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smartzuuk 12-29-2007 02:30 PM

smart cdi (diesel) owner from BC, Canada
Came across this site in the wee hours while researching sustainable investment... there was a link to a WIRED article about women liking young sexy Ferrari drivers being a cause of climate change... from there I came across the basjoos article..... and yeah, I posted for awhile at gassavers - so I knew this was good coverage!

The whole ecomodding thing is truly interesting, though I think the biggest mod is the one you make on the driver.

The prime time for my FE pursuits was in 2005/2006 - I set up and drove across Canada promoting the One Tonne Challenge. I did not have a Scangauge at the time, and was sorely overloaded with a month worth of luggage and promo material... none-the-less, I did beat 100 mpg (imperial) several times.

In 2006, still without a Scangauge, I returned to Saskatchewan and did some great runs which indicated 105 mpg US.

It was at the time of completing these runs that Darin contacted me. After prompting by Darin, I did acquire a used Scangauge unit from Phil in the Vancouver area... and then brought well over 100 into Canada for distribution through 2006/2007. (I still sell them via my website) The Scangauge revolutionized eco-driving in the diesel smarts in Canada, allowing more people to really understand what the challenge was. Most of us at list our fuel economy at

In the middle of 2007, the 105 mpg US barrier was tested and confirmed to a much greater degree by Serge in Quebec in 2007...

I think that increased economy can be had, though I have not heard from Serge on what he has done as of recent to get more mpg... his gassavers garage profile shows some sign of refinements. Serge took eco-modding to the car level, someting I had hopes to do in 2007, but did not embark upon.

My first 2005 diesel coupe has been sold, and I now have a new 2006 diesel cabrio. I may or may not keep this one.

The future of the smart diesel in North America is uncertain - it is no longer available in Canada, although we have over 10,000 on the roads. The 2008 smart is a 1 litre gas engine, yielding poorer economy of course. a Micro hybrid drive may be coming, as well as a fully electric.

So... just thought I would drop by and say hi.



SVOboy 12-29-2007 02:32 PM

Hey there! Welcome to the site!

I've seen that ferrari story to, fun stuff, eh?

MetroMPG 12-29-2007 02:40 PM

Keith - welcome.

Great intro! I know that the U.S. membership may not be very familiar with the diesel smart (though I suspect the gas version will get a lot of attention beginning January). You've given a lot of good links to great information.

I've been a lurker at clubsmartcar ever since you introduced me to it. And followed the 1 Tonne Challenge through your personal site. It's always interesting to see what the smart-o-philes are squeezing out of their vehicles.

Glad to hear that encouraging you to pick up a ScanGauge turned out to be such a success! I knew you'd sold some, but wow - you've really done the smart community a big service!

Anyway - welcome to EM. :)

Lazarus 12-29-2007 04:31 PM

Yes welcome. Nice job with the smart.

smartzuuk 06-14-2008 03:52 PM

I posted my take on 'hypermiling' a couple days ago on my site, here it is:


Much has been written about ‘hypermiling’ and the driving style of ‘hypermilers’. The ability to squeeze 80, 90 or even 100 mpg out of my diesel smart car is clearly a good thing when fuel is $1.50 a litre in Canada / $5.00 a gallon in the US. Not only that, but there’s the impact of our vehicles CO2 emissions on the climate. A big impact. About 50% of the average Canadians greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from their vehicle.

There are some really common sense approaches to getting better mileage. And they don’t involve coasting dangerously through stop lights, disconnecting your alternator, letting your car sniff acetone, or strapping hideous and poorly paint-matched cardboard all over your car to increase the aerodynamics. (Don’t ask. It wasn’t me.) has a good list… click on the drive more efficiently link. appears to be the home away from home of Wayne Gerdes, who coined the term ‘hypermiler’ some time ago. A bit of a scientific read.

A pretty exhaustive list of both common, and uncommon methods of saving fuel can be found at… have fun with those 100+ ideas…

The list would not be complete without Darin, the website owner, first brought the Scangauge to my attention back in June 2006. The site has a wealth of information, and some great interviews with fuel economy pioneers.

