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Winter2003-2004

Saturn#II Testing

 


Since my original 1996 Saturn SL1 was totaled by a red light runner back ayear ago, I have reversed my testing procedure.  Remember that my original SL1 had no power steering and itwas equipped with the Hydrogen-Boost system including the gas generator, fuelheater, XCEL Plus engine treatment and Amsoil Series 2000 0w30 oil, 50 psi tirepressure, and EFIE device.  What acar!  It was a great test bed andwe achieved a healthy 50% increase in mileage on the highway and in thecity.  EPA mileage figures were 29city and 40 highway.  We achievedaround 43.5 mpg city and 61 mpg highway with no big implementation of citydriving tips, but highway driving was at 55 mph.

 

          Whenreplacing the car after the accident I decided to test some other devices andtreatments outside of the Hydrogen-Boost system first, and then apply thesystem in reverse order from that of previous tests.  I would test the oil, engine treatment, and tire pressurefirst then the fuel heater, then a fuel vaporizer, then finally the hydrogen gasgenerator and the EFIE device.

 

          Itested a number of other company’s products including some fuel magnets and thehighly touted (by one customer) AQUA TUNE water/”hydrogen” injection devicethat promised a 20% increase in mileage if I can remember correctly.  I returned the AQUA TUNE for a refundafter getting absolutely no increase in mileage.  None of the other devices, most of which I can’t remember,gave any increase in mileage either. I spent about a year of testing products that all proved to me why it isso difficult to market a gas mileage enhancement system.  These were all talk and no action andwith the industry full of this kind of scam, it’s no wonder that people willjust call you a liar when you say you can achieve a 50% increase in mileagewith your system.

 

          Ofcourse my impatience got the better of me and I tested the internal componentsof the Hydrogen-Boost system before I finished testing other people’sjunk.  When I added XCEL Plus andAmsoil and 50 psi tire pressure, my long tern mileage on my normal drivingaround town and twice a week to Latham 45 mile away, went from 32.1 mpg to33.67 mpg for a 4.9% increase.  Nowthat’s the biggest increase I had seen in a year until I added my fuel heater.  Before I did, I tested some other people’sjunk.  Tuffoil (oil additive/enginetreatment) boosted the mileage to 34.1 mpg for a 1.3% increase, which at leastwas an increase, which was very welcome after my experience with all the junk. 

 

          ThenI tested Direct Hits Spark plug zapper system, which replaces the resisterplugs with non-resister plugs and attaches a capacitor on top of each and newwires.  It’s a good thing thesecame with a money back guarantee because they were expensive $167 and didn’t doa thing for my mileage.

 

Next I tested a couple devicessent to me by a company in Taiwan. One was a pair of plastic collars that the company couldn’t decidewhether to put both on the fuel line or one on the fuel line and the other on aspark plug wire.  I put them bothon the fuel line to little avail. The other devise was a mat that put on top of the air filter.   34.15 mpg vs 34.1 mpg for a 0.15%increase.

 

Then it was on to the testing ofPlatinum vapor injection by National Fuel Saver company.  I had hope for this system because itmade sense and Bruce McBurney had reported a slight (5-10%) increase on his vanwhile using it.  My problem wasthat at this same time I became able to drive, after my experimental airplanecrash on Mother’s Day, after a six month recovery.  This gave me the car for local trips but my wife drove hercar to the church in Latham twice a week (45 miles one way).  So if there is no apparent increase inmileage it could be caused by city only trips instead of the normal city pluschurch trips.  After two tanks fullI recorded an average of 33.1 mpg, which is either a 3% decrease in mileagefrom the earlier 34.15 mpg, or it is a 14% increase over the 29 mpg EPA citymileage figure.  Considering that Imade quite a few 20 mile trips to Gansevoort for work I would say that mydriving was pretty close to the same normal as before.  Also considering that I also made ahighway 70 mpg test drive that achieved 38.5 mpg, which was closely consistentto the 38.1 mpg average of four highway tests over the last year I would have toadmit that the Platinum Vapor Injection probably achieved the 1% increase (38.5mpg vs 38.1 mpg).

