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New HAH owner - Northern IL

  #1  
Old 01-30-2005, 08:11 PM
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Default New HAH owner - Northern IL

Hello, everyone...

Wanted to give a shout out and say 'hi' to everyone. I've got a little less than 1500mi on an Accord Hybrid and am starting to realize higher mileage on the 3rd tank - went from 27-28mpg on the first two tanks to 34 on the last tank, after reading about (& incorporating) using the 'game gauge' to improve driving habits and get the most FE possible out of the car.

Went into Chicago last night on the 4th tank fillup last night. Sadly, I know my MPG is going to decrease, due to some rips to 90+ to help break in engine & check 50-70mph passing ability (the electric assist really helps out - very smooth & refined).

Not quite sure I'm ready to put my tire pressures up to 50# or more (from mfg spec of 32). Willing to entertain the idea of gradually increasing #s. But right now, I'm pleasantly pleased at 34mpg - my last Accord (200HP V6) was good for about 23mpg.

IMO, the real beauty of this car isn't so much the electric motor - it's the VCM. I can keep this thing in 3 cyl mode, as reported by the 'ECO' light, most of the time

Will keep posting my tanks, and I look forward to comparing to the other HAH cars in the db.

All the best,
 
  #2  
Old 01-30-2005, 09:24 PM
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Hi GreenAndBlue:

___It sounds like you are definitely figuring out the AHís ace in the hole. I have read that you can accelerate (albeit slowly) and maintain VCM all the way to highway speeds once warmed up. If 50 #ís is a bit much, at least run to 44 #ís which should be max sidewall. In the cold temps we have been experiencing as of late, the only thing you have to gain is FE.

___Where in Northern Illinois do you live as I would love to take an AH for a short test run myself!

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 
  #3  
Old 01-31-2005, 11:50 AM
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I'm not sure if you can get from '0 - <insert desired speed>' purely on VCM - my experience is that the car has to detect 'cruising' mode first. I've read that this can be accomplished from 20mph onward (most of the time, I'm 30-35mph before VCM kicks in.

Now, once you're there, you can accelerate slowly and keep the engine in VCM mode - but I haven't been able to do this for more than about 10mph increase. It *does* 'recover' quickly and go back to VCM as soon as you stop accelerating - and anytime you decrease speed / close the throttle.

I'm debating whether it's best to just accelerate smoothly to cruise speed and let VCM kick in from there, vs. gingerly accelerating. Real-world conditions won't really support the second scenario, unless I'm on one of the very sparsely traveled roads out here.

Which leads me to the answer to your other question - I'm in NW Lake County - near Grayslake. If you see a Desert Mist AH, wave - it'll probably be me

All the best,
 
  #4  
Old 02-02-2005, 01:01 AM
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Hi GreenAndBlue:

___You probably less then 7 miles away as I live behind Gurnee Mills myself.

___When it warms up, you should find both VCM and Autostop happening far easier then you have to date given our lousy temps.

___Did you pick up the Desert Mist from Rosen Honda over here on Grand or Pauly Honda in Libertyville?

___Finally, slow but steady acceleration all the way up irregardless of VCM or not will get you the highest FE. As for the 90 + mph blasts down I94 and 50 - 70 passing feats, get it out of your system soon or low to mid 20ís are where you are going to stay

PS: You wouldnít be interested in swapping your AH for our MDX Touring w/ RES for a single night, would you? I am heading into night shift on Friday and would love to see what your AH is worth in 25 - 30 degree temps out on the highway. IIRC, there is a newer Shell at Rt. 120 and Rt. 45 that would be a great top off point before starting a test drive Ö

___Good Luck with your new toy.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 
  #5  
Old 02-03-2005, 08:25 AM
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Wayne - I'm amenable to your proposal, but considering the engine only has 1500(?) mi on it, it might still be pretty tight. So you'd have to pick what would be more important - cold weather eval, or 'fully-broken-in eval' Also - not that I don't think you're trustworthy - but I'm a bit reticent about handing over my key to a brand-new car (with a lienholder) to a complete stranger (no offense meant, as I'm not singling you out specificially Ė just that I'm from the inner city, originally ). As long as we could put some things together to clarify who'd be responsible for each other's car, and limit both of our liabilities, I'm willing to entertain the idea. Besides, you can give me a training lesson

Unfortunately, this Friday will not be possible, as Iím going to see the Wolves tomorrow evening. Iím open to another date / time. email me at if you're still interested (note that I can't check this account during work hours).


