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AVOID: EZ-Stab / EZ Stab (3rd Gen Red) Review

[Editor’s Note: EZ-Stab will be providing a higher-end version of the unit for testing. Performance cars like the 8 apparently won’t benefit from the standard off-the-shelf types for lower marque cars according to EZ-Stab. We will update this review in due time.]

I really hate to do this – especially to someone as nice as Jon – but I did promise an honest review of his new EZ-Stab Red. Now I’ve been testing, and monitoring performance of the EZ-Stab for some 5 months now, so this isn’t some stab in the dark.

The EZ-Stab unit comes in a see-through, translucent red plastic shell. It’s really big, about the size and thickness of two blackberrys on top of one another. I initially had concerns that with the extreme-heat conditions of the 8’s engine bay, the plastic would melt, or the capacitors within would explode, but thankfully that didn’t happen.

So what is the EZ-Stab? It’s a device, unlike Volt Stabilizers that provides “the benefits of a balanced charging system, one that gives a much more stable voltage while reducing the load on the engine…..(sic) increased engine responsiveness, acceleration and power when such benefits may be easily achieved through a EZ-Stab in the system with no sacrifice of vehicle comfort and vehicle warranty. And for additional value, EZ-Stab also protects the battery and ECU for repeated heavy usage within service life.”

Methodology: Periodically tested and monitored with baseline GTech-Pro, Voltmeter and CANBUS ECU readings taken before installation, recorded fortnightly.

Pros: Nice blinking light; solid ABS plastic construction; hasn’t exploded in extreme heat conditions yet

Cons: It doesn’t work – period.

The EZ-Stab has no effect, positive or negative, on the performance / responsiveness of my ride, nor does it provide more stable voltage when the engine/alternator is on high load (cabin lights/ headlamps still dim as per norm under load, and no difference in my substantial ICE setup). Now I’ve seen tons of compliments and positive testimonials from users, but if you read the forums in-depth, there’ll be 1 bad review for every good one. And the majority of those negative reviews come to the same conclusion as I have – the EZ Stab just doesn’t work.

Jon has a PhD in electrical and power control, and works for one of the biggest electronics manufacturers in the world – there is no doubt that he’s a pretty smart guy with the street cred to back him up. But his claims of ” better understanding (sic) the main reason behind the drain of a car engine’s power – the charging system that continues its charging of batteries when the car engine is running, even when they have been fully charged” – is a bit of a fallacy and myth.

Here’s why: Modern vehicle wiring and ECUs are already designed to operate in a harsh electrical environment. They cope with conditions from maybe 8V starting with a nearly-flat battery to 16V on a boost charge, and with electrical interference from mobile telephones etc, without failure. The ECU runs internally at 5V or even less and is heavily stabilised to ensure the processor runs fault-free at all times. Many modern ECUs repeatedly self-check and would shut down the engine entirely if any kind of fault condition occurred. Overall, it is hard to envisage how a more stable electrical supply could significantly improve engine economy, emissions or performance on a vehicle in good condition.

The suggestion made by some sellers of such products, that the alternator on “unmodified” vehicles is always pushing 1 – 2 kW into the battery (and hence “robbing” the engine of this power) also does not fit. Once the battery is fully charged, the alternator automatically reduces its output (otherwise the continual flow of energy into the battery would cause it to boil and ultimately be destroyed), and the mechanical loading on the engine then drops to a relatively low level – though undoubtedly there is still some power loss. The same goes for any petrol savings.

So in summary, and I’m very sorry to say, EZ-Stab is definitely not worth the $180 Jon’s charging for it. Will be more than happy to receive any comments or quantifiable (not butt dyno) evidence that says otherwise…. Sorry Jon

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April 9, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 27 Comments