I just bought the 4Runner and love the car ... except for the mileage. I've never owned a gas guzzler before, so frankly I've never really thought about saving gas. I love the 4Runner, but gas is definitely an issue! So my goal is to (a) bring the mileage up to something bearable/respectable, (b) use the same techniques on the Sienna, and (c) teach my kids how to drive efficiently for someday when they are driving. My son's only 4 years away! I can see it will take awhile to get oriented as to what this high mileage game is all about - I still have barely made a dent in the dense forest of acronyms.
Thanks, all. This is exciting, and I appreciate the helpful folks here on the forum. I especially like the quote I saw somewhere, we're trying to help people do the best they can do with what they have.
I have gotten two fill-ups so far: one was more highway driving, where I got 18.2, and the other more city-ish, where I got 14.4. The 18.2 I think was pretty good, being above the EPA for highway (17). I was doing some techniques that I vaguely remembered from reading some car magazine years ago - cruise control, gentle pullouts. I am looking forward to learning lots more from you fine folks.
I like the GameBoy idea but that makes me wonder about that ScanGuage. The idea of constantly-flashing numbers that you are looking at seems, well, a little unsafe. Not that I'm never distracted - the nav system is plenty distracting. In fact, that's what I'm concerned about: I can see myself being mesmerized by the numbers.
Also, is there a place that tells you how to use the ScanGuage to improve your gas mileage? Also, my car has an MPG display on the dashboard but it is, well, strange. It reacts veeeerrrrrrryyyyyy slllllloooooowwwwwwly ... perhaps changing once a minute or more, and if then only like 0.1 MPG at a time. When I bought it, it was showing 3 MPG (the salesman said it was because it was idling, which seemed reasonable at the time) and it has slowly crept up to showing 14.4 right now. Does anybody have a feel for whether this is a symptom of simply a problem in the display itself, or if the data it's reading is actually updating that slowly. I assume that display reads the same harness as the ScanGuage does; so if it's a data problem, it seems to me like the ScanGauge would be useless.
Thanks again for all your support and friendliness. I really appreciate it.
Gary, glad to have you here. Only bigger fools consider Christians 'fools'. I commend you and your family for your beliefs.
ScanGauge has instant mpg readout. And I mean instant. When you see your mpg instantly drop by 20-30 mpg when you tromp the gas pedal, it will wake you up forever. Even slight changes in gas pedal pressure produce terrific mpg changes. SG will make a much better driver of you as it has for me and many, many others.
SG also has a slower reacting readout when using in 'current trip' mode. That is because your readout is a cumulative mpg for your entire current trip. This may be similar to what you have in your current trip meter.
You need to have garage entries and gaslogs for both your vehicles. It helps other members know more to try and help. Be sure and state if your vehicles are automatic or manual transmissions. A general geographical location and driving conditions would also be helpful.
You will learn as you go along just as the rest of us have.
Also, my car has an MPG display on the dashboard but it is, well, strange. It reacts veeeerrrrrrryyyyyy slllllloooooowwwwwwly ... perhaps changing once a minute or more, and if then only like 0.1 MPG at a time.
It sounds like it is showing the mpg for that tank of gas, or some kind of long term average like that. Sometimes those are part of a multi-function display that displays a few different numbers like instantaneous mpg, trip mpg, miles so far on the tank, miles until empty, etc. If yours is like that, find the little button that cycles through the numbers and set it to the instantaneous mpg setting.
Does that 4Runner have an electric or mechanical fan? Switching to an electric is good for 2-3MPG right off the bat, and Chevy trucks are putting electric fans on from the factory so they are fine for towing. Ford Taurus fans are popular V8 fans and should do well for your V6. A DC control unit, model FC-35 (I think that's the one) is the best controller available, cheapest would be a simple thermal switch that screws into the side of the block. Use a relay either way.
What tires does it have? Most 4-Runners I've seen have aggressive tires, going to a street tire will help as well.
Headers and a free flowing exhaust normally boost power, and long tube headers will boost low end torque. If you are making more power from the fuel, and need a specific amount of power to maintain a specific speed, then it should take less fuel to maintain that speed.