Dismiss Notice



Register Today It's free! This box will disappear once registered!

Tips on increasing MPG?

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by robotnik, May 26, 2014.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





Tags:
  1. robotnik

    robotnik New Member

    Joined:
    March 27, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Arizona
    City, State:
    Arizona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Explorer 4.0L V6
    Hi, I was wondering if anyone can offer advice on what I can do or modifications I can make that would increase the MPG on my 2003 Ford Explorer.

    I love this car, but it seems like its sucking gas even more than it used to before.
     
  2. Support EF

    Join the Elite Explorers for $20

    Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.



  3. lebi320

    lebi320 New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    From Philadelphia, PA but residing currently at Tinker AFB, OK
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    03 Explorer XLT 4.0L V6
    When is the last time you had the vehicle on a "tune-up?"
     
  4. robotnik

    robotnik New Member

    Joined:
    March 27, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Arizona
    City, State:
    Arizona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Explorer 4.0L V6
    I'm not sure. I've had this one for 3 years and never got it a tune-up. I changed the oil and air filter about 6 months ago though
     
  5. lebi320

    lebi320 New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    From Philadelphia, PA but residing currently at Tinker AFB, OK
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    03 Explorer XLT 4.0L V6
    Are you using 10% ethanol gas? I filled up with 100% gas driving to and from Stillwater and got about 21MPG.

    I personally haven't done anything to my engine but ive heard of people editing their cars computers to optimized the fuel economy.
     
  6. robotnik

    robotnik New Member

    Joined:
    March 27, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Arizona
    City, State:
    Arizona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Explorer 4.0L V6
    Yeah I'm using 10% ethenol gas most of the time, since I think just about all gas stations around where i live (Chicago) have it that way. Does having a full tank usually help with MPG? I usually leave the tank at between 1/4 and 1/2, throwing a few bucks in here and there and usually fill up all the way at times when gas prices are low
     
  7. lebi320

    lebi320 New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    From Philadelphia, PA but residing currently at Tinker AFB, OK
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    03 Explorer XLT 4.0L V6
    Rog, I think Oklahoma is one of the last states to sell 100% gas. Having a full fuel tank will decrease the chances of having water condensation in your tank. You may not want to keep your fuel tank on the lower side. Having low amounts of fuel with strain your fuel pump causing it to get hot. I keep mine as full as possible filling up about every week. But im paying around $3.40 for a gallon.

    But I don't know everything about the explorer. It may have measures to protect it from this.
     
  8. coppe

    coppe Active Member

    Joined:
    December 10, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    01 xls v6 SOHC
    Give it a tune up, I've seen cars with lots of miles or time in between tune ups taking a toll in mpg. Depends on how the truck was taken care of, maybe plugs or something else might still be ok, but it wouldn't hurt to get the admission and injectors cleaned, filters replaced, maf, egr,and other stuff cleaned and to reset the computer by disconnecting the battery for five min and turning on the headlights to eliminate residual charge, and then use the relearning process with the computer, give it about two gas tanks, and then measure your mpg.
     
  9. coppe

    coppe Active Member

    Joined:
    December 10, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    01 xls v6 SOHC
    And after all that, even if it improves, then you can do little things here and there. Removing the roof rack, good city tires, not reving the engine excessively, cleaning your engine compartment, check your tire pressure, etch, etc. There's a thread by Aldive, a late member of the forum called "the quest for 30 mpg" or something like that. Its about 2nd gen explorers, but there's a lot of good info there.
     
  10. briwayjones

    briwayjones Manual Master

    Joined:
    December 11, 2003
    Messages:
    4,471
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    City, State:
    Eldersburg, MD
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2000 Ford Explorer XLS
  11. Carguy3J

    Carguy3J Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    June 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    North East New Jersey
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '99 4dr. XLT SOHC A4WD
    :eek::banghead: Umm, basic maintenance is a definite first thing to do.

    Good plugs and wires are essential. Avoid Bosch plugs. For some reason these motors just don't like them. Change the oil asap. I would suggest a full-synthetic 5w30, or even 5w20. I like Mobil 1 personally. Its available at Walmart for about $23/ 5quarts.

