Have a Dodge Ram 1500 w/ 5.7 L Hemi. Mpg is 11.4. How can I make it more fuel efficient?


Asked by Jun 22, 2012 at 01:25 AM about the 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4WD Quad Cab LB

Question type: Car Customization

Everything is factory. What can I do to up mpg?

42 Answers

James Boos

saw on Gearz show the other day if you put bigger exhaust and cold air intake gives you little bit better mpg. but easiest way is to go easy on the gas from a stop and getting onto highway. use less braking. but if you got a diesel truck you would get better mpg and depending where you live you can convert the diesel to bio fuel and get even more mpg and more power

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Tom Demyan

Not much. Besides what James said, keep your tires properly inflated maybe a pund or 2 more in them.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Chase Sutherland

theres really not much you can do besides trading it in for a different truck. driving habits might help but all these claims for products to boost mpg are gimics. dont fall for them.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Justin Doucette

The biggest thing you can do to help is changing your driving habits.... coast to red lights, accelerate slower....keep the RPM down. Making sure it's well tuned up can also help slightly, properly inflated tires as was mentioned.. Switching your fluids to synthetic may also help, although whether or not it's feasible for you will depend on your situation.

Mike Tritle

Several years ago I took a driving class given by a company I was with. Since we drove mid size trucks and made lots of stops it was important to generate best mileage w/o costing us time. Basic principles are: 1) Accelerate smoothly and briskly from a stop. Not a jack rabbit start by any means but creeping up to speed actually hurts mileage and cost you and everyone behind you time. 2) Anticipate stops. Lights that have been green for a while (stale green) with traffic backed up on the intersecting road are soon to go red. Coast well in advance. As you get to know your everyday rounting, you can easily anticipate green to yellow, etc. By the same token, when the light ahead is red, coast down to anticipate the green so you don't have to actually stop. A running vehicle when stopped is getting 0 miles per gallon. BTW, use the right hand lane for this if you're on a multi lane road. DO NOT hold up traffic in the left (passing) lanes. 3) Route yourself to a minimum of left turns. Sitting waiting for oncoming traffic to turn left gets you; you guessed it... 0 MPG. 4) Use your cruise control whenever possible. Keeping a steady speed maximizes time and mileage. If you can't due to fluctuations in traffic, lay back and attempt to keep a steady speed as traffic speeds and slows in front of you. 5) Set the air pressure in your tires to the max pressure on the sidewall. Less rolling resistance results in less fuel used. 6) Ignore the owners manual. New plugs every 25K-50K miles will use less fuel. Change the air filter every 10K or get a K&N washable filter and clean and re-oil every 20K-25K Miles. These tips will get you some fuel savings if you're not already practicing. Try it for a couple of tanks and let us know how you do!

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.

increasing horsepower will make you truck easier to move itself using less energy (fuel). my dodge 1500 got 12 mpg's i put a chip with a cold air intake and headers on it, now it gets 23

30 out of 30 people think this is helpful.

What kind of chip, headers, and intake did you use. I have a dodge 1500 express.

16 out of 16 people think this is helpful.
Kent Cash

Don't sell your Dodgeram, I own a 2005 dodgeram 4x4 hemi. With some work and know how, you can improve you gas mileage. I have 116,000 miles one my truck. I do my own work and have got my truck at 22-23 mpg using the bad gas we get today. I enjoy what I've done. With two more changes, I will be at or near 28mpg. Ground Shaker Racing Roxboro, NC

42 out of 42 people think this is helpful.

I have the same question, and I know a guy who knows so much about any possible dodge vehicle he might as well created them himself! He told me to put a cold air intake, performance chip, and CAT-back exhaust (straight pipe, flow master muffler, etc.) So that is all in my plans for my truck. He said that is about all you can do and the total cost would be around $500. However if you do your own work can bring cost down and that is the route I am personally choosing. If you do not have the know-how then just price around, but look at quality of the places work too. Dont pay the cheapest work for something you will have to fix in 2 months yourself. I learned the hard way!

