July 16, 2008

Avoid devices that are supposed to save gasoline

The other day a relative of mine told me about a device he had heard of that was supposed to increase your cars fuel economy. Someone had told him that it more than doubled their cars MPG. There were even supposed to be tax incentives available from the IRS for purchasing this miraculous invention. The story sounded fishy to me so I looked into it. Sure enough its basically just a scam. With most things if something sounds too good to be true then it usually is.

With the price of gas nowadays I'm sure that we'll see a lot more of these types of devices being advertised but they are nothing new. There are additives, 'vortex' devices that you put in your air intake, magnets you attach to the fuel line, and even jars of water that are all supposed increase your fuel economy.

Bankrate.com examined the topic in their article Gas Saving Devices mostly a scam.

Bankrate points out that the EPA has a page full of reports they've done on gas saving devices or additives and almost all of them have not lived up to their promises of gas savings. They also point to a Popular Mechanics article Looking for a Miracle: We test automotive 'fuel savers'. Some of the devices Popular Mechanics tested reduced horsepower and increased fuel usage. Alarmingly Popular Mechanics even saw a device cause damage a car to catch on fire!

Its common to see these wonder inventions marketed along with claims that the technology is suppressed by the oil companies and car companies. I guess the idea is that this miracle cure is so good that the evil companies just don't want you to have it. But if improved fuel economy was as easy as clamping a magnet to your fuel system or putting a slightly different air intake on the car then the car makers would be doing it themselves and all bragging about the fuel savings.

Stay away from these gizmos and gimmicks. They are almost all assuredly scams and you'll only end up wasting your money on them.

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