Price hikes fuel risky vehicle hacks

Adding Coca Cola to you petrol will cause serious damage to your vehicle.

Adding Coca Cola to you petrol will cause serious damage to your vehicle.

Published Aug 6, 2022


Durban - Tomato sauce, toothpaste, Coca Cola and dishwasher pills sounds like a shopping list.

However, these are some of the crazy hacks South Africans have used to decrease their fuel consumption.

Even though the price of petrol and diesel decreased this week, cash strapped consumers were still trying risky ways to reduce their petrol and diesel bills.

Driver training organisation Masterdrive warned that this could lead to damage and costly vehicle repairs.

MasterDrive CEO Eugene Herbert said only fuel should go into your fuel tank and anything else would result in damage to your vehicle.

He said studies done internationally had proven that fuel pills were ineffective at stretching the amount of petrol or diesel used, but were damaging to the engine because it caused a build-up of carbon.

“Now, a gimmick is making the rounds showing the use of Coca-Cola instead of fuel. The company associated with this video has since distanced itself from it, but if you were wondering if Coca-Cola is a safe substitute for fuel, the answer is no. You are likely to do damage to your vehicle that will cost much more than the potential savings,” said Herbert.

A quick internet search by the Independent on Saturday revealed that acetone (used to remove nail polish); sugar (which caramelised in the fuel tank); bleach (which had corrosive effects) and water were all touted as possibilities to help motorists cut down on their fuel bills.

Herbert said fake news related to saving fuel included using tomato sauce, dishwasher tablets and toothpaste, buying fuel early in the morning, over-inflating tyres and not using your vehicle’s air conditioner.

He encouraged consumers to stick with tried and tested methods to limit fuel consumption.

This included keeping a 3-second following distance, not speeding, planning routes, keeping revs below 3 000 RPMs and removing any unnecessary weight from your vehicle.

Filling stations have also looked at ways of stretching their fuel and profit.

Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe revealed that investigations were under way into several fuel stations where paraffin was mixed with diesel and sold to unwitting drivers.

The Independent on Saturday