Have you got a Dodge Ram 1500 that seems to be getting surprisingly bad gas mileage? You might be wondering what’s going on and why; it’s a frustrating and potentially expensive problem. Quite a lot of issues can result in your vehicle getting poor gas mileage, some more serious than others.
Most common reasons for bad gas milage in a Dodge Ram 1500 are, dirty fuel injectors, a dirty oxygen sensor, infrequent oil changes, misaligned wheels, a clogged fuel filter, damaged spark plugs, and a defective fuel pump. Most of these things are fairly easy and affordable to fix.
It’s important to figure out why you’re getting bad gas mileage, for the sake of your wallet and the sake of your vehicle. Don’t assume that the problem isn’t worth investigating; it’s key to making the most of your vehicle and reducing the amount of money you’re spending on gas.
Common Reasons For Bad Gas Mileage In A Dodge Ram 1500
- Dirty or Malfunctioning Fuel Injectors
- Dirty or Malfunctioning Oxygen Censor
- Infrequent Oil Changes
- Misaligned Wheels
- Clogged Fuel Filter
- Damaged or Dirty Spark Plugs
- Defective Fuel Pump
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Dirty Fuel Injectors Can Affect Gas Mileage In A Dodge Ram 1500
Having dirty fuel injectors will significantly affect the efficiency of your engine. Fuel injectors are responsible for spraying the fuel into the cylinders, which allows it to be ignited to power the vehicle. If residue is left behind by the fuel, the injectors can get clogged up.
This will prevent the car from using fuel efficiently, and it can also affect your ability to accelerate. You might notice that your Dodge Ram is not able to pick up speed quickly, and feels somewhat sluggish and underpowered. This indicates that the fuel injectors are struggling.
It’s a good idea to get the injectors cleaned as soon as possible. Usually, this is straightforward if you are quick to respond. If you leave the injectors for too long, however, there’s a risk that they will need replacing, as they will be too difficult to clean effectively.
Dirty Oxygen Sensor Can Affect Gas Mileage In A Dodge Ram 1500
The oxygen sensor is a key part of your fuel system. It’s designed to measure the exhaust gases leaving the combustion chamber, and it adjusts how much fuel is supplied to the engine based on the richness or leanness of these gases.
It’s a crucial piece of equipment, but like other parts of the fuel system, it can end up getting dirty.
If the sensor is dirty, it can’t measure how much fuel is needed accurately, and this means it will be adding inefficient amounts. This causes reduced fuel efficiency, and you may notice that you get fewer miles to the gallon.
You might also notice that your truck sounds rougher when it’s idling, and it may not be able to pass an emissions test if you take it for one. These issues can also arise if your oxygen sensor is failing, but sometimes it will just be dirt that is skewing its readings.
Infrequent Oil Changes Can Affect Gas Mileage In A Dodge Ram 1500
If you haven’t changed your oil for a long time, this can also have an impact on your fuel efficiency. Alternatively, if you have changed your oil recently and only then noticed the drop in efficiency, this indicates that something was done incorrectly.
It’s important to make sure that your oil is changed regularly. Oil is crucial to making your engine run efficiently.
Old oil will pick up bits of debris and moisture, and this makes it a less effective lubricant. When your engine isn’t getting lubricated properly, it won’t run as well.
Fresh oil lubricates all the moving parts in your engine and allows it to run more smoothly. This increases the efficiency, and means that it needs less fuel in order to keep running.
Furthermore, it protects your engine from damage, and reduces the wear-and-tear on the parts, because they are all moving more freely and smoothly. The engine doesn’t have to work as hard, and will therefore last longer.
Regular oil changes are key to maximizing your fuel efficiency. Most experts recommend changing your oil every 3 months or 3000 miles.
It’s important to make sure that oil of the right weight is used, or your engine won’t be correctly lubricated. You also need to add the right amount of oil, as too much will cause spillages and too little will prevent proper lubrication.
If your vehicle is not running as efficiently after an oil change, check that the right quantity and weight of oil was added. Fix any problems as soon as possible to avoid damage to the engine.
Misaligned Tires Can Affect Gas Mileage In A Dodge Ram 1500
If your tires are not at the right pressure or are misaligned with each other, this will reduce fuel efficiency. You should make sure that your tires are aligned whenever you take your vehicle in for a service, and check your tire pressures regularly, especially before a long journey.
Find out what your tire pressures should be according to the manual in your car, and then use this to set them to the correct pressure. It is a myth that over-inflated tires give you better fuel economy; they actually can cause problems, including poor handling and uneven wear.
The US Department of Energy says that having your tires inflated to the correct pressure can improve your gas mileage by as much as 3 percent. This is one of the easiest things to check if you are having problems with your fuel efficiency.
Clogged Fuel Filter Can Affect Gas Mileage In A Dodge Ram 1500
If your fuel filter is clogged, you won’t get good gas mileage. The filter is designed to remove the contaminants from the fuel, but like any filter, it needs to be replaced on a fairly regular basis, or it won’t be able to do this job efficiently.
If your filter becomes excessively clogged, fuel won’t be able to get through it properly, and this can cause a range of problems, including misfiring. The more the filter gets clogged up, the less fuel will be able to pass through it, and the more fuel will be wasted by being caught in the filter.
Damaged Spark Plugs Can Affect Gas Mileage In A Dodge Ram 1500
Your spark plugs are also key to maximizing engine efficiency, and making sure everything runs as it should. If the plugs aren’t working right or if they have got dirty, they will misfire, and this causes problems with the fuel ignition when it reaches the combustion chamber.
This can cause your vehicle to fail to start, and massively reduces your fuel efficiency. Get your spark plugs checked and changed frequently to prevent this from occurring.
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Defective Fuel Pump Can Affect Gas Mileage In A Dodge Ram 1500
Your fuel pump is of critical importance to your fuel efficiency. Its job is to transfer the fuel from the gas tank, supplying it to the fuel injectors. If it stops working as it should (due to failure or a clog), it will cause your engine to run roughly.
It will not be supplying enough fuel to keep the engine working, and you may notice that you get poor performance for your gas. Further issues can include the engine sputtering or even stalling because it simply doesn’t have enough fuel to run as it should.
As you can see, a lot of different things can cause your Dodge Ram 1500 to suffer from poor gas mileage. These trucks are not known for great fuel efficiency anyway, so it’s important to keep on top of all the issues mentioned above to ensure you get the best you can from the vehicle. Regular mechanic checks will help with most of these problems.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.