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                                             ROAD RIDER/August 1992/Pg 15

                       Information for this article was compiled from reports and studies by the
                       University of Nevada Desert Research Center, DuPont Chemical
                       Company, Avco Lycoming (aircraft engine manufacturers), North Dakota
                       State University, Briggs and Stratton (engine manufacturers), the
                       University of Utah Engineering Experiment Station, California State
                       Polytechnic College and the National Aeronautics and Space
                       Administration's Lewis Research Center.

                       Road Rider does not claim to have all the answers. Nor do we care to
                       presume to tell you what to do. We have simply tried to provide you with
                       all the information we were able to dredge up on this subject, in hopes it
                       will help you in making your own, informed decision.

                         You Can't Tell The Players Without A Program


                       On starting this project, we set out to find as many different oil additives
                       as we could buy. That turned out to be a mistake. There were simply too
                       many available! At the very first auto parts store we visited, there were
                       over two dozen different brand names available. By the end of the day, we
                       had identified over 40 different oil additives for sale and realized we
                       needed to rethink our strategy. First of all, we found that if we checked
                       the fine print on the packages, quite a number of the additives came from
                       the same manufacturer. Also, we began to notice that the additives could
                       be separated into basic "groups" that seemed to carry approximately the
                       same ingredients and the same promises. In the end, we divided our
                       additives into four basic groups and purchased at least three brands from
                       three different manufacturers for each group.

                         We defined our four groups this way:

                         1.Products that seemed to be nothing more than regular 50-rated
                           engine oil (including standard additives) with PTFE (Teflonä) added.
                         2.Products that seemed to be nothing more than regular 50-rated
                           engine oil (including standard additives) with zinc
                           dialkyldithiophosphate added.

                
      3.Products containing (as near as we could determine) much the
                           same additives as are already found in most major brands of
                           engine oil, though in different quantities and combinations.
                         4.Products made up primarily of solvents and/or detergents. There
                           may be some differences in chemical makeup within groups, but
                           that is impossible to tell since the additive manufacturers refuse to
                           list the specific ingredients of their products. We will discuss each
                           group individually.



                         The PTFE Mystery


                     Currently, the most common and popular oil additives on the market are
                       those that contain PTFE powders suspended in a regular,
                       over-the-counter type, 50-rated petroleum or synthetic engine oil. PTFE is
                       the common abbreviation used for Polytetrafloeraethylene, more
                       commonly known by the trade name "Teflon," which is a registered
                       trademark of the DuPont Chemical Corporation. Among those oil additives
                       we have identified as containing PTFE are: Slick 50, Liquid Ring, Lubrilon,
                       Microlon, Matrix, Petrolon (same company as Slick 50), QMl, and T-Plus
                       (K-Mart). There are probably many more names in use on many more
                       products using PTFE. We have found that oil additive makers like to
                       market their products under a multitude of "private brand" names. While
                       some of these products may contain other additives in addition to PTFE,
                       all seem to rely on the PTFE as their primary active ingredient and all,
                       without exception, do not list what other ingredients they may contain.

                       Though they have gained rather wide acceptance among the motoring
                       public, oil additives containing PTFE have also garnered their share of
                       critics among experts in the field of lubrication. By far the most damning
                       testimonial against these products originally came from the DuPont
                       Chemical Corporation, inventor of PTFE and holder of the patents and
                       trademarks for Teflon. In a statement issued about ten years ago,
                       DuPont's Fluoropolymers Division Product Specialist, J.F. Imbalzano
                       said, "Teflon is not useful as an ingredient in oil additives or oils used for
                       internal combustion engines." At the time, DuPont threatened legal action
                       against anyone who used the name "Teflon" on any oil product destined
                       for use in an internal combustion engine, and refused to sell its PTFE
                       powders to any one who intended to use them for such purposes. After a
                       flurry of lawsuits from oil additive makers, claiming DuPont could not
                       prove that PTFE was harmful to engines, DuPont was forced to once
                       again begin selling their PTFE to the additive producers.

                     The additive makers like to claim this is some kind of "proof' that their
                       products work, when in fact it is nothing more than proof that the
                       American legal ethic of "innocent until proven guilty" is still alive and well.
                       The decision against DuPont involved what is called "restraint of trade."
                       You can't refuse to sell a product to someone just because there is a
                       possibility they might use it for a purpose other than what you intended it
                       for. It should be noted that DuPont's official position on the use of PTFE in
                       engine oils remains carefully aloof and noncommittal, for obvious legal
                       reasons. DuPont states that though they sell PTFE to oil additive
                       producers, they have "no proof of the validity of the additive makers'
                       claims." They further state that they have "no knowledge of any advantage
                       gained through the use of PTFE in engine oil." Fear of potential lawsuits
                       for possible misrepresentation of a product seem to run much higher
                       among those with the most to lose.

