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Automotive Science or Voodoo?

13

Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,807
    Close, isell, that was pretty good, but it's the Pogue carburetor.

    Here's a good explanation why it didn't, doesn't and never will work:

    http://www.mikebrownsolutions.com/fish3.htm

    MODERATOR

  • I agree with the decrease in gas mileage when using K&N. I have it on my 2005 Yukon and it was came 16.5 to currently 16.2 on a K&N filter. I do a get slightly better acceration. I am not running an 89 octane, hopefully to benefit on acceleration from the K&N.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,679
    Too close to really make any kind of a determination. The difference of .3 MPG could have been caused by anything I would think.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    I have sent an email.
    Again, I am curious as to what this device is.
    over the last 27 years, I have seen alot of things that made pretty staunch claims and I have tried most of them.

    In most cases, you can debunk the product, just by looking through the MSDS of the product.
    In some cases, they come out with a product that actually works to a point, but really isn't worth the money, time and modifications for it.

    As with any product, if it sound too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,969
    I've tried K&Ns three times on three different cars, and was not able to measure any gas mileage improvement on any of the cars.

    I had a K&N installed on my Suburban. No difference in mileage. I was a bit disappointed as it was noticeably noisier.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,807
    It might be possible, if a person's OEM filter were all clogged up, or if the design of the original filter housing were abysmally bad and this were changed ALONG WITH the K&N, that the K&N could cause a little leanness and give a slight boost in mileage (probably at the expense of power), but that's about it.

    Adding air alone without adding fuel isn't going to do very much, nor is adding fuel without adding air (which is what chips do, add fuel enrichment to the OEM map which tends to favor leanness). You want POWER you are going to have to maintain about a 13:1 ratio of air/fuel and if you upset this, you lose. You can run leaner for fuel mileage but you'll run hotter and have less power...you can add richness and maybe get a few HP out of that at certain power band positions.

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  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    I would not use any oiled filter in a modern vehicle that has a MAF or MAP sensor in the intake path. Even a throttle body gets dirty enough by itself without help. The purpose of an air filter is to CLEAN the air, not to ADD OIL to it.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    those MAF horror stories are generated by people from the "if a little bit's good, a whole lot's better" school of thought.

    If you clean it regularly, like every third oil change with mine, and oil lightly like you're supposed to, it's not remotely an issue. If you use half a can on the cool red oil, you'll have problems, and you (non-specific person, not directed at anyone) deserve to, since you can't read directions.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,807
    I tend to agree, it's a problem of "mis-use" but still, putting a product that needs careful reading of directions, into the hands of the general public, is risky. Corvairs didn't flip unless you underinflated the tires, and a few people did just that and oh, man, the flak was considerable and ruined the product.

    For people who are racing, they are used to risks to machines and their physical bodies. They expect an occasional disaster and are usually equipped to deal with it.

    But many folks unfortunately embrace these oiled filters like they were miracle drugs or something.

    I've used K&Ns, (but not any more) and really, if you follow directions explicitly, it's a bit tedious to oil and clean them "by the book". I would imagine a lot of folks don't have the patience.

    MODERATOR

  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    if someone has to put too much thought into something new, and analayze it to death, they probably shouldn't be buying the product.
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Posts: 110
    I got a bottle of this Blue Sky stuff and now we'll see if it works. I'll be filling up the tank and driving 55 MPH. Turns out ya don't have to use the whole bottle just a few ounces. Wish me luck and I'll keep ya posted. :D
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,807
    You should plot MPG over the course of multiple fill-ups, and try to go to the same pump at the same spot, and just "fill to the click", don't squeeze more in.

    If you change gas stations or where you fill up you can skew the results. Also a 1 mpg gain or loss would be statistically plausible even if you did nothing different and used no additive.

    MODERATOR

  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Posts: 110
    Well I'll declare it a success if I get at least 20 miles more than I usually get from a tank. Why is going to the same pump necessary?

