Login or Register

Sign in with Facebook

With gas prices skyrocketing and 65 payments left on the Escalade, America is looking for ways to cut back. In these desperate times we'll do whatever is necessary, as long as it doesn't involve driving less.

Fortunately there are a number of fuel-saving alternatives that are easy, inexpensive and completely idiotic. Such as ...

6Intake Twister & Tornado Fuel Saver

What is it?
There are countless variations of these devices on the market, but they all come down to hunks of metal with blades that supposedly break up the air and swirl it around on its way into the engine. According to the ads, they're a precisely-engineered piece of futuristic alien technology designed to rock your world. According to Popular Mechanics, they're "something we could make in about 10 minutes from an old soda can."


Intake Twister: $20 on eBay


Soda can: free in the back alley

You can decide who you would rather believe.

What's it supposed to do?
The vanes on this thing whip the air into a little mini-tornado. This is somehow supposed to mix up the fuel more thoroughly with the air so you get a better burn. Apparently all the moron car designers at these multi-billion dollar companies were too stupid to figure this out, so these guys had to make this product for all of us to enjoy the power of the tornado!

What will it really do?
Depending on which one you use, you'll get either nothing or a 20 percent decrease in your fuel efficiency. Of course, there is something to the whole swirling air and fuel thing. That's why engines are already designed to take advantage of it, and have been for decades.


They went to school for this

The difference is that car manufacturers design their systems with high tech equipment and quality materials--not some craptastic scrap metal. When Popular Mechanics did their test on the Intake Twister, they were actually afraid to install this thing for fear that it would perform less like a fuel optimizer and more like deadly shrapnel once it fell apart.

These devices continue to sell and there are always customer reviews saying they saw improvements. However, controlled tests seem to indicate the small increases they reported were less due to the device and more to people not wanting to admit they got screwed.

5Bio Petro Improver

What is it?
This is a Top Secret product. We know this because it says so, right on the first page of the website.

Once you crack their high level security (by clicking on the links on their page) you find out that this is an additive pill, or for cars that have a hard time swallowing pills, powder form.

What's it supposed to do?
Fuck if we know. Despite all the claims made on the site, we could not find a description on how this stuff was supposed to work. We think maybe this was the Top Secret part the website was talking about. Luckily we found this video of what seem to be a couple of MIT professors who explain the concepts behind the product.

You can tell the second guy is an authority on the subject by the way he adjusts his shorts before speaking. The product is supposed to be an enzyme that breaks down your fuel and allows it to burn more efficiently. How much further can we go? According to the website, further. How much further? Just further, that's all, further.


"I'll bet my ill-fitting shorts on it."

What will it really do?
Nothing, unless you count potential liver and brain damage, which we guess is something. The website keeps referring to a lab test that showed how awesome the product was, but it somehow manages to skip right over the part where they talk about whether you actually save fuel. Fortunately, the Attorney General of Texas got their own research. We won't bore you with the details of what they found, we'll just say that their next step was to shut the company down for fraud.

To make things worse, this stuff contains naphthalene, the chemical found in mothballs that can cause liver and brain damage if you inhale too much of it. Oh, also when you take off the cap a little fist comes out of the bottle and punches you in the balls.

4Khaos Super Turbo Charger

What is it?
This is a device developed back in the 1970s by some dude in the Philippines who felt that America shouldn't have the market cornered on scamming people. Basically, it's a metal valve, with the very impressive words "Super Turbo Charger" nicely engraved on it. As you can see by the picture, unlike some of the products out there, this thing actually looks like it could do something, in the way that most hookers look like they don't have an STD.

What's it supposed to do?
Basically this thing is supposed to put your car on a gasoline diet. Apparently all cars are using way too much gas. The Khaos supposedly changes the mixture of the gas and air so that the car will burn more air and less gas. Up to half as much according to them.

Inside the metal tube is a spring which is supposed to regulate the air/gas mixture, turning your bloated car from a donut-munching couch potato into a lean fuel-efficient triathlete, minus the ridiculous spandex.

Even more amazing though is that the maker claims it will reduce pollution from your car by 100 percent. The inventor also says he has turned down millions of dollars from Western companies for the patent because then Filipinos would not be able to afford it. Oh, and also it doesn't work at all.

What will it really do?
This device will do exactly what it says it will do. It will actually change the fuel/air mixture in your car. Awesome! You know what else can change the fuel/air mixture in your car? Something we like to call, the engine.

In modern cars, the car's computers and sensors will take care of all that for you. Not surprisingly, they will do a much better job of it than this thing. What this actually does is choke off gas from entering the engine, making it knock and ping and generally run like shit.

As for the claim that it reduces pollution? When installed the device actually creates about three times the pollution that a car without the device produces (that's what happens when you fuck up the way the engine was designed to run). We think this means that it doesn't work.

So why do people buy this thing and swear by it? One reason may be that the makers tell you that you need to give your car a tune up before installing the device. So it's like a diet pill where the directions say you should take it with a glass of water and then run five miles. You'll get results, but probably could have skipped the pills.

3Draft Assisted Forced Stop

What is it?
This technique is advocated by a group of folks who like to refer to themselves as "Hypermilers," in the timeless tradition of giving super awesome names to things that don't deserve it. Basically it's just a lot of ways to squeeze as much as you can out of a tank of gas with a lot of coasting and other conservative driving techniques. Doesn't sound so bad, right?

All it takes on your part is a commitment to find a nice big tractor trailer. Then you are advised to settle in behind that trailer. Like spooning, only at 65 miles an hour, with a huge truck. This white knuckle maneuver is supposed to let you draft behind the truck, thereby letting it do the aerodynamic work for you.


