Reported and Web Produced by: John Matarese @ WCPO.com
Updated: 04/29/04 18:21:14
We’re all concerned about the price of gasoline, so wouldn’t it be great to find a product to make your next tank of gas last longer?
There has to be something we can do, so marketers are responding with gadgets that supposedly give us a boost.
Television commercial: “Presenting the amazing Tornado fuel saver!”
The Tornado Fuel Saver promises 24% better mileage and the Fuel Saver Pro promises a 27% increase. But do they work?
I purchased the Fuel Saver Pro that was advertised in SPAM e-mails.
For 79 bucks, you get a magnet you snap on your fuel line to make the gas burn better. I installed it on my Chevy Blazer.
The result? I’ll tell you in a moment.
As for the Tornado Fuel Saver, Eric Berens tested it for us last summer.
“I was skeptical about them, but if I could get 10 percent more it would be worth the price,” saod Berens.
The $60 tornado is a fan that goes into your air cleaner to supposedly make the air burn better. After several long trips in his Chevrolet Tahoe, Berens checked his mileage.
Without the tornado: 17.8 miles per gallon. With the tornado: 17.9 miles per gallon. Less than a one percent increase!
In the meantime, after several fillups in my SUV, I crunched the numbers.
The EPA rates the Blazer 21 miles per gallon highway. Without the Fuel Saver Pro, I averaged 19.9 MPG. With the Fuel Saver Pro, 19.8 MPG. Essentially no change.
What do the manufacturers say? We couldn’t find them, only third party Web sites hawking the gadgets.
The Experts Agree With John
That doesn’t surprise the folks at AutoZone, who don’t sell mileage boosting gizmos because they haven’t found any that work.
Autozone’s Rick Graham said you can boost mileage a bit by changing your air and fuel filter and adding fuel injector cleaner to keep the engine clean.
What about AAA? Have they found any boosters that work? Nope.
“AAA doesn’t have anything theyre endorsing relating to mileage,” said AAA’s Albert Flores, who added a few things will help slightly:
Slow down: Driving 55 instead of 70 saves two to five miles per gallon
Don’t use bike racks or roof carriers
Wax your car to reduce wind drag
Make sure your tires are properly inflated
“A low tire will cost you an average of 1.5 miles per gallon,” said Flores.
So what about all those fuel saving gadgets?
Despite what the ads claim, the EPA has tested more than 100 magnets, fans and additives and says none of them produced any noticeable increase in mileage.
So Don’t Waste Your Money. I’m John Matarese.