The hefty petrol price increases faced by motorists all around the world has warranted many searching for fuel saving tips or products that can potentially improve fuel efficiency. The latest fad to make headlines are fuel pills but are they worth the hype?
South Africans are paying almost R27 for a litre of fuel at the pumps. This is about double the price of fuel from as little as six years ago and as such many motorists have taken a long term solution and downsized to more efficient vehicles or attempted fuel saving products in the interim.
Fuel pills are not a new concept to emerge in the automotive market with first iterations being released to the public almost 2 decades ago. Since then, numerous studies on the concept have taken place with some stark findings resulting in development and production to be halted. Eugene Herbert, CEO of MasterDrive states: “This is because the pills contain a substance called naphthalene which can marginally reduce consumption and emissions in certain circumstances but which also cause a build-up of carbon deposits that later result in poor performance.”
Ingredients in the fuel pill may also include compounds like ferrocene which can inhibit the correct functioning of spark plugs from as early as 5 000 km due to excessive carbon deposit buildup. This would not only hinder future performance and fuel economy but also would require the replacement of certain consumables well before their intended lifecycle, like the aforementioned spark plugs.
Herbert further adds: “If you do not know what your fuel pill contains, you are either being taken advantage of with what is the equivalent of a ‘sugar pill’ for cars or worse, you are adding potentially harmful substances to your vehicle.”
If you are looking at improving your fuel efficiency while driving, perhaps you can address a few habits which we have detailed in our fuel price driving efficiency tips article.
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