Are there any aftermarket products that could improve gas mileage on my new truck?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jun 01, 1996

Dear Tom and Ray:

I just bought a 1995 Ford F-150, short bed, extended cab,
small V-8. I know trucks are not known for getting great
gas mileage. However, can you suggest any aftermarket
products I can use that would help improve the mileage?
I've read in a catalog that there is a device called Fuel
Master that uses a magnet to break up the fuel molecule
clusters and help the fuel burn more efficiently. Does this
work, or is there anything else I can do to boost my gas
mileage? --Tony

TOM: We make it a point to say that none of these products
work, Tony. Then the companies that make them send us free
samples to prove us wrong, and we get to try them out on
our cars.

RAY: So far, we've concluded that none of them work.
Including a Fuel-Master-like product that I installed on my
Dodge Dakota. I have, however, noticed that the intake
manifold on the Dodge has started to grow hair.

TOM: There is no miraculous way to increase gas mileage,
Tony. Make sure your engine is properly tuned, your tires
are correctly inflated, and drive the truck gently. And
next time, before you buy, look at the window sticker that
tells you how many miles per gallon to expect -- then
multiply it by the standard E.P.A. bull factor of 0.63.

RAY: One thing you can do is remove the pickup's rear tail
gate and replace it with a plastic webbing that's sold for
this purpose. This webbing is strong enough to keep cargo
from sliding out, but porous enough to allow plenty of air
to pass through. Apparently, it cuts down the wind
resistance created by the tail gate and improves the

TOM: Of course, since we've never tried one, our policy
requires us to say that it doesn't work. But as soon as
they send us one, we'll try it and let you know.

RAY: You know, we have to start criticizing more valuable
commodities, Tom. I mean, how are we going to retire off
fuel magnets and plastic webbing?

TOM: You're right. Those beachfront condos on Waikiki ...
they don't work!

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