How to Make a Pickup Truck More Fuel Efficient

How to Make a Pickup Truck More Fuel Efficient

Are you a pickup truck freak and like to travel to remote areas or long distances? Maintaining a pickup truck is not that easy due to the fuel economy of the truck, so knowing how you can save money and make the pickup more fuel efficient is a skill that will end up paying for itself time and time again. Knowing certain ways which can help you decrease fuel consumption will definitely be helpful in cutting down the expenses.

According to (source), an average sized pickup truck will offer you the fuel consumption of 25-27 MPG. Considering the fuel prices nowadays, these figures are highly unimpressive.

The most important question that arises in the mind of pickup truck owners is how to make your truck more fuel efficient? There are many simple ways which can be adapted to make your pickup truck more fuel efficient and some of them will be discussed here.

How to make a pickup truck more fuel efficient

Here are a few steps you can take in order to improve your pickup truck’s fuel efficiency. Some of them might be simple and some of them might be a bit difficult to implement. Below are some simple steps which I have enlisted in order to reduce your truck’s fuel consumption:

1. Regular maintenance

Regular importance is the main thing which I suggest you should give great importance to. Tuning the engine and changing the engine oil regularly will help to improve the fuel efficiency of the engine. Similarly, check the pressure level of your truck’s tires. Maintain the regular pressure in the tires as per recommended in the user manual or displayed on the door placard of your truck. Similarly, check the wheel alignment regularly because misaligned wheels will tend to turn the truck which will result in higher fuel consumption to remain on the track.

A regular maintenance check will save your fuel up to 25-30% and will increase the ride’s durability.

2. Weight reduction

Weight reduction is yet another simple step which you can adapt to decrease fuel consumption. Remove the accessories which are not required for the time being. An air conditioning unit can be removed in winters which can considerably decrease the weight. Moreover, remove the accessories such as truck back tents, etc. when not in use. Replacing the components of the truck such as stock bumpers, hoods with lighter weight components will also increase the fuel economy of your truck by reducing the weight. This step is a bit expensive but once you have replaced the components, the fuel efficiency of your pickup truck will definitely increase.

3. Improving the aerodynamics

I will suggest reducing the drag and keeping the overall profile of the truck as aerodynamic as possible. Remove the components which add to air resistance. Remove any lift kit which increases the height of the vehicle and increase the air resistance offered to it. Similarly, remove any kind of roof rack which may offer more drag resulting in more fuel consumption. Modify your pickup truck with components which can improve its aerodynamics. A spoiler can help in this regard. Similarly, a tonneau cover can help airflow over the cover instead of the bed where it can exert pressure and consume more fuel.

4. Using the correct fuel type

Do use the fuel type as per recommended by the truck maker. Correct fuel type will not only improve the fuel average of your truck but will also prevent the knocking problems in the engine increasing its life. Try to use the fuel with detergent additives which increases the fuel average and keeps the engine components clean.

5. Engine modifications

The efficiency of a better breathing engine is always more than a conventional engine. In this regard, I will suggest you modify your truck by installing a cold air intake or some turbo exhausts which will improve the torque and average fuel consumption. Similarly, do use the features offered in the truck correctly.

Try to use the cruise control feature on highway or motorways to maintain a constant speed. Similarly, try to maintain the speed at a bit low as trucks consume more fuel at high speeds.

The difference in fuel consumption of trucks and cars

The driving cost of a truck is generally greater than that of a car. It includes the cost of operating a vehicle and includes fuel consumption. The fuel consumption of a pickup truck is generally greater because of the powerful engine installed inside the truck. The pickup trucks have the ability to perform tough duties which cars cannot. This is the reason why trucks consume a substantial amount of fuel as compared to simple cars.

Weight of a vehicle is another component which affects fuel consumption. A pickup truck generally weighs much more that of a simple car due to its additional accessories and space. A modestly loaded full or medium-sized pickup truck can easily outweigh the car. A 2500cc engine of Honda Accord will give a fuel average of 33MPG as compared to the 2500cc engine of ISUZU pickup truck giving an average fuel consumption of 23MPG.

The difference is due to the weight of the vehicles. Thus weight is another factor which tends to increase the fuel consumption.

Engine size is another factor which causes increased fuel consumption in trucks. Cars mostly have smaller engines as compared to trucks due to their restricted applications. A smaller engine will mostly consume lesser fuel as compared to a larger engine in the same operating conditions. A 2.5L Toyota Camry gives a combined fuel average of 34MPG, whereas a 3.0L Dodge Ram gives a fuel average of 23MPG.

Similarly, there are various other factors which differentiate between the fuel economy of trucks and cars.

Are modern pickup trucks more fuel efficient?

If you have owned a truck of both newer and older model, you might have observed the difference in their fuel consumptions. The advancement of technologies has introduced new trends in the industries. The manufacturers are working on the fuel consumption a lot and that is differentiating the newer model pickup trucks from the older ones.

The hybrid technology is being introduced by many manufacturers in the trucks which power the truck by the combined effect of motor and engine, improving the fuel efficiency. If you are driving a hybrid truck, you will definitely observe the difference between the fuel consumption of modern hybrid pickup trucks and slightly older conventional trucks. Similarly, you will observe that an EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) engine will give better fuel efficiency than a non-EFI engine.

Similarly, manufacturers in modern trucks are using smaller engines which are generating more power by the installation of a turbo or a supercharger. This not only improves the performance of a pickup truck but also improves its fuel efficiency.

These major improvements and other minor improvements are making the newer pickup trucks more fuel efficient.

Pickup truck’s fuel consumption

Here are 10 pickup trucks manufactured by some famous brands and their combined fuel consumption (both in the city and on the highway) when driven on regular gasoline fuel in miles per gallons (MPG):

  • Chevrolet Colorado 2WD: 23MPG
  • GMC Canyon 2WD: 23 MPG
  • Ford F150 Pickup 2WD: 25MPG
  • Nissan Frontier 4WD: 17 MPG
  • Toyota Tundra 4WD: 14MPG
  • 2018 GMC Sierra K15 4WD: 19MPG
  • 2018 Honda Ridgeline AWD: 21MPG
  • 2018 Nissan Titan 4WD: 18MPG
  • 2018 Ram 1500 4WD: 17MPG
  • 2018 Toyota Tundra 4WD FF: 15MPG


I hope you’ve enjoyed those pickup truck fuel efficient tips.

The ways above are applicable to almost all pickup trucks and can be adopted in order to reduce the fuel consumptions of the trucks.

Josh Henderson

Hi I'm Josh and I'm a huge pickup enthusiast. I started this website in 2018 in order to share all my projects and custom mod tips that I've done with my own Ford F-150.

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