How to Improve Gas Mileage With a Diesel Vehicle

Updated February 21, 2017

Vehicles powered by a diesel engine have many advantages. Not only do they offer more power and durability under demanding driving conditions, such as heavy towing, they also maintain a higher resell value and offer better overall fuel economy. There are a number of things you can do, however, to further increase the fuel mileage for your diesel, from altering your driving habits and performing simple maintenance, to adding aftermarket parts.

Inflate the vehicle's tires. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to immediately increase the fuel mileage on any vehicle. Check the owner's manual for the recommended tire pressure then add two pounds to compensate for actual driving conditions.

Avoid speeding. Like any other vehicle, a diesel will burn more fuel at higher speeds. For example, according to, a car travelling at 55mph would have approximately 21 per cent better fuel mileage than one travelling at 65 to 70mph.

Install a diesel performance module or chip in the vehicle. There are a variety of these devices on the market, and they are available at many auto supply stores or online. The modules are designed to modify the fuel injection system to optimise engine performance and thereby achieve better mileage.

Install a performance intake specifically designed for diesel engines. Once again, these intakes are widely available and fairly simple to hook up. A performance diesel intake provides a better, cleaner flow of air to the engine, which allows it to operate more smoothly. This, in turn, improves fuel mileage.

Install a performance exhaust system designed specifically for diesels. A good exhaust system will allow the engine to operate more efficiently, thus cutting down on the amount of fuel it needs to burn.

Perform routine maintenance on the vehicle. If you're using regular engine oil, consider replacing it with a quality synthetic oil. Also replace the oil in the transfer case and differential with higher-quality oils. Premium, synthetic fluids enable the diesel engine to operate more smoothly, with less friction; moreover, these brands cut down on emissions and require less oil changes.


Save fuel by doing all of your errands in one trip, avoiding hard braking and acceleration, turning off the A/C in stop and go traffic, and using the A/C at higher speeds. Also remove any extra, unnecessary weight from the vehicle.

Things You'll Need

  • Performance diesel module
  • Performance diesel air intake
  • Performance diesel exhaust system
  • Synthetic oil
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About the Author

Arthur Barnhouse has written numerous short stories, contributed content to various websites and was an invited speaker at a university symposium on creative writing. He began writing in 2002 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Barnhouse has driven across the United States numerous times and draws upon his travel experiences in his writing.