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Author Topic: What makes an Avalanche get better mileage?  (Read 2581 times)
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74Rallye
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« on: 02/20/13 10:25 AM »

Hi,
I am shopping for an Avalanche and I have a few things to learn before I buy one.
What options or features lend themselves to better fuel economy? Are there tuning tricks that make a difference?

Thanks.
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AVinSbyCt
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« Reply #1 on: 02/20/13 10:28 AM »

It's a 6000 lb brick. Best milage I ever got was when it's in the driveway in the mirror of the bike!
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74Rallye
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« Reply #2 on: 02/20/13 10:45 AM »

Has anyone switched to synthetic lube in the engine, trans and diffs and noted a change in mpg? My old 1500 picked up close to 2 mpg in cold weather after a total swap to syn.
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tritonboulder47
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« Reply #3 on: 02/20/13 11:08 AM »

- Intake (High flow filter, cool-air intake, throttle-body spacer)
- Exhaust (Headers, High-Flow Cats, High-Flow Muffler(s), bigger diameter exhaust pipes)
Remember, your engine is basically a big air pump...  The easier you make it for air to enter and exit it, they more efficient it will be...
- New Plugs
- New Plug Wires
- Programmer
- Synthetic Liquids (Engine Oil, Trans Fluid, ect...)


Stuff like that will get you a gain...  Unsure on how much though...
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« Reply #4 on: 02/20/13 03:49 PM »

The only otb options that can make any significant difference would be rear gear ratio and possibly tires.
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« Reply #5 on: 02/20/13 05:45 PM »

Antigravity shoes - or a really light foot.
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74Rallye
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« Reply #6 on: 02/20/13 06:49 PM »

On a truck I used to have ('86 K series) I swapped in 3.07 ratio gears. I didn't see an increase in mpg. (Huh) I think the combination of poor aerodynamics and having an engine that was getting tired kept me from seeing an improvement.
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RedRocketZ28
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« Reply #7 on: 02/21/13 07:00 AM »

A tune will help the most.  I have been messing with my trucks tune, via HPTuners, to adjust it during cruise.  Have leaned it out a bit and messed with a few other things and have gotten a little better mileage.
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« Reply #8 on: 02/21/13 07:52 AM »

The biggest effect on MPG is the driver. If you drive it like an old man and are gentle on the gas and brakes and stay at a moderate cruise on the highway you will get best MPG. As mentioned the AV is very heavy at 6,000 lbs and is not very aerodynamic. Changing gears may help for an overdrive gear but if you change you lower gearing you may cost MPG since the motor has to struggle to get the 6,000 lbs. up to speed.
I used my tow/haul mode with a full load in the Blue ridge mountains and got 24mpg on a trip. The tow/haul mode changes the shift points and helps getting up to speed. Overall though i get about 14 in town with lots of stop and go or sitting in a parking lot. On the highway I usually get about 18-20 mpg. I decided a long time ago that I didn't buy an AV for gas mileage and the positive aspects far outweighed the MPG. When i want MPG I ride my Harley.
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« Reply #9 on: 02/21/13 09:49 AM »

 Thumbs up! ol' man driver here....been getting 18.7 all around in the new '13 with only 1,300 miles!
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adamjeeps
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« Reply #10 on: 02/21/13 11:42 AM »

Find Ethanol-free gas if you can. Coast as much as possible. Moderate acceleration. Draft off of big-rigs (not safe but works). Air up the tires to 35-40 psi.
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74Rallye
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« Reply #11 on: 02/21/13 04:58 PM »

It sounds like I will need to drive like an old man with a good programmer type of tune . I'm not hung up on gas mileage or I would be looking at something Japanese. By the way, is the Honda Ridgeline like the Mini-Me of the Avalanche?
I want something that offers protection, functionality and the ability to tow. And I've always wanted one since the first time I saw one!
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JBro
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« Reply #12 on: 02/21/13 05:54 PM »

ridgeline does not have the mid gate opening the avalanche does and will tow less, per fueleconomy.gov, they get the similar mpg
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« Reply #13 on: 02/21/13 06:21 PM »

I could be wrong I usually am, lol.   But I think all the fluids in the 13's are synthetic, I was told this before they came out at the dealership, (in early 12),  talking about the oil (dexos) and it was mentioned then, I have not followed up to see if any changes had been made at rollout though.

Didit
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ltxi
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« Reply #14 on: 02/21/13 06:31 PM »

It sounds like I will need to drive like an old man with a good programmer type of tune . I'm not hung up on gas mileage or I would be looking at something Japanese. By the way, is the Honda Ridgeline like the Mini-Me of the Avalanche?
I want something that offers protection, functionality and the ability to tow. And I've always wanted one since the first time I saw one!


