Magnetic fuel saving scams

Too good to be true
You instinctively know what something is too good to be true, don’t you? And things which seem that way almost always turn out to be just that, too good too be true. I am constantly coming across products for sale on the internet which are such obvious bullshit, and yet someone must be buying them.

MagnoFuel
Recently, while researching for my book on bio-fuels, I am coming across loads of magnetic miricles. These things simply attach around your engine’s fuel lines, attached with zip-ties, and enhance the fuel magnetically; reducing pollution, increasing performance, reducing consumption, increasing range.

Sound too good to be true? Well obviously! If these things worked they would be fitted as standard to all new cars, in fact it would be compulsory.

The “science” behind them
Like all con artists, the makers offer very pseudo-scientific language to explain what they do and how they work and then fail to back any of it up with any proof, beyond the dubious and anecdotal, that they have any effect whatsoever. They use an array of techniques typical of confidence tricksters to confuse you into trying their product.

For example, ecozone.co.uk say here that:

  • “Magno-Fuel has been tested to give fuel savings of up to 15%, provides better combustion and more power from your engine while reducing pollution.”
    Tested by who? When? Where? Or am I meant to just take your word for it?
  • “Only after a short time will oxygen molecules be embedded between the fuel molecules, ensuring a better combustion.”
    What does thins even mean?
  • “Bloch and Purcell were awarded the Nobel prize for their work on magnetic fields on solid, liquid and gas substances.”
    Sure they were, the physics prize in 1952 “for their development of new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements and discoveries in connection therewith”, what does thins have to do what the MagnoFuel? Nothing whatsoever, that is what!

Don’t take my word for it

All magnetic fuel savers are thoroughly debunked here.

Other magnetic bullshit
One can also buy magnetic toilet descalers, magnetic washing machine descalers, an amazing array of magnetic jewelery and loads of other miracle magnetic gizmos available to the gullible, from water treatment and fuel treatment to health (for you or your dog or cat or horse); there is tones of it and all of it complete bullshit!

And even more nonsense
EcoFlow and MagnoFlow and BioFlow, BioGuard pendants to protect you from your computer, BioPhone to protect you from your cell phone, Vitaflow for your water, Motoflow for your fuel, Thermoflow for your boiler/furnace and (my favourite) Vinaflow to protect you from your wine!

How can this be legal?
Well how can this be legal? I have no idea, I guess it isn’t. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof, this is blatant modern day snake oil, a scam, a con……. it is complete bullshit, don’t buy it!!

——————–

I recently pointed out to EcoZone, GetEtical, Maplin (I think they may have withdrawn them) & BigGreenSmile that they are selling this lie, and other lies too, and therefore complicit in a scam.

Only one person has had the decency to reply to me, Phil Soulsby from GetEthical responded to me:

Please don’t waste our time these products are all independently tested by government departments as well as our own research people. Your details have been passed on to the authorities for further action. Denial of the truth has been common before – stop destroying the planet by burying your head in the sand.

… a response I am still trying to fully understand. I have asked him to show me the independent tests by govenment departments but he has yet to do so, as for the rest of what he says, I am at a loss to understand.

20 Comments

  1. Pete:

    It is bollocks, clearly. You would need to be a moron to buy this shit. Has to be illegal too, as you say.

  2. Lyle:

    I agree with your observations that up to 90% of all magnetic fuel/water/air systems are rubbish.
    I’ve been installing magnets of vehicle engines for over twenty years, while utilizing a 5gas mini emissions tester and unless you know how to build and apply the proper configuration of magnetic treatment—a majority of these systems do not work and are either plants by oil and auto companies to disuade people from using this system, or are quick-rich schemes fabricated by scam artists.
    Email me at ——-@gmail.com and I will send you a complete 3-part system to try and keep—no other obligation on your part.
    Lyle Thompson, ———

  3. Jon:

    Hi Lyle,
    I don’t say 90% of these systems are rubbish I say all of them are, and that includes yours. Well made snake oil is still snake oil.
    Magnets on the fuel and the coolant and the air, “plants by oil and auto companies”, I’m crying with laughter here! When you have some real evidence you let me know, sending me your kit to test is pointless because I am just as fallible as the next guy. You need cold impartial science to prove your system works, and before you say all i need to do is try it, the responsibility is on you to prove your system works not on me to prove it does not work.

  4. Ed:

    I am a retailer of Ecoflow magnotherapy products. I must admit that my testing of their magnetic fuel saving device to date has been disappointing and as a result I no longer sell them.

    However, it is a different story with their magnetic bracelets. I have testimonial after testimonial from people claiming that they have experienced miracles with their health after deciding to wear a magnetic bracelet.

    Ecoflow offer a 90 day money back performance guarantee that their products work. As a result, magnotherapy products cannot be labelled as a scam. Scammers do not give your money back if you are dissatisfied.

