I just bought something called the "Platinum Gasaver" -- will it really improve my gas mileage?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 2000

Dear Tom and Ray:

I found the enclosed article on the "Platinum Gasaver" from the National
Fuelsaver Corp. of Boston. I bought one. It cost me $168 and is guaranteed to
increase my gas mileage by 22 percent. The article explains that the Gasaver
connects to a vacuum line and emits microscopic quantities of platinum to the
fuel/air mixture, which makes more of the fuel burn. The article states: "After
studying this process for five years, the government concluded: Independent
testing shows greater fuel savings with the Gasaver than the 22 percent claimed
by the developer." What do you think? -- Henry

RAY: I think you should send it back and spend the $168 on gas, Henry. Some years
ago, I tried one of these very devices in my own truck as an experiment, and I've
never noticed any difference in mileage.

TOM: First of all, the "article" you sent is actually an "ad" that's designed to
look like a newspaper article. So keep in mind that there's not even a pretense
of objectivity here.

RAY: They mention "the government" doing tests. But they don't say WHICH
government. It could be the government of East Timor. Or it could be quotes from
"government" attorneys in response to a rash of consumer complaints about the
product. So we have no idea what these tests are, who conducted them or whether
the results are legitimate or not.

TOM: All we know is that in our experience, these things never work. Some people
DO experience an increase in mileage after installing gas-saving devices, but
it's often because they WANT to see an increase in mileage and do other things
that save fuel -- like accelerate and drive more slowly.

RAY: We're happy to look at any actual research that was done -- as long as we
get the complete results, along with the methodology and sources. And if real
scientific evidence proves we're wrong, we'll be glad to say so.

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