Interesting. For $80, Hammacher Schlemmer will sell you something that you plug into your car's cigarette lighter to improve your gas mileage "by up to 18%."
There are some caveats, of course. It's "for use with vehicles that are at least two years old and have 12-volt systems," and it appears that the claims are based on testing performed on one vehicle: "An independent automotive testing service showed the unit increased a test vehicle's average fuel efficiency from 23.8 to 28.1 miles per gallon in two weeks."
"The device simply plugs into a vehicle's DC outlet and stabilizes the electrical current flowing to the electrical control unit (ECU)–the computer that controls the engine's fuel injection and ignition systems–to improve gas mileage. The device mitigates electrical interference from the stereo, lights, air conditioning, and more that can negatively affect the ECU's ability to optimize fuel injection and fuel efficiency."
I'm no engineer but it seems odd that electrical interference from the stereo, lights, air conditioning, and more would be strong enough to cut a car's fuel efficiency by almost five miles to the gallon. Again, I'm no engineer. I'm barely a writer.
Any automotive experts out there care to weigh in on this? Does it seem plausible?
The Current Regulating Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Booster [Hammacher Schlemmer]