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E550 07-30-2015 10:15 AM

The new guy says "Great Site!"
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Great site based on the few hundred posts I've read. Will likely get better with more reading. :)

Until a few years ago watching my mileage was a non-issue and my round-trip commute was 4 miles. But now my commute is 150/day. Fortunately it's near all highway/freeway and mostly flat (two hills <400' each).

I really like my current car, a Mercedes E550, which is paid for and fits our other family needs well. My overall MPG for the past 23,000 miles has been 28.0 based on the car's computer which I have found to be very accurate as I fill up every 3.5 days or so between 500-550 miles and take on 18-20 gallons. I routinely crack off 30-32 MPG on my way to work. Not bad for a 4,000# vehicle with 380hp.

It's took me the last 3,000 miles to get that last tenth MPG bump so I don't think there is much left to get out of the car if left to my own devices. That's why I'm here!


Daox 07-30-2015 10:20 AM

Welcome to the site John.

What did you have in mind for the car? Or, are you looking for suggestions?

Flakbadger 07-30-2015 10:54 AM

Welcome to the site, though I must suggest that no matter how well that car fits your needs, you consider getting something (An additional cheap commuter car) that'll get you better MPG. My Yaris easily breaks 50MPG on all-highway trips with careful driving, and driving to Seattle from Portland at 65-70 I still broke 43... Plenty of other small cars will break into the 40s or even 50s, and the gas savings will likely make your car payments.

That was the reason I sold my paid-off pickup truck for my Yaris in the first place, and I made my car payments PLUS SAVED $150 just in the first 4 months of ownership.

Food for thought. Anyway welcome!

elhigh 07-30-2015 02:13 PM

The name of the site is ecomodder, not ecoshopper. The point is to get the best possible mileage from the ride you already have. Pushing a big Benz past 30mpg is damned good and very respectable, but I have to wonder: to make it do better will probably require adding some aerodynamic upgrades to the beast. A Benz is a pretty reserved, refined ride and not the kind of thing you want to go making outre alterations to it.

Subdued wheel skirts may not look bad - look at some older SL models for examples, just a bit of a lip that covers some of the uppermost opening. It may not contribute enough to be noticeable.

There is probably quite a bit of aero you can do underneath, or look at an additional air dam.

If you want to do significantly better than you have already done, you will have to change to a different car if massive vehicle alterations are off your Benz's menu. Finally, the savings you realize from switching to a different car will be compounded by not requiring premium fuel - a "free" 15% improvement above and beyond however much you save with a thriftier ride.

UltArc 07-30-2015 05:24 PM

Welcome! A G1 Insight will easily double your mileage while keeping the miles odd your family truckster! :)

If a no go (always nice to have a back up car, personally), then start going through here: 65+ Vehicle modifications for better fuel economy -

First I found one or two...the more I looked, the more I found. I imagine your technique is decent now, but you can learn more here: 100+ Hypermiling / ecodriving tips & tactics for better mpg -

Again, at first many seem crazy- next you know, 5% seems may end up thinking about a home built electric vehicle to charge at work! Either way, keep us posted, and welcome aboard :)

RedDevil 07-30-2015 05:45 PM

With such a long commute and the Merc paid off and all, I can see why you would keep using it. Drive in comfort and safety, arrive fit. Don't compromise on that...!

Air up the tires, install an OBDII gauge, block a grill or two (while monitoring air intake and engine temp on your new OBDII gauge), swap city and license plate lights for LEDs if they aren't already, remove whatever heavy stuff you don't need. Easy stuff that will help some.

jeff88 07-30-2015 06:58 PM

Welcome to the site!

If you're like me, you won't want to do any mods to the car that take away from the appeal of the Mercedes. If that's the case, then I would keep all the mods under the hood and under the chassis.

You should start with some gauges. I have an UltraGauge because it has more gauges on the screen and is cheaper, but you can get a ScanGauge, bluetooth adapter, or anything else you find.

In terms of aerodynamic mods, start with an air dam, maybe a few inches back so it's not noticeable if you prefer. A lot of OEMs are doing this too, so it has to work just as if it were all the way up front. If you do a grill block, you can block it from behind the grill. Not as effective, but you get to keep that iconic Mercedes grill. You can also do a full belly pan to clean up (aerodynamically) the bottom. After that, you can install a rear diffuser so the air exits better. All of this will provide great aero benefit, with little to no changes to the "look" of the car.

You can also make some engine and drivetrain mods too. Try making a warm air intake. You can put a taller final gear in. Lot's of different things to do.

What part of the Bay are you in?

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 07-30-2015 11:09 PM

Breaking the 30MPG barrier in a V8-powered landyacht like that is already good, but sure there is some room for improvement.

E550 07-30-2015 11:35 PM

Thanks for all the great replies!

As several guessed, I not looking to do any drastic mods that would alter the cars lines. The air dam and restricted radiator opening ideas are intriguing. Mechanical mods, like lower gearing, are out due to cost ... except for maybe one of those magnet on the fuel line :-)

Another car is out as I have six (4 1960s classics, a truck, and the Benz) plus the wife's SUV. I just want to squeeze out what I can without going extreme.

Thanks again.


UltArc 07-31-2015 12:20 AM

We're here to support whatever your goal is! I won't badger you on it, but that's no excuse for a beater Insight :)

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