Acetone in Acura Integra '92 Fuel Drops Mileage by 1.1%
Four runs of ~100 miles, two without acetone, two with, did not yield
increased mileage as expected, but a slight decrease. Ratio may be rich.
Pure Energy Systems News
PAYSON, UTAH -- After having published the story
about the claim by Louis LaPointe that acetone added in small quantities to fuel
increases mileage from between 15 to 35 percent, I set out Thursday morning to
prove this for myself.
Me, in front of Acura Integra '92, starting out on
the Acetone test trip.
March 24, 2005
Eight hours later (including prep time, etc), with 400 miles logged
accurately from four round trips of about 100 miles each, I came away with a
result of a slight drop in my mileage from 33.49 mpg down to 33.13
mpg, using a mixture ratio of about 3.4 oz of acetone per 10 gallons of
One possible explanation is that the Acura is already very efficient in its fuel
usage, and thus does not need as much acetone as perhaps other cars that are not
as efficient. In other words, if I were to insert my data point on the
curve published by LaPointe, according to performance, it would be toward the
right where the curve drops into negative efficiency.
If so, and this chart is relatively accurate as a general shape of
performance for a given input ratio of acetone to increase/decrease of gas
mileage, then I would predict that if I were to cut the acetone ratio in half,
then I would shift performance left, into the peak of the curve, with
significantly increased mileage. That will be the follow-up experiment.
Here is my report of the March 24 experiment:
Four round trips, returning to same gas station:
1) no acetone
2) no acetone
3) acetone 3.4 oz / 10 gallon mix
4) acetone 3.4 oz / 10 gallon mix
Average of two trips before adding acetone: 33.49 mpg
Average of two trips after adding acetone: 33.13 mpg
Net drop of 1.1% in efficiency.
I should note that this range of efficiency is close to the "34
mpg" reported by the previous owner of the car from a few years back when
he took regular readings. He cited this number from memory on March 24,
2005 prior to knowing my results.
Four trips of ~100 miles each, topping off the tank at the same gas station,
same pump, following the same route, on the same day, using cruise control on a
less-busy segment of freeway, going a constant 70 mph. Tracked how much I had
lights & windshield wipers on, and was able to nominally keep the electrical
load the same on the four trips. (When I say "nominally", I made
some assumptions, which may not be entirely accurate, and could possibly be very
inaccurate, that the following four electrical loads are approximately the same:
wind shield wipers, low beam lights, addition of high beam lights, plug-in
Target addition of acetone in an optimal ratio of ~3.5 oz per 10 gallons,
according to the LaPointe curves.
I recorded the outside temperature about every three to ten minutes. Average
outside temp was +/- 6 degrees F per round trip, in range of 42Ί - 48Ί
F. The storm system coming through created the fluctuations in
The procedure used was inspired by
Brand of Acetone: Bondo Corp (www.bondo.com) from Checker auto parts store. 32
Oz bottle. ($5.79) Spec sheet available on their website.
- Gas Station: Flying J Truck Stop, Payson, UT on Interstate 15, exit
- Type of gas used: Unleaded Plus (88 octane)
- Type of gas already in tank: Unleaded Reg. (85 octane); 5.140 gallons
short of a full tank. (see note below)
- Acura Integra '92 gas tank capacity, according to user manual: 13.2
- Topped off to full with Unleaded Plus at beginning of experiment
- I filled the tank until the automatic shut-off turned off the fuel pump. I
used the same pump for each of the five fills. Placed pump nozzle in
nominally the same position in the car each time.
- After each fill (including the two controls at the beginning), I drove in
& out of gas station four times in a circle to "mix" the tank
from the rocking motion of driving through the gutter at the gas station
- I accelerated generally slower than usual in each instance except for when
doing a U-turn on the freeway when approaching the accident to avoid having
to enter that situation.
Calculated amount to ad to full tank to bring equivalent of 3.5 oz per 10
gallons: 4.62 oz. Actual amount added: 4.46 oz (remembered it wrong when
filling), coming to equivalent of 3.4 oz per 10 gallons.
On the second acetone run, I added ~1 oz of acetone to balance the added fuel to
the approximate same ratio as that already in the tank. To measure the
acetone, I used an 8 oz graduated cylinder loaned to me by an Albertson's
pharmacist. It's first marking is at 2 Oz, so I had to estimate a half-way
I used a funnel from Checker Auto Parts that is designed specifically for adding
fuel to tanks, with a long neck and angled opening.
Special fuel funnel holds tank cap open.
Stretch of road: Payson (Interstate-15 exit 254) to Yuba lake exit
Speed limit along this entire stretch: 75 mph
Cruise control set at ~70.4 mph, maintained at +/- 0.8 mph.
I chose this slower speed so that most cars would be passing me, not the other
way around, making it easier to maintain a constant speed.
First run was 100.6 miles. I turned around on an emergency vehicles crossing on
the freeway just as traffic was coming to a stop for a major accident ahead (~30
car pile-up, two life flight helicopters dispatched, took most of the day to
clear). The last three runs were 95.6 miles, using the Yuba lake exit just prior
to the accident location, to turn around.
