Question about 2004 Dodge Ram 1500

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I want better gas mileage.

I have heard there exists a computer chip/card that can be installed to boost gas mileage by recalculating the fuel/air mixture that is injected into the intake. Is this true? If so, where can I purchase one? Can I install it myself, or should I take it to my local mechanic? Do you think it is worth the expense?

Thanks for responding.

Charles

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  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler May 11, 2010

    From what I understand, there are different chips for different requirements such as, more horsepower, better gas mileage, better torque,(pulling power) etc. and maybe one chip that promises to do all of that in one. That said, if this chip can only do what it says it can, providing I allow it to breath better, which would mean a higher priced air filter assy like a K&N, then it needs better exhaust flow, well lets install an exhaust system that will allow it to flow out better, by the time I have all that done, and figure out how many gallons or liters of gas that would have paid for, is it worth it, because if I decide to sell this vehicle later, or trade it in, all that money I paid out for all that stuff, isn't going to matter much to the average guy or the dealer, it's still a 2004 Ram, or Ford Or whatever, and this is what the black book says it's worth. It's like trying to get more for your vehicle because you had to put a rebuilt or used motor in it recently. The going price doesn't care what you spent on it, only what the rest of them like yours is selling for, unless you happen to get that one in a million guy who it does matter to. Better gas mileage can be as simple as a rear end gear change, but if that change means you can't make it up a hill now, was it worth it? If the chip is going to advance my timing, more than recommended by the maker of the vehicle, then I worry about what that is doing to my engine. Air & fuel mixture is monitored now by your sensors & engine computer, and adjusted as needed automatically. I suspect the manufacturer has set that up to run at optimum performance & mileage already for that engine to last. If you watch auto racing at all, it isn't uncommon to see a car pulling into the pits with smoke running out the tailpipe, done for the day, because they leaned out the mixture a little too much trying to get better gas mileage, which obviously heated up an engine part past it's threshold. Basically all the adjustments they change always makes me wonder what is really going on inside that engine, and why didn't the manufacturer make it that way, especially when they always advertise more horsepower than, or more torque than, or better mileage than their competitors. I'm guessing because it will wear out the engine prematurely, but how can you prove it ? I will say this much, that when a lot of the Big gas powered motorhome owners tried for better mileage at the dealerships where i've worked, most spent their money on bigger, better flow exhaust systems, and a better air filter system first. More air in & out usually is a good place to start, but you have to deal with somebody that knows their stuff, not just any exhaust place. If they are knowledgable with the "banks" exhaust system and perhaps "K&N filter system, then take the time to hear them out, and decide from there whether it's all worth it. If I have to spend $2000 in the end to get the results, but I travel a lot, and plan on keeping the truck for a few more years, then maybe it's worth it. Does the fine print for the chip say "results may vary" for any reason? Because if it does, my guess is, it varies according to what else you do to help it. If you want 10% better mileage, drive a little slower, coast a little more, accelerate a little easier & gradual, keep tires up to max, change oil when required, change air filter every spring and fall, and you know the rest of that tune. If i was planning on racing the truck then I'd probably grasp at anything to give me 1% better performance, or just watch what all the winners are using, and get one. Well that's my 2 cents worth, hope I didn't bore you.

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It's True. On my diesel it makes about a 3 miles/gal. difference. It probably wouldn't be as much on a gas. Maybe about 1 or two mpg if you take it easy, but you will love the power increase (up to 30hp+), which will make it hard to take it easy. It will also give you firmer shifts. You can get programmers/chips on EBAY or possibly at a local performance shop. The programmers just plug under the dash and once the desired program is installed then you can unplug til you wanna change it. They cost anywhere from 300 to 800 bucks depending on the brand or features. I would recommend Superchips, Bully Dog or Edge. Hope this helps.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008

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