Here are a few of the reviews for our Products from the Motoring Press.. more can be accessed from the Test Data page and from the PDF downloads for the CB-26P and PowerBoost.
A 10 MEG PDF file of Powerboost tests, reviews and surveys is downloadable here.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
the Car clinic section a reader asked the following question:
My Rover 45 1.8 automatic is years 5
years old and has done 42,000 miles. It has recently began to
misfire and the ride is jerky. My dealer suggests the cause is
incomplete closure of the exhaust valves and proposes a decoke
costing £750. Though this remedy died out in the 1960s, the dealer
says it is becoming more common again because of the cheaper petrol
sold at supermarkets. Is this true? - PH
"Although all petrol for sale in the UK must meet a minimum British standard, it has long been mooted that the more expensive brands (BP, Esso, Shell etc) are of better quality and include more detergents, among other chemicals. But regardless of where you buy it, fuel is far more refined than in the 1960s and engines are manufactured to much higher standards. So whereas it used to be necessary to remove the cylinder head regularly to clean out carbonised deposits, this is now a much rarer practice. And there are several options you should try before coughing up £750 for a professional decoke.
If 'gumming up' is indeed the problem, in a modern car it's more likely to be that the engine has been treated too gently. Your first step is to get it to full operating temperature and then make it rev hard over half an hour or so; an open stretch of dual carriageway is ideal.
The point here is not outright speed. Rather, select a lower gear than usual and make the engine rev to, say, three-quarters of maximum rpm. This will push the exhaust fumes out with more force, effectively blowing out the deposits.
Alternatively, Ecotek Powerboost is a DIY product designed to
clean out engine gunge. The aerosol foam (£19.99) is sprayed into
the air intake while the engine is running and works rather like Mr
Muscle on a blocked drain."
The Sunday Times - In Gear
Motoring & Leisure Magazine is the club magazine subscribed to by the 400,000 members of the very influential CSMA (Civil Service Motoring Association). They take the claims of any advertiser very seriously and arranged a test of PowerBoost for their members in September 2004 - here are their findings:
Technologies has been selling their new PowerBoost product to csma
members for some time now. It promises 'de-coke in a can' for £27.50
to improve performance, emissions, power, acceleration and response.
As Powerboost sounds too good to be true, Ecotek agreed to run a day's testing for members to see what the results would be. The rolling road at Regal Autosport in Southampton was booked and five local candidates were selected at random from our request in M&L for volunteers. Each of their cars would be tested unaltered for bhp (brake horse power) and torque (Ibft throttle reaction) and petrol cars would be tested for emissions. Then the PowerBoost de-coke treatment would be applied and the tests repeated.
The bhp and torque tests would be compared graphically and the emission data compared so we would know soon enough if this so called 'Engine Energiser' actually makes any difference!
6 Cars were tested and comments included: 'The engine is now turbine smooth and starts happily in the mornings - I don't exactly thrash the engine and I think this caused a build-up of deposits which the PowerBoost has cleared - I'm delighted.' 'a noticeable improvement in smoothness and throttle response.' 'now much more responsive.'
On the Mazda 626 the power curve was noticeably smoother and more sustained
at higher revs - with an extra 2bhp at 5650rpm. Torque was improved
by 5lb ft at peak revs. Emissions were CO: from 2.50 to 1.05 (a 58%
improvement) and HCs were down from 120 to 77 (a 36% improvement).
George - who bought the car when it had done 7000 miles - was
delighted. He said, 'This treatment made
a big difference to the car - emissions and bhp are not a big issue
for me but I really notice a dramatic improvement in driveability;
the car's response and smoothness has improved considerably - it's a
delight to drive - it feels at least as good as it did when I first
The Vauxhall Astra 1.8 had done 93,782 miles, so Richard works it hard but he makes sure it is maintained to the highest standards. Ecotek weren't sure that there would be jaw dropping improvements on such a new and well maintained car that had done a lot of Motorway work and when it went on the dyno, pre treatment, with 122bhp (factory spec is 115) they were a bit crestfallen. Emissions weren't fantastic (though well within MoT parameters), so some room for improvement there perhaps.
After the treatment emissions were tested
first: CO before was 0.50 and after: an amazing 0.00 and HCs were
down from 160 to 9, an equally extraordinary 94%. The Ecotek team
were smiling a little more now after a full day slaving over a hot
dyno, but the best was yet to come.
The car was allowed to cool down and then the post treatment power run took place - remember the car was already 7bhp over standard output of 115, so even the smallest increase would be significant. In fact the power run showed a full 5bhp improvement at peak power giving 127bhp and a full 8bhp improvement at 3500rpm where Richard said he had something of a flat spot.
