It wasn’t so long ago that the F150 miles per gallon rating was approximately 11 in the city and 15 on the highway. But thanks to the EcoBoost, those numbers are long forgotten. In fact, with the help of the some hypermillers at CleanMPG.com, the highway mileage rating for this year’s EcoBoost F-150 can be raised to over 32 miles per gallon with just some basic modifications.
Specs of the Truck
CleanMPG.com’s specially outfitted 2011 EcoBoost Ford F-150 was able to drive cross-country with just three fill-ups! In order to achieve an impressive 32.281 miles per gallon average for their 2500 mile trip between California and Georgia, the members of CleanMPG used the two wheel drive model, with the rear axle set to a conservative 3.15. This already helped to boost the mileage rating without any special modifications or adjustments on the road itself. However, in order to maximize the mileage rating for their Ford Eco-Boost F-150, the members of CleanMPG used several other techniques as well.
Driving Speed and Gear Configuration
The main reason CleanMPG was able to get such good mileage was because they drove slow as molasses. CleanMPG determined the average mileage rating for the vehicle would be highest in 6th gear with the vehicle’s transmission torque converter locked in place to reduce excess work for the engine. After they decided to set the vehicle in this way, they went about calculating the average mileage for different steady speeds. From a maximum speed of 70 miles per hour, they found that the mileage rating was about 22.3 miles per gallon. With each decrease in speed by 5 miles per hour, the mileage rating climbed. The highest point of the mileage rating was when the vehicle was set to drive at 40 miles per hour, when it achieved a 32.6 miles per gallon average. So they drove this way.
Fuel Tank Techniques
In order to get all the way across the country with a full truck at maximum weight on only three tanks of gas, CleanMPG used a slow trickle technique in order to capitalize on the size of the fuel system. While the Ford Eco-Boost is designed to accommodate only 26 gallons of gasoline at once when pumped normally, there is an additional 10 gallons of space available. However, the vapors from the gasoline take up that space when it is pumped all at one time. Thus, by trickling small amounts of gasoline into the engine over about one hour, the company was able to fill the tank with 36 gallons of gasoline each time. This didn’t impact the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, per se, but it did allow the company to complete the journey in just three tanks.
And for those of you who were wondering, according to cleanmpg.com, a hypermiller is someone who strives to get the most MPG out of their vehicle. Though to me it sounds like someone who’s not in a hurry.
To see the blog about their journey, click here.