Thursday, June 12, 2008

Health quackery for your car

Just like quack magnetic therapy for improving human health, Alan Archer's product claims to improve fuel efficiency for your car. According to a ridiculously skepticism-free article on ABC15's website:
The gas blaster clamps to your car's fuel line. Two powerful magnets change the molecular structure of gasoline causing it to burn cleaner and more efficient.
Archer, whose company's name isn't mentioned in the article (but it's Adaptive Energy Solutions, LLC according to their website, a company incorporated in September 2003), guarantees that the product will improve gas mileage by at least 10% or your money will be returned. He's probably banking on the fact that most people won't have carefully measured their gas mileage before using it, and the fact that a 10% gain for a car that gets 25 mpg is only 2.5 mpg, well within the range of normal mileage variability given normal variations in driving conditions. There's a quote in the news article from an individual who says "(Ten percent) is a lot when I only get ten miles to the gallon." No, it's only 1 mpg difference, and I bet his 10 mpg is already variable by more than 1 mpg.

Archer's claims for this product, an "adaptive gas blaster," are identical to claims that have been made for similar fuel line magnet products for decades. All of them that have actually been tested have been found to have no measurable effect on gas mileage, and no doubt the same is true of Archer's hokum.

What I find remarkable is that the media continue to uncritically give a forum to hucksters to promote their nonsense. In this case, ABC15 even helpfully provides a link at the bottom of the page where you can click to order a $48 (plus shipping and handling) "adaptive gas blaster."

The money-back guarantee lasts for 60 days, doesn't include the shipping and handling fee, is available for only a limited time, and requires that you have the device installed by an "ASE" (I think they mean AES) mechanic or the guarantee is only for 30 days--I suspect there's a nonrefundable installation fee if they do it for you.

Save your money--you can save gas more easily without buying a bogus product by driving less often and more efficiently.

(Hat tip to Gridman for bringing this to my attention.)

1 comment:

darwinoid said...

I saw this on the 6pm news yesterday and was appalled at the lack of critical thinking being applied. Best part was their claim that you had to drive 1000 miles and get an oil change before you saw any of the 10% saving they claimed.