How to Improve Mileage for the LLY Duramax


The Duramax name refers to the family of diesel engines built by a General Motors and Isuzu partnership. The LLY is a 6.6 liter diesel V8 that was introduced in 2004 in Chevrolet and GMC trucks. The LLY incorporated improved emissions and power output over its replacement, the LB7. Although the powerful LLY engine is used primarily in light- and medium-duty trucks, you can still get good fuel economy by following a few steps.

  • Change your driving habits. Aggressive driving is one of the main causes of poor fuel economy. Resist the urge to tromp on the accelerator from a start. Slow down and brake gradually when stopping. Keep engine revs below 2,000 RPM and your fuel mileage will increase.

  • Check the air pressure of your tires often, including the inside rear tires if your Duramax-powered vehicle has dual rear wheels. Inflate tires to the recommended pressure listed in the vehicle's owner manual. Underinflated tires increase your vehicle's rolling resistance, reducing your fuel mileage.

  • Keep out of Tow/Haul mode for normal driving. Tow/Haul mode is designed to change the transmission shift points for maximum torque when towing or hauling heavy loads. Turn off Tow/Haul mode when running empty, as the higher engine RPMs caused by prolonged transmission shifts will only waste fuel.

  • Use cruise control on the highway. The cruise control eliminates surges or erratic driving habits by keeping the vehicle's speed at a constant rate, therefore maximizing fuel economy.

  • Keep your vehicle maintained. Change the fuel filter regularly. A clogged fuel filter will reduce its effectiveness at keeping dirt and contaminants out of your fuel system. Dirty fuel will prematurely wear out the fuel injectors, wreaking havoc on your fuel mileage. Keep your brakes maintained. A dragging brake caliper will also reduce fuel economy.

  • Clean out unnecessary items from your vehicle to reduce weight. Remove heavy items when not in use, such as tools and lawnmowers. A lighter vehicle will yield better fuel mileage.

  • Reduce the weight of trailers. Do not overload your trailer with unneeded items. When camping, purchase heavy items such as canned goods when you reach your destination. Don't forget to check your trailer tire pressure when towing. Maintain your trailer by keeping the wheel hubs greased regularly and checking the trailer brakes to make sure they are not dragging. Do not tow a trailer when not necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not drive with your foot resting on the brake pedal. His will create a drag, decreasing your fuel mileage. Do not idle your vehicle excessively. Use of an engine block heater in winter months will reduce long warm-up periods.

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