Do Tonneau Covers Save Gas Mythbusters? Find Out

Mythbusters recently put the question to the test: do tonneau covers save gas? The answer is yes, but not as much as you would think. As the lead host, Adam Savage put it, “ The difference is really not that much. It’s a small amount of savings.”

The show’s results were consistent with a 2011 study from the Department of Energy that found a 3.6% improvement in fuel efficiency when driving with a tonneau cover.

That means you can expect to get about 15% more gas mileage with a tonneau cover than you would with the equivalent truck without a cover.

So, if you find yourself filling up every time you go to the drive-through, considering installing a tonneau cover, today and you’ll be glad you did.

The gas savings from a tonneau cover are not in contention, according to the Mythbusters. The question that remains is whether or not the savings are worth the extra cost.

For example, when the gas savings are calculated, the per-mile savings are only about 5 to 10 cents per mile. We like saving 10 cents a mile, but we’re not sure that it’s worth $100 to save it.

If you’re a real penny-pincher, adding a cover is a great way to save on gas. Otherwise, you can skip the cover, or invest in other ways to save money on gas.

Will Using A Tonneau Cover Help Reduce Wind Drags?

Yes, it does. When the tonneau cover on a truck is closed, it effectively reduces how much air is trapped in the tub of the vehicle. This basically reduces the force against which the engine will have to work and that translates into more fuel economy.

What Would Happen If I Take My Bed Cover Off?

There are many angles from which one can look at this question. This is because taking your bed cover off can result in many things happening.

Read Also: Can You Sleep Under A Tonneau Cover?

To start with, you will greatly increase the wind drag against which your vehicle will have to work and that means you will burn much more fuel than you otherwise would. That is one.

There is also the issue of exposing your truck bed and its cargo contents to first, dust particles and any flying debris, and second, the relentless assault of UV rays on them, which has diverse consequences too.

Finally, taking your bed cover off will allow strangers a peek into your cargo content and you never know whom among them are potential thieves, do you? (Read Also: Are Tonneau Covers Easy To Break Into? 3 Covers That Are Breakproof)

In essence, taking your bed cover off will deny you the very security for the benefit of which you bought them in the first place. So, there you are. Do you still wish to take your truck bed cover off? I doubt so.

Does Putting The Tailgate Down Save Gas?

Of course, it does. Let us look at it this way, when you put your tailgate down, you are essentially increasing the airflow across your vehicle, and when the airflow increases, it inadvertently leads to a significant increase in your truck’s aerodynamics.

We all know, or rather should know, that any increase in aerodynamics simply mean an increase in fuel economy, because your engine consumes less fuel that way. It’s as simple as that.

Yes, putting your tailgate down is one certain way through which you can increase fuel economy and save gas.

Read Also: How Do You Open A Tonneau Cover When Tailgate Won’t Open?  

Does Driving With Mesh Tailgate Improves MPG?

Yes, travelling with mesh tailgate, just like in the previous case, helps you to improve your truck’s MPG( miles per gallon). This means that you will cover more distance for each gallon of fuel consumed than would have been the case otherwise. So, yeah, driving with a mesh tailgate will help you to improve your fuel consumption rate or MPG.

How Can I Increase The MPG On My Truck?

There are several ways through which you can improve the MPG on your truck. Some of these are maintaining standard tyre pressure. When your vehicle tyres are partially deflated, you stand the risk of burning more fuel since deflated tyres are known to decrease aerodynamics around your vehicle.

To increase your vehicle’s MPG, you should carry as light cargo as possible. The heavier the load your truck carries, the more fuel it consumes. Therefore, in order to increase its MPG, carry as light a cargo as possible. Weather conditions also help in either increasing or decreasing your vehicle’s MPG.

How do they do that? You might query. Well, this is how_ when the weather is hot, you are likely to turn on the air conditioner(AC) system in your car. Using the AC in your car leads to a significant increase in fuel consumption which means it decreases your vehicle’s MPG.

Read Also: How Hot Does It Get Under A Tonneau Cover? Find Out

In addition, hot weather may alternatively cause you to open up the vehicle’s windows, in order to get some respite from the cool on-rushing air on the road. Did you hear what we called it, ‘on rushing air?’ That the air is on rushing means it increases air drags and by extension, reduces your vehicle’s MPG too.

Essentially, therefore, if you must increase your vehicle’s MPG, do not open the windows and stay away from the AC. You may find this requirement as curious or weird or both, you can hardly be blamed for that.

