How do I Improve the Gas Mileage on a 1500HD 4X4 6.0L?

by Kay Layne
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gas pump image by Tammy Mobley from

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500HD and GMC Sierra1500 HD models featured a 6-liter, 8-cylinder small block engine. Both trucks came with rear-wheel drive as a standard feature but had a 4 x 4 or all-wheel drive option. While these trucks are roomy workhorses they definitely gulp down fuel. The trucks average 13 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. But there are ways to save money at the pump.

Step 1

Drive smart. Avoid quick "jackrabbit" starts. Both trucks weigh more than 8,600 pounds. Rapid acceleration will only make the engine work harder. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you can improve your gas mileage up to five percent by simply stopping aggressive driving.

Step 2

Attend to routine maintenance as little things add up. Check your oil and fuel filters. Change your oil as needed. Dirty oil causes a drop in engine and fuel efficiency. Use synthetic oil in your truck. Synthetic lubricants cause less friction. Make sure you are using the proper coolant. Don't forget to change your air filter. Check and replace spark plugs as needed. Tune-ups keep your truck running efficiently. The FTC claims that a well-tuned engine can improve fuel mileage an average of four percent.

Step 3

Check the air pressure in your tires and make sure they are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can cause rolling resistance. According to the Department of Energy, properly inflated tires can improve your fuel economy by 3.3 percent. Check your tires monthly.

Step 4

Pump properly. The Silverado and Sierra both require only regular unleaded gas (87 octane). Higher grades just cost more, and will not increase performance.

Step 5

Watch your weight. Clear out heavy objects and tools from the truck bed when you don't need them. According to the FTC, an extra 100 pounds can reduce fuel economy by up to two percent. After-market accessories can add additional weight, which can affect fuel economy. Many drivers love to equip their trucks with large off-road tires and roll bars. These accessories can be useful, but if they are just for looks, then they're adding unnecessary rolling resistance, weight and aerodynamic drag.

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