Go Back   Ford F150 Forum - Community of Ford Truck Fans > Late Model F150s > 1997 - 2003 Ford F150
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?


Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-01-2011, 09:15 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default Ways to increase gas mileage

I see a lot of people are concerned with the gas mileage of their trucks. I am posting things that I have learned over the years. Keep in mind that the F 150 series trucks (even older ones) get the highest gas mileage in in their class of all trucks.

1. Weight decreases gas mileage. Don't carry tools or things in your truck unless you have to. Also a full tank of gas is heavy and reduces gas mileage but if you don't keep it full you can get condensation in the tank if it sits too long. Use your judgement.
2. Ethanol blends. Ethanol gets 30% less mileage than gas. A 10% ethanol blend gets 3% less mileage than straight gas. Some brands still use no ethanol, buy those if you can and the price is the same.
3. Bad auto transmissions and slipping clutches can cause your truck to guzzle gas. If your truck slows down excessively when you put it in reverse or drive, or if your clutch chatters or slips, time to get it fixed.
4. Master cylinders can stick and cause brake drag which will destroy gas mileage. Put your truck on a lift and turn the tires. If the tires are too hard to turn, check out the brake system.
5. Spark plugs are critical. One bad or weak plug can cause your truck to waste gas. Even new plugs fail. Changing plugs every 20,000 miles is not out of the question unless you use super expensive plugs.
6. Vaccum leaks fool the computer. Make sure all of your vaccum hoses and connections are tight and not leaking.
7. No lead foot. Easy starts and easy on the pedal really saves gas.
8. Keep it at 60 MPH on the highway. The decrease in gas mileage for each MPH over 60 is incredible. Most vehicles get their best mileage at 60 MPH.
9. Good air filter, air in tires, clean fuel injectors are critical to gas mileage. Using a concentrated fuel injector cleaner every once and a while helps keep the fuel delivery system clean. They really work, but don't skimp on the price.
10. Use some upper cylinder lubricant in your gas (marvel mystery oil, Lucas upper cylinder lubricant) they replace the 10% lubrication lost to the ethanol blend and really do increase gas mileage by reducing friction in non oil pressured parts, while they keep things clean.
11. A bad AC compressor can drag and guzzle gas. If you serpentine belt squeaks when you turn on the AC or the AC clutch engages, time for a new compressor as it is most likely dragging due to internal failure and about to lock up and pop your belt leaving you on the side of the road.
12. While rare, a clogged catalytic convertor can destroy performance and gas mileage. If you have a feeling your engine is "clogged up" or the exhaust sounds funny or weak, have it checked. A good muffler shop can tell or do a simple pressure test.
13. Change the O2 sensors at 100,000 miles. They are critical to the fuel mixture and computer.
14. Your alternator pulls a lot of engine power when it charges the battery. The more power it needs, the more drag on the engine. An old battery needs to be charged a lot while driving to keep up with demands and can be wasting gas. A weak battery also means a weak ignition system and poorly functioning computer. An old battery is going to die anyway so you might as well do some preventative maintanence and replace it. If a battery is a 6 year battery, you can bet money it will only work properly for 6 years if you are lucky.

If anyone else has suggestions please add them. Remember, your truck is made to take abuse, haul, tow, and not fall apart and gas mileage is not the top priority. Workers and haulers are heavy, so you will not get the same gas mileage as a car. A small 1997 Accura gets 17 MPG in the city. An F 150 gets 12-14 in the city. Not that bad when you compare the two.
Don't blame your truck because OPEC made over 2 trillion dollars in profits last quarter and American oil companies made 100 billion in profits. It's not gas mileage that killing you, it's the price of the gas and greed.
pickupsrule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