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

If you can get Ram 1500 with a 5.7 Hemit from 12 mpg to 28mpg, you are worth millions, if not billions. Also, the gas companies might try to eliminate you :) But I'm not thinking you can get 22mpg, let alone 28. So, no worries.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.
Justin Kleven

i have a molar(borla) catback mopar(aem) intake and diablo trinity and get 14mpg up from 12.5mpg

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Jeff Whittemore

Does anybody have 2014 dodge ram with headers

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have a stock '05 ram hemi. I get approximately 18.5 - 21 mpg. I try to keep it around 65mph and I get this result the majority of the time. If the road terrain is mountain and hills your mpg will decrease dramatically. Mine fell to around 13-15mpg.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I've heard that if you remove the posie limited slip rear end there"s a big improvement about 600.00 and 5 hours Labour.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Mike De Jesus

Theres not much u can do in the city just pay attention to driving habits however on the highway I set my cruise control to around 65 amd get 23-24 mpg on my 2014 Ram 1500 5.7. Without cruise control I was around 20-21 mpg.


I have a 05 Dodge Ram 1500 short bed 2 wheel drive with a 5.7 HEMI,also,I've put a set of Pacemaker Headers shorties,K&N cold air kit and a Mopar performance chip.Motors tuned to 400hp.runs well and my fule milage jumpet to 15 to 18 city to 20 to 22 open road set on cruz.I'm happy with the performance,course if I get to quick on the pedal the trk will lurch very quickly,and the fuel milage goes down.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Crank sensor took a crap and replaced on my 05 Dodge Ram 1500 ThunderRoad edition. MPG dropped 2-3 MPG, dont understand why. Can anyone put any logics to this?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

My son has a 99' RAM 1500 4x4 5.9L and the computer says avg ~25 mpg on the highway, but in reality it is more like 18 mpg if you do the math. Mine is a 01' RAM 2500 4x4 5.9L (no computer) and gets ~15 mpg highway. That matches the sticker specs. It has a "locking differential" that I considering changing to a "open differential" to save MPG"s. Got that idea from this forum. Thanks.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

i would say watch how hard you do it. if you are going to add a chip, headers, and intake just for fuel mileage are you really saving much money after putting into the modifications? you can buy a lot of gas for what you will put into it. if you are doing it for performance then that would be your call.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

you can also replace your cam shaft.this will also increase horsepower

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I was told that you need to change to ox sensors every 70000 miles. I did this and increased about 1.5 Meg in my 1999 dodge ram 5.9 liter. Have flow master and new heads and 239000 miles. Gets 15 average now. My computer always says around 18.5 though. I have been considering the kn and cold air intake. Drive 60 on the highway and conservative all the time.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Joseph Cantalupo

weird i have a 2011 dodge 1500 5.7 and my comp is saying i average 12.5 and all my miles are cruise control highway miles! what is wrong with my truck!!

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

Hi Joseph! It could be many factors. Depending on the mileage on the vehicule or if you're not using it often, a calliper could be sticking on, which would make the mpgs go down a lot.


