Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 15, 2016 at 1:31 am.
Well, in my unprofessional opinion, judging by what I have read and am attempting, the Popular Science quote on $804 for a cross nation trip on Hydrogen is a little misleading. If the user has his own Hydrogen Generator working properly, would not it be much cheaper than any of the possible gas replacements and gas. It also seems that if the Joe Cell actually works. Then that would be the way to go, although there is still need for study in that area. My thoughts, and yes they are based on possible worst case possibilities, is that the Oil companies will try to harness the hydrogen market with their fuel cells so once again they can monopolize on our energy needs.
I drive a 2002 Honda Civic that gets a respectable 37/38 highway mpg. I believe that corresponds well with the manafacturers advertized highway mpg. Three months ago, I decided to see what fuel economy I could milk out using some of the info on this site. I began by using Amsoil series 2000 0-w30 oil, pumping up the tires to the highest recomended pressure. I also used Amsoil "universal synthetic transmission fluid". In the fuel I began using 3 oz to a gallon acetone and one oz to a gallon synthetic die esters under the Ethos FR brand name. My fuel economy increased dramatically! Its hard to tell what one product or change made the most difference but the package deal gave me a best of 9.7 mpg increase! Yes I mean 46.7 mpg. I admit that it was acheived with traffic free highway driving, and while I admit I was driving with fuel economy in mind, I acheived that amazing number while about my normal daily tasks. So far I have not experienced a single draw back to the changes I made, in fact the car seems a little more responcive and starts perhaps a little better, most noticably on a cold day. While I dont enjoy adding this special brew to every tank full (especially when people are waiting for the pump they look at me like im crazy measuring misc fluids into my tank) I have every intention of continuing. I have expanded my little test to my 1996 Grand Cherokee. It has not responded nearly as well. It is lifted and has big tires, all kinds of wind grabbing additons, engine modifications ect. While I have seen some increase in fuel economy with the Amsoil/fuel additive combo, I dont think it is enough to justify the expence. I have not experienced any negative side effects or any related problems whatsoever connected to the use of the fuel additves. I may continue with the Amsoil in the jeep just do to its superiority in engine wear/drain intervals over its dinasaur oil competition.
I tried a few things on my 1984 Chevrolet Caprice. I live in a cold climate. Years ago the thermostat in the air filter housing broke. It controls the air intake flapper valve between hot exhaust manifold heated air and cold air from the snorkel. I bought a new one but the flapper valve tended to stick open. In cold weather the engine just wouldn't run right. When I stepped on the gas pedal the car first slowed down, then accelerated after a few seconds. I jammed a tennis ball in the air intake snorkel to hold the valve open in the hot air position. That solved the problem. Recently when the price of gas went up I started searching the internet to find ways to improve fuel economy. First I ordered the Super Gas Saver Secrets book from Eagle-Research. I noticed he suggested a hot air intake for mileage. I thought to myself that anything that makes the car run better probably gives better mileage too. Most of the rest of the book sounded interesting, but at the end I didn't feel that I could use the other suggestions. They were just too complicated, too much work, or too expensive. Even for the hot air he suggested building an exhault manifold shroud on the other side of the V-8 so that it pulls from two sides not just one.
Then I found the articles on SmartGas.net now moved to LubeDev.com. I noticed he also mentioned hot air intake (not cold as some say). I have since read elsewhere that cold air is good for wide open throttle racing but hot air is good for around town driving. I believed in the hot air due to my own experience, so I decided to try some other ideas. The first thing I did was change the air filter. I didn't buy a fancy one, just a plain paper one. Since I had neglected this for a while, the old one was dirty. Immediately the car ran as if I had tuned it up. Then I reviewed the Gas Saver book and found one more thing to try. It is called the Water Tuneup. You warm the engine, then rev it a bit and pour a pop bottle of water down the carburetor or throttle-body injection. Pour slowly so the engine doesn't stall. It is supposed to remove carbon buildup. I did this and steam came out the tailpipe. As soon as I was done I put 4 ounces of acetone into the gas tank. This is a big car with a big gas tank. It was almost empty and I reasoned that I would drive straight to the gas station to fill up, and that way the acetone would mix well. On the way there the car ran poorly, barely keeping an idle at stop lights. It must have been too much acetone for the small amount of gas left in the tank. After I filled up the car immediately ran even better than before. Now my car was rejuvenated.
