Smiles per gallon

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DeanMk, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member

    Just a quick note, cuz I'm absolutely giddy over this.

    Ok, I once heard about a "trick" for cleaning out an engine that involves pouring ATF into the gas tank.
    I've done it on my old truck and it seems to work with no harm to the vehicle (although it does leave yellow "hairs" on the spark plugs).
    So I got a quart of ATF last night and today, on the way to work, I poured it in and topped the tank off.
    Now Whitey (I call my truck "Whitey Ford") has been averaging around 24-25 mpg since I bought her in March.
    Today, I found out that I've gone 71.4 miles since the last fillup (filled up on the 5th) and I put 2.549 gallons in her today.
    That works out to 28.0109846998 mpg

    ...yep, that's right - twenty-eight miles per gallon.

    Except for the diesel Rabbit I used to own, that's the best mileage I've ever gotten with any car I've ever owned....and this thing's a freakin' truck!

    Couldn't be happier about the fuel usage. Thanks Ford!

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
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  3. Taylor

    Taylor Roman 1:16

    Pictures of mentioned diesel rabbit.
  4. Fx4wannabe01

    Fx4wannabe01 New Member

    A QUART!?!?!?!?!???????? You dumped a full quart into your 16gal gas tank?!?!???

    When I used to do it with my old motor, I'd pour in a mixture of Lucas Fuel Treatment 5.5oz and about 3oz of ATF before I filled up(19.5 gal tank). Seemed to do well on my 110k injectors and I saw better mileage numbers. I seem to remember when used in moderation, it's a great thing since many, including myself, use ATF when cleaning tools.

    But in all reality, 28mpg isn't all that unheard of on a 2.5L on the highway. The difference of 26(what you got) to 28(what you now got) could easily be explained as being lighter on the skinny pedal.

    Come back and update the thread with some consist results with full tanks being burnt 'cause there's a lot of variables in your single post.
  5. OP

    DeanMk Member

    ...try the next post...
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  6. OP

    DeanMk Member


    I'll definately do an update post after I've run a few more tanks.
    FWIW, I won't add anymore ATF. It only has an effect on a single tank use.
    It cleans the engine, but once the engine is clean, "recleaning" doesn't have any effect, which makes perfect sense.
    My mileage is a bit skewed, in that my commute (while all on the open highway) includes what would be commonly referred to as "an old country road".
    The speed limit is 40 and I stick to that as religiously as possible.
    This means a lower gear is used (4th) and thus, even though the engine fuel usage may be about the same (gph), the slower speed can actually result in a lower "mpg" rating.
    However, since that road is part of my daily commute, using it will "standardize" the results.
    Included that piece of knowledge, just so you'd have a better idea of the "how" with the future fuel mileage results.



    Unfortunately, I know of no pictures of the VW.
    I did find this picture online, though...
    This is NOT my old car, but it's essentially what I had, except mine was in better shape and used the regular wheels (I bought, and sold, mine for less $, too!)
    It was a yellow 1980 "C" model. Two door hatchback.
    The guy I bought it from got for his son, upon graduating from high school AND for being accepted at one of the major state universities here.
    The kid drove it all through college then, after graduating, got his own car and gave that one back to his dad.
    Dad drove it for a few years and then decided to sell it.
    I got it in '87 and sold it in '92, when I bought the truck that my Ranger just recently replaced.
    The little Rabbit was pretty cool.
    4-spd, but had the original 1471cc engine.
    Averaged about 48 mpg, with a high of 58+, on the tank that I used after rebuilding the engine (which is how I found out it didn't really need to be rebuilt. Just needed some head work, but at 134+K, I thought it would be a good idea to do the rebuild).
    Learned to be a patient driver while owning that car, and it actually helped me get over a bad case of constant road rage, that I was prone to in those days.
    Preferrably, I'd like to go back to diesel power, but there are currently no diesel powered mini trucks on the American market.
    Less maintenance, MUCH better mileage and ease of adaptation for alternate fuels just make so much sense to me.
    ...and I liked the idea that I could suck some fuel out of the tank for the furnace, if I ever needed some fuel and was short on cash. ;)

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  7. OP

    DeanMk Member

    Okie-Dokie, its update time!
    So I've decided to record the next 3 fill-ups, this one being #1.

    For the record, I always fill-up completely and I usually drive a "reasonable distance" before filling up (fill-ups occur around pay day and I'm paid twice a month).
    So this time around, I drove 222.1 miles since the last "fill-up" (the time I topped off the tank, which is what started this post) and it took 8.473 gallons to fill the tank.
    This yields 26.2126756 mpg.

    Not as good as last time, and that may be reflected in the fact that the 28 mpg reading was done will less than 100 miles on that tank.
    I didn't think about it then, but looking back, whenever I've "topped off" in the past, it usually results in exceptional fuel milage, regardless of the vehicle.
    The milage for this tank is really sort of becoming an average.
    I do have to admit, I got on the gas a few more times than usual (especially earlier today, when I was trying to run some errands before work. At one point, I got so pissed, I ended up doing a burn out in the driveway).
    I'll try to drive more "normally" on the next tank and see how it looks then.
    ...btw, gas was $3.459 today, when I filled up. Up 10 cents from what its been at for the at least the past week :)furious:).

    Stay tuned, next update will be a little after the beginning of August.

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  8. Taylor

    Taylor Roman 1:16

    Off topic:

    I love VWs.