  5. Jon:

    Ed:
    “testimonial after testimonial”, that is hysterical. You ever heard of people being mistaken or getting better on their own? Do what has to be done with all medicine before it approved, put them through a scientific double blind study. It has been many times before and they have always failed.

    http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/QA/magnet.html

  6. mary ann russell:

    jon you dont know what you are talking about when you say people are getting bettter on their own.it does not happen.My parents both had arthritis and i bought them a bracelet and they said it worked. When my mothers broke I fixed it and put it on so I would not lose it and in 1 1/2 hrs the pain in my arm was gone and I have fybromyalgia.I have been wearing magnetic jewelery for 8 years now and selling for 7 years and have had many people tel me how well it has worked for them including my own kids who suffer from migrains.

  7. Jon:

    Mary Ann Russel,
    What ate you talking about? Of course people get better on their own, it happens to every one of us every day.
    Humans are notoriously good and spotting connections where there are none, indeed it is something we do all the time to help make sense of a bewilderingly complicated world, fortunately we invented the double-blind trial to remove humans from the experiment. Magnetic jewellery has been shown, in double-blind trials, to be complete claptrap. Quack Watch has a great deal to say on the subject, all well written, well researched and well cited… http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/QA/magnet.html

  8. jonjo:

    Hey Jon, you are right to a degree, the magnets don’t work because they are magnets, but, they do have a great psychological effect on a great number of users which I suppose means they do work but not for the reasons people believe.

  9. Jon:

    No they don’t. Cite one credible study showing that they do. Just one. Go on…

  10. Mike:

    I first heard about magnets in healing from an article in a farm magazine back in the 70s where magnet therapy had been used to help the healing process on a racehorse. I later read about magnets on the fuel lines in a magazine at the garage whilst waiting for my car to be MOTd – but the system was prohibitively expensive.
    It was only when my place of work had to be closed due to limescale completely blocking the hot water pipes that I saw for myself what magnets did.
    All the pipes had to be flushed with a strong acid to dissolve the scale, one section of pipe had to be cut out as it was blocked completely, a 4″ copper pipe was just solid with scale.
    The old water boilers were replaced with 2 large ‘strebel’ boilers, the water container of each boiler was at leat 5′ tall.
    Bearing in mind the whole system was now like new, when the installers came back at the end of the first year to carry out maintenance, they removed enough scale from the inside of both boilers to fill a large oil drum.
    Within 2 weeks, we had magnets clamped to the cold water inlet for each boiler, each magnet was wired to the mains.
    The following year, the boilers were serviced again. This time, the scale removed from both boilers barely filled a 5 litre bucket.
    I had seen the ecoflow magnets being touted in town & figured it was all hogwash but after seeing how the magnets had reduced the scale in the boilers I was converted.
    I have a pad with 4 magnets which I place on my back when I have backache – it really does help to take the edge off the pain.
    Sadly, when the magnets are removes several days later (by which time i have forgotten the pain!) the backache returns.
    It generally goes away on its own within a week anyway but the pain is always there to remind you.
    I used to use the same magnets to take the edge off toothache – I had a wisdom tooth growing out at an angle, pushing the tooth behind it out – agony every time the weather turned cold or thundery!
    Nothing else took the edge off the pain.
    I have magnets on all my water pipes & have to say that in 20 years, I have yet to descale my kettle.
    I also have magnets clamped to my gas pipe, the flame in the boiler appears to burn much brighter & hotter (I turned the stat down a notch on my boiler).
    Then i remembered the article with magnets on car fuel lines.
    As the magnets were only a tenner I felt it was worth a punt (I could always use them in the house). On my 1998 Honda civic 1.4 auto I was getting 23mpg around town. if I really tried & drove the car as though it were a limo, I could squeeze 25mpg.
    With the magnets on the fuel line, I saw an increase in economy to 27mpg and I could squeeze an extra 2 or 3 mpg if I drove it like a limo.
    I have since bought a diesel engined car & put the magnets on straight away so no idea if they are doing any good but using a mix of 2 gallons used veg oil to 8 gallons of diesel, I am getting 45mpg around town & that’s driving it how I like (it’s a turbo diesel so sometimes I like to beat the boy racers ]:-) ).

    For humans, I wouldn’t recommend magnets as a cure but I will say that, for me, they take the edge off the pain (and the worst pain is toothache! – when my wife finally dragged me to the dentist I had 4 extractions, three fillings and a couple of root canals – 90 minutes’ work).
    I wholeheartedly recommend magnets for use on gas pipes, water pipes and central heating systems and I will say that, for me, the magnets worked on my car’s fuel economy. How? I have no idea, I just know that they worked. Maybe it was a placebo effect but at the time I was able to claim expenses so had to record all mileage when I filled up on the fuel card. The mechs in the workshops said it was all bullplop but couldn’t really provide an explanation for the increased economy either.

