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ways to get better gas mileage with my p-up truck(11 posts)

ways to get better gas mileage with my p-up truckGall
Feb 13, 2003 1:41 PM
Hello again,

I get terrible MPG with my v6 toyota tacoma. I was wondering if any of you know of ways to improve the MPG. IE caps on the bed or one of those extender cages.... etc

in advance thanks for you advice
Bike More :-P (nm)wookieontherun
Feb 13, 2003 2:09 PM
re: ways to get better gas mileage with my p-up truckAlpedhuez55
Feb 13, 2003 6:06 PM
I have heard the nets instead of the tail gate can help. Also leaving it open if the back is empty.

Good Luck!!!
Mike Y.
Leave the tailgate on and upmohair_chair
Feb 14, 2003 7:03 AM
I copied this from

"...they actually performed drag tests on pickups with the tailgate both up and down, and found that drag was actually LOWER with the tailgate CLOSED! This ran counter to their intuition (and yours). The reason is that a closed tailgate sets up a large "bubble" of stagnant air that slowly circulates around the bed of the truck (we aero types call this a "separated bubble"). When air approaches the truck, it "sees" the bubble as part of the truck. So to the air, the truck looks like it has a nice, flat covering over the bed, and the air doesn't "slam" into the vertical tailgate. If the tailgate is open, or replaced by one of those "air gate" nets, however, that nice, separate bubble in the truck bed does not form (it "bursts"). Then the air approaching the truck "sees" a truck with a flat bed on the back of a tall cab. This is a very nonaerodynamic shape with a very LARGE drag. So, believe it or not, it's best for gas mileage to keep the tailgate CLOSED. Hope this information is helpful. Ed Fitzgerald, Research Assistant, Dept. of Aero/Mechanical Engineering, U. of Notre Dame"
My observations confirm this...Brooks
Feb 19, 2003 4:57 PM
If you have leaves, or other light, easy to fly-out stuff, in the bed of the truck it generally stays there. Moves up behind the cab, but only rarely does it fly out. I have a split window from the cab to the bed and nothing flies in the cab until I also open a side window. Then the bubble breaks and all kinds of sh*t flies into the cab. The bubble seems to create laminar flow and with the tailgate down or off, much more turbulent flow. My two cents, but I'm not an Engineer and I don't play one on TV ;-)

Also, Ford promised the Hybrid Escape for early 2003 then backed out. The 40mpg will not be for highway, but for city, stop-and-go driving (using the electric motor). Highway miles will be all gas engine and mid-to-upper 20's mpg.
suck wheel! Yaaaa.,,,,nmNo tailgaiting!mnmnmnmnmn128
Feb 14, 2003 1:44 AM
Get a Fordtarwheel
Feb 14, 2003 6:24 AM
My Ranger (which I bought to replace a Toyota pickup) gets about 21 mpg in town and 26 on hwy. It's a 4-cylinder, though, with 5 speed manual transmission. The new Ford Escape SUV gets 21/26 with the V-6 and auto trans, 23/27 with 4-cyl and 5 speed. Ford is coming out with a hybrid gas/electric Escape later this year that is supposed to get about 40 mpg hwy.

Seriously, without selling your Toyota, the best way to improve gas mileage is to watch your driving style -- that is, ease up on the acceleration and watch your speed cruising. With Fords, you supposedly can buy different computer chips that can improve gas mileage and/or performance (take your choice). I'm not sure if they work, but I know you can buy them -- although it probably would void your warranty. I have heard (from Click and Clack, the public radio car guys) that leaving your tailgate open or using a mesh gate does NOT help gas mileage because it interferes with the air flow over the truck. Supposedly, the air over the truck bed circulates and acts almost like a part of the body. Dropping the gate causes more turbulence. I have checked my mileage with the gate up and down on long highway trips and found no advantage one way or the other.
Tarwheel's right...except about that Ford part.cory
Feb 14, 2003 9:00 AM
I've been an automotive journalist for years, long enough that I did stories on this in the FIRST Arab oil embargo in the '70s, telling people how to boost their 427 Impalas from 12.5 to 13.2mpg. Tarwheel's pretty much covered it.
You're not going to improve the mileage of that Toyota very much--you can't fiddle the engine the way you could 30 years ago, and it's already running about as efficiently as it can right from the factory. Things like exhaust headers and computer chips may (or may not; depends on how good the stock stuff is) help a bit, but probably not enough to justify the cost (they can help PERFORMANCE, if that's your goal, but I doubt you can justify them economically for mileage).
Personally, my Isuzu gets better mileage with the tailgate closed than open, and I was surprised that a camper shell (light and level with the top of the cab) didn't make any measureable difference. I expected it to help on the highway. Inflate your tires to the max recommended pressure, don't carry 600 pounds of tools in the back unless you're going to use them and keep your foot out of it. That will pay off more quickly than anything.
re: ways to get better gas mileage with my p-up truckjrm
Feb 14, 2003 10:08 AM
Check The mods are things you can do yourself. They dont void anything lke warrenties. Not only will mileage improve but perfromance deos too.
Draft 18-wheelers,Alexx
Feb 15, 2003 12:23 PM
and go down hills in "Georgia overdrive"!!
#1 source of improvementDougSloan
Feb 17, 2003 7:45 AM
Don't put your foot down as far! Lead foot driving drastically alters mileage. If you must, literally put a block of wood under the gas pedal.

I have one of those fuel mileage computers in my car, and it shows instantaneous and average mileage. Driving light-footed can improve mileage about 5 mpg. It's amazing.