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      04-22-2012, 04:49 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m6pwr
3000 mile oil changes went out with ducktail haircuts and penny loafers. Where have you been for the last half century?

Read the owner's manual and follow the oil change interval prescribed by the CBS (condition based service) computer shown in the dash. Earlier oil changes are wasteful and unecessary...
Great reply and really interesting, thanks for taking the time to write it and post it here.

Needless to say I agree completely.
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      04-22-2012, 04:53 PM   #24
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Why would you use an oci formulated for a Toyota or an Audi for a BMW? Different oils, different engines, sump capacity, etc. Toyota says use 5w20 oil. Are you using that as the "right oil" for your BMW? Audi and Toyota are Simon Pure while BMW are capitalist swines? Why not use the mfr oci recommended by Cummins (hey, hey, usa, usa) for their heavy duty diesels: 35,000 mi?
Must be a BMW owner thing with your I'm right and no other opinion matters attitude. You're right that BMW, Audi and Mercedes are different. Well...DUH! They all do however have 4 cyl. turbo engines and are similar in car weights, performance, etc. unlike your smartass Cummins comparison. Real brilliant. Oh and the Mercedes C250 uses 8 quarts of synthetic and still recommends changes at 10k miles. The oil weights/viscosity will be similar among mfgs. and have more to do with the oil breaking down than getting dirty. Perhaps Toyota is not the best example but Audi and Mercedes are as close as you can get.
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      04-22-2012, 05:49 PM   #25
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Wow lots of feedback thanks everyone :-)
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      04-22-2012, 06:59 PM   #26
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People don't like change. I just laugh at people on message boards who refuse to trust the company that made their car. Whatever floats your boat lol.
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      04-29-2012, 10:30 AM   #27
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I complete the first oil change on my 2011 535i and 2012 X5 at 6k miles myself. On both cars, the oil drained thick and black. BMW recommends oil changes every 15k, or base on driving condition. However, I change the oil between recommended intervals (using 6.5qt of BMW oil and BMW oil change kit).

Some do the first change earlier (1,200 miles or so), which I agree might be counter-productive. The synthetic oil needs time to build up the lubricant film on the metal.

As for BMW recommendation right or wrong? They can't be far off, but what worries me is the recommended oil change intervals for the turbo models are the same as the non-turbo models. If oil changes weren't free for the first 50k miles, you can bet the recommended intervals would be shorter (more oil changes = more money in dealership's pocket). My buddy has a Nismo 370z, the dealership recommends Castrol Syntec oil changes every 3,750miles. The 370z's non-tubo charged motor runs cooler than the N55, so why such shorter oil change intervals? You guessed it, there's no free oil changes at Nissan.

I'm not a lubricant engineer, but all I know is thick/black oil = bad. Turbo charged engine = runs very hot and burns oil. Staying with the 15k oil change intervals is not going to hurt your engine, it just reduces your engine's performance "slightly" when the oil gets thick. Just my 2 pennies!

Last edited by JNoSol; 04-29-2012 at 10:43 AM.
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      05-03-2012, 07:29 AM   #28
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I know I'm a little late to this but I thought I'd chime in for the sake of correcting some fallacies presented here.

15,000 mile oil changes won't kill your car instantly, but they certainly decrease its service life. This is because of BMWs free maintenance combined with bragging rights that the car needs to be serviced so infrequently- if you plan on keeping your car however- you should change the oil more often.

3,000 miles for a normal interval (non break in) is too short for new oils, analysis has shown good synthetic oils to last between 7,000-10,000 miles based on wear reports and measure, 15,000 is not a safe bet. Additionally, the oil BMW uses is not actually a true synthetic, it is one of Castrol's highly refined "dino" oils, that passes lower synthetic testing standards.

The reason I bring this all up is because of the tremendous amount of carbon buildup E90 335 owners (and owners of other brand F/I direct injection cars) are reporting. This usually occurs in the CPO life cycle (50-100k), but BMW often denies the claims, for no good reason. The way to avoid this is to change your oil at a sane interval (~7500 miles) with a BMW LL-01 approved oil that is a true synthetic- which will have a higher flash point than BMW oil and will resist carbon buildup better. Long drain intervals are a poor idea with regards to carbon buildup because water content (IIRC) can increase with mileage leading to even poorer characteristics with regards to buildup (in the 7,500-15,000 mile window).