Next I installed the fuel heaterthat came out of the wrecked Saturn. After fixing the leaks I tested it with a makeshift Ozone injection(sucked into the intake manifold from a Flair ozone generator set onhigh).  I made four runs of 42.3miles.  The first was at 70 mphwith Ozone for an average of 42.5 mpg. Next was at 55 mph with Ozone for an average of 51.7 mpg.  Then at 55 mph without Ozone for an averageof 51.9 mpg.  And lastly at 70 mphwithout Ozone for an average of 42.4 mpg. So using the 38.1 mpg baseline highway average this was an 11.3%increase over the previously equipped vehicle (38.1 mpg).  Considering the previously equippedvehicle has already proven to have had a 4.9% increase over original equipmentI have to calculate backwards to figure that the original equipped vehiclewould have given me 38.1/1.049=36.3 mpg on the 42.3 mile 70mph test drive.  This is a calculation based on the 4.9%increase caused by the XCEL Plus, Amsoil, and 50 psi tire pressure.  So with all the equipment installed sofar we have 42.5 mpg vs 36.3 mpg stock is a 17% increase for the 70mph testdrive circuit. 

 

Driving on the highway at 55 mphversus 70 mph achieved 51.9 mpg versus 42.4 mpg at 70 mph for a 22.4%increase.  If I had implemented allthe driving tips in the Hydrogen-Boost manual I could have achieved a muchhigher increase.  

 

Next I installed the EFIE deviceand at the same time I put the hydrogen generator on the floor of the passengerfront seat and plugged it into the cigarette lighter.  I only dared to run it at 10 amps cold because the plug Iused popped a fuse immediately and the wire looked like only 26 or 24 gauge,which is not capable or 20-30 amps. Topping off the tank with .3 gallons (.1 gallon for the drive home andback to the station, .1 gallons for the thermal expansion of the fuel heateryesterday, and .1 gallon for the thermal contraction of the cold morningcompared to the warm afternoon yesterday).  On the first 42.3 mile run the hydrogen generator ran at10-12 amps and the engine started out fairly cool.  Refilling the tank after the run at 70 mpg took .869gallons.  Adjust this by .1 gallonfor thermal expansion and the mileage average was 43.65 mpg.  A second run was started and thecigarette lighter receptacle burned out so no hydrogen was generated.  Also I had to stop twice to try to getthe hydrogen generator to work so it was not a real highway test.  I could probably compensate by .05gallons or 2 miles for the two stops if I wanted real accurate results, but Iwon’t.  Refilling after the 42.3mile run took .922 gallons for an average mileage of 45.9 mpg at 70 mphhighway.  This was a 20.4% increaseover the 38.1 mpg baseline and 26.4% increase over the original equipmentbaseline of 36.3 mpg.  EFIEaddition caused a 8.5% increase over the same vehicle without the EFIE.  This excludes any increase caused bythe Tuffoil and the Platinum vapor injection.

A week later, after installing afuel vaporizer I was somewhat discouraged because the addition did not seem tobe helping any.  In fact I wasgetting only around 44 mpg.  Eventhough the fuel vaporizer needs to be adjusted it didn’t seem like theadjustments were doing much of anything. After a few days of coordinating a business trip to California I wentfor a couple more test drives. 

 

The first was with what I thoughtwas the complete Hydrogen-Boost system but the mileage was terrible.  The 42.5 mile trip took .972 gallons withoutany thermal expansion adjustment. Since I had previously been driving around town shipping aHydrogen-Boost System to California in liew of the trip I figured there wasalready warm fuel in the tank and maybe the cold weather during the test drivemay have even contracted the volume of the fuel in the tank.  So I decided for no expansionadjustment and came up with an average of 43.7 mpg.  This was the worse mileage since I installed the EFIEdevice.

 

I decided next to get as close tostock without having to take off any components.  I deflated the tires to 30 psi and went to close the valvesthat close off the engine coolant circuit to the fuel heater, vaporizer, andhydrogen generator.  To my surprisethe valves were already off and had been since the installation of thevaporizer a week ago.  No wonderthe mileage was not up to par.  Imean let’s face it 43.7 mpg compared to a stock mileage of 38.1 or even 36.3was only 15-20% increase and did not warrant a price tag of that of theHydrogen-Boost System.

