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FFI mpg caps magic fuel pill

Tested September 2006   rating

mpg caps

A work colleague of mine is a believer in the oil industry conspiracy theory, i.e. they keep anything from going to mass market that would dramatically save oil and give us, the consumers, better fuel economy in our vehicles. Since he was going to purchase a package of the magic FFI fuel pills, I volunteered to split the cost with him on the understanding that we could use his car as the guineau pig and that we could document the results for my site. I suspected I'd just wasted some lunch money but for the sake of adding more value to my site, I figured it was worth it.
My colleague's commuting car is a 1995 Volvo 850 Turbo, automatic with 257,000 miles on the clock. It has an on board average fuel consumption display in mpg that can be reset to zero to begin an averaging run. The engine was at operating temperature before each trial.
We first did a base line run between his house and our office - about 16 miles each way - with cruise control set to either 70mph or 75mph. The route has an HOV lane on the freeway so maintaining these speeds is easy for the sake of testing. The results are tabulated below.

mpgDistance in milesCruise setting in mph
33.63275
29.41675
30.61670
31.41670
30.61670
29.41675
33.61675
30.61670
30.66470
31.41670
Running avg mpg = 31.12

Next we did the same sequence of drives, but with the FFI fuel pill in the tank.

mpgDistance in milesCruise setting in mph
28.33275
29.03270
30.53270
27.33275
29.06475
29.03270
27.31670
28.01670
29.43275
28.63275
Running avg mpg = 28.64

If we group the results by speed, into 70mph and 75mph groupings, this is what it looks like.

Conclusion. On average, with the pill in the tank, we saw a drop in fuel economy by about 2mpg. There was no perceivable increase in acceleration or the ability to perform at-speed overtaking maneuvers. This pill is another scam. Don't bother with it.

The raging debate.

As well as a response from FFI (see below), my review has garnered comments from other people who've tried this product out. Out of the many emails I've had, this is one of the most interesting:
I just want to comment on the MPG Caps from Fuel Freedom International. I tested the caps for 5 months in 4 vehicles, 2 Camrys a 2002 & 2004, a Toyota Tundra 2005 truck & a 1973 VW Beetle. I saw a decrease in mpg in all vehicles and gave up after testing over 20,000 miles total. Some people claim that it works, but you cannot prove it by me. In addition, I gave out pills to others who found either no improvement or also lost mpg. I was a distributor for them but obviously I am no longer...I do not want to promote something that only works for a few.

Followup - calling their bluff?

A couple of weeks after posting my review, I was contacted by an FFI representative who didn't think I'd been fair by trying their product out in an older car. He suggested I re-performed the test at their expense in a newer vehicle. I offered up my (at the time) 2000 mile Honda Element and gave them an address to send the product to for testing. Thanks to a natty little 'count up' javascript, I can tell you that it's now been days since then and I've yet to see anything. The original order for the product for the original test took only three days to get here. Have I called their bluff?

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