With gasoline prices climbing throughout Arizona, and expected to soon top $5.00 per gallon in some parts of the country, Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is warning consumers to be wary of gas-saving claims that empty your wallet, instead of saving you fuel.
Although there are practical steps you can take to increase gas mileage, many websites make unbelievable claims for various aftermarket automotive devices (fuel-line magnets, air bleed devices and retrofit gadgets) and oil and gasoline additives that supposedly increase gas mileage for automobiles. The Federal Trade Commission found many of these claims to be either false or overly exaggerated.
Angela Pratt, co-owner of Dan’s Toy Shop in Tucson said they have had customers come to their shop with various aftermarket devices on their cars.
“Usually what happens is the device restricts airflow to the engine, and the check engine light comes on as a consequence,” Pratt told BBB. “As far as helping gas mileage, it either doesn’t do anything or could even make it worse.”
Pratt said that if consumer’s want better gas mileage the best thing to do is use a higher octane gas, noting that drivers with six and eight cylinder engines would more than make up for the extra cost of the gas with improved mileage.
Pratt said that drivers who place aftermarket devices on their cars to save gas are fighting a losing battle.
“The newer vehicles are electronically tuned to get maximum gas mileage” she said. “Even the smallest alterations can throw a car’s computer system off.”
Before adding any fuel savings device to your vehicle, check with your mechanic. You may end up with a voided manufacturer’s warranty and serious engine problems by adding after market devices to your engine.
What you spend at the pump is influenced by how you drive and what type of gasoline you use to fill your tank. As we reach the peak of summer travel, here are some tips on what you can do to save fuel consumption:
Keep your engine tuned. Studies have shown that a poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 to 20 percent depending on a car’s condition. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual; you will save fuel and your car will run better and last longer.
Don’t let your engine run at idle any longer than necessary. An engine actually warms up (more…)