How to burn salt water as fuel

In the ultimate quest to save money, people often look at how to save or reduce their gasoline consumption. There has been a lot of buzz about promising technologies like HHO, or burning salt water as a fuel instead of gas. First, let me be very clear; HHO technology is nothing more than a scam. Many HHO venders use pseudo-scientific explanations and videos of electric cars (which don’t use HHO) as a well to sell their fake gas-saving product on the unsuspecting masses. But this article isn’t about HHO; it’s about burning sea-water as fuel.

About 70% of the planet’s surface is covered with salt water. This means that if there were a way to burn the sea-water and use it as a fuel, it would completely solve all of the world’s energy problems. There has been a lot of buzz about an invention by John Kanzius. His invention uses radio waves to actually burn saltwater. The chemistry is a bit complicated, but for now, it’s confirmed that 14 MHz signals do indeed ignite saltwater.

This is great, isn’t it? Well, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Unfortunately, the amount of power needed to generate the radio waves exceeds the amount of power produced by burning the saltwater. Unless an even newer technology is developed, this means that it is impossible to generate any power from seawater. It’s an unfortunate truth, but it is what it is. So the next time to you a Youtube video about the saltwater torch, just remember that an enormous amount of electricity is used to generate the flames, and that electricity has to come from somewhere! While it was an interesting discovery, it is extremely unlikely that this technology will ever be able to power cars, power plants, or anything else. Save your money and don’t buy any fuel savings devices that claim to work by burning saltwater.

Posted under Avoiding Scams, Saving Gas, Technology

This post was written by admin on March 1, 2009

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Why HHO devices aren’t made by major car manufacturers

Some people claim that HHO devices can make your car up to 50% more fuel efficient. These HHO ‘fuel savers’ are little more than a jam jar filled with water. A natural question for many people is, if it were so easy to make a car 50% more fuel efficient, why aren’t any major car manufacturers designing, making, and installing HHO devices in their vehicles? By major car manufacturers, I’m talking about companies like Ford, GM, Toyota, BMW, etc.

This reason, along with technical reasons, it is my opinion that HHO is a scam. The scam simply feeds on people’s despair at the gas pump. People may be willing to pay 50 dollars for bogus plans and schematics if they think it’ll save hundreds of dollars at the gas pump. Because HHO is not a legitimate technology, scammers are forced to make up excuses and explanations for some obvious holes in their advertisement. Some claim that HHO is a secret technology that the oil companies don’t want you to find out about. Take a step back and ask yourself if you think something you can buy cheaply on the internet is some sort of industrial secret. Obviously, the answer is no.

So why aren’t any car manufacturers making HHO devices? Scammers tend to claim that there is a secret conspiracy between car and oil companies. This is absurd, mainly because the automotive industry strives to have higher fuel efficiency in order to attract more customers. A popular example is the Toyota Prius hybrid, which isn’t made fast enough to fill demand. This means that you have to have your name put on a waiting list in order to get one! The only reasonable conclusion is that HHO isn’t made by any major automotive companies because it is not a legitimate technology. It’s nothing more than a scam which is carefully designed in order to take your money. Instead of spending your money on bogus and fraudulent products, consider changing your driving habits in order to save fuel.

Posted under Avoiding Scams, Saving Gas, Technology

This post was written by admin on October 13, 2008

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Fake videos promoting the HHO Scam explained

To sell a product successfully, people need to know about the product to begin with. This is equally true for scams. The HHO scam is highly successful for many reasons. One of the reasons the HHO scam is successful is because of its use of pseudo scientific lingo coupled with people who aren’t properly educated in science, at least in the fields of chemistry, electricity and thermodynamics. The advertising methods used by the HHO scammers depend on the fact that most people in the US do not have engineering or science related college degrees.

Confusion about hydrogen

Hydrogen is the most common element in our galaxy. Hydrogen has many interesting properties and is used in many different ways by many different types of technology. First, let me briefly explain the technology behind HHO.

HHO in motor vehicles – Massive amounts of electricity is used to separate hydrogen and oxygen molecules from water. This gas is fed directly into the gas lines leading to your car engine. The new oxygen levels trick your car’s onboard computer into running lean. This damages the engine, but also increases your miles per gallon. If you want to destroy your car engine, or have a car which is going to die within a year anyway, HHO may actually save you some money.

