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View Poll Results: What HIGHWAY gas mileage do you get in your Chevy 1500 series truck?
26 mpg or better Highway mileage 10 1.65%
24 mpg or more 6 0.99%
22 mpg or more 17 2.81%
20 mpg or more 74 12.21%
18 mpg or more 133 21.95%
16 mpg or more 159 26.24%
14 mpg or more 116 19.14%
12 mpg or more 62 10.23%
10 mpg or more 19 3.14%
Less than 10 mpg Highway mileage 10 1.65%
Voters: 606. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-21-2004, 12:38 AM   #1
White Lightening
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Thumbs up GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

Greetings,

Does anybody else wonder how come various sized engines for newer Chevy 1500 series trucks get about the same mileages?

You'd think a 6 cylinder would be much better.

You'd think a small V8 would get better than a larger V8.

You'd think a Colorado should be much better - but it isn't.

Often Rear Wheel Drive isn't much different than 4 x 4.

Auto versus 5 speed?

So maybe there are things to be done to improve the mileage levels without hurting performance.

Now I've heard many say - "I get whatever I get - thats just life, I'm not going to count nickels". Well sure, thats true - but at the same time - with $2.00 a gallon gas - $45.00 at the gas station comes too often for most of us. So what is wrong with trying to make it a little longer between fillups or a little cheaper at each one. I still want a full sized half ton truck, a Colorado just won't do.

I'll tell you mine - you tell me yours :-)

I have a 1500 series 2004 V8 Vortec 6000 high output (SS type of engine). Extended cab, automatic transmission - its REAR Wheel drive - so I know - it helps a bit compared to 4 x 4 (about 400 pounds lighter plus less mechanicals).

Highway, I'm getting 20.5 mpg but I think with another 5,000 miles added it'll be better (currently 3300 miles). Some say thats good mileage - but why shouldn't it be better with more ideas?

I use premium gas because of my higher stock compression ratio of 9.8 to 1 on the high output Vortex 6000 (versus the standard Vortex 6000 on the 2500 series).

1. I used Slick 50 (added at 1,000 miles). I figure anything that helps improve lubrication doesn't hurt me :-) (have used Slick 50 for many years in cars, trucks, and motorcycles.) Is there a better product?

2. Axle ratio is a key. I wanted my power band in the comfortable 1500 range - so I got a 3.73 axle ratio. 55 mph is 1400/1500 rpm.

3. Proper tire pressure and a hard folding tonneau cover to help air flow.

4. At break-in, I changed oil at 750 miles and again at 2500 - just to clear any new break in particles out of the system. Now I'll go to every 2500 miles changing and using Purolator oil filters (no Fram oil filters or Fram produced oil filters).

Possible upcoming efforts will be a Fram Air Hog permanent air filter and maybe some other suggestions.

Failed efforts? I tried the Tornado. Interesting concept - but actually reduced my MPG instead of improving it. Who knows - maybe the Vortec engines have it already designed in as stock :-)

Would love to hear other suggestions - as long as it doesn't mean hurting normal stock performance.

White Lightening
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Old 12-21-2004, 01:12 AM   #2
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Re: GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

I have a 99 4x4 with the 4.8 vortec v-8, last time I checked it I was getting close to 17.5 hwy. Since then I've put on a solid hard tonau cover. Haven't really took it on a long hwy. trip to see what I get now.
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Old 12-21-2004, 09:13 AM   #3
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Re: GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

I have a 2wd, 5.3 v8 with the mods listed in my sig below. I'm using Castrol Syntec 10w-30 and wix filter with a 4-4500 mile change interval. I'm averging 16-17 mpg.
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Old 12-21-2004, 09:28 AM   #4
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I got a 1500 2wd, 5.7L auto 3.73 gears.It gets around 22-23mpg highway and around 17-19mpg city/combined. Friend of mine has same truck with 5.0L and gets a solid 27mpg highway. Maybe something said for the older smaller engines
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Old 12-21-2004, 10:01 AM   #5
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Re: GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Lightening
Greetings,

Does anybody else wonder how come various sized engines for newer Chevy 1500 series trucks get about the same mileages?

You'd think a 6 cylinder would be much better.

You'd think a small V8 would get better than a larger V8.

You'd think a Colorado should be much better - but it isn't.

Often Rear Wheel Drive isn't much different than 4 x 4.

Auto versus 5 speed?

So maybe there are things to be done to improve the mileage levels without hurting performance.

Now I've heard many say - "I get whatever I get - thats just life, I'm not going to count nickels". Well sure, thats true - but at the same time - with $2.00 a gallon gas - $45.00 at the gas station comes too often for most of us. So what is wrong with trying to make it a little longer between fillups or a little cheaper at each one. I still want a full sized half ton truck, a Colorado just won't do.

I'll tell you mine - you tell me yours :-)

I have a 1500 series 2004 V8 Vortec 6000 high output (SS type of engine). Extended cab, automatic transmission - its REAR Wheel drive - so I know - it helps a bit compared to 4 x 4 (about 400 pounds lighter plus less mechanicals).

