Do these products really improve fuel economy? (Petro-M... Do these products really improve fuel economy? (Petro-Mag, YouTube).
With gas prices above $3.50 a gallon, companies which manufacture "fuel saving" devices are thriving. These companies are vying for the motoring public's dollars and preying on their ignorance.

Whenever the price of gas goes up, I receive hundreds of e-mail inquiries about such devices. So let's take a close scrutinizing look at some of these "technologies" to see if there's any validity here.

Magnetized products are anything but True North

Such devices wrap around the fuel line just prior to fuel inlet. The claims of increased fuel economy are anywhere from 5% to 20% (usually determined by their customers' testimonies).

Petro-Mag is one of the most popular, and the company claims its product works the same way cholesterol medicine works on your heart: By preventing gasoline from clogging up fuel lines. They claim the fuel activator lasts for the life of the engine.

Sounds pretty impressive, huh? But the Environmental Protection Agency says it doesn't work. They tested several products, like Petro-Mizer, Polarion-X, Super-Mag Fuel Extender, Wickliff Polarizer and others. There was absolutely no improvement in fuel economy, the EPA says.



Air swirling technology is bunk

Air swirling technology is installed in the air intake just prior to the engine throttle. In theory, it works by creating a small vortex of air, resulting in better atomization of the fuel droplets in the air/fuel mixture, making the combustion process more efficient.

One of the most popular is the Tornado Fuel Saver. That device claims to increase fuel economy from 7% to 28%, and also boasts of increasing horsepower by 4 hp to 13 hp. And they claim it takes 2 to 5 minutes to install.

Vince Ciulla, a nationally noted auto expert, says he's been testing the Tornado for the past three months. He saw increases of .1 mpg, .2 mpg and in one instance, fuel economy dropped by .4 mpg.

"So much for the fuel economy increase," he said.

There was also zero increase in horsepower, even though drivers said their cars felt more powerful. Ciulla hooked the cars up to dynamometers to test the power, and came up empty.

"The feel of increased power is what the consumer expects to feel," he said. "So it is a matter of perception."

PCV "air bleed" technology only bleeds your wallet

Products like the Ram-Jet Fuel Saver claim that by bleeding air into the engine, they break down corrosive particles that could dirty engines, and feed extra air into the engine whenever it's working hard. There are others like ADAKS Vacuum Breaker Air Bleed, Auto-Miser, Ball-Matic Air Bleed, Grancor Air Computer, and Hot Tip.

They've all been tested by the EPA, and found to be useless.

Fuel additives

These companies claim that by adding their product to the fuel tank, you will realize fuel mileage savings. Some claim to increase fuel octane and increase fuel efficiency by making engines burn cleaner. You use them by adding it to the fuel tank before filling up.

The EPA has also tested a bunch of these, like Bycosin, El-5 Fuel Additive, and Dyno-Tab Fuel Booster, and found they do nothing.

There are many other "technologies" out there that claim similar fuel mileage increases. Among them are:

Vapor Bleed Devices: These are similar to the air bleed devices (PCV), except that induced air is bubbled through a container of a water and anti-freeze mixture, usually located in the engine compartment.

Ignition Devices: These devices are attached to the ignition system or are used to replace original equipment or parts.

Fuel Line Heaters: These devices heat the fuel before it enters the fuel delivery system. Usually the fuel is heated by the hot engine coolant or by the exhaust or electrical system.

Metallic Fuel Line Devices: These devices contain several dissimilar metals that are installed in the fuel line and supposedly cause ionization of the fuel (similar in theory to the magnetic fuel saving devices.)

Oils and Oil Additives: These materials are usually poured into the crankcase.

All of these 'fuel-savers' have been tested by the EPA and have been found to be of no benefit to MPG.


Bottom line on what you SHOULD do and buy:

* Keep your engine properly tuned for maximum fuel mileage efficiency

* Keep your tires properly inflated to reduce rolling resistance and thus engine work

* Modify your driving habits if you are given to "laying" on the gas pedal

* Consolidate your errands so that you run them in one fell swoop instead of running "to and fro" about the town wasting gas

* Consider buying a fuel efficient vehicle in the first place.


