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2003 DODGE RAM 1500 4X4 GAS MILAGE


augercreek
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I bought a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab 4x4 with a 5.9 engine auto trans. Not one speck of rust and has 144,500 miles on it. Gas milage seems very poor to my way of thinking. Is there any way it improve it?

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Other than checking the usual maintenance items- plugs, filters, fluids, tire pressure, etc- those things just get terrible mileage. Driving slower is the biggest help for increasing MPG.  
Swap in a Cummins or LS would be an answer too. 😂

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I bought a brand new ram with the 5.9, owned it 8 months and calculated i was more than paying for a new diesel. So i sold it to a neighbor who was a chrysler man, he loved it, it was a 3/4 ton. He drove it 200000 mile hauling a cattle trailer. Put 1 jasper engine and 2 or 3 transmissions in it through its life. His next one was a diesel. I bought my 1st  new diesel  then. lost $500 on the ram. My godzilla powered F-350 gets better MPG than the ram.

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Dodge gasser won’t get decent mileage no matter what. Don’t think if you get a 4.9 it will improve your mileage either, IT WON’T!! 
I like Mopars, but other than a Chrysler 300, I have never had a gas MOPAR get decent mileage. 

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5 hours ago, augercreek said:

I bought a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab 4x4 with a 5.9 engine auto trans. Not one speck of rust and has 144,500 miles on it. Gas milage seems very poor to my way of thinking. Is there any way it improve it?

Well, just a answer here .... keep the key in the off position!

 

 

             HP

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Interesting.

I have friends with dodges of similar vintage that get over 20mpg. These are early 5.7 hemis. I forget the exact years.

A dodge with a 12v cummins, 5 speed manual and reasonable rear axle ratio will get over 20mpg.

My old 1980 D100 with slant 6 and 4 speed overdrive gets 20 wif I keep her tuned up.

Thx-Ace 

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Well, I'm glad I don't have to be divining a lot!  Twice a week we have to make 50 mile trips so anything else we'll just check the wallet before we go!

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Used to be you bought O2 simulators from summit and run a pry bar through the cat and you would gain a little bit. High flow air filter maybe a bit more, or as I finally decided after years of worrying about it, just drive it. Driving like you own it rather than like you stole it is the best way. 
the way i look at it is i need the truck, its not cheaper to make 2 trips with a smaller truck that gets a little better mileage and its not cheaper to own a gas sipper in addition, my commute could be 10 minutes or an hour an a half. Drive the thing if you need to and save your pennies elsewhere. People always talk about poor gas mileage like Good gas mileage is free. You have to calculate the difference and use that to make your judgment. 

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 RAN AN 84 318 RAM CHARGER FOR SEVERAL YEARS, mileage was around 13-14 on a trip. 5000 running

Ran a 2001 150 Conversion van 360, actually got the same 13 -14 on a trip. 6000 running.

Currently running a 93 454 K2500 chevy Suburban, if it gets to 13 I am happy on a trip. 7000 running

Our little 2013 100 CI nissan got 38 MPG on the last trip, little light vehicles get good mileage. 2300 running

We also have a Gillig Bus rv with a 8.3 Cummins engine, if it can maintain 9 mpg at 55 MPH I will be happy. 23,000 -26,000 running.

Best constiant mileage was an 84 Chevy Chevette powered by a 1.8 Lt Isuzu Diesel 55 HP, 45 MPG  135,000 mile  avearge, 2300 running

Big heavy work vehicles at 13 is about as good as I ever get/got, old days or today.  anything over 5000 running

I tracked my brothers trip across Texas (flat land on I20) , he was hauling 46,000# of crap on a 48' low-deck flat bed 13 speed 3406E Cat driving the speed limit he was getting 4.5 to 5.5 MPG, that was in 2008.

 

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Doesn’t help the OP at all, but I had a 2021 Ram 1500 gas V6 for a rental truck for a month.  As long as you drove it like a car it averaged 22 mpg, but it was geared so high that at 80 mph  in top gear it was only turning 1900 ish rpm.  Put a small trailer (6x12 enclosed) behind it and it wouldn’t shift past 5th gear (8 speed).

If I was looking for a light duty truck that was mostly highway driving I would take a good look at one.

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29 minutes ago, Mudfly said:

2021 Ram 1500 gas V6 for a rental truck for a month.  As long as you drove it like a car it averaged 22 mpg,

I rented one for a Trip to Detoilet in March

2021 Ram 1500 Crew Cab gas V6

It got 25MPG on 1920 mile trip and I drive 73-78 MPH on the interstate 

On the way back I had a ROPS and a set of fenders hanging out of the bed 

IMG_1322.jpg

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4 hours ago, acem said:

Interesting.