The two oils that come to mind for use are Mobil 1 0w-40 and Castrol Edge SPT (European Formula) 0w-30. They both will give your motor a better chance of resisting carbon buildup if you decided to stick with the ridiculous 15,000 mile interval, and it certainly doesn't hurt to use them every 7,500 miles either. I'd also recommend doing a first change in the M range (1200-2000 miles), but that is more a matter of opinion on these motors.
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      05-03-2012, 07:43 AM   #29
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Thank you, zhp43867. A rational, sane approach to the question.

I recall that another issue with DI is fuel dilution with longer oil change intervals. I have seen this mentioned a number of times in technical articles.
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      05-03-2012, 08:02 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by RedlineSi View Post
People don't like change. I just laugh at people on message boards who refuse to trust the company that made their car. Whatever floats your boat lol.
Agreed. I love these guy who know better than the hundreds of BMW engineers, and their thousands of hours of testing and empirical data. One guy says 15,000. One says 7,500. One guy says his buddy changes at 3,750. My God, what would happen if he went nuts and went an additional 50 miles?! One guy says his first oil change comes at 1,500. Tribal knowledge and "I think" don't cut it. That's speculation and guesswork, not science. BTW, doesn't BMW race cars, as well?
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      05-03-2012, 08:40 AM   #31
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Agreed. I love these guy who know better than the hundreds of BMW engineers, and their thousands of hours of testing and empirical data. One guy says 15,000. One says 7,500. One guy says his buddy changes at 3,750. My God, what would happen if he went nuts and went an additional 50 miles?! One guy says his first oil change comes at 1,500. Tribal knowledge and "I think" don't cut it. That's speculation and guesswork, not science. BTW, doesn't BMW race cars, as well?
You'll need to articulate if you want to add anything to this discussion. BMW races cars but judging by the direction of some of their recent products, enthusiast oriented BMW is fading. Nothing will happen if you stretch a 7,500 mile oil change to 8,000 miles a few times, but stretch (or even follow) the 15,000 mile interval a couple thousand miles regularly, keep your car for 100,000 miles, and let me know how it turns out. They know they won't be responsible for the consequences of long oil change intervals, so they save money where they can.

If you'd like science to back up what you think are "Tribal" claims, look up 335i carbon buildup, or one of the many threads where higher mileage 335s are running like crap due to the issue. Also search "Direct Injection Carbon Buildup", you'll find hours of reading material. Here's the tip of the iceberg. High quality fuel and better oil than BMW supplies coupled with more frequent oil change intervals should help prevent this from happening:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10395959

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=447516

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1669210

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Originally Posted by derbim View Post
What BMW uses is not synthetic oil. It uses a Base III stock, which, among other things, is based on natural oil products. A loophole in the law allows those blends with additives to market themselves as "synthetic", when if fact they are not.

If you are worried about using the cheapest oil, perhaps a Honda is in your future.

Just because BMW "recommends" it is more than likely a reason to stay away from it. Think other examples: "lifetime" fill on tranny and diff fluids, oil changes at 15k to 17k, etc. Of course they recommend these intervals and products, as they are paying for them, not you.

The major reason for the use of the German 0w-30 is the fact that is made from a class IV base, meaning no natural oil is in it. All man made. And most importantly, it has a higher vaporization temperature, which will keep the gasoline which is now diluting it as a result of direct injection, from vaporizing out the crank case and fuming up the intake runners to back of your valves, causing carbon build up there. Wait till you have to pay to have your valves cleaned. You won't mind paying a little more per quart thereafter.

After having to have my valves cleaned, under warranty, I learned quite a bit about these alternative lube products from some racers who hang out on a certain oil and lubrication web site. Since switching, no more carbon build up, car runs smoother and cooler, and mpg increased about 1.5 mpg on the average. Available at Autozone.

Try it.
Using BMW fuel system cleaner frequently will also help prevent other build up. It's not something to be worried about as long as you take the correct preventative steps, and put your BMW-worshipping ignorance on the back burner.
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      05-03-2012, 08:47 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by CE750Jockey View Post
BTW, doesn't BMW race cars, as well?
Yes, and the oil gets changed after every race.

