Automotive Remanufacturers’ Association

Mail Us

Customer Support

Find an

Accredited Member



Red Alert! Fuel pills: serious or scam?




Fuel pills: serious or scam


As fuel prices are rapidly increasing with no definite answer about when this will slow down or prices will decrease, if at all, motorists are looking for alternate means to save fuel. One of these means is by adding a ‘fuel pill’ to the petrol tanks of their vehicles. The trend is spreading swiftly but does it really decrease fuel consumption?
The attempt to develop a ‘pill’ that can save motorists fuel and reduce emissions is not new. Internationally, companies that developed this pill have all halted or been forced to halt legally. The CEO of
MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, explains further: “This is because the pills contained a substance called naphthalene which can marginally reduce consumption and emissions in certain circumstances but which also cause a build-up of carbon deposits that later result in poor performance.
“In one instance internationally, a fuel pill also contained a metallic compound called ferrocene. According to the International Organisation for Standardisation, which sets the global standards for fuel, it is recommended this not be added to fuel tanks as it causes deposits to build up on spark plugs after as little as 5 000km, resulting in misfiring engines and bad acceleration. In some tests, this ingredient actually increased consumption along with a number of other negative effects.”
Thus, it depends on what ingredients the fuel pills contain. “If it contains either of these ingredients, there is little to no benefit and, in fact, will cause greater problems and possibly greater fuel consumption down the line. If you do not know what your fuel pill contains, you are either being taken advantage of with what is the equivalent of a ‘sugar pill’ for cars or worse, you are adding potentially harmful substances to your vehicle.
“Additionally, numerous tests were conducted on fuel saving devices similar to the ‘fuel pills’ internationally. These tests showed fuel saving products do not actually save enough fuel for it to even be measurable. In South Africa, companies such as Sasol are calling them a scam according to a recent article in TimesLive. The Western Cape government also warned against the use of these pills.”
It is highly unlikely that the products South Africans are being sold can better fuel consumption. “If they do, and do not contain the problematic ingredients mentioned, then South Africa has the finally developed the product companies worldwide have been trying to develop for decades,” says Herbert.



JOHANNESBURG – 25 Yarmouth Road, Mulbarton Johannesburg | JOHANNESBURG TRAINING OFFICE – Nasrec Road, corner Rand Show Road, Nasrec, Johannesburg  | DURBAN – Office 1, Dias Building, Fairway Green Office Park, 3 Abrey Road, Kloof | CAPE TOWN – Kilarney International Raceway, 6 Potsdam Road, Gate 2, Skidpan Building, Cape Town





This message contains privileged and confidential information intended only use of the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you are hereby notified that you may not disseminate, copy or take any action based on the contents thereof; and are kindly requested to inform the sender immediately. Any views expressed in these messages are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifically states them to be the view of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation. While every care has been taken in preparing this document, no representation, warranty or undertaking (expressed or implied) is given, and neither responsibility nor liability is accepted by any member of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation as to the accuracy of the information contained herein, or for any loss arising from reliance on it.