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Dodge Ram Real World MPG Numbers

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  • I got an 02 ram 1500 regular cab 2wd w/3.7 v6 and new 17 inch 245's I have a hard tonneau cover and I haul my mason tools, a gas chop saw, 3 1/2 inch grinder and sometimes a couple bags of cement, brick, block or stone. I've always got something in the back of the truck. In the summer the ac is always on. I get exactly what the sticker said on the window.....13-17 mpg. I drive with a heavy foot, but throughout a tank of fuel I can expect about 15mpg avg. If I take it easy I can get way better mileage, but I don't! ;)
  • liny3liny3 Posts: 7
    i am looking at 03 quad cab 4.7 1500 currently driving 02 blazer w/4.3 v6 the average mpg is 15.5 for the blazer that is hway/local driving. wich way could iI expect to see those numbers go with the 1500?
  • byrd2byrd2 Posts: 9
    I own a 2008 Ram 1500 with the MDS 5.7L HEMI. And on the HWY I get on average 12-14 miles to the gallon at 75 miles an hour. Not that I drive heavy footed. But if I drop it down to 55 to 60 miles per hour, I can get almost 19 miles per gallon. I don't know what it gets in the city, but it does pretty good for it's size.

    I also owned a 2002 RAM 1500 QUAD CAB 4.7L V-8 with a hard cover on back, synthetic oil, and the K & N air filter. On the HWY I could average 24 miles to the gallon at 55 to 60 miles per hour. I averaged 14 miles to the gallon in the mountains, pulling a small trailer doing 75. Not bad for the size of pick up and the engine worked great. Only problem was, my rear end went out at 40K miles. Lucky for me, it was covered under my extended warranty. That 4.7L engine is comparable to the old 318, and is easy to work on.

    Mike
  • liny3liny3 Posts: 7
    Thanks Mike for the reply, that was what I was hoping to hear.i wonder if there is anything you can do to prevent the rear from going.I work with a guy who has a 2007 quad cab w/ 5.7 hemi and he just had the rear go on him. But he has a lease and he is hard on the truck ....very hard!
  • I also have a 2003 Dodge Ram with the 3.7 in it, plus I have a 5-speed transmission. My truck is the 4-door with aftermarket 20 inch rims. The most miles I can get per tank is about 320 around town, but that is when the gas light comes on and it has a few gallons left. On the freeway I can get maybe 380 if I am lucky. I think that works out to be around 14-15 around town and about 17 on the freeway. I always have work stuff in the back of the truck also. But, for how big the truck is, I guess that is not to bad. I might be wrong, but I have noticed also that when I put Chevron gas in it with the techron, it runs smoother and it gets a little better gas mileage. And no, I do not work for Chevron.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I have a very good friend that has a '06 RAM 4x4 Quad Cab with the 4.7 and he averages about 15.5 in daily driving. That's with a short, five mile run to work and back. Another acquaintance says he gets a steady 18 MPG on the highway with his.

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • liny3liny3 Posts: 7
    just purchased a 2003 1500 quad cab 4.7 been driving it about a week and think i am only averaging 11.5 mpg the is no modifications on the truck. is a cold air intake going to help should i try 89 octane gas ???? any ideas ????/
  • 11.5 mpg is pretty sorry unless you are driving pedal to the metal in town there Hoss. The 2003 also does not have the MDS (started in 2006) so that may have something to do with it too. Take it easy and see what happens.

    Ski in Austin
  • liny3liny3 Posts: 7
    i am driving this truck pretty easy,i really have to give a few weeks to see the real numbers. what about replacing the fan and clutch fan with an electric fan?? and i think using better gas may help i would be happy if i can avg 14/15 combined mpg
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Just to clarify, the 4.7 motors never got MDS. That was only available on the Hemi.

    Since it sounds like you just got this vehicle used, I suggest performing a full tune-up: spark plugs, air filter, clean the throttle body, replace the PCV valve, oil change and new oil filter. I would strongly recommend a transmission maintenance, too, if this vehicle has over 50,000 miles on it. Your's has the 545RFE fully adaptive tranny. All it needs is a new set of filters and replenish the fluid with ATF+4. There are no bands to adjust on this fully electronic unit.

    I've found tire pressure contributes a lot to good mileage and in some cases front end alignment. There's been a number of computer updates to the 2003, both for engine and transmission and you might find this will help.

    Overall, however, driving style is the biggest contributor to gas mileage. Gentle launches, gradual increases in speed, lower speeds, and gradual stops make for a often large difference in fuel consumption.