The torque figures told the same story with a full 10 lb ft
improvement at 3700rpm (10%). An overlay of the power and torque
curves is reproduced here with the post treatment run represented by
the unbroken lines.
For a 20-minute treatment costing £19.99, that virtually any motorist can do themselves, these are extraordinary improvements - as Richard Ford himself said, 'It was an excellent car before the Ecotek test but now it's even smoother. It responds better, drives quicker and now has no flat spots.' The members involved in this test will tell you that PowerBoost really does what it says on the can.
Motoring & Leisure Magazine - Sept 2004
Simpson - the Editor of Car Mechanics Magazine - did a test of
Powerboost on a BMW 320SE, with a full BMW service history:
"We're often invited to test a product for ourselves. This we can and will do, provided it is feasible for us to run a proper and trustworthy test with the limited facilities available to a specialist magazine like Car Mechanics.
That's not as easy as it sounds though, because effectively we are testing the product on behalf of you, the reader, and we therefore have to be absolutely certain that if we do get a positive result, the improvement is without doubt due to the product rather than some external factor. And make no mistake about it, any testing that involves a modern motor car can be influenced by all manner of things - even weather conditions!
Thus, when we are invited to test a product we take two things into account. Firstly, does the product have a tangible benefit for the average reader? And secondly, is it feasible for Car Mechanics to carry out a meaningful test to verify those claims?
We were recently invited by Ecotek Technologies to try their new Powerboost product - and on reading the claims I decided they were ones that were beneficial and, more importantly, which we could test objectively. So here goes...
WHAT IS POWERBOOST? - The first thing I liked about Powerboost is that it's clear what it does and how it does it. Essentially Powerboost is an aerosol-packed foam spray which, when sprayed into an engine, removes carbon and varnish deposits from the entire combustion side of the engine, head, valve faces, piston head, exhaust manifold and even, it's claimed, the exhaust system....
DID IT WORK? - In a word, yes! Prior to the test, the rolling road recorded engine power at the flywheel as 108.3kW and 94.9kW at the wheels. Din Power was 111.7kW. In the same test a week later, flywheel power was up to 116.8kW, wheel power 104.2kW and Din power up to 120.5kW. That's a definite and significant improvement to engine efficiency which is bound to improve overall fuel economy - though we were unable to test that.
I am satisfied by these results. On the basis of our test Powerboost does what it is claimed to, and I feel sure that most cars with more than 40- 50,000 miles on the clock will benefit from its use."
Peter Simpson - Car Mechanics
A 10 MEG PDF file of the CB-26P tests, reviews and surveys is downloadable here.
"Black Magic or Pioneering Research? We fit an aftermarket economy device to a 523i and come away surprised".
In early January The Sunday Times caught my eye with an offer
in a small 'motoring gadgets' article on the Ecotek CB-26P Fuel
Saver. The story claimed that the device, designed around Formula
One technology, really worked to create a swirl of air in the inlet
manifold to help the fuel burn more efficiently - resulting in lower
emissions, an improvement of up to 15 per cent in fuel economy and a
crisper, more responsive drive.
Now before rushing to part with my £48.99, I decided to look into things in more detail to see if the claims stood up to scrutiny and to see if there was any experience of fitting the device to a modern BMW.
My initial thought was of course that, if it was that easy to improve fuel economy and responsiveness, why isn't it fitted by BMW? Most modern cars are much more fuel efficient than only a few years ago so would fitting this device benefit an already well-engineered modern vehicle?
To use the words from the Ecotek instructions "the device injects very small amounts of agitated air into the inlet manifold at certain specific pressures. This causes turbulence in the induction gases which creates a better suspension of fuel molecules and thus combustion, producing a more efficient and cleaner burn."
Although brought up-to-date, this all sounds rather familiar. The difference with this device over previous ideas is that air is bled into the manifold at tiny volumes - around 5 per cent of the total air volume - but is designed to cause sufficient turbulence to create better combustion. The air induction valve is spring-loaded and is designed to resonate, creating the required turbulence. The downside of this arrangement is the creation of a certain amount of noise. If this is particularly troublesome, a filter/silencer is available from Pipercross.
Installation: We fitted the Ecotek to a 523i SE E39 BMW but anyone who opens the bonnet of the current 5-Series BMW to do more than check fluid levels is a brave soul. When you do have the bonnet open, you need to be looking for the vacuum servo non-return valve which sits between the brake servo and the inlet manifold. As the brake servo is completely hidden behind the bulkhead on the driver's side and the inlet manifold is hidden by a large black plastic cover, one can be easily thwarted before starting!
