Owning and operating a motor vehicle is an expensive process. Besides coming up with the money to actually buy the car or truck, owners need to pay for maintenance, auto insurance and most of all, gasoline. With the price of gasoline reaching ever-higher levels, more and more motorists are trying to find ways to save money. And every time the price rises, the media are suddenly flooded with advertisements for a wide variety of devices that purport to perform miracles with the internal combustion engine while providing owners with huge increases in gas mileage.
Almost everyone has heard the ages old story of the guy who invented a carburetor that would allow a car to travel up to 200 miles on a gallon of gas. The device never reached the market, the story goes, because General Motors or Big Oil or some other Corporate Entity bought the rights to the device to prevent it from reaching the market. The story isn't true; there is no such device and never really was one. It is true that in the 1930's an inventor did patent a carburetor that claimed to do such things, but the devices was never manufactured and working prototypes were never demonstrated. The patent has expired, but no one is pursuing this device. It doesn't work.
Just like that mythical carburetor are hundreds of other devices that are put on the market each year in order to entice economically-minded drivers to save on gas. The devices vary; some are electronic, some are magnetic and some add some sort of "slickness" compound to fuel or oil. Some atomize the fuel to make it burn more efficiently. Still others involve moving parts to stir the fuel or spray mists of water into the intake manifold to cool the engine temperature.
All of these devices have two things in common - they promise to save you a fortune in gasoline costs, and they don't work.
The internal combustion engine is well over a hundred years old. It is proven, it is understood and it is a relatively mature product. Engineers are certainly finding ways to refine the ways the engine works and each year new ways are found to improve the product in some way. Small increases in performance or economy are commonplace. Dramatic increases in economy, such as those that might yield a threefold increase in gas mileage, are simply not possible.
It might be tempting to respond to the late-night television commercial or magazine ad in order to increase your car's mileage by ordering a device that "Detroit doesn't want you to have." If you order them, you are just throwing your money away. The best money saving tip you will receive regarding gas-saving devices is this one - they don't work. Save your money.