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Having a noticeable MPG loss on my 03 Sierra Truck (1/2 ton) with 5.3L gasoline motor. Did a quick search and read several posts about the Blackbear Tune. I can't tell exactly what it is, but it sounds like you can get your ECM reprogrammed by this Justin Blackbear guy and it will give you better mpg and/or better performance.

Is anyone familiar with this blackbear tune? If so, does it really improve gas mileage?

Happy trails...:)
 

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never heard of that, but i did try two different tuners in my 99 5.3 sierra and they made it worse.. one was a diablo sport tuner which was the better of the two because you could program the tranny and engine separate, and the other was a hypertek.. it sucked.. some things that did work for mpg and power were a flowmaster muffler, MAC intake, and a throttle body spacer believe it or not..
 

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thanks for the feedback Kujo.

I'm havin' a horrible time trying to figure out why my gas mileage suddenly dropped from around 15-16 down to 12-13. The only thing I can recall was that I changed tires about that same time...but the new tires are the exact same size and similar tread pattern (different brands tho). A 20% drop in mileage seems a bit too much for simply changing tires. I've tried a complete tune-up including changing the plugs, wires, belts, all filters and all fluids (it is at 100k miles anyway), but it made no difference in my mileage. The local auto shop said it would be difficult to locate the problem since its not running bad and not throwing off any codes/no idiot lights come on.

Anyone know what the cause of my sudden drop is gas mileage could be?
 

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There are a few programers out there but most are performance programs.The better ones have more than one program andone of them is an economy one.Basically the economy programs had more power (but not as much as the performance tune)so you are not into the throttle as much thus getting better mileage.The only problem is if you drive it like a hot rod it will get worst mileage.
There a few things that can cause the drop in mileage.One is the fuel with ethanol in it .Alcohol burns cleaner and cooler but does not build as much power soyou have to get into it a little more which lowers mileage.Then new cars are programed to compensate but cars that are as little as a few years old don't handle it as well.The second possible cause is the plastic intakes on those motoers were known to warp causing vacuum leaks.If it is just starting it will be small enough for the computer to compensate without setting off the light so it will still feel like it is running good.The next possible cause is the o2 senors .As they get old the lose their acuracy long before they just die.This wil make it run rich and because they will wear together it won't set off the light until they are so far off that the computer can't adjust anymore.
If you do get a programer make sure you get on of the good ones that is internet updateable because if it has been in the warehouse for a long time it was probably not programed with tha best curves for this fuel.Also like everything else you won't get the full potential without making the engine breath better as well(air filter and exhaust).
 

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Thanks for the info. I probably won't buy the blackbear tune...was hoping it would be the "magic pill" that I need to cure my gas mileage problem, but I'm sure that is not the case.

I've thought about the O2 sensors, MAP sensor, MAF sensor, but I hate to just start spending $$$ left and right in hopes of replacing the right one. Those items arent cheap.

Another consideration is whether its worth chasing down the problem if I'm only losing 3 mpg...the total cost of finding the cure (e.g., $250) may take years to recoup in gas savings. Not sure I'll have the truck that long! lol
 

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Black Bear Performance Tunes are legit, they do good work. I have seen their work vs. others such as Hypertech and SuperChips, Black Bear has my vote.
 

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Thanks for the info. I probably won't buy the blackbear tune...was hoping it would be the "magic pill" that I need to cure my gas mileage problem, but I'm sure that is not the case.

I've thought about the O2 sensors, MAP sensor, MAF sensor, but I hate to just start spending $$$ left and right in hopes of replacing the right one. Those items arent cheap.

Another consideration is whether its worth chasing down the problem if I'm only losing 3 mpg...the total cost of finding the cure (e.g., $250) may take years to recoup in gas savings. Not sure I'll have the truck that long! lol
If you have access to a scanner hook it up and watch the readings from the o2 sensors while the engine is at operating temp.Now rapidly pump the accellerator and see how quickly they respond.Rapidly pumping the pedal should make them go rich fairly quick .If they respond slowly they need to be replaced.Most manufacterers suggest replacing them between 75K and 80K .
 

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If you are getting your truck tuned go with a Nelson tune. He has been in the business of tuning the GM trucks longer than the rest and has great results. You can find him on Performancetrucks.net. Don't get a plug in tuner because they are just a waste of money. I have had a few of them and they don't really do much performance wise. I would say your mileage drop is from the O2 sensors but like you say it would suck to start just replacing stuff and it not be it. :)
 
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