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For those of you who are getting very good MPG, do you warm your engine in your driveway for a few minutes before moving in cold weather or do you just start driving right away? I feel its the first few miles when the temperature is very low that I get very poor MPG. Or does it not make very much difference in overall MPG in cold weather?
 

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For those of you who are getting very good MPG, do you warm your engine in your driveway for a few minutes before moving in cold weather or do you just start driving right away? I feel its the first few miles when the temperature is very low that I get very poor MPG. Or does it not make very much difference in overall MPG in cold weather?
Oh goodness no! Idling gets zero miles per gallon! I drive very gently for the first couple miles and try to keep the power band in the blue so as not to race the engine while cold. The engine will also warm faster if you are driving versus idling only. Your low numbers over the first few miles are quite normal. Once the engine is heated sufficiently, mpg numbers will rise. Using cabin heat will also cause the ICE to run more than normal.
 

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I definitely concur with hasarad that the first few miles achieve poor MPG. You'll reach a steady state MPG once the car is warmed.

With all the winter weather, I didn't quite realize how much cabin noise the heater adds. I left it off one chilly morning (16 F) and it was truly whisper quiet.
 

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I've noticed that during this cold eastern Washington winter, the moment I turn the heater on, the gas engine kicks in. Normally, when I start moving the car in moderate to warm weather, it's in EV mode for a while. But once the heater is turned on, that ends.
 

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For today's modern vehicle....... Warming it does not play a huge significance in the running of the vehicle or efficiency.

The battery system is cold so the fact is it has to warm up.

The most efficiently way heat vehicle but not always the most comfortable is to run the vehicle with the HVAC "off" for at least 5-10 kms. This will ensure that the car is not working twice as hard to heat the engine and cabin at the same time...... Then once you turn on HVAC you have instant heat.

You can use the heated seats to help keep you warm till the vehicle reaches temp.
 

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I've noticed that during this cold eastern Washington winter, the moment I turn the heater on, the gas engine kicks in. Normally, when I start moving the car in moderate to warm weather, it's in EV mode for a while. But once the heater is turned on, that ends.
Car heaters work by extracting heat from the gas engine coolant, so the engine needs to run to heat the coolant enough to be effective. Air conditioning on the other hand is independent of the gas engine because it’s removing heat and humidity from the cabin air using a closed system with a condenser and refrigerant. I think that’s the main reason why we get the big hit on mpg in cold weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh goodness no! Idling gets zero miles per gallon! I drive very gently for the first couple miles and try to keep the power band in the blue so as not to race the engine while cold. The engine will also warm faster if you are driving versus idling only. Your low numbers over the first few miles are quite normal. Once the engine is heated sufficiently, mpg numbers will rise. Using cabin heat will also cause the ICE to run more than normal.
Thank you, all good advice.
This brings me to a question of keeping the power in the blue zone. I find that it is not always intuitive.
It could be that the engine coming on and off, I can not always hear, may be influencing the blue gage.

I try to accelerate to my target speed reasonably fast and then keeping at that final speed with a minimum effort.
What is your method of staying at the blue zone range most effectively?
 

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Thank you, all good advice.
This brings me to a question of keeping the power in the blue zone. I find that it is not always intuitive.
It could be that the engine coming on and off, I can not always hear, may be influencing the blue gage.

I try to accelerate to my target speed reasonably fast and then keeping at that final speed with a minimum effort.
What is your method of staying at the blue zone range most effectively?
Unless there are hills, keeping things in the blue zone is simple if the throttle is lightly used. If in the blue, the ICE can handle any need as far as acceleration without issue. Going above that with no/little battery reserve will cause the engine to whine. The bottom line is to not be in a rush. After the first few miles, you'll be able to build battery reserve to get back to "normal."
 

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I just start it in Sport Mode, cabin temp set at 68 with AC Off, and let the battery charge to full. When the battery stops charging, I switch to Normal mode and get 55.5 MPG on a 26 mile run out and back in 32 degree weather.

If you really don't want to factor in warm up time, reset the trip counter.

Phil
 

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For today's modern vehicle....... Warming it does not play a huge significance in the running of the vehicle or efficiency.

The battery system is cold so the fact is it has to warm up.

The most efficiently way heat vehicle but not always the most comfortable is to run the vehicle with the HVAC "off" for at least 5-10 kms. This will ensure that the car is not working twice as hard to heat the engine and cabin at the same time...... Then once you turn on HVAC you have instant heat.

You can use the heated seats to help keep you warm till the vehicle reaches temp.
I just start it in Sport Mode, cabin temp set at 68 with AC Off, and let the battery charge to full. When the battery stops charging, I switch to Normal mode and get 55.5 MPG on a 26 mile run out and back in 32 degree weather.

If you really don't want to factor in warm up time, reset the trip counter.

Phil
I use @Gen3_Insight 's method when it's not so cold that I need to have the heat immediately and @PHILBERT 's method if I need the heat asap.

I kind of wish the Insight has an engine temperature gauge that way I can know when the car has warmed up enough with @Gen3_Insight 's method.
 