    Waiting for an update.
  9. OP

    DeanMk Member

    Fill-up # 2...

    266.5 miles ate 9.878 gallons for an MPG of 26.979145.

  10. Thulsa Doom

    Thulsa Doom Ranger Dad

    I've never heard of this ATF trick. Thanks. I'll be following the results.
  11. Jexxvexx

    Jexxvexx Twisted Title Here

    gas mileage

    I dont think you are doing bad i have changed the way i drive and today i was rewarded to the tune of 28.9MPG:D. I keep track of all of it on If you want to look at it the trucks name is black out.
  12. OP

    DeanMk Member

    ..and fill-up #3.

    325.2 miles on 11.835 gallons = 27.47782 mpg.

    Looks like I took the scenic route a few times. :D

    Overall, I'm noticing that drivability is a little better, but otherwise nothing different.
    This leaves me to the conclusion that carbon build-up in the cylinders (which is what the ATF cleans off) was minimal and that things are, and have been, working as they should...and that makes me feel better about the overall condition of my truck.

    Another thing that is cool, for me, is the miles I can rack up on a tank.
    My old truck was hard pressed to pull 300 miles on a tank. I've done it a few times, but the needle is always on, or below, "E" when I fill up after driving that far.
    With this truck, I can easily exceed 300 miles and have plenty of gas left. This time around, the needle was barely to the 3/4 mark.

    As time goes on, I'm learning more and more about how to drive my truck more efficiently.
    I live on a main highway, and most times, when I leave the house its an immediate uphill climb.
    With traffic usually on my butt, or quickly gaining, I've taken to the bad habit of flooring the gas as soon as I get on the road.
    Maybe I'm just getting older, but I'm taking on more and more of a "F*k it" attitiude and just let 'em sit on my @$$.
    This is because I'm finding that I only need about 3/4 throttle (maybe a little less) to get the truck to accelerate up the hill.
    I think this practice is being reflected in the last couple of milage readings.

    Anyway, that concludes this session. Thanks for your interest and comments.

    Fx4wannabe01, is that enough info for you, or would you like month-by-month reports?

    Jexxvexx, I haven't heard anyone mention in a while. I thought it had gone away years ago.
    I'll have to go check it out.
    Thanks for the remiinder.

    I might start a "blog" for this truck at, like I did for my last truck.

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  13. hazard-maine

    hazard-maine northern ranger driver

    just to throw this in, this weekend my 02 4.0 4x4 with 245s tires reached 17.2 average mpg
    DeanMk likes this.
  14. I get 17 mpg on average easily with my 4.0 4x4
  15. hazard-maine

    hazard-maine northern ranger driver

    you live in a flat land area so its easy for you
  16. flat land, we have MOUNTAINS here elvation up to 13000 feet, (but yeah I dont go up there) lol
  17. hazard-maine

    hazard-maine northern ranger driver

    yeah see you stick to the flat lands
  18. Galloway6

    Galloway6 New Member

    I just picked up a 97 with a 2.3 with 132xxx and on my first tank only got 19 mpg so it looks like I have room for improvement.
  19. OP

    DeanMk Member


    Welcome to the forum.
    How's your truck running?

  20. Galloway6

    Galloway6 New Member

    Thanks, it's running fine no problems so far.
  21. OP

    DeanMk Member

    HOOOOLD ON THERE PARDS! didn't think this thread was over, did cha'?

    Ok, I've decided to add 3 more milage checks (if that's ok with everyone) and I'll tell ya' why.

    I just filled up again, but this tank was a little different from the others I've reported on so far.
    This time the truck was used...are ya' sittin' down? actually haul things with. Just like a for real truck!....

    ... =() ...

    ...I KNOW!

    Turns out there's this little space behind the cab. It's kind of like a bucket. You can put things in it. Anything!
    It's really cool. You gotta try it sometime. Really.


    So we've got these old dog runs that have been used as a sort of junk shed for years.
    Well now Momma wants a "sun room", so I'm in the process of converting them over.
    First thing, haul all that junk outta there.
    The (decent) garbage dump is about 27 miles away.
    I hauled two loads - mostly rotted lumber.
    First one was 460lbs., second was 440 lbs.
    Truck rode and handled pretty good and the engine didn't act nearly as labored as I thought it would have.
    All in all, I'm pretty happy with how the truck handled itself.
    So this little weekend excursion put a few extra miles on the tank and I couldn't wait around for payday to fill 'er back up.
    Just went out to put gas in it (and fix a slow leak I just noticed...except today is LABOR DAY and all the shops are closed! >I ).
    The needle was into the thick red "E" line and she took 15.348 gallons (its only a 17 gallon gas tank, so I figure I was pushing into the "reserve").
    I drove 418.1 miles (FINALLY! Exceeded 400 miles on a tank! Woweee!).
    Averge MPG? - 27.2413343758
    About the same as the last time, but the truck was worked harder this time.
    Makes me wonder how high it would've gone if I'd just done my normal two week commute with it.
    Yes, I'm one very happy Ranger owner right now. =)

    So consider this tank #4

    When I filled up, I decided to fill it with premium. So there's almost an entire tank of pure premium in it....and I figure, running it so low, pretty much any residual ATF (or anything else that may have been added before I got the truck) was burned on that last tank, so I'm considering this tank, "just gas".
    Let's see how well we do this time.
    I'll take the tank down to "E" again and fill it with regular and see if there's any change.
    Of course, reports will follow.

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012

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