These are great tips! I've heard also that adding a tonneau cover or driving with my tailgate down will help. Is this true?
RobbaDobba82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 11:45 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

keeping your tires properly inflated is another obvious one
Javi_F-150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 11:47 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbaDobba82 View Post
These are great tips! I've heard also that adding a tonneau cover or driving with my tailgate down will help. Is this true?
I have been told by my friends their cover does increase gas mileage a little.
Seems the open bed and closed tailgate act like a parachute at higher speeds.
Some people leave the tailgate down all the time, but that can be dangerous in traffic and when backing up.
The tonneau covers look great either way.
But you and your girl will get too hot hiding under that when you......never mind. Or so I am told.
pickupsrule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 11:50 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,234
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickupsrule View Post
I have been told by my friends their cover does increase gas mileage a little.
Seems the open bed and closed tailgate act like a parachute at higher speeds.
Some people leave the tailgate down all the time, but that can be dangerous in traffic and when backing up.
The tonneau covers look great either way.
But you and your girl will get too hot hiding under that when you......never mind. Or so I am told.
Tailgate down uses more gas than tailgate up assuming no cover over the bed.
eclark53520 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 11:52 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Javi_F-150 View Post
keeping your tires properly inflated is another obvious one
That reminds me. Those over sized tires add weight and cut gas mileage.
But..... I think they probably increase mileage at highway speeds because they decrease the gear ratio like a super overdrive. Who knows. Some horrible mileage figures are actually being caused by the bigger tires throwing off the speedometer which thinks the truck has gone less miles than it actually has and used a certain amount of gas.
Using a GPS reading on your MPH is the best way to calculate gas mileage and determine if your speedometer or odometer is accurate after the tire swap.
pickupsrule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 11:55 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,234
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickupsrule View Post
That reminds me. Those over sized tires add weight and cut gas mileage.
But..... I think they probably increase mileage at highway speeds because they decrease the gear ratio like a super overdrive. Who knows. Some horrible mileage figures are actually being caused by the bigger tires throwing off the speedometer which thinks the truck has gone less miles than it actually has and used a certain amount of gas.
Using a GPS reading on your MPH is the best way to calculate gas mileage and determine if your speedometer or odometer is accurate after the tire swap.
Possibly, but i'm guessing that the extra driveline weight, increased rolling resistance, and increased air resistance pretty much wipe out any overdrive effect the larger tires have. Not to mention the transmissions are usually designed to keep the engine at an efficient RPM...so reducing that RPM may actually lug the engine and reduce fuel efficiency.

This is in addition to the fact that larger tires is also going to wear out items such as ball joints, u-joints, etc faster which will also negate any fuel saved via the overdrive effect.
eclark53520 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 12:16 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 117
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Walking works well.
baldtire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 12:25 PM   #9
Kill em all
 
AFSOCSGT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Navarre FL
Posts: 1,735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

My Harley gets 35-40, depending on throttle application lol. And is loads of fun, especially when people have there windows down.
__________________


Originally Posted by obusnizzle dont touch it and play with it, just drive the truck, try not to overthink it.
AFSOCSGT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 12:31 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,234
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFSOCSGT View Post
My Harley gets 35-40, depending on throttle application lol. And is loads of fun, especially when people have there windows down.
I will give Harley 1 thing, they are extremely efficient at turning perfectly good fuel into completely useless noise.

That's pretty much all they do.
eclark53520 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 12:31 PM
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Increase Fuel Mileage MyTightRide Engine / Drivetrain Talk 37 09-11-2012 06:11 PM
Ways to increase performance on '06 4.6 screw Supercrewzer 2004 - 2008 Ford F150 9 02-21-2010 04:57 PM
Increase gas mileage BYRDX146 2004 - 2008 Ford F150 14 07-05-2009 05:24 PM
Best way to increase fuel mileage L.Jimmy General F150 Discussion 7 05-13-2008 01:18 PM
Increase Mileage longbombFX4 General F150 Discussion 1 03-25-2008 08:14 AM

Join F150 Forum

 

The Mustang Source
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2006 - 20011 F150forum.com
This site is in no way affiliated with the Ford Motor Company.