Top 10 Ways to Save Fuel

Fuel-gauge II

By Bob Carpenter

When it comes to conserving fuel, the easiest thing to do is slow down. But that's not likely is it? You're reading this because you are a pickup truck enthusiast and you're, well, enthused about driving. We get it. You don't have to drive like a granny to save some money on fuel, though. Just realize that resistance goes up as the square of velocity. It gets harder and harder for your engine to increase the speed of your truck as you go faster. Realistically, there are significantly diminished returns after you hit 40 mph. So you might want to go the actual speed limit when it is 55 or 65 mph, especially if fuel prices continue to climb.

But, hey, we're not your mom, so here are 10 things you can do to save fuel that don't take the fun out of driving.

 

1. Anticipate Stop Signs and Lights

Slowing down far enough in advance that you can roll through the intersection just after it turns green is a lot less wasteful than sitting at the light. Of course, don't go crazy and run the red. Likewise, when you are on city streets and you know you have to stop in 100 yards for a stop sign there's no reason to lean on the throttle when you take off from the previous stop sign. Just roll off the line and mildly accelerate when you know you're going to be stopping again soon. You'll be surprised how far and how fast your truck will coast. Some people have found that they can increase their fuel mileage by as much as 50 percent by just doing this. Think of it as a game.

Stop sign takeoffs II
 

2. Pump Them Up

Keep your tires inflated properly. Yeah, yeah, you've no doubt read that a hundred times before, but there's a reason everyone tells you that. Proper inflation can mean as much as 3.3 percent in fuel savings according to the Department of Energy.

 

3. Don't Idle

Don't sit in a drive-through line if you are in a pickup with a gasoline engine; however, diesels don't use nearly as much fuel when idling. Either way, if you are idling for less than a minute it probably doesn't matter.

 

4. Get a Bigger Tank

Since you're driving a pickup truck you are lucky because you can add an aftermarket fuel tank to hold a whole lot more of the precious "go juice." When you find fuel at a particularly attractive price, buy a lot of it and save money over the course of the full tank.

Transfer_flow_auxiliary_fuel_tank+50_gallon_mid_ship_tank II
 

5. Use an App

There are apps that will help you find the cheapest fuel — it might be at Costco, a supermarket chain (if you belong to its loyalty club) or an independent station. Apps know where you are and where the cheapest fuel is. And here's a good tip: Don't buy fuel on Friday, Saturday or Sunday — that's when the prices are the highest. In fact, most stations raise their prices after 10 a.m. on Thursday in anticipation of weekend sales.

 

6. Keep the Tank Full

OK, some pundits say you should run around with the least amount of fuel possible so that you aren't carrying extra weight (gas weighs about 6 pounds per gallon while diesel is about 7 pounds per gallon), but we think that's dicey. Instead, we're more concerned about the evaporation and condensation that occurs in an "emptier" fuel tank. Keep it full and you won't have these problems. And park in the shade or in a garage to minimize any heat buildup.

 

7. Keep It Clean

A dirty air filter can cost you as much as 7 percent in your fuel mileage. Don't drive around dirty.

 

8. Follow the Blue Line

Use your GPS to find the quickest way around traffic or through busy towns and cities. Less traffic means less idling and better fuel economy.

Efficient routes II

 

9. Buy Gas Gift Cards

Places like www.plasticjungle.com and www.giftcardgranny.com sometimes sell $100 gas gift cards for $95. That's like getting almost two gallons of fuel for free. If you don't like gift cards, then pay cash at stations that offer a cash discount.

 

10. Keep 'Em Closed

Keep your windows closed. The drag can cost you up to 10 percent in fuel efficiency, on the highway anyway. Around town you're better off turning off the air conditioning and opening the windows.

Cars.com photos by Bob Carpenter; manufacturer photos

Window buttons II

 

Comments

I usually manage to get the advertised fuel economy. It all has to do with the way I drive. I also try to plan my driving so that I avoid traffic and surface streets as much as possible. The savings in gas do add up vs. driving inefficiently.

I should point out that any time I get in my truck, I don't have the expectation of getting good fuel economy. I only drive it when I need it for truck stuff.

This story leaves out the biggie!

National energy policy raises fuel prices--insist that public officials restore sanity to America's policies for energy use, and for energy production.