                       After DuPont's decision and attempt to halt the use of PTFE in engine
                       oils, several of the oil additive companies simply went elsewhere for their
                       PTFE powders, such as purchasing them in other countries. In some
                       cases, they disguise or hype their PTFE as being something different or
                       special by listing it under one of their own trade names. That doesn't
                       change the fact that it is still PTFE. In addition, there is some evidence
                       that certain supplies of PTFE powders (from manufacturers other than
                       DuPont) are of a cruder version than the original, made with larger sized
                       flakes that are more likely to "settle out" in your oil or clog up your filters.
                       One fairly good indication that a product contains this kind of PTFE is if
                       the instructions for its use advise you to "shake well before using." It only
                       stands to reason that if the manufacturer knows the solids in his product
                       will settle to the bottom of a container while sitting on a shelf, the same
                       thing is going to happen inside your engine when it is left idle for any
                       period of time.

                       The problem with putting PTFE in your oil, as explained to us by several
                       industry experts, is that PTFE is a solid. The additive makers claim this
                       solid "coats" the moving parts in an engine (though that is far from being
                       scientifically proven). Slick 50 is currently both the most aggressive
                       advertiser and the most popular seller, with claims of over 14 million
                       treatments sold. However, such solids seem even more inclined to coat
                       non-moving parts, like oil passages and filters. After all, if it can build up
                       under the pressures and friction exerted on a cylinder wall, then it stands
                       to reason it should build up even better in places with low pressures and
                       virtually no friction. This conclusion seems to be borne out by tests on oil
                       additives containing PTFE conducted by the NASA Lewis Research
                       Center, which said in their report, "In the types of bearing surface contact
                       we have looked at, we have seen no benefit. In some cases we have seen
                       detrimental effect. The solids in the oil tend to accumulate at inlets and
                       act as a dam, which simply blocks the oil from entering. Instead of
                       helping, it is actually depriving parts of lubricant."

                     Remember, PTFE in oil additives is a suspended solid. Now think about
                       why you have an oil filter on your engine. To remove suspended solids,
                       right? Right. Therefore it would seem to follow that if your oil filter is doing
                       its job, it will collect as much of the PTFE as possible, as quickly as
                       possible. This can result in a clogged oil filter and decreased oil pres sure
                       throughout your engine. In response to our inquiries about this sort of
                       problem, several of the PTFE pushers responded that their particulates
                       were of a sub-micron size, capable of passing through an ordinary oil filter
                       unrestricted. This certainly sounds good, and may in some cases
                       actually be true, but it makes little difference when you know the rest of
                       the story. You see, PTFE has other qualities besides being a friction
                       reducer: It expands radically when exposed to heat. So even if those
                       particles are small enough to pass through your filter when you purchase
                       them, they very well may not be when your engine reaches normal
                       operating temperature. Here again, the scientific evidence seems to
                       support this, as in tests conducted by researchers at the University of
                       Utah Engineering Experiment Station involving Petrolon additive with
                       PTFE. The Petrolon test report states, "There was a pressure drop across
                       the oil filter resulting from possible clogging of small passageways."

                       In addition, oil analysis showed that iron contamination doubled after
                       using the treatment, indicating that engine wear didn't go down - it
                       appeared to shoot up. This particular report was paid for by Petrolon
                       (marketers of Slick 50), and was not all bad news for their products. The
                       tests, conducted on a Chevrolet six-cylinder automobile engine, showed
                       that after treatment with the PTFE additive the test engine's friction was
                       reduced by 13.1 percent. Also, output horsepower increased from 5.3
                       percent to 8.1 percent, and fuel economy improved from 11.8 percent
                       under light load to 3.8 percent under heavy load. These are the kind of
                       results an aggressive marketing company like Petrolon can really sink
                       their teeth into. If we only reported the results in the last paragraph to
                       you, you'd be inclined to think Slick 50 was indeed a magic engine elixir.
                       What you have to keep in mind is that often times the benefits (like
                       increased horse power and fuel economy) may be out weighed by some
                       serious drawbacks...

