2001 Ram 5.2L 2WD -> highway MPG should be what?
I've got a 2001 Dodge Ram Laramie SLT that I bought new in April 2001. It's a regular cab, long box, 2-WD, limited slip, leather interior, power windows / seats, overhead electronic information display console.
Its got about 31k miles on it right now.
It's never given me great fuel economy on the highway, and there's always been some "bogging" or a dead-zone in the gas pedal that's evident if you want to accelerate from say 30 to 40 mph.
I was on the highway recently and at 68 - 70 mph it's doing about 1900 rpm. If I back it down to 62 mph the rpm's drop to about 1750.
At 68 mph on level ground with a bit of a headwind, my overhead electronic display says I'm doing about 14 mpg (this is with two people in the truck, a practically empty gas tank, and nothing in the box). Tires are brand new Firestone Destination A/T 245/75-16 and must be a bit bigger than OEM because my speedo reads maybe 2 mph slower than actual speed (GPS) on the highway. Tires have about 40 psi (max rating = 50 psi).
I seem to recall in the past that I used to get 18 mpg on the highway under similar conditions.
I *might* also be hearing what could be a vacuum leak (a whistle from under the hood) and maybe I should hook up a vacuum guage to see what sort of vacuum the engine is pulling during normal driving.
But fundamentally, my questions are:
Is the 2001 Ram 2WD with 5.2 engine (or in general any year with the 5.2 engine) known to be a gas hog? What MPG should I be getting on the highway?
Is the bogging or the flat-spot on the gas pedal common on this model?
The bogging is likely a symptom of the vacuum leak. The drop in fuel economy could be from the O2 sensor trying to compensate from the lean indicator from the vacuum leak. I would try to find the source of the noise and fix it. Then try another economy run.
The vacuum leak could be the plenum gasket. Search for threads on the hughes plenum gasket repair. Very common problem on the Magnum engines.
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