Hydrogen in fuel cells – Unlike the HHO scam, fuel cells is a promising technology. The majority of this technology was developed by NASA in preparation for the Apollo program. Hydrogen in fuel cells is a vastly different technology than HHO. The idea behind fuel cells is that a device recombines hydrogen and oxygen to form water and electricity. This electricity is most often used to drive an electric motor. Even though fuel cell technology has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with HHO, the scammers promoting HHO post videos of fuel cell cars, and then proceed to claim that the cars are using HHO ‘technology’ when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

HHO torches – This technology is similar to HHO in the respect that the gas combination of hydrogen and oxygen is burned to produce a flame. Like HHO, these devices use electrolysis to separate hydrogen out of water. Unfortunately, the similarities end there. There are many sites claiming to make your car run on water, when in fact it is still running on gasoline. HHO torches don’t use gas at all, but just use massive amounts of electricity. The reason these torches are not mainstream is because it is often cheaper for companies to buy and operate regular welding torches, rather than pay for electricity. Of course, the HHO scammers don’t care. They continue to publish videos on Youtube and other sites claiming that cars can run solely on HHO gas just like the torches. The truth is that your car’s alternator can’t supply enough electricity to create enough hydrogen to even operate a lawnmower, much less a car.

Solar power – Solar power has nothing to do with hydrogen or HHO, but that doesn’t stop scammers from posting videos about solar powered cars, and then continue to say that the cars operate using HHO. This is one of the most egregious lies from people promoting HHO just to make a quick dollar.

In summary, there are very different technologies listed above which have nothing to do with HHO. However, HHO scammers post video after video of these devices and claim that HHO is being used in the video. Does this sound like legitimate advertising to you? The answer is no. Its false advertising at best and blatant lying at best.

Why are there so many videos promoting HHO on Youtube? The answer is simple. Most of the major HHO websites have an affiliate program. When you sign up for an affiliate program, you are encouraged to post bogus videos about HHO on Youtube over and over again, and include your affiliate ID in the video comment section.

Posted under Avoiding Scams, Saving Gas, Saving Money, Technology

This post was written by admin on September 17, 2008

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How the HHO scam works

Have you ever seen or heard about websites offering to sell you plans on how to make your car run on water? A general rule of thumb is if something sounds too good to be true, it is. This goes double for websites on the internet trying to sell you something.

Now back to the issue at hand. How does the HHO scam work, and why does it persist so strongly? What has made the HHO scam one of the largest scams operating on the internet today?

There are several key elements which allow the HHO scam to work. As gas prices rose sharply in recent history, people got desperate. Very few people planned on buying gas at $4.50 a gallon when they bought their vehicle. Scams thrive on desperation. The more desperate a person is, generally speaking, the more susceptible that person is to scams which promise to make that person’s life easier. The unexpectedly higher cost of gasoline and diesel introduced stress into people’s lives. These people, along with me, started looking for cheap easy solutions to save gas money. Of course, scams thrive in this type of environment.

Another key element of the HHO scam is panic and speculation. When gas was over $4 a gallon, people were speculating on how high the gas prices would go during the summer of 2008. Indeed, there were news reports and blog posts of people predicting prices of 8 dollars or more. Of course, this hasn’t happened yet, and gas prices are falling again. But the fear and speculation that gas would rise much more in the very short term forced many people to panic, and become more susceptible to scams promising to make their vehicles more fuel efficient.

The perfect storm had finally risen. People were hurting and the pump and feared the future prices of gas, which forced many to look for solutions. The original HHO scammers picked up on this immediately. One very successful strategy for scams is the use of fake science, or pseudo science. I have a master’s degree in science and engineering, so it’s fairly easy for me figure out what scientific explanations are valid, and which are using fake science, pseudo science, or good old fashioned invalid logic. The HHO scam’s success depends on people’s lack of understanding or misunderstanding of scientific principals. The list is too long to write here, so I will write another article about some of the fake science used in the HHO scam. For now, let me cite one example. HHO involves the production of hydrogen gas and oxygen gas from water. Many scam artists have posted Youtube videos with anything even remotely related to hydrogen, and then provide a link to their website to sell you plans and kits. Specifically, a car which uses a hydrogen fuel cell to create electricity in order to drive has absolutely nothing to do with HHO. However, the scam artists post videos about the hydrogen fuel cell car, and say the car is using HHO when nothing could be further from the truth. You can see how easy it is for someone to think that the car uses HHO because it uses hydrogen, but this is not the case.

