Blumenthal In The News
»Fuel Saving Convertor's Results Drive Optimism (May 5th, 2011 - 04:06 PM)

Written by Debbie Bloom, Published in the Oklahoman, September 2008.

With today's fuel prices, a nationwide focus has shifted to vehicles that can squeeze more miles out of a tank of gasoline.

And as American automakers push to produce cars and trucks sporting better gas mileage and fewer emissions, one local manufacturing company has created a fuel-saving converter that has proved it can produce better mileage while also helping improve air quality.

A 2003 Ford Crown Victoria was tested over 5,633 miles and showed a gas mileage increase of 44.7 percent; a 2000 Crown Victoria tested by the Duncan Police Department saw a gas mileage increase of 21 percent, and a 2004 model tested by the Comanche Nation police saw its gas mileage improve from 17.77 miles per gallon to 27.73 mpg, or 56 percent.

On average, vehicles tested for mileage with the converter had almost 14 mpg before the installation and 20.4 mpg after the converter was added, the company reported, bringing the average savings to 46.23 percent. Vehicles used 1,794 gallons of gas before adding the converter, and only 1,227 with the converter, a 25,000-mile test showed.

That's an average of 567 gallons less per year, and calculated at $3.50 a gallon for gas, that's a saving of $1,985.87 per vehicle each year.

At Blumenthal Cos., a 59-year-old Oklahoma City company that remanufactures engines, a tested converter that boosts fuel savings came about almost by accident as the company grappled with extending the transmission lifespan on fleet trucks used by some of its customers.

Oklahoman Article on Blumenthal

Robert Yarbrough, senior general manager of Blumenthal's engines and automatics division, and employee Richard Walker were the chief designers who collaborated on the idea three years ago for a converter that would keep heavy-duty truck running longer.

"At UPS, they were burning up transmissions at 40,000 miles, and the first converter we designed prolonged that to 120,000 miles,” Yarbrough said.

Test results show big savings. From that initial discovery of fuel savings for big, half-ton trucks, next came designs that also would improve the performance of smaller, everyday vehicles.

The company acquired a patent for its power lock converter system a year ago and since then has put it through tests on different cars and trucks to gauge actual savings. What they found was an increase in mileage from 24 percent to 59 percent depending on a vehicle's make and model.

Trucks have been the focus, Yarbrough said, "because there are so many more, and they are the biggest gas guzzlers.”

The company invested $30,000 for the converter's patent and almost $275,000 just for converters for Ford engines. Its research determines that, so far, the converter can be installed in General Motors vehicles, Ford and Chrysler sport utility vehicles and rear-wheel drive cars, and Dodge diesel trucks.

At $695 installed, the converter's price "will pay for itself within six months in fuel savings,” Yarbrough said.

Although Blumenthal just now is starting to market the converter, the company already is targeting cities and law enforcement agencies as potential customers. The converter is installed in two cars at both the Stillwater and Duncan police departments, as well as two cars used by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

What's next for Blumenthal? All the converter's parts are made in Oklahoma, Blumenthal marketing director Harry Brown said, but the company wants to take the product beyond state lines.

"We're trying to get companies like Napa Ford to pick this up to get the converter into the automotive aftermarket,” Yarbrough said, and the company is in discussion with Ford Motor Co. and Mopar, the parts division of Chrysler Corp. "The more we sell, the more we can put into research and development.”

As the company works to bring heavy-duty engine applications to more car brands, it is also involved in research into other areas, including hydrogen fuel alternatives.

Other OKLAHOMAN Articles about Blumenthal Companies can be found at:

« back