The only fuel saving device that works - Weekend

The only fuel saving device that works

Jerome NeriJerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

FUEL Savers. Don’t waste your money on them. They do not work.

One of the more popular fuel saving devices in the market right now is an “air bleed device,” a type of fuel saver that is connected to the engine via a hose to the intake manifold. It is plumbed after the throttle body or carburetor, as the case may be. Some air-bleed fuel savers even claim to have built in dry fuel that helps in better combustion and thus saves gasoline.

First of all, a claim that there is some dry fuel in the fuel saving device should mean that the device has to be combustible because fuel has to be combustible, hence a fire hazard. Therefore, installing such a device in the harsh and hot environment of your engine bay would be dangerous. But trust me there is no such dry fuel.

Looking for a vacuum source and opening it up after the throttle body works exactly the same as an air-bleed fuel saving device, and it costs nothing, but then this is not good for the engine, just as the fuel saving device.

All of these fuel saving devices base their claims on testimonials of consumers. Such testimonials are very unreliable because it is an unscientific approach and there are just too many variables that affect fuel consumption. Some of these variables are traffic, road conditions, driving habits, the condition of the engine, etc.

FOR EFFICIENT COMBUSTION. Modern fuel-injected engines have sophisticated engine management systems that ensure efficient combustion. (AP FOTO)
FOR EFFICIENT COMBUSTION. Modern fuel-injected engines have sophisticated engine management systems that ensure efficient combustion. (AP FOTO)

One thing you will never find from these fuel saving devices is a scientific test in a controlled environment that will prove their claims. From a lawyer’s point of view, the only evidence they give to the consumer is hearsay evidence, which is inadmissible evidence in a court of law. Inadmissible evidence is like no evidence at all, therefore there really is no proof of their claims.

But there are some who really swear by it. So why were they able to find better mileage? Here’s why: when the air filter of a car has not been replaced at the proper change interval as specified in the owner’s manual, or just changed with poor quality replacement, the air filter also becomes a restriction of airflow to the engine and therefore makes the engine more inefficient, which makes it consume more fuel than normal.

When an air-bleed fuel saver is installed, the engine will breathe better and improve the fuel consumption. The exact same result will happen if you just bleed the air without installing the so called fuel saver.

Both are the wrong approach to curing the problem. If your nose is clogged and you cannot breathe well, the solution would be to clean your nose to unclog it, not put another hole between your nose and your lungs so you can breathe better. The correct approach would be to unclog the restriction by replacing the air filter. The engine will be breathing as it should again.

Another trick that sellers of these fuel saving devices is saying that to get the full benefits of their device, the engine must be in tip top shape and require the purchaser of the device to give his car a full service before installing the device. A full service is a tune-up, oil change, tire pressure check and lubricating all other components that need lubrication. Immediately after a full service without adding anything, the car’s fuel consumption immediately improves. It is this improvement that the marketers of the fuel saving device claim to be theirs.

Moreover, modern fuel-injected engines have very sophisticated engine management systems with sensors everywhere to ensure complete, correct, and efficient combustion. The engine management measures the amount of air that goes in the engine via the mass airflow sensor and gives the correct amount of fuel.

To further fine tune the combustion process, there is an oxygen sensor in the exhaust to measure the oxygen content to ensure that the exact amount of fuel has been injected to the engine. If there are discrepancies, the oxygen sensor will tell the engine management system to trim the fuel to the exact amount needed by the engine. All these calculations are done in milliseconds. No mechanical device can be more efficient and accurate than the factory engine management system.

Yet there is one fuel saving device that actually works and this is your right foot. Driving habits play a big role in fuel consumption. Here are some tips:

1. Avoid rapid acceleration. The quicker you depress your throttle pedal, the more fuel you use because by depressing it quickly you put more load into the engine and therefore use more fuel. Gradually depress your accelerator pedal until you reach your desired speed – less load will be used and, therefore, less fuel.

2. Avoid abrupt braking and learn to anticipate. Cebu traffic is now at its all time worst, very stop and go. So learn to anticipate the stops. Do not be on the gas and brake at the last second, when you see that you have to stop ahead just let go of the throttle pedal first, glide, then brake.

3. Keep the car in gear and foot off the throttle going downhill. Modern engines are programmed to shut off fuel delivery during deceleration, so when going downhill and in gear with your foot of the throttle you are consuming zero fuel.

More driving tips to save fuel can be found on the Internet. Just Google it.

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