rikkitikkitavi, I currently drive an 05 camry I4 At that I bought in June 05 with 4 miles on the clock. It has 76500 now! Yes I drive alot, I am self employed and travel all around Ohio to see clients. Over the past couple of months fuel has become my greatest expense, more than my house payment!!!
I have been dissapointed with the Camry, best ever MPG was 32 on an all interstate trip at 70-75mph. In a mix of highway 75% and city 25% I've been getting 27mpg.
Its time for a change, my goal is 38mpg. I have installed a K&N high flow filter, and upped the tire PSI to 42lbs. Looking at aero mods as well. Suggestions welcome,
My first suggestion would be, considering the mileage you put on the car, to look for a hybrid that scores good mileage on the highway. Even the camry hybrid would be great. You'll definately see a return on your money with that level of driving!
Depending on if you need a nice car to take clients out for lunch and stuff, you might consider a second car like a Metro, Civic VX, or CRX. With the total costs of gas and mainly depreciation of your Camry, I think you'd easlily come out ahead in a year or two. Plus you'd have a winter car, so your Camry wouldn't have any rust on it when it's 4 or 5 years old.
It of course means some sacrifice on your part. Obviously, you spend a lot of time in your car, and an 05 Camry is much better to drive then an older compact, but it's something to consider.
I'm commuting about 25K miles a year and was using my 95 Acura Integra. I realized that at this rate I'd be looking at a $1500-$2000 engine rebuild in a couple years, that and the cost of gas, and tires (the Integra tires cost alot more and it seems to eat them in comparison to my CRX), and I'm basically paying for my CRX within 1 1/2 to 2 years. And unlike my old Acura, your Camry will see alot of depreciation if you continue to put so many miles on it.
Thanks for the suggestions, one thing I did'nt mention is that the Camry is paid for I paid it off 3mo's after I bought it. It has been 100% reliable and other than a set of tires, trans flush and oil changes/tire rotations has required $0 of repairs. Sooo I really don not want to part with it till I get at least 200k on the odometer. I have a Chevy 4x4 silverado that I am selling, I will bank the 12k that I get from the truck and use it in 3 years or so on a next gen Prius.....unless I take a regular job again (something I am considering) which will give me a steady commute of 100mi per day and hopefully more expendable cash (business climate here is going down hill).
So for now the Camry is it, I also do need space for clients and computer equipment (ever try to cram 3 Pc's and 2 HP 4000 laserjets in a metro?)
we drive similar miles, mine being ~30-35% city. i too, drive hwy miles significantly over 55. my car is a v6 and heavier than yours tho. i've gone from ~21mpg avg to a high of ~30 w/ very inexpensive mods, the most important being "the nut behind the wheel."
my guess is that you can exceed my FE fairly easily. feel free to check out my gas log to see my mods and best FE to you.
Welcome to GS! Your handle is right up there with "Raccoon Joes". I am thinking a grill block and/or a HAI (Hot Air Intake) would help. Is the "flow" of traffic always 70-75 or can you reduce your average speed by using the slow lane?