Here’s the main hypermiling techniques I utilize day in and day out to get better fuel economy in my smart car:
  • Use a Scangauge - it’s a fuel economy computer that plugs into the OBDII socket on most 1996+ cars. (Bias alert - yeah, I do sell them.) There is a huge motivation factor when your actual fuel economy is displayed to you as you drive - and the Scangauge can even be programmed to show the cost of your trip. The Scanguage reinforces the need to adhere to almost all of the other points. If your car has a fuel economy readout in it already - use it. IMO, it should be required equipment on all new vehicles. I can't think of any hypermilers that don't use a Scangauge or other similar device.
  • Keep track of your fuel economy. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Hypermilers know their fuel economy inside out. Saying ‘I usually get 300 miles to a tank’ doesn’t mean much - how much fuel did you use? 330 miles is 10% better, but how will you really know how your changes in driving style have affected your fuel economy if you’re just guessing? Even worse… ‘It costs me $40 to fillup’. Uh, okay… when was that? Last year? You don’t have to get the scalpel out, but you should keep track of the volume of fuel that you use, either by recording the odometer or trip meter reading on the fuel receipt. You can work out your fuel economy on a per tank basis, and if you’re keen, you’ll enter it on a spreadsheet or at one of many websites that help you compare against other drivers. My favorite is spritmonitor, a German site, but that’s only because when the smart first came to Canada, the only way to find other drivers was to visit a European website. And too, Europe gets all the really cool diesels that we in North America do not.
  • Shift at the precise RPM that will drop you into the next gear right at the beginning of the power band, and shift quickly between the gears as you accelerate. In the smart diesel, 2500 RPM is an ideal shift point on the flats. Which means you need a tach, and if you haven’t got one of those, the Scangauge can show you the RPM as well. And yeah, you MUST drive the smart in manual mode to get better fuel economy. When cruising, drive in as high a gear, and as low an RPM as possible, without lugging (putting too much load on the engine).
  • Anticipate lights, stop signs and traffic flow. This is crucial in the city. It’s a total waste to keep your foot on the accelerator, and then have to use the brakes. Coast where possible, but don’t be a nuisance to other drivers. Practice makes perfect. I can travel miles through suburban areas and never touch the brakes…
  • If you have a manual, gear down for the corners and only take your foot off the accelerator - brakes are bad remember. Another trick you should use on freeway offramps is to gently turn the steering wheel very slightly left and right as you make the turn - you will have better control of the car if you don’t try and hold the wheel firmly in one position. This means less braking and more time coasting down to suburban speed.
  • Don’t idle. I turn off the ignition for trains and really long lights. Avoid drive thru lineups like the plague. IMO, they should be banned.
  • Keep your oil clean. Change it as recommended by the manufacturer. I change the smart oil out with synthetic 0w40 every 5000-6000 kms.
  • Tire pressure must be maintained. I like mine a bit higher than recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, but I never exceed the pressure that the tire manufacturer lists on the sidewall. You need to know the difference! Somewhere in between is ideal for fuel economy, handling, tire life and comfort of ride. Experiment, and make sure you use a good gauge when the tires are COLD. Even 2-3 PSI higher can get you better fuel economy.
  • A word on bike racks and luggage carriers. They may look cool, but they put a drag on both your car and your wallet. A bike rack on the diesel smart car with a bike on it can increase consumption by 20% easily. (Trust me, I tested it.) That thule box on your VW TDI might impress you friends, but take it off between the monthly trip to the slopes. The money you’ll save will pay for your dinner AND drinks at the Keg afterwards.
  • Control your speed. You will exponentially use more and more fuel the faster you go over 55 mph / 90 kmh on the freeway. Certainly don’t annoy every other vehicle on the road by driving too slow, but don’t speed… I can still get 3.5 L/100 km or 80 mpg driving the smart close to 60 mph / 100 kmh.
  • Use cruise control on the flats. Be careful uphill though. It’s better to gear down and slow down a little bit on the hills. Trying to maintain your cruising speed from the flats could use 50% more fuel than need be. On the hills, I keep an eye on the Scangauge and lay off the accelerator a bit.
  • Windows up? Yes, you will cost yourself more fuel driving with windows down and even a bit more with the top down in a convertible. But I don’t worry about this one too much… unless I am on a fuel economy run, where naturally, every percent counts.