The current president's War on Coal is costing American jobs and raising utility costs.

His refusal to approve construction projects requiring an EPA waiver is costing American jobs and placing a drag on the economy.

Some ways you can make a difference:

Demand that your local representatives respect your needs and wishes. Every other interest group does--why don't you?

Write letters to your local newspaper and demand that they review their own policies and bring pressure on area politicians to respect transportation spending that builds roads and repairs bridges and other infrastructure--instead of using gasoline tax dollars to build hiking trails and bike paths, which is what Department of Transportation budgets are doing today--with YOUR money.

The ideas presented in the above story are the same old retreads that the Washington establishment has been running with ever since the 1970s.

Since that time, every passenger car, SUV and truck has TPS, more efficient engines and multi-gear transmissions.

We have done our part by owning more efficient (and costly) vehicles. It's time for Washington to step up and address our concerns as consumers.

#7 I have heard with new computer controlled cars that isn't that case anymore. Everything I have read and researched said the computers keep pumping the same ratio of fuel despite less air flow through a dirty air filter. They did say power was reduced becuse less air can be brought into the engine but fuel mileage doesn't change since the ratio is kept the same as the air flow is diminsihed.

If this is a blanket statement taking into affect older car then yes this is a true statement.

1. Anticipate Stop Signs and Lights: This doesn't mean do something stupid like brake down and just idle up to the light either. I had to un-train a young driver who would see a red light and brake down to 5mph to roll up to the light--sometimes a full block early! You can imagine the insanity that went on behind him when he did that. It took a few months, but he finally understood that he was supposed to let off the gas as soon as he saw the light was read and simply coast up to the light.

2. Pump Them Up: With today's trucks often used more for comfort than hauling, the tire pressures are often marked below optimal. At the same time, to handle the loads light truck tires are rated to much higher pressures than automotive tires--but we already know that. However, don't forget Ford's "fix" for that Expedition rollover issue some years back. Pay attention to that pressure and if you have the leeway, consider upping the cold-air pressure about 3 to 5 pounds, but no more than that. A small amount of pressure over 'recommended' may make the truck ride a bit harder, but doesn't affect wear significantly and may actually improve handling as long as you're not driving in an extreme manner. Of course, it will improve gas mileage as well. Going any higher can risk abnormal tire wear and overpressure which *could* result in a blowout, but most blowouts are more due to an overheated, under pressure tire than overpressure.

3. Don't Idle: There's a reason many cars and trucks today have auto-shut-off technology in them. My wife complains when I manually shut off my engine at drive-throughs, but if you have an average-economy display on your instrument panel, you can watch your fuel economy drop the longer you sit stationary.

4. Get a Bigger Tank: This one isn't actually improving your economy, but at least you get more range per fill up. It also means each fill up will cost you more. Doesn't really belong in this discussion, but if you have "range anxiety", then maybe it's a good idea.

5. Use an App: This can actually be useful, as long as you don't let it guide you too far off your planned route. Back when one or two cents per gallon might have meant a mile or more in fuel (remember, your mpg doesn't change just because the price does) then going a few miles out of your way might make a difference. But two or three cents now doesn't even add up to the distance between your usual station and one a block away out of your route. Even a dime difference isn't worth traveling more than a block off your planned route.

6. Keep the Tank Full: This one is actually valid as you avoid things like vapor lock in the summer and condensation in the winter. While it doesn't affect your average economy all that much, it reduces build up on your injectors and simply allows for cleaner burning of your fuel.

7. Keep It Clean: I could even go so far as to recommend a high-performance style air cleaner filter that doesn't clog up as quickly and lets the engine breathe more easily. I've seen as much as 2mpg difference between a stock air cleaner filter and one like the "Air Hog" or K&N filters.

8. Follow the Blue Line: Personally I don't trust the "blue line" implicitly; if you know the types of traffic that 'blue line' will take you through, an alternative may be more efficient by taking less overall time to get from point A to point B. But if you DON'T know the route, then the 'blue line' is your better choice. Don't second-guess it unless you know for certain the other route is better. Remember, every minute your engine is running, it's burning fuel. The straight-through route may be shorter, but if construction or other congestion slows you down, a bypass may be faster.