    You can also switch all your other fluids over to full synthetic (front and rear differentials, as well as the trans and transfer case.

    Having a clean air filter is also important for engine performance/fuel efficiency. You may want consider switching to a K&N or other re-usable high flow type filter. You could do just a drop in style, which fits like stock, or do a cold air kit.

    At this point, fresh o2 sensors would probably help also. People like to ignore them, but they do wear out, and cause a loss of fuel economy, long before they set a check engine light.

    As far as mods, an underdrive crank pulley, electric cooling fan ( in place of the mechanical clutch fan), and perhaps a cat back exhaust are a good place to start. As others have said, removing the roof rack bars, and other minor "aero" mods can help.
    Lowering the vehicle can help improve handling, as well as reduce aero drag, which improves mpg.
    You could also do a partial grill block, which again has those same benefits. Just be careful not to block too much and overheat the engine. This also helps to warm up the engine quicker in the winter, which again improves MPG.

    Depending on how "dirty" the inside of the engine is, doing a seafoam treatment (search/google it) can help it to run smoother/cleaner, and more efficiently, especially since you seem to have ignored basic routine maintenance for a long time.
     
  12. briwayjones

    briwayjones Manual Master

    Joined:
    December 11, 2003
    Messages:
    4,471
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    City, State:
    Eldersburg, MD
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2000 Ford Explorer XLS
    The biggest thing most people can do initially to increase mileage is changing driving habits. No jack rabbit starts and hard braking.
     
  13. Carguy3J

    Carguy3J Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    June 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    North East New Jersey
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '99 4dr. XLT SOHC A4WD
    Please stop telling people that. I HATE people who drive like there is an egg under the gas pedal. Wasting gas continuing to accelerate and then slamming on the brakes at a light is wasteful, but the "no jack rabbit starts" is not actually entirely true.

    On heavier vehicles in particular, getting up to speed quickly, and then "cruising" at the desired speed, is more efficient then a long, slow drown out acceleration up to the same final speed. Yes, if you're literally "racing" between stop lights a block or two apart, knowing you'll have to stop almost immediately, then that will waste gas. But, if you will have a good half-mile or more in between, then its best to get up to speed rapidly. Why? An engine is an air pump. The less throttle opening, the greater the intake restriction, and therefore greater pumping losses. Also, an engine doesn't produce its most efficient power at low rpm and minimal throttle angle and load. Also, getting up to cruising speed as quickly as possible also gets the transmission up through the gears and into OD, or at least the highest gear possible for the conditions, as quickly as possible.

    I always get better fuel economy, driving my way, then when I am stuck behind hyper-miling turds/nerds forcing me to drive at their agonizingly slow pace. My goal is to be through the gears and into 5th ('93 Ranger 4.0L-5spd) within 30 seconds of first moving, or less. Actually, a lot less. 30 seconds is an eternity. Granted, their little battery powered toys (Prius /"pee on us",etc..) may get better battery life/hybrid fuel economy that way, but they screw everyone else. Ultimately, its better for the world that my Ranger/Explorer, and all the other lower mpg vehicles out there get the best mpg they can, rather then the little tin( or plastic) cans that already get relatively better mileage even when not operated optimally. Its even worse when somebody drives that way in some old land barge, creeping up to speed over a long distance.

    So, people, get up to speed quickly, then roll out of the throttle and maintain/cruise. Try it. You'll see I'm right. (No, it won't work in stop and go rush hour traffic, but more "normal" driving, you'll see an improvement.)
     
  14. MarX

    MarX New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    City, State:
    Kansas
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Mountaineer

    That's what I would do, combined with cleaning of the MAF, Throttle Body, air filter ect. These will only take a few hours and can make an improvement very easily.
     
  15. Number4

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

    Joined:
    March 16, 2013
    Messages:
    3,949
    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    73
    City, State:
    Woodstock, GA
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    04 Ford Explorer 4.6l
    When I drive my wife's 05 4.0, I average 16-17 mpg.
    When my wife drives it, she averages 12-13 mpg.
     