    Could be my imagination but the engine already feels smoother after one day! :)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,679
    It's a placebo effect.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,807
    Well you go to the same pump so that your car sits on the same ground at the same level. Also you are using the exact same calibration.

    20 more miles on a tank won't prove anything---the wind could cause that on any given day. Unless you record gas mileage over many fill ups there is really no evidence here.

    MODERATOR

  • epicentreepicentre Posts: 3
    Dear All

    What I know about diesel engines you can write on the back of a cigarette packet, however I'm a business man who has told about a potential opportunity involving a new invention. I wonder if I could trouble anyone who would care to reply for their advice concerning the following questions. All answers gratefully received.

    Here is some basic background information

    2 engineers one an electronics expert and the other a petrol chemical engineer claims to have developed a product which when fitted to any haulage truck will guarantee a minimum of 20% diesel fuel consumption as well as reduced emissions.

    So far they claim to have it installed on 100 trucks which have provided them with the data that supports their claims.

    They are now seeking to market the product commercially and have appointed a small marketing company which knows nothing about diesel engines. the cost of the product is anticipated to be in the order of $20,000.

    They went to a major truck manufacturer who they claim was very interested in the product but required a two year validation period. They were not prepared to wait and are now considering road hauliers.

    I need to know the following

    1. If their claims are true would 20% decrease in fuel consumption be of major interest to road hauliers with a $20,000 price tag?

    2. What technical questions should I ask them to validate their claims ?

    3. I am considering entering into a franchise or direct sales agreement with them but I need to make sure that I'm not being sold down the river and given the price that there is a market for their product.

    Thanks in advance for your replies

    Epicentre
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    Based upon your information, it sounds suspicious to me and I would probably not invest. However, here are the questions that I would have:

    1. What is the mechanism for which fuel economy increases? If it is a simple computer chip swap, the markup would be about 20-fold (personal trucks sell chip setups for $1-2K) and the results are typically haphazard. If it is an actual device, tell them you will need to see the schematic and US patent #.

    2. How long is the product guaranteed and who will honor the guarantee after 3 years (i.e. are the owners moving to the Virgin Islands at the end of year 1)? A semi truck probably gets about 5 mpg with a 20 % gain resulting in 6 mpg. To pay off an initial investment of 20 K, a minimum of about 250,000 miles would have to be driven with gas in the $2.50 / gallon range. Is the device transferable to another engine? What is the expected life of the device? Thus, there is the potential for money savings, however, the 20 % gain must be guaranteed for at least 250,000 miles and preferably indefinitely with no additional maintenance costs. Remember that a diesel engine can last about 300,000 to 500,000 miles if taken care of, significantly longer than a gas engine,

    3. What is the cost of the part? The 100 vehicles that have been fitted would have cost possibly over $1,000,000 already and $2,000,000 if they are selling at cost. How long have the vehicles been tested (surely over 250,000 miles if they expect to get $20 K) and who paid for the testing?

    4. The description about two engineers also makes me leary. The "electronics expert" makes me think this is a computer chip based device, which makes $20 K absurdly expensive. I am not aware of any chemical engineers that know a hoot about diesel engines. Mechanical engineers would be responsible for designing machined parts to be fitted to an engine.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,969
    Very good response. I say it is Voodoo. Diesel engines as a whole are very efficient. I would want to see the device installed & patent before even thinking about putting out a dollar of my money. If it is for real they could buy trucks install the device and undercut the competition on cross country hauling. It is a tough business and 20% drop in fuel cost would assure them big profits. Be wary!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,807
    Personally I have never seen any device plugged into or poured into any vehicle at any time that resulted in a reliable and consistent 20% increase in fuel mileage. Such a substantial increase would, IMO, require significant mechanical modification.

    However, let's presume that there IS this chip and that it DOES give a 20% increase.

    Now the question I would ask as a fleet manager is WHAT does this chip do to get that mileage? Am I leaning out this engine dangerously? Am I screwing around with something that shouldn't be screwed around with?