9. Buy Gas Gift Cards: I'm going to give this one a bye; I'm not sure the hassles of piles of online spam and a mailbox full of junk mail is worth the minimal savings the author presents.

10. Keep 'Em Closed: Overall a valid recommendation, but circumstances and a little intelligence might see you improve on that. In city traffic, certainly rolling the windows down and turning the AC off saves gas--but in the heat of summer you end up suffering not only all the noise and smells of the traffic around you, but also insufferable heat as not only are you fighting the sun, but also the heat of the hundreds and thousands of car engines around you. On the other hand, you do reduce the risk of your own engine overheating.
On the highway, the recommendation is still valid up to a point; in humid conditions especially you do want to run the AC. However, I will qualify that by stating that I once drove from Las Vegas, NV to Chattanooga, TN in a black coupe in the middle of summer--during a severe Texas drought. Because the humidity was so low, I was able to make the drive as far as Memphis, TN with the AC turned off, achieving 25mpg with a 1979 Dodge 318c.i.d. engine under the hood. I managed it by only lowering the windows enough to let air flow through, but by no means even half-way down. The dry air kept me from really 'feeling' the heat during the day and even the 90° night was relatively cool and comfortable. It wasn't until I ran into humidity east of the Mississippi that I was forced to turn on the air--and even then I held out to Nashville as it was after dark on my second day of driving.

My point? A little intelligence and a willingness to experiment has me now exceeding the fuel economy ratings of every single vehicle I drive. I can achieve just shy of 20mpg with an older V8 pickup truck rated for 16 on the highway while I've managed as much as 25mpg with a Jeep Wrangler at highway (but not necessarily posted) speed on the freeway.

papa jim, Great post.

RoadWhale™ - "A little intelligence and a willingness to experiment has me now exceeding the fuel economy ratings of every single vehicle I drive"

My point: You are right RoadWhale a little intelligence is all it takes, and in Canada that's all we have, a little intelligence.

Papa jim on the one hand you say you don't trust the gubmint and want gubmint to stay out of your hair but on the other hand you want gubmint to give you lower gas prices. You're talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Here's a news flash. Obama is doing what sarah palin vowed to do and what his corporate paymasters want which is to drill baby drill at a rate weve never even seen before with the last 3 presidents combined.

Good luck getting Washington to do something about gas prices. Why dont you just invest in oil and gas futures th3n you can make money to afford the rape at the pump.

or here's my strategy, im refusing to buy a new truck until there is a marked improvement in fuel economy or an electric truck. Thats called voting with your wallet and putting pressure on the free market. You know, capitalism, not that communist let th3 gubmint give me give me give me thats you're expecting.

For older higher mileage trucks:

- Change your fuel filter regularly
- Replace your differential oil when recommended.(often overlooked)
- Tune Up

A custom tune can also help with mileage.
Toneau cover definitely helps.

Speed and RPM's are the biggest mileage determiners. Find that sweet spot. For my truck, if I keep it under 75mph (2200rpms) I can get 18 - 19+mpg. I hit 80mph that drops down to 16mpg or less.

maxx, I think you misread papa jim's post. He doesn't want the govn't involved more. He wants them to get out of the way. Obama increasing drilling is a lib talking point and has been debunked.

@DeverMike/Paul/Tom Lemon/Greg Baird/TRX4Tom/Dave/Hemi V8/Tom Terrific/sandman 4x4/lautenslager/zveria/Bob/US Truck Driver/Glenn/Jason/Hemi Rampage/smartest truck guy/Maxx/SuperDuty37/Ken/Ron/johnny doe/jim/ALL1/Frank/Idahoe Joe/The Guy/AD/Casey/papa jim/Young Guy/BeeBe/Steve/Chris/The truck guy/Alex/Mr Chow/Yessir/All Americans/Scott/Buy American or say Bye to America or whoever you want to call yourself.

Quit the crap, really.

It's getting long in the tooth.

You want to debate, but it has to be on your terms.

Learn to debate with good information, then we might be able to have a decent debate.

Opinions are good, but if they are only your view to support the UAW, then how good are they. Look at what you guys have done to Detroit.

Terror tactics (union tactics) don't work on me.

If PUTC wants the UAW or whatever to control this site I suppose it's their decision.

It's not kids like I've been told by PUTC.

They don't seem to care. So this will go on.