                       The Plot Thickens


                       Just as we were about to go to press with this article, we were contacted
                       by the public relations firm of Trent and Company, an outfit with a
                       prestigious address in the Empire State Building, New York. They advised
                       us they were working for a company called QMI out of Lakeland, Florida,
                       that was marketing a "technological breakthrough" product in oil additives.
                       Naturally, we asked them to send us all pertinent information, including
                       any testing and research data. What we got was pretty much what we
                       expected. QMI's oil additive, according to their press release, uses "ten
                       times more PTFE resins than its closest competitor." Using the "unique
                       SX-6000 formula," they say they are the only company to use "aqueous
                       dispersion resin which means the microns (particle sizes) are extensively
                       smaller and can penetrate tight areas." This, they claim, "completely
                       eliminates the problem of clogged filters and oil passages."

                     Intrigued by their press release, we set up a telephone interview with their
                       Vice-President of Technical Services, Mr. Owen Heatwole. Mr. Heatwole's
                       name was immediately recognized by us as one that had popped in
                       earlier research of this subject as a former employee of Petrolon, a
                       company whose name seems inextricably linked in some fashion or
                       another with virtually every PTFE-related additive maker in the country.
                       Mr. Heatwole was a charming and persuasive talker with a knack for
                       avoiding direct answers as good as any seasoned politician. His glib pitch
                       for his product was the best we've ever heard, but when dissected and
                       pared down to the verifiable facts, it actually said very little. When we
                       asked about the ingredients in QMI's treatments, we got almost exactly
                       the response we expected. Mr. Heatwole said he would "have to avoid
                       discussing specifics about the formula, for proprietary reasons." After
                       telling us that QMI was being used by "a major oil company," a "nuclear
                       plant owned by a major corporation" and a "major engine manufacturer,"
                       Mr. Heatwole followed up with, "Naturally, I can't reveal their names - for
                       proprietary reasons." He further claimed to have extensive testing and
                       research data available from a "major laboratory," proving conclusively
                       how effective QMI was. When we asked for the name of the lab, can you
                       guess? Yup, "We can't give out that information, for proprietary reasons."

                     What QMI did give us was the typical "testimonials," though we must
                       admit theirs came from more recognizable sources than usual. They
                       seem to have won over the likes of both Team Kawasaki and Bobby
                       Unser, who evidently endorse and use QMI in their racing engines. Mr.
                       Heatwole was very proud of the fact that their product was being used in
                       engines that he himself admitted are "torn down and completely
                       inspected on a weekly basis." Of course, what he left out is that those
                       same engines are almost totally rebuilt every time they're torn down. So
                       what does that prove in terms of his product reducing wear and promoting
                       engine longevity? Virtually nothing. Mr. Heatwole declined to name the
                       source of QMI's PTFE supply "for proprietary reasons." He bragged that
                       their product is sold under many different private labels, but refused to
                       identify those labels "for proprietary reasons."

                     When asked about the actual size of the PTFE particles used in QMI, he
                       claimed they were measured as "sub-micron in size" by a "major motor
                       laboratory" which he couldn't identify - you guessed it - for "proprietary
                       reasons." After about an hour of listening to "don't quote me on this," "I'll
                       have to deny that if you print it," and "I can't reveal that," we asked Mr.
                       Heatwole if there was something we could print. "Certainly," he said,
                       "Here's a good quote for you: 'The radical growth in technology has
                       overcome the problem areas associated with PTFE in the 1980s'" "Not
                       bad," we said. Then we asked to whom we might attribute this gem of
                       wisdom. DuPont Chemical, perhaps? "Me," said Mr. Heatwole. "I said
                       that." QMI's press releases like to quote the Guinness Book Of Records
                       in saying that PTFE is "The slickest substance known to man." Far be it
                       from us to take exception to the Guinness Book, but we doubt that PTFE
                       is much slicker than some of the people marketing it.

                       The Zinc Question


                       The latest "miracle ingredient" in oil additives, attempting to usurp PTFE's
                       cure-all throne, is zinc dialkyldithiophosphate, which we will refer to here
                       after as simply "zinc." Purveyors of the new zinc-related products claim
                       they can prove absolute superiority over the PTFE-related products.
                       Naturally, the PTFE crowd claim exactly the same, in reverse. Zinc is
                       contained as part of the standard additive package in virtually every major
                       brand of engine oil sold today, varying from a low volume of 0.10 per cent
                       in brands such as Valvoline All Climate and Chevron l5W-50, to a high
                       volume of 0.20 percent in brands such as Valvoline Race and Pennzoil GT
                       Performance.

