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The secret to getting good gas mileage...

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by PropJet, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Aug 13, 2009 at 7:15 PM
    #1
    PropJet

    PropJet [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Member:
    #11795
    Messages:
    196
    Gender:
    Male
    KS
    Vehicle:
    '09 DC TRD Off Road
    ToyTec Ultimate Lift Kit, Moto Metal 955's, GoodYear DuraTrac 265/75/16's, N-Fab Nerf Bar
    ... is to drive in the mountains, apparently.

    I have tracked my mileage on every tank of gas since I bought my truck last December. Up until a couple of months ago, I got an average of 19.11 mpg on regular unleaded. After I switched to premium, I have averaged 20.06, a modest gain. However, I just got back from a vacation in Colorado, and I was actually surprised by my mileage. Keep in mind this is on a 4x4 DC v6, with about 750 lbs of payload (occupants and cargo).

    Wichita - Garden City (1558' gain in elevation) = 18.7 mpg
    Garden City - Pueblo (1835' gain in elevation) = 20.2 mpg
    Pueblo - Montrose (1033' gain in elevation) = 23.2 mpg
    Montrose - Pueblo (1033' loss in elevation) = 25.4 mpg
    Pueblo - Dodge City (2132' loss in elevation) = 22.4 mpg
    Dodge City - Wichita (1261' loss in elevation) = 20.0 mpg

    As you can see, the higher the elevation, the better the mileage that I achieved. Also, each leg on the trip home achieved better mileage than the corresponding leg on the trip out, which obviously makes sense given the altitude changes. I honestly figured that going up the mountains (typically in 3rd gear getting about 5-6 mpg) would wipe out any savings from going back down the other side. The only thing I can think of that helps explain this is simply the engine producing less power (something like 3% per 1000' for a non-turbocharged engine, if I remember correctly), leading to better mileage. The legs that shocked me the most was from Pueblo to Montrose and back to Pueblo, which as you can see gave me a combined average of 24.3 mpg.
     
  2. Aug 13, 2009 at 7:41 PM
    #2
    Tacoyota

    Tacoyota senile member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Member:
    #20028
    Messages:
    2,960
    Gender:
    Male
    North of Cali, South of Canada
    Vehicle:
    08 4wd
    4.56 gears, rear trutrac,DT header, 235/85r16 Duratracs, 2nd filter pulled, inter.wipers, Cruise control, Factory alum. whls/winter tires(2nd set), Afe pro Dry-S , Dumbo eared flaps cut down.
    Was the road new/ smoother? Tail wind? Also, i wonder if wind resistance being lower, higher up is enough to increase efficiency. How much would a tire expand due to lower air pressure, these all sound sarcastic but im not, but im wondering if they actaully add up.
     
  3. Aug 13, 2009 at 7:46 PM
    #3
    PropJet

    PropJet [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Member:
    #11795
    Messages:
    196
    Gender:
    Male
    KS
    Vehicle:
    '09 DC TRD Off Road
    ToyTec Ultimate Lift Kit, Moto Metal 955's, GoodYear DuraTrac 265/75/16's, N-Fab Nerf Bar
    I don't remember the any sections of the roads being new. They were mostly average. There really wasn't much, if any, wind while in Colorado. Kansas had wind (as usual), but it was a crosswind the whole time.
     
  4. Aug 13, 2009 at 7:55 PM
    #4
    Tacoyota

    Tacoyota senile member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Member:
    #20028
    Messages:
    2,960
    Gender:
    Male
    North of Cali, South of Canada
    Vehicle:
    08 4wd
    4.56 gears, rear trutrac,DT header, 235/85r16 Duratracs, 2nd filter pulled, inter.wipers, Cruise control, Factory alum. whls/winter tires(2nd set), Afe pro Dry-S , Dumbo eared flaps cut down.
    On a previous truck i would see mpg go up or down and wonder why, couldnt define why. Sometimes i could tell the road surface or wind shift caused it. When i ski you can see well sealed snack bars bulge from the lower pressure, causing me to pop it ith a fork or just rip it a little. A lot of stuff to make the mpg game interesting.
     
  5. Aug 13, 2009 at 8:31 PM
    #5
    e-rok

    e-rok Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Member:
    #10114
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    128
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    Gunnison, Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2009 Timberland Mica Double Cab Tacoma 4x4
    Sounds like you drove through Gunnison where I live. I commute back and forth to Crested Butte and average 23 Mpg doing the commute of Hwy driving. I just attributed it to driving 60 MPH the whole time steady on the gas. Get the same MPG everywhere I drive Hwy driving through the state. Just gotta drive mellow........
     
  6. Aug 13, 2009 at 8:42 PM
    #6
    Tacoyota

    Tacoyota senile member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Member:
    #20028
    Messages:
    2,960
    Gender:
    Male
    North of Cali, South of Canada
    Vehicle:
    08 4wd
    4.56 gears, rear trutrac,DT header, 235/85r16 Duratracs, 2nd filter pulled, inter.wipers, Cruise control, Factory alum. whls/winter tires(2nd set), Afe pro Dry-S , Dumbo eared flaps cut down.
    My trips are in the columbia river gorge, windy enough to have an explosion of wind turbines. Other trips go up Mt Hood.
     
  7. Aug 13, 2009 at 8:55 PM
    #7
    PropJet

    PropJet [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Member:
    #11795
    Messages:
    196
    Gender:
    Male
    KS
    Vehicle:
    '09 DC TRD Off Road
    ToyTec Ultimate Lift Kit, Moto Metal 955's, GoodYear DuraTrac 265/75/16's, N-Fab Nerf Bar
    Here at home I drive mellow and get 19-20 mpg. As I mentioned in my original post, on vacation I had about 750 lbs of payload, and only had it on cruise during the flat portions. Going up the passes (Monarch and the one just east of Montrose), I was getting 5-6 mpg. In other words, even without driving mellow, my mileage was much higher than I would have expected.
     
  8. Aug 13, 2009 at 9:08 PM
    #8
    Tacoyota

    Tacoyota senile member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Member:
    #20028
    Messages:
    2,960
    Gender:
    Male
    North of Cali, South of Canada
    Vehicle:
    08 4wd
    4.56 gears, rear trutrac,DT header, 235/85r16 Duratracs, 2nd filter pulled, inter.wipers, Cruise control, Factory alum. whls/winter tires(2nd set), Afe pro Dry-S , Dumbo eared flaps cut down.
    I'm seeng 25-26 , I'm on stock tires, but corrected for a slight speedo error. 65 mph for the freeways here
     
  9. Aug 13, 2009 at 9:28 PM
    #9
    TacoOwner?

    TacoOwner? Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Member:
    #20724
    Messages:
    177
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    Male
    First Name:
    Joshua
    Camas/Spokane, WA
    Vehicle:
    '10 4x4 Double Cab 6M
    Anti-thief tailgate, anytime rear-view camera, anytime locker mod
    Hmmm, with my corolla I got worse gas milage, but that was in southern utah and it was 7500-8000ft elevation. The air is thinner, colder denser air will give you a better combustion thus better mpgs. jmo
     
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