Anticipating stops and gentle starts and takeoffs are not only good for fuel economy but they extend the life of your vehicle's components and help your vehicle last longer. If you have read articles about people who have older and high mileage vehicles they drive them conservatively and they keep up on all the maintenance. We don't have as much control over what Washington does but we do have control over how we drive and maintain our vehicles. It is very satisfying to drive a well maintained vehicle that is paid for. It is better to pay yourself first.

I don't understand how a bigger gas tank works?
My F-150 has a 36 gallon tank and its well over $100 to fill up plus the added weight of the increased fuel volume increases weight of the truck so it requires more power to pull the weight of the fuel around.
Lower the national speed limit to 55 MPH
that would help the underpowered eco-boost cause you don't have to floor it to maintain 65 MPH.
Why is a naturally aspirated V8 engine in the Chevy and Dodge getting better gas mileage than the V6 eco-boost?

@MaXx

You're very confused. Good luck.

"We don't have as much control over what Washington does..."

@Jeff S

Wrong! Your congressman runs for re-election every 2 years. He should be listening closely to what his district wants. Your state legislators, ditto. Your governor's office, ditto.

You're from Kentucky a state with a supply of coal that will last for centuries, but the EPA wants to put one of your key natural resources off the list of available energy options.

American utilities spent billions during the last forty years to upgrade their equipment and burn coal cheaply and clean. The EPA wants to throw that all away.

Continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different outcome will not work.

Here is St. Louis, Saturday night gas went down in price 15cents a gallon, there goes the "don't buy Friday, Saturday, Sunday myth...

This is another "Mr. 8 Lug" Bob Carpenter post which are usually full of baloney. Next he'll be telling us to put on a sweater to save fuel. The 1970's called and wants their fuel saving tips back.

https://twitter.com/Mr8Lug

A dirty air filter increases mileage (with fuel injection).
Thinner oil: use half 5w-20 & 5w-30 instead of 5w-30; or under fill the crankcase so the oil heats up quicker

There isn't elections in the USA with electronic 'voting machines'
Washington is not stupid/incompetent. They are doing their master's biding: destroy the country as best they can. Both parties are the same at the top.

@Tom Lemon/DenverMike/TRX-4 Tom and all the other detractors,

The more you push the more I will become resolute.

What I find intriguing is that you have labelled me a midsize zealot, when in fact I don't support anything.

I give midsize feedback because you guys don't have what we have.

You seem to talk about midsizers much more than I do, you must very interested in them.

Give it up, between all of you I don't think you are convincing.

It's all well and good to be loyal. But loyalty can only go so far.

When there is a plethora of facts and data supporting an argument it becomes rather boring. Sort of like re-inventing the wheel, if you have heard of that phrase.

Most of the time the impression I'm gaining is that I'm debating the same person, but with different names.

Post what you want, I have proven all of you are just ignorant and fearful of what you deem the unknown.

Our country went more or less what you are going through now. You have nothing to worry about. No matter what happens in your vehicle market there will always be some form of light commercial vehicle.

@Tom#3 - Is the #3 your IQ?
A full tank saves fuel by minimizing evaporation. If there is "space" in the tank (like in your head), gasoline has room to evaporate.
On the flip side "space" in the tank allows for moisture to condensate. Water forms in the tank and that is never good for a fuel system or engine.
Since you are anti-Ecoboost, you should understand this next point, one of the complaints with that engine was condensation in the intercooler. The same thing can happen in a gas tank.

How much does your truck weigh?
An extra 50-100 lb of fuel is relatively inconsequential in relation to the overall size of the vehicle.

The 5.7 Hemi is supposed to weigh around 485 lb.
The 5.0 and EB3.5 are supposed to be around 435 lb.

That would mean that if you are fixated on weight to same MPG then either Ford engine would be superior to the 5.7 hemi.
On that same train of thought, a 2015 FQ50 would be superior to Ram based on weight savings alone.

@papa jim--My congressman was endorsed by the Tea Party so I know where he stands. I refuse to get upset about what Washington does. Yes I vote but I will not let any politician occupy any more of my time than necessary. I would rather be proactive and combine my trips and drive in a more responsible way. I do check my tire pressure, change my oil, keep my air filter clean, use fuel injector cleaner, keep records of all maintenance, and wash and wax my vehicles (a good wax job should make the vehicle a little more slippery). A well maintained vehicle gets better mpgs and lasts longer.

