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6 Retarded Gas Saving Schemes (People Are Actually Trying)

#3.
Draft 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.

#2.
Motoflow 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.

#1.
Water4gas

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.
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