Bottom line is an Avalanche will never get "good" fuel mileage. It's a niche vehicle/truck that's heavier than a Suburban and in any kind of normal use is stuck in the mid to upper teens dependent on use and no matter what you do.

My solution to gas mileage problems has always been practical...a bigger fuel tank. So, the Av fixed the issue I had with my previous truck, an ext cab Silvy.
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74Rallye
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« Reply #15 on: 02/22/13 04:51 AM »

17-18ish mpg would be great! I have one car that gets 8-9 mpg, but they are fun miles.
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« Reply #16 on: 02/22/13 04:22 PM »

That's a practical goal for majority highway miles, going light on the lead foot.
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« Reply #17 on: 02/22/13 05:28 PM »

I dont know about everyone else, but I am getting very good gas mileage for a 4x4 truck. I have a k&N cold air intake, dual flowmaster exhaust, and a diablosport tuner. I have been running mobile1 full synthetic oil for over 3 years now. I usually average around 16-18 city, and up to 22 highway. Total average for combined driving is about 18.

Forgot to add that I also changed the plugs and wires, I am running msd super conductor wiresets and ngk iradium plugs
« Last Edit: 02/22/13 05:30 PM by jesusfreak2111 » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: 02/22/13 05:56 PM »

I am right about 16 and I have a tune.....
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« Reply #19 on: 02/23/13 10:02 AM »

Its a trade off. Size, comfort and ride = low gas mileage. I just traded up from a 02 to an 08 and saw a little bit of difference, but I think driving habits can make the biggest change. I love my Av and wouldn't trade it for something for better MPG's
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« Reply #20 on: 02/23/13 10:22 AM »

Having something else to drive when you don't need the truck;



Gets 27-30mpg...
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« Reply #21 on: 03/24/13 04:39 PM »

Spending hundreds of dollars on synthetics, tuners, intakes and exhaust to get gas mileage is stupid. At best you'll get a couple mpg and be lucky to get your money back.  So unless your doing it for other reasons and happen to reap the rewards don't waste your time or buy a car like my wife's g5 gt that gets 40 mpg at 80 mph
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« Reply #22 on: 04/07/13 02:06 PM »

Find Ethanol-free gas if you can. Coast as much as possible. Moderate acceleration. Draft off of big-rigs (not safe but works). Air up the tires to 35-40 psi.

I pretty much do the same stuff.  Drive it pretty conservatively and only really get on it when I'm in a pinch to merge into traffic.  That and a CAI probably helped a bit, but as stated by other posters, these babies are HEAVY..
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« Reply #23 on: 04/12/13 05:47 AM »

It sounds like I will need to drive like an old man with a good programmer type of tune . I'm not hung up on gas mileage or I would be looking at something Japanese. By the way, is the Honda Ridgeline like the Mini-Me of the Avalanche?
I want something that offers protection, functionality and the ability to tow. And I've always wanted one since the first time I saw one!


The only reason to get a Ridgeline is if you want less power and the same mileage compared to the Avalanche.  Or if you're a die-hard Honda nut that wants a "truck".  My uncle bought one a few years ago, and mocked me when I said he should've bought an Avalanche.  He said, "Why would I want to pay all that money for gas!"..amongst other anti-Chevy things.  He soon realized he couldn't tow worth a crap, and his mileage wasn't any better. He sold it less than a year later and bought a crew cab Dodge.
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Thomcat
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« Reply #24 on: 04/12/13 07:00 AM »

The only way you can get good mileage in an Avy is to constantly drive it downhill!

The extra money you pay for gasoline is not for really for the gasoline but for the comfort and versatility of the vehicle. Besides, the money I have saved in delivery fees, , removing trees, and traveling with my ass riding in safety and comfort have more than offset any extra costs for gasoline.
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Current Chevys -   '12 Black LT; '13 Fairway Green LT Z71; '13 Malibu LT
First Avy - '07 Silver Birch LT
Previous  Chevys: '11 Tahoe LT; '11 Malibu LS; '06 Colorado WT; '80 Citation (a FWD POS -turned me off Chevys for 15 years); '75 Impala; 72 Chevelle; '69 Camaro R/T; '65 Impala SS; '62 Nova; '59 Impala; '53 model 210
Other: '80 Cordoba, '84 Crown Vic, '88 Crown Vic, '90 Fleetwood, '96 Taurus, '99 Cirrus, '00 Explorer, '02 300M, '04 300M, '06 T&C minivan
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