Is anyone using Lucas products to help boost this as well? I see that a lot of people are saying that they are doing the modifications, but no one is saying what they are doing to treat their fuel. You should take into account the type of fuel you use and whether or not you're cleaning your system as well. I've got a 08' Dodge Ram 1500 4.7 V8 Flex Fuel and I have bought the K & N filter and placed an order for my exhaust to be done. I treat my tank which boosts my mpg by a few already. Currently right now I am averaging 15-16.5 mpg in town and 17.6 to 20 on the highway long as it stays at a steady speed. I use my cruise control and I have good driving habits. Like the others said, it is the combination of several things that help the over all.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2012 Ram 1500 RC/SB 5.7L Hemi/6-Spd AT/3.92 Gear Limited-slip Rear Axle. I use premium synthetic oil (5W20), premium oil filter (Royal Purple or K&N Gold) and use ZMax oil & fuel products. Modifications include a Volant Throttle body spacer, a K&N filter and a "true dual exhaust system". I have 11K miles as of April 2015. My actual real-world average MPG is consisently 14-15 city and 21-22.4 highway (68-70mph cruise control on, AC on, windows up). My all time best ever highway mpg for a road trip is 24.2mpg highway. I run Shell mid-grade (89 Octane) at a minimum but most of the time I run a 50/50 mix of Shell 89 & 91 Octane. I have not done the Tune (Computer Program) yet or the Cold Air Intake, shorty headers, upgrade to a mild camshaft or anything else yet. Naturally, I'm driving intentionally to "hyper-mile" but every now and then I do get on it hard and street race it. I'm considering replacing the 3.92 gear with the OEM 4.10 gear and upgrading the Transmission Torque Convertor (probably 200-300 increase in stahl speed) to go with the (someday) Edelbrock E-Force Supercharger, to go with the "Stroker" engine kit (5.7L/345ci to 6.4/392ciL or 6.7L/410ci...haven't decided yet). Of course, that will be the end of the great MPG my rated 390HP/407TQ truck is getting now. All in all, pretty damn good considering the performance, vehicle weight, and lack of the new 8-speed transmission (remember, I have a 6-speed...which actually is a modified 5-speed...2nd gear is "split" OEM and I'm running a 3.92 gear LS rear axle). Kudos to the RAM & Hemi powerplants engineering Team. Tom, Manhattan Beach Ca.


I own a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 hemi . I don't agree with anyone claiming over 20 mpg that's bs . I got 11 mpg stock .used the hyper tech max energy Econ power programmer . Got 1 mpg better so now 12 mpg . Changed exhaust summit 3 inch cat back now 14 mpg . Changed to k&n air intake dropped to 8.9 mpg wtf . Removed k& n back to proper mpg 14.5 mpg .also switched to Mobil 1 synthetic engine oil . New wires from dealer and changed all 16 spark plugs stock champion . Don't use anything but the stock plugs .i know the truck does not have the mds multiple displacement system but I love it . Black on black and 85 k .payed 13.000 last June .leave the intake alone.throws off all the sensors .ive been a mechanic for 22 years .by the way ford is junk . Only buying dodge from here on out. Ps the 2012 ram my neighbor has mds gets 16.3 mpg on most days . Not worth the expense buying a new truck . My Ford F-350 diesel and my f150 rotted out body and frame .never again.buy dodge.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

well I have a 2015 Dodge with a 5.7 Hemi 4 wheel drive when I first bought the truck brand new it was getting 15 miles to the gallon in town 21 on the highway all the sudden it drop down to 11.5 in town and 16.5 on the highway I was putting regular unleaded in it then I read the owners manual and it recommends midgrade fuel so I change to that now it is back getting 15 miles to the gallon in town and 21 on the highway

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Brian Adkins

I have a 2010 4x4 hemi, all I've changed is the air intake(eBay 80.00) and I'm averaging 15.8 city. Been debating on a programmer but no one has swung my decision either way.


I have the non multiple displacement system . The mds started 2006 I have a 2005 . I've done the hyper Tech power programmer 3 inch cat back exhaust from Summit racing got it from 11 MPG to 14 MPG tried the k&n air filter and a drop back down to 11 put the stock one back and back up to 14 I guess it's just a pig


I've seen a lot of great post on here. Please don't for get to clean your throttle body and MAF. Make sure you take it off to clean and disconnect the neg on your battery, because if not you will get a nice rumble from it once you start it. I have a 09 5.7L with 76K on it and the throttle response is like new and mpg's went from 11 or 14 to 16 in the city and around 20 to 22 hwy. I also have a K&N air filter, I love it put it in a cars and trucks. Lucas is a great thing used it in everything I've driven for the past 10 years it helps out a lot and driving habits


I have a 2014 Ram 1500 Big Horn 5.7 Liter Hemi and I put a K&N air filter on it and put a performance chip in it and my gas mileage went from 15mpg in the city and 21 mpg highway to 17 in the city and 24-25 highway, I could tell a difference in the horsepower also. My next move is the cold air intake and a tuner to see how much more horsepower and mpg I can add.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

O yeah sounds good. I forgot that I have a tri fold on the bed that helps too. Took a trip from MD to VA on rt 17 was drafting behind a 3500 with a camper going 65 mph I was clocking 23-25 mpgs.


