Dodge Ram Mileage Improvements

98ddgram150098ddgram1500 Member Posts: 16
edited May 2014 in Dodge
I see the following claims on certian items to help with increasing your MPG, what really works? :confuse:
Cold Air intakes ? - they are sold with the theory they will save you up to 10% in MPG and add more poines. I have read that the oil based filters caused some O2 sensors to fail earlier than expected, causing a decrease in MPG.
Exhausts ? Cat Back? Headers and true duals? - I am skeptical of the cat back systems, aside from them making your truck louder.
High Flow Cats?
Synthetic oil? Can I use this in my 98 dodge ram with 104K miles?
Computer programmers/chips? I have read reviews on auto part sites stating they do nothing and are very expensive.
Tire Size - going smaller will help? (width)
Tire Pressure - inflating to max psi will help? This I know for sure, but lets hear your take on it...
Spark Plugs - what works? I have seen this area of the market change drastically over the years, and some aren't cheap. What really works?
Iginition systems - they are pricey, but does it do anything for MPG?
Electric Radiator Fan - heard two sides about the electrical load will cause more drag from the alternator, and that while driving over a certain speed your clutched fan doesn't cause any drag.
Low drag pulleys - they change the speed of the rotation of your belt driven components. Does it have a negitive affect on them? shouldn't they be spinning at the factory speeds?
and the biggest myth I know, and have facts to prove they don't work, but like to hear people try to convince me of it... the tonneau cover / the dropped tailgate / removed the tailgate. They DO NOT SAVE you gas. I get 0.5MPG LESS with mine in the city. My proof (I know I have posted these links a few times, but here they are once more).
MythBusters Episode 43
MythBusters Episode 64
now on to what I think are just gimmicks...
Waxing your car to reduce air drag
Tornado Fuel Saver
Fuel line magnets
add-on blowers (the hair dryer type)

What has worked for you? I would ask that you state your truck model, year, 4x4 or 4x2, fuel type, and all those add-ons that worked or didn't work. Use real MPG numbers, not what your computer display is telling you. I found that if I spend over $1200 in add-ons I could save up to 20% in MPG, but thats a lot of money to find out I didn't and is it worth it on a 1998?

this is a great site also,


  • 04ram150004ram1500 Member Posts: 1
    I had an 02 ram 1500 4x4 with the 4.7L. when i got the truck it had a k & n intake on it so i don't have a point of reference form before to compare it to but... i did put o n a cat back duel exhaust by Gibson and my mpg went from 10 - 11 in the city. It might be better some place other than where i live though. I am in the pittsburgh area and it is all hills anf valleys here. Not only did the exhaust make the truck sound great it also gave it a noticable kick in the pants when the light turned green. I have an 04 ram now with all the same equipment and plan to put the exhaust on this one soon as well. I hope this is helpfull info.
  • 98ddgram150098ddgram1500 Member Posts: 16
    I also signed up on a dodge forum, seems like there are a lot of things that an aging Ram has issues with that would help put the MPG's back. Like the plenum gasket goes and lets oil in to the intake, and torque converters go, along with many other issues... I hate my truck and i just got it. so i need to find a way to make it last a year or two more before I can afford to get rid of it.
    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    If you spot something in the forums that looks like/sounds like/walks like a duck, be sure to notify the host of that forum (located at the header of the page)... don't add to the "15 minutes" by responding to it.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • flash46flash46 Member Posts: 8
    I have 2007.5 Mega Cab 6.7L 2500 4x4. I installed an Air Raid cold air intake system and got 1.5 mpg improvement. I next installed an inline Fitch Fuel Catalyst and got another 2.5 mpg. Total cost approx 550.00. My mileage now stands at 15.5 city and 19.5 hwy. at 75mph.
  • minardiminardi Member Posts: 30
    Any tips on improving mileage in an '07 1500 Quad Cab with 5.7 Hemi? Truck got decent mileage when new last summer. Seems to have gotten worse with age(approx. 20K miles later). I do mostly highway driving and it doesn't seem to matter if I drive 65 or 75, I average about 13 mpg(calculated, not using truck's computer).
  • stanoskistanoski Member Posts: 76
    I also have an 07 Ram 1500 HEMI (that thing got a HEMI?) and have got 13.2 mpg (worst) and up to 18.6 (best) since new. I have approx: 11K miles on my RAM now. Usually averaging just under 15 mpg (actual, not computer read-out which is not too accurate). In the summer here in TX, its hot as he!! so I run the AC full time resulting in a 1 to 2 mpg reduction in MPG. I also went with a freer flowing air filter (judge is still out on this) and recently went to synthetic oil (after 10K of mileage on convention dinosour oil). I do 1/2 & 1/2 City/highway and drive like an old-lady. Its sad you have to drive a HEMI like that or else you pay out the wad for fuel. Put your foot into in and mileage goes WAY down. I noticed about a 1 to 2 MPG increase after the filter & oil combo getting me back to where I was prior to running the AC all the time. In the winter overall mileage should improve but a cold engine gets less MPG so only time will tell. 13 MPG seems low bro but I dont know your driving habits and other MPG / environmental factors. Let me know what you find out if you get any good pointers.

