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View Full Version : My MPG's are killing me!


pattytastik
09-22-2011, 11:58 AM
So I recently bought my first vehicle, a 2002 Dodge Dakota Sport. According to the internet (not just Dodge) I am supposed to get around 15 city and 18 Highway. I have calculated the MPG's and I am getting 9 city! I drive 95% city so this is kinda rough for such a small truck. F350's are supposed to get this or even better!
Any ideas why it's so low? And no, I do not speed or accelerate hard.

Edit: Oh and this is without weight in the truck. (no trailers or anything)

ReddensLawnCare
09-22-2011, 12:06 PM
Check tire pressure, get a tune up, change fluids and filters...go from there

BINKY1902
09-22-2011, 12:11 PM
What engine does it have? I'm guessing it has the 318, and yes they drink some gas. It shouldn't be getting that bad though, so being a 2002 it's probably time to do a really good tuneup if it hasn't been done in a while. Start by checking the air filter, spark plugs to see if they need cleaned, gapped, or changed. Also the distributor cap and rotor is a general tuneup item you'll want to check or replace. Fuel filter would be something you will want to check out too. This would help, if it hasn't been tuned up already, but the bad news is that the Dodge probably isn't going to get a whole lot better on gas. I've owned several Dakotas through the years, and none of them came close to the fuel usage listed on the sticker. My 4 cyl Dakota didn't even get 20mpg highway, more like 15 city, 18 highway.

pattytastik
09-22-2011, 12:19 PM
What engine does it have? I'm guessing it has the 318, and yes they drink some gas. It shouldn't be getting that bad though, so being a 2002 it's probably time to do a really good tuneup if it hasn't been done in a while. Start by checking the air filter, spark plugs to see if they need cleaned, gapped, or changed. Also the distributor cap and rotor is a general tuneup item you'll want to check or replace. Fuel filter would be something you will want to check out too. This would help, if it hasn't been tuned up already, but the bad news is that the Dodge probably isn't going to get a whole lot better on gas. I've owned several Dakotas through the years, and none of them came close to the fuel usage listed on the sticker. My 4 cyl Dakota didn't even get 20mpg highway, more like 15 city, 18 highway.

I don't think it has a 318, it is a 4.7 v8. I think I will take it in for a tuneup. Any idea how much this might cost?

BINKY1902
09-22-2011, 12:34 PM
If you have an Autozone nearby and some handtools, you could go pick up a Haynes repair manual for your truck and save some cash by doing it yourself. A mechanic is going to be pretty expensive I would imagine, most of them here are at $75/hr labor rates.

Glenn Lawn Care
09-22-2011, 02:00 PM
If you were to bring it in somewhere to have work down it will prolly cost you somewhere between $350 to $450 depending on where you bring it.

That being said... I would do it myself, it's pretty easy, just make sure you know where all the spark plug wires go. I would change the oil, air filter and fuel filter, spark plugs and wire and cap and rotor. This will prolly help for the most part but trucks then weren't know for gas mileage!

205mx
09-22-2011, 02:10 PM
i had a 2001. same truck. tried everything. sold it. got an f150 19mpg

pattytastik
09-22-2011, 02:12 PM
what were you getting with the dakota? What year of an f150 is it?

BINKY1902
09-22-2011, 04:26 PM
I had a Mitsubishi Raider/Dodge Dakota with the 3.7 V6, which is basically a 4.7 V8 with two cylinders lopped off. It was 4x4 as well. The best I ever got on the highway was 16-17mpg, the best I ever got in town was around 13-14 mpg.

pattytastik
09-22-2011, 04:49 PM
I had a Mitsubishi Raider/Dodge Dakota with the 3.7 V6, which is basically a 4.7 V8 with two cylinders lopped off. It was 4x4 as well. The best I ever got on the highway was 16-17mpg, the best I ever got in town was around 13-14 mpg.

If I could get 12-14 City, I would be thrilled (relativity speaking). 8 is kinda rough though..

AI Inc
09-22-2011, 04:53 PM
Damn , I get 16.4 out of my f -350 oil burner.

Robert Pruitt
09-22-2011, 06:55 PM
Do you know what size of gears it has? it maybe on a placker on the glovebox door.

Kelly's Landscaping
09-22-2011, 07:12 PM
Took a trip to New Hampshire about 3 weeks back racked up about 550 miles round trip and averaged 17.2 miles per gallon. Might not sound that great but when you consider its a Ram 4500 and weights about 9200 pounds empty I'm pretty pleased with that number.

siclmn
09-22-2011, 08:00 PM
I had a 318 in a striper Dodge truck a while back, it got 11 in town.
I hated the truck because I have always had Silverado's and Sierra's with 454's so I got rid of it and went back to a 454 truck. They get 8 mpg but it's a much nicer truck.

205mx
09-22-2011, 08:23 PM
what were you getting with the dakota? What year of an f150 is it?

like 11 mpg. 2002 F150 gets 19-22. stick shift.

jkingrph
09-22-2011, 09:40 PM
I get almost double that in my '03 F250 diesel, 4x4 long bed crew cab with camper top, and auto.