Hypermiling has really caught on in Africa

But wait, if we stopped there we could only call ourselves "Better Than Average Milers" and not "Hypermilers." The Draft Assisted Forced Stop technique has us go the extra step of shutting off the engine once we're in ramming position of the truck. We're burning 0 Gallons/Mile, as long as we're going downhill! Take that, Prius owners!

What's it supposed to do?
Hypermilers say these death-defying maneuvers can more than double total fuel economy (this guy claims to get 59 MPG out of a regular old Honda Accord). Though it seems like they could raise that exponentially with the addition of a simple rope and grappling hook.

What will it really do?
The mileage gain is probably offset by the corresponding decrease in your lifespan. If you aren't worried about the fact you won't be able to see what's happening down the road while hugging the ass of a 40,000 pound trailer, consider what happens when you turn off your engine.

It turns out your engine is responsible for more than just spinning your wheels and burning gas. In most cars it also provides power to small things like your steering and brakes. However, even if things go horribly wrong, which is a pretty good bet when you are tailgating a truck in the equivalent of Fred Flintstone's car at highway speeds, you can at least know you will continue to save gas. We're not scientists but we figure cars like the one below, probably don't use any gas at all.

By the way, the technique is illegal in some places. And let's face it, if you get caught, you have approximately zero chance of outrunning the cops when you don't have your damned engine running.

2Motoflow Fuel Magnet

What is it?
A magnet. Wrapped in rubber. We wanted to make some more jokes and comments about this thing but the makers didn't give us anything to work with. The fucking thing is just a magnet that you attach to your fuel hose. What the hell can we say about that?

What's it supposed to do?
The general theory about devices like this is that they align the gas molecules as they pass the magnet. Once aligned the gas molecules burn more efficiently and lower emissions and ultimately lead to world peace. The makers of Motoflow go one better though and claim that their device "conditions" the gas and adds energy.

You'd think that the people who make the gasoline would go ahead and do that at the refining process, since it seems like whatever is accomplished by one of these ...

... could probably be done even better with one of these:

Of course if we asked the oil companies why they don't bother to line up their gasoline molecules nice and neat before selling them to us, their answer would surely be, "Because fuck you, that's why!" And then they'd light a cigar with a billion dollar bill.

What will it really do?
Nothing really bad, thank God. Unfortunately it also does nothing really good either. Likely it will just sit there on your gas hose, taking up space, a telltale sign of gullibility for every mechanic who looks under the hood. One glance and they'll know they can charge you $50 to realign the air in your tires.

Assuming for a moment that a magnet can even affect gas molecules, due to the fact that gas is a liquid, it will pretty much go back to being a jumbled mess after passing by the magnet anyway. This is maybe why the Federal Trade Commission actually used the word "bogus" when they gave their report on these kinds of magnets. You know your product totally sucks when scientists and government officials use "bogus" to describe your claims, since that's as close as they'll come to using "bullshit" in an official capacity.

1Water4gas

What is it?
The Water4Gas kit includes a book, some parts that look like they're stolen from your mom's kitchen and a theory that violates a bunch of scientific laws and creates some new ones along the way. Check out the above picture of the kit you can buy from these guys. We've seen the "Electrolyzer" and "Vaporizer" before. Except they were holding mayonnaise and pickles the last time we checked. At least they admitted that the spoon was just a spoon though.

It must be noted that the mayonnaise jar is new for 2008, which shows how the technology is improving every year.


If you can't trust "Ozzie Freedom," who can you trust?

What's it supposed to do?
The kit and instruction book are supposed to show you how you can improve your gas mileage by converting water into an amazing new fuel. According to the website, this fuel gives you "the atomic power of Hydrogen" which means their pickle jar will do what science previously thought required a power plant. Wow! We bet this makes the engineers at Toyota feel like a bunch of assholes!

Ozzie Freedom's device will supposedly cause each gallon of water to expand into "1883 gallons of combustible gas!!!" (exclamation marks from original site, along with the dubious use of gallons to measure a gas). This gas is something they like to call HHO (also known as "Brown's Gas") although sometimes on the site they like to just say it produces hydrogen.


Adding to all this confusion is that despite the fact that you get 1,883 gallons of this gas that they claim is three times more potent than gasoline, you can only look forward to your mileage uh ... doubling. Possibly.

What will it really do?
Besides set you back a couple hundred bucks for the book and parts if you buy it from them (less if you like eating pickles and mayonnaise), nothing. And that's good because if it did manufacture a highly-combustible gas, you sure as hell wouldn't want to start injecting it into your engine without a whole lot of other modifications. It's the same reason you don't want to fill your tank with gunpowder, on the basis that one explodey substance is as good as another.

Unfortunately, what they're trying to do violates a few laws of physics. In reality, it has to take more energy to split water molecules than you get back by doing it. When you hear car companies talk about making cars that run on hydrogen, they're talking about using enormous amounts of electricity from power plants to produce the hydrogen. In other words, to do what Water4Gas is claiming, you'd need a car battery so powerful that you could just run your whole car off it.

This one seems particularly popular among the conspiracy theorists on the net, since the whole premise of Water4Gas is that they're using "forgotten" patents on technology that was apparently "suppressed" by the evil oil companies.

So how were the oil companies able to stop General Motors and Honda from using it, but couldn't take down this one dude's website? That's why they call him Ozzie Freedom, baby!



For products that cure a problem that doesn't even exist, check out As Seen on TV: The 10 Most Laughably Misleading Ads or check out today's HBN to find out how to blow yourself up.
To turn on reply notifications, click here

330 Comments

Load Comments