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Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Caravan Real World MPG



  • bear17bear17 Posts: 5
    I bought a 2008 Town and Country Touring with the 3.8 L. 6 speed Auto in Oct. We have almost 3000 miles on it now and it is getting around 19 MPG driving both city and Hwy. It should get a little over 20 we hope when it breaks in better.
  • hans6hans6 Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 GC, 3.3 ,6 cyl. After changing plugs to Bosch 4-prong, highway fuel efficiency was 27 -29 MPG. When temp drops to below 30 F fuel mileage drops to 20-22 MPG. Is this normal? I maintained tire pressure to 36 PSI.
  • Our 03 3.8L Caravan gets about 17mpg in normal city driving. However, if the trips are short and there is lots of idling, the MPGs will easily go below 14.

    If I'm really determined, I can make a 15 mile cross town trip and average about 20MPGs. But that type of driving ticks a lot of other drivers off. :)

    On the highway at 55-60 mph driving like a grandma it is easy to get 26-28 mpg.

    Driving at 75-80, it is virtually impossible to get more than 22mpg.

    Driving through Montana and Wyoming at 85-95 mph, the average was 19mpg for about 800 miles.

    Conservative driving really ads MPGs. Having AC off and looking ahead really helps increase fuel economy.
  • I dont know where you live,
    But if they use ethanol in winter.
    It is not unexpected.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Your van sounds like almost an exact mirror of our two 3.8 liter DGC from a mileage perspective. Last summer when I was taking it real easy, I managed to milk just over 500 miles from a single tank of gas (which worked out to just over 28 mpg).

    Best Regards,
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,176
    Okay, the first trip I take with the '98 DGC to Anchorage, I am going to drive five under the SL at 60 and see what I get on a tank. Aside from one, maybe two roadside stops (for breaks), it is essentially 100% highway for 350 miles. I tend to get 19 during the summer under normal local driving conditions, so I would not expect more than 21 on a trip to Anchorage. I am curious, though... :D
    2008 and 2010 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, at a steady 60 mph, even in winter temperatures, our 1998 FWD 3.8 DGC will easily get 22 or better. Keep us posted. ;)

    Best Regards,
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,176
    The AWD system on these vans is, I am convinced, highly parasitic when it comes to fuel economy. :(
    2008 and 2010 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ah yes, I was trying to remember if your van was AWD, that would indeed make a difference. :(

    Best Regards,
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    The mpg always drops in winter because of several factors having nothing to do with the addition of ethanol in the gasoline. E10 does have slightly lower energy content than E0, but this is probably a minor contribution. Isn't ethanol added to gasoline at about 6% even in the summer?

    The winter factors are:

    (1) Increased aerodynamic drag due to air being denser when it is colder.
    (2) Decreased traction on wet, snowy, or icy roads lowers efficiency of power transmission.
    (3) Traffic snarls in winter increase the time of trips, and cause more braking
    (4) Longer warm-up time in cold weather. Engine uses more fuel during warm-up
    (5) More idling to keep heater on for occupants remaining in the vehicle when someone goes into a convenience store
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Here's a puzzler: If I take a trip to the top of a mountain and back, getting 9 MPG on the way up and 90 MPG on the way down, what is my average MPG? This is a simple math problem and not a trick question, though the answer is surprising to some. Answer to be provided in a subsequent message...

    The reason why there is any problem at all with this sort of calculation is that in the US we express fuel use as

    distance travelled / volume of fuel consumed (or mpg),

    rather than

    volume fuel consumed / distance travelled

    gpm = gal / mi, or we could use gal / 100 mi to avoid dealing with small decimal fractions. To get gal / 100 mi = 100 / mpg. So 25 mpg would be 100 /25 = 4.0 gal / 100 mi.

    The latter system is what is used in Europe except they use metric units: L / 100 km.

    To do the "puzzler" we average the equivalent gpm (or gal/100mi) values and then convert that back to mpg by taking reciprocal of the result.

    Ave mpg = 1 / ((1 / 9 + 1 / 90) / 2) = 16.36 mpg

    If the distances for the two different mpg values are not the same, then the calculation is a weighted average where the weighting factors are the fraction of the total distance.

    Ave mpg = 1 / (f1 / mpg1 + f2 / mpg2)

    Where f1 = d1 / (d1 + d2) and f2 = d2 / (d1 + d2).

    This more general formula works when the distances are equal or unequal.

