National Geographic

VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers

Menu

Better Gas Mileage From a Filter?

By Seth Bauer

My car is now filter-tipped. Last week, I let Skip Hansen, from a

company named Sabertec, saw the ends off of my car’s tailpipes and clamp

on his $199 product, The Blade. Kind of cool

looking, the device is a filter-lined metal tube that captures

particulate matter (soot) and some of the gases not captured by the

catalytic converter. It also has a side benefit, according to the Blade

team: improved gas mileage.

How this works is a little technical for a layperson like me, but the

basic theory is that the airflow in the exhaust system determines how

quickly and completely the air travels out of the engine. If the mix of

gases in the exhaust changes, the engine’s oxygen sensor will make an

adjustment to the mix of fuel and air going into the engine. In this

case, that change will apparently lead to slightly less fuel and

slightly more air, improving mileage. Sabertec’s research materials say

that the improvement is considerable: “Laboratory testing using the EPA

511 Protocol shows gas mileage increases of as much as 2.7 MPG (CTY),

and 5 MPG (HWY).”

Of course, if that’s the case, why every auto manufacturer hasn’t

figured this out and modified their exhaust systems remains an open

question.

For the next month or two, I’ll be tracking my mileage. At the end of

the year, I’ll report back on it, and on how sooty those filters look.

In the meantime, if any Green Guide readers have tried it, let us know

how it’s going: editor@thegreenguide.com

Comments

  1. John
    June 25, 2010, 12:04 am

    I have gone through the “How it works” guide. Well i couldn’t grasp few things in it.
    san Francisco movers

  2. joup
    June 18, 2010, 8:07 am

    can you Buy cheap Links of London jewellery at online links of london store,links of london, links of london sweetie bracelet, links of london bracelet, link of london limited edition
    links of london
    links london
    links of london charms
    Links of London Jewelry online store. Buy cheap Links of London jewellery at CooLinks UK store, including Links of London.
    tiffany jewelry
    Choose, buy and shop for on sale tiffany jewelry including Tiffany & Co Silver Necklace, Pendants, Bangles, Bracelets, Earrings, Rings and Accessories.
    tiffany co
    tiffany and co
    UK Tiffany Jewellery Sale Outlet provides designer Tiffany Ring, necklaces and other jewelry in wholesale price. UK Tiffany specializes in
    Tiffany Bracelets,
    tiffany jewellery

  3. Linda
    May 26, 2010, 8:06 am

    Mr.Skip!! May be you can add lil more information in your “How it works” guide.
    Chicago Movers

  4. jake
    April 17, 2010, 3:24 am

    I’ve tried this and never got lower mileage. Sorry but this does not work
    rude jokes

  5. teppy
    February 1, 2010, 8:59 pm

    I feel you. I had experienced the same situation like this with my nissan parts car. I had replaced filter and exhaust thrice in a year.

  6. Skip
    November 28, 2008, 3:54 pm

    This is Skip Hansen again, Sabertec’s Chief Technician. I have 29 years experience in the automotive industry and I am an L1 ASE certified Engine Performance Specialist.
    Our “How it Works” Blade explanation video has been viewed by countless experts in the field including a PhD from MIT in Environmental Technology, myself and other respected automotive specialists who have both collaborated on the testing and concurred on the results. Hundreds of automotive industry professionals watched this video at the recent Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas and all stand in agreement.
    Rootofjesse, since it appears that this is not your area of expertise, I am happy to answer any questions you may have. You can contact me at askskip@bladeyourride.com.
    P.S. Thank you for the misspelling tip, we will fix it.

  7. rootofjesse
    November 21, 2008, 2:56 pm

    You’ve got to be kidding me. What a bunch of hooey! I watched your entire “How It Works” video, and the video does not even begin to describe how the Blade works. Basically, “magic happens inside” is your answer. Your one slide says that “exhaust scavaging” takes place. You can’t even spell! It’s “exhaust scavenging”! And what kind of energy travels out of the cylinder into the exhaust system? Electromagnetic? Light? X-ray? And what effect does that have on the gases? Creates a vacuum at the tailpipe? Right. Suckers beware.

  8. Skip
    November 21, 2008, 12:41 pm

    This is Skip Hansen, I’m Sabertec’s Chief Technician and I installed Blade on Seth’s vehicle. Thanks for your post Seth. We’d like to clarify a few things. First, to our knowledge Consumer Reports has never tested Blade so I’m not sure where GJ got that information. I can see how GJ may have come to this conclusion as Blade is often “bucketed” with gas savings gadgets like the Tornado and others on the market today. It is important to note that gas savings is not the goal of Blade and Sabertec is not in the gas savings gadget business.
    Blade stems from Sabertec’s endeavor to reduce toxic particulate material (PM) emissions from diesel burning engines. Sabertec’s first product, Impact Diesel Particulate Filter (IDPF) has been proven to reduce toxic diesel PM 2.5 emissions up to 70% by the renowned University of Sao Paulo’s Laboratory of Atmospheric Research and has been utilized by Sao Paulo, Brazil’s public bus system since 2006. Blade was developed as a way to bring a similar, affordable solution to the masses – to reduce PM emissions for gasoline-powered vehicles.
    In addition, as Seth tracks his gas savings with Blade, please keep in mind that there are many real-world factors that can affect gas mileage. Some include wind speed, wind direction, cold or inclement weather, change in altitude, road gradient, road condition, increased weight in the car, tire pressure, gas grades/compositions and traffic. Seth is tracking his gas savings with Blade in New England, where the weather will continue to get colder. As the weather gets colder, fuel economy decreases (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/10/why-you-get-worst-gas-mileage.php). As long as these elements are kept in mind, we are confident that Seth will see the fuel economy results other Blade users have been seeing. Rest assured, throughout this tracking process he will be reducing his vehicle’s CO2 and capturing its toxic particulate matter.
    Also, please recognize that Sabertec is first and foremost an environmental company – we want the same thing that most people want – cleaner air, a greener planet and a sustainable lifestyle. We too, walk, ride bikes and do our best to conserve. However, the reality is that at some point most of us have to drive somewhere. Bringing this technology to market is the best way we know how to help.
    Lastly, stay tuned in the next few weeks for our announcement of Blade’s new EPA 511 Protocol test results from ATDS, the nation’s premier emissions testing lab in Ontario, CA. These results prove beyond any doubt that Blade is the only aftermarket automotive product to ever show significant CO2 reductions and fuel economy increases by the most rigorous EPA recognized test procedure in existence (and the only test procedure that the EPA considers statistically valid).
    If you have anymore questions about the technology, please feel free to write me at askskip@bladeyourride.com

  9. GJ
    November 19, 2008, 12:46 pm

    While I see no harm in you testing it, I’d like to point out that a recent article in Consumer Reports tested it under normal driving conditions (not EPA 511 protocol) and reported it did not increase gas mileage as claimed-probably WHY automakers haven’t figured it out. I just want to warn people before they try it that they may reduce particulates, but they won’t increase gas mileage as far as CR can tell. Maybe you’ll see something different