Scams do not exist where there is no money to be made. Unfortunately, the HHO scam involves thousands of scammers all around the world. The scam is ingeniously designed so that the head scammers make millions of dollars for free. Here is how it works. There are a large number of websites selling electronic copies of a plan to build an HHO system. Below are some websites for example:

The list is practically endless. These websites all have affiliate programs. The programs give commission in the range of 30% to 70%. This way, the people who own and operate these websites can actually get other scammers to work for free. One of the reasons this scam is so widespread is because people are attracted by the affiliate programs, and these people proceed to advertise the websites with their affiliate ID. Every time someone makes a purchase for bogus HHO plans, the affiliates and the website operators make cold hard cash. The people who operate these websites don’t have to work another day in their life as long as the websites are up and running.

That will do for this part of my series on why HHO is a scam, how it works, and more. In this article, I have explained why the HHO scam, also known as Brown’s gas scam, works. I explained the necessary conditions which created an atmosphere where the scam would flourish. I’ve explained how people are convinced that HHO works by use of pseudo science, although I will write a separate article with more examples of exactly that. Finally, I have explained why so many scammers have jumped aboard the HHO affiliate programs, and why these websites receive so much attention. Every time someone purchase plans for an HHO system, the scammers win.

Posted under Avoiding Scams, Saving Gas, Saving Money

This post was written by admin on September 12, 2008

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Nissan CVT Transmission reviewed in detail

There are plenty of websites which say what the CVT transmission is, but very few websites give a detailed review of Nissan’s implementation of CVT in their vehicles. Nissan uses CVT in several vehicle models, but this review will focus around the Nissan Sentra SL 2.0, 2008. A few months ago, I moved and had no choice but to purchase a car. I decided to get the Nissan Sentra because of its introductory price and high fuel economy. Before I get into the review, allow me to explain just what normal and CVT transmissions are.

Normal transmissions have a specific number of gears, anywhere from 4 to 6 gears, usually. While this is the most widely used type of transmission, there are several problems with it. One major problem is that car engines run most efficiently at specific RPM and torque curves. Normal transmissions are designed with gear ratios to match for optimality as close as possible, but the engine is rarely running with an optimal gear ratio in your normal day to day driving scenarios. Normal transmissions also have one more notable disadvantage. When switching from one gear to another, the car looses torque momentarily. Switching gears is one of the most noticeable and undesirable features of normal vehicle transmissions.

CVT = Continuously Variable Transmission

CVT transmissions are different. As the abbreviation may indicate, a CVT transmission has a nearly infinite number of gear ratios. The transmission can switch between these gear ratios seamlessly. In theory, this should completely eliminate the problem of shifting gears. Shifting gears is an unpleasant feeling and wastes a surprising amount of gas. Therefore, in theory, the CVT should be able to save you some gas money. The other major advantage to CVT transmissions is that they can keep the effective gear ratio optimal for the engine’s current RPM and desired torque. This is another major feature which can save you some serious gas money. Often, you will find yourself driving, and you’ll notice that sometimes you push the gas pedal down to get more torque and the engine stays at the same RPM! This is because the CVT transmission is simply changing the effective gear ratio in order to have the most fuel efficient operation.

Nissan Sentra’s implementation of the CVT transmission

Now for the actual review! First, we can take care of the positives. One feature that is cool about the Nissan Sentra is when the car is idling. All cars have an idle speed set so that the car slowly moves forward when you release the brake pedal. This idle speed is the same whether or not you are creeping through a parking lot, or stopped at a stopping light. Nissan Sentra’s transmission takes a completely different, gas saving approach. When you stop the vehicle for more than a second, the CVT adjusts itself to allow the car to use less gas when idling. This means that whenever you are stopped at a stop light, your car will use much less gas when idling, which will save you quite a bit of money. When you release the brake pedal, the CVT adjusts to give the engine enough torque to slowly move the car forward just like a normal car.