'Til next time ... Keep Rollin'


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  • 156 Comments
      LL
      • 4 Years Ago
      My daughter turned 16 last month and there was just no way we could afford to add her to our existing car insurance policy. I started shopping around for new car insurance and found this site: ( http://tinyurl.com/InsuranceTip ) I just put in my ZIP code and received four quotes instantly after filling out the form. By comparing rates we were actually able to include my daughter in our new policy and not pay anymore per month for car insurance than we were originally paying for just me and my wife!
      LL
      • 4 Years Ago
      My daughter turned 16 last month and there was just no way we could afford to add her to our existing car insurance policy. I started shopping around for new car insurance and found this site: ( http://tinyurl.com/InsuranceTip ) I just put in my ZIP code and received four quotes instantly after filling out the form. By comparing rates we were actually able to include my daughter in our new policy and not pay anymore per month for car insurance than we were originally paying for just me and my wife!
      Aphidavis
      • 4 Years Ago
      If any of those gadgets really worked they would not have to advertise them. The news media would do that for them and the automobile manufacturers would keep them in business.
      • 4 Years Ago
      OK, so the fuel-saving gadgets don't work. Here is something that really does work. I know because I've tried it and it is still working every month. It doesn't save you gas, it saves you gas MONEY. 50% of it in fact. Every month! I've made my investment back in less than 10 months. I pay around $1.70 a gallon for gas. Yes, this is one thing out there that works, and works good. More and more people are getting in on this monthly gas rebate program daily. Free information about this is available at: www.mygasrebate.com If you choose to pass on this great opportunity, you lose your right to complain about high gas prices.
      hemisix
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would have to agree with the magnetic types not working , however I have to disagree with the assumption on the tornado I have used these in 7 of my own vehicles and several about 5 of my friends who have observed what I have and were willing to give it a shot so far about 20 to 50 miles more per tank , as fuel cells vary in size 1.5 to 3.5 miles per gallon increase. I started with a 2003 Ram 2500 Quad cab 4x4 5.7 Hemi 345HP 385TQ 3.73RE on regular gas 89 as reccomended with myself or my wife driving it got between 5 and 7 MPG . After replacing the exhaust (cat back ) big jump to 12- 13 MPG, COLD AIR INTAKE and AIRRAID pushed me up to 15-16 MPG, later after all else was done added a tornado which the list item for my truck was the wrong one I had to trial and error to find the right size for my intake. It screams like a small SUPER CHARGER or Turbo when accellerating I am getting much more air flow and a quicker response , and I do record my times I went from 66. 4 MPH 1/8 MILE 10.34 SECONDS TO 69.1 MILES PER HOUR 1/8 MILE TO 9.89 SECONDS , THATS 6600 LBS OF TRUCK WITH ME IN THE SEAT. Granite the total gain was from everything also swapped spark plugs but no tangible gain there. I did however gain 1.5 to 2.4 miles per gallon from the tornado I run the same roads with the same grade fuel from the same pump and put the cruise control on to a set speed I use 68 mph .
      geddisleroy
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a Chevy silverodo 1500 that would get 20 -22 mpg before they started adding alcohol to the gas, now I am lucky if I get 16 mpg, I dont see where we are saving anything , might be putting money into the freinds of politisions.
        adika3z
        • 4 Years Ago
        @geddisleroy
        try add gas treatment in a gas hole and pour it.. will help little more MPG
      LL
      • 4 Years Ago
      My daughter turned 16 last month and there was just no way we could afford to add her to our existing car insurance policy. I started shopping around for new car insurance and found this site: ( http://tinyurl.com/InsuranceTip ) I just put in my ZIP code and received four quotes instantly after filling out the form. By comparing rates we were actually able to include my daughter in our new policy and not pay anymore per month for car insurance than we were originally paying for just me and my wife!
      montoyabrent85
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, PennyOrder.com
      John
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have had mileage reductions from buying bad gas a few times that continue even after using better gas. Lucas fuel system cleaner usually resolves the problem and restores normal mileage immediately. So while it doesn't increase your normal mileage it does work well for mileage reduction due to fuel related issues. As a general concept , if you start to get poor mileage finding why and fixing it is important. The first place to check is tire pressure as under inflated tires drink gas.
      dalman7c
      • 4 Years Ago
      if all u people havent figured it out they will tell u what u want to hear just to sell u these items and all u people who are stupid enough to buy them get what u deserve u just got took they got ur money and laughing at u all the way to the bank more crooks and con artist out there than honest people so if u get taken it is ur fault no one elses
      fidwriter
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about drilling for the oil that we HAVE! The cost would go down dramatically, it's called "Supply & Demand. " and it WORKS. We would not only drive down the cost oil/gas, but we would put 100,000 people back to work! I will not be liked by the PC crowd or envioromental whackos and I really don't care!
      • 4 Years Ago
      OK, so the fuel-saving gadgets don't work. Here is something that really does work. I know because I've tried it and it is still working every month. It doesn't save you gas, it saves you gas MONEY. 50% of it in fact. Every month! I've made my investment back in less than 10 months. I pay around $1.70 a gallon for gas. Yes, this is one thing out there that works, and works good. More and more people are getting in on this monthly gas rebate program daily. Free information about this is available at: www.mygasrebate.com If you choose to pass on this great opportunity, you lose your right to complain about high gas prices.
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