HCH-II FE improvement's?

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by tarabell, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    I found this place from Tiger’s photos of his new car over on GH. Once I realized Xcel was here, read about the 10% challenge and saw a definitive hypermiling guide was being contemplated you couldn’t have held me back with ropes.

    I’ve been just in love with my HCH-2 since I got it in early January. Initially I drove it like a normal car but quickly got addicted to raising my FE. So I read everything I could at GH and tried to apply it religiously. However I find I need to read a lot of threads over and over again because it doesn’t all make sense on the first reading, or till I’ve actually experienced in my car what they’re talking about. Also tried out many of the tips given for different cars which I wasn’t sure would work for mine, so sorting through it all and validating the good information has been slow--but fascinating.

    I’ve been a bit frustrated to find my FE isn’t increasing very much with each tank as I know I’m driving the car much more efficiently than I was at the beginning. For instance, now I can drive with load and get into EV mode pretty much at will on a downhill or level road—so I figure I either need to learn how to employ these techniques more consistently/effectively or see what else I should be doing to raise FE and get this “invisible anchor” out of my car.

    My goal is to reach 50 as a start. I was thinking at first my mpg (currently mid ‘40s) was due to the cold weather, but I’ve seen several other posters at GH--same car same city--getting in the ‘50s. So I know it’s possible. Also, I just bought the maximum extended warranty so I’m motivated to drive this car as smart as I can for the next 8 years. BTW, I don’t know zip about cars and engines :eek: so I hope you don't mind an occasional dumb question from the peanut gallery.
  2. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: Just joined

    Welcome to cleanmpg.com. From the sounds of it you sound like you are off to a good start. How are you measuring your FE? Are you using the trip odometers? If you are, do you reset one of them every fill up? If you don't then its going to be hard to see the improvements.

    I know one person that never reset the trip odometers and was saying they were seeing little improvment. This is because any improvement you make is averaged in with all the previous miles you've driven. So the longer you drive the less effect any trip or tank will have on the reading. I'm hoping that is whats wrong.

    Describe your trip. How long is your commute? Is it city? Give as much info as you can.
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: Just joined

    Hi Tarabell:

    ___Welcome to CleanMPG. We have a lot of work still ahead including a few more articles … Tom has been pressing me for a hypermiling guide for a while now ;) I have been building small case studies for each technique trying to convey more then just a description. Hopefully by the end of the week so give me a bit more time.

    ___About your HCH-II. I have had the chance to drive one and it is a tough nut to crack to move up to the wild numbers. I believe like Tom does that it is going to be easier to hit the EPA in one then the HCH-I’s in either MT or CVT format. It is when pushing to extreme numbers that I have my misgivings. We will do what we can with future posts but in my short time behind the wheel, the HCH-II takes a huge hit when trying to bring the packs SoC back after a short period of EV. During that hidden/forced charging period to bring the SoC back, the EPA numbers are tough to match! I have some ideas but until Tom and I get some real time behind the wheel, there are some secrets that thing is hiding from us let alone many HCH-II owners who are pushing it for all she’s worth around the world. NASA is doing a great job at pushing segments but watching Kenny has me questioning the HCH-II’s EV mode capabilities vs. the payback afterwards … I hope you will push segments and tanks as well as help figure out where her optimizations lye in the near future as well. She’s got it in her but her best is really well hidden to date is all.

    ___Good Luck and again, welcome to CleanMPG.

  4. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    Re: Just joined

    Wellcome Tarabell.

    It would seem the new Civics in any flavor are very very senstive to the throttle. The more gental I am with my new EX the better the mpg is.


  5. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Re: Just joined

    Welcome tarabell!

    I did peek at the 2006 Civic and was impressed by the new dashboard layout.
  6. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    Re: Just joined

    Yes I reset my trip odomoter after filling up, and have been recording my mileage faithfully over at GH. I have the same username there so you can take a look if you like. Only 6 tanks recorded so far. My best tank was when I made a trip to San Diego and I was able to really play with the car, got it in EV mode for the first time, and tried out the cruise control.

    We live in urban L.A. This is our routine: Every morning my husband borrows my car to go to his health club while I get ready for work. That's an 8 mile round trip of city driving but it's so early that the streets are pretty empty. Then when he gets back I take the car for my daily 20 mile commute to my job. Both my office and home are within about a mile of the freeway so I drive mostly freeway miles, and my trip almost never takes more than 30 minutes--usually less.* I don't use the cruise control, just keep it between 60-65, usually the #2 lane. I use the carpool lane on the way home. Weekends we mostly use H's car. The driving terrain is pretty level--no hills around our house or on the freeway.

    In the beginning I gave H a lot of heat because each morning he returns my car with the trip mileage lower than where I left it last night. But figured there's not much I can do about the mileage hit because 1) he's starting the car cold and 2) it's a short trip. He refuses to drive it any differently from a normal car but is a conservative driver and typically drives in a way to use his brakes as little as possible. I figure eventually my mileage will make up for his.

    *Adding my own personal comment here: living within the city and working outside the city has a huge advantage in that you are always going against traffic. As I see the enormous wave of L.A. traffic heading in the opposite direction every day, I am ever thankful that our circumstances worked out this way.
  7. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    Re: Just joined

    I know it will be great, so take your time. And I imagine it will always be improving as we learn more about our cars.

