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Improve gas mileage

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xlsuicide
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Improve gas mileage

Post by xlsuicide » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Hi everybody, new to the forum and was looking for ways that I can improve MPGs on a 2003 astro van auto cargo. Any ideas would be great. Thanks.

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by krsowles » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:30 pm

Welcome to the site! Many folks here smarter than I, but the single biggest trick for me to improve my mileage is to park it! What are you currently getting? My 99 AWD reads 14.4 avg econ on console. It has a security issue i have not resolved yet so I don't shut it off running around town, ie, it runs a lot. I'm sure others will be chiming in with more useful info...
:cheers: Kelly
Sometimes, I realize that I'm clueless...Man, I hate those moments!
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1991 Chevy Astro AWD(retired)

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by Smiliesafari » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:50 pm

Welcome, XL. I'm glad to see 12 around town. On the highway usually around 17. There aren't any secret tricks. These things weigh 4000 lbs and you can add to that according to how much you haul around.They have the aerodynamics of a brick which doesn't help. All of the normal stuff like keeping tire pressures correct, keep it tuned up, and while on the highway keep it under 65. It's pretty much all you can do. I would get a bit better mileage if I didn't carry an extra 1000 lbs of gear. But...I bought the van to haul all of my balloon equipment and that's where it lives 24/7. And I wouldn't trade it for anything else. 237,000 miles and still running great.
1996 Safari SLX Hotair balloon transport vehicle

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by 1Gary » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:00 pm

Smiliesafari wrote:Welcome, XL. I'm glad to see 12 around town. On the highway usually around 17. There aren't any secret tricks. These things weigh 4000 lbs and you can add to that according to how much you haul around.They have the aerodynamics of a brick which doesn't help. All of the normal stuff like keeping tire pressures correct, keep it tuned up, and while on the highway keep it under 65. It's pretty much all you can do. I would get a bit better mileage if I didn't carry an extra 1000 lbs of gear. But...I bought the van to haul all of my balloon equipment and that's where it lives 24/7. And I wouldn't trade it for anything else. 237,000 miles and still running great.
X2 and I want to add a element of it is the cruise control keeping it at a steady rpm.Do not fall for the latest greatest trick.It's been tried and found not valid.
1979 Malibu drag race only car
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1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by astroturf » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:53 am

What trick would that be gary?

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:18 am

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:09 am

Probably the biggest mileage improvement would be to go very easy on the gas pedal. Slow take offs and coasting to the next stop as well as staying at or below the speed limit will help too. The other things mentioned also help...make sure its tuned-up (if needed), tires are properly inflated (you could go to max pressure on sidewall although it'll ride rougher), also remove any weight not needed such as extra seats, toolboxes etc.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by Ballenxj » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:59 pm

Well, The usual stuff applies here first. Tire inflation, tune up, drive easy, etc.
A lot of stop and start driving kills fuel economy, so try and plan your trips to avoid a lot of stoplights, & stop signs. Try to pace yourself so you don't have to come to a complete stop at the next light.
Did you know that you get the absolute worst gas mileage when accelerating from a complete stop?
krsowles wrote: My 99 AWD reads 14.4 avg econ on console.
Hey Kelly, don't believe your DIC. (Driver Information Center) I have one on my Aurora, and it helps to train yourself how to drive for better fuel economy, but I check my mileage the old fashioned way. Reset the trip meter every time I fill up, and divide the miles driven by the gallons of fuel used. You might be surprised by how off your DIC can be. #-o
I have gotten 18 mpg around town, but as low as 10 when I drive normal/fast, and a little better than 20 mpg on the highway with a steady foot. :supz:
Try to never hit passing gear. You would be surprised at how bad just one stab of the throttle will affect the resulting mileage for the whole tank of fuel. :toimonster:
-Bruce

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by okie1 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:54 pm

I have an old 1.6ltr economy car I drive around town & for short trips, it gets the best out of every gallon. When we go out of town or a longer trip the Astro gets the nod so its pretty much highway miles on it, close to 23mpg if I drive right. :cheers:

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by Ballenxj » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:41 am

okie1 wrote: When we go out of town or a longer trip the Astro gets the nod so its pretty much highway miles on it, close to 23mpg if I drive right. :cheers:

There you go. :cheers:
-Bruce

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by safari kev » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:01 pm

My safari high top has been getting about 15 mpg (mostly in town) lately.
Considering it's a high top conversion van (so it carries several hundred pounds of permanent weight), the mileage isn't horrible. If I had somewhere to store the rear seats and bed, I would remove them (theres an extra 200+ lbs).

