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Dodge Dakota Real World MPG Numbers



  • blasieblasie Posts: 13
    I am not sure what the durango weighs, I will want to check the Lic. Rec. and actually weight it and the Dak. just for grins. I drive 60 to 65 M.P.H. on my daily commute to work and there are not but one or two traffic signals. I have tried it with the cruise and without. This thing will downshift at the drop of a hat! I like my Flowmaster Cat. back exhaust but the constant down shifting gets annoying. I took it to the Dealer that I bought it from Mon. Morn. and gave them the list of problems. The service writer said that if my calculations are correct my truck really does have a problem. Apparently they can check your "Fuel Trim" with a scanner to see how much fuel is getting delivered. Not to change the subject but I wish I could get my four wheeler in the back of my truck! The bed on a Quad. Cab is 5.5 feet long and I have a tool box. my four wheeler is right at 6 feet long. Now I am going to have to buy or build a trailer. I will post what the Dealer finds wrong with my truck.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I can get my Kawasaki Prairie on my Club Cab, close the tailgate and still have some room. It's actually the biggest reason I didn't buy the Dakota Quad.

  • blasieblasie Posts: 13
    When I was about 18 years old I swore I would always have Reg. cab trucks with A V8 and an 8' bed. Now I have a two year old son and another on the way. Thats why I sold my old '90 Dodge Ram 50 V6 4X4 for my Quad cab. I could not wait to post this today I hope this helps others, The dealer called mr this morning and said that my I.A.C. (idle air control) values were off causing my poor mileage. I am supposed to get it back today after lunch. As soon as I get it back I am going to fill it up! I cannot wait to see if my mileage improves. If you live in South texas lets go riding. (on the four wheelers of course)

    Have good day,

  • haselhasel Posts: 64
    Cost of Filter for 4.7L $10.00 plus 7.5% tax, cost of filter for 5.7L Hemi $20.00,plus 7.5% sales tax, K&N Filter for 4.7L $ 43.00, K&N Filter for 5.7L Hemi $46.69, no sales tax, I change filters every 15000 miles so it is cost effective for me to use the K&N Filter that I can wash.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    Hmmm. Maybe.

    By all means let us know how that works out.

  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    We recently traveled from Punta Gorda, FL to Long Beach Island, NJ. We left FL on Sunday, May 01 and drove 702 miles to Fayetteville, NC. From the start (cool moist weather) we were averaging 19.8 mpg. Then, we began to stop at all of the rest areas, as I was suffering from food poisoning (raw oysters ingested Saturday night). By the time we reached Fayetteville, I felt pretty lousy, but felt that I would be okay after a night rest. Wrong! Monday, I not only stopped at every rest stop, but left the highway to stop at restaurants, service stations, truck stops, etc. We pulled off the road in Whitemarsh, MD and I could go no further. I collapsed in the hotel there, and my wife called 911. the EMS guys started an IV, and to make a long story shorter, I was in the hospital from Monday to Thursday. We were only 2.5 hours from final destination. I completed the trip on Friday. All told, 1243 miles. The truck averaged 18.9 mpg (computer and mathematical) and the elapsed time read 20.45 hours. This reflected many starts and stops, and I am well satisfied with my Dakota. Hope that I didn't bore anyone too much.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Oh, bookitty! What an ordeal for you....and your wife! :( I can imagine how worried she must have been.

    I'm glad you're okay, but I guess the good report on your Dakota is some small consolation. :confuse:

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  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Karen, thanks for your kind thoughts. Judy was wrecked. But, I am okay now and love my Quad!

  • blasieblasie Posts: 13
    Well the numbers are in! I got my truck back from the dealer and they said the I.A.C. (Idle Air Control) steps were out of range. which way or how much i could not get that info out of them. Anyway My mileage definitely has improved. I got about 16 M.P.G. and had I not put my foot in it playing around to check it out I might have gotten a littler better. I don't see any difference in performance but I did notice my exhaust seems to be a little quieter. I was hoping for the mileage to be a little closer to 18, but realistically I don't see that happening. I contacted an Amsoil dealer and told him what I bought and what I wanted to do and listened to his advice (which varied on how much money you want to spend). I just want make sure that changing the fluids to synthetic will not void my warranty in any way. especially the 5,000 mile oil change interval. They have one oil & filter that you go like 30,000 miles and only change the filter like two or three times. I don't care what they say or put in their oil it still gets dirty, Or maybe I am just too old school.

