Fuel Economy Test: Using Acetone as Fuel Additive

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by SnowFire, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. toyota88

    toyota88 Member

    Msirach said: "The mileage you're getting with the Toyota is not even the EPA. FuelEconomy.gov shows the 88 at 26/32 for a manual and 23/31 for an automatic. "

    I consider the increase in mpg from 22 to 30 for this 20 year old Toyota Corolla automatic in combined city and highway driving (and most of it is carting elderly mother to church and docs, as said earlier, which means short city trips) to be mileage that gets the EPA for an automatic. Pretty good from just a couple of solvents to the tank.

    My link provided the answers to much of your other questions on tune up and such. On air in the tires, I always keep them inflated well - around 32, which is near tire max but above tire recommendation. The one thing done differently to this car is what was explained in the link, and the mileage per gallon increased from 22 to 30. : )

    For those concerned about acetone, perhaps simply adding de-natured alcohol is worth a try. ec kostrubala
  2. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member

    Inaccurate Results for this run because I drove without O/D (overdrive) engaged and there were a few days of severe rain.

    3rd Tank w/ Acetone: 28.917 MPG (No O/D Engaged, Severe Rain)

    369.5 miles driven (94 mL Acetone + 12.778 gal. Gas) - [Concentration: 8.98798 mL/gal]

    +0.076% in Fuel Economy (Compared to No Acetone Baseline)

    New Weighted Average (w/ Acetone): 29.600 +/- 0.151 MPG
    Old Weighted Average (No Acetone): 28.895 +/- 0.218 MPG

    1st Tank w/ Acetone: 33.833 MPG
    2nd Tank w/ Acetone: 34.207 MPG

    Fuel Economy Test with Acetone - (Google Spreadsheet)
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Snowfire:

    ___I am not seeing anything here as temps have come up and there is nothing showing you have peaked in your 88 Camry? Given the 03 AWD Acura MDX SUV offered up 28.x while traversing some of the Chicago suburbs in stop light to stop light nightmare, you are not showing anything anyone here coudn;t achieve while driving on E85 let along a magical elixer.

    ___Please stop using large and colored fonts or I will be deleing the next one.

    ___Good Luck

  4. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member


    While what you say does have some merit, not all of us can use E85 in our car (or have the money to spend on a neat little hybrid). I'm not saying this is THE magic elixer, I'm merely just sharing my results I have so far. I have seen many people speculate about whether or not acetone as a fuel additive improves economy and being curious I am trying it myself. Thus far the feedback I have received has been mostly positive (I believe you are the first negative one). Most of what I have seen on other forums and boards appear to be very brief testing (2 tanks or so) whereas I am trying to conduct this on a long term scale. But I also do believe that the acetone is having some effect (whether it's positive or negative that remains to be seen), but your comment about not seeing anything different is like my results (incomplete and preliminary at best) so don't jump to conclusions. Being as this is a long term experimental project I will alternate back and forth between tanks throughout the years until this car dies, hopefully the data I amass will reveal on a more definitive level if use of acetone as an additive has beneficial effects on fuel economy. I apologize you do not like the font colors and will refrain from them in the future.

  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Pete:

    ___Acetone has been used for years on other boards and still is in fact. The numbers never seem to match up with what we do here? Doing the math, go figure? If I lived near you, I would have you fill up with whatever and 35 from your 88 Camry w/out Acetone would be simple. Better yet, next 5 tanks, fill with straight gasoline until fall. When it turns cold, go back to Acetone and watch the results. Temps should have moved you up quite a bit and they will hurt you again this fall.

    ___Any placebo that moves your numbers up is a good thing but when you are using results at the peak of warm temps w/out A/C as evidence, you are deluding yourself.

    ___We are currently having discussions behind the scene about banning the HHO non-sense similar to what the TDI club did recently. Acetone is just one step below.

    ___Good Luck

  6. pcs0snq

    pcs0snq Well-Known Member

    What is HHO?
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Paul:

    ___You do not want to know :rolleyes:

    ___Good Luck

  8. guzmania

    guzmania Active Member

    Don't wanna be a Debbie Downer here but I remember in the 70's that we used to clean Broadcast VTR tape paths with acetone. We don't use it anymore because exposure on a regular basis was deemed unhealthy The levels you're using are miniscule but a million people using acetone might be detrimental.


    Hey, you're the chemist. Assuage my fears.
  9. kwj

    kwj I hypermiled this

    I think a test of acetone is worthwhile. I tried it with no positive effects that I could distinguish clearly from other things. There is such a change in my daily drive that it is hard to say what works sometimes. A dyno would remove a lot of the chaff.

    I think acetone is good for occasionally pulling moisture out of your tank, and for cleaning injectors once in a while.

