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tjaburke8 03-16-2013 09:23 AM

Newbie with ANOTHER MPG question
Hi all,
I've wanted a truck for a while now and FINALLY got a Ram 1500 Lonestar Crew Cab with a 5.7L HEMI. I absolutely love it, and I'm having 0 buyer regrets!

But of course, there is the never-ending curiousity about better gas mileage. I was determining whether or not to get a bed cover, so I did some research. For every article I find that says bed covers improve mpg, I can find an article that says it's a myth (most articles that say covers improve MPG are on sites trying to SELL bed covers).

I've read more into various forums and, aside from bed covers, I see 3 things continue to pop up.
1) Cold air intake
2) Computer programmer
3) Free flow exhaust system

Although, after looking into these I've found many disagree with them as well.

I don't know enough about engines to make a best-guess decision for myself. So, any help?? ASIDE from the obvious - slowing down, light foot on the gas, using cruise control....what are some options? Are there any options worth the money it will cost?

Yes, I know I bought a HEMI, and really - I'm not complaining at all. I love my truck and will probably never drive anything else. I just thought if there's room for improvement, why not do it now while it's still new???

Any...ANY...CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions/help would be GREATLY appreciated!


Asur 03-16-2013 09:34 AM

The 3 items your are talking about will work well to help in your fuel economy, but only if you can keep your foot out of it and usually not higher than about 2500 RPM. That being said, I have all three on my truck and seriously find it more than difficult not to push my throttle past 2500 RPM.

The thing you need to remember here is that these newer trucks have been engineered to provide a ton of power and torque while at the same time a certain amount of fuel economy compared to old trucks and government regulations. Everything on the 4th gen trucks has been designed to give you the best horses it can and the best fuel economy it can. There are not the old trucks with restrictive everything when fuel was cheaper.

Now, again, that being said, if you invest in a CAI $300 a free flow exhaust $300 and a tuner $500, you will get (by staying out of it) better fuel economy. How much you ask, well depending on where you live, your position to sea level, the air your truck will suck in, the fuel your using (ie winter, summer, octane) you will or may see a fuel economy of 1 - 3%, now, if you drive 6500 miles a year, is it worth it? $1100 to say say 100$ of fuel saved? but if you drive 100000 miles a year, well then it just might be worth it.

Why did I change mine Intake, exhaust and add a tuner. Cause I like modding, I like the sound, I like the new shift point the tuner does to my transmission and at the end of the day if I saved .0001 % fuel well be it its a bonus. Hope this gives you a bit more insight

SFVDOC 03-16-2013 10:00 AM

You didn't say if your truck is new, used, or how many miles you have on it. That being said if it's a new truck you probably wont see optimal mpg until you put some mileage on it.

As far as the mods....these things come pretty tweaked from the factory. Adding a CAI and low flow exhaust will add noise and a few HP, probably not do much for your mileage.

I've heard a tuner can add a few mpg's. But the hassle of uploading / downloading maps before you take it into the dealer, and in my case for smog checks....well I don't want to deal with it. Plus there is a chance the tunner will leave a footprint on the trucks computer.

So I choose not to change anything on the engine, I just drive the truck and enjoy it.

Each to his own I guess.

tjaburke8 03-16-2013 10:44 AM

Thanks all. This is the type of info I was looking for.

I'm sort of leaning towards NO on the bed cover. I know all the benefits, like security and privacy and such, but I like the open bed look. Unless its financially worthwhile with regard to fuel savings (and it sounds like it isn't), I don't see any reason to spend the $$$.

Any other thoughts?

Unclegrumpy 03-16-2013 02:22 PM

It looks like everybody covered it but I'll chime in for the heck of it. I have not seen a difference in mpg's since I put my cover on, in my opinion you won't see fantastic fuel savings with a Hemi no matter what you do to it. My best fuel saver is my right foot, it doesn't void any warranties or cause engine control issues. In normal driving it seems to me it would take a long time to see a cost benefit if one were to do a thousand dollars or better in mods, I get roughly 18-19 mpg hwy and 13-14 city with my Hemi, I like the stock performance and feel of the truck overall, afterall it's a truck not a Prius.

12sport 03-20-2013 11:04 AM

I could be crazy, but I'm almost sure that my fuel economy decreases slightly with the box cover in place. Some of this could be the times of year that I use it the most (like all winter - who wants to carry around a box load of snow?).

That being said, fuel economy wasn't even a consideration for me in buying the cover. Keeping things dry, out of sight and secure was really my only goal.

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