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Gas Saving Gizmos & Gadgets

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Comments

  • texasestexases Posts: 8,802
    Well, there's a sucker born every minute, as shown in today's Dilbert strip:
    Wanna make a million?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,709
    Hmmm... sounds an awful lot like those stupid little fuel line magnets they have been selling for years that "rearrange the fuel molecules for better burning."

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • texasestexases Posts: 8,802
    I came across this a couple of days ago, and I emailed the Temple U. prof. to make sure it was legit. It is, he did the work, the report is here (and the report makes reasonable technical sense (a first!), assuming the data's correct): Temple U Report

    That said, the device appears to be best suited for diesels, no gas-engine data present. I also wonder why, instead of a '6 month road test', they don't put it through the EPA mpg test. Finally, I am VERY concerned about the company the professor hooked up with - they sell a number of USELESS "gas-saving" gadgets. Not a good sign. :sick:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    There's not enough chrome on the gizmo either, but maybe later versions will fix that. :P

    Someone noted over in the blog comments that the good professor may have changed his driving habits and that accounts for some of the mpg increase.

    I bet I could sneak one of these miracle cures on my wife's minivan without telling her, and the mpg wouldn't change a bit.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,802
    sounds an awful lot like those stupid little fuel line magnets they have been selling for years that "rearrange the fuel molecules for better burning."

    That's what I thought when I first read about it, but turns out it puts a BIG electric field (1000 volts/mm) across the fuel. Say the electrodes are an inch apart, that 25KV :surprise: Not something you just hook up to the battery...
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,709
    Not something you just hook up to the battery

    Its not? So how did they power it?
    I quickly scanned the study report and didn't see that info. (?)

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • texasestexases Posts: 8,802
    You'd need a transformer to get 25 KV, could be done, just not like the mason jar and two wires the HHO guys tout. And yes, I didn't see much regarding actually doing it. Wonder what it'd cost? Also odd the only gasoline spray test was with 20% ethanol, not even available. Makes you think they tried regular gas, saw no effect.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    image
    See more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com


    The news from Popular Science back in 1952 that is.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    And I'm not slamming Lawrence Welk.

    "Real-world testing by Consumer Reports showed the best-selling plug-in conversion kit for the Toyota Prius did not come close to meeting its manufacturer's fuel-economy claim of a possible 100+ miles per gallon, the magazine says in its February issue."

    Consumer Reports: Prius Plug-In Kit Gets Nowhere Near Maker's 100+ MPG Claim (Green Car Advisor)
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    That is the brand of battery that burnt up a Prius last summer...The company has several of the conversions. They parked them all till it can be determined what happened. I still think Li-Ion batteries are years away from practical EV usage.

    The first known instance of a plug-in hybrid car going up in flames occurred on June 7 in Columbia, South Carolina to a 2008 Prius that had been converted to plug-in capability for the Central Electric Power Cooperative. The conversion was performed with a Hybrids-Plus PHEV15 conversion kit that uses an A123 Systems lithium ion battery pack. The incident is still under investigation by Phoenix, Arizona-based Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation. Initial information indicates the fire may have been triggered by something related to the on-board battery charger and the car had previously experienced some mechanical issues related to that.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    gary says, I still think Li-Ion batteries are years away from practical EV usage.

    GM and Toyota will beg to differ.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Which model of GM or Toyota is on the showroom floor using Li-Ion batteries? GM has still not announced who will build the battery for the Volt. Panasonic is trying to buy Sanyo for their Li-Ion technology. I will believe it when I see it from GM or Toyota. They all know that longevity is the big issue they will have to face even if they feel the batteries are safe. Even NiMH has a way to go before it proves its longevity. Just five years on the oldest 2nd generation Prius. The first Prius had a battery recall. So we do not know how old they are. There was so few sold that it is insignificant compared to the current Prius design.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Proponents of a healthy electric vehicle industry in the U.S. have questioned the wisdom of developing vehicles that can help free the country form its dependence on foreign oil only to replace it with dependence on foreign-made batteries.

    That was my complaint about the CFL mandate. It is just like our Congress to mandate EV cars and the only source would be outside the US, or regulations that would not allow some parts to be built in the USA.