                       Organic zinc compounds are used as extreme pressure, anti-wear
                       additives, and are therefore found in larger amounts in oils specifically
                       blended for high-revving, turbocharged or racing applications. The zinc in
                       your oil comes into play only when there is actual metal-to-metal contact
                       within your engine, which should never occur under normal operating
                       conditions. However, if you race your bike, or occasionally play tag with
                       the redline on the tach, the zinc is your last line of defense. Under
                       extreme conditions, the zinc compounds react with the metal to prevent
                       scuffing, particularly between cylinder bores and piston rings. However -
                       and this is the important part to remember - available research shows that
                       more zinc does not give you more protection, it merely prolongs the
                       protection if the rate of metal-to-metal contact is abnormally high or
                       extended. So unless you plan on spending a couple of hours dragging
                       your knee at Laguna Seca, adding extra zinc compounds to your oil is
                       usually a waste. Also, keep in mind that high zinc content can lead to
                       deposit formation on your valves, and spark plug fouling. Among the
                       products we found containing zinc dialkyldithiophosphate were Mechanics
                       Brand Engine Tune Up, K Mart Super Oil Treatment, and STP Engine
                       Treatment With XEP2. The only reason we can easily identify the
                       additives with the new zinc compounds is that they are required to carry a
                       Federally mandated warning label indicating they contain a hazardous
                       substance. The zinc phosphate they contain is a known eye irritant,
                       capable of inflicting severe harm if it comes in contact with your eyes. If
                       you insist on using one of these products, please wear protective goggles
                       and exercise extreme caution.

                     As we mentioned, organic zinc compounds are already found in virtually
                       every major brand of oil, both automotive and motorcycle. However, in
                       recent years the oil companies voluntarily reduced the amount of zinc
                       content in most of their products after research indicated the zinc was
                       responsible for premature deterioration and damage to catalytic
                       converters. Obviously this situation would not affect 99 percent of all the
                       motorcycles on the road - however, it could have been a factor with the
                       newer BMW converter - equipped bikes. Since the reduction in zinc
                       content was implemented solely for the protection of catalytic converters,
                       it is possible that some motorcycles might benefit from a slight increase
                       in zinc content in their oils. This has been taken into account by at least
                       one oil company, Spectro, which offers 0.02 to 0.03 percent more zinc
                       compounds in its motorcycle oils than in its automotive oils. Since
                       Spectro (Golden 4 brand, in this case) is a synthetic blend lubricant
                       designed for extended drain intervals, this increase seems to be wholly
                       justified. Also, available research indicates that Spectro has, in this case,
                       achieved a sensible balance for extended application without increasing
                       the zinc content to the point that it is likely to cause spark plug fouling or
                       present a threat to converter-equipped BMW models. It would appear that
                       someone at Spectro did their homework.

                       Increased Standard Additives:  More Is Not Necessarily Better


                     Though some additives may not contain anything harmful to your engine,
                       and even some things that could be beneficial, most experts still
                       recommend that you avoid their use. The reason for this is that your oil,
                       as purchased from one of the major oil companies, already contains a
                       very extensive additive package. This package is made up of numerous,
                       specific additive components, blended to achieve a specific formula that
                       will meet the requirements of your engine. Usually, at least several of
                       these additives will be synergistic. That is, they react mutually, in groups
                       of two or more, to create an effect that none of them could attain
                       individually. Changing or adding to this formula can upset the balance and
                       negate the protective effect the formula was meant to achieve, even if you
                       are only adding more of something that was already included in the initial
                       package. If it helps, try to think of your oil like a cake recipe. Just
                       because the original recipe calls for two eggs (which makes for a very
                       moist and tasty cake), do you think adding four more eggs is going to
                       make the cake better? Of course not. You're going to upset the carefully
                       calculated balance of ingredients and magnify the effect the eggs have on
                       the recipe to the point that it ruins the entire cake. Adding more of a
                       specific additive already contained in your oil is likely to produce similar
                       results. This information should also be taken into account when adding
                       to the oil already in your bike or when mixing oils for any reason, such as
                       synthetic with petroleum. In these cases, always make sure the oils you
                       are putting together have the same rating (SA, SE, SC, etc.). This tells
                       you their additive packages are basically the same, or at least
                       compatible, and are less likely to upset the balance or counteract each
                       other.
 

