The Environmental Protection Agency has tested more than 100 gas-saving devices to determine whether their use will result in any significant improvement to fuel economy. Even though a few products were found to save a small amount of gas, the EPA has not identified a single product that significantly improves fuel economy. Additionally, several of the products tested were shown to cause an increase in exhaust emissions.
BBB advises consumers to educate themselves on how to identify the following red flags of gas-saving device advertisements:
- Federal Endorsement. While the EPA does evaluate the legitimacy of claims made by companies that produce gas-savers, no federal agency endorses gas-saving devices or additives.
- Glowing Consumer Testimonials. Marketing materials or websites for gas-savers often contain consumer testimony on the increased fuel efficiency they experienced with the product. Often these are made up by the company and the same testimonial can be found on several different websites.
- Too Good to be True Results. If a product could increase gas mileage by as much as 40 percent with little effort or money, it is highly unlikely the inventor needs to promote their product through spam e-mails or questionable websites.
Even though most gas-saving products are not practical solutions for getting the most out of your vehicle, BBB offers the following tips for consumers to increase fuel efficiency in normal driving conditions:
- Stay Within the Speed Limit. Gas mileage tends to decrease rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour, or during periods of sustained acceleration.
- Avoid Jerky Starts and Stops. Drivers can improve their gas mileage by reducing the frequency of sudden starts and stops. This means accelerating slowly when starting from a dead stop and leaving plenty of space to coast while slowing down instead of having to brake hard to slow down and punch the accelerator to get back up to speed.
- Consider Driving With the Windows Down. Using the air conditioner can decrease fuel efficiency. With mild spring temperatures still in the area, consider driving with the windows down to increase the time between trips to the gas pump.
- Keep Up With Basic Scheduled Maintenance. This includes making sure the tires are properly inflated and the oil and air filters are changed on schedule. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended frequency this should be done.