Oh, and I should clarify - I was at 90+ for about 10 sec, then backed down to 80 (which in this area, is about the flow of traffic on the interstate

The way I see this car, it is the first 'no compromises' hybrid - luxury + ((power) xor (economy)); and it allows me to drive in two or three modes:

Mode 1: 'Full commuter', where I max the FE, because, hey - we're all stuck in traffic anyway... this is probably > 90% of the driving I do with this (or any) car. For now, this doesn't automatically mean that I'm driving speed limit or under, but I'm darned close. I'm also keeping stock tire pressure for now. This may change soon (after my current mileage tank-by-tank increases plateau). Other things, such as coasting / gliding to stops, I've done for years.
I do find the constant steady speed thing a bit stressful on my foot / ankle, but I try to adhere. More often than not, I'll start losing speed on level ground, becuase I let up too much on the pedal, trying to get the game gauge to read higher or maintain current reading for a longer time (most of the time, I can sustain 50mpg for periods without too much trouble, 60 with difficulty, but not for long periods (usually downhill), and pegged at 80 on certain downhill grades (& coasting)). Upward grades are difficult to maintain steady speed on as well.

Mode 2: 'Weekend' mode, where I'm running errands, visiting friends, etc - I'll practice FE where I can, plan trips logically (as always), etc, but will not try and squeeze every last mile out of the tank. I *will* be cognizant of the light show in the dash and take advantage of VCM, etc. Maybe 10% of my total driving time is in this mode.

Mode 3: 'Nuts' mode - where I use a larger portion of the 255hp built into the car. This is probably < 1% of my driving with the car. To date, I've not even pressed the go pedal 3/4 of the way down yet.


In all, I think you'd generally be proud (?) of me. I got 32.8 mpg on the way to work yesterday, and 34.5 today according to the trip odo - and that includes the whole 45min trip, including the first few cold start miles at 14-17mpg. Admittedly, it's not the 100+ mpg that you're getting out of your car, but it *is* a 3.0L V6, too - with less than 2000mi on a brand-new engine (in 30F temps). And I'm new at this. What I'm saying is that I think even better mpg is sure to come as time passes, temps get warmer, and miles rack up (I put about 25,000/yr on my cars, so in about 2mos, we'll see where I'm at .

If you look at my car in the db, I went from 25-27 to 34mpg last tank. 4 more of those, and I'll be earning the coveted hypermiler award, right ?

Just wanted to point out that I wasn't 19 and driving like I had a <insert name of high-hp gas-guzzling musclecar here>

Oh - and I got the car at Rosen. The person who it was originally ordered for apparently had some financing problems, and it was there waiting for me (waited almost a week between 1st test drive and buying it). Everything converged perfectly (including $1000 off MSRP (!) and a dealer-paid interest rate buydown) for me to take the car. Color scheme I liked best of the 4 available, and with the Navi (which is a great feature of the car, never mind what the critics say). Wouldn't have bitten if so many things hadn't worked out perfectly, but they did. And here I am

All the best,
 

Last edited by GreenAndBlue; 02-09-2005 at 02:19 PM.
  #6  
Old 02-03-2005, 09:24 AM
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Hi GreenAndBlue:

___Nicely detailed post!

___I have been watching the Edmunds AH threads (as well as about a hundred others dealing with Hybrids and diesels ) and there are individuals that are seeing the 50 + mpg out of the game gauges for periodic stretches as well. You are indeed a future hypermiler. Did you say your Game Gauge goes up to 80 mpg? The non-hybrid NAVI equipped Accords only go to 50 mpg and I see this as an oversight given my 2 times behind the wheel of an I4 based NON-Hybrid with the game gauge pegged at 50 mpg while hypermiling down Route 41. If they fixed that, the AH has a feature I have hoped all Accords would receive since I first found out about it late last summer.