    This is the formula for calculationg the combined mpg from the city and highway mpg values. Consider a vehicle which gets 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. The USDOT assumes that 55 % of the driving is city and 45 % highway. So the formula for combined mpg for 22/30 city highway is

    Combined mpg = 1 / (0.55/22 + 0.45/30) = 25.0 mpg

    The general formula is

    Combined pmg = 1 / (0.55 / mpgcity + 0.45 / mpghwy)
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    We've had our 2007 DGC, 3.8L for 2,222 miles now. Overall mileage has been 20.8 mpg, varying from 19.7 mpg to 22.2 mpg (using tank fill ups). Best I've ever seen on the real-time gas mileage display has been 25.4 mpg. That was at a steady 65 mph on relatively flat ground.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Last summer on 100% gasoline on a warm (but not overly hot) day I managed to get the display up to the low thirties on flat level ground at about 67 mph, and I managed to hold that for the most of the day. I had to make two international border crossings (Port Huron/Sarnia and Queenston/Lewiston), and had to deal with long queues at both customs as well as the toll booths. In addition, I had to deal with a ~10 mile construction related backup near Hamilton that took over an hour to navigate. Even still, I managed to make it just over 504 miles on a single tank with the OBC showing 28.2 as I pulled in to fill-up in Albany, NY.

    FWIW, that was in our older 1998 3.8 liter DGC Sport van that had 145,000 miles on it at the time.

    Basically I told you that as a way of suggesting that during the summer you might could well get better mileage than what you're seeing now. ;)

    Best Regards,
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I don't expect to ever see the kind of mileage you reported, but I'll take it if I can get it ;) !

    I'm OK with 24-25 mpg on the highway. I think that's good for a 4200 lb, 3.8L vehicle. I wasn't expecting anything better.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Please understand that that single tank was the exception rather than the rule, in fact, I'd never even gotten to 26 mpg for a full tank prior to that (although I did get to 25.9 one time), I was just using it as an example of what can be achieved with careful driving. As a general rule, both of our 3.8 liter DGCs slot in at about 23-25 mpg when moving with the traffic in the high sixty/low seventy mph range in the summer, and maybe 1.5 mpg lower than that for the winter.

    Best Regards,
  • Have a 2007 T&C Limited with 3.8.

    First tank of gas came out at 12.75 mpg.

    Since then I have driven 12,000 miles.

    Over all mileage is 21.00 mpg.

    Best on the road was 28.44, 27.38, and 26.54.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    That sounds about right. How many miles did you get from a single tank?

    Best Regards,
  • Distance driven on each tank varied widely but most miles driven on single tank was 420. That fill up took 18.4 gallons resulting in 22.8 mpg.

    Filled up 40 times.

    Purchased 575.6 gallons at average $3.03 per gallon to drive 12,087 miles at total cost of 1,743.58 with overall 21.00 mpg.
  • I have a '01 Grand Caravan 3.8 L engine. I keep the oil changed regularly, and have my tires inflated correctly. I am a conservative driver, and rarely drive over 55. I live and drive in the city'suburbs only, but I can't seem to get this vehicle to get any better than 18 mpg. Worse if I drive with the a/c on and worse in the Winter. Is this normal or does my van have something wrong with it? What experience do other driver's with this type of vehicle and engine size have? And lastly, is there anything else I can do to improve the mileage. The van seems to run fine, but lags a little at 1500rpms.
    Thanks for any insight into this situation because the gas prices are KILLING me!
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    This sounds about right for Grand Caravan 3.8L V6 in suburban traffic. This is urban use with a lot of stop lights, and probably a lot of short trips where the engine barely reaches operating temperature.

    This is a heavy and large volume capacity vehicle. If you are like me, you got it because it would be great for travelling and for hauling stuff from the garden center and home store, but in the end most trips are short and lightly loaded, so a small car would serve that at maybe 24 mpg. (Unless you got some mileage optimized vehicle which would not fulfill oth er needs, then 24 mpg is about what you could get in an efficient widely useful vehicle in suburban use.)

    If you drive 12,000 mi / year, then at 18 mpg you use 667 gal of fuel, and at 24 mpg vehicle you'd use 500 gal. A 24 mpg vehicle would save 167 gal of gasoline, which at $4/gal amounts to $667 per year. This is not enough to justify trading in the van to get a more fuel efficient vehicle. Just try to make more efficient use of the vehicle by combining trips, etc.

