Acetone in gas?

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I have recently heard that adding a small amount of acetone to one’s fuel can substantially improve mileage.

Have you heard about this. If so, can you verify it?

Is there any danger of harming rubber seals or any other parts of a fuel system by exposure to small percentages of acetone?

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  1. Short answer, no. Adding acetone doesn’t improve gas mileage. Also, it’s highly corrosive as it is a very potent solvent capable of disintegrating rubber fuel lines, gaskets, etc. Plus it eats paint, so if you drip some outside of the fuel filler nozzle, you could strip the clear coat and/or paint down, especially if you do it repeatedly and don’t immediately wipe it up.

    As one who has a fair bit of experience with acetone in chemistry labs, it’s fun to play with and highly flammable but pretty harsh.

    Also, for what it’s worth:

    However, acetone IS used in waste-oil biodiesel production. That the process where you go around grabbing used frying oil/grease from restaurants, filter it, and run it in older diesel engines. In that case, acetone is added in a small amount directly to the fuel itself before it’s ever pumped into a vehicle. It helps thin out the cooking oil mixture to help the fuel pump move it out of the tank and to the injectors. My guess is that this is where the myth came from originally.

    Acetone is one of the main/most common ingredients in paint thinner (thus the caution about car paints above) as well as nail polish remover.

    Plus, as cheap as it is, if it really worked, you’d think it would be a normal additive to gasoline everywhere. It isn’t.


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