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FTC Consumer Alert
Dubious "Gas-Saving" Gadgets Can
Drive You to Distraction
With the summer driving
season underway, the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC), the nation’s consumer protection
agency, wants consumers to question claims
that automotive devices will “boost
your mileage by an extra 6 miles per gallon,”
“ improve your fuel economy up to
26 percent,” or the like.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has tested over 100 supposed gas-saving
devices - including mixture "enhancers"
and fuel line magnets - and found that very
few provided any fuel economy benefits.
Those devices that did work provided only
marginal improvements. In fact, some “gas-saving”
products even may damage a car’s engine
or cause substantial increases in exhaust
emissions. For a full list of tested products,
The FTC suggests that instead of shelling
out cash for products of questionable benefit,
consumers take some tried and true steps
to deal with rising gas prices:
Only The Octane Level You Need
Remember, the higher the octane, the
higher the price. Check your owner's manual
to determine the right octane level for
All gas pumps must post the octane
rating of the gas under the FTC’s
Fuel Rating Rule.
Stay within posted speed limits.
Use overdrive gears and cruise control
for highway driving.
Avoid “jackrabbit” starts
Avoid unnecessary idling.
Remove excess weight from the trunk.
Keep your engine tuned.
Keep your tires properly inflated and
Change your oil.
Check and replace air filters regularly.
Choosing a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
The next time you buy a new vehicle,
the model you choose may be the most important
fuel economy decision you make. The difference
between a car that gets 20 MPG (miles
per gallon) and one that gets 40 MPG amounts
to $3,750 over 5 years, assuming gas costs
$2.00 per gallon and you drive 15,000
miles a year.
for more information. You'll find gas
mileage estimates and other data from
EPA for 1985-2004 model year cars.
Verification and Compliance
Office of Transportation and Air Quality
Environmental Protection Agency
2000 Traverwood Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Or call: 734-214-4925.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive
and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information
to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a
complaint or to get free
information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov
or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The
FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related
Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil
and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.