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Are we really warming up the combustion engine? Warming up the cabin? Or are we warming up the batteries under the back seat?

It took me a while to notice, but there is a battery compartment vent in the middle just under the back seat. And if you put your hand in front of it while the car is warming up, you can feel air moving, so I guess there is some sort of fan working to circulate air (?). My understanding is that the batteries need to be within a certain temperature range to get optimum charge/discharge capability. Probably much better for battery health, as well.

So, if we don't drive in a "normal" cabin temperature, does the battery ever come into the optimal operating range? Maybe there is some climate control feeding the battery "controlled" temperature air under the center hump??? But driving around in a winter coat just to save some MPG seems like the wrong way to go. Again, I just reset my trip counter after warm up. The engine has to run anyway, so bleeding off some heat should be free. You can recirculate air in the cabin, but the windows tend to fog. You take the hit in winter either way, so I say reset the counter once everything is warm, then calculate the mileage. My "A" Counter auto-reset is set to tank refill, and my "B" Counter auto-reset is set to engine start. I usually don't have to reset after start unless the warm up period was extensive (single digits or teens).

Phil
Resetting the trip after you're warmed discounts the fuel used for the initial warm-up. That's like saying one resets the counter once they are up to driving speed thereby discounting the energy required to get up to speed. Anyone can hit 60mpg once they get up to speed. MPG numbers should contain data for the entire drive/tank. My numbers contain data from every mile I've driven.
 

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Resetting the trip after you're warmed discounts the fuel used for the initial warm-up. That's like saying one resets the counter once they are up to driving speed thereby discounting the energy required to get up to speed. Anyone can hit 60mpg once they get up to speed. MPG numbers should contain data for the entire drive/tank. My numbers contain data from every mile I've driven.
Similar is true for full versus low/empty gas tank. For the same drive/route, I get lower average mpg when I first fill up than when the tank is less full. The average mpg over the entire tank between fill-ups gives the best representation for overall fuel efficiency result.
 

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Resetting the trip after you're warmed discounts the fuel used for the initial warm-up. That's like saying one resets the counter once they are up to driving speed thereby discounting the energy required to get up to speed. Anyone can hit 60mpg once they get up to speed. MPG numbers should contain data for the entire drive/tank. My numbers contain data from every mile I've driven.
And my "A" Trip Counter numbers do include all warm up time, so that data is not missing. And the Trip Computer shows the real MPG number per tank. Only the "B" counter is reset to discount weather conditions, so you can see what the car does without that getting in the way. Even then, there is a little loss, as you are maintaining cabin temperature. So you can view the numbers either way.

For me, as I have not enjoyed a season of moderate temperatures with this new car yet, it allows us to get some ideas of what we can do to milk every mile out of this car. That being said, this is only fun and games to me. I'm not a hypermiler! At times I play around with it, but then feel the "need for speed", so it goes in phases.

Fun story...Yesterday I drove down to my favorite gas station (100' higher in elevation with a mix of speeds and traffic conditions) at 53.3 MPG (no warm up reset @ 41 degrees) in Normal Mode, gassed up (resetting all counters) and went directly into Sport Mode. From there I broke every "hypermiler" rule and tore through traffic to the car wash. After that I headed out I-84 East into CT as fast as I could go. I mean I really stretched Pearl's (my new nickname) legs and let it rip. At times going a buck five for extended periods (until traffic eventually got in the way), and always at least PSL +20 to +25. Basically pushing as fast as I could go, and seeing what this car could do "on the extreme end". Handled like a dream...tight, precise and smooth as it is at "normal" speeds. (Very interesting to watch power flow and see how the electric flows even at over a buck...plenty of power!...battery was still charging and reserving power.) Countermeasures engaged all the way, but no "bogies". Went up 8 from Toiletbury to 44 and checked the MPG, as the trek back to NY on 44 is a slow drive. It said 30.5 MPG...NOT bad! Riding back all the way in Sport Mode, which kept the battery fully charged until I came through some towns where I ran the battery out on EV Mode. One section of mixed flat and downhill went on forever in EV. That was cool! But where I could open it up again, I did. Doing my worst, MPG in the driveway was 38.7. My usual average driving in Normal Mode at PSL is ~48 per tank, but my wife drives the car M - F, so she is not as conservative as I "usually" am. :D

No matter how you drive this car, you're going to save gas. None of my other cars could touch 30 MPG at any speed.

Phil
 

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For me, as I have not enjoyed a season of moderate temperatures with this new car yet, it allows us to get some ideas of what we can do to milk every mile out of this car.
In a couple months you're going to blow your current numbers out of the water. Summer gas and higher temps are a beautiful thing. I was able to get 74mpg on my 50-mile work commute this past September.
 

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And my "A" Trip Counter numbers do include all warm up time, so that data is not missing. And the Trip Computer shows the real MPG number per tank. Only the "B" counter is reset to discount weather conditions, so you can see what the car does without that getting in the way. Even then, there is a little loss, as you are maintaining cabin temperature. So you can view the numbers either way.

