Does that magnetic fuel saving device really work?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Dec 01, 1999

Dear Tom and Ray:

I was wondering if you could offer some advice on what I think is a bogus fuel-
saving device. Basically, it's a magnet that you strap to your fuel line so the
fuel passes the magnet before it goes into the engine. I own a 1990 Ford Crown
Victoria, so optimizing my fuel economy is a constant battle. Have you ever heard
of this gadget working? Or is it just another useless gadget aimed at gullible
consumers like me? -- Scott

RAY: Well, we have good news and bad news, Scott. The bad news is that -- as far
as I can tell -- these gadgets are complete nonsense.

TOM: The good news is you shouldn't feel at all bad about being gullible. Why?
Because my brother put one of these in his '87 Dodge Dakota pickup truck!

RAY: That's right. And I'm convinced that I would have gotten the same
improvement in mileage if I had walked around with the magnet stuck up my nose --
and I would've saved myself about half an hour of installation time, too.

TOM: The interesting thing about many of these products is that they come with
"additional fuel savings tips." Stuff like "accelerate gently" and "don't leave
the car idling while you're waiting for your wife to buy shoes." And I'd be
willing to bet that those tips are responsible for all of the fuel savings that
some people claim.

RAY: So I think my brother and I are going to go into business. We're going to
offer JUST the tips for three bucks. And if that doesn't work, for an additional
$39.95, we'll send you the magic magnet.

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