    If we fund the development of batteries, do the tax payers share in the profits from those developments? We funded the NiMH battery development and I do not know of any profits we have shared it.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "Even NiMH has a way to go before it proves its longevity."

    Hold on Pardner -

    We've seen no major problems with the First Gen Prius batteries. The Gen 1 Prius battery electrolyte discharge problem, which Toyota addressed with “service campaign” was merely to reseal the positive battery terminals.

    The recall for the early 2004 and 2005 Prius was not directly "battery" related:

    Toyota announced yesterday that they have recalled 75,000 Prius Hybrids because their engines can stall due to an electrical problem. The cars involved are some 2004 and early model 2005's. Toyota's spokesman Xavier Dominicis said they started investigating when about 68 reports came through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Toyota's says it will voluntarily recall the cars and repair them for free and Dominicis stressed that "the defect isn't related to the Prius's gas-electric hybrid system and could happen in any vehicle." It's not a safety recall. NHTSA has dropped the investigation. Toyota is calling the dealer fix a special service campaign, which involves reprogramming an ECU that, under a rare combination of circumstances, had been causing the Prius's gas engine to stall. The Hybrid Synergy Drive's battery still has enough juice to get the car well off the road, and you can go up to a mile on battery power alone

    There are no widespread failures of any generation of Prius battery. And the oldest ones are going on 11 years old now.

    Sure, there have been some failures, but not at alarming rates.

    Look, we all know that batteries will always eventually fail. But to call the failures a major criticism of the hybrid technology and a reason it is a failed technology is just pushing it a little too far.

    It's about time you give up the sad old misplaced criticism of the Prius batteries, Gary. Father Time is about to start making your argument look KINDA silly.........
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    There are no widespread failures of any generation of Prius battery. And the oldest ones are going on 11 years old now.

    Not sure from where you get your statistics. We have not reached 9 years on the first gen Prius that had the batteries recalled. You do not have any statistics on how many of those batteries were replaced. I doubt Toyota would ever give that information to the public. The current Prius is barely 5 years old. Toyota will probably luck out as most people that buy them are high mileage drivers. The ones I will be watching are those that only put 10k miles per year or less. They will stretch the EPA/CARB warranty to the max. So father time has another 5 years to go.

    Along those lines. I would be real skeptical buying a Prius that has sat for 3-4 months before it gets sold. If they are not keeping those traction batteries charged they will fail prematurely. Sitting out at -10 degrees in the NE that time will be much shorter before failure. A discharged battery that gets frozen is toast.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Let's move this to this board, where it's more appropriate:

    Hyb Bat
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    So much for this loser ripping people off more:

    FTC gets sales ban on mileage booster

    The Federal Trade Commission won a court order temporarily barring a New Jersey company from making false claims about a device that it touts as boosting automobile gas mileage by as much as 300 percent.

    Dennis Lee is a convicted felon who has been selling a device known as the Hydro-Assist Fuel Cell for $1,000, claiming it will "turn any vehicle into a hybrid," according to the FTC complaint filed in federal court in Newark, N.J. Lee's companies, Dutchman Enterprises LLC and United Community Services of America Inc., also are named as defendants.

    The FTC said Lee and his companies made false claims that "violate basic scientific laws and well-established physical principles."

    U.S. District Judge Faith Hochberg granted the FTC's request on Jan. 14 for a temporary restraining order and a freeze on the companies' assets. The agency is seeking a permanent ban on the false advertisements as well as customer reimbursements. Hochberg initially sealed the case before making it public on Jan. 29.

    Lee's companies began making false claims last year, such as boosting gas mileage on a 2007 Honda Civic from 35 miles per gallon to 85 miles, a
    nd on a 2006 Mazda from 33 miles to 121 miles, according to the complaint.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Temporary ban?

