Londiwe Xulu
journalist
3 minute read
9 Jul 2022
06:02

Motorists warned not to use fuel pill as it is ‘not effective’

Londiwe Xulu

Mechanics have warned people about the 'fuel pill', saying it is not effective and that it can damage your car.

Mechanics warns of fuel pills ineffectiveness and dangers.

Mechanics have warned people to refrain from using the fuel tablet that is trending on social media and alleged to reduce fuel consumption and boosts the vehicle’s performance.

Prices of fuel have been drastically increasing and people are strugglng to maintain the costs.

Petrol prices recently increased to R25 per litre and there are fears that it could soon increase again. This has resulted in desperate people looking at other ways to save fuel.

Social media has been abuzz with people sharing what they called a solution to their problems in the form of a fuel tablet.

According to the description of this tablet on Takealot, it is a revolutionary fuel catalyst formulated to reduce the fuel consumption of your vehicle, resulting in more kilometres per litre of fuel and therefore saving you money every time you fill up your vehicle’s tank.

The tablet said to also increase power and performance, reduce harmful emissions and smoke exhaust, and cleans the internal parts of your vehicle’s engine. It is inserted into the vehicle’s fuel tank prior to refuelling.

A mechanic who asked not to be named warned people not to fall into the trap of using the tablet, which he said can end up damaging their vehicles.

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“If it was so effective I’m sure it would be found in garages and everyone would be using this. This tablet is not manufactured for a specific vehicle.

“They didn’t test it on a certain vehicle brand, so if your car doesn’t agree with this, you’d pay the price for it. Out of 100 cars tested, 90 of them might have passed but the other 10 didn’t and they wouldn’t tell you about it,” he said.

The mechanic said he advises his customers against using the pill.

“Fuel is expensive but people must find other ways to save fuel other than using this and causing more expensive problems for themselves. There are things like it increases the volume of your fuel, but people shouldn’t be fooled by this.”

He said some of the consequences included carbon build up, among many.

According to Sasol, these products are not new and have been debunked and proven ineffective many times before.

They said the products remained an easy way to make money from unsuspecting motorists and indeed reselling agents.

“They simply do not have any effect,” said Sasol’s communications manager, Cobus Beukes.

“The petrol or diesel you purchase at the pump contains a certain energy content, and modern engines are effective in releasing all of this in the combustion process. Without adding more energy content, you cannot improve fuel consumption significantly.

Some small benefits can be gained from additives which clean injectors/valves and additives which reduce friction, which these pills do not claim to do. Even with such additives, this would result in fuel consumption benefit of no more than three percent. Most branded fuels already have such additives included, so adding further additives, even good ones, would make no further difference.

Beukes said by using the tablet on your car, you will be introducing a solid item of unknown content into your fuel tank.

“It may block filters, damage the fuel gauge or release chemicals which could cause engine damage. These products are typically not approved by car manufactures and not covered by your warranty.

“In some case it could void your warranty. There is also typically no recourse to the agents of these pills,” said Beukes.

Motorist Mzamo Khoza said he had seen trending videos about the fuel tablet and had considered trying it on his car.

“Fuel is expensive. I used to spend not more than R1 000 on my car for a full tank, but now that money does nothing. I don’t blame those that use this tablet,” said Khoza.