As for mileage savings, keeping on top of maintenance helps. Removing all unneeded extra weight (rear seats) helps too. Keeping off the gas pedal will get you your biggest savings...like the guys already said- no hard stops, quick takeoffs, try to avoid stoplights and stop signs, etc.
00 safari high top explorer conversion. "shagfari" 235xxx miles on body. 242k on junkyard Jimmy motor.
94 safari hi-top explorer limited. 132k miles.
95 ASTRO choo choo conv. RIP @115K
97 safari slx "surfin' safari" 145k miles RIP
91 safari shorty Tiara conversion. RIP
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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by raSafari » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:39 am

I do a lot of long distance driving (x-country type trips) and I write down every single gas fill-up. This not only keeps your brain focused on what kind of gas mileage you're getting, but if the mileage suddenly drops, you've just gotten your first heads up that something is wrong under the hood.

From all my scrawlings, I'm averaging around 14-18 mpg with a 4+" lift, 31" tires and a roof box for all our gear (Read: roof box = :toimonster: for gas mileage)

A Cruise Control tip: When approaching long hills, slip her out of cruise mode, otherwise she'll downshift three gears and you go from 16mpg at 65mph to 4mpg. like everyone above said, easy does it when driving a dumpster with a steering wheel.

Food for thought: I recently added a Volant Cold-Air intake and noticed great results in HP & uphill driving, but I can't say I noticed more than +1 MPG. Maybe others have had better results?

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:33 am

raSafari wrote:I write down every single gas fill-up. This not only keeps your brain focused on what kind of gas mileage you're getting, but if the mileage suddenly drops, you've just gotten your first heads up that something is wrong under the hood.
You too! We do this with all our vehicles and I log them into a spreadsheet so I can compare. This also helps when you want/need to compare for vehicle shopping.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by sportbud » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:24 pm

Hi Guys,I have a few suggestions that I have picked up over the years and I get asked about MPG all the time.#1 is fuel,top tier gas from places like Shell and Texaco is blended with additives and cleaners and it does perform better than discount type fuel which is what we refer to as raw gas.Also the area you live in can dictate the type of fuel being sold.In general if your area has vehicle emissions testing you have the better fuel and some areas that do not have emission testing are forced to have oxegenated enriched fuel to make it burn cleaner and this stuff performs poorly this stuff is usually sold in the city.I have also seen the amount of alcohol used to be irregular, you can take a graduated cylinder and place 9 parts fuel with 1 part water and the alcohol will go to the bottom and the you can visually see the percentage of the mixture. Fuel is also blended differently at different seasons because of temperature and an early warm spring and they are still making the winter blend equals a fuel that vaporizes at a lower temp and equals bad mpg.Look into your available fuel and make choices.

Next keep MAF sensor clean,use CRC MAF cleaner.Use premium quality air filter.Performance air filters that are lubricated can and will contaminate the MAF sensor, the oil will attract dirt/trash. If airflow grams per second reading is off it can run richer than should and equal low mpg.BG 44K awesome product.BG fuel induction cleaning service is also great it is an atomizer that is feeds the cleaner into the throtle body and cleans the entire intake system and also cleans the catalytic converter.

Last of all I know alot of people that have installed a dash mounted vacuum gauge / Fuel economy gauger and will develope their driving habits to always maximize the reading and this alone can save alot.

And like all have said ,keep it tuned up.tires inflated ect.

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Re: Improve gas mileage

Post by Ballenxj » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:03 pm

sportbud wrote: Performance air filters that are lubricated can and will contaminate the MAF sensor, the oil will attract dirt/trash. If airflow grams per second reading is off it can run richer than should and equal low mpg.

Thanks for the tip. I was considering a K&N filter, but just hadn't gotten around to it yet.
Just what exactly is BG 44K? Thanks.
-Bruce

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