    Ski in TX
  • tazzartazzar Member Posts: 2
    I have done several things to my truck and actually get very decent MPG in town on my 2003 Quadcab 4.7.

    1. Superchips Programmer. I have used both the 87 octane Performance and the 91 Octane Performance mode and settled at the 91 (I run 93 Octane and while it costs more at the pump I get it back plus some in MPG and unbeleivable difference in HP) 2-3MPG

    2. Flowmaster Exhaust. I just put in a Series 50 it is not as loud, less cab resonance and still has free flow. Sound great and helped my MPG by about 1mpg

    3. I have switched to Royal Purple in both engine and Transmission and soon rear differential. I was told it helped... I am a believer now, been running it for about 10000 miles and have seen as much as 2.5 MPG just in changing to Royal Purple synthetics not to mention it runs alot cooler even with the performance mode.

    4. New Plugs. Stick with the factory type plugs, there have been lots of reported issues with Platinum and Iridium and other plugs both in less MPG and siezing in the block.. Dodge spend a fortune in R&D to find the right plugs and temp for your engine and I doubt you can do better.

    5. I am ordering a CAI. Keep in mind not all intakes advertised are true CAI more are short ram style. Dodge acutually has a true Cold Air box but the "air hat" and the connection tube has poor airflow. I haven't heard about issues with O2 sensors per se but the new Dry filters offered by the better CAI manufactures are worth the $.

    6. Fitch Catalysts truely do work I have seen it but haven't forked out the $$ for
    one ...yet...

    All in all. I have gone from an average of 12.5- 13 MPG in city to 16+ MPG in city with this old Dodge Quadcab...when I can keep my foot out of it. Hard to do with all the new found power. I never go below 13.5 in town now even with my foot in it and pulling a trailer. I have 93000 miles in it and have had good luck with it. I had to change the TPS and the Cam position sensor... about $50 total and 30 mins of work. Not bad considering the miles I have put on it. I don't do much freeway driving these days other than vacations and such, even then I get ~20MPG loaded with camping gear, 4 wheeler or motorcycle and a load of kids.
  • minardiminardi Member Posts: 30
    Anyone had any "real" luck improving mileage with CAI's like K&N's? If they even got 2 mpg better, it would pay for itself in about 6 months or less. Been doing a lot of reading(mostly on K&N's web site) and it sounds positive. BUT, I also talked with a friend who's heavy into drag racing who advised against it. He feels that the filters are too porous(in order to maximize air flow) and that you'd have to perform very frequent oil changes to keep your oil clean(if you want max. engine life). Some guys have also had a tendency to "over-oil" the reusable filters and screwed up engine sensors, etc. So now I'm hanging, and getting a max. of 15 mpg highway @ 75 mph. I've got the Thunder Road pkg. with 20" wheels, etc. Been keeping the tires at 38 psi to try to squeeze a few more mpg out.
  • stanoskistanoski Member Posts: 76
    I have an 2007 RAM 1500 with the 5.7 HEMI MDS. All I did was change the stock air filter with a K&N filter (filter only, not total cold air intake) and nothing (no improvment) on gas mileage. It may be breathing easier, but that did not translate into more MPG's in my case. Save your $50+ bucks (buy beer instead. At least you will get something out of it) and stay with the stock air filter in my opinion.

    What did help was going from dino oil to synthetic. MPG went up 1 to 2 MPG on my HEMI on the first oil change.

    Ski in TX
  • minardiminardi Member Posts: 30
    What type of synthetic did you use, and what viscosity? I've been running basic dino Valvoline or Pennzoil 5W20(as recommended). I was reluctant to make the switch to synthetic, figuring that if it didn't give any mileage improvements, I was stuck using it forever. At 7 qts. a shot, it's not cheap!
  • stanoskistanoski Member Posts: 76
    I ran dino oil until 10K (dealer stock) then went to Semi-synthetic (Castrol) for 5K then moved up to full-synthetic (Mobil 1) after that. All 5W/20 as Dodge recommends. I noticed an increase in MPG with the semi-synthetic and on the full-synthetic. Too close to tell between the two.

