Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Real World MPG Numbers

duane2duane2 Member Posts: 1
Does anyone have any advice on how I can get better gas mileage without sacrificing power? Thanks!!


  • shineshine Member Posts: 20
    Does this option help with MPG I would like to get about 15 witha 4x4. I currently own a Dodge 2500 and am getting about 10
  • ezshift5ezshift5 Member Posts: 858
    ...but how about a diesel pickup wut has 55 MPG capability?
  • bristol123bristol123 Member Posts: 22
    With the 5.3 L engine, you should get 15 - 18 mpg during the summer and 13 - 15 mpg during the winter in a Northern climate. Of course, highway driving, towing, ect. will all impact mpg up or down. In general the GM's are more fuel efficient engines than the Dodges. The 6.0 L engine on a 2500 would put you down on a 10 -12 mpg ballpark.
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Member Posts: 288
    During the winter,if only we could heat the grease in the wheel bearings and universal joints, and heat the 80-90w oil in the differential, we would not have such a seasonal lowering of miles per gallon.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,468
    Why not use lighter grease/oil? I use 75W-90 in the diffys and they stay pretty smooth even at -41.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • jlandjland Member Posts: 3
    At 80,000 miles on a 1500 extended cab 4x4 with 5.3 the average mpg has been 13.5. Adding a poweraid at 50k and new plugs not too long ago didn't make any noticeable difference in mpg.
  • bouncebounce Member Posts: 1
    The viscosity in the lubes the Chevys use isn't really the issue, at least not in most of New England, it's simply the gasoline. Unfortunately the "winter mix" formula is different for emissions reasons (more oxygen content etc) and the engines simply don't like it. Most vehicles react to the fuel, but w/ our heavier trucks the results are more pronounced.
  • mtbiker1mtbiker1 Member Posts: 17
    This past fall we turned in a leased 99 Silverado extended cab/short bed 2WD with 5.3/auto power train, with 50K-plus on the clock. Put a canopy on it at about 1000miles. Around town we got 15-16 mpg most of the time, tho' toward the end of lease seemed to be getting 17 a lot, even including lots of trips to Home Depot. Interstate road trips were 18-19, once nudging 20. Didn't matter what brand of gas we used; the thing ran fine on ARCO 87. My bro-in-law has essentially the same truck but 4WD from 2001 and gets 20 on the highway.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Member Posts: 588
    2004 Silverado Z71 EC SB 5.3l 3.73, ~10,500mi. on the odo so far.

    I've been experimenting with different grades of gas lately. I'd been using Sam's Club 87 octane (they only offer 87 and 93 at my local Sam's) since I bought the truck back in early October last year. My lowest mileage was mid-13's on the first tank- the dealership filled it then let it idle for a few hours while we completed sales paperwork to recharge the dead battery. Otherwise my real lowest has been mid-16's and my best so far has been around 19.6. During the winter I ranged mainly between mid-17 to mid-18's.

    My father also has a 2004 truck, similar to mine (same drivetrain, 16" wheels instead of the 17's I have, slightly different option packages, same drivetrain / body / gearing though) and has sounded frustrated that his truck isn't getting the same mileage mine is. He swears by 93 octane name-brand gas. Which is where my experimenting comes in..

    I put a Fold-a-cover tonneau cover on it just over a month ago, about the same time I decided to start the experiment. I fueled up the first tank after the cover with 93, and ran a total of 3 tanks of it. I then switched back to 87 (since I can't compare pre-tonneau 87 with post-tonneau 93 and call it apples to apples). I'm on the third tank of 87 so far. My lowest average for a tank using the 93 was in the low 18's, and my highest was around 19.5. So far the 87 has been consistently in the low 19's (so no real meaningful difference at this point).

    Once I finish this tank I'm going to repeat the experiment using 6 tanks from the local Shell station. Shell is one of several brands actually recommended for GM vehicles in a TSB that I've seen recently due to the cleaning agents they add, so there might be more to dad's name brand kick than mileage..

