More mpg from a computer programmer?

Hi, I have 2004 chevy express box truck 1 ton, and I was wondering if anybody has used a computer programmer(ie:HYPERTECH E-CON)? I am interested in getting more MPG. The engine is a 6.0L, with a 4l-80e trans.Thanks for your help. joesouth

You can’t move something like that down the road and expect to get decent MPG. It’s just too big and heavy, the engine to inefficient… Messing with the computer will do little or nothing…

No personal experience, but reviews for it on the web are mixed. Some make great claims while others saw no mpg gains. These products tend to be very big on hype.

Here’s one approach to assess when it will ultimately save gas (ie money) for you.

1: Use your current mpg, cost/gallon and miles driven/year to determine your current fuel cost/year.

2: Figure out what the Hypertech E-Con will cost you. Be careful - some on the net report having to pay for software upgrades in order to get the “premium” package. For discussion, let’s assume it costs $400.

3: Now you have the information to determine what mpg increase you’ll need in order to pay for the Hypertech E-Con.
For example, if you get a 1 mpg increase, it will take “X” years to pay for the unit. If you get a 2 mpg, it will take “Y” years to pay for it.

The above will be approximate because fuel prices and your miles driven will change, but it will give you a good sense of how much of an mpg increase you’ll need in order to make the unit an attractive buy for you.

Once you have the above information, you can then ask this forum a more specific question, like: “Can I expect to get a “n” mpg increase in my 1 ton 2004 chevy express box truck by adding the Hypertech E-Con?”

I’m always skeptical about claims like this. The manufacturer, in this case Chevy, has a very vested interest in getting the maximum amount of MPG from this truck as possible. The Federal CAFE laws (Fleet Efficiency standards) mandate a specific average fuel economy for the entire number of cars and trucks sold. Getting the most MPG possible out of every engine they build, even if sacrificing a few ponies of horsepower to do it, is a standard design feature. I suspect these designers have pulled just about every trick in the book, and some that have yet to be written, to get these engines to run as efficient as possible.

For any outside company, like Hypertech, to improve on the original designers is one heck of a task. I would expect any improvement to be mild at best, maybe in the 1%-2% range. And I’d be worried about what damage may happen because of it. Is it running the engine leaner, which will cause damage to the valves? Is it stretching the fuel cut-off algorithm?

I do believe they can find hidden horsepower in the engine by basically throwing MPG out the window. I’ve seen the effects myself. But to improve MPG over factory? Sorry, I don’t buy it.

I’d be suspicious that they were accomplishing small MPG gains at the expense of needed horsepower.

The feds and the marketplace already provide lots of incentive for the manufacturer to program for maximum MPG while still keeping performance acceptable. I’d be skeptical that more can be obtained without a tradeoff.

I’d bet that you can gain far more mileage by driving techniques that by this device.

It’s possible, but there’s always a trade off. The manufacturer has tuned this engine’s management system for the best balance of performance, MPG, and longevity that their engineers could find. When you start tampering with this, you’re going to likely reduce one of the other two. (most likely performance) Also, it’s nearly 100% sure to void any warranty you have left. And I’d avoid “like the plague” any of the people selling performance “chips” which often are just cheap resistors that go in line with a temperature sensor to fool the ECU into thinking the environmental conditions are different.

With the shape of the van, the weight capacity rating with heavier parts and the axle ratio, you could make radical changes to the way the engine runs and get nothing in return. If you are getting 7 MPG, you are lucky. More than that would be really great. An 05 Econoline with 4.6, air and at gets 19 on the highway with 400 pounds in it. It can’t do what yours does, so it’s a question of need as to how much fuel economy you will get.

Thanks for your help. I might just drive slower and keep my tires aired up. joesouth

Tires aired up is good. Make sure there is at least 60 PSI. Read that tag on the truck very well. It’s about the only thing you can do with that type of truck.