 

So trying to get as close tostock I disconnected the relay to the hydrogen generator and remembered thatthis would also shut off the auxiliary fuel pump so I decided to not risk abuild up of fuel, inches from the exhaust pipe.  I reconnected the relay and tested with the hydrogengenerator operating.  I guess theway to test without the hydrogen generator will be to let it run out of water.

The “stock” test drive, withhydrogen, took 1.051 gallons for an average of 40.4 mpg which was still a 6% increaseover the 38.1 mpg baseline with just internal liquid components installed or11.3% increase over the 36.3 calculated baseline of the originalequipment.  But it also shows thatthe EFIE and the tire pressure accounted for a 8.1% increase when we comparethe result of both of today’s test drives. 

Next I fixed the leak in thecoolant circuit and ran two test runs with the fuel heater and vaporizeroperating or so I thought.  Mymileage was disappointing, just over 43 mpg, but I discovered that night thatthe charcoal canister modification I had rigged up to control the vapor to theintake, was apart and leaking fumes.

The next day I removed thecharcoal canister controller and ran with the vaporizer suction line valve wideopen and the intake air valve cracked open one half turn.  During the run I noticed that everytime I stepped on the accelerator the oxygen sensor reading on my electricaltester on the dash indicated a very rich mixture.  Since I was not sure of what adjustment to make for thermalexpansion I ran two runs back to back so the fuel in the tank was already warmfor the second run.  The differencein fuel used on each run was .08 gallons so from now on I will use that as anadjustment when I start with a cold tank.

The second run, most accurate,was a 42.8 mile test using .957 gallons for an average of 44.7 mpg.  Since I had mounted new snow tires andfound that the change in mileage due to the tires was a 4.8% decrease, forfurther calculations I will use an adjusted baseline figure of 4.8% less thanthe normal 36.3 mpg.  To calculatethis I’ll take 95.2% of 36.3 = 34.56 mpg. Using this as the new baseline mileage figure for the equipment installedwe get a total increase in mileage with all the Hydrogen-Boost systemcomponents installed of 29.3% increase for equipment alone.  Now I expect a little better mileagewhen I get the vaporizer tuned in to not dump in too many vapors when thethrottle is only moderately open. I certainly expect 30% increase total.  We’ll see.

A couple days later I did a fewmore tests after adjusting the vapor line valve on the vaporizer to ˝closed.  This indicated no extrarich mixtures at any time including deceleration.  The first test was a 42.8 mile test taking .898 gallons torefill.  Add to this the .05gallons thermal expansion adjustment for a total of .948 gallons.  This gave me an average of 45.15 mpg or30.6% total increase over the adjusted baseline mileage of 34.56 mpg.

Next was a test drive at 55 mphfor 43.1 miles and .683 gallon refill and .08 gallon adjustment for a total of.763, giving an average of 56.5 mpg.

Then I drove around the city for44.5 miles and refilled with .703 gallons plus adjustment of .13 gallons for atotal of .833 gallons and an average of 53.4 mpg.  I was careful to implement as many driving tips on the citydriving test drive as I was comfortable with.  Using adjusted baseline figure of 27.6 mpg (EPA 29 mpg x.952 for snow tires) this was a 93.5% increase in mileage.  With a little more diligence I couldhave easily achieved a 100% increase in city driving mileage as I have manytime before on numerous vehicles. 

My next test was a 484 mile tankfull around town, to church 40 miles away twice and a trip on the hilly backroads of Vermont 90 miles one way to visit my parents for Christmas.  The refill took 11.3 gallons for anaverage of 42.8 mpg.  I wouldconsider this test an average city/highway test with a baseline of 32.84 mpg(average of EPA city and highway mileage 34.5 x .952 for snow tires) for anincrease caused by Hydrogen-Boost of 30.3%.

