Thursday, December 21, 2023

NMS Hybrid Car and Hybrid Truck: Updates!

Now with just over 5,000 miles on the Ford Maverick hybrid, and 4100 miles with the Honda Accord hybrid, both vehicles are going strong. The world didn't end, nothing blew up, and we sure spent way less on gas than with our previous non-hybrid, aka: Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) cars!

Starting with the Accord, it now stands at 4100 miles, and is averaging 50 mpg. I still don't like the adaptive cruise control, so I turn off this feature, even though it has I think 4 different settings of sensitivity. One very minor complaint with the adaptive part, even though I just don't like it slowing down, is that a few times it has sensed large semi-trucks in the adjacent lane and slowed down briefly for them. I don't think either of us were crossing the lane stripes, so maybe it's just an overly sensitive "adaptive" part. This seems to happen on Interstates with a slight curve, so there's room for improvement on this feature Honda. Put me in the "not a fan" block for adaptive cruise control. 

The rest of the tech on the Honda is nice, Apple Car Play, a display that gives you live MPG and shows how much gas/electric power you're using, and of course I'm loving that the car has over 600 miles of range WITHOUT a billion-gallon gas tank! Keep in mind our previous "newest" vehicle was from way back in 2013, so all this fancy-schmancy tech is new to me! This reminds me to mention the website
where you can learn all about the new technical features of automobiles if you're over 16 years old and need to keep up. 

OK, full disclosure; there was one glitch with the Accord. Driving at highway speed on I-77 in Charlotte, all of a sudden, the dash lite up like a starship Enterprise RED ALERT, with multiple warnings about the brakes, and a big "Take Car to Dealer" warning. I pulled over to stop on an exit ramp, with the car having gone into limp-mode. After stopping, turning off the engine, and re-starting, the warnings were still there, but the car drove just fine, and the brakes worked just fine. My best guess at that moment was that this was a faulty sensor, and not really a brake issue. If the brakes had felt different or the engine didn't perform normally, I would have gone to the nearest dealer ASAP or just parked it, but with a new hybrid car, I figured it was just some glitch. Long story short, after taking it to the dealer a few days later, they found 17 fault codes, which involved the sensors not talking to each other and the ECU, and there was NO problem with the brakes! This diagnosis was covered by warranty, and there was no charge, so I was out the door and on my way. We'll watch to see if it returns. 

Over on the Ford Maverick side, for the life of the vehicle (all but 12 miles driven by us) it's averaging 40 mpg, so even better than the advertised 37mpg combined. That is in over 5,000 real world miles. In addition to the live monitoring of gas/electric use, when you come to a complete stop it will tell you what percentage of available energy you captured in braking. If nothing else, it's fun to hit 99 or 100%!

We just finished a long drive from SC to Michigan (and back) to visit the family up north, and the Maverick did great on the interstates, up and down hills in West Virginia, over the dirt and snow in Michigan, and was able to hold suitcases and Christmas gifts in the 2nd row. On the trip north the MPG for a few tanks of gas were 38 and 37 on the highway, and then 30 around town and in the snow in much colder temperatures. I'll guess that the cold weather impacts hybrid mileage. On the return trip, we were back to the advertised 36mpg on the highway. 

One fun fact, just by purchasing the Ford, I earned enough whatever-they-call-it Ford Points to buy a drop in bed mat for free! I snagged that item direct from Ford during the Black Friday sales, and they shipped it to my local dealer for free. I still have a big chunk of points, so maybe that will cover something else cool, or an oil change. 

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