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You are here: > News > March 25, 2005

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.

by Sterling D. Allan
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 gas. 

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:

Experiment Details


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 windshield defroster.)

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 temperature.


The procedure used was inspired by

Brand of Acetone: Bondo Corp ( from Checker auto parts store. 32 Oz bottle. ($5.79)  Spec sheet available on their website.

Fuel Specifics:

  • Gas Station: Flying J Truck Stop, Payson, UT on Interstate 15, exit 254.
  • 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 gallons.
  • 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 entrance.
  • 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 point.

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 this concentration]

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.


Ave. Temp


Trip 1 45 33.39
Trip 2 48 33.58
Trip 3 42 33.09
Trip 4 45 33.16

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.

Follow-up from

  • Acetone 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)

Related Coverage

  • Increased 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, 2005)

See also

Page posted by Sterling D. Allan March 25, 2005
Last updated December 24, 2014





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