Running on Empty: Testing ‘Magic Tank’

There have been no complaints against Magic Tank

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Eyewitness News finds a new product that claims to get you out of a jam if your gas tank hits “E.” You might think running out of gas is a thing of the past, but AAA of Southern New England tells us it happens to thousands of drivers every year.

The product is called “Magic Tank” and there’s only one way to test it. We let one of our news cars run out of gas miles away from the nearest gas station.

It’s a sinking feeling; the low fuel light goes on, and you’ve passed a gas station miles ago and didn’t fill up. Now you’re dangerously close to running out, and you have no idea how long you’ve got before you actually do.

Magic Tank claims it “works just like gasoline but it isn’t gasoline.” The product label says it’s non-flammable, won’t harm your engine, and has a shelf life of 10 years. The liquid is derived from gasoline but with its most volatile components, including butane, removed.

But does it work?

It says a half gallon of magic tank will provide your vehicle with the same mileage as similar amount conventional gas. We poured an entire container into our news car that ran out of gas. The car started right up, and ran well. There was no noticeable bucking or hesitation. A little over three miles later, we made it to a gas station.

Even though Magic Tank claims that it won’t harm your engine, we went to the experts. John Paul, an automotive expert with AAA, says “what it’s doing is reducing the octane count in your car. The car will knock and ping, but it could get you off the road. But I wouldn’t make a steady diet of it though.”

We also checked with government safety agencies and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. To date, there have been no complaints against Magic Tank.

Car experts say it’s a good product to have on hand just in case. But don’t make a habit of relying on products like this. Rule of thumb; when your gas gauge is nearing a quarter tank fill it up.

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