It's all about driving habits. If you have poor habits you will attain poor FE.

The biggest one is how to use the accelerator and brakes most efficiently. This means being a more defensive driver.

As for the comment regarding the price of fuel. I don't think achieving the best FE has much to do with this if trying to attain the best FE possible.

If fuel is costing $2.59 or $3.99 a gallon, 20mpg is 20mpg.

@Big Al from Oz:
"If fuel is costing $2.59 or $3.99 a gallon, 20mpg is 20mpg."

Quite true, but economy is economy and if you can find fuel at a significantly lower price, then maybe it is worth the extra mileage to get that lower price... But ONLY if the lower price overbalances the distance driven for the difference.

The suggestion of the article regarding having a aux large tank to buy extra fuel at a cheaper price makes no sense. The extra weight of the fuel decreases fuel economy and negates benefit in the saving in fuel cost.

Anyone ever wonder why fuel tanks aren't as large as we would like for our trucks? It's simply a matter of fuel economy. They can advertise better FE numbers if the tank holds less fuel.

@RoadWhale
I've seen people who travel around just to save a few cents a litre.

When I'm the passenger in a vehicle and people do this I get annoyed, especially in a large urban area like Sydney.

The time wasted and the money saved doesn't justify this type of behaviour. They must havea OCD.

If you want to save money combine your trips. Sometimes if you wait to fill up after a holiday the price will go down. I agree just driving out of your way to save a few cents on a gallon of gas is not smart. Most people who own larger trucks are not as concerned about the price of fuel. I would be less concerned about the price than the availability. Those of us who drove during the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and the 1979 Iranian Crisis it was more a matter of availability than price. If fuel is rationed or there is a shortage then you are more likely to conserve it.

Back in the 80's I had my F250 with a 460 and that thing was a gas hog. Those trucks had 2 19 gallon tanks and one of the tanks never worked right. I was once towing on the I-70 through Utah, it is over a 100 mile stretch without a service station. Now that was a close call and I almost did run out of fuel.

The first station at the end of the stretch was charging an arm and a leg for fuel. Nobody cared though. People were more than happy to buy gas there.

My point? When I am out driving my truck, I am most concerned with getting whatever job I'm doing done, not how much I'm paying at the pump. In fact that's the last thing on my mind. I wouldn't be driving a truck if I was that concerned about FE.

I don't drive my truck when I don't need it. In fact, it's not my daily driver.

@Big Al: Personally, I agree with you. 30 years ago driving 20 miles out of your way to buy gas at 10¢ per gallon difference might be worth it, as when you had a 21 gallon tank and usually bought about 18, that came out to 18 x 10 or $1.80 in savings while the drive might have cost a little over $1.00 in fuel.(This would be when gas was about $1.25/gallon) Sure, it's still silly, but if you made it part of your 'travel loop' for the day, the overall cost of the trip would fall just that little bit more. Like Jeff S said, combine trips to make the most effective use of time and gas.

The problem is, with today's fuel prices, even 10¢ isn't worth getting hyped up over, which is why I stated that even going more than a block off your planned route really isn't worth the fuel burned going there. BUT, people will do it simply on the perception that they're saving money.

@Hemi: That's honestly why I want to see smaller pickup trucks return. At nearly a full ton lighter and a roofline low enough to rest your elbow on while chatting with your friends, its economy is almost certain to be a minimum of 40% better than the best current full-size truck while still offering that capability to carry the occasional unusual load that simply will not fit in an SUV or even van. A compact truck would be an almost ideal second car for the family and decent daily driver for the commuter who doesn't carpool (and it's a given that at least 80% of commuters who drive do NOT carpool.)

Set your alignment at zero toe

Buy fuel at night or early morning when it's cool. Fuel expands as temps go up, so you get less.

Run the lights and stop signs (like they're not even there) when there's no one around.

And yeah, when the signal light, a 1/4 mile ahead, just turns red, I'll start coasting. I know I'll have about 3 minutes to get there. The drivers behind me will get annoyed and fly around me, as they're not aware of much, past what's right front of them. When I time it just right, I'm still coasting and just about caught up as the light changes to green.

