Not much new here on the cutting edge of technology. My Saturn has been running so badly lately that I disconnected all the Hydrogen Boost equipment so it would be easier to diagnose the problem. I even disconnected every wire I had connected to control circuits in the cockpit. I had intercepted the engine coolant temperature sensor circuit, the manifold absolute pressure sensor circuit, each of the injector signal wires, and the oxygen sensor circuit. Even with the Auterra Dyno-Scan I got no consistent trouble codes whenever the engine acted up so I had the car towed to the Saturn dealer who replaced the engine coolant temperature sensor and connector. It cost me $200 but I had my car running right again, except that it was getting lousy gas mileage compared to what I got with Hydrogen Boost. Even when the car ran terribly I was getting 32-33 mpg in town and when I disconnected the Hydrogen Boost equipment the mileage dropped to below the EPA city mileage figure of 29 mpg. Once I get three tanks full through the car stock, I'll report the mileage of this car that has 148,000 miles on it, but it looks like it is getting around 25-27 mpg at this point.
Back in November while I was investing in one of the companies that manufactures a component of the Hydrogen Boost system, XCEL Plus International (XLPI), I got an investment tip from a fellow investor about an oil and fuel additive called Ethos. I found a web site once but now can't find it. The liquid additive comes in a 16 ounce bottle and the instructions include adding one ounce per quart into the engine oil and one ounce per 10 gallons of gas into the fuel tank.
I was given about 8 ounces by my friend, so I tested as per the instructions. My normal mileage in my wife's car, which is not equipped with Hydrogen Boost, was consistently between 32.5 and 33.5 mpg (mixture of city and highway). We met my friend at church and picked up the Ethos and immediately went to the gas station to fill up. We made sure that for the next few weeks we took my wife’s car to church so we could fill up at that same gas station, to be sure our mileage was correct. After adding 5 ounces of Ethos to the oil and one ounce into the gas tank when filling, the mileage did indeed increase. On my second tank of gas I forgot to add the Ethos and the mileage was the normal 33.5mpg. On the next two tanks full I remember to add the Ethos and again the mileage was improved. Averaging the three tanks full with Ethos added, I got a mileage of 35.45 mpg for an increase of 9% over the 32.5 mpg baseline or 6% over the 33.5 mpg baseline.
When my friend asked whether I was interested in investing in the Ethos company, which was soon to go public, I make the following analysis:
My vehicle uses a quart of oil every three tanks full of gas, about 1000 miles. So for every change of oil (if I use regular oil) at 3000 miles I will have to use 7 ounces of Ethos (5 ounces at the change/refill and two ounces with the two quarts I add at 1000 and 2000 miles) in the oil. For this same 3000 miles I would use 8.5 ounces in the gas tank (3000/35.5 mpg = 85 gallons, 1 ounce per 10 gallons = 8.5 ounces). Total Ethos required is 16.5 ounces (8 in the oil, 8.5 in the gas). The price of Ethos is about $1.00 per ounce ($14.95 plus tax for 16 ounces). The price I pay for gas at the time was $2.00 per gallon. For a 3000 mile test without Ethos the cost was 92.3 gallons at $2 per gallon = $184.60 at 32.5 mpg. The cost with Ethos was 84.62 gallons of gas at $2 per gallon plus $16.50 for the Ethos = $185.25. So even at the 9% increase in mileage caused by the use of Ethos (35.45 mpg v. 32.5 mpg) it was costing me $.65 more to use it.
When I asked my friend about the particulars about his car (25 mpg with Ethos, 23 mpg without, no use of oil between changes) I did the following analysis for his car:
3000 miles with Ethos cost 120 gallons gas at $2.10 (premium for his high compression fancy engine) plus $17 for Ethos (12 ounces in the gas and 5 ounces in the oil) = $269. Without Ethos it cost 130.4 gallons of gas at $2.10 plus = $273.90. So for him the Ethos saves him $4.90. I was actually not confident in the accuracy of his reported 9% increase in gas mileage with the Ethos, nor his claim of no oil use. Even if both were realistic I doubt the extra hassle of adding Ethos to the fuel and oil every time we fill up is worth the savings, if it is indeed accurate.
However my experience with the Ethos, when I forgot to add it in the gas tank, indicated to me that it was more effective in the gas tank than in the oil. So if addition of Ethos in the gas tank only results in the majority of the mileage increase, it might be worth using. But it is not worth me investing in the company, not when I am already invested in a company that manufactures a product that is used once and causes an increase in mileage for at least 50,000 miles. I'll stick to my investment in XCEL Plus International with its proven engine treatment and various other products.
Follow Up Tests
A couple months later when I had time for a true controlled test on my own car, establishing a true baseline over a set course and testing with the Ethos on that same set course with the same conditions. Surprisingly there was no difference in the mileage. What was wrong? After thinking about it for a couple weeks while continuing to test with Ethos on the same course, and getting no improvement, I figured it out.
On my previous test, the baseline mileage was, as stated above, the “normal driving” routine of my wife’s car, which was driving around town to bring kids to school, go shopping, and go to work. Her normal mileage was indeed as stated above. Our Ethos equipped test results were also accurate because we made sure to go to the same gas station and fill up at the same pump, in the exactly the same position. The only problem was that the baseline mileage did not include a weekly trip to church, and our Ethos equipped driving did.
For most people that would not matter if they only go across town to church. But we travel 45 miles to church on the interstate. So adding 90 miles round trip of highway driving to our normal routine of mostly city driving, would give us a seemingly improved mileage that was indeed only a change in driving conditions. Let me show you the numbers.
Normal driving 280 miles at 33 mpg baseline.
Test driving 190 miles normal at 33 mpg plus 90 miles highway at 42 mpg = 35.44 mpg
5.758 gallons + 2.143 gallons = 7.901 gallons
So I had never got any increase in mileage in the first place with Ethos, so this whole investigation was a wash.
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