Not a very useful reference point - unless you want to change oil, plugs, air cleaner. pads, rotors, tires, bleed brakes, etc. every 200 miles or so.
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      05-03-2012, 09:01 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m6pwr View Post
Why would you use an oci formulated for a Toyota or an Audi for a BMW? Different oils, different engines, sump capacity, etc. Toyota says use 5w20 oil. Are you using that as the "right oil" for your BMW? Audi and Toyota are Simon Pure while BMW are capitalist swines? Why not use the mfr oci recommended by Cummins (hey, hey, usa, usa) for their heavy duty diesels: 35,000 mi?
Say no more. It's obvious who the expert here is. I was convinced from your first post. Unless the next guy who comes in here is a chemical egineer specializing in lubrications, your word is gold.
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      05-03-2012, 10:51 AM   #34
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I used to do shortened oci's too for a long time (18 BMWs), back in the good old days of dino lubes and bias ply tires, and before BMWNA when the Monroney sticker on BMWs said Hoffman Motors. But man's understanding of how oil performs inside an internal combustion engine has improved significantly since then. Just remember that when you change the oil you are dumping lube that has reached an All-Pro level of performance with one that is a rank rookie that will take several thousand miles before it can figure out which way is up, particularly in combating wear - http://papers.sae.org/2007-01-4133/. But, don't worry - - BMW motors are tough - - they can take the abuse of too frequent oil changes! Me, I believe in keeping the All-Pro in the lineup as long as possible.

Someone said that these arguments (shortened oci's vs oem oci's) are a silly debate. To an extent I agree. The Ford research mentioned in the SAE paper shows maybe a technical phenomenon, but as a practical matter, is it possible that shortening the oem oci can significantly shorten engine life? I seriously doubt it. But on the other side of the coin, I've yet to see any credible research (SAE, ASME, STLE) that shows shorter oci's (shorter than what the oem recommends) prolongs engine life.

What I object to in these discussions is the idea, either implied or explicit, that anyone who adheres to the oem recommended oci is some kind of pathetic, ignorant cretan who will take his BMW to an early grave. Bulls*#&t. As my old boss used to say, "Show me the data."
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      05-03-2012, 11:08 AM   #35
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at least in 2004, BMW considers the cars "lifetime" to be 100k....so if you want it to last longer...you might readjust their scheduling....Personally I don't care what anyone other than myself does...as I won't be buying your car...thus it's not my problem.

Ref to my theory? see the Automatic transmissions "lifetime fluid/filter".

Lets see how many feathers get ruffled.
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      05-03-2012, 11:23 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by m6pwr View Post
The Ford research mentioned in the SAE paper shows maybe a technical phenomenon, but as a practical matter, is it possible that shortening the oem oci can significantly shorten engine life? I seriously doubt it. But on the other side of the coin, I've yet to see any credible research (SAE, ASME, STLE) that shows shorter oci's (shorter than what the oem recommends) prolongs engine life.
This is the grey area.

Everything I have seen, including this paper, points to oil being its happiest between roughly 3,000 and 12,000 miles - exclusive of fuel dilution common in DI engines, acidic blowby combustion byproducts, etc. Unless these other factors are also measured and put in perspective we are pretty much guessing.

There is no credible reason to change synthetic oil at 3,000 miles. There is similarly no credible reason to wait until 15,000 ("BMW tells me to" is similarly unsupported, but for anecdotal insistence and supposition).

BMW's sesnsors, while neat, are apparently set to detect disasters only. Change the oil at 13,000 and the system will say change the oil at 15,000 - even if the mileage has been put on within the last six months, time is thus not a factor.

Bottom line: Don't sweat it. Change the oil when you feel like it within the above parameters. We don't have any objective, non-controversial data to indicate otherwise.

Put your saved mental energy into some good driving classes.
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      05-03-2012, 11:25 AM   #37
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This is the grey area.

Everything I have seen, including this paper, points to oil being its happiest between roughly 3,000 and 12,000 miles - exclusive of fuel dilution common in DI engines, acidic blowby combustion byproducts, etc. Unless these other factors are also measured and put in perspective we are pretty much guessing.

