How to Get Better Fuel Economy with your Diesel Truck
Fuel economy has been on everyone’s minds lately. With the frequent fluctuations in fuel costs (mostly higher and higher), getting good mileage out of your vehicle has become increasingly important. Here are 5 tips that can help:
Maintain your diesel truck
Maintaining your diesel truck is one of the most important things you can do. Not only does regular maintenance keep it running well, it also helps your truck use less fuel.
- Make sure your tires are inflated properly
- Get regular oil changes
- Clean the air filter
- Use fuel additives to keep your fuel injectors clean(see below)
Use a Diesel Fuel Additive
Diesel fuel additives are incredibly important for modern Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel(ULSD) fuels. These fuels have had sulfur reduced which was used mainly as a lubricator similar to how lead was used in gasoline fuels. Another important component in diesel that was reduced in the ULSD fuels is Cetane. Cetane is similar to Octane for gasoline fuel and it indicates how easy the fuel will ignite and burn.Since Ultra low Sulfur diesel fuels became standard in the middle 2000s, the cetane has been reduced which makes the newer fuel less desirable for diesel enthusiasts. It is highly recommended to run a fuel additive to increase the overall Cetane number. Diesel fuel additives such as Fuel Bomb will also have lubricity additives, to replace the missing sulfur, which will help the modern diesel engine run better and achieve a higher fuel economy(MPG). One other feature of a diesel fuel additive is that they are a great value. A standard bottle of diesel fuel additive usually treats 250-500 gallons. Most of our customers see a .5-1 mpg increase by using F-Bomb, the standard general purpose fuel additive made by Fuel Bomb. It pays to use a diesel fuel additive.
Here is an article from Diesel Power Magazine on diesel fuel additives and why they are important.
Drive with the tailgate up
You’ve probably been told that driving with the tailgate down is more fuel efficient because it allows the air to flow over the cab, through the bed and out the back. Or that when the tailgate is up the wind slams into it, slowing you down and causing you to burn more fuel. This is a myth.
Keeping the tailgate up on your diesel truck actually creates a vortex of air within the bed. This vortex guides the air over the bed and gently deposits it on the other side of the tailgate, creating a smooth airflow over the bed and beyond.
Empty the bed
Carrying around metal toolboxes filled with heavy tools weighs down your truck and causes you to burn more fuel. If you don’t need these tools on a daily basis, remove them. Only keep what you need in the truck. Making this small change could increase your fuel economy by .5% – 1.5%.
Drive and accelerate slower
Sure accelerating slower takes some of the fun out of driving a powerful diesel truck, but it will help you save fuel. Driving slower helps too. (Note: it takes 4 times more power to push your truck against air resistance at 70mph as it does when you’re driving 35mph).
Replace the exhaust system
Installing a high-quality diesel exhaust system will increase air flow rate, reduce back pressure, provide more horsepower and increase fuel economy. (Diesel Power Products carries a full line of high-quality diesel exhaust systems).
Better fuel economy is something we could all use these days. Following the 5 tips above should give you a great start.