The other great thing about Nissan’s CVT is that it really does keep your engine at the optimum gear ratio while you’re driving steadily. This is perhaps the biggest fuel saver of all, especially when you’re constantly in motion, and not in stop and go traffic.

Disadvantages of Nissan’s CVT

Even though CVTs have been used for years, Nissan still manages to really screw it up. First things first, let me explain a little bit about who I am. I’m an electrical engineer, and I’ve taken many classes pertaining to embedded systems and signals and systems. The gear ratios for the CVT are controlled purely through software which runs on an embedded processor in the car. Unfortunately for Nissan, they put in a great transmission, but the embedded software is seriously lacking. The Nissan Sentra could’ve been a great vehicle if they had just spent more time writing decent control software for the transmission. The following problems are caused completely or almost completely by software problems in the Nissan Sentra.

Problem 1 – The CVT simulates geared transmissions

The software controlling the CVT transmission is designed to simulate a geared transmission. That’s right, you read that part correctly. The biggest advantage of the CVT is that it can theoretically keep the engine at the most fuel efficient gear ratio. Well, Nissan throws that idea out the window when you’re starting the car from a complete stop. Suppose you are at a stop light, and you are at a complete stop. The light turns green and you accelerate to 45 miles an hour. During this acceleration, the engine will actually rev up, then simulate a gear change and rev back down. This wastes gas, and it wastes your money. Although this transition between two imaginary gears is much smoother than normal transmissions, you still lose torque and fuel economy. The only reason this happens is because some project manager at Nissan decided drivers would be more comfortable with a familiar gear transition while accelerating. The saddest part of this problem is that it’s all because the software is poorly implemented. Why would someone buy a CVT transmission just so it can simulate a normal transmission?

Problem 2 – The CVT intentionally slows your car down when coasting

Another serious problem is how engine braking is handled. Usually, when you are driving and release the gas pedal, your car will slow down. This is partly due to tire friction, wind resistance, and the engine is also slowing down the car through the transmission. Unfortunately, our friends at Nissan decided to make the CVT simulate the engine braking of normal transmissions. Of course, this is implemented in software only. What does this mean for you? It means that when you release the gas pedal and start to coast, the CVT actually slows down the car quite fast. Obviously, if you coast a lot in order to save gas, you can expect this ‘feature’ to waste a lot of money. The best way to get around this is by pressing the gas pedal extremely gently. Very little gas will go to the engine, and the CVT will no longer engage in engine braking. Honestly, I’m not sure what Nissan’s engineers were thinking when they decided to implement this. I have come across a forum where a person had successfully reprogrammed his CVT transmission to disable engine braking completely. But unless you’re a skilled mechanic with very expensive tools, you are not likely to be successful in disabling the CVT engine braking.

Problem 3 – The CVT can’t change effective gear ratios fast enough

If you’re following someone too closely, you may have to engage the gas pedal, then the brake pedal, and then the gas pedal again. Unfortunately, there is a physical limitation to how fast Nissan’s CVT can change effective gear ratios. In the scenario described above, you can expect your CVT to jerk the car severely. This is actually a physical problem with the CVT design, not the software. The best way to avoid this is by changing your driving habits. If you apply the gas pedal, then the brake, when you release the brake, give yourself about one and a half seconds of time until you step on the gas pedal again. This will avoid the jerk.

Problem 4 – Constant droning noise

Noise is something none of us like to hear when driving our cars. Now, I’ve read many sites that overstate the noise the transmission makes. Yes, it is audible when you are accelerating, but I’m rarely bothered by it. Some people online seem to find the noise annoying, so be sure to pay attention during your test drive to see whether or not you are bothered by a low, constant droning sound.


