg. (it is always less than 2 mpg off).

    i have to think honda could remedy this, but too many drivers not in the know would have to face the reality that the mileage of the fit isnt as rosy as they think.
  • gatortom1gatortom1 Posts: 25
    I'm really surprised at THAT much disparity between real mileage and computer monitor mileage. With over 90% of the posts here the difference is 10 to 12 pecent. I have kept careful records since I bought my 2009 base Fit automatic in Sept. 2008. 5040 miles with 141 gallons. (35.7 actual mpg with roughly 60% suburban/40% highway.) On each fill-up I record CPU mileage and compute real mileage. That percent difference has varied from around 9% to around 12% with a few outliers both below and above that. The difference also appears about the same whether it is a highway tank at 42 actual mpg, or a surban tank at 32 to 35 mpg. I still hit pretty close by subtracting 10% from whatever the CPU says.

    Some of the disparity across reporters may be CPU versus real mileage--although I also noted before that I actually got 47.5 mpg over 280 miles on an interstate tank that involved a lot of drafting behind 18-wheelers doing 65 mile per hour.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    A "Scan Gauge"can be corrected for errors. It takes a couple of tanks to get it "Tuned" to the car. When doing a fillup it will say how many gallons it thinks were used. The driver can input the correct amount according to the gas pump.

    It will also say how many miles were driven. The driver can can calibrate the Scan Gauge to the car's odometer by adjusting the indicated speed. For example the car is driven 100 miles according to the odometer. But the scan gauge says the car traveled 98 miles. That is a 2% difference and the gauge can be adjusted to reflect "+2" . Then the next time the car is driven a given distance, the gauge will agree with the odometer. Or pretty close as it also measures the fuel used when in reverse.

    Problem is, that odometers are not the most accurate of devices. So we really don't know if the odometer is more accurate, or the gauge. If we don't believe that, Next time on an X-way, reset the tripometer at a given mile marker. Drive a hundred miles and see how far off the odometer really is. Another, and even more accurate way, is to set a GPS for trip. It will tell us how far we have traveled as well as how fast we are going. That can be compared to the odometer and other devices.

    The differences folks are seeing may actually be the cars odometer, the cars trip computer or a combination of the two.

    The key for super accurate results, the fill ups must be done exactly the same way every time. Same nozzle setting, same pump, same car position, etc..And know how accurate the measuring devices actually are. ;)

  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I've heard some people say that the gauge lacks a correction factor for powertrain losses, and that it is more accurate with a manual transmission than with an automatic.

    So far, I've done 300.6 miles/9.06 gallons for a calculated 33.2 mpg on my very first tank, mostly in stop-and-go suburban driving on no-name gasoline. The gauge reading was 35.3. I'm looking forward to seeing how it does as it gets broken in more thoroughly. It's already significantly better than the '99 Civic it mostly replaces.
  • I know that this is an older post, but something is wrong! The mileage in your Fit should be almost as good as the hybrids (with a lot less to go wrong and no heavy battery to lug around and then require an expensive replacement in a few years!) Plus the Fit is a lot more fun to drive than any Prius . . .

    My almost new 09 Fit with manual trans gets in the low to mid 40's actual MPG corrected (thanks to my wife's careful driving), so you should not have to wait for it to break-in further.

    Assuming you:

    -have correct tire pressure (try at least 36 - 38 psi),
    -are not using ethanol gas (this could cause a 20 to 30% hit on MPG),
    -are not driving in a aggressive fashion (this could cut your MPG in half easily),
    -are not doing all stop and go traffic (heavy traffic is where the diesels and hybrids do well),
    -are staying under 70 mph most of the time,
    -are keeping the engine below 3,000 rpm as much as possible
    -are letting the car warm up completely (driving 10 minutes at a time will not warm up the engine/transmission and your MPG will be 15 to 20% or more low - Open-Loop in the computer)
    -don't have a leak or someone stealing your gas,
    -are getting into top gear with your automatic transmission (RPM at 60 mph?)
    -are driving in the "Drive" position (letting the automatic shift itself) and not the "Sport" position on the auto trans (and shifting with the paddle shifters at high rpm)
    -don't let the car idle for long periods (its OK to shut down at long lights)
    -don't get any error codes - I'm not sure if they would show a bad spark plug - but this would show as loss of power or rough idle.
    -have done the Idle Learn Procedure suggested earlier.
    -are sure that your hand brake (parking brake) is releasing completely
    -have tried driving 5 to 10 miles at 50 mph or more without using your brakes at all and then coasting to a stop (going up a hill helps), then feel your brake discs and drums (the discs and drums should be barely warm - if you can't touch all four of them without burning your hand - then that's the problem)
    -have checked your odometer against known accurate highway mileposts.
    -are calculating your MPG by Miles Driven/Gallons Used and not using the MPG gage numbers which are known not to be very accurate.

    Then I would try the following:

    See if you can buy or borrow a ScanGage II for your Fit. This is a digital readout unit that plugs into the cars computer system. The same unit works on most cars made after 1996 (with the OBD II computer system) One costs about $140 new, but if it fixes your problem it will quickly pay for itself in gas saved. The same Scan Gage will work on most modern cars so you can think of it as a tool investment and move it from car to car as needed. Or you can put it back in the box and sell it on eBay for $100 after you are finished with it.

    The ScanGage II will give you an instantaneous readout in gallons per hour for all conditions: idle, coast, cruise, full-throttle, etc. It will read water temperature (low temp equals low MPG). It can be adjusted to read instantaneous and average MPG within a few percent by entering a correction after each fill-up.

    This is the best way for the average driver to monitor MPG and fuel consumption plus it gives you a lot more information about the engine. It will indicate if you have correct Spark Advance (in general more advance will improve MPG until the engine starts to "ping"). It will confirm that the engine computer has switched to Closed-Loop operation as soon as it warms up (always in Open-Loop will hurt MPG). It will measure Intake Air Temperature (warm is good for mileage). It will show Battery Voltage (always high - above 15 volts - might indicate an alternator overcharging the battery, which might hurt your MPG).

    It scans the engine for any trouble codes and stores and reads out any found. This would allow you to confirm the dealer's analysis or discover any code problems that he may have missed. It has many other features but these are the ones that would be important for good MPG. See their web site for more information.

    Once you get it calibrated and working (it will take a few days to appreciate all the features) you will be able to determine and compare your results with other folks. I'll be glad to move my ScanGage from my Acura to my 09 Fit with manual transmission to give you some readings for comparison. If your ScanGage numbers don't make sense, then it may indicate computer problems as well, but I would expect the code readout to have shown a problem here.

    Good Luck!
  • aueaue Posts: 16
    09 Fit after 2 months and 3,000 miles: 40.7 mpg
  • I have a 2008 Fit Sport. Last year when I purchased the car and it got worse mileage than my old 94 civic ex, I couldn't find info on the web. Today I heard that north of boston there is an attorney taking cases on.

    I do not have a lead foot. I have had the car tested 2x by the dealer, including checking pressure. The Fit Sport has alloy wheels. I have a regional managers phone number and this week, I will be calling and following up with a letter. I get 18-22 mpg with mixed driving, but little sitting at lights. I rarely use the a.c. I hypermile on downhill grades and at longer red lights. I weigh under 150. I don't carry bricks. Something is wrong with the car and that has nothing to do with the EPA and whatever vehicles they tested. The dealer says everything in the car is computerized and it reads out fine. I was told to change my oil (did) , I was told to "wait a while as the car breaks in." Now, am I supposed to wait until the warrantee runs out? I think not. I want to know what satisfaction anyone has received from Honda. Thank you all.
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