    For the record- I do watch the DIC for general comparison's sake as I'm driving, but my actual mileage is manually calculated at the pumps. I record the total mileage, trip (then reset), and gallons of gas to fill up, then calculate the mpg from those numbers. I also try as much as possible to use the same pump. My driving route is mainly home-work-home, ~30 miles each way, 80-85% 65 mph highway, 15-20% rural (2 stoplights, speeds ranging from 30 - 55 mph). For the highway portion I use cruise control to keep speeds as consistent as possible. So hopefully my experiment is controlled well enough that my numbers are relatively reliable.

    BTW, kudos to Chevy for building a 5000+lb 4x4 vehicle that can get almost 20mpg (maybe I'll get lucky and actually break 20 at some point! :shades: )
  • stvstv Member Posts: 1
    I'am new to this board and its very helpful in finding info. I'am curious if anyone
    out there knows what my mpg might be on this Z71. Its a 2005 silverado 1500 z71
    Regency package with a 4" procomp suspension lift 33" tires and a 4.10
    Gear ratio? The sticker says 15 city and 19 hwy and this reading is for the standard Z71 with a 3.42 gear ratio witch seems to be the standard for all these type trucks.
    Any info would be appreciated.

  • richa1richa1 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2500 extended cab, 2WD Long bed with a custom canopy, 5.7L Vortex with 86,000 miles. I have not been able to get more than 10.5 MPG around town, I travel short trips to work (<5 mi. each way) with limited exposure to stop & go traffic.
    I've been considering purchasing the Tornado vortex add on but it seems to be duplication of effort. Any ideas???
  • woofwoof Member Posts: 27
    As the former owner of a Toyota T100 that consistently got 21-25 MPG (3.4L V6), and one who's spoiled by my VW TDi diesel getting 50 MPG, I've been watching my new '05 Silverado 1500 (4.8L) at every fill-up. Not bad: 17 was the worst and 22 the best so far. Seems to get 20-21 if I don't push it around. GM's push rod V8 is amazing efficient.

    GM's new "on demand" 5.3L promises to be even more efficient. GM really does V8's well...
  • rmchevyrmchevy Member Posts: 2
    My 00 1500 with 5.3 consistently gets 21-22 mpg hiway. Never have checked it in town. One thing that will help in colder climates is to use synthetic grease in bearings, and synthetic gear oil in cases. I haven't done that, but I'm betting I will improve mileage in winter months.
  • 04cad04cad Member Posts: 131
    Seems like no matter where I go to have my trucks serviced they don't grease the front end unless I make it a point to call their bluff that new trucks don't have grease fittings. I have taken it to one of the independent grease places, a large discount department chain and yes even my local Chevrolet dealer. I know they have fittings, I found at least three very quickly. My question is exactly how many grease fittings are there on a 2005 Chevrolet 4WD Silverado ext. cab pickup? thanks
  • bigfurbigfur Member Posts: 649
    2001 1500 5.3 3.73 locker 4X4 cant get above 15.5MPG to save my life. That is with a K&N full intake and flowmaster cat back exhaust. I was hoping to atleast get 17 out of this truck but i havent even come close, not even driving cross country from minnesota to florida. Love the truck,specially the heated seats in minnesota this time of year, but hate the mpg.
  • nitrous05nitrous05 Member Posts: 1
    If you put lets say a turbo or a supercharger on your truck your gas mileage will improve substantully <---(sp). The problem why most people lose MPG when they do this is because they get more power in there hands and they like to push there truck to see what its got. The reason why MPG increases is because the motor produces more power which since the motor produces more power, it has to do less work to turn the tranny and move the truck. Get it?
  • bph1bph1 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2005 4.8L , 2x4 Silverado and put a cap on it. I've been getting about 14-15 mpg consistently. It should be getting 17-21 mpg. Has anyone had this problem and do they have any suggestions?
  • redwing1redwing1 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone out there had any experience with gas mileage on the vortec 8100 engine with 373 or 410 gears. Am interested in gas mileage empty and also pulling a 34 foot 5th wheel.
  • bigfurbigfur Member Posts: 649
    The figures on the window sticker of my truck (5.3 4x4) said 15-19 i get 14-15. I believe this is why the EPA is going to change how they rate mileage. The window estimates are rarely near the actual mileage. I put on a cat back exhaust system and a K&N full intake...made no differance. I have heard a programmer is good for 2-3mpg but havent got one myself yet.
  • sailboatguysailboatguy Member Posts: 13
    I just got back from a road trip from Sacramento to Los Angeles and back on I-5. On the way down there with the bed empty, cruise set at 80mph most of the way, I got 18.5mpg. Then I loaded up 2000lbs of rubber mats for my wife's horse stalls and headed back, I thought all that weight would kill my gas mileage, set the cruise at 70mph and ended up getting 20.2mpg with 2000lbs in the back! I am totally confused, and yes I know how to check mpg correctly. I guess that driving 10mph slower made a huge differance? Either that or I had a heck of a tailwind?