    Good luck and best regards,
    Dusty
  • No, a CAI at best would only give you +1MPG, IF that much. I have read where you could lose MPG because of the computer trying to adjust the fuel to air ratio.
    Your best bet is to go to full synthetics, and look at your tire size. Some are equiped with larger optional tires. Best to go back to the smaller, and skinner tires.
    Also, a tune up is in order. Plus, keep in mind, the smaller the motor and the bigger the the truck the lower the MPG. Sure its a V8, but its underpowered compared to a hemi. It has to rev higher and harder to do the same amount of work.
    If thats a standard you would get better MPG.
  • liny3liny3 Posts: 7
    when you say full synthetics are you talking about motor oil only??. I have to say I am on my 5 tank of fuel and I am only avg. close to 12 mpg. thats both local and highway. I have to think I am in need of a tune up. But I still think there is something not right. I have 17 " tires on the truck 35psi in all of them I think they are 245's. Anyway I love the truck just thought I could avg. about 14-15 mpg.

    thanks for any suggestions
  • You should join dodgeforum.com they have an entire section of people with the same truck and tons of threads regarding MPG.
    Full synthetics, I mean, have all oil, such as front differential, rear differential, transmission (if possible, some dodge transmissions will detonate with anything other than ATF4), and of course motor oil. But going from "Dino" oil, to synthetic could cause some slow leaks.
    Sounds like you have standard sized tires, I'd look at a tune up, and maybe your O2 sensors. There are many other tips and tricks, but you will have better luck at the forum I mentioned than here.
  • Unless you have a 2006 and newer RAM with MDS (Multiple Displacement System), 12 to 13 MPG is all your going to get on average. I have a 2007 RAM HEMI with MDS and I consistantly get 14 to 15 MPG city/highway combined. "But", I drive very lightly too to get this MPG. Your'e supposed to get a 20% increase in MPG with MDS which is about what I get over what you get. The MDS system works as it should.

    Ski in TX
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I think the comment of 12-13 MPG on ALL 2005 RAMs and older is a little overstated. Although I've had people tell me they get "around" 13 average, I've also had people say they get better and worse than that. First, it is dependent on the motor (3.7, 4.7, or 5.7), transmission type, the state of tune and number of miles on the engine.

    A good friend average 15.5 on his 2005 Quad, 4.7 4x4 automatic. Eighteen or better highway. I work with a fellow that has a 2004 Quad, 5.7 automatic and averages 15, and does about 18 on the highway. Others I've talked to, and still others that have commented here, are doing better than 12-13.

    Just like my experience with the 4.7 in my Dakota, I have found that those with higher miles on the engine seem to be reporting higher MPG. Mommy Mopar seems to make her engines real tight. The 20 lb. piston ring pressure is the highest I know of in any current engine series, and way higher than the current trend (about 6 pounds). GMs are spec'd at 2 lbs.

    I believe this is one of the reasons why Dodge trucks have a reputation for poor gas mileage when new, for not burning oil, and not having piston slap issues. This is just the reverse with GM truck motors. This was sort of reinforced just a couple of weeks ago when I talked to a man that had a 2003 5.7 with 170,000 miles on it. He claimed his total average was just over 17.5. He also said that his 5.7 uses not one drop of oil between oil changes (4500 miles). (Listen to a Chevy or GMC motor with 90,000 miles on it!)

    I know a few that have had O2 sensor issues on older 5.7 RAMs and this could explain why some are not as good as others. At the same time, driving style is the predominate influence on MPG. When I had a 2004 RAM 5.7 for a week I did better than 17 in mixed driving with next to none on the highway.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • derbs24derbs24 Posts: 17
    I've owned them all (Ford, Chevy and now Dodge) and the best was the Chevy. As a life-long mechanic, I would also recommend a good tune-up to make sure everything's in top shape. I personally stay away from anything claiming better mileage. I've spent alot of money as a guinea pig over the years and have found nothing increase mileage like the advertising says it does. It does move product for those companies looking to make a buck off of you and I though!!!
    Keep it in great mechanical shape, drive it like your Mom would and that's about as good as it gets.
    My 2007 1500 2X4 w/ MDS get about 14 avg w/ 21,000miles. I was able to get around 17avg on a recent 3,000 mile trip w/ 3 kids, topper and luggage but it varied greatly due to outside temp.
    I drive a 1991 cavalier as a commuter to increase my "Fleet Average". ;)
  • dlb2002dlb2002 Posts: 4
    I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500,360 auto,reg cab,long bed.Bought it new and love what I got.Driveing with a good name gas with stp additive I get between 18 to 20 miles to the gallon and the mileage dose not drop every much when pulling my 30 ft. travel trailer I have plenty of power to spare.Its all in the FOOT all in the FOOT.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    None of my Chevies ever got good gas mileage. My '71 with the 350 V8 was the worst. It's best was 13! The '93 with a 305 never did better than 16.

