Fuel Mizer Turns You into a Hypermiler with Incessant, Annoying Beeps

Posted: June 16, 2008

Gas-saving techniques are proliferating across the web, "hypermilers" are becoming media celebrities, and more of us are learning to glide gently through town and coast downhill to save on gas.  At least, we think we are...

How can you be sure your new, gentler driving technique is actually improving your gas mileage?

What you need is a miserly old man to sit in the passenger's seat and criticize you for those hard stops and brisk acceleration.

If you can't find one of those, though, Kicking Tires has a solution: the Fuel Mizer. "This digital device sits in your car and, without any installation, lets you know when you're wasting gas with a particularly poor choice of driving method. You'll see and hear a "gentle" alert when you accelerate or brake too abruptly. The Fuel Mizer costs $69.95 plus shipping and handling, but if it can change your driving habits, the EPA estimates you can improve your car's efficiency by 20%."

The Fuel Mizer is a small blue box not much larger than a deck of cards, festooned with green, red and yellow lights that flash to warn you when you're using fuel efficiently, a little inefficiently, or very inefficiently. Technoride reports, "If you've got a particularly heavy foot, the Fuel Mizer will alert you to overly wasteful vehicle operation by sounding a beep."

GreenEnergyTV puts the device to the test in this video and finds that, yes, the little thing does promote more efficient driving. And for about $70, it should pay for itself fairly quickly. 

But that incessant beep does have an element of critical-old-man-in-the-passenger's-seat annoyance to it.  Now, if they installed it in a talking teddy bear that criticized your driving, they'd really have something...

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