    2005 Silverado 1500 2wd, ext cab, 5.3 liter.
  • p100p100 Member Posts: 1,116
    15.5 MPG sounds about right to me. That's about what I get out of an '06 crew cab Z71, 5.3 liter with 3.73 gears. You are being honest about your mileage, as I am. There are some people who magically get 19-20 MPG out of identical vehicles. They must be measuring mileage when driving down very steep long hills with lots of tailwind.
  • sailboatguysailboatguy Member Posts: 13
    I make an effort to drive in a way to get the best possible gas mileage. It's kind of like when I'm on a road trip, I'm on a mission. I've got the 3.73 gears as well. When I cruise on mostly flat highway at 70-75mph, I regularly get 20-20.5mpg. No magic required, just go easy on the throttle when accelerating. Apparantly extra weight in the bed doesn't have much effect, but towing does. When I tow 4000lbs, I only get around 12mpg.
  • p100p100 Member Posts: 1,116
    20-20.5 MPG from a 4X4 crew cab truck with 5.3 and 3.73 gears? I do not think it is possible.
  • sailboatguysailboatguy Member Posts: 13
    Ahhh, theres the discrepancy. Mine is 2 wheel drive. I don't know why that makes a differance, but my 4x2 Tacoma gets better mileage than the same model Tacoma 4x4's do as well.
  • bigfurbigfur Member Posts: 649
    There is no magic when it comes to 4X4 versus 4X2. The 4X4 will always get worse mileage than the 2wd. Only truck i have owned with 4X4 to get over 20mpg on a consistent basis was a 6 cylinder cummins diesel. I think most 4wd 5.3 regardless of rear end get around 15-16, but thats just me and what i have heard from people. :sick:
  • p100p100 Member Posts: 1,116
    A 4WD truck gets worse gas mileage for several reasons:

    1. 4WD components add about 500 lbs to the weight of a full size truck: front differential and axles, transfer case, front driveshaft, skid plates and heavier shocks/springs, and larger tires.

    2. 4WD trucks generally have higher ground clearance, which means they sit higher and have less favorable aerodynamics. For example, a stock 4WD Z71 Silverado sits about 2.5 inches higher than a 2WD version of the same truck

    3. Most of the time 4WD trucks will have lower gearing to compensate for the added weight, and additional power losses through the drivetrain (when in 4WD)

    4. For some compact pickups, 4 WD versions will come with substantially heavier frames, and suspension components. This was the case with my '95 Nissan 4X4 V6 extended cab pickup, which came with much lower gearing, much bigger tires, heavier frame, and heavier springs than the 2WD version of the same truck. Lately manufacturers have been offering 2WD trucks with 4WD chassis clearance on most models. They have the additional clearance, but do not have the 4WD components, which means less weight. Also, they typically will not have the low gears associated with 4WD trucks. My Nissan had something like 4.23:1 differential gears. I could not get better than 17-18 MPG out of this vehicle. This MPG figure was confirmed by many other owners I talked to.

