MythicalMe wrote:The oil and auto companies were known to buy up technology that would give better gas mileage, of course the evidence was all anecdotal, meaning those devices were part of the urban legend scene of the 70's and 80's. For those of you who remember the carburetor, used to mix fuel and air for the cylinders, they were extremely inefficient for fuel delivery. The fuel mixture had to be set just right or it would use more gas than needed. Many of the designs that I'd heard about added water to the mixture, the idea being that the combustion would turn the water to steam aiding in the power stroke, and some devices were meant to compress the air giving more oxygen for the combustion to work with.
Amazingly, one of those devices is used today. If you buy a turbo-charged car you have a vehicle that compresses the air.
Oh boy.. Injecting water into an engine is primarily done to lower the temperature in the combustion chamber. This makes it possible to put even more fuel/air in there and get more power. You do use more fuel overall however.
This technique is used on high-performance engines usually together with a turbo or compressor. For normal cars an intercooler is used instead.
Carburettors were/are not extremely inefficient. Yes they are less inneficient than direct injection systems but when well tuned they are often within 5-10% of an injection system. At low rpm's they are often considered superior to direct injection.
If you want to use less gas, buy a smaller car and be careful with your right foot...