Well, there you have it. Hopefully, this article has given you some insight as to what the Nissan Sentra’s CVT transmission is like, and some serious downfalls to the transmission. Overall, it’s possible to get very good fuel economy partly due to the transmission design. For example, when I’m going 55 miles per hour on a highway with cruise control on, I can expect to get 45 miles per gallon. When I go 60 miles per hour on the highway, I can expect to get 43 miles per gallon, which is great. Nissan’s CVT transmission is not perfect, and many of the flaws can be blamed on software, not hardware. Hopefully Nissan’s next release of the Sentra will include a better transmission with better control software.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to view more gas saving tips and articles please check out these articles, or any posts listed under the ‘saving gas’ category. Remember to check back often for updates and more articles on how to save money.

Posted under Saving Gas, Saving Money, Shopping

This post was written by admin on September 10, 2008

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Buying used gas guzzlers might make sense

If you’re thinking about buying a used car, it might be worth your time to look at some old, used gas guzzlers. That’s right, you read that correctly. It all comes down to how much you drive your car. If you drive over 20,000 miles a year, you should probably spend some time looking for fuel efficient cars. One of my favorites is the Nissan Sentra, which is not too costly, but gets great gas mileage.

If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, it actually might make great financial sense to buy a used gas guzzler. Why is this? As it turns out, because gas prices have recently risen so quickly, people have begun trading in their old cars for more fuel efficient ones out of fear and speculation. This is great news for car buyers! Because there are so many used gas guzzlers for sale and little demand for them, prices have drastically come down. Most gas guzzlers have been devalued over 50%, which means you essentially get half a car for free. By buying used gas guzzlers, it’s fairly easy to save several thousand dollars upfront. Of course, you’ll be paying more for gas, but lets see how much this really costs you.

Suppose you buy a used car for $8,000 less than retail, and gets 20 miles per gallon. Suppose that, had you spent that money for a new fuel efficient vehicle, you could get a car that gets 30 miles per gallon. Suppose you don’t drive very much, only 10,000 miles per year. Now let’s assume an average of five dollars a gallon. If you get the fuel efficient car, you will save (10000/20) * 5 – (10000/30) * 5 = $833 dollars per year. Think about this scenario again. If you buy the more fuel efficient car, it would take 9.6 years to break even!

Now, guying used gas guzzlers doesn’t save money for everyone. If you drive 30,000 miles a year, the above scenario may be recalculated. In this case, you would save $2500 a year, which means you’ll break even in only 3.2 years if you buy the more fuel efficient car.

What I really want you to get out of this article is that you don’t drive very much; it may actually cost you a lot less money to buy a used car which gets poor gas mileage. The buyer and seller market has created an environment where you can easily get massive discounts on these cars. On the other side of the token, if you drive a lot, it’s much better to pay more and get a fuel efficient car. So remember, before you buy a car, be sure to do the math and see if it makes financial sense for your specific situation.

Posted under Saving Gas, Saving Money, Shopping

This post was written by admin on September 4, 2008

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HHO, the largest gas scam of the decade

If you hate paying money for gas, chances are you’ve looked for ways to lessen your pain at the pump. Sometimes, the best way to save your money is to avoid scams like HHO. These scams operate under many names, including water4fuel, and water4gas. If you’re not familiar with the scam, read on and learn all about it.

How the HHO scam works

The water for gas scam is rather simple. Websites claim to sell you kits or plans that involve you putting a jam-jar of water in your engine. If you’ve taken high school chemistry, you may have performed an experiment where you run an electric current through water to create hydrogen and oxygen gas. The main idea is that you can feed this gas into your fuel line where it dissolves into the gasoline, and magically gives you more miles per gallon. Many websites which promote this scam for tremendous profit make claims that you can cut your gas consumption in half. Is this really possible?

At first glance, these HHO systems may seem plausible, especially to those who want to believe. The only way to tell if these systems can really save you gas and money is to delve into the science. First things first; water is inert, much like nitrogen. It can’t be burned, and does not convey chemical energy in the same way as other molecules. In order to ‘burn water’ as these websites like to say, you need to spend about twice the amount energy in electrolysis in order to separate the hydrogen, oxygen and water. Where does all this energy come from? The alternator! What powers the alternator? The engine!