    Have good day-- Richard
  • haselhasel Posts: 64
    I would not run the Synthetic oil longer than 6000 miles with a good oil filter,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I hate to break it to you--- but the IAC has very little to do with MPG. All it does is 'meter' the air into the engine while idling.

    As for your MPG... the 4.7L V8 takes a L O N G time to break in. As I recall, my 4.7L took at least 30,000 miles --- all the while the MPG continued to go up.

    After putting RedLine Synthetic lube in both differentails, manual tranny and the xfer case, I realized another 2-4 MPG increase.

    As for warantee, you MUST use lubricants that meet the MFGr specifications and MUST change them within the MFGr recommended intervals. That is ALL you need to follow. Just read your owners manual... dont ask here on the internet.

    BTW: Visibly "dirty" oil is NOT a reason to change it. You would be wasting your $$, the world supply of oil and the envronment by draining the oil just because it "looks dirty". Again... PLEASE read the owners manual.
  • dmoulddmould Posts: 76
    Mixed city/highway, last tank: 20.48 gallons (I fill right to the top), 334 miles, 16.3mpg. Overhead computer read 17.5mpg (I wish!). The overhead is consistently high by 1mpg. I hate the poor gas tank/filler design - the truck will take 2.5-3 gallons more gas after the pump shuts off, but very slowly.

    2004 Dakota 4.7L Cub Cab 4x4, manual 5 speed, 3.55 LS. My best mpg have been in the 17.5-18 range. I think the 20mpg advertised is achievable, however I haven't taken a long enough trip unloaded to get it. Winter time mpg drops by 2-3; I live in cold and snowy Ottawa, Canada. Towing my 26ft, 4000lb travel trailer drops the mpg into the 10-12 range.
  • blasieblasie Posts: 13
    I agree just because oil looks dirty does not mean it's dirty, I work on highway trucks and deal with drivers who think because their oil is black means it is time to be changed.... Far from the truth. I feel a little stupid because just going by the name of the valve "Idle Air Control" should have told me something. Maybe the the new plugs and intake service had something to do with the better fuel mileage. The air filter was new when I took it in, So I can take that out of the equasion. I asked the service advisor what my fuel trim was (because I was advised to) at and she looked at my funny, Maybe I need to find another dealer or switch service advisors.
    I am thinking of going to the synthetic motor oil, Differential X-fer and Trans. then doing some oil sampling at the change interval on the motor oil. you said you had an increase of 2-4 M.P.G., what is your M.P.G. now? Can I expect 17 to 18 instead of 16? I had planned to go with Amsoil products, ever heard of anything good or bad of their products? I used red line in my A.T.V. and dirt bike just because thats what the dealer had and never had any "lube related" failures. I have an Auto. Trans. (not by choice, I bought it used) and plan to change it to synthetic if my owners manual says the oil I choose is ok.
    I just had to put this in, I pulled a trailer that weighed in at about 2,500 to 3,000 L.B.S. (with the O/D off) just today and I have to say this truck has no lack of power!!!! I loved it!!! Man did that Flowmaster sound good!!!! Just for the record my M.P.G. is based on empty weight not while towing a trailer.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    When I mentioned that I realized 2-4 MPG increase.... I went from the 18MPG highway as the window-sticker suggested to over 20MPG...again, this is HIGHWAY driving with a manual tranny and the 3.55 rearend. A/C was on for for both trips from VT. ->PA .-> VT. (about 12 hours each way)

    That 4.7L V8 seems to get better with age.

    The MAIN reason I went to using RedLine in the manual tranny was to improve the shift-quality. I now have RedLine in both differentials, manual xmission and the Xfer case. I even have RedLine PowerSteeringFluid. (After trying several others that simply did not work when temp. was -18F)

