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Gas Saving Gizmos & Gadgets



  • cjwalcjwal Posts: 3
    made the mistake, no improvement, not even getting rated mpg for 4 cyl, 2.7L, tacoma dbl cab.
    figured no big deal 30 day warranty, hard to test and return in that period. waited too long, wasted my money. Going to take it out and throw away.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    1) Ankle regulator: special computer surgically implanted in right ankle that sends messages to right foot to carefully regulate use of the gas pedal.

    2) For manual transmission cars: Wrist regulator;another specially designed computer to be implanted in the right wrist that sends special signals to your hand to tell it to shift earlier and avoid frequent downshifts on highways.

    3) Check book regulator: Yet ANOTHER specially designed micro computer that is automatically activated whenever you open your checkbook at a car dealership and tells you to buy a more fuel efficient car.

    4) Feet: They normally come in pairs, and can save on fuel costs by allowing the user to walk when one's destination is not far away and it's nice out.

    5) Cruise control: Can be used to set speed at 60-65 mph, where fuel economy is optimal for most vehicles, rather than at the fuel sapping speeds of 75mph or greater that many who are on the lookout for mileage-improving accessories usually drive at.

    6)Backseat driving spouse, whose nagging instinct is automatically triggered by an electrical impulse whenever speeds exceed legal limits or sudden bouts of rampant accelaration occur.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059

    Those are great accessories! You can find parts numbers and prices at http://www.WeAreTheBorg/





  • I was as skeptical as anyone when I first saw the device, actually laughed at the student in class because it couldn't possibly work as claimed. Well to my surprise after installation some results were worth investigating. Started testing on our Clayton chassis dyno and recorded positive results in almost every vehicle we tested. Remember I am a racer and don't really worry about MPG. Saw some interesting HP gains on the dyno and lost them when we removed the device, remember this is all done in a 10 to 15 minute test period. Please don't bad mouth this device until you have actually tested it in your vehicle, don't forget to disconnect your battery to erase ECM memory so it can relearn the fuel trim curve faster.
  • Seeing HP gains on a chassis dyno still doesn't mean it works in the real world.

    1) Which vehicles did you test?
    2) Were they stock vehicles, since you're a 'racer'?
    3) Were the tests all conducted under the same conditions or was the humidity/pressure/temperature of the air varying from test to test?
    4) Were all of the engines and drive trains warmed up to the same operating temperatures each time?
    5) Were the vehicles you tested fuel injected or carbureted?
    6)What is an 'interesting HP' gain?

    The only reasons the tornado would work is if the engine has a very poorly designed intake system. There is no reason to 'swirl' air any more than what the intake runners are doing in most cases. Go sell snake-oil in another forum please!
  • IF they really worked the factorys would install them on all new cars. The factorys will stop at nothing to increase fuel enonomy 1 or 2 MPG.
  • scotianscotian Posts: 1,064
    Why then do they sacrifice the gains of an unrestricted air intake system for the reduced engine noise (while accelerating) that the stock airbox, etc., provide, with all their baffles, chambers, and twisty-curvy air paths?
  • i have 250k miles on my 94 accord i have stayed with the manufacturer recommended oil 5w30 dont burn a drop and its the best way i know how to save gas after your regular maintenance schedule it works on hondas
  • orcinmanorcinman Posts: 24
    As a starving college student, I was actually considering installing one of these gimics in my Elantra (the "tornado fuel saver"), however common sense and this forum have snapped me back into the realm of reality.

    Thanks guys. I wish Ithese gimmics worked, though.
  • oldharryoldharry Posts: 413
    I see the claims for improved power/economy for aftermarket air filters, and ask, Has anyone you know attached a digital vacuum gauge ABOVE the throttle plate, and driven the vehicle at constant speeds on the same roads before and after the change? If the filter is really reducing restriction, there will be measurable vacuum above the throttle with the stock filter. Some years ago I used a clear plastic tube with a teaspoon of water for a manometer, and could not measure a vacuum above the throttle on my car at idle. The system did not allow me to test it under load with any equipment I had available at the time.