                         Detergents and Solvents


                       Many of the older, better-known oil treatments
                       on the market do not make claims nearly so lavish as the new upstarts.
                       Old standbys like Bardahl, Rislone and Marvel Mystery Oil, instead offer
                       things like "quieter lifters," "reduced oil burning" and a "cleaner engine."
                       Most of these products are made up of solvents and detergents designed
                       to dissolve sludge and carbon deposits inside your engine so they can be
                       flushed or burned out. Wynn's Friction Proofing Oil, for example, is 83
                       percent kerosene. Other brands use naphthalene, xylene, acetone and
                       isopropanol. Usually, these ingredients will be found in a base of standard
                       mineral oil. In general, these products are designed to do just the
                       opposite of what the PTFE and zinc phosphate additives claim to do.
                       Instead of leaving behind a "coating" or a "plating" on your engine
                       surfaces, they are designed to strip away such things. All of these
                       products will strip sludge and deposits out and clean up your engine,
                       particularly if it is an older, abused one. The problem is, unless you have
                       some way of determining just how much is needed to remove your
                       deposits without going any further, such solvents also can strip away the
                       boundary lubrication layer provided by your oil. Overuse of solvents is an
                       easy trap to fall into, and one which can promote harmful metal-to-metal
                       contact within your engine. As a general rule of thumb these products had
                       their place and were at least moderately useful on older automobile and
                       motorcycle engines of the Fifties and Sixties, but are basically unneeded
                       on the more efficient engine designs of the past two decades.

                         The Infamous "No Oil" Demo


                     At at least three major motorcycle rallies this past year, we have
                       witnessed live demonstrations put on to demonstrate the effectiveness of
                       certain oil additives. The demonstrators would have a bench-mounted
                       engine which they would fill with oil and a prescribed dose of their
                       "miracle additive." After running the engine for a while they would stop it,
                       drain out the oil and start it up again. Instant magic! The engine would run
                       perfectly well for hours on end, seemingly proving the effectiveness of the
                       additive which had supposedly "coated" the inside of the engine so well it
                       didn't even need the oil to run. In one case, we saw this done with an
                       actual motorcycle, which would be ridden around the parking lot after
                       having its oil drained. A pretty convincing demonstration - until you know
                       the facts.

                     Since some of these demonstrations were conducted using Briggs and
                       Stratton engines, the Briggs and Stratton Company itself decided to run a
                       similar, but somewhat more scientific, experiment. Taking two brand-new,
                       identical engines straight off their assembly line, they set them up for
                       bench-testing. The only difference was that one had the special additive
                       included with its oil and the other did not. Both were operated for 20 hours
                       before being shut down and having the oil drained from them. Then both
                       were started up again and allowed to run for another 20 straight hours.
                       Neither engine seemed to have any problem performing this "minor
                       miracle." After the second 20-hour run, both engines were completely torn
                       down and inspected by the company's engineers. What they found was
                       that both engines suffered from scored crankpin bearings, but the engine
                       treated with the additive also suffered from heavy cylinder bore damage
                       that was not evident on the untreated engine. This points out once again
                       the inherent problem with particulate oil additives: They can cause oil
                       starvation. This is particularly true in the area of piston rings, where there
                       is a critical need for adequate oil flow. In practically all of the reports and
                       studies on oil additives, and particularly those involving suspended solids
                       like PTFE, this has been reported as a major area of engine damage.

                         The Racing Perspective


                     Among the most convincing testimonials in favor of oil additives are those
                       that come from professional racers or racing teams. As noted previously,
                       some of the oil additive products actually are capable of producing less
                       engine friction, better gas mileage and higher horsepower out put. In the
                       world of professional racing, the split-second advantage that might be
                       gained from using such a product could be the difference between victory
                       and defeat. Virtually all of the downside or detrimental effects attached to
                       these products are related to extended, long-term usage. For short-life,
                       high-revving, ultra-high performance engines designed to last no longer
                       than one racing season (or in some cases, one single race), the
                       long-term effects of oil additives need not even be considered. Racers
                       also use special high-adhesion tires that give much better traction and
                       control than our normal street tires, but you certainly wouldn't want to go
                       touring on them, since they're designed to wear out in several hundred (or
                       less) miles. Just because certain oil additives may be beneficial in a
                       competitive context is no reason to believe they would be equally
                       beneficial in a touring context.

