Gas prices are reaching all time highs. So too is the volume of advertising for “gas-saving” products, designed to appeal to consumers looking for ways to improve fuel efficiency. Although there are practical steps car owners can take to increase gas mileage, be wary of gas-saving claims for automotive devices. What’s more, you could end up with serious engine problems or a voided manufacturer warranty by adding after-market devices to your engine.
Osceola Garage recommends being particularly skeptical of the following kinds of advertising claims:
- “Product improves fuel economy by 20 percent.” The Environmental Protection Agency has evaluated or tested more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices and has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage. In fact, some “gas-saving” products may damage a car’s engine or cause substantial increases in exhaust emissions.
- “I got an extra 4 miles per gallon with your product.” Although ads may feature glowing customer testimonials, consumers should keep in mind that few people have the ability or the equipment to test for precise changes in gas mileage after installing a gas-saving product.
- “Approved by the Federal Government.” No government agency endorses gas-saving products for cars.
Instead of searching for miraculous gas-saving products, we recommend that consumers consider taking one or more of the no cost or low-cost actions that can help drivers save on gas consumption. The most important place to start is at the gas pump; buy only the octane level gas you need. Here are more tips to help you get better gas mileage:
- Drive more efficiently. Stay within posted speed limits. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour.
- Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and stops. Accelerate slowly when starting from a dead stop.
- Use overdrive gears and cruise controls when appropriate. They improve the fuel economy of your car when driving on a highway.
- Keep windows closed when traveling at highway speeds. Open windows cause air drag, reducing your mileage by 10 percent.
- Remove excess weight from the trunk.
- Properly maintain your car. Keep the engine tuned, tires inflated and aligned, change the oil on schedule, and check and replace air filters regularly. Replacing clogged filters can increase gas mileage up to 10 percent