Tonneau does improve gas mileage - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


2.3L & 2.5L I4 Tech General discussion of 2.3L and 2.5L I4 Ford Ranger engines.

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  #1  
Old 11-30-2008
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Tonneau does improve gas mileage

Not sure if anyone else had always wondered about those claims of tonneau covers improving gas mileage. I put mine on a few days ago and got to take my first all-highway miles trip yesterday. I haven't done the exact math yet since I didn't have to fill up but my highway miles went up from around 28mpg to at least 30 or 31mpg. In the city it didn't do anything to improve gas mileage, but I definitely noticed an improvement on the highway.

Just figured I would make a post as I know I was curious if it actually did anything before I bought my tonneau cover and couldn't seem to find anyone with hard numbers. Mods, if this is posted in the wrong spot I apologize, I figured this was the best spot since I do have the 4-banger.

To sum up:
'05 2.3L w/ stick and stock: 28mpg highway
w/ tonneau cover: 31mpg highway

Last edited by djphibes; 11-30-2008 at 12:09 PM. Reason: forgot the words "In the city" at the end of 1st paragraph
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2008
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mythbusters says otherwise
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2008
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My 4 banger got better with one. Now it is worse though with the bigger tires.
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  #4  
Old 11-30-2008
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They could be right. For me, the only logical explanation for the 3mpg increase i experienced is the tonneau cover as it's the only thing I've changed on the truck. It seemed to help for me under those conditions.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2008
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That's great info. But would be even more helpful if you take an average over time. Maybe you had a tailwind! So post again and bust some myths (and mythbusters!) if possible.

BTW, what model/kind of tonneau? Weight?

While I didn't see 3 mpgs improvement, my fuel economy didn't go down from the addition of a fiberglass canopy. And my gear stays dry!
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2008
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The Mythbusters can sure mess some stuff up though.
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Old 12-02-2008
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mythbusters only did it with the tail gate up or down not with covers
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downey View Post
mythbusters only did it with the tail gate up or down not with covers
They revisted it and did no tail gate, soft cover, hard cover and the tailgates. I cant remember the outcomes though.
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Old 12-02-2008
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I noticed a decrease in MPG without the topper...it is also 20* colder and windy as can be...
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Old 12-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray_Welder View Post
They revisted it and did no tail gate, soft cover, hard cover and the tailgates. I cant remember the outcomes though.
never saw that one youtube here i come
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2008
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I'm having a hard time believing you got anywhere close to that mileage. You're trying to tell me that your brick of a pickup truck is getting same mileage as a Honda Civic. You should revisit your math and calculation techniques.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2008
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Originally Posted by FireRanger View Post
I'm having a hard time believing you got anywhere close to that mileage. You're trying to tell me that your brick of a pickup truck is getting same mileage as a Honda Civic. You should revisit your math and calculation techniques.
not tryin to **** off a mod or anything... but that seemed kinda harsh dude.
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Old 12-02-2008
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i just watched it and i think they tested it retarded that flow meter **** was dumb. i hate the way they cut corners on ****
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  #14  
Old 12-02-2008
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The duratec 2.3 is a modern, efficient engine. While aerodynamics definitly work against it, it aslo depends on speed, how gently you drive, weight, etc.

Going the speed limit across the midwest and the canadian prairies with a whack of gear and using cruise control, me and a buddy got around 40 this summer in his 06 honda civic 5 speed. He told me that he's bettered that to 45 now that he bought fancy low rolling resistance tires (with no second passenger).

But no matter how Kenny's driving his truck, as long as he's driving the same way he's seen about a 10% increase and that's what matters.

Last edited by 07B2300; 12-02-2008 at 10:36 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2008
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Mythbusters did their test wrong. They put 1 gallon of gas in and saw which one went further. The problem with that, is that accelerating from a stop, the cover uses more gas. The only place it benefits is on a long highway trip where the aerodynamics help.
Now, when I put a hard bed cover (home built) on mine, for most mixed driving, I saw no significant change. The first time I took a road trip however, I saw 32mpg, at an average speed of 75mph. Before at that speed, I got 29mpg. When I put the soft cover on, my mileage dropped back almost to the same levels as without a cover.
And yes, our "brick of a truck" can get 32mpg.
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  #16  
Old 12-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downey View Post
i just watched it and i think they tested it retarded that flow meter **** was dumb. i hate the way they cut corners on ****
its a lot easier than driving each setup for a tank of gas, there are so many variables that can change.

how would you do it Einstein?
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  #17  
Old 12-02-2008
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im getting better milage, maybe because the tonneau weighs 1/10 of the topper i used to run
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  #18  
Old 12-02-2008
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Is there anyone else with a similar truck to the OP that actually gets 30 something MPG based on actual real legitimate testing and calculations?
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  #19  
Old 12-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger View Post
Is there anyone else with a similar truck to the OP that actually gets 30 something MPG based on actual real legitimate testing and calculations?
Funny I just posted it.
mine: '05 2.3, reg cab and 5-spd. the rest is in the sig.
I generally get 28mpg mixed driving, my best has been 32mpg, highway driving with the hard cover.
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  #20  
Old 12-02-2008
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Actually I have to say that I average 28 city and highway mix too. Actually I got close to 34 twice on slow highways (around 55 mph) for the entire tank. But I also have highway tires and drive slow and easy.

I've contemplated getting one of those nifty scanguages to see the immediate differences with mods and driving techniques etc but I think they're kindof ugly to leave in the truck (and likely to get stolen) and seems like they would be one more hassle to re and re every time I was going someplace...

Last edited by 07B2300; 12-02-2008 at 10:53 PM.
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  #21  
Old 12-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger View Post
Is there anyone else with a similar truck to the OP that actually gets 30 something MPG based on actual real legitimate testing and calculations?
Just talk to anyone with a scanguage who has input the wrong info and you'll see claims of almost 40mpg's....
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  #22  
Old 12-03-2008
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I got 35 mpg pure hwy once. I drove straight from the gas station onto the highway, to the lake about 35 miles away, and back to same gas station. I then did trip/gallons via receipt and odometer and I used my scan gauge to tell me when to let off the gas. The best I did with 31"s was 26 mpg hwy. So 9 mpg difference between 31"s and ~26" tires with rims that weight about 6lbs less each, soft tonneau cover, and lowered 5" from 3" spindle lift to 2" drop coils. So about $1000 to gain 9 mpg. This was when gas was around $3.89, now at $1.55 it seems like a bad idea.
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  #23  
Old 12-03-2008
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This is a thread that comes back around like something you caught in the summer of love.

This has got to be in the top 10 threads that are like beating a dead horse. Right up there with "the one that got away" stories.

Check SEARCH for all the posts regarding this issue.
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  #24  
Old 12-03-2008
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It only keeps coming back because those without fuel efficient engines won't accept that someone has a truck that gets good mileage.
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  #25  
Old 12-03-2008
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Well thats just not fair.
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