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How do I get more MPG out of my truck?

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Old 06-08-2011, 12:27 PM
rno172 rno172 is offline
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Default How do I get more MPG out of my truck?

Hello everyone,

I have a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD Hemi. And this thing blows through gas like a Rock Band on coke. I used to get 10-12MPG before I changed out the 20 inch tires for 17 inch BF Good Rich all terrain TA/KOs which got it up to 15 MPG on a good day. However I would like to get this thing in the 18-25 MPG range. I also have reprogrammed the truck with a Diablo Sport predator and am changing out the filter for a K&N filter.

I will consider r almost anything to get the MPG up so state any ideas that you have.

I look forward to hearing what you guys think,

-Andre
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2011, 12:38 PM
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You can forget 18-25 out of a 4x4 Hemi. My Chrysler 300C barely manages 21. What you're getting now is just about right.
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  #3  
Old 06-08-2011, 01:44 PM
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You want 18-25? Mind as well get a 4cyl Honda. This is a 5500-6000lb truck. I wish I could even get the 15 you get!!! I'm lucky if I get 13-14!
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:19 PM
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Stay off the gas pedal! Filled my 05 Hemi Daytona up on the way home from work the other day and reset the mpg meter on the overhead computer. The road home is a 2 lane backroad through the pine barrons on NJ, 55 mph speedlimit, so I just cruised at that speed and stayed light on the gas. At one point the computer was reading over 23 mpg's, settled down to about 22 mpg's, then I hit the light where I needed to make a left turn onto rt 72 east and watched the mpg's tank as I sat there idleing at the red light. By the time I got home after going through town, I was still above 20mpg's, I think it was actually 21.3 or so, but, then driving around town killed it, back down to 16-17mpg's overall. I was very pleased with the slow cruising 55mph mpg's though. My truck is new to me, got it about a month ago, so it is stock, and I'm not sure yet if it needs any filters, fluid changes or spark plugs, taking it to my friends shop this Friday to do some maintenance and also see if we can figure out why the CEL came on twice a few weeks ago, with 2 different codes. The CEL has not come on since, so we suspect a coil pack or wire since the CEL came on while I was driving in the rain. It hasn't rained since that day and the CEL hasn't come on either after we reset the light. Got the onboard co-pilot pludded into the maintenance port, waiting to capture the CEL.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:28 PM
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Damnit......I had this problem previously with my 1996 suburban with a 350. I was getting 15MPG. Then I reprogrammed it and put a K&N air filter in it and started getting 23-25 MPG. It was also lowered so that might of had something to do with it.
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:16 PM
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Yeah 10-12 (sad to say) is about average. Bigger rims/tires, lifts, poor gas, old O2s, bad air filters, low tire pressure, bad plugs, dirty TB, ECT all contribute to low MPGs
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:12 PM
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18-25 mpg... Ha this guys funny!!

It's usually pretty big accomplishment if someone averages over 16-18 MPG's in these trucks. The overall weight of the truck and the brick like aerodynamics all add up to poor mileage. keeping up on your routine maintenance (plugs, oil diff, trans, throttle body, tire pressure) will help maximize mileage, but wont get you into the 20 mpg range your looking for.