Next I got the oil changed. I just went to the drive-through place and didn't get any fancy oil or filter. When I got back, I put in a bottle of Torco MPZ Magnetic Friction Reducer. I started the engine after I was done, and as the lubricant circulated through the engine I could hear the idle speed increase. I took it out for a test drive and found it ran a little bit better. Later I bought some Torco EAL engine assembly lube. I only got a small bottle since that's what they had. It is cheaper than the MPZ. I tried to pour it in but it was so thick it took a while. I was glad I didn't get the big 12 oz. bottle since it is going on winter. I thought about the other ideas like low resistance NGK spark plugs, reducing the plug gap, changing to a hot thermostat, solid copper core ignition wires, and advancing the timing, but haven't gotten to it yet. I did the easy stuff and my car runs much better. I assume I am getting better mileage though I don't track it. I notice that I don't have to push as hard on the pedal to go the same speed as before.
Sceptics have reason to doubt the claims of gadget sellers. Most of them don't work. However, their attitude that "Everything that can be invented already has been invented" is not open-minded. How can they say that modern engines are 99% efficient? It is well known that diesels get better mileage than gasoline engines. Obviously the gasoline engines have room for improvement. Not everyone drives a new car, either. The older ones may be less efficient. As for the question "Why don't the automakers put it on their car as standard?", there is an easy answer "to keep the cost down". It seems that the fuel economy products that really work also improve engine performance and therefore power. Look no further than your local high performance auto parts store for aftermarket products that work. Weigh the cost versus the benefit. The higher fuel prices go, the more benefit there is. The product may cost more, but it might last a lot longer than cheaper ones, saving you money in the long run.
Nobody claims "everything has already been invented". But the magnets, swirly things, fuel vaporizers, etc, are based on technologies that have been known and tested for decades. Very few aftermarket devices involve genuinely new ideas.
Also, no experts say engines are 99% efficient the reality is somewhere between 25 and 40%. What is claimed, and is easy to prove, is that the amount of energy wasted as unburnt fuel is only 1 or 2%. Of course there are other losses such as heat to coolant, heat to exhaust, etc. Diesels are more efficient than petrols for very well understood fundamental reasons related to the basic physics of the combustion process.
It's true that older cars may be less efficient. But that does not in any way mean that a technology that is useless on modern cars is automatically useful on older cars. The best way to improve the economy of an old car is to ensure it is properly maintained.
Certainly even a genuinely useful device would not be fitted to all vehicles due to cost reasons. But these devices are not fitted to any vehicles, not even those that are sold at a very high price specifically due to their economy (eg Toyota Prius, certain European diesel cars). On vehicles such as this, manufacturers add thousands of dollars of technology for 10 - 30% better economy, so if an aftermarket device could give the same benefit for half the cost they would leap at the chance to increase their profits.
There's no more reason to believe the performance claims of most of these devices than their economy claims. Many "performance parts" you can buy in the shop actually do little or nothing on those that do work, there is no reason to expect better economy as well.
Since the huge fuel price spike during the summer of 2005, I have been looking for a variety of options to save fuel. There is a product called Fuel Optimizer by a company called Mega Power that claims to save up to 10% in fuel. Their 2-part kit is an engine oil additive and a fuel additive. I tried it in my Ford Explorer and my MPG went from 14.2 to 15.6 MPG (most all city driving). If you are looking for a product that works, I recommend this product. The company has a website http://www.megapower.com however, there is no direct information about this product on the website. They do have a "Contact Us" link where I think you can find out where to find the product in your local area.
Since the huge fuel price spike during the summer of 2005, I have been looking for a variety of options to save fuel. There is a product called Fuel Optimizer by a company called Mega Power that claims to save up to 10% in fuel. Their 2-part kit is an engine oil additive and a fuel additive. I tried it in my Ford Explorer and my MPG increase was 10% - from 14.2 to 15.6 MPG (most all city driving). If you are looking for a product that works, I recommend this product. The company has a website, [website link http://www.megapower.com] however, there is no direct information about this product on the website. They do have a "Contact Us" link where I think you can find out where to find the product in your local area.
Lots of the efficiency updates may induce a lean burn scenario. They are often accompanied by a lack of emissions testing. Requiring Sensor Tweaks or tuning which we know WILL decrease fuel consultation at the risk of further emulsions.
Some Pre and Post catalyst analysis of emissions would be nice. To see if modern Capitalist can cope with the increased emissions.
Or possibly some catalyst modification or improvement that would enable us to run a lean burn engine, whilst meeting emissions regulations.
Perhaps we need a section on laws surrounding engine modifications, such as the Californian testing regime in the USA?