A week later after shopping forlow-rolling resistance tires (Bridgestone Potenza, Michelin Energy MXV4, andGoodyear Integrity) I decided to put my original summer tires back on for acouple more tests.  Before I did Idid some coasting tests on the road in front of my house.  Starting from a dead stop in front ofmy garage I coasted and checked the time when I passed my mail box, the end ofmy house, my neighbor’s fence and the stop sign.  This was repeated four times.  The road in front of my house had considerable gravel/sandon it from the winter maintenance so I did two other tests on Luzerneroad.  One was a coasting test froma stop between two poles and the other was a cruising test at 45 mph to notethe vacuum reading in the intake. After changing to summer tires I did all three previous tests with aslight difference between the results of the winter vs. the summer tires.  The difference was less than thedifference between when the car was warm versus when it was cold.  These slow speed tests were not a goodindicator of what the tire drag did at 55-70 mph. 

Next I went for two test drives,not needing a thermal expansion adjustment because the tank was already warmfrom the earlier tests.  At 70 mphI ran 43.1 miles with .938 gallons for an average of  46.0 mpg and at 55 mph I ran 43.1 miles with .774 gallonsfor an average of 55.7 mpg.  Thiswas equipped with a new thermostat (195 degrees versus the 185 degree stock)but with no vaporizer.  I haddecided that the small increase I had achieved with the vaporizer was hardlyworth the extra work.  I ambeginning to think twice about it now. We’ll see next summer if that is the case in warm weather.

I started collecting usedlow-rolling resistance tires for further testing on the Saturn nextsummer.  Ten of the tires werepurchased from Border Tire in the Rochester, NY area.  One nice day I filled up my tank at 7:30 and took the trip outand back using some of the driving tips, covering the 557 total miles (540highway, 17 city) with 10.187 gallons total, for a 55.75 mpg highway and 34 mpgcity.  The entire trip took 10hours including the nearly one hour stop to do business and get lost.  This shows an average speed of 64 mphon the highway and 30 in the city. Some drafting was used.

After driving all winter withsnow tires and in cold weather, I was glad when March 1st brought 40degree weather.  I switched back tosummer tires and installed the Auterra Dyno-scan device that allows me tomonitor many things going on in the engine, especially the oxygen sensoroutput.  I found that adjusting theEFIE device not only gave us a leaner mixture by adding voltage to the oxygensensor signal but the adjustment also smoothed out the peaks of rich/leanoscillations and kept the ECU in closed loop operation more of the time,allowing me to move the accelerator peddle more without spiking the mixture toa too rich condition.  Afterplaying with this for a few days I decided to go for another 70 mph testdrive.  Having already driven toHudson Falls and back to show a house, the fuel in the tank was already warm soI needed no thermal expansion adjustment. In fact I was concerned that at 70 mph in 40 degree weather the tankwould cool somewhat during the test drive.  I ran a 42.5 mile test run with 0.9 gallons of fuel for anaverage of 47.22 mpg.  It was awelcomed return to the impressive results that I was used to.  Winter really cuts down on gas mileage,with and without the Hydrogen-Boost system.

The next full tank of testing wasdone with city driving plus two trips to church (40 miles one way) in snowyweather, the rest of the city driving was done in normal winter weather, somesnow, some below zero cold.  The430 mile test took 10.4 gallons to get to the first click off of the gas pumpwhich is consistently one gallon short of a total top off of the fillerpipe.  So total the test used 11.4gallons for and average mileage of 37.7 mpg city, winter, snow.  It should be noted that most of thecity trips were less than 10 miles round trip, making each trip less than fivemiles.  Comparing this to EPA cityfigures of 29 mpg (with summer tires and weather, and my wife’s conservativesame conditions mileage of 29 mpg) this is a 30 % increase.  Few of the driving tips were used onthis test.

In March I fitted the car withthe vaporization circuit and canister I used in Switzerland and hadn't usedsince.  I was glad to get thedesign back into testing and was pleasantly surprised that it increased themileage again.  I took two testdrives on the 42.2 mile course, one at 70 mph with no driving tips achieving46.9 mpg for 27% increase.  Then Iran at 60 mph with some drafting and achieved 57.0 mpg, which brings thisSaturn within the performance range of my original Saturn, which had no power steering.  I am anxious to test it with thelow-rolling resistance tires in the heat of summer.  I am sure I'll break the 61.4 mpg record of the otherSaturn.