And there you have it, folks, plain and simple. In order to make hydrogen and oxygen gas, or HHO, you need to use gas, to run the engine, to turn the alternator, to make electricity, to make HHO just so you can burn it in the engine. Needless to say, the total energy loss for this system is enormous. Overall, you need to burn more gasoline than you will ever produce from water. The law of second dynamics forbids you from creating energy from nothing, in this case an inert liquid like water.

The efficiency argument

But wait; there is another part of the argument! The scam artists claim that the presence of hydrogen and oxygen make the gasoline burn more completely, those more efficiently, thus overcoming the amount of energy wasted in the electrolysis. This can and has been disproved by experiment, but there’s another way to debunk this argument. I like to call this argument a reality check. The amount of gas most HHO generates is less than 1 liter per minute, not even enough to run a 1 HP lawnmower on idle. Do you really think this amount of gas is going to have any impact on the efficiency of a 150 HP engine? The answer is a resounding no.


With a little searching, you should be able to find people who swear up and down that they’ve installed the system into their car and now they get 50 mpg. Of course, many people who write articles claiming HHO is not a scam, and then give you their affiliate links to several different websites selling HHO kits and plans. Ignore all testimonials that give links to any specific websites! When people make a purchase by clicking those links, the person who wrote the fake testimonial makes money…your money to be exact.

On the other hand, there are people who aren’t selling anything, and still claim it works in their cars. How can this be? As it turns out, virtually all modern cars have oxygen sensors in the exhaust system to determine how much gas to put into the cylinders. Hooking up an HHO system to your car won’t improve your fuel efficiency directly, but it will be enough to trick the oxygen sensor. As a result, the car uses less fuel, and begins to run lean. A lean-running engine will use less gas, and should become fuel efficient. As a result, people wrongly attribute the improved gas mileage to the HHO device.

Problems of running lean

If running your engine lean improves your gas mileage, then why aren’t automakers make all their engines run lean? The answer is that it does horrible, horrible things to the engine! The engine and valves can be permanently damaged, and cost you a pretty penny. This can even cause engine knock. To prevent these problems, automakers set the engines to use the proper amount of gas in order to improve engine reliability and longevity. Think about this for a second…is it worth destroying your car just so you won’t have to pay as much for gas? Actually, if you’re getting ready to ditch your car and get a new one, maybe it’s worth it to set the gas/air mixture in your car to make it lean. But if you want to actually use your car for more than a year, than hooking up an HHO device to your engine could cost you a lot of money.

Deceptive advertising

If you want to see something really funny, go to Youtube and search for ‘run your car on water’ and see what happens. You are likely to see the same videos posted over, and over, and over again. Each video will have nearly identical video descriptions with affiliate links. This is how people try to make their money. What’s really funny is that many of the videos have nothing to do with the HHO devices at all. For example, there are videos of people with a torch running with HHO, and the videos claim that it’s proof that the device really works. What’s even more funny is that some videos which depict actual cars which use hydrogen and fuel cells in order to move the car. Again, this concept is nothing like the HHO device, yet the scammers want you to believe that it is. The best thing you can do to protect your money and your wallet is to take these videos with a grain of salt.

Another interesting thing to note is that all the videos on Youtube are tagged with the word ‘scam.’ This way, if you try to find videos exposing this scam for what it really is, you’re much more likely to stumble onto videos trying to sell you HHO. This is even true for websites and fake reviews. Why else would people write an article about how great HHO is, and then proceed to tag their own article with the word, ‘scam.’ The answer is that it’s just one more layer of protection in order to prevent people from reading literature such as this.

In conclusion, if something sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Right now, the RunYourCarOnWater and similar HHO scams are some of the biggest scams on the internet trying to get your money. The absolute best thing you can do is avoid these scams. If you drive a *lot* perhaps the best option for you would be to buy a hybrid vehicle. If you don’t drive very much and are looking for a new vehicle, try buying a lower end fuel efficient car. Toyota makes many efficient cars, and other manufacturers do as well, the Nissan Sentra, for example. For simple, cheap and easy ways to save gas, you can check out this page.

Posted under Avoiding Scams, Saving Gas, Saving Money

This post was written by admin on September 3, 2008

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