    5. In the past, when fuel prices were of little concern some 4WD vehicles came without front end locking hubs. The front differential and axles would turn all the time, even when the vehicle was in the 2WD mode. For example, I drove a 1976 Chevy Blazer (full size) with a 350 engine and it would get about 8 MPG in 2 WD! In 4WD the mileage would not drop much. And it did not even have air conditioning.

    Compared to these vehicles, new Chevy 4WD trucks actually get decent fuel economy. New Nissan Titan 4WD gets about 13-14 MPG, new Dodge 4WD with a 5.7 liter Hemi gets about 11-12 MPG. I do not know about Ford F150, but I suspect that the mileage is not that great either.
  • azjonesazjones Member Posts: 3
    Good post ... We have come a long way since the 70's on mileage ... and power ...
  • noobie1noobie1 Member Posts: 326
    2002 X-Cab, 8.1L, LB, 4WD, 3.73

    My weekly driving habits have changed recently, adding more stop-n-go. I used to get ~ 12+ mpg, mostly hyway. Last week, 10.99. The best ever recorded was 16 once at high altitude, 469 mi. on 29.1 gal. ( phenomenal ! ). That was when the truck was new with factory 245's on it. It now has 265's. Can't give much info on towing. Mine's hardly worked a day in its life.

  • vp46vp46 Member Posts: 6
    I have:

    05 Z71 Crew Cab 5.3 L (Black because that is the most fuel efficient color) and with 15k miles on it I've just got the DIC to read 17MPG last week. Otherwise it was stuck at 16.8 for at least 5 months. :shades:

    17 is not bad at all in my book. My mother in-law has an 05 Avalanch 5.3 L (because thats what girls drive) and she is getting 17.4 MPG....she drives it like the old lady she is. ;)
  • chevyconvertchevyconvert Member Posts: 1
    I have about 17,000 miles on my 05 silverado 1500 regular cab 2wd with the 4.8L and am getting 18.9 mpg overall. I drive mostly in town and take long highway trips every month or so.
  • creisolcreisol Member Posts: 6
    Thats good, assuming that is american gallons? That works out to about 24 or 25 canadian mpg. How does the 4.3 do for gas mileage?
  • buttsterbuttster Member Posts: 3
    Just what are you SMOKIN?????
  • buttsterbuttster Member Posts: 3
    Not sure what year you have or trany, but with an 2002 Silverado 3500 Dually, 8.1, Allison & 4:10 pulling 37ft we get between 8 (bad day) & 10.5 (real good day). Our weight is 23,000#+ and have no air deflector on truck. Only option other than factory is a K&N filter. NOTE: this was not bought for millage but to HAUL. Diesels really don't get much better unless highly "tweeked" and with fuel prices, the origanal outlay has to be considered.
  • creisolcreisol Member Posts: 6
    Anyone have any real world numbers for the 4.3??
  • p100p100 Member Posts: 1,116
    I had a 4.3 liter V6 GM block in an 18 ft boat (1989 model). The engine had a 2 barrel carbueretor and ignition points (no electronic ignition), and no emission controls. The calculated milage at 40 MPH crusing speed was about 5 MPG (8 gallons/hour).

    Note: 5 MPG in a boat is considered good fuel economy.
  • czsmithczsmith Member Posts: 1
    07 Classic 4wd Z71 Crew Cab 5.3 L 3.23 ratio. Red with Extang Bed cover.

