The Readers Have Spoken
My wife and I were watching beach volleyball in Laguna Beach, California, on January 1. As the sun set, one player yelled out, “The first sunset of 2020!” And everyone cheered. Well, it’s the end of 2020, and what a year it has been: COVID-19, a presidential election, fires and storms. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to say good riddance come December 31.
In the midst of this chaos, you loyal readers continue to ask really pertinent questions. I’ve selected some to share and my answers, plus a few extra comments. Here we go!
The subject of aftermarket additives generated a lot of interest. One of my cronies from the dark ages of additive sales, George Barth in Glen Allen, Virginia, sent me this note about STP Oil Treatment: “Perhaps the greatest and cheapest demo of all time was the old—circa 1970 or earlier—STP screwdriver test [in which you] dip the tip of a large flat-blade screwdriver into a beaker of STP (100% viscosity index improver and chemically a polyisobutene) and then try to grasp the wet tip. It was impossible to hold the screwdriver, even for a muscle bound hunk.” It was a very clever demonstration with very little technical backup, which is sometimes the most effective type. Contrary to George’s view, I was around for this promo.
On a more serious note, Loel Handley in Greer, South Carolina, sent me a letter pointing out the fallacy of pouring an aftermarket treatment into a crankcase and expecting it to mix thoroughly. He noted that he had lost an engine some years ago when a treatment had merely sunk to the bottom of the pan and clogged the oil inlet tube. I could only note my agreement.