If I do have to come to a complete stop, I'll leave 1.5 to 2 car lengths between me and the cars (if 2 vehicles or more) ahead of me. So I'll start rolling, the exact moment when the light turns green, so I can keep up with them, but without their jackrabbit starts.

Isn't it funny how bragging rights have changed about pickup trucks?
We used to brag how our pickup had more horsepower-torque and payload.
NOW we brag about our gas mileage.
I get harassed everyday at work by a co-worker that just got a new Ram 1500 with a 5.7 hemi. I am singled out by him cause I have the newest F-150, but I don't have the eco-boost. Everyday, and I MEAN EVERYDAY he has to dig into me how his new Ram gets 19 MPG and the Ford Eco-Boost doesn't come near that!
I try to tell him I don't care, I don't have an eco-boost.
I hate going to work anymore just to face him, its impossible to avoid him cause we have to work together, I am seriously thinking about finding another job cause of him.

@RoadWhale - That's the problem with fans of small pickups. You want them as 2nd or 3rd cars and not willing to commit to one more "new car" payment and full-coverage/gap/etc, for a pickup that's not your primary ride. You want to be 2nd or 3rd owners and the OEMs/dealers are left wondering who's gonna step up to the plate, while small pickup inventory stagnates. This is why consumers are willing to go as high as $10,000 or more for a '94 Toyota pickup that's a clean, near original/stock 4X4 and extra cab. Too many folks want "used", and not enough "new". That's always been the problem, ever since the mini-truck craze/fad ended.

Number one on this list is very important. When I was I Cummins, they did a comprehensive study on what effects fuel economy and by how much. It was mainly for semi tractor/trailers but a lot of it applied to every kind of vehicle. I was amazed when they found out that driving behavior can account for a 30% variation in fuel economy. Another big factor was gearing, and how having the proper gearing for what you are using the truck for makes a big difference. Too many times I see people with more gear than what they need because they did not do their homework when shopping for a vehicle, and then they b!tch about their fuel economy. Here is the Cummins article. It is a very good read. https://cumminsengines.com/uploads/docs/cummins_secrets_of_better_fuel_economy.pdf

@Tom#3

One would have to be very stupid to believe that 19mpg combined average is the norm for all Ram Hemi's. That is not the norm as I have proven to you with real world data. There are many factors that will have a big effect on both of your numbers.

As I stated above, driving habits play a very big role in fuel economy and can effect your mpg by as much as 30% between a very good driver to a very bad one. Maybe you might want to ask that buddy of yours to see if you can drive his truck to see if you get the same mpg combined driving how you normally do. If you can't even come close then at least you know you need to improve your driving habits.

Another thing that plays a big role in both of your combined numbers is the percentage of city/hwy mileage both of you drive. If he drives 25% city and 75% hwy while you drive 60% city and 40% hwy then both of your combined numbers will be way off. Ask him how much hwy driving does he do to get that 19mpg and compare it to how much you do to get that 15mpg.

Lastly is gearing. I know some don't think it is a big deal, but as the link I posted earlier proves just how much it does effect your fuel economy. After all, why do you think truck manufacturers offer so many gear choices? So you can pick the right one that will fit your capability needs while returning the fuel economy you want. Ask your buddy what rear gear ratio is in his truck. (If he doesn't know then you need to b!tch slap him up side the head. Then take his keys and man card away because that should be known on every truck purchase since it is one of the primary ways of determining a trucks capabilities.) I can bet you he probably has a 3.21 rear ratio based on the combined 19mpg. This means that while his fuel mileage is higher, his trucks capabilities are lower. A Ram 1500 Hemi 1500 4-door with a 3.21 rear axle ratio is rated at 8,100lbs towing and is comparable to a F150 5.0L 4-door with 3.31/3.55 gear ratio in capabilities since it also has an 8,000lb tow rating. If your F150 5.0L is a 3.73 then of course you are not going to get the same fuel mileage, but you capabilities are much higher than his.

