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How to get Better Gas Mileage?

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Steven's 72, January 21, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Steven's 72

    Steven's 72 New Member

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    Hey Guys and Gals,

    I own a 2003 Ford Explorer V8 with about 123,000 Miles on it now. We put a-lot of highway miles on it, roughly 65 miles a day. I am getting about 16 miles to the gallon. Can I do anything to improve the gas mileage on it?
     
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  3. EasyRhino

    EasyRhino Well-Known Member

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    Not too much. It's a heavy truck with a thirsty engine.

    However, the biggest gain can be had from the way you drive. You know, drive like you have an egg taped to the gas pedal, avoid rapid stops and starts, etc. Use cruise control on the highway set at the speed limit.

    Other than that:

    Install low rolling resistance tires and keep them inflated as high as you can stand it (within the tire's pressure limits), make sure the alignment is good.

    Remove all external encumbrances not needed (roof rack, extra trim, add ons).

    Replace all driveline fluids with low friction fluids.

    Make sure that it's in good tune and running condition (good - factory spec only - plugs)(no vacuum leaks).

    Some folks install underdrive pulleys, lower the truck, install different items that many consider gimmicks.

    But it's not going to change that much.

    Are you keeping detailed mileage logs or going by estimates only? My 2002 fully loaded 4.6 V8 AWD Limited averages 15.4 mpg in town and has gotten 20 mpg highway.
     
  4. Steven's 72

    Steven's 72 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, I have been changing the oil every 3 to 5 thousand ever since I got the truck. Purchased it with 32 thousand on the Odometer.
     
  5. matt0248

    matt0248 Active Member

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    A K&N Intake kit and Aftermarket cat-back exhaust got me 4 MPG's on the highway (unless my wife drives then it is -2 MPG's)
     
  6. Limited03

    Limited03 New Member

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    When starting from a stop keep your RPMs under 2000 and when coming to a stop try coasting.
     
  7. shadowless127

    shadowless127 Well-Known Member

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    are you looking to increase hwy mpg's or city??

    The best way I found to get good city MPG's was to replace all my filters, keep my foot out of the throttle, and that's about it.

    If I grannied it I got 16mpg city, but normally i got about 14-15 city. I was able to get 22mpg hwy doing 72mph with the AC blasting. When on the hwy use cruise control as much as possible.
     
  8. shadowless127

    shadowless127 Well-Known Member

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    ugh, I tried that once... it lasted about 3 traffic lights lol
     
  9. 2002GreyHD150

    2002GreyHD150 Active Member

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    at 123K some regular maintenance things will help.

    02 sensors (motorcraft ONLY), switch to synthetic fluids (especially trans/AWD transfer case & differentials), fuel filter (often forgotten) K&N filter & keep it clean.maintained, like others have said, watch tire pressures, etc.

    I prefer copper spark plugs & change more often. I will never understand leaving plugs in for 60K+ that's just poor maintenance. I've seen platinum's be out of range on gap as much as .005 or more in under 20K.

    Rob
     
  10. Castle

    Castle New Member

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    If you're 100 yards off a red light... don't keep your foot on the gas to the 20 yard line.

    Leave 10 minutes early on your work commute and drive 60 instead of 75... you're only gaining 10 minutes for that extra 15 MPH and losing probably 3-5 MPG.

    You don't need WOT or close to it for every green light. If you are worried about holding up people behind you, stay out of the left lane.

    Tires make a difference. I run all-season tires. If you run fat, wide, AT tires expect poor mileage.

    Most of this is common sense stuff.

    My truck does 21-22 on the highway. I drive 30 miles round trip to work, 27 of those are highway.
     
  11. artofkicking

    artofkicking New Member

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    So here's something, I had a 2003 f150 with the 4.6l engine. Got better than 20 mpg. The obd II said I was running lean but it didn't affect driveability or power. Then one day it started running bad and cut off when I gave it gas. It turned out to be the pcv hose went soft and sucked flat. Once I replaced that it ran fine again and I was able to clear the "lean" code from the ECU, however my mileage dropped about 4 mpg.
    I'm willing to bet a simple bushing that restricts the vacuum a little though the pcv hose would do the trick.

