How do you seperate the scams from the ones that actually work?
Fuel saving devices, gadgets, & products have been around for years & seem to generate extra publicity when fuel prices spike.
Most mechanics & automotive enthusiasts are familiar with some of these products that claim to boost fuel efficiency by simply bolting them on, plugging them in, or pouring them into the fuel tank, but which ones actually work?
The best way to find out is by learning how they actually work so you can determine which ones make sense & which ones are a hoax.
In a nutshell all fuel saving devices & products fall into one of three categories, being Airflow Manipulators, Fuel Burn Enhancers, & Fuel/ Oil Treatments. We’ll look at each category individually
The flow of air into your car’s engine plays a major role in its efficiency. Modern lean burn engines are designed by engineers in such a way that a precise amount of air enters the engine’s intake system where it’s mixed with fuel.
A number of devices claim to enhance this process, I’m sure you can think of at least one. They claim to improve the mixing of air & fuel thus enhancing efficiency & power. Unfortunately they mostly disrupt airflow by changing the intake conditions from what the engineers intended. Your engine’s computer will make adjustments to compensate for this disruption by adjusting the amount of fuel injected into the engine, in some cases by injecting more fuel than usual to account for the altered airflow characteristics.
FUEL BURN ENHANCERS.
This category includes vapour injectors, fuel &/or engine ionizers, fuel line magnets, & metalic catalysts.
These devices claim to make fuel behave differently by changing the fuel’s chemical composition, or by using electro-magnetic fields, ionic corona generators, or by changing the fuel’s molecular structure thus making it possible to burn fuel more effectivlely than usual. Modern lean burn engines & computer control systems are optimised to a point where less than 5% of fuel leaves the engine un-burnt.
You’ll find that most fuel burn enhancers will state a decrease in fuel consumption anywhere from 11-15%.
FUEL &/ or OIL TREATMENTS.
There’s a huge variety of fuel & oil treatments on the market. They basically claim to enhance fuel or oil performance through a variety of chemical reactions, or by coating engine components, in turn reducing friction &/ or extending oil life. Others claim to clean carbon deposits from an engine’s intake system.
It’s in this category that you’ll find that some products actually do work! Just be aware that some engine coating products might also coat vital engine sensors which might lead to expensive repairs.
IN MY EXPERIENCE.
In 16 years in the automotive industry I’ve found that the following examples are the best ways to save fuel & in some instances increase power. Some of these examples are no-brainers.
Proper & Regular Car Servicing.
This is the easiest way to enhance both fuel economy & power. A smooth running & well lubricated engine not only keeps your investment running efficiently for longer, it also makes the driving experience more pleasureable.
Want to save fuel? Avoid heavy acceleration, hard braking, & learn how to “cruise”
No I don’t mean you should start cutting parts off your car that may seem unnecessary, if you looked in your car right now how much extra weight is it hauling around? It’s simple really, the heavier the load, the more fuel required to move it. Cleaning out your car & correct tyre pressure will save you more fuel than any fuel saving device could ever hope to offer.
Cold Air Intake Systems.
Provided that they aren’t a restriction to the manufacturers design & actually do suck cold air these really do work. Beware though that some after market designs are worse than the original but mostly look “cool” though. Cold air intakes work by providing the engine with oxygen rich, cool, dense air which is able to hold fuel in suspension more readily & ignite easier.
As stated earlier, vehicle manufacturer engineers calculate a precise amount of air required for optimal ignition. Carbon builds up over time as a result of combustion & causes a restriction in the engine’s intake passages. By removing these restrictions, usually through chemical cleaning, optimal airflow is restored. For further information please refer to my earlier blog titled “Improve Your Engine’s Efficiency”
By using octane boosters or better still, fuel with a higher octane rating & energy content, power & efficiency will be boosted. Be wary though of solid tablet forms of octane boosters as they usually just clog up in the fuel filter or worse still, partially block fuel injectors. Also note that the energy content of fuel will boost fuel efficiency by a greater amount than fuels with a higher octane rating alone. Fuel with a low energy content will decrease engine efficiency despite having a higher octane rating. Please reffer to my earlier blog titled “Is Ethanol Blended/ Based Fuel Better for the Environment” for further information.
You might also like to google search Lean Burn Engine Designs.
So that’s it, I hope you’ve found this blog interesting if not informative. For any further information please don’t hesitate to contact me via phone call, txt message, e-mail, Facebook, or Google+.
Kind Regards Always