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Gas mileage boosters see sales rev up

From Times Wire Services

High fuel prices are helping sales of products designed to boost gasoline mileage -- even though the government says they’re not worth the money.

The products include fuel additives and devices that fit inside an engine’s air intake valve. Their makers claim they boost mileage by helping gasoline burn more efficiently.

“The [Environmental Protection Agency] has tested hundreds of these products,” said Laura DeMartino, a Federal Trade Commission attorney. “Even for the few that worked, the gas savings was so small it didn’t justify the price.”

But that’s not discouraging people from searching for ways to eke extra mileage out of their vehicles.

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“Our sales have probably close to doubled” over the last year, said Dan Baxley, founding partner of Automotive Research Laboratory, maker of the Vortec Cyclone, a $40 device designed to boost gas mileage by improving an engine’s airflow. Some users have claimed a benefit of as much as 6 miles per gallon, though most see an improvement of 1 to 2 mpg, Baxley said. Automotive Research Laboratory has never received a complaint from the FTC, which declined to comment on specific products.


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