    This was in the late sixties when self proclaimed "experts" were turning their air cleaner covers up side down to "increase air flow". Some of us at the school did an experiment (U S Navy fleet training - mechanics, Davisville Rhode Island). We asked ten of our students if they would participate, and not look under their hoods. We had them fill their tanks every Monday and Thursday. We checked their oil that day, and either installed the covers correctly or turned over. They were told to drive normally, and report the amount of fuel, and miles on the car at each fill up. Without exception, the times when the cover was upside down for "more air" the fuel economy went down.

    The reasons most likely were:

    1. The carbuerators were less efficient when the air heating system did not work.
    2. The engines required more throttle to produce the same power when not fully warmed up but after choke opened.
    3. Some restriction was required to insure proper mixture with the carbuerator.

    I now tend to be very skeptical about claims for air filter devices. The manufacturers can reduce restriction if there is enough to matter, by simply increasing the size of the flter element. The only possible time there could be a problem IMO is wide open throttle.

    That problem actually did exist in the sixties on some Chevy II's. GM accidentally put air cleaner housings for 4 cylinder engines on some sixes. The tsb said to measure the diameter of the intake opening and replace with the appropriate part number if wrong.

  • scotianscotian Posts: 1,064
    Merely replacing the stock air plumbing with something non-restrictive helps the most, and this usually ends up with a cone filter, so it's hard to say just how much the filter by itself does. As long as the new filter gets outside (not engine compartment) air, it is an improvement.

    What is this upside-down cover stuff? Was it meant to get more air through the same filter? If it gets more engine air, it was a stupid mod, unless warm air was desireable for carbuerators.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    We used to turn the breather covers upside down too! We did it because we liked the sound better (it increases the noise under the hood). We were not efficiency engineers by a long shot, we had no idea if we actually were helping or hurting things, didn't care, just liked the sound...
    Back then, we all drove pickup trucks that had the breather snout still located under the hood, taking in underhood air anyway, so turning the cover over just gave the carb MORE access to the same underhood air,,,none of our trucks got good mileage anyway so we didn't really help or hurt at the time.
    And bye the way I have a K&N air filter on my trucks now (normal replacement size,not the cones), I did not get it for any mileage gains or any added HP, didn't expect it and have not gotten it as far as I can tell...added air flow would only help at high rpm and I don't drive that way..I bought them just to avoid replacing normal filters over the life of the vehicle, I keep vehicles for the long run and lifetime things have paid for themselves over the past several years.
    If you want some better mileage try hooking up a vacuum gauge and pay attention to it while you drive, it will change your driving habits (keep you lighter on the gas pedal) no jackrabbit starts/stops etc, you may be surprised how much difference just driving habits make.
    see y'all
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    It is possible that aftermarket air filters could increase HP. However, to allow the extra air to flow also allows more dirt in the engine.. (This has been shown in several studies with K&N filters for example) The check for this was to do an oil analysis..

    I think it would be interesting to do a double blind study with a group of drivers and the tornado.. For each driver, calculate the average mpg that they get for a normal week or 2 of driving. Then install a device on half the vehicles, (but don't let the owners know whether it's been installed on their vehicle or not).
    Then run for another few weeks and compare the results.
    There are probably more controls and items needed in the testing protocol, but the idea is to eliminate the drivers habits from the equation.
  • fgf001fgf001 Posts: 98
    Switch over to to a full synthetic oil such as Mobil 1, Red Line, Amsoil. I experienced a 2-3 MPG increase immediately with Red Line 10W-30.

    Keep you car in top tune.

    Check tire pressures weekly.
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    My experience with synthetics (Amsoil) after using it for a full year is 0 (0.0, .00, no, nada, null) improvement in MPGs.
    I check my mpgs at every fill since the truck was new, and continue to do so even after stopping the use of synthetic oil.

