Automotive experts are warning consumers to be wary of these and other claims for enhancing fuel performance:
* Some products and procedures are patently fraudulent, such as magnets that are supposed to be placed on the fuel lines.
* Others claim to be the result of some "secret" technology suddenly available after years of suppression by carmakers.
* Some actually work, but minimally so. Fuel additives promise better mileage by removing buildup and deposits but so do the detergents already blended in gasoline.
* Still others actually decrease miles per gallon. "Vortex generators" promise to mix the fuel and air in such a way that it burns better, but the added turbulence causes incomplete burning and lower mileage.
At present there are no magic bullets. Sensible driving habits and regular vehicle maintenance are everyday ways to improve gas mileage.
Meanwhile, vehicle manufacturers and legitimate aftermarket companies are working on improving old technologies or developing entirely new ones.
Carmakers are introducing continuously variable transmissions and engines that use all cylinders under acceleration but step down to fewer cylinders during highway speeds.
And some companies are working on technologies that will stand between today's gasoline engines and the hydrogen-powered cars of the future. World Energy Solutions, for example, is developing a hydrogen-oxygen system that could have both industrial and automotive applications. Currently in the prototype stage, the technology uses water to create hydrogen-oxygen gas that is then injected into the car's combustion systems along with gasoline to enhance mileage.
For more information on this and other energy-saving approaches from World Energy Solutions, visit www.wesinc.net.