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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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More fuel saver scams

June 2008

Having gotten through debunking the infamous "run your car on water" scams, it's time to take a look at the growing number of other fuel-saver scams that are appearing on the market.

Do they work?

In a word -- no.

But that doesn't stop the scammers coming up with all sorts of pseudo-science and BS (bad science) to try and convince you otherwise.

So let's take a closer look at the more common ones...

Magnetic Fuel Savers

Clamp these incredibly expensive magnets on your fuel line and they'll either ionize, align, polarize, depolarize, or in some other way alter the fuel that flows into your engine so that it will burn better, faster, more efficiently.

By doing this, you'll get an increase in fuel economy that is anywhere from 15%-30% they tell us.

Well there is absolutely *zero* reputable scientific evidence to support these claims and in fact many of those promoting these bogus devices have been prosecuted for fraud. Here is one example of such a prosecution.

If they worked, there wouldn't be a four million dollar fine involved, would there?

These bogus magnetic fuel savers are still being sold under a number of different names however. RED Magnetic Hypergauss, Fuel Optimiser, Magnatronic. FuelEX... they're all just a scam. Avoid, avoid avoid.

Fuel Additives

Just pop a little pill in your fuel tank and save, save, save on gas bills.

Yes, it sounds too good to be true doesn't it? Well you guessed it -- it is.

These miracle fuel conditioning pills have been tested and roundly condemned as not only a waste of money but also potentially damaging to your car's fuel system.

Just ask yourself, if fuel could be improved by such a simple process, don't you think that one of the major (or minor) fuel companies would be seeking to steal an edge on their competition by including these "magic" ingredients themselves?

These fuel conditioning tablets go by too many brand-names to list but includes: K-Fuel Saver, BIOIL, Cyber Sizzle, etc.

The Texas Attorney General says the pills are a fraud.

Sorry, it's another case of avoid, avoid avoid.

Intake turbulators

By placing a magically shaped piece of metal in the intake system of your car's engine, you can use the powerful force of a tornado to improve your fuel mileage.

Sorry but wrong again.

These devices simply create an extra choking effect in your vehicle's air intake system and that's been proven to actually *reduce* fuel efficiency, sometimes quite dramatically.

The fact is that the mix of air and fuel entering your car's engine is already extremely turbulent by the time it is ignited. Trying to add extra turbulence achieves absolutely nothing except making it harder for your engine to breathe.

And yes, scientific tests have proven that they simply don't work.

These intake turbulators are marketed under many names but perhaps the most well-known (and reviled) is the Tornado.

More stuff to avoid!

Tin Catalysts

Attach this little device between your fuel line and your carburetor or injector system and it'll save you money. It works by virtue of the catalytic effects of tin on the combustion process.

But wait, didn't they use tin as a combustion improver in WW2? Surely that means it must work -- right?

Well no, I'm sorry -- more snake oil here.

Yes, they did use tin to improve the octane rating of fuels back in WW2 (and later we used lead too) but today's fuels are already much higher octane and today's engines are much different to those old ones.

You'll also find that the tiny amount of tin that is released into the fuel system by these fuel catalyzers is several orders of magnitude less than would be required to have any discernable effect. Yes, more BS I'm afraid.

One of the best known of these catalyst systems is FuelStar.

I'm sorry, but unless you're running 80-octane fuel in a car with an engine out of a Spitfire, you won't be getting your money's worth out of these devices.

Is anyone else debunking these systems?

Surely if these fuel-savers really are just scams, someone else must also be testing them and writing about it.

Well yes they are. Here are a few links for you to browse.

"But I had a fuel saver fitted and it works"

I've investigated the strange situation where otherwise credible people claim to have seen a measurable improvement in fuel economy when one of the fuel-saver scams has been installed in their vehicle. How can that be?

Well it's amazing how much fuel you can save by doing a few simple things:

  • Properly inflate (or even over-inflate) your tires
  • Replace your air-cleaner at regular intervals
  • Make sure your engine is in a good state of tune
  • Make sure your wheels are properly aligned.

There are a growing number of reports which indicate that many of those companies installing fuel-savers for customers are deliberately overinflating the tires of those vehicles and performing some other very basic servicing that can in itself result in a 10% or more improvement in fuel efficiency.

Of course the customer then believes that this improvement is down to the miracle new fuel-saver they've spent so much money on.

Yes, they've been very skillfully duped indeed.

However, the vast majority of people making these claims are simply trying to separate you from your money and may well be part of a very lucrative affiliate network such as the one mentioned here. Some people have always lied in order to earn money and clearly, these scammers feel it is fair to continue the practice.

Quick navigation of this feature:

Please spread the word to save people from wasting their cash and help put these scammers out of business. Link to the first page of this feature and tell your friends about it.


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Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

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