Hypermiling involves pretty much all of the above as a minimum. There are more, shall we say 'dedicated' techniques, but if you adhere to this list, you'll be more than well on your way.

The reality is this - your right foot and your ego has the most to do with how much fuel your chosen vehicle burns. Even a Toyota Prius or Honda Civic hybrid is no guarantee of fuel savings if you don’t put a bit of effort into it. Or as one hypermiler put it: 'fanatic' is what the lazy call the dedicated.

I plan on purchasing a 2008 gasoline smart car for extended fuel economy testing. The gasoline smart may not be as frugal as the diesel, but I’m sure I’ll figure out the nuances of the gasser quicker. I didn’t have a Scangauge in 2005 during the 100 MPG Challenge. This saw ‘NRG SVR’ and I drive round trip across all ten Canadian provinces averaging 3.6 L/100 km (78 mpg imperial / 65 mpg US). I was promoting the One-Tonne Challenge for the City of Abbotsford at about the time climate change concerns started to reach the public forefront.

The best fuel economy I have achieved to date in the smart is 2.23 L/100 km, or 126 mpg imperial / 105 mpg US. You can read about that here. On my daily commute between Abbotsford and Cloverdale BC, 3.0 L/100 km is pretty standard, except in inclimate weather.

I’m an analyst for Coastal Pacific Xpress, a large trucking company in Western Canada. I manage the fuel purchasing and I’m involved in all areas related to fuel consumption and sustainability. Indeed, ‘hypermileage’ is where it is at. We’re getting close to spending $50,000,000 a year on fuel.

MetroMPG 06-14-2008 10:21 PM

Keith - did you hear from the CBC reporter on Friday? If not, I hope they contact you this week.

Arminius 06-15-2008 12:53 AM

Keith - It's great to see a SC driver, and a cdi is a bonus! Welcome!

smartzuuk 06-17-2008 10:41 PM

CBC did call, and I talked for maybe 15 minutes. So maybe we'll get something on the radio soon. Got me thinking, I really should ecomod the smart. I'd nearly be tempted to offer up a Scangauge to the winning submission on what to do... but that would leave me to make it still... so uh... off to the drawing board. perhaps a set of skinny wheels and tires and rear fairings would do the trick as a start. (Leftover idea from gassavers)

I'm getting 3.0 in daily driving right now, well, 2.7 to 3.2, somewhere in that range

ebacherville 06-17-2008 10:55 PM

I SO want a Diesel smart car.. so so so badly, but I'm in the USA and they don't allow this.. so i have a CRX HF instead.. but dang 100mpg WOW.. fricken awsome!!

Hmm a smart with a boattail.. ill need to photoshop that up :)

MetroMPG 06-17-2008 10:56 PM

What type of driving, mostly? City or highway?

The thing holding the smart back is the Cd. Since the car is rear engine, I'd be looking at a full smooth undertray, rear skirts and perhaps a removeable boat tail for highway use. The boat tail is where you smarties will see the biggest potential improvement.

ebacherville 06-17-2008 11:27 PM

Hmmm.. Interesting ...

Johnny Mullet 06-18-2008 06:54 AM

Glad to have you on the site. Welcome.

MetroMPG 06-18-2008 06:12 PM

ebacherville: that's cool, but there goes one of the things smarties love about their cars - the ability to fit into tight spaces!

ebacherville 06-18-2008 06:41 PM


Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 36077)
ebacherville: that's cool, but there goes one of the things smarties love about their cars - the ability to fit into tight spaces!

True but, it does prevent this from happening ...