    I am VERY happy with RedLine lubes, they certainly do what they claim. This winter was the first since 1999 that my 2000 Dak actually TURNED when I moved the steeringwheel at -18F.
  • blasieblasie Posts: 13
    Wow! Ok I don't know how much Temp. Diff. makes but, you are dealing with extreme cold, I am dealing with what some might consider extreme heat. I am in S. Texas and my average commute to and from work is I guess what you could consider highway. I guess I am expecting too much out of this truck, I know you don't buy a 4X4 for fuel economy. It just gets me that my '86 3/4 ton Dodge with 4:10 gears, manual trans. without O/D a 318 .030 over with an R.V. cam and 2BBL carb has gotten as good as 14 M.P.G. (with A/C on) and so far best tank 16 on the Dak. same commute in both trucks. I know this may not apply to all vehicles but a friend of mine had a 1/2 ton Chevy with a V6 and put a chip in it to help his power pulling his boat. he claims his fuel mileage went up with out the boat and trailer plus improved his pulling power. I have seen anyone post anything about putting a chip in their truck that is good or bad. I think for now I am going to get my lubes changed to syn. check my M.P.G. and then go from there
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    As bpeebles mentioned, the 4.7L does improve with age. I keep track of my mileage on a regular basis. Through last summer, my best "daily driving" MPG was 14.8 MPG. So far this month, I've had one week at 14.8, and this past week was 15.2. I was shocked. I never thought I would see my 02 QC, 4x4, 4.7, auto, 3.92 break 15 MPG in my everyday driving. Just turned 56K miles. We'll see what the remainder of the summer brings. When the truck was new, it would never get over 14 MPG in my typical everyday driving.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I know a person at work that has a 2003 RAM 4.7 2-wheel drive auto that now has 60K and reports his everyday back-and-forth-to-work mileage at better than 15.

  • blasieblasie Posts: 13
    Has anybody ever actually weighed their truck? I finally got the chance to weigh mine and it weighs 5,120 lbs! I never imagined it would weigh that much. The only thing extra added to my truck is a steel tool box, grill guard and a car seat. I guess that would only add at the most 300 to 400 lbs. maybe i never really took into consideration how much extra weight the transfer case diff. and skid plates added. That might be why i cannot get the fuel mileage that my wife's 02 2 w/d durango gets. my 4.7 just turned 60,000 and after the tune up the dealership gave it i have gotten as good as 16.5 on my regular commute. I am still going to switch to synthetic lube in my Diff's and X-fer case and check it again. I believe it was Dusty who said he lives in a much colder climate than I do here in S. Texas and I would think that anyone who lives where it is colder more than it is warm would consume more fuel because of the time spent idling to warm up the engine? I will check mine a lot closer when we get our whole 6 to 8 weeks of winter here.

  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    My 02 QC, 4x4, 4.7, auto weighs in at over 5000 lbs with a full tank of gas. I was shocked. I was expecting it to be closer to 4700-4800 lbs. With a GVWR of 6010, it doesn't leave much capacity for passengers and/or cargo.
  • tcsmpsitcsmpsi Posts: 31
    Ok. We were able to take our current Dak on its maiden road trip. It is an '05 quad cab, V6, auto, 2WD, standard wheels and tires, with an A.R.E camper top w/sport racks. Driving around my daily 'chores' in town, it averaged 14.5 MPG.

    We were packed (myself, wife and two teenagers) with a full compliment of food, water, clothes, camping gear and tools, all to accomodate most any contingency.
    For the last many years, a new vehicle has always gotten a road trip as soon as possible.

    Started out in deep east texas with 6,518 miles on the odometer, west to Tucson, AZ. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Kracthner Cavern, Tombstone, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert and a few other places here and there (many of those places have been to many times in the last 35 years...including having hiked different areas of the Grand Canyon on 8 different occassions).
    Returned home with 9,507 on the odometer. 3000 miles.

    Averaged 19.9 MPG. Tanks of fuel ranging from 16.35 MPG to 22.43 MPG.
    Almost all driving (except late at nite) was with air conditioning. Worst fuel consumption was from Phoenix to Flagstaff (hot, lot of climbing, lot of traffic).
    Best fuel consumption was from Holbrook, thru Petrified Forest, to Albuquerque, NM (cooler, flatter, much less traffic and slower driving).

    I was not driving for fuel efficiency. Most of the driving averaged around 77MPH and much of it was in lower gear ranges (lot of elevation changes).

    All fluids remained at their starting levels (except windshield washer fluid).

    There were no problems with the vehicle. Getting used to the 4 spd auto transmission driving in the mountains (have most always had std. transmissions) took a bit of learning.

    Overall, I am very pleased with the performance, comfort and dependability.