Highway, I'm getting 20.5 mpg but I think with another 5,000 miles added it'll be better (currently 3300 miles). Some say thats good mileage - but why shouldn't it be better with more ideas?

I use premium gas because of my higher stock compression ratio of 9.8 to 1 on the high output Vortex 6000 (versus the standard Vortex 6000 on the 2500 series).

1. I used Slick 50 (added at 1,000 miles). I figure anything that helps improve lubrication doesn't hurt me :-) (have used Slick 50 for many years in cars, trucks, and motorcycles.) Is there a better product?

2. Axle ratio is a key. I wanted my power band in the comfortable 1500 range - so I got a 3.73 axle ratio. 55 mph is 1400/1500 rpm.

3. Proper tire pressure and a hard folding tonneau cover to help air flow.

4. At break-in, I changed oil at 750 miles and again at 2500 - just to clear any new break in particles out of the system. Now I'll go to every 2500 miles changing and using Purolator oil filters (no Fram oil filters or Fram produced oil filters).

Possible upcoming efforts will be a Fram Air Hog permanent air filter and maybe some other suggestions.

Failed efforts? I tried the Tornado. Interesting concept - but actually reduced my MPG instead of improving it. Who knows - maybe the Vortec engines have it already designed in as stock :-)

Would love to hear other suggestions - as long as it doesn't mean hurting normal stock performance.

White Lightening
i am getting about 19.5 but thats not staight high way miles thats a little city too though about 75 % of my daily driving is highway so i am pretty happy with what i get. i have an 02 Z71 ext. cab with the 5.3L and 3:73 gears and auto tranny. all i have done to my truck as of now is remove the screen in front of the MAF sensor. and modified my air box and duct to the intake. no seat of the pants increase in power but mileage was a little improved as well as throttle response.i think the biggest factor on mileage is driving style. jack rabbit take offs from red lights really suck the fuel. i know i used to take off like in a race and stop last minute...change my driving habits and gas (and brake pads too) last a bit longer now.
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Old 12-21-2004, 02:23 PM   #6
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I have an '03 5.3L extended cab stock except I have put a K&N FIPK II and a hard tonneau cover. I get 14.5 mpg in the city and close to 20 on the highway.
It may surprise you to know this, but my brother has an '03 extended cab 4.3L 6 cylinder, and he gets almost identical mileage to me, if not worse. I know driving style may account for this, but it makes sense to me that the 6 cylinder has to work harder to move around a truck of approximately the same size and mass.
What do you all think?
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Old 12-21-2004, 02:31 PM   #7
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Re: GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

i agree. I had a '78 firebird with 400 bigblock and it was the best vehicle I've had for mileage, 21 +/-. The only other vehicle that came close was my '91 ranger with the 4.3l v6. 20-21 mpg.
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Old 12-21-2004, 03:30 PM   #8
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Re: GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

I have a 2004 silverado. I thought the bigger V8's 5.3 and 6.0 have a cylinder displacment feature that turns off 2-4 cylinders when the engine is at cruising speed. that could explain why the smaller V8's get the same gas mileage as the bigger ones.
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Old 12-21-2004, 05:43 PM   #9
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Milage

I have an 04 ext cab silverado with the small v8. on the road, I will range from 22 mpg to 24.5 mpg depending on the speed I'm driving and the road I'm on. The 24.5 is at about 65 mph on the interstate and the 22 is at about 75 on the interstate. I had a 99 grand marquis with a v8 and I got 27 on the road at 75 mph
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Old 12-22-2004, 06:54 AM   #10
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Re: GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

I'm just a bit amazed at some of the comments. It appears Chevy Truck mileages aren't too bad compared to some other truck lines. I had expected the range to be slanted more to the 13-14 mpg range for highway because most trucks (at least in Western WI) are all 4x4.

Also - in my 3500 miles of driving mine - I find that my optimum speed range was around 50 to 62 mph. When my speed is 65 to 70, my mileage seems to drop about 8% to 10%. Again - I attribute that to my axle ratio and engine combination (where the torque and power bands are). I have a 6 liter high output engine with a 3.73 axle ratio - I just wonder why the SS has the same engine with a 4.10 ratio. I was told it was so it would be good as a "stoplight" takeoff benefit - but it seems it would penalize the mileage and power band curve greatly (be like a tractor - all low end "granny gear" type).

I don't understand why full size Chevy 1500 series trucks with V8s should be getting similar mileages as Colorados and Rangers and Dakotas (in fact - Dakotas and Durangos seem to get 16, 17 range).

Would love to know how someone gets 22 to 25 in a small V8. My driving style is good for getting decent mileage - I just like the idea of tweeking it up a few notches in mpg. don't know about anybody else - but I got alot of "why would you get a full size truck, they are such gas hogs?" type comments when I bought - yet my highway mileage as a rwd truck is the same as my Explorer AWD was (20.5). Very much liked the Explorer - but love my Chevy Truck.

