With how much gas costs, you might regret your decision to own a Ram 1500, especially if you have the Supercharged 6.2L Hemi.
Newer model Ram trucks are much more fuel efficient than past, with options like the EcoDiesel and V6 with eTourque. There are still ways to improve your gas mileage if you don’t own these models.
Are you serious about saving some dough at the pump? Reading this guide and following all these ten tips will result in some serious fuel savings.
1. Exercise Caution When Using The Gas Pedal
Just because you’re driving one of the fastest trucks on the market doesn’t mean you need to show it off at every red light. Rapid acceleration is a gas killer, and when the RPMs start to flutter over that 3000 mark, you can almost hear the fuel being burned up.
On the flip side, you don’t want to be driving Miss Daisy either. The Ram 1500 is the most fuel-efficient, between 50 – 60 MPH. Don’t drive so slow that you can get a traffic ticket. Lower speeds for prolonged amounts of time consume as much gas as aggressive acceleration.
2. Tire Pressures and Maintenance
Did you know that your tires can impact your fuel economy? Running your tires at lower tire pressure will need more power from the engine to push the tires forward. This is known as rolling resistance.
You can guess what happens when that big motor in your tuck has to work harder. Yep, it requires more fuel to be burned to generate more power.
This doesn’t mean going out of your way to over-inflate the tires to achieve better MPGs. Overinflation can lead to uneven tire wear. This means your tire will wear out quicker, and all that money you saved on gas will not be enough for new tires on a 1500.
Tire maintenance such as Rotations will help your tires achieve even tread wear. Uneven tread wear will result in the tire dragging along instead of rolling with the vehicle. More drag equals more gas to compensate.
3. Air Conditioning Usage
Being smart about when you use the AC system can save you fuel. The EPA estimates that using your AC on hot days can reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25% and even more on short trips.
Roll the windows down to cool off when taking short trips through town rather than ramping up the AC. The Ram 1500 offers a large spacious cab that is great for many reasons, but it will take much longer to cool down by cold air circulating. Odds are your cab won’t cool down by the time you get to your destination anyways.
It will be better to keep the windows rolled up at high speeds and use AC. But, try to keep the usage on low to stay cool and use as little fuel as possible. The windows down at high speeds create a lot of aerodynamic drag, making it more difficult for the truck to go forward.
4. Prevent The Cab From Getting Hot
The beauty of walking is that it’s free, so if you have to park your truck further away to get a spot in the shade, what’s the harm?
Parking in the shade on hot days will help prevent the cab from heating up. This allows your fuel economy since the first thing you do when you hop in your truck on a hot day is crank the AC to the max. The less you rely on the air conditioning, the better your fuel economy.
Tinting your windows or purchasing sun shade visors are other ways to keep the sun’s rays from beating into the cab.
If your cab does get too hot, roll the windows down and let all the hot air first before cranking up the AC system. This will require the AC system to not work as hard to cool down hot air.
5. Weight Reduction
Reducing the truck’s weight will increase your gas mileage. For example, removing 10% of the truck’s weight can save up to 8% fuel.
Cutting five to six hundred pounds will not be easy. Some things you can remove that you may not use or feel the need to have include seats, spare tires, tailgate, roof racks, or even shed some weight of your own.
Also, not being “that guy” known for hauling everyone around would severely help you out. What does adding weight do if a 10% weight deduction results in 8% savings?
6. Cruise Control
Whether you have a diesel or gas engine, using cruise control is a great way to save some gas. The constant fluctuation of speed from you trying not to go over the speed limit causes extra fuel consumed when you step on that accelerator.
Cruise control keeps the speed maintained, reducing fluctuating speed and RPMs. But if you set your speed above seventy, be prepared to watch your fuel tank ticker quickly swing towards empty.
The newer model Rams have adaptive cruise control, which will also help fuel economy. It may be hard to swallow, but the days of self-driving cars are coming, and they will be much more fuel efficient at driving than us.
The Ram 1500 has extensive motor options; when those big engines aren’t running at peak performance, it can cost you a lot of gas. Vehicle maintenance is performed early and often will make any of the engine options run in tip-top shape.
Oil changes, air filter replacement and spark plugs will be the three most important services to impact fuel economy.
Clean oil keeps the pistons well lubricated when moving through the engine’s cylinders. When a piston does not move with ease, it requires more fuel and air to generate combustion to rotate up and down.
Dirty air filters will prevent airflow into the engine. Without the proper amount of air, the motor will need to compensate by using more fuel to create combustion.
Spark plugs provide the spark for cylinder firing. And when a cylinder is misfiring, it will need the other five or seven pistons ( depending on engine size) to compensate for this.
Maintenance is easy, and these three things are simple enough to perform yourself by simply watching a youtube video.
8. Drive Sensibly
The Ram 1500 is not a vehicle that should be driven like a Nascar Sprint Cup car. Remember that driving like a maniac has severe implications for fuel efficiency.
Punching the accelerator to maneuver around vehicles traveling at lower speeds and coming up on a red light at fast rates are two ways to kill MPG.
Driving with your eyes forward instead of just in front of your bumper will allow you to anticipate upcoming vehicles and traffic lights. If you expect correctly, you can change lanes to avoid slamming on the brakes or slowing down to accelerate again.
9. Stop Unnesacary Idling
Letting your engine run while stopped drains fuel. Most new Ram 1500s come with auto stop and start to kill the engine when stopped for this reason.
Idling can cost you anywhere from $0.02-$0.03 a minute. While that may not seem like a lot, the cents add up quickly. The average traffic stop is one to two minutes, so think about how many red lights you have sat at in your 1500 then you will start to see the amount of gas wasted.
Also, it only takes about ten seconds of fuel to turn the motor back on, which is much better than sitting there with the engine on.
10. Increase Aerodynamics
Are you guilty of leaving a cargo box on your roof when not in use? That’s costing you some fuel.
When the Ram 1500 is designed, aerodynamics are a large part of the testing because it impacts performance and fuel economy.
Cargo boxes, kayaks, or any roof-mounted items will cause a lot more drag, making it more difficult for the truck to move forward. Plus, it’s a truck so throw anything on top of your roof in the bed. Wind and air are supposed to pass over the truck bed, so investing in a cargo extender would be much more beneficial than any roof-mounted accessory.
Remember to keep the windows rolled up at high speeds to reduce the amount of wind resistance as well.
There are a lot of great tips in this guide that is so simple even a monkey could do it, so there’s no reason for you to not start implementing them.
Exercise your best judgment when using these ways, as some may be extreme and impact your ability to drive safely. Like using your AC system, don’t risk heat exhaustion to save a couple of bucks. That would not be smart.
Now that you have all the ways to improve gas mileage on a Ram 1500, it’s time to start putting them to work and save some money at the pump!