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Miscellaneous Truck Questions

ruzruz Posts: 59
A place for asking questions and getting answers related to trucks. No
question too small, no idea too big!


  • ruzruz Posts: 59
    So I started this topic because I had a question:

    I always heard (usually from my #1 truck expert, my dad) that a pickup gets better highway gas mileage with the tailgate down or with some sort of cargo net back there. Intuitively, this made sense -- the air would come over the cab, swoop down into the bed, and then flow out over the bumper, with no tailgate to impede it.

    Now, my #1 truck expert has heard (from his #1 truck experts, Click & Clack) that a truck actually gets better mileage with its tailgate up! Supposedly, air stays in the bed, causing a separated ar bubble that allows air to flow over the cab, never drop down into the bed at all, and flow smoothly over the tailgate.

    This thoery makes sense to me too, which is why I turn to the collected wisdom of the Pickups conference for a definitive answer.

  • I will be interested too, to see if someone can prove or disprove either of those theories.

    My guess is that someone will eventually state that the best mileage can be obtained with a pickup that has a tonneau cover!

    In either event, I don't imagine the difference is going to be all that great, but it will still be interesting to find out if anyone out there has actually done any scientific test to support any of those theories.

    Ladies, and gents, the floor is open!
  • NancieNancie Posts: 13
    What's a tonneau cover?
  • I have a pickup that I installed a tonneau cover on after 6 weeks of ownership. It actually increased my fuel mileage by 1-2 mpg. An investment ranging in price up front, put can be justified over time with fuel savings. I paid $200 US for a vinyl cover with a aluminum skeleton which mounts to the truck with scratching the paint.
  • Sorry, sorry, sorry! That was supposed to be "without scratching the paint". Wouldn't be to good if it scratches paint!
  • Nancie,

    Sorry for the vague reference. A tonneau cover is a one-piece cover, usually made of vinyl, that covers the entire back section of a pickup.

    It's principal purpose is to keep debris out of the back of the pickup and to prevent the contents of the pickup's bed from flying out during highway speeds.

    It also is a bit of (but not meant to be a) security device since no one can see what you are carrying.

    It's also a styling "thing." It makes your truck look sleek and hip while, in reality, you have 6 weeks of laundry and 10 bags of garbage in the back! ;-)

    I hope this clarifies the mystery. Oh, by the way... it's pronounced
    "Ton-oh" Cover.
  • ruzruz Posts: 59
    Well, I drove from San Francisco to San Diego a few weeks ago with my tailgate down, and made the eturn trip with my tailgate up, and gained about 3 mpg.

    Of course, there are so many other variables at work here (wind, gasoline type, speed of traffic, etc etc) that I hesitate to say it actually made a difference, but it's definitely empirical evidence.

    One of those tonneau covers would be cool, except that I have a toolbox that would get in the way...
  • Does anyone out there work at a garage that could give me an honest opinion on how the big three trucks compare to each other? I guess I'm looking at the long term comparisons, i.e., which trucks transmissions last longest, which truck requires more overhauls, which truck's drive train lasts the longest, etc.

    Right now, I am very impressed with the new Dodge Ram's styling and its diesel engine, but don't have much information on the "meat" of the truck and how it compares to the others. The only information I have is very biased opinions I get from die hard Chevy, Ford, or Dodge owners.
  • I hope someone will respond to your question that is more qualified than I. I don't work at a garage, but it seems I spend lots of time there and I know a good many folks that do.

    All you'll get from truck owners, generally speaking, is their biased view based on either their brand-name loyalty or their frustration with a product that has let them down.

    However, Dodge Ram has gotten consistantly high ratings in all the reviews I've read... and the diesel engine is one of the best ones on the market.

    Long-term stats aren't really available since the new version of the truck is only a few years old. However, I recall reading that the dependability rating thus far has been above average.

    If I can get more info, I'll get back to you. In the meantime, I hope someone with more direct experience with the Dodge RAM will step up and give us their views.
  • jerryjerry Posts: 1
    What can be done about Dakota front brakes? They have to be replaced before 30,000 miles. More than 4 owners have related bad luck with them. It is not just the Dakota's either. I's Ram's as well.
  • Hmmm... that's a new one on me. Has anyone else come across this that can offer a solution?

