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Old 08-10-2009, 07:02 AM   #1
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What can I do?

I recently have found my self wanting to save gas, but I dont know where to start. Can you all help me. My current daily driver uses more gas than I think I should what can I do to change it. It is a 2003 F150 with the 5.4L V8 4x4.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:12 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

If you'd like to change to a more efficient vehicle, of course that will accomplish your goal. It sounds like you do want that.

If you don't, that doesn't mean you can't at least do better with the vehicle you have. What kind of driving do you do, what kind of roads and traffic conditions do you deal with?
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:15 AM   #3
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I recommend looking at Mine, and Holy Cow's garage entries. Look at my "Beast" and HC's "Bessy" for ideas.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:19 AM   #4
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My truck is paid off, so I really don't want to buy a new car. I have a corvette that gets awesome mileage, but I try to keep the miles off of it. My daily commute is about 6 miles of highway and a couple of city. My truck seems to average about 14-15 mpg.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:23 AM   #5
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Also, make a garage entry for your truck, and log your fillups so you can see if your attempts to raise your mileage pay off.

-Jay
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:26 AM   #6
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Oh, and the revised EPA estimates for your truck are 12 City / 16 Highway / 14 Combined.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:19 AM   #7
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That's a tough challenge for sure.

Aerodynamics are such an abomination that they'd hardly be worth trying to modify. If you do a serious amount of highway driving, I've become a fan of blocking airflow from underneath the vehicle, usually by way of some sort of air dam hanging under the front bumper.

Otherwise, I think your biggest gains will come from driving technique - low RPM, etc. Keep speeds low on the highway - 55MPH will save a lot of fuel compared to 65MPH. Cruise control will help you use less fuel too, especially if you are a gas pedal "stabber".

One of the best ways to save fuel is to watch the way you approach a red light. When you see a red light ahead, hit the brakes *as early as possible* - instead of hitting the brakes at the last minute and having to come to a full stop, if you hit the brakes early you might be able to maintain 15 - 20 MPH as you approach the red light (if you time it well) and it takes much less fuel to re-accelerate to regular speed.

Some other areas with minor gains might be headers (if allowed in your area), or skinnier tires (lower rolling resistance).

Use the lowest octane your truck will allow - perhaps you can use 87 octane for daily driving, but bump up to 89 octane if you tow. (Under heavy load conditions, you will tend to see more engine knock which retards timing)

Of course there are the basics like keeping your engine in a pristine state of tune, and so on.

-Bob C.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobc455 View Post
if you hit the brakes early you might be able to maintain 15 - 20 MPH as you approach the red light (if you time it well) and it takes much less fuel to re-accelerate to regular speed.
You mean, "as you approach the now-green light".

Quote:
Some other areas with minor gains might be headers (if allowed in your area), or skinnier tires (lower rolling resistance).
I disagree about tire width. My research indicates that, counterintuitively, wider tires may provide lower rolling resistance.

Either way, you can certainly experiment with increasing your tire pressure. Never exceed the maximum pressure that is stamped on the tire's sidewall, and never use less than the pressure that is specified for your truck by Ford. The highest pressure in that range that does not adversely affect ride and handling will be the best pressure. (If you eventually notice excessive center wear then you might back the pressure off a little bit.)
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:48 AM   #9
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I've got a big grill guard on the front, does that hurt my mileage any? Wouldnt driving 55 mph really anger the people driving the speed limit of 70 mph,

Here is the grill guard I'm talking about.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:57 AM   #10
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Wouldnt driving 55 mph really anger the people driving the speed limit of 70 mph,
Yeah, safety first! You always have to gauge your driving based on traffic conditions and so on. If you are on a single lane road, I would strongly advise not to go 10 MPH below the speed limit when people are following you...

-Bob C.
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