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Dodge Dakota Real World MPG Numbers



  • bda54bda54 Posts: 8
    You didn't mention if you have a 2WD or 4WD. A 3.9 should do better than your getting. A mechanic friend told me to pull and clean off or replace my O2 sensors on my 2003 4.7 Quad Cab. Another concern about the K&N air filters that was mentioned on this site is that the oil can possibly contaminate your Mass Airflow Sensor if it is put on too heavily and the residue coats the MAS. One other idea that I have gleaned from this webpage is that switching to all synthetic lubricants in the engine and entire drive train. Redline Lubricants sound interesting, though expensive. Amzoil would be another alternative. That is the way I'm going to go with my Dakota. Good Luck!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    If you are doing all city-type driving, you are in the worst scenario for gas mileage. Short trips are especially bad since the engine remains in the rich mode most of the time. The constant accelerating-decellerating also is especially bad for fuel consumption.

    However, you didn't tell us how many miles you had on this truck. Its possible it could benefit from a tune-up if you haven't performed one yet.

  • ronslakie1ronslakie1 Posts: 57
    I have a 2K Dak with a 4.7 engine, and I didn't think that we had mass airflow sensors. I looked this up in my factory service manual and couldn't find a MAS. I know my Ford products respond extremely well to the cleaning of the MAS. Is there a Dak equivalent to the MAS in Ford products.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    You are correct.... the 4.7L semi-hemi does NOT have a MAF (MassAirFlow) sensor.

    Instead, it uses MAP (ManifoldAbsolutePressure) sensor.

    MAF actually measures airflow. (much more accurate, costs more, ignores dirty airfilter, more susceptible to contamination and burning out.)

    MAP has to CALCULATE the airflow based on pressure differential. (less accurate and sensitive to dirty airfilter, very reliable)
  • bda54bda54 Posts: 8
    Can anyone recommend or compare Redline lubricants to Amzoil for the entire driveline of my '03 Dakota Quadcab, 4.7, AT, 4x4. I live in Minnesota and drive it primarily for work, but use it for hunting, but no heavy off road use. Also which oil filter would be best for use with the synthetics? I've heard Redline lubricants are spendy, but how spendy compared to Amzoil?
  • jboehmjboehm Posts: 44
    Anybody have some real world numbers on a HO engine and a FFV engine?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    I just checked my receipts when I purchased the RedLine lube for my driveline. (both differentials, xfer-case and manual xmission) I paid $8/quart.

    The RedLine PowerSteering fluid was $9.50/quart.

    When considering this, one must consider the VALUE and not the initial cost. For me, my rear differental was saved from self-destructing when all the fluid came out. (but RedLine leaves lubricating residue.)

    Also, my powerSteering no longer needs 5-minnutes of warmup in the winter before it starts to work. (-15F)
  • bda54bda54 Posts: 8
    Thanks for the reply. Do you know of any independent testing comparing Redline lubricants to Amzoil or other synthetics that can be checked out? I had forgotten to think about the power steering fluid.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    I am not aware of an "independant" testing. Amzoil is somtimes marketed thru individuals who often make claims that even Amzoil does not acknowledge.

    Keep in mind that RedLine uses 100% pure synthetic polyol ester basestock. This is expensive stuff that most off-the-shelf oils do not even consider using. Competetive Racecar teams use RedLine becauese it works. (reguarless of what the stickers may say on the OUTSIDE of the car!)

    Here is webpage for RedLine ==>

    The polyol ester basestock is used in extreme-duty conditions (Jet turbines, aerospace...etc) and may be more than the average driver needs in his road vehicle.

    I beleive that Amzoil may also use some polyol ester basestocks... but over the years I have become put-off by their marketing (pushiness).

    The Federal law was changed in recient years to allow manufacturers to CLAIM an oil is "synthetic" even though they contain petroleum-based oil. (MOBIL1, SYNTEC...etc fall into this category) These are not The polyol ester basestock!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    My young son and went to the Mopar Car Show in Carlise two weeks ago. Leaving Rochester, New York on I-86-US17 to US15 south, my '03 Dakota (Club Cab Sport, 4.7, 545RFE, 3.55 LSD, no mods) got 23.92 MPG on Mobil gas. That included 41 miles of town driving.

    With the exception of about 1.5 minutes of actual passing, I kept the cruise control set at 62 MPH all the way to Harrisburg on US15. On 55 MPH highways I stayed at the speed limit.

    The return trip, however, was 22.71 MPG on Amoco with 10% ethanol.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931

    I believe your refering to group IV base stocks. Mobil 1 uses group III, which I believe is partially synthetic. Or is my memory bad? Too lazy to look it up :)

    What's new up there in the north country?

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    Good to hear from you Dusty - yes, the polyol ester basestock is also known as "Group IV".

    The "North country" has seen rain almost every day for about 2 months. I guess the folks that have been cryin "global warming" will have to come up with a new story. So far they have cried "global IceAge" in the 70s and "hole in ozone" in the 80s.
    I cant wait to see what they claim is coming up next... LOL
  • remavremav Posts: 1
    My commute is a very good mix of driving of about 22 miles.
    9 miles of city/paved hilly country roads 25mph to 45mph, no stops
    7 miles of state routes 45mph to 55mph with stoplights av 1/mi.
    and 6 miles of flat freeway, 55mph to 65 mph.

    2003 2WD Sport Ext. Cab V6 3 spd Auto could NOT get 20mpg on this. 19+ multiple times really trying, but usually 17.5 to 18.5. Highway driving it would pull 22.