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Old 06-08-2011, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klruff1 View Post
Stay off the gas pedal! Filled my 05 Hemi Daytona up on the way home from work the other day and reset the mpg meter on the overhead computer. The road home is a 2 lane backroad through the pine barrons on NJ, 55 mph speedlimit, so I just cruised at that speed and stayed light on the gas. At one point the computer was reading over 23 mpg's, settled down to about 22 mpg's, then I hit the light where I needed to make a left turn onto rt 72 east and watched the mpg's tank as I sat there idleing at the red light. By the time I got home after going through town, I was still above 20mpg's, I think it was actually 21.3 or so, but, then driving around town killed it, back down to 16-17mpg's overall. I was very pleased with the slow cruising 55mph mpg's though. My truck is new to me, got it about a month ago, so it is stock, and I'm not sure yet if it needs any filters, fluid changes or spark plugs, taking it to my friends shop this Friday to do some maintenance and also see if we can figure out why the CEL came on twice a few weeks ago, with 2 different codes. The CEL has not come on since, so we suspect a coil pack or wire since the CEL came on while I was driving in the rain. It hasn't rained since that day and the CEL hasn't come on either after we reset the light. Got the onboard co-pilot pludded into the maintenance port, waiting to capture the CEL.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but if you properly calculate the mileage, you'll find the computer is just a wee bit optimistic.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:46 PM
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I find it amusing that instead of helping people with positive Idea's this site bashes the crap out of you for WANTING to try to get better mileage out of these trucks.
They are heavy, yes, but no heavier than any other trucks on the road. Chevy and Ford are kicking our butts on mileage with just as much weight and power.. There has to be mileage left on the table on these trucks.. Lowering the truck is supposed to get you 1% for every inch you lower it. Add a bed cover for 2-3% more, block of half the grille they only need about half the grille to cool these trucks unless you are pulling a monster trailer through the sahara desert.. Go to a mileage rated tire, like michileans.. Get rid of the CAI, huge grille guards and all the extra crap you have in the bed that is not absolutely needed. even with all that you can only pull 10-15% better mileage, 15% of 15mph is 2.25 so 17.25 is pretty much possible and if ya drive like an old lady you might even see 20 out of one of these beasts..
I personaly have e-fan, magnaflow exhaust, bedcover, sit 2" lower, on 245/70x17 michileans. I have been getting 17 mpg average on 91 octane tune and 16.5 on tow tune.. I drive middle of the road old fart/spirited.
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Last edited by Plainbroke; 06-08-2011 at 08:50 PM..
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plainbroke View Post
They are heavy, yes, but no heavier than any other trucks on the road. Chevy and Ford are kicking our butts on mileage with just as much weight and power...
I disagree on that two points...I have a friend who has a 3/4 ton ECLB 96 Chevy that he had on scales at scrap yard and totaled 8000lbs after unloading, but it still included his tools/equipment he carries every day. I weighed my truck at one point and it was very nearing 7000 lbs and all I had was what fits under the back seat. Secondly, though the "rated power" may be similar on the Chevys and Fords whom are killing us in MPG, every one of them I've driven, once you put any kind of a load on them, their MPG DIVE, my truck doesn't even notice a load unless it is getting to about 4000 lbs, and same with my old 01. So we have to pay empty, while our "friends" have to pay if they want to haul anything...I'm sorry, but I bought a truck for a reason and it wasn't to worry about MPG.

Also, it was mentioned that doing all the proper maintenance such as plugs filters, o2 sensors, etc will help...but if you replace all of that as soon as they lose some efficiency (before the service inteval) how much are you really saving vs at the gas pump...If you don't NEED a truck to haul stuff, then the best solution to better MPG is a vehicle engineered for MPG vs hauling loads
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  #11  
Old 06-08-2011, 10:54 PM
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Yeah Im in the ongoing process of trying to get more MPG's our of my rig also. BUUUT if I end up being stuck around the 11mpg mark, than so be it. I love my 20s so there staying, I like the height of my truck so its not getting lowered. I cant stand ( in my homble opion ) the look of any type of cover for the bed, so thats staying off. Anyway I guess what Im saying is if you cant improve your MPG any more than dont fret, sit back and enjoy your rig for what it is. A truck.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:05 PM
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I get 17 mpg driving semi-nice highway/city mix for at least an hour. Typically I get about 12 with shorter trips and more throttle.

MPG Mods to look up on this site- Intake, exhaust (mainly muffler and Y-pipe), e-fan, tires, cover for your bed/tailgate net, etc.

There's a bazillion threads just like yours you'll have to wade through, but you'll find results soon enough.
For short words like CAI or EFAN that won't go into the site's search, you google and type in 'dodgeforum.com e-fan 3rd gen ram' and click on 'more results from dodgeforum'
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:40 PM
ralaubach ralaubach is offline
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So does the bed cover really work? I have been thinking about this
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:40 PM
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It amazes me at how many guys come on here, complain about mileage they are getting and spouting off about how GMs and Fords get so much better gas mileage. I've owned two full size Chevy 4x4s and two full size Fords (although one was a diesel) plus a 2nd Gen Ram and next to the diesel (which was maybe 2-3 mpg better) I get the best gas mileage on my Hemi Ram, despite having 4+ inches of lift, 35" tires and a ton of extra weight (although to be accurate, all of my trucks got at least a 3" body lift and ran 33" tires minimum). I owned an '02 Chevy Z71, 5.3L V8 and it got WORSE gas mileage than my Hemi does, not to mention couldn't get out of it's own way with 33" tires.

And for the "I had a Chevy **** and it got SO MUCH better gas mileage than my current Ram" guys, SHOVE IT! Go to the Ford and GM truck sites (I'm still a member on both) and read all the "My gas mileage sucks on my Chevy 6.0L 4x4, and my friend with a Dodge Ram gets ** MPG better" posts.

Played golf today as a matter of fact with a guy who owns an '08 Nissan Titan, bought new, extra cab (not the four door model) 4x2 and he bi*ched that he gets 11-12 mpg, most driving is commute on interstate 40 miles each way with some city driving mixed in. Dealer maintained 100% on book schedule, bone stock except for a tonneau cover. Never got any better, never got any worse and he swears guys on his forum claim 18 mpg from the full size, 4 door, 4 wheel drive version.

