NewsChannel 5 Tests Platinum Gas Saver
Gas prices are back up again.
And if you're looking to save, you might be interested in something that can help your car get better gas mileage.
But don't go out and buy the so-called Platinum Gas Saver just yet.
NewsChannel 5 consumer investigator Jennifer Kraus put the device to the test to see if it really works.
With gas now hovering around the $3 mark, along comes a product that claims to increase gas mileage by as much as 22 percent.
The Platinum Gas Saver sells for $250, and the company behind it claims that when you run its secret platinum-based solution through your engine, you'll soon see a big jump in miles per gallon.
So Jim Furbush with the Middle Tennessee Better Business Bureau put it to the test on his 2004 Ford Taurus.
Before the test, he got just over 24 miles per gallon. But with the device, the company claimed Furbush should get more than 30.
Furbush told NewsChannel 5, "If I can get any increased mileage, that's tremendous."
The first challenge was just getting the Gas Saver installed.
Supposedly anyone can do it. But we asked certified mechanic Doug Ferguson who soon discovered it wouldn't fit.
He told us it was "because the 'T' (valve) is too small."
But after a quick trip to an auto parts store for a bigger tube, we had the device in and ready to go.
Kraus asked Ferguson, "Do you think this is going to work?"
He told Kraus, "I have no idea."
In fact, he was pretty skeptical. And, so were we after we found on the company's website claims that the "Federal Consumer Protection" agency had confirmed the Gas Saver worked.
But, get this, there is no such agency.
And when we checked in with Jim Furbush several weeks into our test, he too was now skeptical. He typically drives hundreds of miles each week. Yet, by this point, he told us, "I have seen no apparent difference."
In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tested the Platinum Gas Saver and concluded that "the device clearly did not produce the large...fuel economy benefits claimed by the manufacturer."
And tests by Consumer Reports also found "no changes in fuel economy."
For our test, Furbush spent two months driving with the Platinum Gas Saver, putting more than 4200 miles on his car.
When it was over, he told us, "The results have just not panned out."
In the end, his gas mileage increased less than one percent, nowhere near what the company had promised.
Kraus asked Furbush about the Platinum Gas Saver, "What do you call this?"
His response, "I would call it a waste of $250."
At the non-descript headquarters of the National Fuelsaver Corporation near Boston, we found hand-written signs and no one willing to talk on camera.
But Gas Saver founder Joel Robinson admitted when we talked by phone that not everyone sees the kind of results his company promotes.
Robinson said, "On about three percent of the vehicles that it goes on, it doesn't work. And, that's why we offer a four-month unconditional money back guarantee."
But Furbush has now tried twice to get a refund and the company has been less than willing, telling him instead to reset his car's sensors and see if his mileage improves.
We asked our mechanic Doug Ferguson, who's also a local Midas store manager, "Does it make any sense to you?"
Ferguson told us, "No. No, it doesn't. It's ridiculous."
The BBB's Jim Furbush says the Platinum Gas Saver saved him neither gas nor money. But it did re-enforce the old saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Several years ago, the state of Texas got a court order to stop Joel Robinson from making claims that the Gas Saver can increase mileage by 22 percent.
He also had to pay the state $10,000.
And Canada recently went after the men who were selling the Gas Saver there.
They were fined $100,000.
Joel Robinson claims he's sold half a million of the Platinum Gas Savers. And he maintains only about three percent of his customers have asked for refunds. Still, that's about 15,000 complaints.
Here are some easy and rather inexpensive ways you can boost your mileage.
- Keep your tires properly inflated.
- Keep your air filter clean.
- Change your spark plugs when recommended.
- Make sure your gas cap is on tight.
- Use a light foot on your gas and brakes.
- And of course, keep your speed down.