Magnets, turbines, fuel additives, there are a ton of products on the market which claim to improve fuel economy in cars, but do they work? Which ones are the best? Will they affect emissions? Most of us don’t have the appropriate funding, equipment or time to evaluate these products. Enter the EPA.
Yup, that’s right. The EPA has done our homework for us; and why not, we payed for it! The EPA has not tested every new-fangled gas-saving device out there, but they have tested a whole bunch. What are the results? Well, it turns out your first instincts are probably right. These products are garbage!
Now, the EPA hasn’t tested all of these devices, but this report from the Federal Trade Commission lists the ones they have. Better yet, if you’re considering one of these devices you can download the test results for the specific device you’re considering. The tests span decades, but I’m sure some of these products are still around, and still suck.
So like most magic after-market devices the fuel-saving gadgets are nothing but snake oil. After all, if someone really came up with an idea that would improve fuel efficiency by 20% they could sell it to one of the big auto companies for millions! Fuel economy is a bigger selling point than ever. As improvements in fuel economy can be made the auto industry will adopt them, quickly, and then advertise the hell out of it!
So what can you do? The best information on that seems to be on the Department of Energy’s site, fueleconomy.gov.