Experiments

Products for Better Gas Mileage

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Exploding Trousers".
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Finding: BUSTED

Explanation: The Internet is crawling with preposterous products and tips to transform your car into a police radar-beating, gas-sipping, mechanic-evading speed machine. On the chance that some of them might actually work, MythBusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman tested three online ideas for magically amplifying an automobile's gas mileage.

After establishing baseline gas mileages for two types of cars — one made in the 1970s and one from the mid-1990s — the MythBusters set the following three fuel finaglers in motion:

1) Magnets: Nestled as close to the carburetor as possible, magnets supposedly realign molecules in the gasoline to burn more efficiently.

2) Acetone: Mixing in the liquid chemical with gasoline at a 500:1 ratio allegedly slows the rate of gasoline combustion.

3) Miracle carburetor: Replacing an older car's standard carburetor with this puppy could give you a 300 miles-per-gallon gas mileage.

Not surprisingly, the MythBusters' trials busted each of the three products. The miracle carburetor actually finished last among the trio, severely diminishing the gas mileage of the 1970s-era car rather than amplifying it. Likewise, the magnets didn't make waves with the fuel particles, and it turns out that adding acetone slightly hurts gas mileage.

To save cash on gas, crafty consumers might be better off figuring out a way to drive less.

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