The following day I did two moreback to back road tests to ensure no error due to thermal expansion.  The first was 45.6 miles up and downthe hilly section of the Adirondack Northway I87 with .787 gallons used for anaverage of 57.94 mpg at Highway 55 mph using most of the driving tips exceptwithout drafting.  The second testwas the typical 42.2 mile loop with a 8.3 mile detour to check out a tenantproblem.  Total mileage was 50.5with .869 gallons used for an average of 58.1 mpg at Highway 55 mpg and nodrafting.

 

Considering that a year oftesting had only found two minor increases in mileage (1.3% and 1%) caused byTUFFOIL and Platinum injection, which I would consider negligible, I am stillimpressed by the components of the Hydrogen-Boost System and am looking forwardto further improving and testing the fuel vaporizer.  And since it had been about 25,000 mile since I gave the carthe XCEL Plus treatment and Amsoil Series 2000 0w30 synthetic oil, I gave thevehicle its first oil change since I got it.  I expected another slight increase in mileage because of there-treatment of the engine with XCEL Plus and Amsoil but found none.

 

Summary:  components installed                            Increases

 

XCEL Plus, Amsoil Series 2000, 50 psi tires                    4.9%increase

Tire pressure and EFIE (w/ hydrogen but no fuel heater)   8.1% increase

Fuel magnets                                                         none

AQUATUNE                                                        none

TUFFOIL                                                                       1.3%increase

Direct Hits Plugs                                                    none

Taiwan collars and intake insert                              none

Platinum Vapor Injection                                                   1 %  increase

Fuel Heater                                                                     11.3%increase

All components above except TUFFOIL & Platinum        26.4%increase

Driving 55mpg                                                                22.4%increase

EFIE device, hydrogen generator (with fuel heater)             8.5% increase

195 degree Thermostat                                                      <.1% increase

All components above including driving at 55 mph 42.9% increase

          (51.9mpg vs. 36.3 mpg)

Snow tires                                                             *****4.8% decrease

Vaporizer                                                                        2.3% increase

All components above plus vaporizer                               29.3%increase

All components above plus adjustment                             30.6%increase

All components above minus vapor, plus Auterra monitor30.1% increase

Same configuration plus driving tips                                 63.5%increase

City driving with some driving tips                                   93.5%increase

 

                             HighwayTests                                   70mph      55mph

Stock with snow tires                                   calculated    34.56 mpg

Stock                                                          calculated    36.3 mpg

XCEL, Amsoil, 50psi                                                      38.1mpg

XCEL, Amsoil, 50 psi, fuel heater                                    42.4mpg     51.9

XCEL, Amsoil, 50 psi, fuel heater, H2, EFIE          45.9mpg

XCEL, Amsoil, 50 psi, fuel heat, EFIE, 195 Thermostat    46.0 mpg     55.7

XCEL, Amsoil, 50 psi, H2, snow tires, EFIE                    43.7mpg

XCEL, Amsoil, 30 psi, H2, snow tires                              40.4mpg

XCEL, Amsoil, 50 psi, H2, snow tires, heat, vapor, EFIE 44.7 mpg     49.0*

XCEL, Amsoil, 50 psi, H2, snow tires, heat, vapor, EFIE

          Andadjusting the vaporizer vapor valve to ˝ open  45.15mpg   56.5

XCEL, Amsoil, 50 psi, H2, snow tires, heat, EFIE, Auterra47.22 mpg

XCEL, Amsoil, 50 psi, H2, summer tires, heat, EFIE, vapor46.9 mpg  58.1

Long trip highway mileage at 64 mph average                   55.75mpg

 

                             CityTest

 

All the above equipment and adjustment, plus driving tips53.4 mpg city

Equipment minus vaporizer, without most tips in coldwinter 37.7 mpg city




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