Many of the gas-saving devices being advertised do not work and can actually damage your vehicle.
After evaluating and testing more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices, the Environmental Protection Agency has found only a few that improve mileage and none that do so significantly.
The gas-saving products on the market seem to fall into clearly defined categories. These include, but are not limited to air-bleed devices, vapor-bleed devices, liquid injection devices, ignition devices, fuel line devices, mixture enhancers, internal engine modification devices, fuels and fuel additives, oils and oil additives, and driving habit modifiers.
The EPA evaluates or tests products to determine whether their use will result in any measurable improvement to fuel economy. However, the EPA cannot say what effect gas-saving products will have on a vehicle over a long period of time. It is possible that some products may harm the car or adversely affect its performance.
For example, if an “air bleed” device actually adds significant amounts of air to the air-and-fuel mixture, it may cause an engine to misfire, a condition that greatly increases the potential engine damage or mechanical failure. This is especially likely to happen on cars manufactured between 1974 and 1982 because their carburetors are pre-set for a maximum amount of air to be burned with the fuel. “Air-bleed” devices will not work at all on many cars manufactured after 1982, because these cars have “feedback” carburetors that automatically adjust the air-and-fuel mixture rendering the device useless.
Many ads feature glowing testimonials by satisfied customers. There are too many variables that affect fuel consumption, such as traffic, road and weather conditions, the car’s condition and overall maintenance, and the driving habits of the owner.
In one case a consumer sent a letter to a company praising its gas-saving product. But what was not mentioned in the advertisement was the fact that the consumers’ vehicle also had an engine tune-up at the time the device was installed.
Some advertisers claim that the gas-saving device is approved by the Federal government. No government agency endorses gas-saving products for cars. The seller can only state that the item has been tested by the EPA. If the advertiser claims that the product has been tested by the EPA ask to see the results or contact the EPA directly.
If you have already purchased a gas-saving product and you are not satisfied, contact the manufacturer and ask for a refund. An honest company offers a money-back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the company’s response, contact your local or state consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau.
Keeping your car in tip-top condition is the best way to get the best gas mileage your vehicle has to offer. Every vehicle comes with an owners manual. Read and follow what the manufacturer recommends.
Three simple steps that will help improve gas mileage in all vehicles:
Getting a tune-up.
Checking tire pressure.
Removing any excess weight from the car’s trunk.