    2005 2WD Club Cab SLT V8 5spd Auto would get 20mpg on this commute. Jersey to Pittsburgh holding steady 65 I got 24 going out empty, and 22 coming back with 1000 lbs of computer hardware in the bed. K&N Air filter is only add-on.

    2005 4WD Quad Cab V8 5spd Auto Laramie has held 19mpg on the commute, but any side trips in town & it quickly falls to 16.5 to 17.5. Long drives yield 20-22 highway.

    I was impressed that the V8s did as well as or better than the '03s V6.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Remav, your results are quite typical.

    I remember some years ago when the 4.7 PolyTech motor was introduced there were a couple of magazines and the notoriously inaccurate Consumers Reports that proclaimed the 4.7 a "thirsty" engine. As most long term 4.7 owners will testify, this engine takes a while to break in, and once it does it delivers superior gas mileage when driven sanely.

    Now I've found that if you have an aggressive right foot, gas mileage will drop precipitously. But, like many others a sedate driving style returns numbers equal to if not better than the 3.7 V6. In the case of V6 equiped Dakotas, be mindful of the rear axle ratio. Many of them are sporting the 3.91 ratio. I've driven a couple of these versions and they have surprising power. But that's in part because of the 3.91 gears in the rear.

    I've found that I do better than a couple of Nissan Frontiers and every Canyon/Colorado owner I've ever talked to. Of course, some is pure denial, especially since these are Dodges. :)

    My best so far has been 23.92 on a 700+ mile trip, empty except for passengers, average speed 63 MPH and hilly territory.(2003 Club Cab Sport, 4.7, 545RFE, 3.55 LSD, P255 70R 16 Michelin LTX M/S tires.)

  • bda54bda54 Posts: 8
    I'm considering doing a 3" lift on my 03 Dakota Quadcab 4x4,4.7liter with 5 speed AT. I don't want to go taller because of the expense. I just want a little better clearance for when I go hunting. Anyone have any info on stepping up the tire size from 265/75R16's to 285/75R16's. Clearance issues, or effect on gas mileage from the tire size increase?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    I went from a P235 70R16 to a 255 70R16. The Dakota offers a generous amount of room for larger tires and most people I know have opted to go to a larger diameter tire on their Dakotas when they re-tire. You have to be cognizant of the width requirement as you go larger. My Dakota Sport came with 8 inch wide wheels, so I could go even larger. But many Dakotas have seven-inch wide wheels and the maximum tire size would be limited. Now you have 75R16s, which are already a higher profile. I would check with the tire manufacturer to see how much taller they are.

    By the way. When I went to the P255s I noticed that I lost 2.91 miles on the odometer to every one hundred miles driven. Check your odometer after you get the new tires on. You might be surprized how much difference the gas mileage is.

    Best regards,
  • Good evening folks. Longtime since I have posted or read. I have a Canadian 2000 club cab , V6 auto, 3.55 diff sport package with tire and handling pkg. I am in the USA and I strive to keep the mpg up on this vehicle. Currently at 292,000 kms (181,000 miles). AS the odometer is in km's the numbers are km/g. I would normally average 28-30 km/g mostly freeway with some city driving in the San Francisco area lots of hills, traffic etc... Best achieved was 35 km/g driving cross country to Toronto. Now iam averageing 25 -26 km/g even while keeping tire pressure up, using synthetic oil and doing regular maintenance re spark plugs and airfilters. I have tried bosch +4, platinums but generally go back to regular plugs as I have been advised about plugs possibly being too hot.

    I know there are many factors, but any suggestions as to what may be causing this 20% drop in mpg. Worth doing the O2 sensors? I do have a bit of a problem with the #6 cylinder as the plug is usually more fouled than the others, but could still get good mpg when it was like this.

    Any and all suggestions welcome.
  • tsimptsimp Posts: 3
    Unsure about the V6, but if you look in the Durango forum, this is quite common to O2 sensor connector issue. I would check there first. They speak of bypassing the ground wire on the sensor with a new one.
  • I have an '02 4WD 6cyl Quad Cab. I bought it at an auction in Oct,08. I had the plugs,fuel filter replaced, K&N air filter, trans and diff fluid changed, synthetic motor oil change. I thought these things would give me decent MPG.

    Unfortunately I still couldnt get much more than 11 MPG even after all of that. It also seemed like my MPG was getting progressively worse. In this forum, somebody suggested changing the O2 sensors. I took that advice. I bought 2 Bosch universal O2 sensors from Strauss Stores in NJ, USA. I clipped the connectors from the old sensors and joined them with the new sensors ( the new ones came with a connector kit in the package ).

    After I installed them, I went for a ride. I drove 42 miles and went right back to the gas station to fuel back up. I got 16.9 MPG. That was a dramatic change from my old numbers. Also , I was somewhat aggressive with the accelerator during my roadtest, but I believe if I would have took it easy, I could have got maybe 18-20 MPG or better. I also noticed an increase in power and acceleration. Anyone reading......if your O2 sensors have never been replaced ( and you have over 90k on the odometer) or you suspect they may be the cause of your poor fuel economy.......CHANGE THEM!!! I'm glad I did. truck uses only 2 O2 sensors. One upstream and one downstream ( from the catalytic converter ).
    Combined they cost me $153.00 at the auto parts store. Be careful trying to save money ordering sensors from the internet . You could make a mistake and order the wrong sensors for your vehicle.
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    I have a 98 CDN Dakota ext cab with the 318 V8. My average fuel economy on regular gas is between 8.5 and 9.0km per litre..that translates to somewhere
    around 22 to 23 miles per US gal which is 3.8 litres. It's a thirsty engine
    and I've just changed out both 02 sensors to see if that will improve the
    gas mileage slightly as gas is really starting to go up in Canada.
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