A lot of guys like to compare the Ford 5.4 to the Hemi, now the Triton may get a mpg or two better, but let's just remember, it also gets about 100 HP lower output! Now if the Echo Boost passes the test of time, Ford may have something here that'll force GM and Dodge play catch up.

I don't think anybody is bashing the OP, but mainly pointing out that his fuel economy goal is unrealistic...

Last edited by HammerZ71; 06-08-2011 at 11:54 PM..
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plainbroke View Post
I find it amusing that instead of helping people with positive Idea's this site bashes the crap out of you for WANTING to try to get better mileage out of these trucks.
They are heavy, yes, but no heavier than any other trucks on the road. Chevy and Ford are kicking our butts on mileage with just as much weight and power.. There has to be mileage left on the table on these trucks.. Lowering the truck is supposed to get you 1% for every inch you lower it. Add a bed cover for 2-3% more, block of half the grille they only need about half the grille to cool these trucks unless you are pulling a monster trailer through the sahara desert.. Go to a mileage rated tire, like michileans.. Get rid of the CAI, huge grille guards and all the extra crap you have in the bed that is not absolutely needed. even with all that you can only pull 10-15% better mileage, 15% of 15mph is 2.25 so 17.25 is pretty much possible and if ya drive like an old lady you might even see 20 out of one of these beasts..
I personaly have e-fan, magnaflow exhaust, bedcover, sit 2" lower, on 245/70x17 michileans. I have been getting 17 mpg average on 91 octane tune and 16.5 on tow tune.. I drive middle of the road old fart/spirited.
Your logic on MPG increases are skewed. I get 16.4~17 in my truck and it's a 4X4 with 20" wheels. The only "fuel saver" that I have is the tonneau and my superchips on 91 tune, but you would be hard pressed to prove any tonneau provides fuel savings.

By your calculations your lowered, RCSB should be getting significantly better mileage than my truck, but it isn't the case. This all goes to show that you can bolt on and remove as much crap as you want, but aren't going to get significant MPG gains.

Just as a quick comparison (all data gathered from MSN auto's webpage):

using 2007 models 4X4 with the larger V8 engine size, quad/super/crew cab trucks

Power:
Dodge:
345 HP/ 375 TQ

Ford:
300 HP/ 365 TQ

Chevy:
315 HP/ 338TQ

WINNER = DODGE, more HP more torque. So strike one on your comment that Chevy and Ford have just as much power.

Weight:

Dodge:
5486 lb

Ford:
5530 lb

Chevy:
5371 lb

all the weights are pretty close here, but These are the bone dry weights, as you will find most people here on DF weigh in at closer to 6k lbs.

WINNER = for weight we will call it a draw, because they are all within 160 lbs of each other and that doesn't account for the driver.

Lastly, I don't know where you see fords and chevy's getting that much better mileage. I got a coworker that sits right next to me with a Ford, leveled, with cat-back magnaflow and a hard tonneau and he averages 12-13 MPG?

We are not trying to bash on anyone that wants to increase their MPG, we just have to be realistic about it. It's a truck, it was never intended to get good MPG's, it's made to haul and tow and work.

nateroach
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:30 AM
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Geez...like mentioned and beat to death, IT'S A TRUCK. You want MPG'S, get a prius. You don't like the mileage? Sell it.
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:52 PM
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DON'T BUY ANY TOYOTA!!!

That said, easy acceleration, a good tune-up, is about the best you can do. I average about 18mpg in mixed driving if I'm easy on the throttle. I have 20" wheels and 3.92 gears.
I run a Diablosport 93 octane tune with the MDS turned off, a K&N drop-in filter with an Airaid MIT intake pipe, Magnaflow cat-back and a TruXedo bed cover.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:54 PM
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Wow this was helpful in odd ways. It's a love/hate relationship with the truck.

I LOVE

1) Being able to move things with it.

2) Dump hauls

3) Towing things.

4) Off-roading to shooting spots.



The only thing I can barely stand with it is

1) The gas mileage.
2) Certain people are convinced it’s a dump truck.

The good news is after the reprogramming and a K&N air filter it’s now getting 15 in the city and 18 on the highway. I’m finding that punching the throttle really nosedives the MPG. So now the MPG is to me more in the realistic realm of things. Before I just couldn’t justify 10-12 MPG on a good day.

I think next I need a bed cover or camper shell for it to see if it reduces gas mileage. It’s also irritating to find people loading up your bed with garbage so you can take it to the dump for them. I even had one guy put a bag of trash in back while I was sitting in it. Which lead to a WTF conversation.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:54 PM
 
 
 
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