  16. briwayjones

    briwayjones Manual Master

    Joined:
    December 11, 2003
    Messages:
    4,471
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    City, State:
    Eldersburg, MD
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2000 Ford Explorer XLS
    I'm not talking about driving like there is an egg under the gas pedal. And I'm not talking about driving at the minimal RPMs you can. There is an optimal range to run the engine in for efficiency. And a lot of people especially who drive automatics (which is almost everyone) go past it almost everytime they accelerate. Also with automatics there is slipping in the transmission at low speeds starting out. And giving it more gas to go faster doesn't really get you anything because the power doesn't make it to the wheels due to the slipping in the transmission. So you are doing nothing but wasting gas.

    Most people I have observed if they see a light turn red some distance away they will stay on the gas and then when they get close to the light and get on the brakes hard to stop. Instead of letting off of the gas as soon as they see the light turn red and coasting to the light. That is the kind of things I am talking about. And those things can make a big difference.

    And since you are talking about your Ranger 5 speed that is something I know a little about. I have never driven any but manual transmissions. Placing a time limit on when to get to 5th gear is not a good measurement. The basis should be on what your engine and vehicle is doing not a time limit. On flattish ground the optimal shift point for a 3.55 geared Explorer/Ranger is about 2500-3000 RPM. More specifically about 2500-2700 RPM. If you go much above that you are wasting fuel. For 3.73 gears you'll have to go a little higher. And off course if you are going up a hill or something you're going to need to use more. But I'm talking about flattish ground.
     
  17. briwayjones

    briwayjones Manual Master

    Joined:
    December 11, 2003
    Messages:
    4,471
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    City, State:
    Eldersburg, MD
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2000 Ford Explorer XLS
    There is an optimum engine speed for every gear. If you exceed that optimal speed in 1-4th gears just to make it to 5th gear faster so you can run the optimum speed in 5th gear, that is wasting fuel compared to staying in the optimum engine speed for every gear on the way up to 5th gear and then running in optimum speed for 5th gear.
     
  18. roush9799

    roush9799 Active Member

    Joined:
    October 6, 2012
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2016 Ford Explorer XLT
    Lots of times doing this, you will find that the light will be green about the time you get there if you time it right. You waste a lot less gas taking off from a slow rolling start than from a dead start.
     
  19. robotnik

    robotnik New Member

    Joined:
    March 27, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Arizona
    City, State:
    Arizona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Explorer 4.0L V6
    Well thanks everyone for the tips. I noticed that my driving habits were probably the biggest thing, as I had my foot on the pedal way too often basically.

    Just by changing that I noticed the gas gauge was going down much less than it was previously. I'm not sure how many MPG Im getting though, as my explorer does not have the fancy LCD display that shows that (I wonder if I can get that info by getting one of those things that connects to the OBD port though)
     
  20. coppe

    coppe Active Member

    Joined:
    December 10, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    01 xls v6 SOHC
    choose a gas station, fill her up, just to the point in which the nozzle shuts off by itself. reset the odometer, and drive, when you use about 3/4 of a tank, go to the same gas station and fill her up in the same pump, same conditions (day, night, etc) as possible. write down the mileage on the odometer and the gallons, (as well as what you paid in case you want to know your costs per mile)

    do this about three times.

    then just do a simple división, divide the gallons charged against the driven miles, do it with the three gas tanks info.

    then add up the three results (which should be similar) and divide them, by three.

    then you should have a pretty accurate average of mpg. This gives more accurate info than the digital gauges en some older cars.

    Then, every now and then, and after giving your car the much, much needed basic maintenance, do it again, and if you change your driving habits, and also if you wish to compare city and traveling mpg.
     
  21. Number4

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

    Joined:
    March 16, 2013
    Messages:
    3,949
    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    73
    City, State:
    Woodstock, GA
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    04 Ford Explorer 4.6l
    To check you mpg, you divide your miles driven, by the amount of gallons used. This is far more accurate than the message center or OBD device. It also requires that you reset your trip meter each time. It's best to do it by tank. Meaning, fill the tank and run it as low as possible, then refill. I write down my trip miles as well as my odometer. This way, if I work on the car and disconnect the battery, I still can get my miles driven.
     

Share This Page







We Support Our Troops!