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.