    From my experience, reliability is a far more significant factor with fleets than a couple MPG. They can usually pass the fuel costs on to the consumer (and they do, which is why your apples cost more than two years ago), but if the apples don't ever get there, they "eat" them so to speak.

    So I agree whoeheartedly with the others---if the inventors will not fully disclose to you the engineering principles behind this device, I wouldn't touch it. And the price is VERY suspicious. It sounds like a grab and run scheme based on that alone. A fleet could fit all kinds of aero devices, better lubricants and filters and higher maintenance to get better MPG, for less money per truck than that.

    MODERATOR

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,679
    Every few years someone comes out with one of these "inventions" and it's usually timed with gas price increases.

    Voodoo...pure and simple!
  • epicentreepicentre Posts: 3
    Dear All

    Many thanks to all of you who responded to my request for advice concerning this new invention. Your replies were excellent and gave me plenty to think about. I've since spoken to the marketing company and they have been able to give me more information which I would be grateful if you could let me have your further opinions on.

    1. The device uses a combination of LPG (Liquid Pressurised Gas) with diesel, I know this is nothing new, however they claim the electronics optimises the firing cycle in combination with LPG.

    2. They claim they have run tests with a single truck over 150k miles and the resulting diesel consumption was reduced by 37% therefore they guarantee a minimum of 20%

    3. As for the price of the unit, they do not intend to sell them, rather they insist on a monthly lease over three years and wish to retain ownership of the device after the lease period and charge only a peppercorn rent thereafter. Apparently the electronic control also contains some sort of satalite vehicle location tracking program which can be software upgraded.

    4. Apparently Mercedes Benze Truck division have expressed an interest to license the product but require 2 years to evaluate it within their quality system which is too long for the inventor.

    5. Apparently upon emission testing, the emissions where so low that they could hardly be detected. The testers thought the emission equipment was faulty but concluded this was not the case and the emissions were simply extremely low.

    Does this sound more feesable or more worrying ?

    Thanks one again in advance for your thoughts on this

    Kind regards

    Epicentre
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,679
    But I suppose I could be wrong...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,969
    It may be legit. If so why not incorporate and sell stock over the counter? I have had several friends get into get rich quick schemes and none are rich. Most of the time it is just a scam someone put together. Some very elaborate. If they incorporate and sell stock they have laws to abide by that protect you the investor. That does not mean it is a sure thing. It is just a bit safer than owning a piece of paper that was printed on someone's deskjet.

    One other thing. They said the diesel consumption was 37% less. What was the LPG consumption?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,807
    yeah, how do you save fuel by using more fuel exactly?

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  • trueustrueus Posts: 5
    I know im bringing back a very old post, but I've been trying to find out. Is Green better than K&N? Green is a brand i never heard of, but my friend Jim said the air filter did a lot more for his car than the K&N he had in it ever did. He owns an 02' cavalier.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,807
    What does he mean by "did a lot more"? There's really not much just dropping in an air filter can do, unless maybe you modify the whole intake system.

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  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    I have to tell you, as someone responsible for the maintenance and running of a heavy truck fleet, I wouldn't be very interested in any product that makes any claims of 20% increase in economy without major engine or computer work on the engine.

    And IF they could show some data to back up their claims, I would have to see the approval that they have from DEQ and EPA that will attest to the fact that the engine would still maintain the EPA standards. Not likely.
    EPA standards must be met and maintained in order for any manufacturer to endorse or condone anything being installed on their engines. Anything that voids the manufacturer's warranty on a heavy truck is junk. Plain and simple.

    So now, with that said and remembering that when you talk about heavy truck fleet, that is what I do, I will address some of the things you commented on.

    So this may be long, so I will split it into 2 separate posts.

