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  #1  
Old 03 April 2008, 01:16 AM
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Glasses Do Fuel-Saving Gadgets Work?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120705719260780199.html

Quote:
Q: Someone has approached me with a device called the Vortex Fuel Saver that uses "magneto-hydrodynamics" to break up the fuel molecule. They claim that this can increase my gas mileage by 15% and clean up almost 98% of my emissions. Have you heard of this product?

A: Though I have been tempted repeatedly by a tool to clean lint from my clothes dryer's ductwork, I think most products pitched in late-night infomercials aren't worth your time, much less your money. And while I haven't tested any of the fuel-saving devices with names like Vortex and Tornado, I have read enough about them to conclude they probably don't work.

The fuel systems in modern cars benefit from decades of research and development aimed at getting the air-fuel mixture to swirl, spread out and atomize in just the right way before combustion. Engineers may not have reached perfection yet, but I think they are close in many cases. I doubt placing a questionable aftermarket device in your car will improve on that research.
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  #2  
Old 03 April 2008, 02:58 AM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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For fun, I once calculated how much fuel you would save if you bought every such device advertised in a well known national catalog. I think I came up with the answer that you would have to stop every 200 miles or so to syphon out the excess fuel you would be making. I mean, if you save 10% with this device and 15% with that one and so on, eventually, it adds up that you are saving over 100% of your fuel useage. Yes I know that violates the laws of physics but then so do many of these devises.
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  #3  
Old 03 April 2008, 09:48 AM
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Australian motor racing legend Peter Brock sullied his reputation by insisting that "energy polarizers" be fitted to all HDT cars. These cars were absolute rockets, but with Brocky adding these doohickeys, everyone thought he had lost his mind.

Quote:
Brock began publicly supporting and, eventually, began to fit to all Holden Dealer Team specials a device called the "Energy Polarizer" containing crystals and magnets that, it was claimed, improved the performance and handling of vehicles through "aligning the molecules".
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  #4  
Old 03 April 2008, 09:52 AM
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Mythbusters tested out a number of fuel saving gadgets and fuel-saving myths. Their results are probably online somewhere.
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  #5  
Old 03 April 2008, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
Mythbusters tested out a number of fuel saving gadgets and fuel-saving myths. Their results are probably online somewhere.
Season 4, Episode 53, 10 May 2006

The Wiki article on it: The Great Gas Conspiracy

Of course, this just gives the most basic of the results.
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  #6  
Old 03 April 2008, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenhull View Post
Season 4, Episode 53, 10 May 2006

The Wiki article on it: The Great Gas Conspiracy

Of course, this just gives the most basic of the results.
Cheers for that, I knew some of the results would be summarised online. They also covered fuel efficiency related to whether you had the tailgate up or down or the rear section covered (solid cover, netting) on a pick-up.
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  #7  
Old 03 April 2008, 02:07 PM
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Nitpick for the Wiki - the Mythbusters did not test a "hydrogen fuel cell," which uses hydrogen moving through a semipermeable membrane to create an electric charge. What they did was test hydrogen as a fuel, combusting it in the engine.
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  #8  
Old 03 April 2008, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
Nitpick for the Wiki - the Mythbusters did not test a "hydrogen fuel cell," which uses hydrogen moving through a semipermeable membrane to create an electric charge. What they did was test hydrogen as a fuel, combusting it in the engine.
Have you updated Wikipedia accordingly?
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  #9  
Old 03 April 2008, 02:56 PM
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Default Yup!

> Do Fuel-Saving Gadgets Work?

Absolutely.

They perform splendidly at their intended function: separating the naive and uncritical from their money.

Bob "that's the thing - it doesn't do anything!" K.
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  #10  
Old 03 April 2008, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
Nitpick for the Wiki - the Mythbusters did not test a "hydrogen fuel cell," which uses hydrogen moving through a semipermeable membrane to create an electric charge. What they did was test hydrogen as a fuel, combusting it in the engine.
I think in this case, 'fuel cell' is what the promoters of said technology called it.
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  #11  
Old 03 April 2008, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
Mythbusters tested out a number of fuel saving gadgets and fuel-saving myths. Their results are probably online somewhere.
Odd. I posted that same thing yesterday and my post is gone. The short end of things is that the EPA takes these devices claims very seriously and does do tests. Not surprisingly they do not work as advertised or their increases that they do offer are negligible.
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  #12  
Old 03 April 2008, 06:19 PM
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Driver

Most of the time, people who install these devices do see a short period of time where the gas mileage is better. But, only because they drive more carefully after installing the devices. Once they revert to their old driving habits, the mileage drops back to what they were getting before.
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  #13  
Old 03 April 2008, 07:06 PM
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My absolute favourite "fuels saving" device is my personal HPV, a recumbent tricycle! ...of course my chocolate bills rise considerably when I travel that way.
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  #14  
Old 03 April 2008, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
Have you updated Wikipedia accordingly?
Nah - work's IP is blocked from editing.
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