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countryboy91 03-01-2010 05:45 AM

Big tank looking to save gas
Hey y'all, I got a 1994 Chevy Suburban weighing in at 6500lbs. It has a 350 V8 5.7L engine, and a stock 4spd. .70 4th gear O/D transmission. 3.42 differential gears (looking for 4.10). I live in the mountains/hills of PA. currently im getting 10 city and 15 highway roughly.

imzjustplayin 03-01-2010 06:31 AM

Sounds like you're getting exactly as you should... Those vehicles aren't exactly fuel efficient. With the money saved, why don't you just buy another vehicle and use that as the commuter? As for fuel saving ideas, the only thing that I've found unequivocally improves mileage is to air up the tires. I think airing up the tires on an SUV to sidewall pressure has a far more profound effect than on a car, but that's just my experience.

With that said, drive with extra caution as handling characteristics may change and in the case of my truck, I believe I found it to be a bit more tipsy than before but then again, at the speed I was taking some turns, if I did crash I'd most certainly be my fault. It became a non issue when I toned down how fast I was going around certain corners. As for other ideas to improve mileage, check around the site a bit more or go to ecomodder.org and you'll find a laundry list of ideas to improve your mileage like increasing intake temperature, grill block, etc.. Anyhow, the suburban is so heavy and inefficient that it's pretty much a lost cause. Remind me why you can't make do with a car?

countryboy91 03-01-2010 10:05 AM

well ive considered buying a second vehicle, but at the time I just cant afford two vehicles (insurance, maintenance, etc) maybe after college... anyway, I live on a farm, and do heavy towing and hauling. show me a prius that can tow a 30 foot travel trailer. and I also do landscaping and general handyman jobs. so i need a large amount of cargo area to carry my tools. id love a hybrid ford or something, but its just not practical. and Ive thought about vans, but the vans that will give me the power I need wont give me more than just a 1 or 2 mpg gain. and i wont have the amenities of my suburban

theholycow 03-01-2010 11:46 AM

Yeah, sometimes a dedicated FE car doesn't pay for itself. Some people just need a truck to do their work reasonably.

imzjustplayin 03-01-2010 04:15 PM

I can understand the OP wanting a vehicle that can tow, but the question is, is that ALL the OP is doing? If 90% of what you're spending your time in the truck is towing, then you're pretty much SOL. But if you spend maybe 30% of the time (which is still quite a bit) doing such things, then you'd be best served with a car for the 70% of tasks you do and the 30% can be for the truck. You'd be surprised at the number of things a Corolla can carry in it so unless you're carrying something like a lawn mower, you could still fit that stuff into a Corolla, so long as it has fold down seats. Maybe you could take a snap shot of all the tools you'll need (not want) for a given job.. I mean I know you're probably carrying all the tools you could possibly need but a lot of the time, people carry more than they need just for the sake of convenience and since that suburban has quite a bit of room in the back, I wouldn't be surprised at that fact.

countryboy91 03-01-2010 04:20 PM

buying a second car is not an option right now. I cant afford two vehicles. insurance, gas, inspection, etc. I just want to know what I can do with my current beast

imzjustplayin 03-01-2010 04:23 PM


Originally Posted by countryboy91 (Post 148355)
buying a second car is not an option right now. I cant afford two vehicles. insurance, gas, inspection, etc. I just want to know what I can do with my current beast

Well I already told you, what has been said has been said over a thousand times, no point in making a thread about it.


None of these are the "miracle" you're looking for but may be enough to make you happy enough with the mileage you get.. Nobody really hypermiles a suburban on this forum so don't expect to see any crazy suburban modifications that boost mileage.

theholycow 03-01-2010 04:43 PM

20.6% above EPA in a Sierra full size pickup, which is a Suburban with a little extra length and no rear roof/windows...and I'm barely even trying anymore. I got 30% back when I was making an effort.

imzjustplayin 03-01-2010 05:07 PM

Well if he is towing as much as he says he is, it's not likely that he'll be able to make the gains that you've managed to make. But if he isn't towing all that often with the vehicle, then he should go with another vehicle but he strongly insists that he doesn't have the money for it. The only thing I can think of for a person that drives a Suburban but isn't towing that often is if they're a professional landscaper that carries a lawn mower, weed whacker, trash bin, etc etc. inside which can and does happen. But if he just brings some trimmers, and a weedwhacker, then he doesn't need a suburban for that. I don't see why the OP doesn't get like a $500-$1500 beater. Plus he'll get a discount for having a multicar insurance policy. Hey OP, do you live at home with your parents?

countryboy91 03-02-2010 04:34 AM

hell yeah id love to get a little 500 5 speed dodge shadow or something, but I can barely pay insurance for the one vehicle. if i buy another, ill have two insurance policies, two yearly inspections/emissions, two vehicles to maintain, and ill have to find space in the driveway for the second one. It would be great, but its not just a 500 dollar car, pay the 500 and done. yeah I live at home. what wrong with that. I commute to college. its only 20 miles away. so either pay 6 grand a semester for a dorm, 400 a month for an apartment, or live here with free room and board and free food. cant beat that. after college Ill have some money saved for my own place. but until then, im trying to save every penny I can. And I never said I frequently tow. but when I do, its heavy loads. plus the winters here are ridiculous and the township doesnt know what a snowplow is. so unless you got 4WD or AWD, youre screwed til someone with a private plow decides to run down the road.

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