-Photo by Steve Dawes 2014
Only Certified Mechanical Engineers, usually with Mechanical Engineering Degrees, using 100’s of thousands of dollars worth equipment and ASTM testing standards can tell how good a lubricant is and what fuel economy improvements are at hand.
_Is there any chance that the average consumer can tell?_
Yes and No.
Keep in mind that fuel economy is determined by a lot of different variables.
Surprisingly one of the biggest is the weather. Frigid air is denser and more difficult to push through. Cold tires and pavement make for less traction. Also colder air temperature and colder fuel are more difficult for fuel systems to atomize. ( Variances are 5-30%). Everybody notices that in the winter they are getting poorer fuel economy.
But, there are of course many others: spark plugs, air filters, dirty fuel systems, faulty sensors, lubricity etc.
MPG gauges, if you have one, can be fooled too because they use the motors vacuum system to get their estimate. ( When your automatic transmission shifts to a lower gear your MPG gauge will report that your fuel economy has improved. This is not the case, your motor vacuum has changed.)
So, what can the average consumer do?
_Run a Controlled Experiment._
That’s one reason my Fuel Economy Cheat Sheet suggest doing the entire drive-train and using fuel additives along with other premium replacement part choices.
Prior to the age of ethanol we only had to use a fuel treatment once or twice a year. Unfortunately, the ethanol molecule separates from the petroleum molecule with the slightest condensation and sinks to the bottom of your gas tank.
Amsoil’s Performance Improver Fuel Treatment (PI) is designed to be used every 4000 miles. ( Also, Amsoil makes specific fuel treatments for diesels and small engines). Savings in fuel, on average, for someone who consumes 100 gallons of gas a month are roughly $45) Bottle PI costs $8.50 (Preferred Customer) so subtract that out.
Steve Dawes, T-1 Certified Direct Jobber, Amsoil Synthetics