    The single biggest factor of MPG is driving habits.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    It's all cumulative - you have to soak the Tornado in synthetic for a couple a days and then you'll get up to 1.5 additional mpgs.

    Steve, Host
  • bburton1bburton1 Posts: 395
    Saw an article about one of the companies the FTC put out of business for misrepresenting a snake oil additive containing Teflon. What was interesting was the owners history. He had been at this bottom feeding trade for over 20 years. Betcha same is true of the people selling all the gadgets mentioned in the above series of posts.

    Guess old PT Barnum was right-"there is a sucker born every minute."
  • tronsr1tronsr1 Posts: 149
    He was absolutely 100% correct.
  • kaitsukaitsu Posts: 41
    I was looking for comments on the Tornado fuel saver as a good friend of mine installed the Tornado on both their Civic and Accord vehicles. All the negative postings here at Edmunds prompted me to let you know about his experience on the device. Re MPG, no difference on either vehicle. On HP, the Civic showed marginal effect, but the Accord showed a significant improvement in acceleration after installing Tornado. Don't ask me why as I am no mechanic. I am still debating if I should install one on my Acura Legend.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I just got a UCE (unsolicited commercial eamil - spam) from Tornado at one of my other email addresses (not my Edmunds one). Now I'm positive that they are snake oil :-)

    Steve, Host
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    posted in several places in Edmunds because it covers many areas.

    If automotive manufacturers had a cure all or miracle product or style of designing an engine or fuel system to get better mileage while still delivering good performance, they'd be using it. Also, race teams from NASCAR to IMSA, Billy Bob's Circle Track Team, and me with my autocross club would be all over saving a buck.

    The manufacturers are rewarded MILLIONS in government tax breaks when they exceed CAFE standards. It behooves them to do better, to the tune of MILLIONS of dollars.

    When I see products like the Tornado or the latest superjuice fuel additive I have to laugh - they may offer a 1 hp increase on a 400 hp motor at 7,500 rpm, but you can gain the same 1 hp by dropping the temperature in the dyno room by 2 degrees - proven fact.

    Safeguard your wallet, and like Dad said, don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    [tongue in cheek disclaimer]
    Gosh, you guys are no fun! Beat up on Tornado why don't you?

    Well if you don't like that maybe I could interest you in some other marvels that the establishment is keeping from you!

    How about a magnetic blanket that you wrap around your fuel line? There are systems being sold that claim to keep your water pipes unclogged from hard water. Surely, keeping your fuel lines unclogged will contribute to fuel efficiency!

    And how about pyramid power? The mysterious power of the pyramid has been claimed to preserve food, eliminate infection and even sharpen your razor blades! We'd be foolish to overlook this great power and its potential benefits to improving gas mileage. A whole industry could be created to provide pyramidal garages, parking ramps and pyramid tents for storage.

    [/tongue in cheek disclaimer] ;-)

    tidester, host
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    or copper really have magic healing powers, wear bracelets, rings and put them in your shoes.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Skeptic! ;-)

    tidester, host
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
  • bburton1bburton1 Posts: 395
    Sorry hit the wrong button. Anyway years ago there was a crowd of snake oil dudes selling something that looked like a small propeller insert that when placed under your carb would dramatically improve your mileage. Well they had some manufacturing problems and they caused more than a few gas leaks and fires.

    Wonder if the tornado crowd is related.
  • oldharryoldharry Posts: 413
    In the seventies there was a device with two layers of screen in cup shape (for throttle plate clearance) to replace the carburator base gasket. Claims said it 'catalized' your fuel for more mpg. Funny thing, people that tried it DID get more mpg. Big city taxi companies accomplished the same thing using the same principle. They put a restrictor plate under the carb, essentially reducing the flow though the throttle. With fuel injected cars, it would be simpler to put a block under the accellerator pedal.

  • idletaskidletask Posts: 171
    is the driver's behavior :)
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    DOES work if you can't practice self-control.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Or an egg on top of the accelerator....

    Steve, Host
This discussion has been closed.