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What Are Fuel-Saving Devices & Do They Really Work?

Controversial  ·  December 6, 2021

What Are Fuel-Saving Devices & Do They Really Work?

For decades now, there have been all sorts of fuel-saving devices being marketed to the public. These things come in all shapes and sizes, each promising to cut down your fuel usage significantly. They’re hyped with 'scientific' claims, but do they produce actual results?

Let's dive a little deeper into the topic of fuel-saving devices and whether you should waste your hard-earned money on them or turn your head the other way. Plus, you’ll find some fuel-saving tips that don't require special devices.

Here we go.

What Are Fuel-Saving Devices & How Are They Used?

Fuel-saving devices are small devices that you attach to an engine component or anywhere in the internal combustion system to do exactly what its name suggests – save on fuel.

Before we go further, here’s our disclaimer: What we only know so far is how fuel-saving devices are ‘supposed to work’ based on the manufacturers’ claims. In other words, we don’t know for sure that they work at all.

Here’s how you use these fuel-saving devices:

Step 1: Buy the Product - these devices are typically small enough to fit the palm of your hand, and they might even have wires and LED indicators on them. Some aren’t ‘devices’ but are just magnetic clips that attach to some part of your car.

Step 2: Attach the Product - the fuel-saving device has to go somewhere. Depending on the precise type of device (which you’ll see in the next section), they might attach to the fuel line, air intake, or some other part of your engine. There are even some that you plug directly into your cigarette lighter!

Step 3: Drive - That’s pretty much it. Once the device is installed, your car is supposed to become fuel-efficient, regardless of its age, make, model, or your driving habits.

Products that require easy installation and promise excellent results can sound very tempting, but you should look much closer before parting with your money.

What Kinds of Fuel-Saving Devices Are There?

There is no shortage of fuel-saving devices for both petrol and diesel vehicles, and most of them work the same way. The people marketing them always try to make these products sound like they’re brand new, using cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs that no one else has seen before.

Yet, no matter how cutting-edge they might sound, these products still fall into the same few categories as the ones before them. Each type targets a different part of the combustion system like:

  1. Hydrogen Generators – Simply put, these devices use water to generate hydrogen that is supplied to your engine. That process supposedly provides your vehicle with more power and better mileage. Unfortunately, these generators don’t produce enough hydrogen to make a significant difference in your car’s mileage. 
  2. Fuel Ionisers – These devices attach to your fuel system, typically between the fuel pump and injector. They supposedly create an ionic field that causes the fuel to vaporise more, making it easier to burn in your engine. The reality? Modern fuel injectors already turn your fuel into a fine mist, allowing most of it to burn.
  3. Engine Ionisers – there’s another type of ioniser here, one that attaches directly to the engine. The promise is the same: to ionise fuel and make it easier to burn. The difference? It’s directly on the engine instead of the fuel line.
  4. Intake Vortex Devices – These fuel-saving devices manipulate how air enters the engine, supposedly improving the combustion process. Unfortunately, they do more harm than good. When the computer in your car senses something amiss with the engine air intake, it’ll try to adjust the fuel flow. In the end, you’ll have an inefficient and problematic combustion process. 
  5. Magnets – Yes, magnets. These devices are designed to clip onto the fuel line, which supposedly affects the fuel, making it easier to burn. Well, for starters, fuel isn’t magnetic. Plus, a small magnet isn’t going to make a difference with the fuel. If anything, magnets might affect nearby electronics, so be careful. 
  6. Ignition Devices – These devices are ‘special’ spark plugs that claim to burn fuel more efficiently. Some will claim to burn fuel hotter, faster, or just better in some way. There’s not much of a point in having a device that improves ignition since your engine and its components are already engineered to get the job done as best as possible.
  7. Injectors (e.g., water, fuel vapour) – Some devices focus on injecting substances into the fuel line, and those substances are typically water or fuel vapour. Water injectors claim that they prevent detonation, misfiring, or other engine problems. However, those problems are already unlikely in the average, modern-day engine. 
  8. Fuel Catalysts – Well, these are not devices but metals that you put directly into your tank, supposedly causing reactions with the fuel (i.e., easier to burn) and making the process more fuel-efficient.
  9. Fuel Additives – These are the little bottles or cans you find almost everywhere these days, meant to be poured into your fuel tank. Fuel additives might have some value to them, but their promises tend to exaggerate the benefits.

Do Fuel Saving Devices Really Work?

So, here’s the hundred-dollar question (or however much it costs to get one of those products). Are there any fuel-saving devices that actually work from the list above?

Well, each might have some small effect on your car’s fuel efficiency, sure. But those effects are negligible at best, so you’re better off spending your hard-earned cash elsewhere.

Now, nobody here is trying to be a buzzkill. There are indeed several simple methods you can use to cut down on your fuel consumption. All we're saying is that the over-hyped fuel-saving devices you see on the internet or TV adverts are not one of them.

How We Can Save Fuel (Short Answer)

Forget about wasting money on fuel-saving devices for cars. Instead, here are three of the most effective ways to save fuel:

#1 Choose a More Fuel-Efficient Car

Okay, relax. We’re not telling you to go out and buy a brand-new car (unless you want to). What we’re saying is that when you’re shopping around for a car, it’s worth being mindful of their fuel consumption.

Firstly, new car models are much more fuel-efficient than they’ve ever been before. Today’s efficiency standards are miles ahead of the ones used to make older cars.

Secondly, some new models are more efficient than others. So, when you’re out shopping, be mindful of their fuel consumption specs and choose the one that’s the most efficient.

This single decision will benefit you in terms of fuel savings for many years to come.

#2 Learn to Drive Better

Here’s a method you can use that costs you no money at all. There’s no need for a new car or any fancy fuel-saving devices. Instead, you just have to learn to drive better.

Check out our guide on driving habits that will reduce fuel consumption and save you real money. 

#3 Maintain and Upgrade Your Car’s Parts

Always remember this: your car, regardless of the brand or model, is already well-engineered to make the most of its fuel. All you have to do is maintain it to be fuel efficient by never skipping servicing schedules

As long as your car is in tip-top shape, it’ll burn fuel cleanly and minimise fuel consumption.

If, however, you still want to invest money to help you save fuel, you can invest in aftermarket upgrades like:

  1. A better air-intake system for your engine (for better inflow of air to the engine).
  2. A more efficient exhaust system (for better outflow of exhaust gases from the engine).
  3. Performance chips for the car’s Electronic Control Unit (for better fuel-air mixtures).
  4. High-quality suspension kits (a lighter suspension means less weight on your car overall, and therefore less fuel consumption).

Sure, these upgrades cost a fair bit of money, but they’ll give you a thousand times more benefits than any so-called ‘fuel-saving device’ ever could.

Find Them on CarPart AU!

You can get your hands on those upgrades through CarPart AU. Buy them used or new on the Marketplace or send out a request through the Part Finder to get the best deals!

By Ray Hasbollah

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