Kaneda 06-18-2008 07:47 PM

right across the street from my school is a lot that has a Diesel smart and regularly records 80+ mpg... i hope mine gets at least 40city... i reserved mine in feb. so according to the email it should be ready for me in early-mid '09...$14700 out the door:D ive already got cannibal plans for it... so now the battle begins...which one gets the better milage... the crx or the smart???

smartzuuk 07-05-2008 01:42 AM


Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 35826)
What type of driving, mostly? City or highway?

The thing holding the smart back is the Cd. Since the car is rear engine, I'd be looking at a full smooth undertray, rear skirts and perhaps a removeable boat tail for highway use. The boat tail is where you smarties will see the biggest potential improvement.

I've ordered 2, 3 and 4" vortex generators as a first step. I may also try a boat-tail, but will seek help from a manufacturer... I may be able get something mocked up for the car in addition to a set of side fairings for a semi-trailer.

To get 2.8 to 3.0 on tanks, I'm driving mostly just to from work and avoiding short trips. I drive 80 kmh on the Hwy, and 60 in the city where possible, in highest gear (6th)
I run tires at 42 PSI, and limit electrical draw on the alternator
Truth is I am running WIDER wheels and tires than stock right now... so... there is some improvement due to come
The car already has a tray underneath the front, but not the rear... uhm, I'm not too into monkeying with that, but we'll see. to get 100 mpg US day in and day out will take more effort, and with the current run of publicity I am able to draw to the issue, it could be well worth it, just to show what is possible
My main goal is to see the common driver make reasonable changes to affect increased fuel economy
The company I work for has a media liason helping to spread my 'story' - quite by chance, timing was perfect on several fronts
Darin - the original CBC contact hasn't re-contacted for additional info.
The one CBC interview I did was the result of another contact that my 2005 promotor made, as was the Abby Times article
The next CBC interview and the one on NEWS1130 that played all day long today every ten minutes was brought about by the company liason
Just FYI

Links to these stories and suck at, top post

Interestingly, the BC Government is now officially promoting the Scangauge, so I am eager to get some stock - Scangauge is trying to catch up on backorders... I've ordered 50 this time

Dust 07-05-2008 05:07 AM

I might suggest you look into water injection for this car. Give it some more power, keep it cooler, and bump the MPG if you get the right kit.

smart ForTwo CDI 800 cc turbo diesel - Devilsown Methanol Alcohol Water Injection

Here's a thread on one. I really wish this was sold in Japan. I would have bought one in a second. Gas is $6.40 and rising.

NeilBlanchard 07-05-2008 05:42 AM


All the Smart cars sold in the USA are 1 liter gasoline -- why aren't the 750cc (or smaller?) versions available?

MetroMPG 07-05-2008 09:37 AM

Neil - the previous generation smart with the small diesel was sold in Canada for a number of years. The new model the US has now is the same as we get here - gas engine only.

Keith: congrats on the media exposure.

I doubt you'll see any effect with VGs. I've not seen any credible evidence that they make a significant difference on the trailing edge of a bluff bodied vehicle like your smart.

The benefits of a partial boat tail, however, are not theoretical. Properly designed, it will undoubtedly reduce drag & lower highway fuel consumption. As far as aeromods go, the back of the vehicle is definitely where you should focus your attention (both professionally and on your own vehicle!).


smartzuuk 07-05-2008 12:00 PM

The VG guy gave me some extras to test... I wonder what vehicle they will work better on, if not mine. A few smart owners have reported improved handling at highway speed with VG installed.

Rear wheel skirts are the obvious gimme right? Well, as soon as I have a narrower set of wheels.

NeilBlanchard 07-05-2008 11:07 PM


I could have sworn that the Smart cars I saw in England a few years ago were 500cc and 600cc -- and the fast ones were turbo 750cc's...

smartzuuk 07-06-2008 07:19 PM

There's a lot of engine variants. Including the 600 cc gasser you refer to from the previous model. Some turbo, some not. Even the 451 will soon have 6 or 7 variants.

smartzuuk 04-07-2010 01:42 AM

Latest news - I now have TWO smart diesels again!

