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imageFuel Tips For Consumers

Advertising claims.
When gas prices increase, you are more likely to see the "too good to be true" claims of gas saving device sellers.  You should be skeptical of the following claims:

Substantial fuel savings - 10% to 50% (and sometimes more!)
More than 100 alleged gas saving products have been tested by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency.  They are called retrofit devices and range from hard parts to fuel additives.  Only a few of these have been found to improve gas mileage at all.  Take a look at RxP's EPA 511 Hot Start tests results.  On a well tuned engine RxP increase the fuel economy on by 1.4% in one test and 1.3% in another.  This means a new engine will not see significant improvement in fuel economy, however engines that have carbon buildup will see a significant improvement simply because the engine will run much more efficiently when clean.  And remember - the typical internal combustion engine, like the one in your car, uses only about 15% of the fuel to actually push the vehicle down the road.  How can you possibly get 50% better gas mileage when 70% of the fuel is used to power the engine?

Approval by a government agency.
These kinds of claims are simply false as no government agency endorses gas-saving products for cars.  You will see advertising and packaging containing wording like "registered with the EPA" or "certified (some government agency) technology."  Don't be mislead by such claims as they mean absolutely nothing.  

Adverse affects of "gas-saving" devices.
Aside from wasting your money, installing these products on your car could cause your manufacturer warranty to be voided, because they are not factory equipment.  In addition, long-term use of such products may actually damage your vehicle.

Real money saving tips.
At the gas pump, buy only the octane level you need.  Check your vehicle Owner's Manual to determine what the manufacturer recommends.  If your engine "pings" or "knocks," you might need a tune-up or a higher octane fuel.  You may also have purchased a tank of fuel that contains oxygenates (reformulated fuel or RFG for short).  RFG came about as a result of the 1990 Clean Air Act when then President George Bush signed legislation into law that was intended to clean up the air.  The main ingredient, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), is an oxygenate.  It was then believed that replacing benzene (a known carcinogenic hydrocarbon) with an oxygenate would produce cleaner air.  The whole idea was foolish because MTBE is also a carcinogen, plus it does not work and has now polluted water all over America, which will take billions of dollars to clean up.  By the way, a bottle of RxP will cure the RFG blues.  

Get tune-ups.
Get a tune-up at the intervals recommended in your vehicle Owner's Manual.

Check your tires.
Check your tire pressure regularly.  Under-inflated tires will cause your car to use more gas.

Remove excess weight from your vehicle.
What exactly do you have in your trunk?  Is if necessary or is it just wasting fuel? 
For more info about gas mileage claims go to the Federal Trade Commission site:    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/autos/gasave.htm
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