How to Improve the Mileage of an 8.1-Liter Chevy Engine

by Jen Davis
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A Chevrolet 8.1-liter V-8 motor is a large and powerful motor that is not recognized for its fuel mileage. In fact, Chevrolet stopped manufacturing this motor after six years, possibly in part due to pressure to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. On average, vehicles equipped with the 8.1 get less than 15 miles per gallon. You can make some changes to the way you operate your Chevrolet 8.1 to attempt to get better fuel mileage; however, you should not expect miracles. This is not a motor that will ever see 20 miles to the gallon.

Step 1

Perform regular maintenance on your Chevrolet 8.1-liter motor. A badly running motor will consume more fuel than a properly maintained engine. Perform regularly scheduled repairs, tune-ups and oil changes.

Step 2

Limit the amount of weight your truck carries. The more the truck and its cargo weigh, the more fuel the 8.1-liter engine will use to transport it. Make sure to keep loads you are towing as light as possible, and do not use large trailers for smaller loads. Do not transport heavy items unnecessarily. It is not unheard of to remove the tailgate from the truck and replace it with a vinyl or fabric tailgate designed to save fuel mileage.

Step 3

Put low-rolling-resistance tires on the truck or sport-utility vehicle. These tires are designed to improve fuel mileage by reducing the amount of work your vehicle has to do to power the vehicle. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that these tires can improve fuel economy by up to 2 percent.

Step 4

Avoid using the air conditioner as much as possible. Running your air conditioner at lower speeds makes more work for your 8.1-liter engine and causes it to use more fuel. Roll down your windows to keep the inside of your truck cool.

Step 5

Do not leave your 8.1-liter engine idling for more than a couple of minutes. Idling is a big waste of fuel and it produces emissions that can harm the environment. Turn your truck or sport-utility vehicle off if you plan on sitting in one location for any length of time.

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