For me, as I have not enjoyed a season of moderate temperatures with this new car yet, it allows us to get some ideas of what we can do to milk every mile out of this car. That being said, this is only fun and games to me. I'm not a hypermiler! At times I play around with it, but then feel the "need for speed", so it goes in phases.

Fun story...Yesterday I drove down to my favorite gas station (100' higher in elevation with a mix of speeds and traffic conditions) at 53.3 MPG (no warm up reset @ 41 degrees) in Normal Mode, gassed up (resetting all counters) and went directly into Sport Mode. From there I broke every "hypermiler" rule and tore through traffic to the car wash. After that I headed out I-84 East into CT as fast as I could go. I mean I really stretched Pearl's (my new nickname) legs and let it rip. At times going a buck five for extended periods (until traffic eventually got in the way), and always at least PSL +20 to +25. Basically pushing as fast as I could go, and seeing what this car could do "on the extreme end". Handled like a dream...tight, precise and smooth as it is at "normal" speeds. (Very interesting to watch power flow and see how the electric flows even at over a buck...plenty of power!...battery was still charging and reserving power.) Countermeasures engaged all the way, but no "bogies". Went up 8 from Toiletbury to 44 and checked the MPG, as the trek back to NY on 44 is a slow drive. It said 30.5 MPG...NOT bad! Riding back all the way in Sport Mode, which kept the battery fully charged until I came through some towns where I ran the battery out on EV Mode. One section of mixed flat and downhill went on forever in EV. That was cool! But where I could open it up again, I did. Doing my worst, MPG in the driveway was 38.7. My usual average driving in Normal Mode at PSL is ~48 per tank, but my wife drives the car M - F, so she is not as conservative as I "usually" am. :D

No matter how you drive this car, you're going to save gas. None of my other cars could touch 30 MPG at any speed.

Phil
This is why Honda did a great job designing this car and having the platform based on the Civic. You get the handling of a Civic but extra torque from the hybrid batteries. It's that torque, low center of gravity, and the planted handling of the car that makes it fun to drive in sport mode. You can't do this in other hybrid cars because they were designed for fuel economy first. The fuel economy for the Honda Insight is more like a surprise bonus to what the car can do. I think if everybody bought this car as a more premium Civic, fuel economy second, you would not be disappointed with this car. I'm not sure why anyone would buy an EX/Touring Civic when you can get more for less starting with the EX Insight.
 

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Engine Warm-Up

Just curious if you guys warm up the car before a drive?
I know the engine comes on after you start driving but to me it seems bad to be driving full speed on a cold engine.

Typically I turn the heater to "on" and that seems to start the engine and I let it idle for maybe 3-4 min and then start driving.
Just curious if you guys let it warm up as well or just get in and go??
 

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Just curious if you guys warm up the car before a drive?
I know the engine comes on after you start driving but to me it seems bad to be driving full speed on a cold engine.

Typically I turn the heater to "on" and that seems to start the engine and I let it idle for maybe 3-4 min and then start driving.
Just curious if you guys let it warm up as well or just get in and go??
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...driving/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0325277cd770
Modern day cars don't need to warm up before you drive. It's better to drive it instead of idling because it warms the car up faster. I just start the car and drive off. I have only used the remote start maybe 5 times to de-ice or to preheat the car due to freezing cold.
 

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Ive seen and read the same from alot of articles. I guess it's just safe/old school me where a cars engine should be operating temperature to drive. Not to mention the engine sounds different when cold vs warm. Thats gotta mean something I think.
Obviously the car is built in such a way that you start it and drive. Just seems odd to me. Sort of like the new rules of an oil change. 5-10000 mile changes now vs 3000 like before. I guess my brain says let the car warm up and change the oil sooner than later. Only makes sense these things will add a few thousand miles to the engine??....
 

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I’ve read that warming up a fuel injected engine is actually bad for it. Same with leaving it idling. It’s one of those things that’s left from the carburetor days. When a fuel injected engine is warming up to temperature it’s running rich and the extra gas can get into the cylinders and wash away the protection they are getting from the oil. Over time this causes extra wear and tear on the engine. So you want to drive the car to warm it up faster and get it to where it’s no longer injecting extra gas do to being cold. ... or I could be full of it. Someone who actually knows engines feel free to correct me. 😛
 

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Ive seen and read the same from alot of articles. I guess it's just safe/old school me where a cars engine should be operating temperature to drive. Not to mention the engine sounds different when cold vs warm. Thats gotta mean something I think.
Obviously the car is built in such a way that you start it and drive. Just seems odd to me. Sort of like the new rules of an oil change. 5-10000 mile changes now vs 3000 like before. I guess my brain says let the car warm up and change the oil sooner than later. Only makes sense these things will add a few thousand miles to the engine??....
I would still drive the car gently(stay within the blue zone) and don't aggressively accelerate until the car warms up. As for oil change, I just go by what the owners manual says, replace due to oil condition from maintenance minder/dipstick check, or 1 year since last oil change. I plan on using full synthetic oil due to my driving conditions being considered as severe.
 
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