    If you really no longer need a Grand Caravan, you could try selling it to someone who does need one of these real people haulers and will pay a fair price for a well maintained one with a known maintenance history. Then, having sold it, you could make your best deal on say a Caliber, Scion Xb . . . which you would feel better driving. But it would take years to recover the cost of trading. The sensible approach is to just resign youself to paying more for fuel than you had in mind when you bought this vehicle. If the price and availability of fuel really goes crazy then the value of your Grand Caravan will drop precipitiously, but it's already low so you won't lose that much more. You have already taken most of the depreciation hit. And if the cost of fuel goes outa sight then any vehicle you'd get right now might seem like a fuel waster.
  • scoutllscoutll Posts: 40
    08 GC SXT with 3.8 and 6 sp tranny.

    1303 miles on it.

    Average long term mileage according to the computer is 20.4.
    65% short highway runs at about 65 mph.
    35% town driving at about 25-30 mph.
    The first few hundred miles were in the 16-19 mpg range.
    I'm looking forward to a long stint to see how it does over a couple hundred mile stretch.
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    Average long term mileage according to the computer is 20.4.

    You might want to spot check that with a calculator a few times and see how accurate that is. My 07 Chrysler display is 1-1.5 mpg less than what I'm actually getting.

    After 6,000 miles I've noticed that my average fuel economy has increased by around 2 mpg. :D
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,176
    Not sure if Shipo is still hanging around these parts, but I finally took my '98 Caravan out for a highway trip last week.

    I was somewhat amazed, but it gave me 25.5 over 400 miles. The principal speed limit was 65, but I was traveling with friends (one hauling a heavy load) so mostly went 55-60, with some faster jaunts when I was playing catchup after a stop to nurse the baby, let my son take a potty break, etc.

    I was impressed and was certainly not expecting it to be that high.

    Average fuel economy this summer while commuting, driving around town, etc., is slightly less than 20.5: Up from 19 last summer after implementing driver modification. ;)

    186,000 on the ticker and counting....
    2008 and 2010 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yup, still around. Sounds like you got awesome mileage from your AWD van, in fact, I think that's the best I've ever heard from a van with four driven wheels. :shades:

    Good Job.

    Best Regards,
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,176
    I will be taking it on a quick 1100-mile jaunt on the 23rd of this month, so I am looking forward to seeing how consistent the highway mileage on it can be. This next trip will have more of a load in the van, so I do not expect it to be quite so high, but we shall see. If I can get more consistent miles out on the road instead of so much stop/go and playing catch up, who knows... it could even be better. That, however, depends on the children. ;)

    I still do not like it much (driving experience) for around town as compared to a Subaru, but it sure is comfortable on long trips. The more upright driving position and copious leg room makes all the difference.

    I purchased a 98 Escort (5MT) last week from a friend leaving town, so I use that now for my commuting (>30mpg) to save on fuel and keep some miles off the van. At about 20,000 miles per year, the van's time was likely to be up soon even with meticulous maintenance. I expect the car to pay for itself in less than six months (paid $800 for it), so if it helps extend the van's useful life by a few years by keeping some miles off it, it will pay for itself over and over again. :D
    2008 and 2010 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • de8212de8212 Posts: 6
    Just got a 2008 T&C with the 3.8 V6.

    We actually traded our 2004 Durnago with the Hemi engine. We didn't make the trade due to gas prices but knew that the $ savings wouldn't hurt.

    So far the dealer put the first tank in (came with the vehicle) and then they filled it up again for us (long story). We're just about at the end of that tank but if I'm calculating right we're only going to get ~14mpg or so.
    Is it normally that bad for the first few tanks/miles? I know the tire pressure is OK but not sure waht else could be going on.

    The only other thing that might be a factor is that my wife is used to the Durango and you could just barely press the gas and it would take off. I have a feeling she might be pressign the gas farther to try to compensate. Hopefully her driving habits will adapt to the new vehicle.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,176
    Driving habits make a big difference, but the economy should go up as the vehicle's engine wears in. I added an average of 1.5 mpg to my summer economy just by accelerating slower, letting of the gas pedal sooner, and not fighting gravity so much on hills. Of course, if my wife did not drive the van, the savings would probably be greater than that (say another 0.5 to 1 mpg). She, for some reason, does not put forth much effort to drive in ways that conserve fuel. She opts to drive less, but it still annoys me considering how easy it is to save that little bit of fuel through next to no effort.
    2008 and 2010 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • de8212de8212 Posts: 6
    I know it's supposed to go up but I was really hoping to get about 25 or so. Is that too optimistic?

    My wife's parents have a 2007 t&C and her dad said they get mid/upper 20's.
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