However, if you must increase your car’s MPG, that is the little price to pay and that’s it. Finally, is the issue of poor maintenance.

If you maintain your car regularly and as at when due, your fuel injectors or carburettors will be in good condition and that will certainly increase your vehicle’s MPG. In addition, a well-maintained engine consumes less fuel than a neglected one.

Are There Any Trucks That Get 30 MPG?

Top of the line trucks with excellent injectors or carburettors can accomplish such impressive records. They are also likely to be built in such ways that air drag is minimized to the barest possible, and such trucks must also be regularly and properly maintained too.

They ought to carry less cargo and have properly Inflated tyres. When all these conditions prevail, it is possible to achieve the enviable feat of 30 MPG, but not otherwise.

Why Does My Truck Get Bad Gas Mileage?

Like has been discussed previously, your vehicle is bound to have a bad gas mileage if you do not maintain it as regularly or as well as you ought to.

To improve on your vehicle’s bad mileage, reduce the weight of the load you carry on it. Also, keep your tyres properly inflated at all times. Finally, reduce how often you open the windows or use the AC.

When you ensure all these, your truck’s gas mileage is most assuredly bound to increase tremendously. Neglecting them will equally lead to bad gas mileage as well.

What Are Some Other Ways To Improve Fuel Economy?

 Ways to improve fuel economy include proper and regular vehicle maintenance which will keep the engine components and fuel delivery systems in top conditions.

Similarly, we must not overwork the engine through carrying such cargo that may affect its fuel consumption badly. There is the issue of overusing accessories like temperature-regulating mechanisms such as the AC and air heaters.

The excessive use of other gadgets like radios, interior lights and headlights also have a profound effect on our vehicle’s fuel consumption.

So, to improve fuel economy, reduce how frequently or how long you use these accessories in your vehicle. These measures are bound to help tremendously in improving your vehicle’s fuel economy.

What Is The Best Way To Wash A Tonneau Truck Bed Cover?

For reasons of time, most people resort to getting their trucks washed at automatic car washing outfits than doing it home themselves, despite professional advice that opposes such methods with very good reasons. If automatic car washes are not the best option, what option or options are we left with for washing our trucks? (Read Also: Can You Take A Truck With A Tonneau Cover Through A Car Wash?)

Tonneau covers are usually made from any of soft vinyl or aluminium poly ethane, which are also used to protect the interior of a soft convertible whenever its roof is taken off, in addition to all other of their uses with which we are now perfectly acquainted.

You are advised to check them frequently, by doing that you can detect any developing faults before it overgrows to your detriment. Whenever you are cleaning your truck, ensure that you clean it in areas that are shaded such as under a tree or in a garage to minimize the effects of the sun on your truck, or even you too.

Begin the cleaning by washing the lid with cool clean water and non-caustic soap. First, flood the lid with water to rid it of any grime that may scratch the finish when wiping finally.

From this stage, with the use of a hose, rinse the cover thoroughly making certain to eliminate any traces of washing soap and rub off excess water with a sponge or a very clean rag.

Ensure that you wash off the entire car of soap, so as to guard against soap from streaking your car’s paint finish. Chemicals such as detergents, dishwashing soaps, bleaches, harsh cleansers, strong cleaners, dry cleaning solutions or any other strong substances must be avoided totally, lest you subject your truck bed cover and the truck itself to significant harm.

Most notably, refrain from using hot water entirely whenever you are cleaning your truck bed cover. For a vinyl tonneau cover, you may preferably use any good quality vinyl cleaner which is readily available at most auto shops.

With the use of an all-white cotton towel, wash the whole truck bed cover without spot cleaning to prevent rings or any bright spots on your tonneau cover.

Ensure you use only soft cotton towels or sponges in cleaning and never any rough abrasive cleaning cloths because they can scratch the vinyl material and thereby create pores they will harbour dirt and other injurious substances.

Repeat the entire procedure, if you feel that once or twice, is not enough until you are fully satisfied. After all, the agents you are using are harmless and hence, you are free to go the entire process as many times as you want until you are satisfied your truck cover is absolutely clean.


If you’ve taken your time to go through the beginning of this article then you should know by now that using a tonneau cover on your truck indeed help save gas to a considerable amount. All of these are evident as you can see from several studies carried out on this topic.

So, if you don’t owe a tonneau cover already, you should consider installing one, today. Be sure to carry out extensive research before getting one for your truck.

That’s all you need to know if installing a bed cover over your truck will help save gas. Also, iIf you have any more questions regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

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