Unless you work from home and don’t have a car you are probably already acutely aware of the fact that gas prices keep going further and further up. What is also going up, in terms at least a frequency, are the number of advertisements for products that promise to save you money on gasoline. In fact, the amount of advertisements has gone up so much that it has prompted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to place a warning on its website that not all of the claims that these device manufacturers are making are true. With that in mind we thought we’d take a look at some of them and give our opinion (based on our research) about their ability to increase your mileage and thus save you money on gasoline. Enjoy.
First and foremost it helps to know that the EPA has actually tested over 100 ‘gas saving’ devices and, in all of their testing, did not find a single one that actually produced any improvement and gas mileage that was significant. Not only that, they also found that some products are actually damaging to a car’s engine and others that increased exhaust emissions substantially. No matter how you slice it, any device that increases emissions substantially is a no-no in our book.
One of the most popular types of advertisements for gas saving devices are the ones that feature testimonials given by customers that are always, of course, extremely satisfied. The thing is however that most consumers don’t have the time, energy or equipment to precisely test any device that they purchase and install. Not only that but there are many variables that will affect the way that your car consumes fuel including but not limited to weather conditions, road conditions and your car’s actual condition.
One thing to keep firmly in mind if you see an advertisement saying that a gas saving device has been approved by the federal government is that, in reality, the federal government has not approved and does not endorse any device of any kind for saving gas or increasing your gas mileage. At most a company can claim that the United States EPA has tested their product and reached a conclusion about it but you can bet that, whatever the conclusion is, it probably isn’t anything that’s all that great. In many cases there have been products that have made false claims and actually have been investigated by the EPA rather than approved by them.
The devices that we’re going to list below have been evaluated by the United States EPA and, for the most part, were found to provide a slight amount of increase in miles per gallon and thus a slight savings at the gas pumps.
- Air bleed devices that ‘bleed air’ into the carburetor.
- Vapor bleed devices are similar with the exception that the air bled into the carburetor has been passed through water and antifreeze first.
- Ignition devices that can be attached to a car’s ignition system and save a slight amount of fuel.
- In-line fuel heating or cooling devices that will either heat up your car’s fuel or cool it down before it enters the carburetor.
- Magnetic fuel line devices that claim to change the molecular structure of gasoline and increase your MPG as well as metallic fuel line devices that claim to do something similar.
- Under the carburetor mixture enhancers supposedly enhance vaporization of your air to fuel mixture and thus increase gas mileage.
- Mechanical or physical engine modifications that change the way the engine functions.
- Modification devices that reduce power to certain accessories while you’re driving.
One of the most popular products are fuel additives that are added to the car’s gas and claim to increase mpg. The fact is, very few of these products actually increase your mileage and enough to make up for their cost. That goes the same for oil additives. You can even find light and sound devices that supposedly will modify your driving habits and tell you when it’s best to shift gears or decrease your speed.
Again, the fact is that the vast majority of these devices will only increase your MPG slightly and, in many cases, won’t even pay for themselves because the amount of gas that you save will be so slight. Our best advice is to read one of our numerous blogs about gas saving habits that can actually save you gas and cost practically nothing to implement. Happy driving!