    My son's '03 Ram 1500 with the non-MDS Hemi averages around 15.5. I have two friends with the Ram 4.7 motors and they usually do a bit better, especially on the road. The 2006 Ram I had for a week did quite well, I thought. I averaged slightly better than 17 in moderate combined driving.

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • stanoskistanoski Posts: 76
    I heard that the new 2009 RAM with MDS has a light that comes on when the MDS is functioning. Can anyone confirm this? If this is the case, Id like to hook up a light somehow on my 2007 RAM with MDS. Can anyone shed any light on how I might be able to hook up such a device??

    Ski in TX
  • i have 90k on it. synthetic blend 10-30w and completely stock everything, new plugs and air filter, cap/rotor and get 12 general hauling, 14 avg combination driving city and hwy and 17 best at 65 on the hwy for trips drops about 1 mpg for every 5mph i go over 65.
  • mek0123mek0123 Posts: 33
    My friend from work just got an '09 Ram Quad Cab. He bought it on a Friday and the following Wednesday, he was heading to Tennessee. He didn't really pay attention to economy during the trip there, but he did pay attention when he filled up in Louisville, KY during his return trip to Michigan. When he arrived back in Detroit, he had the cruise on 95% of the time at 75mph and according to his fuel economy computer, he averaged 21.4mpg. Coincidentally, when he filled up in Louisville, he dte (distance to empty) read 534 miles upon departure. He can't wait to hit the road again and limit his speed to 65mph. He may get 23mpg or close to it. How's that for MDS? He has nothing over the bed of the truck either, and he's got 20" aluminum wheels and the trailer tow package. He also stated that he had his front windows cracked for ventilation, blower set on low and the rear power sliding window was open. Nothing in the bed of the truck and no passengers. I thought it was impressive! My 2001 Grand Caravan ES with a 3.3L engine at 75mph won't get that kind of economy. That 5 speed automatic in the Ram helps too. 70mph he said he's turning 1600 mph which is excellent. (3.55 axle ratio).
  • inuvikinuvik Posts: 131
    I bought this 2007 MegaCab 1500 new and have driven it very conservatively since owning it. I run full synthetic 5w-30 in it and premium fuel. I keep the tires inflated to 70PSI. Well, let's just say that I won't be winning any Eco awards. My average city mileage has been between 8-10MPG and my highway mileage has been between 14-16MPG. I will say that this is a extremely heavy pickup though. Empty, the truck weighs just over 6500lbs with no one in it. It runs great, lots of power, but wow it's one thirsty beast.
  • fueledupfueledup Posts: 64
    I have the exact same truck . I've put just over 25,000 miles on it the past two years. In traffic I try to drive fairly conservatively in traffic and I've averaged between 11 and 12 mpg city rush hour traffic in miami, and between 15-16 mpg driving hwy miami to atlanta. Note my rear end ratio is 3.73. Beyond the mpg I absolutely love the truck. There is no other truck on this planet with the rear cabin space and reclining back seat and storage behind seat.
  • stanoskistanoski Posts: 76
    I might have missed part of the conversation but from what I understand, ALL HEMI 5.7 engines made for the 2007 truck year were MDS. I believe the MDS 5.7 HEMI started with the 2006 truck year.