    If it's a common problem, I would imagine Dodge would come up with a fix for it and, hopefully, make it standard on new-built products and make it available as a retro-fit to existing units. However, unless it's covered by warranty, don't look for it to be free.

    This brings up an interesting point, however. A couple of tips on info available here...

    Warranty Gold is a service that can help you to extend the warranty on your vehicle to cover it above and beyond that which you can get from your dealer. And...

    Consumer Advice & Links section has a number of interesting links for you to follow.

    Be sure to check them out while you're here!
  • MikeMike Posts: 13
    I'm trying to decide between the Dodge Dakota 4WD and the Toyota Sonoma 4WD. Going to use it more for camping and hunting than for hauling. I'll also be doing some towing with it. I expect to keep it a long time. I'd like some comparative input on the pros and cons of each vehicle. Also like some suggestions on useful options or worthless ones as this will be my first truck or off-road vehicle. Thank in advance.
  • We've got just about all the info you need right here on this site, Mike. All you need to do is learn how to navigate the site to find it. It's simple really. I'll provide the links you need to get the Dodge info, but I'm gonna make you work a bit to get the equivilant info in the Toyota. In doing so, you should have all the info you need to make your decision... and will have learned more about how useful this site can be for you.

    First of all, to get the info for the Dodge Dakota, I'd need to know more about what you want. Extended cab, regular cab etc. Since I don't have that info, I went with the standard cab. Click on the following links to get info about the Dakota 4x4. Then, click on this link to get the Pros & Cons, and Review.

    Now, to get the equivilant info on the Toyota, all you have to do is scroll up to the top of this page, and in the upper right hand corner, click on "New Trucks." When you get to THAT page, click on the word TOYOTA in the chart. That takes you to the list of new Toyota truck models. There's lots of 'em, so scroll down to the one that describes what you're looking for (Tacoma, 4x4, cab size etc.). That will take you to a page where you can get all the info you want.

    Good luck!

    Anyone have any suggestions on what options Mike should get?

    I'd say get Air Conditioning for sure.

    I wouldn't pay a lot for their stereo... take the same amount of money and go to an auto stereo specialist and they can get you a far better system for the same money Toyota would charge you for their run-of-the-mill standard unit.

    Mud flaps would be a good idea, as would be a protective "brush guard" and a winch if you'll be in the woods hunting.

    Keep in mind that you don't have to pay exorbitant Dealer prices for these items. Check out their prices, then compare that to your local Auto specialist shops, or even JC Whitney. Click on that link to order a free catalog.

    Good luck!
  • Dear Sir,
    I am looking for importing 10 second hand Mercedes Benz truck engines C&F Dubai.

    The sizes are: 10Tons power per engine

    Please quote your best price

  • jemanjeman Posts: 2
    Does anyone know why GMC, Chevy and Ford don't make a 2500 long bed with an extended cab and 3rd door? At present, Dodge Ram is the only one available.
  • zapzap Posts: 1
    Anyone out there own a Toyota T100 X-cab?

    Am looking at a '96SR5 2wd and would like to see what an owner has to say. I have owned Dakotas and full sized Chevy. Looks like Edmunds gives it a thumbs up for reliability.
  • Sorry, Shyhaki, but I think you misunderstand... we don't sell engines here. This is a site that has information about complete vehicles, and links to other auto-related sites, including those that can help you purchase vehicles.

    I am not aware of who you would contact to import Mercedes engines. The only place I can think of would be Mercedes directly. You can also do a search on the internet to find sources.

    I did a quick search using the search engine "Hot Bot" and I came up with these two links:
    Mercedes Imports and

    Perhaps they can help you locate what you seek.

    If anyone else out there knows who Shyhaki could contact to purchase these engines, please feel free to post that info here.

    Good luck!
  • Zap,

    I hope some owners will come forward, but keep in mind this site just opened. It may take a little while for a Toyota owner to come into this discussion. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

    In the meantime, I know a woman who owns a '95 (as opposed to a '96) Toyota. I believe it's the same model, but I can't verify it. But I do know that she's had absolutely no problems with it. And she has close to 80,000 mile on it. She changes her own oil, but that's about it.

    Anyone else?
  • Jeman,

    With the success of the Ram truck, look for Ford and Chevy to eventually come out with something to compete with it. They won't want any segment of the market to be owned by Dodge alone...
This discussion has been closed.