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Popping pills to save fuel

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With another petrol price hike on the cards, motorists have been looking for ways to save on petrol.

Recently two videos have emerged and gone viral on the social media platform TikTok, showing drivers using a fuel pill that they say helps in saving petrol. Picture: Social Media

RECENTLY two videos have emerged and gone viral on the social media platform TikTok, showing drivers using a fuel pill that they say helps in saving petrol. With another petrol price hike on the cards, it is understandable that motorists have been looking for other ways to save on petrol.

In one of the videos, you see a woman filling up her car at a petrol station when she explains that using this “petrol pill” will help with fuel consumption and boost performance.

But is this a new invention?

The fuel-saving pill entered the local market by a company called Fuel Freedom International (FFI) in the United States in 2005. According to the company, the tablet was safe to use in car engines and FFI had public liability insurance worth $2 million to cover engine damage – but there had been no claims.

So what do they claim fuel pills actually do?

Once dropped into the tank, depending on the exact formula they contain, the fuel pills undergo a chemical reaction. This reaction basically dissolves them and releases the catalyst components into the tank. Once there, this ‘supercharged’ fuel can be taken up by the fuel pump and introduced to the entire fuel system. Fuel injectors also get a taste for it while getting this catalysed fuel injected into the waiting cylinder. These catalysed components provide enhancements to the fuel, developed to improve your car’s mileage and clean up the fuel system.

In a nutshell . . . it works like this; during compression of the piston, this ‘fuel pill‘ enhanced fuel is now burned where it can do so with more efficiency and quality . . . actually burning more of the available fuel content where it leaves behind less carbon residue.

But despite the promises of saving money, the Automobile Association (AA) has warned of the risks involved. Spokesperson Johan Jonck warned motorists about using all types of gadgets. “When in doubt do not use them, listen to the vehicle experts and be cautious of fake news and gimmicks”.

The July petrol price increase is not looking good at all for motorists. Some experts are forecasting a R2.50-per-litre increase.

The financial experts at the Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) are painfully aware that the next petrol price hike will push many South Africans to the brink.

That’s why they are now lobbying the government to extend their R1.50 fuel levy suspension for at least the next month. In July, this is slated to come down to 75 cents instead, piling more pressure on the average motorist in South Africa.

It costs the government almost R3 billion a month to shave R1.50 off the fuel levy. Something has got to give, and any move that increases the burden on the taxpayer could be the final nail in the coffin for many.

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