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Do gas-saving devices really work?

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CarInsurance.com

Do gas-saving devices really work?

With the rising price of oil so too does the price we pay for gas at the pump continue to go up. While wanting to get better gas mileage we do not want to harm our vehicle. The question is then asked are there really any devices out there that can help with a vehicle's fuel efficiency.

When reading through magazines or watching commercials on television you will notice a lot of "gas saving" devices being offered up. These devices are talked up and some advertisements even have so-called experts claiming how great they are. Some commercials are so long they are considered info-commercials. Does the info part of this phrase mean they are giving you real information? Do these devices actually help your car? A more important question might be do these devices harm your car?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has an article titled ""Gas-Saving" Products: Fact or Fuelishness?" on its website detailing their opinion on "gas-saving" devices. The publication states that "although there are practical steps you can take to increase gas mileage the FTC warns you to be wary of any gas-saving claims for automotive devices or oil or gas additives." The article goes on to say that there are a few gas-saving products that have been found to work. It is then up to you to decide if these devices are worth the amount of savings they do give you in regards to fuel efficiency.

You should always be skeptical of any advertising assertion for fuel-saving devices that declares their device can improve your fuel efficiency by an unreasonably high amount. Some product makers claim they can save you 15 to 20 percent. While this sounds good studies show that if the device does work it usually will save you nowhere that much in fuel consumption.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tested or evaluated more than one hundred hypothetical gas-saving devices and has not found any manufactured item that saved any significant gas mileage. Though the EPA has not been able to evaluate every gas-saving device produced it has examined no less than one product from each category.

The EPA evaluations are only done to determine if the product will cause any significant improvement or detriment to fuel efficiency. The downside to the EPA studies is that they cannot tell what effect the gas-saving devices might have on a vehicle over a lengthy time period because they have not performed any durability tests. The EPA does warn that some of the products that are available could in fact affect an automobile's performance adversely. Some devices can cause problems with systems such as the emission control which is very complex in modern vehicles.

The EPA has clearly categorized the various types of gas-saving items that are found in the marketplace. At the EPA website listed at the end of this article you can get more detailed information on the various product names and how they are used. The categories of these various products are:

Air Bleed Devices - So named because they bleed air into the carburetor.

Vapor Bleed Devices - These products allow induced air to bubble through a container that contains a mixture of water and anti-freeze.

Liquid Injection - These devices add liquid into the fuel or air intake system.

Fuel Line Devices - There are different types under this category heading.• Heater or Coolers - These items heat the fuel before it enters the carburetor. • Magnets - Magnet devices are clamped to the outside of the fuel line.• Metallic - These products contain several dissimilar metals resulting in ionization of the fuel.

Mixture Enhancers - There are different types under this category heading as well. • Under the carburetor - mounted between the carburetor and intake manifold to enhance the vaporization of the air/fuel mixture.• Intake systems - General modification of the intake system

Internal Engine Modifications - Mechanical changes to the engine.

Fuel and Fuel Additives - Materials added to the gas tank

Oil and Oil Additives - Materials poured into the crankcase.

When reading about "gas-saving" devices or watching a commercial on them do not believe the manufacturer if they say their product is approved by the Federal government. There is not one government agency that has approved or endorsed any gas-saving product. If the producer claims that they have been evaluated by the EPA make certain to verify this by researching the device on the EPA website, www.epa.gov .

Many products have testimonials by consumers that have used their product. This is certainly not scientific testing. Also you do not know what other gas saving techniques might have been used in conjunction with the device. If the consumer had a tune up at the same time as installing a certain device it could be the tune up that gave them better fuel economy and not the device.

After reading about the various types of gas-saving devices the conclusion is that there is not a universal remedy to getting better fuel efficiency. If that device existed it would be well known and probably already incorporated into your vehicle by its manufacturer.There are many devices out there that claim and possibly do give you better gas mileage. Is it worth the price of the device? That is a question you will have to answer for yourself by doing research before buying any item. You might realize you could save more by just getting a tune up or changing your driving style.

References:
FTC and EPA

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