With gas prices steadily growing, the biggest group to suffer is those of us that own trucks and large SUV’s. Surprisingly, there is not much information out there tailored specifically to truck owners, so this question still remains for many of us: How can I get better gas mileage for my truck?
Plenty of information is available for improving fuel economy in general, but it applies more directly to cars. Most all of the tips and tricks you will find for cars will also work for trucks, such as avoiding idling, replacing your fuel filter, getting a tune-up, etc but there are still a few barriers in place for truck owners that keep you from getting the most bang for your buck.
The biggest concern for you as a truck owner should be your tires. When someone asks me “How can I get better gas mileage for my truck?”, this is exactly what I tell them. If you have oversized tires, they’re costing you dearly when it comes to fueling up. Larger tires require more revolutions per minute (RPM) of the engine to turn the tire the same distance. Smaller tires will do WONDERS for your gas mileage, but you don’t have to completely trade in your big tough look. Even small changes make a big difference. Let’s say for instance that you’re traveling down the road with your engine at a steady rpm of 2000. Incidentally, you’re on 40″ super swamper tires. At the same RPM, a 33″ tire is moving you about 20% less in distance per revolution, but it’s doing so at a rate that is about 20% FASTER! The idea here is to go the same speed at a lower RPM, therefore using less gas.
After that, any weight reduction you can do can be beneficial to your fuel economy. Big diamond plate bumpers and huge chrome brush guards might look nice, but they weigh a ton and can only hurt your gas mileage. You should also make sure you’re not always driving around with a lot of heavy items in the bed of the truck, as this obviously weighs down your truck making it less fuel efficient. I know a few people personally that have a huge toolbox in the bed of their truck, half of them keep them empty, and the other half have them full of tools that they NEVER use. You’d be surprised at how much a full toolbox can weigh.
And to put the final nail in the coffin, you can use an HHO Conversion kit. These work by generating a combustible gas to supplement your fuel using only water and the electricity from your truck’s battery. Improvements can be anywhere from 5-40% depending on your particular engine. These work equally well for diesel trucks as they do for gasoline trucks or cars and you can implement the same process on any other cars you own.