Anyone tried one of these "Kiwi" fuel saving devices?

This product claims to teach you how to drive with better gas efficiency, plus tells you how much gas you’re using, yadda yadda yadda. Read the blurb and watch the video here: http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/car/ae12/?cpg=79T

Anyway… is this thing for real? I mean, does it really do what it says? Is it really likely to help me save money on gas?

No info on the device, but I’d be willing to bet I can sum up for you what it’s “advice” will be: Drive slower. Coast on downhills. Accelerate gently.

There aren’t really any “secrets” to improving gas mileage, are there?

Probably- but that depends on how slowly you’re willing to cruise and accelerate.

It’s much easier to eliminate unnecessary braking without increasing travel time than it is to eliminate rapid acceleration.

If there’s a big increase to be had, it will be among people who generally cruise at the top end of third gear rather than the bottom end of fourth, and the like, and you could fix that much more easily with an application of common sense.

I think it’s pretty cool. I tend to lose my temper and drive aggressively from time to time, I never really learned how to accelerate smoothly, and like most people, whatever the posted speed limit, if I see a gap before me, I speed up to fill it. I know nothing about the diagnostic port on the car – for example, is it really OK to drive plugged into a diagnostic device nonstop? Don’t know why not, but I do worry – strain on the computer, the engine changing it’s behavior because it’s in “diagnostic mode”, drain on the car battery, etc.

A pretty interesting device, for me at least, not $300 interesting, but pretty interesting.

Not a problem - the car is broadcasting the information whether or not you plug something in, and the diagnostic port is one-way only.

Damn, I wish that wasn’t so expensive- I’m so tempted to buy one.

This last weekend, we bought my wife a Honda Fit, and it’s got an indicator which shows you your average MPG, based on how you drive. She called me excitedly yesterday morning to let me know she’s got it up to 31.1 MPG.

I really want something like that for my car- it’s pretty easy to see how it can improve your gas mileage.

Just go to your J.C. Whiney catalogue! You can buy:
-fule saving splitfire sparkplugs (good for +12%)
-a “turbo-flow” gizmo for your intake manifold (+15%)
-a “moleculon” gizmo that clamps over your fule line 9it "magnetizes’ you gasoline)-+20%
-a “cold air” filter (+15%)
So, buy all of this crap and install it, and you gain 62%!
aw crap, I forgot the special oil! (+5%)

My parents were just telling me that they had found this feature on their new car. They commented that it does affect their driving habits. They found themselves keeping track of what driving styles gave better mileage. Kind of an instant gratification thing. Ohh lookie… I went from 29.9mpg to 31.1 mpg and all I did was start coasting to the stop lights.

Scangauge.

I have a Scangauge on my motor home and it does do a good job of letting you see what your bad habits cost in the way of fuel usage.

The Scanguage is pretty popular on some of the custom truck forums I visit. People say you really can learn to get better gas mileage, and it even makes it kind of fun, if you treat it like a game - use the “gallons used for this trip” mode and try to get a new low score each day as you commute.

And while there may not be any secrets per se, there are things you can learn. Exactly what speed your car is most efficient at (it varies from one car to another), whether a slightly longer route is actually better if it has less traffic, etc.

This kind of thing is what makes cars like the Toyota Prius worthwhile to consumers. Not only do you have a car that is inherently more efficient but the electronic displays can teach you to be a smarter driver. Yes, as mentioned, it can almost become a game. The car has good performance and economy but some of the instantaneous feedback from how the car is being driven can add a new element in making the car “fun” to drive.

Life and driving isn’t all about thinking you can win a Grand Prix race.

That makes a huge difference. My credo is, every time you step on the brakes you turn gasoline into heat and brake dust. I have no need for either.

Reader’s Digest had an article a couple of months back about competitive “hypermilers”, who eke out every increase in efficiency they can. The champion was a fellow who managed to average 180 MPG over the extensive urban course.

Seems to me that while there are no “secrets” it’s pretty easy to not realize what bad habits you have. This kind of device seems like it would help with realizing when you’re doing the bad things, and when you’re doing the right things… in the long run it sounds like a good deal. Not something I can afford right now, but if it does what it says it does I could see saving up for it…

Named after the green fruit”.

D’oh!

Then really it ought to be called the Zespri. Or the chinese gooseberry.

real kiwi

You forgot the Brown’s gas generator. Seriously. You’re slipping here.

Why not buy TWO of everything and gain 124%?

And speed holes. They make the car go faster.

But not as fast as racing stripes!