                         The Best of The Worst


                       Not all engine oil additives are as potentially harmful as some of those we
                       have described here. However, the best that can be said of those that
                       have not proved to be harmful is that they haven't been proved to offer any
                       real benefits, either. In some cases, introducing an additive with a
                       compatible package of components to your oil in the right proportion and
                       at the right time can conceivably extend the life of your oil. However, in
                       every case we have studied it proves out that it would actually have been
                       cheaper to simply change the engine oil instead. In addition, recent new
                       evidence has come to light that makes using almost any additive a game
                       of Russian Roulette. Since the additive distributors do not list the
                       ingredients contained within their products, you never know for sure just
                       what you are putting in your engine. Recent tests have shown that even
                       some of the most inoffensive additives contain products which, though
                       harmless in their initial state, convert to hydrofluoric acid when exposed
                       to the temperatures inside a firing cylinder. This acid is formed as part of
                       the exhaust gases, and though it is instantly expelled from your engine
                       and seems to do it no harm, the gases collect inside your exhaust
                       system and eat away at your mufflers from the inside out.

                         Whatever The Market Will Bear


                       The pricing of oil additives seems to follow no particular pattern
                       whatsoever. Even among those products that seem to be almost
                       identical, chemically, retail prices covered an extremely wide range. For
                       example: One 32-ounce bottle of Slick 50 (with PTFE) cost us $29.95 at
                       a discount house that listed the retail price as $59.95, while a 32-ounce
                       bottle of T-Plus (which claims to carry twice as much PTFE as the Slick
                       50) cost us only $15.88. A 32-ounce bottle of STP Engine Treatment
                       (containing what they call XEP2), which they claim they can prove
                       "outperforms leading PTFE engine treatments," cost us $17.97. Yet a can
                       of K Mart Super Oil Treatment, which listed the same zinc-derivative
                       ingredient as that listed for the XEP2, cost us a paltry $2.67. Industry
                       experts estimate that the actual cost of producing most oil additives is
                       from one-tenth to one-twentieth of the asking retail price. Certainly no
                       additive manufacturer has come forward with any exotic, high-cost
                       ingredient or list of ingredients to dispute this claim. As an interesting
                       note along with this, back before there was so much competition in the
                       field to drive prices down, Petrolon (Slick 50) was selling their PTFE
                       products for as much as $400 per treatment! The words "buyer beware"
                       seem to take on very real significance when talking about oil additives.

                       The Psychological Placebo


                       You have to wonder, with the volume of evidence accumulating against oil
                       additives, why so many of us still buy them. That's the million-dollar
                       question, and it's just as difficult to answer as why so many of us smoke
                       cigarettes, drink hard liquor or engage in any other number of
                       questionable activities. We know they aren't good for us - but we go
                       ahead and do them anyway. Part of the answer may lie in what some
                       psychiatrists call the "psychological placebo effect." Simply put, that
                       means that many of us hunger for that peace of mind that comes with
                       believing we have purchased the absolute best or most protection we can
                       possibly get. Even better, there's that wonderfully smug feeling that
                       comes with thinking we might be a step ahead of the pack, possessing
                       knowledge of something just a bit better than everyone else. Then again,
                       perhaps it comes from an ancient, deep-seated need we all seem to have
                       to believe in magic. There has never been any shortage of unscrupulous
                       types ready to cash in on our willingness to believe that there's some
                       magical mystery potion we can buy to help us lose weight, grow hair,
                       attract the opposite sex or make our engines run longer and better. I
                       doubt that there's a one of us who hasn't fallen for one of these at least
                       once in our lifetimes. We just want it to be true so bad that we can't help
                       ourselves.

                         Testimonial Hype vs. Scientific Analysis


                     In general, most producers of oil additives rely on personal "testimonials"
                       to advertise and promote their products. A typical print advertisement will
                       be one or more letters from a satisfied customer stating something like,
                       "1 have used Brand X in my engine for 2 years and 50,000 miles and it
                       runs smoother and gets better gas mileage than ever before. I love this
                       product and would recommend it to anyone." Such evidence is referred to
                       as "anecdotal" and is most commonly used to promote such things as
                       miracle weight loss diets and astrology. Whenever I see one of these ads
                       I am reminded of a stunt played out several years ago by Allen Funt of
                       "Candid Camera" that clearly demonstrated the side of human nature that
                       makes such advertising possible. With cameras in full view, fake "product
                       demonstrators" would offer people passing through a grocery store the
                       opportunity to taste-test a "new soft drink." What the victims didn't know
                       was that they were being given a horrendous concoction of castor oil,
                       garlic juice, Tabasco sauce and several other foul-tasting ingredients.
                       After taking a nice, big swallow, as instructed by the demonstrators, the
                       unwitting victims provided huge laughs for the audience by desperately
                       trying to conceal their anguish and disgust. Some literally turned away
                       from the cameras and spit the offending potion on the floor.

                      

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