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Old 12-22-2004, 10:11 PM   #11
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Re: GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

The average for the last 10 fuel ups is 14 mpg that is city/hwy. My highest single fuel mileage was 19 mpg ciyt/hwy. Not too bad considering the 33" tall tires and a heavy size 13
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Old 12-23-2004, 01:10 AM   #12
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Here is a article that was e-mailed to me:


the last several weeks many of you have emailed me about techniques
and tips to improve gas mileage. Let's make that this week's topic.

Today's cars and trucks are designed to run with the best mileage, power
and emissions possible, and they do a great job of it. So what can you
do to save at the pumps in your vehicle? Here are some tips.

Buy cheap. Don't pay for "premium" unless your manual recommends it.
Unless you're driving a Corvette or turbo-charged car, the odds that you
need premium are slim-to-none. There's no upside to using higher octane
fuel than necessary. Some name-brand fuels may have better additive
packages than no-name fuels. I don't have any hard evidence one way or
another that it would affect mileage or maintenance, but it is worth
noting.

Check your tires. Both for safety and economy. Keep a tire gauge in your
car and check your tires every time you fill your tank. Use the pressure
recommended for your car (look in the door jamb or under the truck lid
for the manufacturer's recommendations).

Put your car on a diet. Don't keep extra weight in your vehicle.

Keep in tune. Keep up with the recommended replacement schedule for
ignition components such as spark plugs. Keep a clean air filter. Be
sure your fuel injectors are clean (an occasional bottle of injector
cleaner additive isn't a bad idea). Use AutoTap or another scantool to
be sure that you're not having problems with misfire.

Don't use the brakes! Don't take this one too literally, but there is
nothing you can do that hurts your mileage more than pushing the brake
pedal. Every time you push the accelerator you've made an investment in
your car's momentum. Every time you brake you throw that energy away.
(This and the next tip are worth 10 times all the rest!)

Watch your top speed. At highway speeds, small increases in speed
require much larger increases in power. Slowing down a few mph on the
highway will save you dollars. If you own AutoTap, try monitoring the
"Percent Load" parameter at a couple different speeds on a flat highway
and you'll see what I mean!

What about all the fuel-saving devices that are marketed so aggressively
today? Total waste of money on fuel injected cars and trucks. That
certainly doesn't prevent them from selling huge quantities of these
high profit-margin products. But, don't mistake profitability and
celebrity endorsements for science! The fact that we'd all like to
believe that they work doesn't change the rules of physics.

So how do they get away with their outrageous claims and "proven"
results? One answer is the use of weasel-words. Remember "Up to 10%
Savings" includes the number zero!

Another answer can be revealed with AutoTap. Some of these devices add
an airflow obstruction in the intake. While I haven't tested any of
these devices, I have seen test results on another engine modification
that performs a similar function. The results? The intake air becomes
turbulent as it passes through the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor. When the
air flow is turbulent the sensor gets confused. On some vehicles, this
causes the engine to run temporarily lean. This could improve mileage
(at the expense of emissions, durability or power). However, if you
remember our previous emails about oxygen sensors, you'll recall that
these sensors will detect the lean condition, then "learn" how to
correct it. What does this mean in real life? For a short time, there
could be a small improvement (and this would be a good time to make
measurements for advertising claims!). But, give it a week or two and
the computer will tune the fuel mixture back to where it belongs, and
any gains will disappear. Monitoring the long term fuel trim parameters
with AutoTap reveals this behavior.

So don't help fuel that snake-oil industry. Use some of the practical
tips in this week's email to improve your economy. Will you see huge
improvements? Not likely. But small improvements can add up!

Happy Repairs,

Mike Fahrion
www.autotap.com <http://www.autotap.com
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Old 12-24-2004, 04:37 PM   #13
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Re: GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

There are a few things you can do to save a few ounces of fuel here and there, but the bottom line is that it takes x amount of energy to provide y amount of momentum to a vehicle. That's why the V6 isn't a whole lot better than the V8s - it simply takes a certain amount of energy to move a vehicle. The only way to get big savings is to get a smaller car!
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:57 PM   #14
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Re: GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

I just filled up 2 hours ago. I got 15.5 mpg. Not too bad considering I hardley drive under 70. That included a few times turing around last night in the road (cops aint got nuthin on me!!) I gotta buy 93 octane though, b/c of my tune. It's worth every penny though. Fill up cost me about $40 - $46 .
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Old 12-26-2004, 08:50 PM   #15
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Re: GAS Mileage - how to make it better.

97 K2500 454 ext cab long box (8600GVWR) 13-16mpg 7000lbs+ (yes, with topper bed mat, and 280lbs of sand in the back for winter it tipped the scale at over 7000lbs).
03 K1500HD Crew cab short box with 6.0L 13-16mpg weight unknown.
Winter gas here in Minnesota does decrease mileage.
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