    I get 19.3 mpg in highway driving which is about one mpg less than I was getting with a Toyota Tacoma 6 cylinder TRD Access cab 4wd in similar driving conditions.
  • jerrymcshane1jerrymcshane1 Member Posts: 195
    Anyone in their right mind believe the newly designed 900 platforms are going to get 24 MPG? Sure. Going downhill with a major tail wind.
  • silver4803silver4803 Member Posts: 7
    I have about 70,000 miles on my 03. I have averaged 19.5mpg at 65mph. First as a warning to air filters. I tried the K&N filter. No mpg increase, however after about 30,000 miles on it I remove the air inlet tube to the throttle butterfly and there was a large ammount of red fuzz from the filter accumulated there. I checked the MAF and it was dirty. Prior to the K&N it was clean. The dirtyness reminded me of when you see an intake that someone removed the filter. K&N would not answer me about this. I had seen a website about a racer that was killing their engine after one race due to dirt getting past the filter. They returned to a normal paper filter and they were running 10 races and still better than one on a K&N. Check your throttle. Back to gas mileage. I purchased a Diable Predator and it improves performance but not mpg. I now have a TunerCat with MXScan and with just TunerCat I have improved mpg to 22mpg but city performance suffers. I have backed off to 21pmg. This is mostly by advancing spark and increasing AFR by 0.5. I ahve improved city mpg more by reducing idle rpm. One mile to work results in 14.5mpg. I cut 2 inches off the fan shroud and highway mpg went up by 0.5mpg (if I remove shroud another 0.5mpg increase). I will be putting an electric fan and removing the mechanical fan. I still have to figure out how to use MXScan to trim out tune. I always buy 87 (non-alcohol). Quality of fuel is a problem. I have a Scan Gauge to read mpg. Caseys and Kwikway here in Cedar Rapids I have found have been consistent. I usually only get 8 gallons at a time to blend incase of bad fuel. Long Term and Short Term Fuel Trims don't like big changes in fuel quality. Bed cover did not change mpg but keeps bed cleaner and items out of rain.
  • silver4803silver4803 Member Posts: 7
    When you buy alcohol mix there is no guarantee you are getting the advertised 10%. They may also have a lot of water attached to the alcohol. If you want to check it get a container that can be marked with eleven even volume marks. Put water to the first mark. Add to the eleventh mark with alcohol fuel. Shake and let stand. The water will attach to the alcohol and fall out of suspension. If the water/alcohol falls to 1.7 marks then you have 10% alcohol. If it falls to 2.5 marks then you have 20% alcohol. If your vehicle cannot adjust to this then your mpg will suffer a lot. Contact your state department that certifies the pumps if you want about the poor fuel.
  • coontie57coontie57 Member Posts: 128
    I only have 3K miles on my Duramax 4 x 4 but I got nearly 19 mpg driving in the mtns here in wnc and va.. and that was with nothing being pulled at the speed limit with 500 miles on it.. A recent trip pulling 11K lbs I got 11mpg.. again in the mtns of wnc, tn, va and wva... Can't wait to see what it does in the flat land.
  • coontie57coontie57 Member Posts: 128
    I might believe those numbers. I only have 3K miles on my 3 x 4 duramax and in the first 500 miles got 18.8 mpg... with the 11000 lb camper its 11 mpg in the mts of wnc
  • mathiasmathias Member Posts: 1
    I don't drive much... so my 2-and-a-half-month old '07 Silverado Classic with the V6 and auto did about 19 mpg empty on the freeway going 70 mph steady with the cruise.

    I took the tonneau cover off for the trip; from the #s my scangauge was giving me, I'd say I could have gotten maybe 21 mpg with the cover on the truck... but that's really just a guess.

  • eng_buddyheng_buddyh Member Posts: 1
    I drive 84 miles round trip a day. At 65 MPH I get 17.2 at the best and commonly 16.8. I also have the Tornado in my air intake.
    That is best for me.

    And your experience is ???
  • brix92brix92 Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2007 1500HD crew cab and drive about 80 miles RT to/from work. I just put on a tonneau cover last month and the gas mileage is the same. I am getting 14.8 gallons according to the computer. It was around 13 when I tow my horse trailer.