    Ski in TX
  • mboemmelsmboemmels Posts: 7
    I get 16 unloaded on fwy trips keeping within 65-75mph 14 around town mixed driving and 13fwy loaded with 4k lbs and 10-11mpg same load around town w/some fwy mixed driving for my firewood delivery business. this is common mileage (terrible). every smog tech will tell you the dodge trucks especially 5.2 is fuel rich across the board and falls in the middle to high polution range even when fully tuned up. there is a resistor that some guys put on the air flow sensor to trick it into thinking it's even richer so it leans it out a bit and then that improves mileage by 3-5mpg and still keeping it rich enough to maintain reliability. I think the air sensor is a piece of junk so an aftermarket on or this resistor would probably be a big help mpg wise. why doesn't someone take one of these trucks and make an entire package that will give you the most hp with the best economy for a grand or less! I'm talking, chip, air system, lubrication, thermostat, plugs, wires, and muffler or exhaust recommendation with a switch in cab for different driving situations. I select tow and bam! richens the fuel and changes timing and shift points to get more power and driveabilty then drop the trailer and hit fwy setting to lean it out and advance timing for speed and mileage. they only sold about 300000 of these vehicles from 97 to 02 I belive so you could make some decent cash on that!
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    The 1500 MegaCab is really a 2500 with a "1" on the door instead of a "2". The HD trucks did not use MDS, thus the 1500 Mega did not either.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • inuvikinuvik Posts: 131
    You are absolutely correct. The MegaCab 1500 5.7 Hemi was the only model not to have the MDS as a option. I don't see too many of these beasts running around.
  • majefskimajefski Posts: 2
    I can't confirn that the 2009 has a light showing when MDS is activated, but I can tell you that I added aftermarket exhaust to my 06 MDS and am now able to tell when MDS is activated. I made several runs from Houston to Dallas averaging over 20 MPG (one time, I averaged 23.9MPG). On a recent run to Waco from Houston (200 mile round trip) I averaged 21MPG on the way up and averaged 17.3 on the way back towing an auto-hauler trailer with a 300zx on the back with an extra set of wheels and spare parts in the bed (combined weight of around 6,000 - 7,000lbs). Normally I run about 16-18 in town though. The exhaust definitely made a difference though as I could tailor my driving habits to maximize the MDS feature. Sometimes I could drive 70+ and keep it in 4cyl mode, and sometime I could only drive 65. It all depended on wind resistance. But knowing when it was activated was the key. I would never have known without the exhaust.
    Also, I'd like to add something else. Aftermarket companies like to say that their products give more power and better fuel economy (and in some cases they do...), but I'd like to share my experiences. I've added a K&N filter, aftermarket exhaust, a Diablosport Predator programmer, and Royal Purple oil to my 06 Ram. Of all the changes I've made, the switch to Royal Purple oil made the greatest difference and was the cheapest. I gained between 3-4 MPG with the new oil.
    I know Royal Purple oil isn't cheap, but at least here in Texas, when you use RP, you get the first oil change and pay full price (around $90). They set your next oil change at 5,000 miles. When you come in 5,000 miles later for your next oil change, they change the filter only, reset the oil for another 5,000 miles, and charge you ONLY for any oil they have to replace due to engine usage. I haven't had to pay any additional during the second oil change yet in over 30,000 miles. So if you do the math, it all equals out to less than $30 per standard cheap oil change... plus, it adds to your MPG. I have a buddy with a new Challenger SRT8 that told me the same thing. He added RP oil and added around 4 MPG.
    I'm sure there are other high-quality oils that may give you even better MPG, but RP's oil change program made it the best value for me.
  • stanoskistanoski Posts: 76
    Thanks Majefski, this is helpful. I average about 14 mph lately (hway and city combined) and I drive like and old lady which is sad to do when you have a HEMI under the hood. I sure would like to get over 17 MPG on average. I changed to synthetic oil (not royal purple) and have put in a K&N air filter is all. Didn't notice any changes in MPG or maybe? 1 at most on average. I'm running syn Kendahl right now but was with Mobil 1 before that. Not sure if Royal Purple is the ticket or not to increase MPG a few more??? Maybe thats the next step. Don't really want to mess the computer or exhaust at this time but if I did, what you would you suggest??

    Ive noticed when I run the AC alot, mileage decreases by 1 MPG or so and when I run just regular gas (as opposed to mid-range) the mileage also decreases by about 1 MPG or so. No other issues with my RAM. Runs good and has been reliable.

    Ski in TX
  • majefskimajefski Posts: 2
    If you're really that concerned with mileage, I'm not sure you'll ever really break even on the computer or the exhaust. I put on the exhaust primarily for the sound of it, and the programmer for the HP boost. If you go with exhaust, please heed this warning. I first had my exhaust dumped behind the cab, and figured out real fast that it was a mistake. I loved it on my F150, and it was great in 8 cyl mode...but when the MDS kicked on in the Dodge, it felt like the cab was vibrating apart, and sounded like a big rig with his exhaust brake on. I went with a Flowmaster 40 and had them run the pipes all the way out the back. Now an hear when MDS turns on and it's not obnoxious.
    I also noticed that on my 06 Ram, it specifically says not to run anything less than 89 in it. I have been running 93 in it since day one. if you run a low-grade octane, the engine computer has to compensate in such a way that you lose HP, efficiency, and could end up with engine deposits over time with the cooler burning fuel. I realize that higher grade fuel costs more, but it has the ability to give higher MPG also. Remember, the higher octane you run, the less your engine has to work to hold you at speed (because your engine is now producing more power). This translates into lighter pedal pressure, which means your MDS stays on longer.
    Is it cheaper? Who knows... I pay more for gas, and I get more MPG... All I know is that I like my numbers. Also, 93 octane was easier to get during the hurricane than 87 was.
    It was hard to tell if the programmer did anything for mileage, because I added the programmer and a new very aggressive set of A/T tires on almost at the same time. So, I'm sure the tires hurt my MPG, and the programmer probably helped a little. I'm running about the same mileage I was before the programmer and tire change. I should also point out that my Ram is 2WD. I will say for the programmer though... WOW!!! The throttle response was great. I'm still a little unsure of the shifting though. It felt a little strange to me at first, then a new program was introduced which made shifting a bit more pleasant. At full throttle, I can get 2nd gear chirps with those new heavier meaty tires. I would've melted my stock tires.
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