    I have not experienced any of the 'shimmying' problems others have mentioned. In fact, the only thing has been a hole in the rubber boot on one of the front brake calipers. Dealer called today to let me know the new caliper was in (warranty).
  • popdaddypopdaddy Posts: 22
    I bought my 2000 Dak Club in October, 3.9 V6, and have been driving it to work and back, 40 miles round trip, mostly country roads, since, and averaged 17.5 mpg. My wife and I took our first road trip in the Dak last weekend. We headed up into the North Carolina mountains around Asheville, and averaged 20 mpg on the road, even when we were on the curvy mountain roads. I'll be taking the Dak out more often on road trips! :)
  • cs1992cs1992 Posts: 17
    I am seriously thinking about buying a new Quad Cab Auto V6 and would like to know if the EPA ratings (16City 22 Hwy) are accurate. I have heard that the newer V6 is a little more efficient than the previous 3.9L. The post by tcsmpsi was excellent.

    Another Question: Does the new V6 semm powerful enough for the quad cab?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Gas mileage is almost always dependent on the driver and road conditions. In my experience about half of Dakota owners get the EPA rated numbers or better, the other half something less.

    I have very consistently gotten better in both city and highway mileage.

    Whether the 3.7 motor is powqerful enough is subjective. My son had a '91 Dakota with a 3.9 V6 that I thought was pretty strong and responsive, especially compared to his previous S10s. He, on the other hand, thought is was lacking in power. Previous 3.9s that I've driven have all performed well and gave the feeling of being almost as powerful as my 4.7. Depending on what you intend to do with a Dakota Quad, like pulling a boat or trailer, you might want the power of the V8.

    My advice is to drive both and decide which satisfies you.

    Best regards,
  • tcsmpsitcsmpsi Posts: 31
    From my own experience (I also owned an '01 Dak, QuadCab, V6, but with std. transmission), I have found that overall, the EPA fuel consumption data is very close. I, personally, experience a bit less in city driving, but many times I have extended engine running while at a stop (picking up clients and/or children from schools, Dr.s, etc).

    Initially, I thought I had more power in the 3.9 std. However, on this roadtrip, I discovered more how to use the 4 spd auto effectively. The V6 powers at a higher RPM than does the 8. In most cases, I found, when under a load, the higher rpm on the 3.7 is much more effective and fuel efficient manually manipulating the throttle down in lower range rather than 'waiting' on the auto to 'feel the need'.

    Experience has proven that engines which power at higher rpm's are at their best when applied as such. It is its design nature, and is NOT in any manner detrimental to the engine (of course now that requires a notable amount of applied reasonableness). ;)

    In short, use whatever power available when necessary. I am VERY considerate of my drivetrain and brakes. My '01 Dak, during a tire rotation at about 40, 000, was declared by the technician (been doing my chassis work for over 20 yrs.) that the brakes still looked new.

    The 3.7 has plenty of power. Now if one is going to be hauling larger/ heavier trailers, campers, boats, etc., one should get themselves a larger and more applied piece of equipment to do so. But, within the weight ranges stated for hauling by the manufacturer, the 3.7 hums right along. (I've even exceeded those somewhat and still manage quite well)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Good advice. I think you said it better than I did.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Just turned 45,000 on my '03 Club Cab, 4.7, 545FRE, 3.55 LSD. Latest interstate 86 trip of 250 miles yielded a 20.71 MPG total. That includes hauling 800 pounds of ATV and gear, and about 30 miles of city-type driving. On the highway I ran with the cruise control on at 62.5 MPH. There are quite a few steep hills in the Southerntier on 86/US 17. Weather was low to mid nineties and some rain. And, oh yes. The AC was on about half the time.

  • Relatively new Dakota 1396 miles, best mpg 14.2 and 11.8 worst, town use, don't lean on it, hoping for better mpg any suggestions for improvement. Thanks troop1
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You asked for "suggestions for improvement"...

    Replace all gear lubes with RedLine . (Front/Read Differential, Xfer case, Xmission.)
    Most folks report 3-5 MPG increase after doing so.

    The bonus is that you may never have to replace those fluids ever again.
  • Thanks bpeebles-never heard of Redline- would this perhaps effect warranty ? Our locals only appear to carry oil and wetter, worth ordering the whole lot ? You say
    "never have to replace fluids ever again", wow does this include engine oil ?
  • Looked up "Redline", not available for auto transmissions, any other comments or advice, appreciate much ! troop1
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