I am sometimes so tied up with my pet projects and exploring the cutting-edge stuff in the world that I overlook developments right under my nose. I was gassing up at HEB last night while Dave was inside grabbing some groceries. While processing the transaction at the pump, the machine started talking to me. “Would you like additrol?” (or additron, or addiwhosywhatsit – I can’t remember exactly.)

It turns out that you can include a fuel additive in your tank while you fill up. It pumps it right into the stream coming out of the nozzle.


I am still not sure how I feel about this. I mean on the one hand, it is good marketing. No bottles of gunk to pour in your tank, and point-of-sale purchasing is always a money maker.

The gunk they are selling aside, I just don’t believe ANY claims about fuel additives. It makes no sense. If you could add something to the fuel to make it better, why wouldn’t the fuel companies do it ahead of time and make the extra cash.

In fact, my theory on gunk that claims to improve mileage is that the product is something that doesn’t really do anything, but has the same makeup as gasoline. The simple act of adding a quart to your tank gives you a quart’s worth of extra miles you can drive. If you look at the price per gallon for this stuff – it is more expensive than the gas.

When Dave got back in the car, I told him about my discovery and he responded, “Oh yeah… I’ve seen that.” So much for breaking news.