Also, the Ecoboost can and will get 19mpg combined or better. My company truck gets 19-20mpg(usually high 19s) combined, day in and day out even when driven hard and lots of idle time. In fact, that is the norm for all of my company's Ecoboost F150s with 3.15 rear axle ratios. I will try to post an image or scan of our fuel card statement telling us our calculated fuel mileage based on the mileage we have to input at every fill up and how much we pump to prove it to you. And just because it is has a taller gear ratio does not mean it has less capabilities either. An F150 Ecoboost 4-door with a 3.15 rear axle ratio is rated at 8,500lbs towing which is slightly higher than both the same Ram Hemi 3.21 and the F150 5.0L 3.31/3.55. I have towed up to 7,000lbs my company work truck. The problem with most people that purchase Ecoboosts is that they think that it is just a little V6 with little V6 power and need the same or higher number gearing their old 5-speed 5.4L when it it completely opposite. This little V6 is very powerful and does not need that much gear for most people that get those 3.55 or 3.73 gears thinking they need them. Getting a 3.55 or 3.73 Ecoboost is just adding more capability in comparison to what you had before, NOT fuel economy. Getting a 3.15 or 3.31 Ecoboost gives you the same capability as what you have now, but better fuel economy. Any idiot with half a brain could figure this out if they actually did their homework when truck buying, but from I see I could be wrong since many idiots with even whole brains can't.


I actually think you are either just trolling or one of the Rambo sheep herders club is using your name. Either way, what I said doesn't matter for you since you already have a predetermined mindset of what you want to think, and what is just said is outside of that mindset. Logical thinking has gone out the window at this point.

Good luck getting a bigger tank on your Chevy. A larger tank saves me money when the price is lower. To many people think low number axle ratios will get you better highway mpgs. This is not true. My friend has a Ram Hemi Quad identical to mine except. for the axle ratio. He has 3.55 and I have 3.92 both with the 5 speed. I get the same or better mpg than he does. My truck stays in MDS much longer than his even tho I am 250 rpm more. It's the load on the engine, not the RPM.

@Fedtheman

" To many people think low number axle ratios will get you better highway mpgs. "

According to actual testing and research, yes it does. If it didn't then why would manufacturers even offer different ratios? They would just offer one ratio if all of them got the same fuel economy. The key is getting the right ratio for what you will be doing with your truck and having too less of gearing can also be a negative in fuel mileage especially when towing.

The #1 way you can save on fuel is to purchase a Ford truck. This not because they are the most fuel efficient, but because they are unreliable and do not run half the time. You won't be burning gas if your truck isn't running because you will be walking. I speak from experience and have the blisters on my feet to prove it, but my wallet is thicker. Luckily my truck is still under warranty, so the repairs are not coming out of my pocket yet. For that I am thankful.

To elaborate on my previous comment. I worked in a car plant for 35 Yrs. Almost every Chevy truck with the 5.3 got the best mpg with 3.73 gears. The guys with 3.42,3.23,3.08 didn't like to hear it, but it was true. I like Chevy's, but the 5.3 doesn't have enough torque to pull the low numbers without downshifting a lot. I'm talking about the 315 HP engine, not the new 5.3.

11.) Don't drive a truck if the only thing you ever do is go to the grocery store and take the kids to soccer practice.

No exaggeration...90% of the time when I see a Suburban or Tahoe out on the road it's got a female driver with fewer than two children in the back.

I guess a Chevy Cruze wouldn't suffice.

@fredtheman

To elaborate on my previous comment. I worked at engine and truck manufacturers too. We actually did testing that proves gears make a difference. Read the link I posted above from an article that was made at my time at Cummins. Testing proves that gears make a difference in fuel mileage. Although driving habits play a much bigger role and could easily negate any gear difference especially in close differences in gearing.

You forgot one
Don't Drive. I found I save quite a bit of fuel when i hang up the keys. I also found i don't get anywhere very fast.

It is amazing how many people post political statements and they do not know the facts. Natural gas produces cheaper electricity then coal and it is cleaner. There is more drilling for oil in our country then ever before. Read the Bloomberg report, over 1400 rigs drilling today. Now on to automobiles, I use a US Bank credit card and get an average of 15 cents off every gallon of fuel I buy. And at end of the year they reward me 25% more on the total I spent for the entire year. That is what I consider saving at the pump. I also have a 100 gallon tank besides the 34 gallon tank on my Silverado. Buy it where it is cheaper! Slow down, I never drive over 60 mph and I keep my position in traffic most of the time with less stress and not being as tired as the driver fighting for position. There are times when the same driver will pass me up to three times because he stops at the rest areas from being tired fighting for position on the highway. These are a couple things I have learned driving over a million miles during the last ten years.

