Whenever the price of fuel spikes all sorts of devices that claim to produce dramatic improvements in fuel consumption appear on the market.
But while the claimed savings may sound impressive, the actual results achieved may not live up to the hype. Here are a few things that will aid you in making an informed decision about such products:
- Testimonials from satisfied users are not a substitute for proper scientific evaluation.
- Look for products that have been proven to work by a properly accredited local testing authority using the Australian Standard 4430.2 test protocol.
- Tests that show only 'after fitting' results are of no value.
- Look for Before fitting, After fitting, and After removal results. These are necessary to demonstrate the quantum of any improvement, and that the vehicle reverts to its original performance when the product is removed.
- Some products claim compliance with test standards that have nothing to do with its prime purpose. The Standards Australia web site is useful in identifying the prime purpose of a standard.
- On road fuel consumption tests are not dependable. They cannot reliably remove the influences of weather, road and traffic conditions and driver style.
- Reports or test results from overseas and / or unknown bodies should be treated with extreme caution.
- Consider the payback period i.e. how long will it take to recover the purchase and fitting costs through reduced fuel consumption? It’s only after the product has paid for itself that you will achieve any real savings.
- In the case of fuel additives, does the value of the fuel saved outweigh the ongoing cost of the product?
- Consider the suitability, reliability, effects on emissions systems, general safety, and warranty implications of any product before purchase.
- Consider the credibility of the claims made and how applicable they are to your circumstances. If claimed fuel savings sound too good to be true, they probably are.
The final word
Genuine fuel savings can be achieved at no cost by simply making some small changes to how you use your car. See our information sheet
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