    How are people getting 18-20mpg in their Silverado?

    Am I getting that mileage because it is a 6.0? Actually, I had a 2004 F150 5.4 V8 and it got around 13-14.5mpg, so for a little bigger engine, it's pretty much the same thing.
  • coontie57coontie57 Member Posts: 128
    my buddy has the 6L on his 3/4 ton... he gets less than you do.. with my diesel I get 20.2 mpg and its not broken in yet.. 8K miles.
  • eaubeseaubes Member Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2007 2500 HD Classic, 6.0,4:10 rear.I just turned 1000 miles on the Odometer. I am only getting 10 MPG. I Traded in an 01 2500, and I was getting 13-14 with that tuck. My freind told me that installing a Tornado raised MPG by 2 Gal. Has any one had experiance with this, or a programmer.
  • xbbusterxbbuster Member Posts: 145
    I have an '07 Classic Ext Cab W/T with the V-6 and the 3.23 rear end. It has only 800 miles on it but checking the mileage I am only getting 12 mpg city and 16 on the highway using cruise going 65 with the AC off. I had a '95 W/T V-6 that got nearly 18 MPG on the road, it had 100,000 miles. Will this get anywhere near what Chevrolet claims....16 and 21 MPG?
  • motohead77motohead77 Member Posts: 1
    I check my mileage every tank and I calculate actual mileage with gallons used at the same pump. I consistently get 12.5 around town no highway and the best I have gotten on the freeway is 17.4mpg from Anaheim ca to San Diego freeway driving on flat highway cruising at 75. Also on the way out to glamis I reg get, with a dirt bike and associated gear average 16-17 but there are only a couple of grades and its mainly flat. I am waiting untill chevy offers their new 6.2 liter 400+hp cadillac engine in the new vortec max with 6speed trans in their h.o trucks within the next 2 years. My add ons are a flowmaster cat back (actually made for 8.1 liter) and Air aid intake and full castrol synthetic with Lucas synthetic additive. 0 mileage difference with all of my add ons but the truck is quicker =) I am not nice to my truck and I consistently stomp on the gas around town because getting to work is much more fun that way. I am going to try a tune that is supposed to get my truck 30 more horse and 2-4 mpg better from, Wait for me performance they reburn or send you a new pcm. I will repost when I get it installed and see if it actually helps. I think those tornados are junk, for the millions of dollars manufacturers spend to get 1 mpg better in their vehicle's, if the tornadoes actually worked every manufacturer would have them on all their vehicle's from the factory just my opinion. Colby
    [email protected]
  • eaubeseaubes Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the input. I am interested to see how the tune works.
  • 1offroader1offroader Member Posts: 208
    I bought a 2007 Chevy 4x4 Crew Cab w/6.0L Vortec Max engine & 3.73 gears a couple months ago. A couple weeks ago I drove from Modesto, CA to Los Angeles, 335 miles, via Hwy. 99 and I-5. If you are familar with the route, it is mostly flat along the Hwy. 99 part, then once it merges with I-5 it's some steep climbing over the Grapevine and the local mountains. 70 mph, cruise control mostly on, a/c on the entire way.

    Got 18.2 mpg overall. Extremely pleased and surprised with the mileage. That is excellent mileage for a full size pickup with gobs of power. The "old" EPA rating of 19 mpg highway looks very achievable (or even exceedable) based on my experience, once the vehicle is broken in, and if speeds are reduced to 65 mph.

    Active Fuel Management really works. You can see it toggling back and forth from V-8 to V-4 mode. BUT, you cannot feel it unless your foot is on the accelerator when it happens. And then, just barely. It's a great invention if it stays reliable.

    Not the forum for discussing Toyota, but I don't hear of anyone bragging about that kind of mpg in the 5.7L Tundra.
    And yeah, I'm bragging.

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