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04 Aug 2011 | Text by Ben Chia | Category: Car Technical Advice
There are tonnes of products in the market that claim to enhance your engine's performance and reduce fuel consumption. We take a look at some of them.
In this article, we look at a few types of products out there that are said to be beneficial in terms of enhancing performance. These are mainly add-on products, rather than modifications that require major installation work, and they include fuel catalysts, air filters, air intakes, and power chips.
Fuel catalysts are products that are dropped into the fuel tank or inserted into the fuel line, and claim to improve fuel quality, and therefore power and economy.
Different products work in different ways, but the basic premise is that the fuel catalyst will alter the combustion process due to the presence of microscopic particles of special chemical compounds from the catalyst.
While some devices are able to substantiate their claims with data that shows an improvement in performance and economy, the jury is still out on the general effectiveness of fuel catalysts, as the results often vary depending on type of car, whether the car is well-maintained, and also driving style. The wide variety of such products means that some do actually help improve fuel economy under the right circumstances, while others do not.
The basic function of an air filter is to prevent dust and other harmful particulate matter from entering the engine's cylinders. They are a necessary part of your car's engine, but can also be performance enhancing.
How? Air filters can also act as a magnifier, forcing air into the combustion chamber while performing their job of blocking out harmful matter. As air is needed in the combustion process, having more air results in better combustion, and hence improved performance.
There are two types of air filters available, the open pod type and the drop in type. Drop in filters are easier to fit, requiring just a simple swap with the existing filter, and are most beneficial to automatic cars as they can work at low revs. Open pod filters however requires the removal of the whole standard air intake to install, and work best with manual cars, as they generally need higher revs in order to work optimally.
The performance enhancing benefits of aftermarket air filters are well-known, but whether these gains are substantial again depends on the type of filters used as well as driving style. Aftermarket air filters also trade off their filtration benefits at the expense of improved air consumption, so regular maintenance to clean the air filters is necessary.
Air intakes work on the same basic principle as air filters, that is, to shove air into your engine. Of course, air intakes do not offer filtration functions, so they are purely a performance enhancing addition.
Theoretically, the more air intakes fitted, strategically positioned at the appropriate areas such as at the radiator or on top of the bonnet, the more air enters the car's system, and once again, results in better combustion and improved performance. Hence why you see performance cars with air scoops on the bonnet, in the bumpers, and at the radiator grille.
Like air filters, aftermarket air intakes have been proven to be able to improve performance, but having them installed correctly is crucial in order to extract maximum performance gains.
Power chips are products that are "tagged" onto the engine that promises to increase power, as well as improve fuel economy.
One example is the Sixth Element T1 Power Chip, which is fitted onto the water pipe of the car's radiator system. Using German quantum technology, the T1 Power Chip bringing down the running temperature of the engine by about 4 to 5 degrees Celsius.
Sixth Element claims that this will help improve fuel consumption by 5 to 7%, increase the engine's low speed torque and horsepower, as well as generate lower running temperatures overall for the car, preventing overheating.
Sixth Element also features another product which promises to reduce fuel consumption further, namely the Power Bar V1s. This device is plugged into the car's cigarette lighter socket, and promises marginal increases in horsepower in seconds.
The product works using quantum science, breaking the ions into smaller particles, and rearranging them into a more compact arrangement. By strengthening the signal transmitting into the free electron microchips that are present in the transmission system, thereby resulting in more efficient gearshifts and better fuel economy.
Having tried the product, there was indeed a difference in performance before and after installation. And user testimonies online corroborate with the experience.
All Sixth Element products come with a 5 years warranty, and there are also spray-on maintenance products like Kpower that helps to maintain the performance of the product.
The Sixth Element Power Bar ranges from $280 to $320, while the Sixth Element T1 Power Chip is available for $350. They can be purchased online
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