  11. Jon:

    Mike, thanks for your reply.

    As you say, placebo effect. Everything you say is not evidence, it is only anecdote, when examples of what you claim are rested under controlled conditions (where outside influence and bias are removed and uncertainties understood) the effect disappears.

  12. Mike:

    So really then, as far as you are concerned, all evidence is anecdotal?

    The magnets were attached to the water boilers at work by a professional company, judging by the size of them compared to the domestic mains operated ones, I imagine there was a huge cost involved.
    As far as the magnets on my fuel line were concerned, I was buyiong all my fuel on a company fuel card so each time I filled up I had to give my mileage and my records showed an increased mpg. I was travelling hundreds of miles a week, all around town and I didn’t have time to mess around driving economically so any placebo effect would have been quickly forgotten.
    I felt it was worth a punt for a tenner & I have recomended magnets ever since.
    I have had people try to tell me that it is impossible for magnets to have any effect on fuel – its composition simply doesn’t allow it.
    Maybe it isn’t being affected in the way these websites are trying to explain (re-aligning molecules etc), maybe the fuel builds up a charge as it rushes through the pipes (in much the same way as a car or plane is charged as it moves through the air?) and it is this that the magnets act on?
    Maybe the magnets don’t work on all cars due to the different composition of fuel lines used?

    And the other thing is that we have laws about people making false claims in advertising – so why are magnets still advertised as having all these ‘fantasticla’ properties?

  13. Jon:

    Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, not all evidence. Find me some science that backs up your claims, because I have tried and tried and tried and I can’t find anything. Your anecdote about your car has no control, so it is scientifically meaningless. Fuels like diesel and petrol have no magnetic component, so they will be unaffected by magnets, they have nothing magnetic to re-align. Car or airplanes become electrically charged as they pass through the air, a very very very different thing. Many people have been prosecuted for false advertising WRT magnets, Google it.

  14. Mike:

    fuels have no magnetic component?
    Do they need one?
    Diesel and petrol contain hydrocarbons. Until recently it was thought that carbon had no magnetic properties, scientists now realise it has possibilities.

    on the other hand, what about the effect on gas? when I place a magnet near to the flames in my gas boiler, the flames grow higher & burn hotter, the same applies when I wrap my magnets around the gas pipe.

  15. Jon:

    In order to be affected by magnets the fuel will need to have a magnetic component, yes. Diesel and petrol ARE hydrocarbons, but carbon also has no magnetic quality. I seriously doubt you gas burns higher & hotter when magnets are placed near it, gas also is unaffected by magnets, if it is true than there is some other explanation but i’d find it much more plausible that you are lying about this and in fact you sell this magnetic crap.

  16. Eric S. Smith:

    Also: “(I turned the stat down a notch on my boiler).” The thermostat? That’ll save you some fuel, but it has nothing to do with magnets. Are you imagining that your magically magnetized boiler is as hot at 78 degrees (or whatever) as it used to be at 80, and not, as it would have to be, unless your thermostat were broken, a couple of degrees cooler?

  17. Is this real? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community:

    [...] Pure BS, here is why: eco-scams.com Blog Archive Magnetic fuel saving scams [...]

  18. mobihci:

    heh, magnets affecting fuels.. i had never seen this one before. fits in line with magnets altering your body, curing everything! i mean really it must freak people who believe this stuff out when they realise how much they are exposed to during a MRI scan. cure broken bones!

    one thing about the fire being affected by magnetic fields though, its interesting that flame can be considered a plasma if it is hot enough, but thats in the thousands of deg c. plasmas can be altered by magnetic fields.

    a good experiment is to put a lit match in a microwave and turn it on. watch the fireworks. note: you may damage the magnetron.

  19. baz:

    i know this is off the subject but can anyone explain how a flame turns electric dc to ac for me, this is how an electric ignition boiler senses a flame is lit on a boiler. if that can happen why cant magnets?

  20. mobihci:

    the sensors do nothing to the flame, the flame causes mechanical/electrical changes to metal strips like this which generate a small voltage-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermocouple

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect

    to quote from the text-

    “The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice-versa. A thermoelectric device creates a voltage when there is a different temperature on each side. Conversely, when a voltage is applied to it, it creates a temperature difference. At the atomic scale, an applied temperature gradient causes charged carriers in the material to diffuse from the hot side to the cold side, similar to a classical gas that expands when heated; hence inducing a thermal current.”

    but there are other types that detect uv -

    http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4924695_furnace-flame-sensor-work.html

    a magnetic field can only influence material that is permeable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permeability_(electromagnetism)

    hydrocarbons/oil based products are not great conductors, in fact they are good insulators and not permeable.

Leave a comment


+ five = 10