I have friends with dodges of similar vintage that get over 20mpg. These are early 5.7 hemis. I forget the exact years.

 

no disrespect to you ACE but I bet them friends of yours tell some great fishing tales as well

 

We have a 2004 Powerwagon shop truck. I have never seen such a pig on gas( and everyone hates that truck). Those early Hemis were notoriously hard on fuel from everything I have heard and witnessed. 14 mpg max with US gallon? and I think that is generous 

 

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Idk what's going on. I've had several friends tell me that. Several are straight shooters.

The trucks were 'town trucks'. Light duty 1/2 ton 4dr 4wd. Some type of overdrive automatic. I'm not sure of the year but they were probably mid 00s to mid 10s.

A friend still has a mid 10s dodge hemi that gets 20+ mpg. I've ridden in the truck several times. It's easy on gas.

Other friends have HD 3/4 and 1 ton hemis. They never talk about gas mileage. Im guessing it's not good.

In all fairness everyone i know with newish HD 3/4 & 1 ton trucks are complaining about bad gas mileage.

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I had a 98 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9 gas, 4x4, with auto and 4:10 gears for 10 years. It got between 11 and 15 mpg depending on what I did with it. I wish I still had it instead of the 02 2500 Silverado I had to replace it with after the accident. It has a 6.0 gas that gets 6mpg pulling the same trailer the Dodge did at 11.

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44 minutes ago, yellowrosefarm said:

I had a 98 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9 gas, 4x4, with auto and 4:10 gears for 10 years. It got between 11 and 15 mpg depending on what I did with it. I wish I still had it instead of the 02 2500 Silverado I had to replace it with after the accident. It has a 6.0 gas that gets 6mpg pulling the same trailer the Dodge did at 11.

the previous shop truck we had was a 2000 2500 Sierra. it drove and rode like a Caddy . everyone loved it. I always thought it was better on fuel but cannot say for sure. What I can tell you is it stood up better and the 04 Dodge is rusted out much worse than the GM/ I bought a tractor tire off a guy a few months ago and he had the GM. It had a door replaced and it still looked great with 503,000 kms on it, The Power wagon is not road worthy and is going to scrap soon,  that GM is the best truck I ever have seen

gmv3.jpg

gms.jpg

gms2.jpg

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What’s your tire pressure? I put 10 ply on my wife’s 4 runner, I gained 1-2mpg by going to 44 psi rather than 34

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If you want gas mileage, my wife's geo metro xfi consistently get over 50 mpg. Can't haul much buy its great for running around.

My 93 D250 gets 18mpg consistently. It's a cummins/auto but diesel is extremely compared to gas...

 

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My '16 3.5 ecoboost gets over 20 mpg on long trips. I also pull a '33 5th wheel camper with it. It doesnt get 20 pulling the camper but its around 12 mpg on short trips. It has a ton of power. Accelerates with that camper like a scalded dog. I have my trailer brake gain set a 7 to slow it down but that turbo gasser engine brakes just as good as dads 6.7 diesel.

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I don't think there is much you can do, I've put lots of miles on many Chev and Dodge pickups 2006 and older, Magnum 5.9s were thirsty for a half ton, the 5.2s could be respectable-capable of better mileage than a Vortec 305/350 I think, the Dodge 4.7s are thirsty too,  the only Hemi I have drove a bunch is in a one ton so it burns enough fuel, 6 liter Chevies are awesome performers and love fuel, the 4.8/5.3 Chev is the best of them all for economy and performance I think, older throttle body fuel injected and carbed small block Chevy and Dodge engines could get some good mileage, but no where near the performance of a 4.8/5.3

Ye old 12 valve Cummins is always a good one, drive it gentle with 7000lbs or less payload and it goes through fuel like a half ton empty, if they are loaded heavy and you want to run the fast lane they are capable of sucking a ton of fuel, rightfully so, seldom hear those fuel stories about them though

I have a slant six/4 speed overdrive 83 D150, I haven't drove it much yet, in my experience with Chev 250 sixes they run well but a 305 will get at least 2 mpg more on it's place

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9 hours ago, IHKeith said:

the 4.8/5.3 Chev is the best of them all for economy and performance I think, older throttle body fuel injected and carbed small block Chevy and Dodge engines could get some good mileage, but no where near the performance of a 4.8/5.3

 

Have to agree with you there.  My 01 Yukon 5.3 gets an honest 20 on the highway. I can't think of another V8 full size truck I ever had that could do that. (All mine have been older than 02, so I have no comparison for the newer tech)

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