Testing the Bleu Torque fuel combustion optimizer - CAA-Quebec shows product is ineffective
QUEBEC, Nov. 9, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - With gas prices on the rise, consumers may be attracted to "fuel saver" devices like Bleu Torque, which supposedly allows them to drive up to 25% farther with the same quantity of gas. CAA-Quebec sought to verify the effectiveness of Bleu Torque, and conducted a series of tests. They conclude that the device simply does not deliver the benefits claimed by its manufacturer.
CAA-Quebec specialists joined forces with the team of the TVA network's investigative program J.E. to study the gadget, which sells for nearly $600 and is claimed to have several beneficial properties. According to the designer, the device optimizes fuel combustion, enhances engine efficiency, and can even completely eliminate harmful emissions. The product description calls it a "waveform generator" that "continuously beams specific frequencies, directed by antennas," which supposedly act on specific engine components to maximize combustion efficiency.
Tests are inconclusive
At its Quebec City inspection centre, CAA-Quebec conducted three tests on a vehicle fitted with a Bleu Torque device. The three tests were then repeated on the same vehicle, but with the device removed. The results show that there is no evidence to suggest that the system works—and, more important, nothing to justify spending $600 to have the device installed on one's vehicle, CAA-Quebec says.
Summary of tests
Fuel consumption test - This test is performed with the vehicle running in a stationary position on a chassis dynamometer, also known as a "rolling road." It provides an unambiguous reading of fuel consumption and atmospheric emissions. During the test, the person at the wheel follows a predetermined driving scenario provided by a computer, accelerating and decelerating for precise periods of time; there are no external factors affecting the results. The conclusion is clear: "The results obtained demonstrate no gains, whether in terms of harmful emissions or fuel consumption. We got similar results when the vehicle was equipped with the device and after it was removed," says Pierre Beaudoin, CAA-Quebec's Senior Director of Technical Services.
Emissions test - Since the designer makes claims as to the device's environmental benefits, alleging that it eliminates up to 100% of harmful emissions, CAA-Quebec also tested the vehicle fitted with the Bleu Torque device using an exhaust gas analyzer. This apparatus is designed specifically to measure levels of hydrocarbons (HCs) and carbon monoxide (CO) released into the atmosphere when a vehicle is cold-started. Emissions of both HCs and CO were recorded during the standard warm-up time; i.e., the time it usually takes for a vehicle engine in good condition to reach optimum efficiency.
"Nearly 4,000 of these tests are conducted every year in our inspection centres," Mr. Beaudoin notes. "The vehicle fitted with the Bleu Torque simply behaved as any other vehicle in good condition would. If the device had worked as claimed, we shouldn't have been able to detect any hydrocarbons or carbon monoxide, even at ignition."
Road test - Following a predetermined protocol, CAA-Quebec conducted two identical on-road tests to measure fuel consumption in real-world conditions. The test vehicle was equipped with telematics instruments, with the driver following very precise instructions as to cruising speed, accelerations and decelerations, and the distance to be travelled. Once again, no fuel savings could be observed when the vehicle was fitted with the Bleu Torque device.
Conclusion - "This series of tests shows that using this device results in zero fuel savings and zero environmental benefits," Mr. Beaudoin concludes. "In fact, this is not the first time we have tested fuel-saving devices, and the results have always been the same. In CAA-Quebec's view, the best fuel saver is the person behind the wheel: the key is to adopt eco-responsible driving techniques and ensure one's vehicle is regularly maintained."
This Friday at 7 p.m., the tests conducted by CAA-Quebec in cooperation with the J.E. investigation team will be broadcast on TVA network's province-wide program.
CAA-Quebec is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904. Its 1.1 million members have access to services and privileges in various fields: free Automotive Advisory Services at 1 888 471-2424, as well as travel, residential and financial services.
SOURCE: CAA-QUEBECFor further information:
Public Relations Officer
514 861-7111, ext. 3210
Cell.: 514 717-4040
418 624-2424, ext. 2418