___When the newness of your Honda wears off, we can do a swap as I am sure your wife wouldnít mind taking the X for an evening or similar. Insuranceís cover the automobiles as if you were driving your own no matter which car you were driving. At least Travelerís works that way. I will call and make sure. Even a front to rear bumper drive would be entertaining to say the least. I will learn something and hopefully you will too although you already have the basics down. A nice test ride from Rt. 45 and Rt. 120 heading east onto I94 South, onto I294 at Lake Cook, out to I55 North, the long turnaround at the first exit back on to I55 South, back onto I294 North, and back home is a great run for highway testing when there is little traffic. Rt. 45 and 120 is a mess as you well know unless itís early in the morning Ö

___Are you commuting into the north suburbs or just running up to Abbott? If you work in the north suburbs and take I94 home, when you hit the summer time backups before Half Day heading Northbound on I94, stay in the far right lanes all the way from Lake Cook and even in the exit lane of Half Day until the last second. You would not believe how much FE you can pick up at 15 - 30 mph with an appropriate hypermiling buffer while the left lanes are simply a 2 mile mess of parked cars crawling for 15 - 20 minutes or more. It doesnít work all the time but when it does, it has saved segment records more then it has harmed them. Donít tell others of this or my future time and fuel savings through this particular stretch will go right out the exhaust pipe Whenever you are southbound along I94 just before Lake Cook, get into the far right lane where the sound barriers have been erected and slow down a bit. The wall itself acts to funnel any traffic side draft you will pick up into a nice little wind tunnel in your favor as long as there is a decent delta between you and the traffic passing on the left. Even without the delta, I see a nice improvement on the instantaneous along that stretch with traffic side helping everyone. Everyone being you and I because we can see it vs. everyone else that receives a nice bonus although they donít have any way of knowing.

___Finally, I was at Rosen when your AH came in still wrapped in plastic and the (Over the Road) coating still covering her exterior. They would only let me sit in it, not drive it When I started her up, Force Charge was invoked at idle as the SoC was climbing from 0. This was normal as I found out later given hybrids are shipped w/ drained packs. Nice job on the price and I hope you post this particular detail elsewhere! In fact, I think I will post it around the net for you.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 
  #7  
Old 02-03-2005, 11:01 AM
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Wayne:

Feel free to repost, but if you do, kindly strip out the first two paragraphs - I don't want my inbox flooded with any more spam than it usually gets...

Indeed, my Trip Computer mileage scale goes up to 80mpg (and I wish it went higher, because I have a feeling it might go higher - it pegs pretty easily under the right conditions). I had nice stretches of 60mpg today southbound on I-94 (I work in Bannockburn, btw, and have been taking 120-137-43 until this week in order to see if 94 gave better mileage)

Finally - you must have a good relationship with Rosen ::envious::, if they actually let you in the car (& start it up) before they even initially prepped the car - when I test drove it, they had the major items done, but it wasn't 'fully' ready for a customer (per mfg's standards) yet. I took delivery w/ about 75mi on the odo. You mention it still had the 'over the road' coating on the exterior - I was initially thinking cosmoline, since the AH takes the slow boat from China...err...Japan - but that stuff would get all over the place as they were transporting the car from place to place on it's way to the dealership.

Anyway, duty calls, and I must run for now...
 
  #8  
Old 02-03-2005, 11:45 AM
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Hi Mark:

___No problem on the posting details. I just let on that a fellow hybrid pilot picked up an AH for $1,000 under MSRP from Rosen is all.

___In regards to your NAVIís trip computer, do you have the 3.40c version or b? I wish I knew how to check but I donít? I just read yesterday that the c version is now available and I am wondering if the 80 mpg range is a SW update or available only in the AH? 60 + mpgís? Now you have me very very interested! I cannot wait to try one out for an extended drive sometime in the future.

___As for changing your driving route (I feel for you given your Rt. 120/137/43 nightmare), yes, a classic Hypermiler tactic

___The coating I was speaking of might have been Cosmoline although I thought that was always removed at the POE. It was a light grease like substance that was all over the lower edges of your car when it came in.

___The only reason I am at Rosen often is that you can have an oil change performed (your own oil and filter) for < $10.00. Hopefully you can use this service as well although I am not sure if you want to use 0W-20 Mobil1 Synthetic or not? 0W-20 can be found at the Walmart here on Grand and Hunt Club Road for $4.27/quart, a Supertech filter from the same goes for $2.07, and the oil change is $9.xx. Not only is your maintenance records intact for a future owner, the price is an absolute steal when its 25 degrees F outside.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 
  #9  
Old 02-03-2005, 12:42 PM
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Hi, Wayne...just to clarify on the price paid for my AH.