I'm not an advocate of fuel additives,but I've been using one lately and it has actually been helping.I originally purchased Star tron enzyme fuel treatment for my 2 stroke mantis tiller.Every year I have to adjust the carb to get it to run.After the treated fuel got to the mantis carb it started running.I decided to try it in my 08 Ram Big Horn.Mileage has been getting worse over the years.New spark plugs,air filter and other routine maintenance didn't make a difference.Mileage was 13-15mpg around town and 16-16.6mpg hwy.With the star tron I'm getting 15-17mpg around town and18.3-18.4mpg hwy.I recently added some Granatelli hot steet COP's and I'm getting 17.5 around town.I haven't had a chance to check hwy mileage yet with the new COP's.I have long tube headers and high flow cats sitting in my garage waiting for install.I'm waiting to get a hwy trip in to see if the COP's make a difference.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
John Kleinhenz

I have a 2007 dodge 1500 hemi 5.7L... How in the world do I determin the right modifications to make to improve my MPG? I see multiple comments saying different ways work and then others saying that K&n filter doesn't work... There's a performance chip... Cold air intake... Dual exhaust. My MPG is stuck at 10-11. Elite coach only recommended me to change muffler & exhaust plus the cold air intake. What can I do and what are the costs to get these modifications done? How in the world do I get 20- 24 mpg? To give an understanding of Econemy for cost wise, I live in PA.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

John,I would first try the Star tron enzyme treatment.I got mine at Home Depot for $6.99.That will help.I have seen dyno tests on youtube of cold air intakes and they did nothing.I wouldn't waste my money on one.If you have the lifetime warranty,a performance chip will void the warranty.Try cleaning your IAT sensor and the throttle body.There's plenty of youtube videos that will guide you through that.High flow exhaust will definitely help.Mine is a single out.I bought a set of long tube OBX headers with high flow cats on Amazon for $815.I needed an additional $100 in parts.I'll be running my stock muffler and resonator for a little while.I don't want it too loud.I don't know if we can get 20mpg out of these older Hemi's,but I'm trying!I had an 88 Ford Ranger with the 2.9L.The best mileage I got was 19mpg.I installed JBA long tube headers and gibson high flow exhaust.I also installed a Jacobs electronic ignition.After those upgrades I was getting 26mpg.I'm not sure which mod made the biggest difference and that's why I'm adding stuff to the Hemi in stages.I have Granatelli hot street COP's installed now and I'll be putting the headers om later.


