It all started when I picked up my new Resistol 3500 in Hickory today. As I test drove the truck for the first time I noticed the brakes were somewhat over sensitive, though I didn’t pay too much attention at the time.
As I hit I-40 everything seemed normal except the speed control would work only half the time which I was not overely concerned about.
I drove around 10 miles or so and pulled in a rest stop to do a walk around, I immediately noticed and could smell the brake pads and thought it might be normal since it only had 10 miles on the clock.
During the first 100 miles I was only getting around 12 mpg on the readout. After stopping to get a drink, I found a slight incline and as I slipped the tranny in neutral , I noticed that the truck would not roll down the incline at all – it felt like the brakes were slightly engaged.
After about 30 minutes, I finally traced my problem to the fact the brake pedal would not return to the full return position and therefore the brakes were slightly engaged.
I jumped back in truck set the speed control as I lifted the pedal with my foot and drove another 40 miles and noticed my mileage quickly went to 16-17 mpg. I pulled off the road again and noticed the rear brakes and calipers were now cool to touch.
To get home, I stopped at a Wal-Mart and picked up some rubber bounges and rigged one around the pedal to keep it in the full return position. By the way, the speed control now works perfect now as well.
I can’t help but think this might not be an isolated problem. As I read the many posts on mileage, I wonder if this problem might be widespread causing the brakes to slightly drag causing a loss of mileage.
I would recommend that anyone with lousey mileage,(or not) stop the truck on a slight incline and make sure the brakes are free and the truck rolls somewhat normal. Keep in mind that jacking the truck up and checking the wheels are free to turn, is not going to work unless the engine is running and the brake booster is up.