    Interesting, didn't know about this. I generally always see my SoC start out low in the mornings now that we're having a cold spell in L.A. and it's pretty high by the time I arrive at work. My afternoon commute SoC starts out high and I don't notice much of a hit--if any after doing EV mode, but will watch it now.
    Those two are indeed awesome drivers but I know they really work for their results. I'm now thinking of resetting my Trip A odometer for each commute segment and keeping Trip B for my tank mileage. The Trip A segments should give me some idea of what I'm doing well or wrong each way and won't be affected by the 63 mile reset bug. Thanks for the welcome!
  8. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    Re: Just joined

    Hi psyshack and delta, and thanks for saying hello.

    I know one of my worst habits is impatience with other drivers and I'm constantly reminding myself to drive relaxed and gentle on the accelerator. But then a big truck or someone on their cell will get in front of me and I feel compelled to go around them as soon as possible. I have this thing about good visibility and drivers not paying attention. In fact I get grouchy :mad: when someone in my car is trying to have a conversation with me. Many times I don't even like the radio on when I drive.

    I am getting much better at stoplights though, I don't jackrabbit like I used to in my old car (a V6). If no one's behind me I keep it under 2K rpms and accelerate slow. But when someone's close behind me, I try to start off quicker and hope that getting up to cruising speed faster will allow me to coast that much longer.
  9. Green&Blue

    Green&Blue Well-Known Member

    Re: Just joined

    Sorry to hijack the thread, instead of doing my 'own' intro, but figured I might be able to contribute here, given the discussion.

    I've got just over 3K on mine now, and am averaging 50.3 with the car. Given that it was delivered to me in January, during the coldest week of the winter (I'm in Northern IL, for the uninitated), I don't think that's too bad. And indeed, of all the HCH-2 mileage posters, I'm the 'northernmost' one with a little 'star' (got it last night). But enough of my bragging :)

    Generally, it's taken me about 10mi to hit the 50mpg on the averaging display - that's from cold. Now, with a couple of days of warmer temps, I can get into the mid-40s in about 3.5mi or so - again, from cold.

    I've done a best of 58.6mpg on my commute in to work, taking secondary highways. In the Accord, I'd take the interstate home, because it's uphill geograpically, between work and my home, and that return route tended to give me the best mpg (note that I don't FAS the car, or use extreme drafting techniques - especially since an 18-wheeler spat up some road debris on my front end last summer :(

    However, with the Civic's 1.3L , I notice that while I can get in the 70-100mpg range pretty well now at speeds 45 and lower, at 55mph, you start taking a big hit in the 'plus' territory. The forte of the Accord is the weakness of the Civic (and vice-versa). Because of that, I now eschew the interstate, in favor of the secondary highway, believe it or not.

    W/ regard to the EV-mode, and how I use it - the only time that I *purposefully* invoke it is as such:
    - When driving in my office park, after my 'to work' commute, when the car's warmed up and the speed limit is low.

    At low speeds, this thing can last a lonnnnng time without draining a bar off the SoC meter. And you start seeing the averaging display start incrementing fast (relative to ICE-on conditions). That's why you probably have so many people using it so frequently - it's like crack ;)

    - When pulling into my housing development, under the same conditions.
    - When on certain downhills, in slower rush hour traffic.
    - When on unoccupied roads where I can experiment a bit.

    I *unintentionally* invoke it fairly frequently, just for a few seconds, as a result of the way I treat the go pedal when adjusting my buffer, etc.

    My SoC doesn't take a hit because of that mode (again, I almost never take a bar off), but because I'm using assist (4 bars or less) at *every* single start from rest (again, the diametric opposite of the Accord), and because of my coasting, I'm not putting (as much) regen back into the pack as perhaps a more 'normal' driver would. So it will gradually bleed down, and if I'm unlucky enough, I'll get a bit of forced regen (about 2x a week, on average). If it's severe enough, anything past 50-55 on the iFCD is impossible to maintain. Many times, I adjust my foot when up to speed, and I'll see one little green regen bar for a few seconds to a minute while at steady-speed cruise.

    Again, I have just over 3K mi on the car now, < 40lbs in the tires, and have been driving it in 10-20F temps, especially the first 1000mi or so. Given the 58.6mpg commute segment (21mi long) I've gotten in it so far (and most days now are 55-56+), I expect to surpass 60 on the outbound commute during the spring :D
    For what I got the car for, that's pleasing to me (< 1/3 gal to get to work = happy). But I do wonder what the upper limits will be, the way I drive the car (no 'extreme' measures, etc). Again, not to throw stones, but I think the Cali drivers could be doing a bit better than they are, especially if they're using EV-mode excessively.
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: Just joined

    Hi Mark:

    ___Welcome to CleanMPG and how did you hear about us anyway? I hope you take the time to post your own bio in an intro thread of your own because you indeed have a ton to offer all of us ;)

    ___Here is a repost of my 64.2 mpg HCH-II test drive without much detail as I had only a short period of time to feel her out. Once it warms up, I have to take a demo out for a week to attempt to figure out what her secrets are? Hopefully the following can help you in this regard as well?
    ___Good Luck


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