Gas-saving Schemes Are Waste Of Energy

November 20, 1990

As gasoline prices increase, consumers are looking for ways to increase gas mileage and spend less at the pump. But as prices go up, the Better Business Bureau warns county residents that scam artists of the late 1970s are reappearing with gas saving devices that do not work.

Among the products commonly advertised as gas savers are devices that attach to a car's positive crankcase ventilation line or carburetor and additives put directly into the gas tank. The list includes such things as special valves, replacement distributor rotors, air jets, magnets, pre-agitators, hydrocatalysts, "miracle" spark plugs, pellet or liquefied additives, and foam or liquefied injector systems.

The Environmental Protection Agency has tested many of these gadgets and with few exceptions found little improvement in gas mileage. In fact, others actually increased gas consumption or required illegal changes to a car's emission control system.

Many of the claims for these products are exaggerated or misleading.

Data offered to substantiate the claims is often inaccurate, outdated or otherwise insufficient. In short, the large majority of the products do not provide enough improvement in miles per gallon to justify the cost of purchase and installation.

If you want to improve your car's fuel economy, follow these well-documented energy savings tips:

* Check tire pressure frequently;

* Keep your engine well tuned;

* Accelerate smoothly and avoid quick starts and stops.

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