A 2005 pulse coupe with 70,000 kms, and a very limited 2006 canada 1 cabriolet, one of 4 in canada... this one has just 1000 kms on it.

You can be sure I'll be going for some 100 mpg trips soon enough.

Domman56 04-10-2010 12:22 PM

Damn I envy you sir
A smart ANNNND it's a diesel, You are a lucky man

rmay635703 05-07-2013 06:19 PM


Originally Posted by smartzuuk (Post 169565)
Latest news - I now have TWO smart diesels again!

A 2005 pulse coupe with 70,000 kms, and a very limited 2006 canada 1 cabriolet, one of 4 in canada... this one has just 1000 kms on it.

You can be sure I'll be going for some 100 mpg trips soon enough.

Hmm, I see there are diesel smarts creeping into the US, too bad they have such unreliable motors :(

War_Wagon 05-07-2013 08:20 PM

And transmissions, and leaky windshields that let the electrical get soaked and cook the ECU, and....

I think they are neat and all, but I see more than a few go through the auction on the back of a tow truck because they either need transmission work or some other major repair, and they just aren't worth what it costs to fix them.

rmay635703 05-07-2013 09:39 PM


Originally Posted by War_Wagon (Post 370101)
And transmissions, and leaky windshields that let the electrical get soaked and cook the ECU, and....

I think they are neat and all, but I see more than a few go through the auction on the back of a tow truck because they either need transmission work or some other major repair, and they just aren't worth what it costs to fix them.

If I could remove the turbo and get the motor to work stand alone and mount up to a different transmission :)

Then the reliability issues would be fixed! LoL too bad MB stuff won't run without all the bells and whistles, 80's tech is so much simpler.

That MB motor would be sweet inside my subaru 360, especially without the turbo and a proper shiftable transmission with the right cogs.

Ah well.

War_Wagon 05-07-2013 10:50 PM

My friend with a dealership in the States imported a few gasoline powered ones he bought up here. He gets the speedometers/odometers changed to miles up here as it's cheaper. Parts were taking forever, so his speedometer guy decided to take a used part from another car, and flash the cars ECU to recalibrate the new part. Ya, that didn't work, the ECU locked up. And you can't just buy a used ECU and throw it in. Nooooo - Mercedes has to do it. $3600 later. And then another $800 to have them convert the speedo to miles. They are neat little cars, but anything that stupidly expensive / restricted to manufacturer repairs is not something I'd ever own. I can see why so many people just cut their losses on them when they do break.

RoadTripRob 08-17-2017 12:28 PM

My 2006 smart CDI pulse with 85,000km has been running well for the last few months. I have eco tires at 44psi(much better handling at high pressure) and i get about 4L/100km city driving normally. I live in a very dry climate so i think that helps cars like this. So far i would 10/10 recommend one. Ill save about $1000/year in fuel vs another eco car(honda fit) so if i have less than $1000/year repair bill it will be worth it. I plan in taking it on road trips, and on a single 3000km trip vs a highway cruiser car Ill save about $240 just in fuel(wear on car will also be less $)

Lemmy 09-06-2018 03:09 PM

Mines is 14 years old, returns well into the 60s mpg as standard, costs nothing to tax annually, parks in the tiniest of spaces, and is utterly reliable. Theyre also a hoot to drive - every journey is an event mixed with equal measures of hilarity and terror!

I maintain mine myself fastidiouslty anr dont thrash the arse off it. Because of their small motors many peolle thrash the bejesus out of them, and they dont live long if treated like that. Thet also dont like typical car owners who never lift a bonnet and miss the odd service.

Maintain them by the book and threat them sympathetically and theyre perfecrly reliable. Theyre easy to work on, parts are cheap from a thriving aftermarket, and theres a huge support network of owners who have come up with tricks and workarounds for most things, making them a very viable DIY proposition for anyone with a braincell and some tools. This idea that they have to go back to the dealers for this that or the other is tosh, and is almost never required. Peole who F around with them when they dont know what theyre doing deseeve a $3000 dollar bill for their stupidity.

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