If someone enquires of the facility, they will deny having sold the car for < MSRP. What they did was to give me an extra $1000 on my trade (since I knew what the FMV was, and I had their original quote, I recognized that to be valid, and accepted the deal). As I had positive equity in my trade already, it was revenue neutral, and did lower the amount of the financing / sales tax / etc, by a like amount. I'll show you my deal papers when we meet, if you care to see. Incidentally, I finally saw my old car on Rosen's website a few days ago - for about $2500 more than they paid for it. We're in the wrong business, I tell you...

I think they were so eager to make a deal on my car because the original purchaser's deal fell through, and they didn't want to have the car in inventory. As I see it, Lake County, IL is SUV paradise; thus, you'll see them sell 10 fully loaded Pilot w/ RES & Navi before 1 HAH. But that's my opinion; I have nothing to back it up.

On the Navi disc version - I *think* it's the 'b' version. Will have to check on that (to do so, there's a 'system info' button on one of my menus).

I also wanted to thank you for the info on the oil change - that's fantastic news, and I will be sure to take advantage of it. I've been having various dealers in the area do my oil changes / tire rotations since new on the '01 Coupe (for the time / aggrevation of me rotating the tires, I'll shell out $30 for them to do it in < 1hr every time). And I've used Mobil1 5-30 in that car since 3750mi - someone's going to be getting a very good engine

Incidentally, I recall going to Rosen for an oil change a couple of years ago; I did not like their service, and have gone to Pauly in Libertyville ever since.

I was originally reticent to use 5-20 in a car (even my '01 Accord called for it) because of the upper temp protection range. But after a little more research (and the fact that Mobil does now make a 0-20 weight), I will go with that viscosity for this car (which, at the rate I pile up miles, should be in about a month)
As for filters, I did use Mobil1s for awhile, then gave in and let them use the OEM Honda filters (even tho they're made by Fram - I understand the new small size one is made by Filtech, which may be better). But I'll probably go with the Honda filters again. Lets them make a *little* markup on the job, anyway...

One thing I won't be doing, though, is buying the oil/filter at Wal-Mart. I am philosophically opposed to increasing their profit margins / legitimizing their business practices. I do understand that some folks *must* shop there because of price, but because I do have the very good fortune in life to be able to afford shopping elsewhere, I do. So I would ask you (and everyone who reads this thread to consider shopping at another retailer, if possible. And I thank you for your consideration of this issue.

All the best,
 
  #10  
Old 02-03-2005, 02:03 PM
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Hi Mark:

___Great information about your AH. It sounds like you have done quite a bit of research Ö

___You are definitely right about Lake County being SUV paradise but sometimes it is just nice to have. Remember our last 12Ē? My daughter stuck her Grand Prix sideways in the drive with 2 + drifts all around for me to unbury. I took the MDX out right through and along the side. It didnít bat an eye. I still think they are absolute pigs for the 1 day when it comes in handy but that is my wifeís car and she likes it Ö Oh, and being a Honda ICE has its advantages. The MDX out on the highway can make some sub-compacts cry in shame when driven to its hypermileage limits. See the attached as one of my personal bests in that beast

___I cannot say that I blame you in regards to Walmart Ö If you have an Auto Zone in Grayslake, you can pick up a MADD calendar and there is a coupon in the back for Ĺ off Mobil1 synthetic. They charge something like $4.9x or $5.3x per quart of 0W-20. I can never find the MADD calendarís however Auto Zone also carries Mobil1, Purolator, and Bosch filters. All 3 are made by Champion Labs with the best ADBV in the business. The Mobil1ís are the best at filtering down below 5 microns but have been known to have to high a DP later in life and thus go to full bypass. The Bosch uses the same Semi-Synthetic media as the SuperTechís and IIRC, there was a 50% off deal on the Bosch filters last month ($5.xx per retail?). It might still be available today? The new Honda Framís have supposedly been improved vs. the cheap Framís from years gone by if you do use those. For Rosenís oil change, make sure you make an appointment (usually a 2 to 3 days advance notice) as it is not a first come first serve basis. I am usually there an hour or less and for the price and Honda dealership record, it is easily worth it.

___The only reason I mentioned 0W-20 in your AH is the VTEC addition. If you read the 0W-20ís notes, Mobil speaks of VTECís as the only Honda that Mobil1 0W-20 is not recommended for. My wife and I never drive anywhere near VTEC RPMís so 0W-20 is fine in the MDX but it is something you might consider?

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 
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