This is where the Ecotek website starts to be of value. A network of nationwide outlets enables you to purchase your CB-26P from a local agent who can also fit the unit to most vehicles. My local supplier, Power Services International Ltd of Camberley. Surrey, is run by Mark Hannaford and he was not only able to sell the unit but he was keen to offer advice for my home installation, identifying the correct vacuum pipe on which the non-return valve sits and advising the best place to site the Ecotek in relation to the induction manifold. Armed with this knowledge I had the confidence to set to and open the bonnet in the privacy of my own garage.
The Results: The automatic 523i was showing 56,318 miles when the device was fitted, during which the overall fuel consumption from day one was 27.92 mpg.Taking the 1624 miles since fitting the Ecotek CB-26P the car has achieved 29.11 mpg. In an effort to find a representative comparison I have taken the 2776 miles travelled just prior to fitting the device and here I recorded 25.26 mpg.
The most striking example of a single journey occurred between Hindhead and Chichester where I recorded 38 mpg. Agreed the journey was on good roads with few stops and with the opportunity to maintain good speeds without hard acceleration or braking.
These figures can be set against the official BMW published numbers for an automatic 523i: Urban 18.5 mpg. Extra Urban 36.2 mpg and Combined 26.6 mpg. Aside from just fuel consumption I've also noticed a more urgent response when accelerating.
The facts would appear to bear out the claims that the Ecotek CB-26P really does work, even on a high-tech modern BMW.
Is the improvement worth the cost and Labour effort to install? Probably, but with all things there are other considerations. If you drive hard and fast every time you are behind the wheel then you're unlikely to be interested in a device that gives you a couple of extra miles each time you fill up your tank. If you drive long distances at motorway speeds then you probably have the best chance of benefiting from fitting this device. If on the other hand you only ever drive a few miles to the local shops or to work then the results will be less impressive. Ecotek claims some remarkable improvements in reducing emissions, including carbon monoxide, so if you are genuinely interested in saving the planet and still driving a car, check out the Ecotek web site at www.ecotekplc.com to see the claims for yourself.
Total BMW Magazine
MAX POWER magazine took our CB-26P to their Ministry of Testing and this is what they found:
"You’ve heard it before – a product that’s supposed to improve performance and fuel economy. Many companies have tried but only a handful have pulled it off. Ecotek are one of the successful few.
Their CB-26P is a simple yet effective add-on that can increase power and reduce your fuel bill. Based around F1 technology, the CB-26P causes air turbulence in the inlet manifold to increase combustion efficiency.
I tried one out on my Mk1 Golf. I fitted it to the brake servo’s breather pipe, approximately six inches from the inlet manifold. There was a noticeable improvement in throttle response – especially in the mid range. And the frequency of my petrol station visits had dropped radically.
I usually get about 100 miles for £15 of unleaded, but with my new best mate I’m averaging around 120 - 130 miles. And the best bit is that the faster you go, the greater the benefits reaped. An inspired technological invention easily affordable for pocket money modifiers. "
Max Paterson – Max Power Magazine.
"A NEW fuel saving device, the Ecotek CB-26P, which fits easily to the inlet manifold, is being promoted as a means of improving performance, emissions and economy.
The device is claimed to work by bleeding a small amount of air into the induction system, as well as creating turbulence in the airflow, effects which are known to result in improved combustion.
To test the device in real-world conditions, we arranged to have an Ecotek fitted to a readers car, a Mk 2 Golf GL fitted with a Webber Carburettor, for which there are detailed long-term fuel consumption records.
He reports: "Throttle response is crisper and power delivery smoother, but Ecotek's value for me is as a fuel economy device. I have gained eight per cent - from 37.5 mpg to 40.5 mpg. This is more on long Motorway trips: 45.5 mpg, up from 39.5 mpg, a 15 per cent gain. The pay-back time is therefore only a matter of weeks.
Fitting is extremely
easy - about five minutes - the only additional requirement being a
2in straight length of hose and a jubilee clip to fit the Ecotek
unit in line between the manifold and the hose to the brake servo.
An optional extra is a Pipercross filter, which will reduce
induction noise and improve filtration.
I would recommend this device to anyone; economies are made from the first turn of the key, and extra power is there if you need it."
Bruce Purvis - Volkswagen Driver Magazine
Full independent product test data,
surveys and more press reviews of these products can be downloaded
here, each are approx 10meg and are in PDF format - click the
links below to download:
CB-26P and PowerBoost