Gas-Saving Products: Myth or...

...truth? Just like mushrooms after the rain, the number of aftermarket gas-saving products has started to exponentially grow since the global rise in fuel prices. In recent times though, fuel prices have stabilized or even decreased, but fuel-saving devices and the likes are still having flourishing sales. Probably scared by an unimaginable though impending world fuel crisis or just having a Scottish-like rapacity, most people give in to almost any form of advertising for gas-saving products. Some people give in to ANY form of advertising but that's a different, non-automotive-related story.

To put an end to all speculations about official EPA-tested or evaluated products, let me just say that the Environmental Protection Agency has NOT tested for evaluation purposes every fuel-saving device on the United States market. They did test over one hundred alleged products and their main conclusion was that ALL of the claims made by the manufacturers of the respective units were false. How cool is that?

Not even a single one worked as advertised and only a few fuel-saving products actually provided some savings, although insignificant. As a matter of fact, the EPA implied some of them may actually cause damage to the engine internals or increase the overall emissions of the vehicle. For a complete list of the devices which were tested by the EPA you can go here.

The funny thing is that most of the advertised products cost too little for someone to believe they're only scams for gullible people. “Improve your mileage by up to 25 percent!”, “Our thingamajib saves money with every full tank of gas”, “NASA technology that can increase your mileage”, “EPA-tested miracle product that makes your car consume less fuel”. This is just part of the amount of false advertising these kind of products are getting on the Internet or on television.

Most of them cost as little as a dollar but some can con you in giving hundreds of bucks on something that works at a placebo level at most. Of course, most of the guys who sell these also include more-than-favorable happy customer testimonials, but common sense tells me they are either invented or have a different reason for existing in the first place. For example, the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) tells us a story about a guy who used one of the “miracle devices” right after doing a complete tune-up of the engine, then reported the improvement in the mileage of the car happened thanks to the wonder watchamacallit. Well, wrong. It most likely happened because the engine received the tune-up, therefore increasing its efficiency.

Another thing to know is that absolutely NO government agency endorses fuel-saving products for cars, or any other car-related products for that matter. The only thing that can be claimed in advertising at most is that the EPA has concluded the product may or may not increase the mileage of a car by testing it or by evaluating the manufacturer's own test data. If the manufacturer claims that its device has been evaluated by the EPA, why don't you ask him for a copy of the EPA report, or better yet, check the website yourself. Most of the times, the “OMG it's EPA-tested!” claims are bogus.

So, instead of getting yourself over-excited every time you see an advertisement of a product claiming to increase your car's mileage with up to 20 or even 25%, try and imagine all that hype is actually coming from someone who is most likely NOT as brainy as an automotive engineer and has developed the advertised gadget in a shed from his backyard. Sure, many automotive success stories have started in a shed, but their number is way lower than the failures. Think about that before you send 20 bucks for that “Miracle Fuel Atomizer 3000” you just saw on the internet. Also, if you really want to use less fuel you should either change your driving habits or exchange your gas-guzzler for a new fuel-sipping car.


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