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Can pouring Coca-Cola in your fuel tank save you money? Someone tried it and here's what happened

Social media users have been suggesting 'fuel-saving' tricks. The latest bad idea is pouring Coca-Cola into the car's tank.
Social media users have been suggesting 'fuel-saving' tricks. The latest bad idea is pouring Coca-Cola into the car's tank.
Image: REUTERS/JACKY NAEGELEN/ File photo

Motorists are feeling the pinch of the latest fuel price hikes and some are taking desperate measures in efforts to save money. 

The price of 93-octane petrol increased earlier this month by R2.37/l, 95-octane by R2.57/l, low sulphur 50 ppm diesel by R2.30/l and 500 ppm by R2.31/l. Illuminating paraffin increased by R2.21/l. 

The new retail price for a litre of 93-petrol is R26.31 and 95 costs R26.74 inland, while the inland wholesale price of 500 ppm diesel is R25.40 and 50 ppm diesel costs R25.53.

Many social media users have been coming with “fuel-saving” tricks and the latest includes pouring Coca-Cola into the fuel tank. 

A viral tweet claimed that by pouring the fizzy drink in the tank motorists could save up to 55% on their fuel consumption.

But is this hack for real? According to a viral video, it can actually ruin your car. 

The video was thrust into the spotlight this week and demonstrates how putting coke in a petrol tank damages the engine's core structure. 

In the video, a YouTuber filled up his 2003 BMW 325i wagon with Coke.

“Today, I decided to kill a car,” he said. 

Sixty seconds after driving, he starts hearing a strange noise coming from the engine. 

At the end of the video, the YouTuber revealed that after testing the theory of using Coke, he had to pay $1,000 (about R17,000) to get his car repaired.

Do petrol pills work? 

Last week, energy and chemicals company Sasol warned against the use of “fuel saving” petrol pills.

The so-called “fuel saving” pills come in black and green sachets and drivers are encouraged to place them in fuel tanks when they’re filling up. 

The pills are alleged by some to reduce fuel consumption and boost a vehicle's performance.

However, Sasol said the pills were nothing but a scam. 

Speaking on eNCA, Sasol's senior technical adviser for retail and commercial Adrian Velaers said the company tested four types of systems using the pills and in each case there was less than a 1% difference in fuel efficiency. 

“These pills claim they can save you 10% to 30% in fuel consumption, but they did absolutely nothing,” said Velaers.

He warned the pills could have a detrimental effect on vehicles' engines.

“Things you put in your tank can damage your fuel gauge, airflow and turbo. These sort of things would not be covered by your warranty,” he said. 

The Automobile Association (AA) also warned of the risks when using “fuel saving” pills. 

Speaking to SABC News, AA spokesperson Layton Beard cautioned motorists against the use of “fuel saving” chemicals or pills in their vehicles. 

“These pills have not been approved by the AA or been through any chemical analysis. It's very dangerous, in our opinion, to be using these pills and devices that have not been tested and approved because the long-term damage to the engine is still unknown,” he said.


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