    1. The device uses a combination of LPG (Liquid Pressurized Gas) with diesel, I know this is nothing new, however they claim the electronics optimizes the firing cycle in combination with LPG.
    LPG is the equivelant of Nitrous oxide to a diesel engine. While it is great for boosting power on a diesel, long term affects on the engine are controversial. I have seen several LPG boosted engines with destroyed pistons, while I have also seen many without problems. So, until someone can come up with firm, controlled data on what the long term, constant use would be for all manufacturers, LPG will never see the trucks in the fleet I work on.

    2. They claim they have run tests with a single truck over 150k miles and the resulting diesel consumption was reduced by 37% therefore they guarantee a minimum of 20%
    As was stated, I would like to know the LPG consumption. I can run a multi-fuel engine that will run 50% less diesel, if I switch to another fuel.
    What engine were they running? What transmission? What gear ratios on the differentials? What year was the truck?

    3. As for the price of the unit, they do not intend to sell them, rather they insist on a monthly lease over three years and wish to retain ownership of the device after the lease period and charge only a peppercorn rent thereafter. Apparently the electronic control also contains some sort of satalite vehicle location tracking program which can be software upgraded.
    :lemon: Ok, this is the point where the salesman would find the door in 90% of the fleets they will deal with. Very few fleets will allow much of anything to be installed on their trucks that they don't own outright. Leasing anything is a pain and if something should happen to the unit, they are out the cost.
    And for what reason would they have to put a location tracking program on it?
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    4. Apparently Mercedes Benz Truck division have expressed an interest to license the product but require 2 years to evaluate it within their quality system which is too long for the inventor.
    I would like to see the copy of the letter of intent in order to believe such a claim.

    5. Apparently upon emission testing, the emissions where so low that they could hardly be detected. The testers thought the emission equipment was faulty but concluded this was not the case and the emissions were simply extremely low.
    So let me get this straight. Caterpillar, Detroit, Navistar, Mercedes and Isuzu all had to file extensions because they couldn't meet the 2004 DEQ/EPA regulations for emissions, but all they had to do was install this device and they could exceed those standards?? :confuse:
    Remember, when you are talking about a diesel, hardly detectable emissions isn't that achievable. Soot from diesel is there no matter what, which is why they have gone to catalytic converters on diesels, to try and cut down the amount of unburned HCs [soot].
    As someone who has been dealing with diesels for over 25 years, I find this claim extremely hard to believe.

    Does this sound more feesable or more worrying ?
    From the information provided, I would have to say NO, it doesn't sound feasible.
    There are so many reasons why this reeks of snake oil salesmen, but it is a possibility.
    One thing you have to remember about anything that is claiming to improve fuel economy and emissions, is that in order for these things to be approved by DEQ and EPA, there are so many things that they have to prove, not claim.
    If these things cannot be proven, then the manufacturers can deny any warranty on an engine with this equipment installed and no fleet will take that chance.
  • basilsbasils Posts: 25
    In my opinion, K&N's are not worth the money or the risk. I tried them before and NEVER noticed any performance gain. Even worse, the F150 I put one into started running rough at idle. A shop tech told me it was from some cast off oil coming from the filter media and coating some sensor. I got rid of the K&N after that and went to Purolator. It wasn't worth the hassle.
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    I agree with 0patience. I would want these additional answers just based upon logical inconsistencies now and disregarding whether it actually works without damaging the engine.

    1. A patent is required to avoid reverse engineering problems that will siphon business (it will already happen from overseas competition, but a US patent will give some protection). Get the # and expiration date.

    2. What happened to the "100 trucks" fitted with the system? One truck is crap. 100 trucks with the system compared to 100 without would be legitimate statistical proof of an actual mpg improvement (a minimum of 30 trucks is needed). A large part of the mpg improvement might simply be from good engine tolerances of that specific truck.

    3. Leasing the part is a complete 180 degree turn from charging $20 K and a purchase. What is with the huge change in business strategy? Now a whole new set of break-even parameters are required for a lease coupled with LPG refilling costs.

    4. I think fleet managers would not give a rat's [non-permissible content removed] about emissions as long as the emissions do not EXCEED a certain maximum. Why are they harping on this aspect?
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