@ Papa Jim. VERY GOOD POINTS.
Would also like to add to your points that all the mtb crap and other additives they put in our fuel here in phx az reduces mileage by 15-20%. I have been here my whole driving life and i always used to beat the mpg avg sticker and sometimes even the highest rating on the window sticker. No more. with all the junk additives the fuel is no longer as efficient. That is worth at least 1-3 mpg here in phx. I met a guy from texas that would get 19-20 mpg all day in his older chevy V-8 truck. since here in phx only 16-17 and i told him its because of our fuel.
This alone is almost worth buying that new dodge diesel half ton. Though they have removed the lubricity out of diesel, it still is more btu to the gallon than gas. But then one needs to add 2 stroke oil to diesel to give the lubricity back to the fuel. THIS EFFIN GOVT JUST KEEPS COSTING US MORE $$$ ALL THE TIME !! We can no longer try and beat the system any way to my knowledge regarding the fuel and getting better efficiency out of our vehicles. Everything the govt does that is suppose to be good for us sheep just costs us a ton of $$$. So this is another good point to bring up to our elected officals, quit adding junk to our fuel that lowers the efficiency of our vehicles !!

Papa jim still thinks his elected representatives work for him. The truth is they don't. Look them up on open secrets to see who they are beholden to.

@MaXx

Never said they care about me, but they care a lot about being relevant, and about being re-elected.

Question: Are you still living in your parent's garage?

Unless someone does a lot of driving or if someone is going to get a new vehicle anyway, it is not wise to get rid of a vehicle just to get one that is more efficient. I have know people that got rid of a larger vehicle like a truck and bought a small car to save money on fuel. Just to break even you would have to keep the vehicle longer than most people would. The depreciation alone would buy a lot of fuel. The price of fuel is not that big of a consideration for me because I don't drive as much and I drive very conservatively and combine trips. Sure if the price of gas goes over $5 a gallon I might drive a little less but not too much less because I really don't drive as much as I did a few years ago. One of my trucks has hit the bottom of the depreciation schedule and if anything it has gone up a little in value--any extra use I get out of it is a bonus.

@Denver|Mike: What? You never buy your second car new? OH, you thought I meant secondHAND car! Hey, if I can help it, I NEVER buy secondhand any more. I bought my '96 Camaro brand-new. I bought my '02 Saturn Vue brand-new. I bought my '08 Wrangler brand-new. Now, I admit I bought my F-150 used, but I also didn't have the money to buy new NOR was there a truck available in the size I really want.

So, while you continue to embarrass yourself, I continue to get what I want... brand-new.

@cmon: Try moving up to the next higher grade of gas. It may make a difference (though it'll cost you 20¢ more per gallon).

I bought my last two trucks new. I think DM likes to stereotype

@RoadWhale--One of my neighbors and friends has a 2002 Tacoma 4x4 extended cab (4 cylinder 5 speed) and was offered a nice price for his truck. He said he wouldn't get rid of it for any price because the midsize trucks have grown even the Tacoma and he doesn't want a larger truck. That is one reason I think that a lot of midsize and compact truck owners are driving around in older trucks because they know they basically can't replace them. That is why I held on to my 99 S-10. There is more demand for them than many of the guys on this website realize and they are not all for stripped models. Hopefully the Colorado/Canyon does well enough to renew interest even though it is bigger.

At Jeff S I've been looking at 97-04 dakotas and not many are for sale. I think most people are happy with the size and therefore they keep them. Used S10's are not cheap either.

A lot of this makes very little sense.
Buy an aftermarket fuel tank! Why? To spend the money you may or may not save from fuel purchases, on the tank.

Then if you are going to stop at every other station to keep the tank full, why do you need a larger tank?

Then the app, sure it tells you where the best prices are, but if you have to drive 2-3 miles out of your way, to save a dime per gallon. How are you saving money? ( That's 4-6 miles round trip, and you get there, just to find out the app was wrong.) Besides my time is better spent doing things I like, not driving to fuel stations, and stopping every day or two for fuel.

I'm surprised the article didn't say to spend $50,000+ on a new more fuel efficient truck.

I save fuel by not running to town everytime I want a bite to eat.



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