Updating/adding to what I posted a few weeks back. I have a 2012 Ram 2WD RC/SB 5.7L Hemi Express with 6-Speed AT and 3.92 Gear LS Rear Axle. I've added a true dual exhaust system from after the cats (eliminated factory Y-pipe) all the way (retained factory dual tailpipes & resonators); I'm running dual performance mufflers where the one large stock muffler was). I've added a Volant TB Spacer, a K&N drop in replacement filter (in the stock airbox), running 5w20 Royal Purple Synthetic Oil with a K&N Gold Oil Filter, a Moroso Oil/Air Separator (re: Oil Catch Can) and using a Superchips hand-held programmer. I use Z-Max additives. With the 91-octane tune, I'm averaging real world every day MPG of 14-16 city and 21.5-24.5 highway cruise. I only run Shell 91 Octane gasoline. I also use Lucas gasoline additive to help keep fuel injection system performing flawlessly. I have also run the Superchips "Fuel Economy tune" for 87 octane and did notice I picked up around another 1.5-2+ MPG, however it did take a lot of power out of it. I've also replaced the OEM 203 degree F. Thermostat with a Stant 190 degree F. unit and revised the cooling fans down 13 degrees. I would have run the 180 degree Tstat. but felt the 180 was a bit cooler than what I wanted. The 190 Tstat works great...lower oil temperature, etc. Future mods will include JBA ceramic coated shorty headers and a Cold Air/Ram Air Intake (deciding now between the Volant Unit and the S&B Unit). For best performance, efficiency, power and fuel economy...run premium synthetic lubricants in everything (engine, trans, rear axle). The newer Rams with the 5.7L Hemi have an available 8-Speed AT versus the 5 and 6-speed AT of the older Rams. The gearing on the 8-speed looks real good and should be worth at least 2, maybe 3 MPG over the 6-Speed (plus can run a 3.55 or 3.23 rear gear as opposed to 3.92 or 4.10 rear gear). More later as I do more to my "Muscle Truck".

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Joseph Snyder Sr

I have a 2012 Dodge w/ 5.7 been tossing the idea of a chip set but seems no one can honestly tell me what chip will work the best. If someone can be honest and let me know please. As for the air filter thing yes it does mess with the sensors but if you take your truck to a dodge dealer they can adjust for it and improve mpg.

Jake Dille

I have a 2005 5.7 Hemi. I have it all stock except a mbrp cat back dual exhaust and that it for now, and I am getting 13.3 mpg high way. I would love it to be at least 15. I see people posting about new headers, cold air intakes, and performance chips and stuff, but what brands are best.


Jake I have a 2005 Dodge ram 1500 with the 5.7 L hemi did a spark plug change 16 total plugs use the stock champion plugs change the wires big wiring harness weird design put a 3 inch summit racing cat back exhaust try to call their intake drop my feel mileage worse than when I started at 11.1 MPG after cat back exhaust and I stock your folder and a hypertext Econ computer programmer I'm now getting 14.9 I tried just a slip in K and N air filter and my mileage drop down to 12 miles per gallon put the stock paper one back and went back up to 14.9 I do not believe in air intakes are caiman air filters from here on out especially with this vehicle I suggest the hyper Tech Econ power programmer expensive but worth it and your cat back exhaust don't touch your intake good luck with your project .

Fred Ross

2012 ran 1500 5.7 hemi - stock 20 inch tires 17-18 mpg around town 22-24 hwy. I just drive the speed limit If I hotrod around MPG drops to 12-14 mpg. Got 14-15 mpg pulling a trailor 3000 miles


I have a 2005 Dodge Ram 5.7 hemi sport (red) and my dad has the exact same truck but blue.. I live in Kansas. And my dad lives in Louisiana. He has a performance chip on his truck and I don't. His chip is turned up all the way to the max. And when we went to visit for this past Christmas I rode in my dads truck and he was on the interstate. And he was traveling 72 mph. And I hit the reset button on mpg computer. And he was getting 24mpg. The whole trip. Traveling 30 miles. When I drive my truck back home in Kansas. I drive 60-65 on interstate. And I watch my driving habits. And I can only get 13 average at the best. Now in Louisiana it's extremely flat and lower altitude then Kansas. Kansas is extremely hilly. Up, down, up down. That's why I don't get good gas mileage... I am a mechanic. And I have a little tip for some guys out there who want better gas mileage. And a better sounding truck exhaust. Bigger is better when it comes to Exhaust. And true dual exhaust is much better than cat back exhaust. If you are on a budget. Pull your pipes off and drill out the homecomb in the cats.. The less restriction the exhaust has when leaving through exhaust. The better the truck can breathe. The same aspect as when you are running a mile. The better your breathing. The longer you can go.


Leaving for a 2400 mile trip. Will return with some solid highway data. 2011 1500 5.7. K&n hi flow filter and MBRP CAT-BACK exhaust.

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