PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (WAVE) -- With gas prices rising, the squeeze on people's budgets is getting tighter. So a device that could double your vehicle's miles per gallon would be great. That's exactly the kind of device a company in Florida is selling.
It's called the Hydro 4000, and it can be installed on any vehicle, and it runs on water. It costs about $1,200, but its creators say it won't take long before those costs are recouped with what you'll save on fuel.
"We estimate the average person would see savings in one year," said David Havanich, one of the creators. "With fuel prices going the way they are, today's oil market is $112 a barrel, prices are going to continue to go up, we have to find solutions to our big problem in the United States."
But does it work? WAVE's sister station, WPTV in Florida, put the Hydro 4000 to the test, by installing it on one of its own news vehicles that was checked out and given a complete tune-up beforehand.
Here's how the Hydro 4000 is supposed to work: In a typical combustion engine, when the accelerator is depressed, a mixture of air and gasoline is sent into the engine's cylinder. When gas and air hit the spark plugs, it triggers a mini-explosion, pushing the vehicle forward. But roughly 15 percent of the gas isn't burned in the engine. It's actually pushed out through the exhaust pipe.
The Hydro 4000 is supposed to send hydrogen into the engine, creating a cleaner burning environment, allowing the vehicle to burn all of the gas in the tank.
"What we've done is brought oxygen, similar to what race car drivers do, to hydrogen, which is a higher burning has to also make sure you're burning every bit of fuel you're paying for at the pump," explained Havanich.
To conducts its test, WPTV first calculated the number of miles per gallon the station's Dodge Ram pickup was getting. So they put it on something called a dynamometer -- kind of like a giant treadmill. They ran the truck there for 20 minutes at 55 miles an hour on a full tank of gas.
The test showed the truck was averaging roughly 9.4 mpg.
After installing the Hydro 4000, crews drove the truck as usual for nearly a month. Havanich said that would give the device time to clean out the engine.
When the truck was put back on the dynamometer for the same mpg test, results showed it was averaging 23.2 mpg.
"Our system works," Havanich said, "and if people are concerned about spending money on fuel and the longevity of their car, they ought to use our product."
Car owners should beware of one caveat: you could risk voiding your warranty if you install the Hydro 4000 on your vehicle, so it's a good idea to check with your dealer first.