How Real Toyota Tundra Drivers Are Improving Their Fuel Economy
If Tundra owners or prospective buyers have a complaint, it’s been the Tundra’s lackluster fuel economy ratings. While it’s important to point out that the Tundra’s EPA fuel economy ratings are real – meaning Tundra owners actually get the mileage printed on the sticker – the fuel economy isn’t much to write home about compared to ratings on newer Ford, Ram, and GM trucks (only again, some of the EPA ratings on these trucks are impossible to duplicate).
While the Tundra is never going to be a Prius, there are ways you can save on fuel economy. Here are some practical ideas, taken from recommendations given by real Tundra owners on TundraTalk.net.
Drive Like Grandma
By far the simplest way to save gas is to take your foot off the gas pedal! We know – driving like a little old lady isn’t going to make you popular. However, if you:
- Accelerate slowly
- Try not to exceed 65mph on the highway (55mph is better)
- Coast rather than brake whenever possible
- Use cruise control as much as possible
You’ll save fuel AND minimize maintenance costs. Driving like a little old lady reduces tire wear, extends the lifetime of your brake system components, etc.
Install K&N Air Filter
When we conducted our K&N Air Filter review, we were quite surprised to find it improved the fuel economy by 0.5 miles per gallon. This may sound like a small amount, yet it works out to $1,100 in gas savings over 100k miles. That is not a small amount.
K&N air filters improve fuel economy by significantly increasing the air flow to the engine. With more air, the engine doesn’t work as hard to pull it in and this helps you save fuel. This fact combined with their ridiculous 1,000,000 mile warranty means you will save money on maintenance costs as well. Certainly, a win-win!
In addition to K&N air filters, you might check out aFe and Volant air filters as well.
Constantly Check Tire Pressure
You’ve heard this for years, but it bears repeating: Keep an eye on your tire pressure. It’s a funny little thing, but under-inflated tires take more fuel to get rolling, which hurts gas mileage. Several studies have shown that under-inflated tires hurt fuel economy, “by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires,” according to Fueleconomy.gov.
What’s more, tires wear out more quickly when they’re under or over-inflated. By ensuring the proper tire pressure, you’re maximizing tire life AND saving gas.
Keep Up on Maintenance
Going hand in hand with checking your tire pressure is staying up on your maintenance schedule. Skipping an oil change, fuel or air filter replacement, etc. could reduce the efficiency of your truck. What’s more, if your truck is old enough, it might be a good idea to replace spark plugs and plug wires, alternators, etc. to boost fuel mileage.
Lose the Weight
The Tundra is a large, full-size truck with ample storage room. This is great except when you are trying to improve the fuel economy. These storage areas can fill up quickly with excess weight.
In order to get better fuel economy, you should be vigilant about keeping stuff out of your truck unless you need it. Finish working on a job? Empty the truck. Done camping? Empty the truck. Return from a long road trip? Empty the truck.
Simply put, by keeping your truck empty, you will help your wallet from being empty.
While there are plenty of other tips to improve fuel economy, these are the key ones real-world owners follow to get the best fuel economy they can. If you follow these, you can too.
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Filed Under: Maintenance Tips