    I also noticed an increase in MPG (1 to 2) without my AC going. Of course thats hard to do in the summer in Texas. Watch for it on sale and buy the BIG 4 or 5 qt bottles, its cheaper that way rather than single quarts. Maybe just go up to the semi-synthetic at first as it is more cost effective than full-synthetic and you might get a MPG boost as I did with it. At least its worth a try. Good luck bro!
  • minardiminardi Member Posts: 30
    What type of synthetic did you use, and what viscosity? I've been running basic dino Valvoline or Pennzoil 5W20(as recommended). I was reluctant to make the switch to synthetic, figuring that if it didn't give any mileage improvements, I was stuck using it forever. At 7 qts. a shot, it's not cheap! BTW, how did you measure your mileage? Hopefully not by the trip computer.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    The 4.7 motor is built to exceptionally tight tolerances. This is a very reliable and smooth engine, and in my opinion the best Chrysler has ever built from a reliability standpoint. Like many others, I found that gas mileage continued to improve the more miles it accumulated. At 133,000 miles, I typically get 17 MPG around town and 20 highway (summer) in my Dakota. On interstate highway trips I reliably get better than 22 MPG and have broken 23 a number of times. I ease away from traffic lights as well as up to road speed. I use 5W-30 motor oil in the summer, 0W-30 synthetic in the winter and maintain 34 psi tire pressures. I do not have a cold air intake or K&N.

    I believe the 5.7 Hemi is susceptible to long break-in as the 4.7. Of the four Hemi Ram owners I know, they seem to be in agreement that the mileage is getting better with mileage. One fellow I work with averages 19 unloaded on the New York State Thruway in his 4x4 2006 Quad Cab.

    Best regards,
  • polo99polo99 Member Posts: 3
    search hho generators it really works, 30-40 % increases :)
  • minardiminardi Member Posts: 30
    Thanks Dusty,
    I too once owned a 4.7(2000 Durango) and had no complaints at all. Good power and decent economy. I followed that with an '02 Durango(5.9 because not many 4.7's left when I traded). Mileage was much worse and performance about the same. I recently switched my Hemi to full synthetic oil and added an "Airaid" throttle body spacer and air filter. Average mileage actually improved after the Airaid install, from an average of 13 to a legitimate 16. Didn't notice any change after the oil switch, which was done first. The guys at Airaid were very helpful and honest. I told them I was after mileage, not performance, and they recommended the least costly setup, after advising me that the more elaborate systems are designed to boost hp and generate more noise, while not necessarily improving mileage. So far, so good.
  • simmeysimmey Member Posts: 3
    I cant beleive what i am hearing about saving gas. i bought my 01 ram 1500 5,9liter because i love my dodge. and it pulls my camper and my boat down the road at 60mph i avarage 8 mpg. and that dont bother me. all i did was put a drop in k&n air filter in for better take off. cuase pulling 2 trailers a little help dont hurt. If you want to get better mpg buy a 4 cylinder.
  • dbritchdbritch Member Posts: 1
    My 1999 was stolen they trashed it so i rebuilt the engine 5.9 i was getting 15 17 to the gal now i cant run low octain, it knocks and pings when i get on it only 93 94 octain works it will suck it dry at 309 every time thats all the miles i can get out of any tank city hwy does not matter its smooth but iv also got some transmisson slipage kinda thing going on in there it grinds a little in take off but runs perfict after 3 mi hr 4x4 slt larime black tinted windows sweet ride toner cover with mud and snow tires oversize fit everything new on the breaks to the spindal so im sure its not drag hate to put a new trans to what to do ???
  • cottnpickrcottnpickr Member Posts: 2
    I have an '03 1500 Hemi Quad, which I bought new in '03. I got 12-13 mpg, was told it would get better as it "loosened up" with more mileage. Since then, I have put a true CAI on it (made it myself), Magnaflow cat-back duals, Superchips programmer, Edelbrock headers. I've only got 44k miles (mostly highway) on it, but figure it should be "loosened up". After several hundred (thousand?) $, the mpg has "improved" all the way up to 12-13, regardless of how I drive it. Ya-hoo!! However, it does have quite a bit more "umph", sounds great, and I looove it. I have a friend with a bowtie SS 8.1; he can get me off the line, 'cause his AWD keeps him from spinning while mine sits and smokes the tires with the rear fishtailing, but once my tires grip, I'm past him soon. The only complaint I have is it has the 3.53 rearend, and the engine seems to be lugging. I believe if it had the 3.72 that some came with, it actually would get better mileage, because the engine would be turning freer, and the Hemi is rated at high rpms. Just my thinking.
  • moparblue2moparblue2 Member Posts: 86
    you might have something there. but the proper rear end ratio is 3.55 or 3.92
  • maxamusmaxamus Member Posts: 7
    Hi, my 1998 dodge ram pick up has a strange problem.
    After driving about 20-30 miles the seat belt light comes on and you cant move, the belts just lock, but if i open the door everything works ok again and the light goes out untill i drive another 20-30 miles.
    Any ideas as its not very safe opening doors whilst driving.

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