Niagara Gazette

Columns

May 16, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: A little bit of automotive alchemy

Niagara Gazette — The word alchemy is defined as “medieval chemistry.” A survey of synonyms of the word reveals such entries as: Conjuring, enchantment, hocus-pocus, impossible feats by tricks, and abracadabra ... all perfect words to describe the subject of this article.

As the economy has plummeted and the recovery has stagnated, it seems that certain companies within the automotive arena are on the rise. They develop and sell formulas that claim to solve various mechanical problems such as engine knocks, transmission slippage, and oil consumption. Some even claim that their products will enable your car’s engine to harmlessly run without oil! These companies prey on the needs and ignorance of the public in order to “make a quick buck and get outta’ town.” Let’s shine some light onto these product claims and expose them, so you don’t waste your hard-earned money on such foolishness.

FUEL MILEAGE ENHANCERS: Many products have been “developed” to improve fuel mileage by 20 percent or more. All the consumer has to do is drop the stuff into the fuel tank. Most of these products show little or no results. In cases where there are positive results, they are far from the projected fuel savings claimed by these snake oil salesmen.

What does the EPA have to say about it? They has evaluated the following fuel additives: Bycosin, EI-5 Fuel Additive, Fuelon Power, Johnson Fuel Additive, NRG #1 Fuel Additive, QEI 400 Fuel Additive, Rolfite Upgrade Fuel Additive, Sta-Power Fuel Additive Stargas Fuel Additive, SYNeRGy-1, Technol G Fuel Additive, ULX-15/ULX-15D, Vareb 10 Fuel Additive, XRG #1 Fuel Additive, and others. The EPA found absolutely NO improvement in fuel mileage.

FUEL SYSTEM CLEANERS: There are many fuel system cleaners on the market that claim they clean your fuel system of deposits and carbon buildup by simply adding the product to the fuel tank. Do they? First, let’s take a closer look at the nature of these deposits.

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