93Chevy
09-22-2011, 09:48 PM
Big whoop. If gas is killing you that badly, then you need to work on making more money. Sorry to sound tough...but fuel should never be a big concern. Sure, you dont' want to throw money away and save where you can, but if something that insignificant is hurting you, then you need to change something.

That being said...do what others have said...check tire pressure, get a tune up (new plugs, wires, maybe rotor and coil, etc), new air and fuel filters, octane booster (lucas), and open up the airflow where you can....exhaust, intake, etc.

With my air filter cover off, my dual exhaust 350 Chevy 4 speed auto can get 13-14 highway with hi-test and lucas fuel additive and clean oil compared to 9-10 around town.

flatlander42
09-22-2011, 10:19 PM
my e-450 gets about 11.5 with about 70% in town driving, loaded for work.

I have never heard of a GAS dodge getting good mpg's.

knox gsl
09-22-2011, 10:38 PM
I've got the same engine in my jeep. The tune up is easy. No plug wires, coil packs. Change plugs, air fliter and fuel filter. I'm getting 14mpg in my 4x4 grand with 212k miles and A/T tires.
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mowerbrad
09-22-2011, 10:47 PM
Some of the stuff you can easily do yourself at home. Checking your tire pressure is easy and can make a difference in your mileage. Inflate your tires to the proper PSI if they are not correct. Also, you can get an air filter from a local auto parts store (autozone, advance auto, etc) and install it yourself. The store can look up the filter you need too...if you can change an air filter on a lawn mower you can change one on a truck.

If you don't feel like changing the fluids yourself take it to the dealer or your mechanic. The local Chevy dealer in my town has pretty good prices for their maintenance type services. I can get my truck's oil changed and the tires rotated for $30 (not a bad deal for me since I don't need to do it then). So you can always do that.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is having an alignment check done on your truck. You'll have to have the dealer/mechanic do that though.

93Chevy
09-22-2011, 11:03 PM
Another thing is to check some of your sensors and computer components.

Ridin' Green
09-23-2011, 12:49 AM
I didn't see this asked anywhere here, so- What size tires does it have? I mean, are they stock, or has someone (or you) put slightly, to moderately larger tires on it?

That alone will make your mileage readings false for a couple reasons, and can make it appear to be less than it is. A larger tire rotates less revolutions to go the same distance as the stock tire. At the same time, it decreases you final drive ratio (say from 3.55:1, to something lower numerically like 3.07:1), which makes the engine work harder to get the truck rolling and keep it rolling. (At very high highway speeds of say 70 mph or more, the lower ratio acts like an overdrive and can actually improve your mileage, but around town, it's just the opposite). If your new truck has larger than stock tires, either have a ring and pinion shop figure out what ring gear you now have, and what size is needed to bring your truck back to factory specs with your current tires, or get new tires in the size that came on your truck. The other thing that you can do is invest in a computer programmer for your truck. Most of them have setting adjustments that will compensate for larger tires, and allow you to re-program your speedometer/odometer to give the correct speed and mileage readings, and can also improve the performance of your engine noticeably.

McG_Landscaping
09-23-2011, 08:08 AM
Getting terrible mileage is all part of the job. My 250 only gets 8-9 MPG but all I use it for now is work. When I was driving it highway I was almost at 11. If you find a magical solution to increase mileage please let me know!

Nick's Lawn Care
09-23-2011, 08:17 AM
My diesel dump truck (2000 F-450) weighs 11400 lbs. and it gets 9.8 MPG City. Thats with towing a small dump trailer with a mini skid steer in the back.

tlc1994
09-23-2011, 09:35 AM
I disagree with whoever said fuel isn`t a significant operating cost. It is. Still, he was right that it shouldn`t put you outta business. I`m not sure how bad it really is for you fiscally, but if worst comes to worst you may want to consider charging a fuel surcharge.
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AI Inc
09-23-2011, 02:28 PM
I disagree with whoever said fuel isn`t a significant operating cost. It is. Still, he was right that it shouldn`t put you outta business. I`m not sure how bad it really is for you fiscally, but if worst comes to worst you may want to consider charging a fuel surcharge.
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screw that, just raise ya prices. People expect a surcharge to disapear when and if fuel costs go down.

fobaum
09-24-2011, 09:04 AM
I'm only getting 8.5 w/ 4 cyl. diesel dump Isuzu towing 16.5'x8' trailer two mowers lot of equitment.

ironmantk
11-06-2011, 11:14 PM
I got at the worst 12.9 with my 2006 Toyota Tacoma 2.7 4 cyl. Thats pulling 3000# trailer in city! I'd say it did get better after 10k mile it did about 13.5 at its worst; traded it for a Tundra and get 10-11 same driving!

wecutlawns
11-06-2011, 11:36 PM
I get 15 mpg pulling a 8 foot trailer and a ztr setup. nothing fancy . I could not see getting any less
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ernieknows
11-07-2011, 07:54 PM
the read is interesting. Your truck does not have a cap nor rotor to change. Air filter, oil change, new spark plugs and wires should be be good IF your truck has been maintained. Tire air pressure and wheel alignment are concerns.

unkownfl
11-09-2011, 08:51 PM
Does your CEL work as in if you turn the truck to the run position does it light up and then turn off?

lawnboy dan
11-10-2011, 07:30 AM
my 12.5 towing using ac dosnt seem so bad now