We've got a 1991 300E that has a couple of issues going on with it. First, it's getting pretty miserable gas mileage - between 12 and 15 mpg city. At first I thought it was because of all of the boxes and assorted belongings we keep in the car, but after rifling through the trunk, there's at most about 40 or 50 pounds of dead weight back there. Which brings up another issue - the car used to be a pretty spritely performer (it has the 1st gear start). Now it drives like there's about 300 pounds of weight in the car, to the point where it's about as torquey off the line as our 2nd-gear-start '87 300E. This is fairly recent, within the last six months to a year.
Also, (this may be related, I'm not sure), the car is very hard to start when cold (and half the time when warm). Starting involves one or two 5 second cranks, after which the engine slowly comes up to a normal idle speed. The idling starts out rough, but smooths out once the engine hits about 500 rpm. This has been happening for years.
In searching previous posts, I came across mention that the EHA could leak fuel and fuel pressure, possibly causing both symptoms(?) (There IS a strong gasoline smell in the exhaust after start up, but not before.) What does this part do, and is there any way I can check if it's malfunctioning? I couldn't find mention of it in the shop manual, but a previous post noted it was under the air cleaner.
Other posts mentioned leaks around the fuel pump area; there doesn't appear to be any gas dripping from around the protective cover, nor can I smell any gasoline from that area of the car. The pump does whirr noticeably with the engine on, is this the buzzing that occurs before the pump fails?
So many questions...
thanks in advance,