    Where's the criminal action for this one?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    My guess would be that this is step one of a multi-part process in which criminal charges are one of the eventual pieces of the process.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    The sad part is there are desperate people that buy into these Ponzi schemes every day. They really go a foot hold when gas hit $4.50 per gallon. Another good reason to try and keep gas at a stable reasonable price. To discourage con men from preying on little minds.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    There's nothing "Ponzi scheme" about what those idiots from New Jersery were selling, it was simply a scam to exchange a worthless product for your hard earned money.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I think it was also Multi level marketing. Which is referred to as a Ponzi scheme. Plus the fact that it is a worthless scam.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    To give you an idea how difficult it is to convince a " believer" that what he believes is false, with regards to these "water for gas" scams-----I was arguing with a guy (offline) about how this "HHO" generator "defies the laws of physics".

    To which he replied: "Aha! Yes, it defies the laws of physics as we presently understand them!

    To which I replied that "if something defies all known laws of science and nature, we call that by definition a 'miracle', so I'm wondering if I could bring my ailing mother to your HHO generator to be cured"?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    To which he replied: "Aha! Yes, it defies the laws of physics as we presently understand them!"

    Ahhh, yet another fine example of a non-scientifically trained mind. :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    He thinks electricity and gravity are something like phlogiston and the 4 humors and that MRIs are like leech bleeding I guess.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,709
    OK, I thought maybe this would fall into this category and wanted to get some input from some of you engineering-types. Besides, its been dead here.

    Saw an ad for a lightweight pulley set for an engine. Now, of course, this idea has been around for a long time, but I gotta wonder what the gains are here. This particular set claims, although all stock sized, they are a total of 5 pounds lighter than stock, netting a total of 11 hp and 6 lbs-ft (amazing how all bolt-ons seem to add ~10 hp). I figure this MUST save fuel, too. ;)

    So... it just had me thinking. How does shaving weight off the pulleys add power? I mean, sure, its less for the engine to rotate, but 5 lbs? The engine is being asked to accelerate and maintain speed of 3500 lbs. Even if we multiply that 5 by the final drive ratio, we're still talking next to nothing in comparison to the whole picture. So what is it I'm failing to understand?

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • texasestexases Posts: 8,802
    You haven't missed a thing. I also don't understand the hp claim. At a steady rpm the engine's hp output should not be affected by a little extra rotating weight. It would make the engine a little quicker to rev, like a lighter flywheel, but changing flywheel weight doesn't change hp. It might make a very slight increase in mpgs, because you don't have to rev up as much weight, like having lighter wheels and tires, but it can't be much, hardly measurable, I'd think.

    And yes, it's amazing what $2/gallon gas does to scammers. Some of you might be amused by the blog storm created by a poorly-researched article in the Dallas Morning News: Scammer dupes a reporter

    As part of that discussion I came up with these warning signs that you might be dealing with a scammer:

    1. The claims, if true, would change the auto industry as we know it.
    2. The claims as presented ignore basic scientific principles (pass them by a physics teacher at a nearby university or high school to check).
    3. When those issues are noted, the inventor claims that the real reason it works is secret.
    4. The inventor claims to have applied for, but not received, a patent (anyone can do that).
    5. The inventor claims to be in negotiations with a major automaker, investors, or both, with no documentation.
    6. When pressed, the inventor likens himself to the Wright brothers or Edison, saying 'people doubted them, too.'
    7. When further pressed, the inventor (or his wife, defender, or supposed stranger, there's no way to tell in cyberspace) states that the folks asking the reasonable questions are ignorant naysayers.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I agree with both of your comments; the benefits would be limited to a momentary improvement during acceleration; which would work out to be hardly measurable in real world driving.

    But this change would also have a downside; anything you do to reduce the inertia of the engine's rotating mass will result in a loss of idle smoothness, as well as making it somewhat more difficult to start from a standstill with a manual transmission. That is why engine manufacturers use heavy flywheels on engines which have a small number of cylinders (and also on engines which are cammed for high rpm power; when the engine's low speed responsiveness has been sacrificed to achieve that power).

    There was a very successful drag racer who improved his quarter mile times by installing a heavier flywheel on his engine. This worked particularly well in that venue; because drag racing performance is very dependent on how fast you can start off from the line. Since these vehicles are permitted to rev the engine to a high speed in neutral before engaging the clutch; is is not as important to have instantaneous throttle response as it is to have the greatest possible amount of torque when the clutch is engaged.
This discussion has been closed.