Buyer Beware: Products that Increase Your Gas Mileage
Everyone is reacting differently to the continued increase in gas prices that we have experienced over the last several years. Many drivers have taken to doing whatever they can to increase their gas mileage, which has created a market for products that claim to do just that. The companies that manufacture these products seem to have a great idea, since they know that the public is desperate to decrease their fuel usage. The question is, do these products really provide a big difference, or are these companies just making a quick buck off of consumers who are sick of paying so much at the pump?
It can be easy to get roped in by the very gaudy claims that the companies who make these products are making. Do these products really provide increased gas mileage? Can they prove the claims that they have made? That depends on who you ask. However, the EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency, has tested a number of these types of products, and has not found one yet that significantly increases gas mileage. This means that the foremost authority in fuel economy has yet to certify one of these products as being legit.
That is not to say that the products do not work. Perhaps they do provide gas mileage increases in certain vehicles, or maybe they increase gas mileage by a marginal amount. However, since there is no concrete evidence of such an increase from testing done by an unbiased party, so there really is no proof available yet. Again, this does not mean that the products are altogether worthless or useless. However, it is debatable whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on these products, especially when there are very cheap (or even free) ways to increase your gas mileage alternatively.
For instance, you can do something as simple as put the proper amount of air in your tires, and check their air pressure regularly. This simple task will usually cost you nothing (although some gas stations may have machines that charge a quarter or two), and will help you to save some of your precious gas when you drive. This is just one simple act of maintenance that can help you to preserve your fuel.
Another cheap way to increase fuel efficiency is to change your air filters regularly. Although this costs more than most fuel economy products do, it also provides proven benefits that are pretty substantial in regards to fuel efficiency. If you have the choice between spending some money on an unproven method, or something that is proven to work, what would you choose?
These ways of increasing fuel efficiency are just the tip of the iceberg. You can do simple things like avoid packing your trunk with excess junk that increases drag and decreases fuel mileage, or make sure you use the proper grade of motor oil. Even simple things like avoiding the use of the air conditioning system can provide a marked increase in fuel economy!
In short, there are just too many cheap or inexpensive ways to improve gas mileage to be able to recommend buying costly products that may not work much, or at all. With so many easy ways to increase your fuel economy, why pay money for something that is not proven to work?
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