If you drive around long enough, you're almost guaranteed to see a driver stuck in a disabled vehicle. Many of them have simply run out of gas, but now there's a product available to ensure your tank never goes dry again. 7 On Your Side finds out if it really works.
It's almost too good to be true. It's called Magic Tank. The liquid non-flammable product promises to get your engine going again even when your gas tank is on empty, so we put it to the test.
You are supposed to fill your tank before it gets to empty, but often what happens is cars will get stuck on the road, many because they run out of gas.
CHP Officer Daniel Hill sees this problem happen all the time. He told ABC7 News, "When a vehicle is disabled on the freeway for whatever reason, but especially when running out of gas, it can cause significant traffic problems."
This is where magic tank comes in.
"Magic Tank works with the residual gasoline that's left in your tank when you're on empty. It pushes the extra gasoline into your engine and once it's ignited with the gasoline, it keeps the engine running," Steve Bistritzky from Magic Tank says.
Bistritzky says it's a fuel based product, but without the flammable components. That means it is non-flammable and you can safely and legally store it in your trunk. To prove his point, he poured some Magic Tank into a cup and lit a match, but the liquid did not ignite.
So this should be safe to store in your trunk, but we still don't know if it works. 7 On Your Side spoke to both an energy expert and a chemist at Stanford University. Both said the science behind this product appears sound. Confident, we brought our vehicle into Serramonte Ford and asked them to syphon our gas tank. They even cranked the engine to make sure it was stalled. Then the dealership's maintenance manager Vince LoPresti poured a half gallon of Magic Tank into our vehicle. He then attempted to start the car and it did start up.
Magic Tank claims to give the same mileage you would get from a half gallon of gas. That should be enough to get us to the nearest gas station. LoPresti admits he's surprised the engine even started.
"Over the years we've seen different type of chemicals try to be used. And it didn't work," LoPresti says.
Driving our car, he starts to get concerned that we may not make it to the gas station. "The engine starting to stumble a little bit," LoPresti says. This is the characteristic of a way a vehicle acts when it starts to run out of fuel."
Hill says it would be very good if it did work. He says, "Any mechanism by which a motorist can be more prepared is always to all of our benefits."
We see a gas station within a few miles of Serramonte Ford, but pass it up to push Magic Tank to its limits. A few minutes later, we exit the freeway and find a gas station.
"Looks like it's a wrap. That's pretty good," LoPresti says.
Magic Tank sells for $24.95 and is available on its website, but should soon be available at major retailers. And a reminder, the experts say it's never a good idea to drive with almost no gas in your tank. Magic Tank should be used only in an emergency.
Magic Tank to the rescue when you run out of gas
7 ON YOUR SIDE