A 9.3 percent improvement in fuel economy might seem to be a solid win in Rich Patterson’s $500 truck mileage experiment.
Patterson, director of the Indian Creek Nature Center, ordered up a healthy serving of maintenance on his 2005 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck on May 4, including new tires with lower rolling resistance and synthetic motor oil. He also filled his tank after the service work from ethanol to Top Tier detergent gasoline, which is supposed to get better fuel economy.
The fuel economy results after the changes worked out to 26.11 miles per gallon versus 23.88 miles per gallon before the work.
Patterson believes the experiment certainly shows it’s possible to use ordinary maintenance work to improve fuel economy, even though he doesn’t stand by the results as scientific.
“It’s always iffy comparing fuel efficiency as conditions are never quite the same,” Patterson said. Air temperatures were higher during the after-maintenance test, for instance, possibly affecting mileage.
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