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AA warns motorists to be sceptical of fuel devices

Media Release: 05 August 2008

AA warns motorists to be sceptical of fuel saving devices

The AA is warning motorists to be wary of buying fuel saving devices that may not deliver the promised results.

Jack Biddle, AA Technical Advice Manager, says people should be sceptical of the savings offered by fuel catalysts or other devices and additives.

“These devices and additives often lack independent, technically robust test results. In fact, many of them have been scientifically tested overseas and failed to demonstrate improved fuel consumption or reduced exhaust emissions.”

In Australia, the state motoring clubs, through the Australian Automobile Association, invited manufacturers to subject their devices to independent testing. Only one was prepared to put its device to the test – the Fitch Fuel Catalyst. The results showed no change in fuel consumption in either of the two test vehicles when fitted with the fuel saving device.

The Environmental Protection Agency in the United States has tested over 100 devices and additives, and not found a single one which improved fuel economy. Only devices which reduced power to certain accessories – such as air-conditioning – and those which prompted the driver to reduce acceleration or to shift gears, indicated a very small improvement in fuel economy.

“Automotive manufacturers are collectively spending billions of dollars on technology to reduce fuel consumption. No stone is being left unturned, such as lighter materials or devices which monitor tyre pressure, as every little saving counts. So if any new device is shown to work, these companies will already be looking at it.”

Mr Biddle says the AA has always reserved judgement on the effectiveness of fuel saving devices and additives, despite manufacturer's claims and anecdotal reports from users about their ability to improve a vehicle's performance.

“If the device truly works, then the manufacturer will submit the product for robust, independent testing, and stand by the results.”

“You can be certain that rising fuel prices will result in more and more devices, additives or alternative fuels coming out of the woodwork, However, the old adage is a good one to be guided by: ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’.”

The best way for motorists to reduce their fuel consumption is by modifying their driving habits. Considerable savings can be achieved by simple things like driving smoothly and not speeding.

For more tips on how to save fuel, visit:


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