Saturday, February 14, 2009

Snake Oil - The Good, the Bad and the Really Ugly

Snake Oil
The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly

As someone who has worked in the chemical business for a number of years, I always cringe when someone uses a term like “Mechanic in a Bottle” or “Snake Oil” to define the chemical industry in general and fuel additives in particular.

Unfortunately many of the companies out there today with products that do little or nothing and even worse those that actually cause more harm than good have given the industry a black eye

This has made it a real challenge for those of us that have dedicated their businesses to producing real products, that solve real problems, and produce real measurable results.

So here I want to offer some things to consider when you look at a new chemical product.

When you hear about a product claiming a 15% to 20% or more improvement in fuel economy, you should be skeptical.

We were recently asked to analyze and report on a product that made claims of improving fuel mileage by 10% to 17%, increasing horsepower, reducing hydrocarbon emissions, providing additional lubricity, and several more.

The only claim to involve any real numbers in all of their literature is the mileage claim, so let’s start there.

Cleaning up Combustion Chamber, Fuel Injector, and Valve Carbon Deposits does make a real difference in engine operation and efficiency. You can improve starting, drivability, fuel economy, and emissions by cleaning up those deposits.

In a very dirty engine you might be able to make an 8% to 10% improvement in fuel economy. However if you look at a fleet operation or an average individual engine you are realistically looking at a 3% to 5% improvement.

1 comment:

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