The world-famous RAM 1500 is a mighty truck. It is very powerful, reliable, and equally good for driving through mud, towing, and hauling. However, all that power comes at a price: the Dodge champ isn’t very impressive in terms of fuel efficiency. It’s not the worst truck in that regard, but still, average at best. So, is there a way to boost its fuel economy rating?
A lot can be done, actually: you can switch to better spark plugs, invest in a new air intake system, or get a cat-back exhaust. And let’s not forget about the importance of proper maintenance! In this guide, we’ll talk about several tried-and-true ways of improving the RAM’s gas mileage without spending big bucks on the equipment. Let’s get to it!
#1: Maintain Proper Tire Pressure Levels
This one might not be obvious to many drivers, but incorrect tire pressure does have an impact on fuel efficiency. First of all, the pressure needs to be at the right level. Secondly, it’s very important for all four tires to have the SAME pressure. Otherwise, the truck will have a hard time keeping its balance on the road, which, in turn, will lead to poor mileage. I recommend checking the PSI once a week or so.
#2: Eliminate all Potential Leaks
Next up, you gotta deal with all the leaks. And I’m not only talking about oil or gas leaks. If your transmission fluid, brake fluid, or coolant is leaking, best believe that will lead to a drop in fuel economy. When it comes to gas leaks, the gap is usually the root of the problem. Most RAM drivers forget to seal it properly, and that results in bad efficiency. You won’t lose all of your gas, of course, but still, make a habit of checking on it frequently.
#3: Perform Oil Changes Every 5K Miles
It’s no secret that engine oil doesn’t last forever. Over time, deposits and sludge build-up inside of it, negatively affecting overall performance. So, my advice to you: perform regular oil changes. Some experts suggest doing this every 3K miles, but that’s overkill. For Dodge’s 1500 truck, an oil change once in 5-6K miles will be exactly what the doc ordered.
#4: Invest in E-3 Spark Plugs
Did you know that premium-quality Spark Plugs for Dodge Ram can boost mileage? Well, yes, they sure can. For example, the so-called E-3 plugs were specifically designed to boost mileage. When properly maintained, they will eliminate any chance of misfire, stalling, or inconsistent engine performance, which, again, equals higher efficiency. A new set of regular plugs will also improve the MPG ratio, but not as much as the E-3 units.
#5: Consider Buying an Aftermarket Exhaust
Just like with the coolant, over the years, the exhaust gets overwhelmed by contaminants. That leads to clogging, which makes it harder for the toxic fumes to escape the RAM. These fumes are very hot, and the longer they stay in the system, the harder the engine will have to work. Plus, this could lead to overheating. Therefore, a brand-new exhaust will be a very reasonable investment.
It will not only keep the motor cool and remove the vapors more efficiently, but also enhance fuel efficiency. On average, you can expect a 2-5% boost, which is a pretty decent result. Top-of-the-line cat-back exhausts might even achieve a 5-8% increase, but they’ll cost a lot. Besides, you’ll have to replace a long list of gear/equipment to make that happen.
#6: Maybe You Should Get a New Intake System?
In many ways, an air intake system is similar to an exhaust. Keeping the engine cool is its #1 job – the mileage gain is just a nice “bonus”. However, instead of eliminating the fumes, it improves the airflow inside of the engine bay. A decent-quality intake will provide 50% more airflow, and that’s a lot. I would highly recommend getting an air filter as well (already included in most air intake kits).
It will protect the engine from dust, debris, and pollen, greatly increasing its lifespan. Together, the intake tube and the free-flowing filter will give you an extra 1-3MPG. For a heavy-duty truck like RAM 1500, this is quite an impressive result. In a year, you’ll be able to save $70-200 dollars!
#7: Keep the RAM’s Bed Clean
Last, but not least, let’s talk about the obvious: keeping the truck’s tonneau nice and clean. You probably have tons of tools, heavy equipment, and whatnot in the RAM’s bed that you carry around but don’t really need. Well, you’ll be surprised by how big of a difference loss of excessive weight can make. So, go ahead and get rid of all the “extra” stuff. Don’t expect any ground-breaking gains in mileage, though.
Officially, every 1000 pounds drop fuel efficiency by 0.5-1%. But, the ride quality, towing, and uphill performance will definitely be improved. Another thing to keep in mind is aerodynamics. It can be enhanced by removing the roof racks, lowering the truck, or installing a bed cover. It might not be worth it, though, especially if you need the rack and don’t want to cover the bed. Lowering the vehicle will make even less sense for most drivers.