The weather was heavy overcast with occasional spots of full sunshine,
occasional rain mixed with snow, with heavy hail for one brief stint on the
fourth run (several cars went off the road).
I was able to maintain 70 mph cruise control speed except for a couple of
places briefly where traffic slowed while passing slower vehicles. Trip
one had three such slow-downs. Trip two had none. The last two trips
had one slowdown each. In each case, I noted the slow-down speed, and
gradually re-accelerated. No instance lasted more than ~45 seconds nor
dropped below 60 mph.
My headlights were on for all but 34 minutes of each run. Wipers were on for 24
minutes. Differences between these amounts (e.g. more or less windshield wiper
time) were compensated by leaving lights on longer or shorter, or turning
brights on, so that each trip's electrical load was approximately the same. (see
assumption above, which may not be accurate).
I topped off the oil prior to the experiment. The car has been running in good
condition for many months.
My thinking in selecting the Unleaded Plus was that the gas station would not be
filling up that particular underground tank that day, according to the station
manager, so I would be pulling from the same gas batch for the entire test,
eliminating that variable. However, I was not thinking well enough because the
gas I had in my tank at the time was regular, and the octane mixture ratio would
be changing with each new addition of "plus" fuel. I realized this
minutes after commencing the first run, after it was too late. The introduction
of that variable is much larger than the variable would have been from Flying
J's underground regular unleaded tank being filled during the day (part way
through the four trips).
You will see that the general trend, minus the Acetone addition, is for
increased mileage over the four trips do to the increased octane/grade rating of
the fuel from 85 toward 88.
Click here for a PDF photocopy of the seven
pages of raw, hand-written data.
Trip 1: no acetone: 100.6 miles on 3.103 gal = 33.39 mpg
Trip 2: no acetone: 95.6 miles on 2.847 gal = 33.58 mpg
Trip 3: acetone added: 95.6 miles on 2.886 gal = 33.09 mpg
Trip 4: acetone added: 95.6 miles on 2.883 gal = 33.16 mpg
Times for each leg of the trip also recorded. See PDF of photocopy of
raw data if you want to calculate the "actual rpm" versus odometer
rpm. I neglected to take my watch with me, which has seconds readout, so
my data only is accurate to the nearest minute, which probably isn't accurate
enough to surpass what the odometer read.
Temperature varied between 38Ί F. and 53Ί F, averaging near 45Ί F. (I have
not calculated the averages, but data was taken frequently so an accurate
calculation can be made if warranted). Roughly, looking at the temperature
readings, I would estimate the trip averages as follows:
1) 45Ί F
2) 48Ί F
3) 42Ί F
4) 45Ί F
Nearby mountains fresh with snow, as temperature
lingers around 45° F
I did note what seemed to be like more power as I accelerated onto the
freeway after adding acetone for the first time.
Increased fuel octane increased mileage performance.
The increase in mpg from trip 1 to 2 of 0.6% can be ascribed to the increase
octane gas from the fits top-off with higher grade gas.
This increase is smaller (0.2%) between trips 3 and 4 with the acetone, which is
consistent with a smaller proportion of the fuel being of the low grade,
compared to the higher grade.
The drop in mileage from trip 2 to 3, can be ascribed to the addition of
acetone. The average of trip 1,2 compared to trip 3,4 drops by 1.1%.
The decrease in mileage from the average of trip 1 and 2 compared to the average
of trip 3 and 4 with acetone, is significantly larger than the change in mileage
between the two paired runs 1,2 (without acetone) and 3,4.(with acetone). [at
The actual drop in mileage is probably greater than 1.1%, when the overall curve
of increasing mileage is taken into account because of the shift to the higher
octane fuel in the tank.
There is a correlation between average trip temperature and trip mileage.
While this data casts a shadow on the claim that acetone at these ratios will
significantly increase mileage, it should be noted that others have reported
preliminary positive results of increased mileage, with other cars, including a
Toyota Prius and 2005 Jetta. The mixture ratio required for the Acura Integra
engine may be smaller or than in other systems. I would guess that because the
Acura is a high mileage vehicle that the optimal acetone ratio will be a smaller
percentage mix. Or, I may see that acetone simply does not increase
mileage in any ration. Additional testing will need to be done to see how
mileage performs at other acetone mixture ratios. Extrapolating into
LaPoint's curve, my next try will be to cut the ratio in half.
Another view on the road trip.
In Fuel Said to Increase Mileage 15-35% - Readily-available chemical
added to gas tank in small proportion improves the fuel's ability to
vaporize completely by eliminating the surface tension that causes some
particulates to not fully vaporize. (PESN; March 17, 2005)
Power Test for Acetone in Acura Comes up Negative - Added acetone in
increasing concentrations to regular non-alcohol fuel in Acura Integra 1992.
Power of acceleration dropped slightly with acetone at all concentrations
tried, compared to control. (by Sterling D. Allan; PESN; April 14,
Page posted by Sterling
D. Allan March 25, 2005
Last updated July 16, 2005