    In fact I'm going to make a few of different sizes to try on my 4.0l
    I'll post what happens.
     
  12. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    Stop and go freeway (like Atlanta) or 65+ MPH freeway? When I go from Atlanta to Cincinnati, I'm usually running 80 mph and average 19 MPG's. If I was going 65 MPH I'd expect better gas mileage.

    In regular Atlanta stop and go I get high 15's to low 16's, so your freeway 16 MPG tells me you have an issue.

    A dirty air filter will rob you. So will plugs with a worn gap. If you "100,000 mile" plugs have more than 70,000 on them, I'd replace them.
     
  13. roush9799

    roush9799 Active Member

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    Yeah, sometimes taking the wife off of it helps mileage considerably. Those things are also hard on brakes too.
     
  14. blue_goose

    blue_goose Active Member

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    Gotta keep some motion sickness bags close by too!


    What the others said. I went from low resistance tires to oversized at's and only lost 1 mpg, which I gained back buy opening up the exhaust and a janky CAI. Didn't notice a change with synthetics in summer, certainely helped in the winter with mileage. I recommend no cruise on the highway unless its flat. The tranny loves to shift and the revs well soar with cruise on, often its just as easy to hold it in od with your foot. Whats your speed? Mine does best at 70mph for mileage. 60=21-22 65=20 70=20 75=17-18. This is when under GVWR and not towing but pretty loaded. Seems to get the same if its just me or if its full of family and junk. only time it gets less is over GVWR or towing, then it tanks pretty quick. I also baby it with hills and keep it in od as much as possible. With the wife driving same speed it shifts all over the place my averages are about 2 mpg less.

    Honeslty, your driving behavior will be the easiest and cheapest fix. Intake and definitly exhaust will help but i recommend looking at the gains you will get and see how long it will take to pay off the mods. If you can do it all yourself it can be cheap, but buying the parts and having a shop do it all adds up quickly and the money you save in gas can take quite a while to break even with the install. But if you make it sound good, well you cant put a price on that!
     
  15. Tuflehundon

    Tuflehundon New Member

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    I drove a hybrid before getting the Exploder back from the wife. Driving a hybrid, you learn to stay off the gas as much, and to coast as much as possible instead of braking. Coasting charges the batteries faster than braking. When I first got the truck back I drove it a lot like I did my hybrid. The wife was getting 15mpg, I went up to 20mpg combined city/hwy, and 21-22 hwy.

    Got tired of driving it that way and now get about 18 city and 21-22 hwy. That's if I keep my foot out of it.
     
  16. 4X4Bauer

    4X4Bauer Member

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    The absolute biggest thing to save gas mileage, as others have said, is to be easy on the gas. What I did was I got used to the feeling of the gas pedal and learned when my car liked to shift. By perfecting this you can give your car just enough gas before it downshifts, or so that it upshifts and you can coast.
     
  17. cjben

    cjben Member

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    "good" gas mileage is possible with the 4.6. I get 19-20 highway with the a/c on at 75 mph with cruise on. It takes more work to get anything that resembles good mpgs in town. lol
     
  18. Joe in NY

    Joe in NY Active Member

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    also... Keep it clean! A washed and waxed car travels through air easier.

    Also, keep as much weight out as you can. 2WD base model no option V6 explorer will do far better than fully loaded 4wd V8 explorer. As I have :p I have to say. Coming up from FL the explorer did great! 18+ Easy! Ever since though I haven't gotten past 16.5 really. Sometimes 17 on the highway. Now do mind that is with slightly bigger tires.. So 4% off. 18+---> 18.7+ 16.5----> 17.1\


    and last thing... Factory MPG calculators have been known to be off... Wayyy off ;)
     
  19. Tuflehundon

    Tuflehundon New Member

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    Yup. Mine said I was getting 16.5, but when I did the math myself, I was a couple mpg higher than that.
     
  20. neal rogers

    neal rogers New Member

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    i have only 1 thing to say "i love fossil fuels burn baby burn"
    LOL
     
  21. lincolnshibuya

    lincolnshibuya Active Member

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    or buy a volkswagen diesel :)
    cleaner air and more mpg!
     






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