    Does your '88 have a carburator or fuel injection? Or perhaps it has an early injector which pretty much just injected into a carb. If so, I think I've heard that acetone can have a positive effect as it tends to clean out the fuel path.

    It is difficult to set up a good experiment, so thanks for making this attempt.
  10. toyota88

    toyota88 Member

    kwj said: "...perhaps it has an early injector which pretty much just injected into a carb. If so, I think I've heard that acetone can have a positive effect as it tends to clean out the fuel path." That's what this 88 Toyota Corolla has, and could be why it has done so well, going from 22 mpg to 30 mpg after just one tankful of what I put in it.

    Pete, how is your experiment going? I'm interested. On my second tank, to which I added the same concoction as the first tank (paint thinner and de-natured alcohol), the mpg was 31.64. Almost a 10 mpg increase from my starting point of 22 mpg. I'm pleased.

    I'm only on my third tank now. For this third tank, I did not add anything else, just filled it with gasoline. I've only driven enough to use 1/4 tank thus far (been traveling out of town, so not driving much) so I don't have a mpg yet. But from the look thus far it seems to be getting roughly 30 mpg. I'll know, though, once I use up this tank of gas.

    If it does do well, then my best guess is that what's happening is what kwj suggests - the additives clean out the fuel path. Yippee. ec kostrubala
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  11. bluefuzz1015

    bluefuzz1015 Member

    the whole goal of hypermiling is to save money on gas. are you absolutely positive that if acetone wasnt free(like yours is) that a person could still save money?

    i personally belive that if a mixture of acetone & gas was better for mileage, that the epa would have gas companies add it.
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Toyota88:

    ___All gasoline available in the US have a minimum mount of detergent additives and all will keep or clean out any injectors and even a carb. Shell’s V-Power has an even strong additive concoction that will do an even more thorough jog but it is not needed given the reg’s require our fuel supply to include enough to keep our vehicles running well for their designed lifetimes.

    ___As for Acetone, Bluefuzz, has it right. If Acetone worked (it doesn’t), the manufacturers would have a $15.00 plastic tank filled with the crap and a $30 metering injection pump to feed it into the fuel system vs. the multiple tens of $BILLIONS of dollars the manufacturers spend on new engine technology to achieve even a small increase in FE.

    ___Good Luck

  13. donee

    donee Well-Known Member

    Hi All,

    From what I have read, the main purpose of acetone is to reduce surface tension. Why is that important? Because when the fuel is injected, a fuel with lower surface tension will break up into tinier droplets. Why is that important? Because a fuel air mixture made up of fuel with tinier droplets will burn faster. Why is that important? Because if all the fuel burns in less time, the peak temperature and pressure will be higher. Why is that important? Because Carnot (engine) efficiency is related to the ratio of the temperature into an expansion cycle to the temperature out. A higher input temperature should result in more mechanical energy being delivered to the shaft.

    So, why are the results inconclusive here? Experimental method is lacking for one. But also, gasoline has pretty low surface tension already. If you were trying to burn diesel in cold weather, in an older engine with bigger injector orifices, or worn injector orifices however, there might be more readily apparent improvement. Also, if th burn is that much quicker, will the engine control readjust timing for optimum efficiency automatically?

    The cleaning effect is also possible. If there is carbon on the tip of the injector orifice, the spray pattern will be faulty, and preignition could result, which would greatly reduce mileage. If the acetone undermined this carbon deposit, and it broke free, and the proper spray pattern was reestablished, then better fuel economy could result. The same goes for deposits in any fuel system component - fuel pressure regulator cleaning being the next most likely to have a positive effect.
  14. kapper

    kapper Member

    My car is a 1991 Honda Accord 5 speed which the epa gives 23/27 for normal driving. I usually get a little more than the higher end - about 28-29 mph, but since I can't use my Scangage in this older car, I have to rely on learned techniques of constant throttle, coasting in neutral, and limited braking to get a little better mpg.

    I started to add pure acetone this year instead of the stuff found in the hardware store. I have not been measuring the amount of acetone, but estimate about 1-2 ounces per 5 gallons added. My driving is very consistent and the travel paths do not vary much. The past two weeks we had very crappy weather with windy snowy conditions, so I expected not to get my usual mpg even with the acetone addition. So far I have averaged 31.5 mpg - that's about a 10% jump!

    I have a full tank with an unknown amount of acetone and I will see what this next week's mileage comes in at. If I continue to see good results, I will begin to measure and see which concentration get the best bang for the buck and maybe post some mileage/concentration results in the future.

    Thanks Snowfire for the information about Sally's having the pure acetone, it seems to have a world of difference from the testing I did with 95% hardware store acetone I used last year.

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