There is no credible reason to change synthetic oil at 3,000 miles. There is similarly no credible reason to wait until 15,000 ("BMW tells me to" is similarly unsupported, but for anecdotal insistence and supposition).

BMW's sesnsors, while neat, are apparently set to detect disasters only. Change the oil at 13,000 and the system will say change the oil at 15,000 - even if the mileage has been put on within the last six months, time is thus not a factor.

Bottom line: Don't sweat it. Change the oil when you feel like it within the above parameters. We don't have any objective, non-controversial data to indicate otherwise.

Put your saved mental energy into some good driving classes.

The most intelligent post I've seen on this forum. well done.
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      05-03-2012, 01:27 PM   #38
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I agree with Elk. One last thing I'd like to say is that people must rid themselves of the idea that BMW has your best interest in mind. If you own your car for a long time- your free maintenance will expire and the consequences become your responsibility. BMW makes good cars- and they also have good marketing- and it's in their best interest that you replace your F30 with the Fxx in 7-8 years.
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      05-03-2012, 05:10 PM   #39
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One poster above stated:

"There is even some recent data/testing (done by Ford and Conoco Philips) that indicates too frequent oil changes may actually be counterproductive.

There was a recent rant (maybe on this forum - - can’t remember) about the lack of a dipstick on some of the latest BMW engines. Actually, you should be happy. That is an indication that the motor is equipped with a neat device designed by Bosch called an oil condition monitor. What more do you want?"

-------------------------------------------------
Well, I think many of us would like to see the "data" showing that frequent oil changes may be counterproductive.

And as far as the dipstick issue goes, part of the "rant" you mention included the poster's experience changing his own oil in an E90 in which his oil-level computer read full even though he put in less than six quarts (not close to the seven specified), just to test its accuracy. A dipstick is an ultra cheap and reliable way to see how much oil is really in the engine. Sometimes hooking everything up to a computer is unnecessarily expensive, let alone disastrous if there are problems with the sensors.
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      05-03-2012, 05:28 PM   #40
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Plus, checking a dipstick is much quicker than running the "oil check" on the car, and I get to see the oil.
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      05-03-2012, 05:40 PM   #41
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I love these guy who know better than the hundreds of BMW engineers, and their thousands of hours of testing and empirical data.
Same engineers that has made BMWs reliability so notorious?
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      05-03-2012, 07:25 PM   #42
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MikeTerp: Well, I think many of us would like to see the "data" showing that frequent oil changes may be counterproductive.

http://papers.sae.org/2007-01-4133/: "aged oil" lubricates better than fresh oil.

There is a similar SAE study that showed that fresh oil (as in an oil change) dissolved the anti-wear layer laid down by the aged oil before it gradually, over several thousand miles, built up its own anti-wear layer. Unfortunately, I didn't bookmark it, so can't provide a link. But it would seem to confirm the above study.

The thread (below) on the BITOG oil forum, concerning intake deposits in gasoline direct injection forced induction motors, references data that indicates that shortening the oem oil change intervals can "negatively affect" intake deposits. Look for the comments made by Doug Hillary. He is a euro-based lubricants engineer with decades of experience with Castrol and Mobil.
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...72#Post2082572.

Can we make this a data-driven discussion? Can anyone show, or reference, a contemporary engineering study that shows that adhering to an oem's recommended oil change intervals results in increased wear or reduced durability of an engine? Or, to put it another way, any links to engineering studies/research showing shortening of oem's oci's prolongs engine durability?
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      05-03-2012, 07:31 PM   #43
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m6pwr, you are overstating your "data." At best, we have a large range of mileage at which one can reasonably change the oil.

There is no "correct" answer and no one is going to be "right."

If all engineers and manufacturers agreed as to the specific mileage to change an oil fill we would all know by now.

We can all agree that if the oil is older than a year, change it. Let's leave it at that.
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      05-03-2012, 09:01 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk View Post
Plus, checking a dipstick is much quicker than running the "oil check" on the car, and I get to see the oil.
Your visual inspection will mean nothing, unless you have special eyes that can see different spectrums by which to judge an oil condition.

If you believe that one should change oil when they simply "feel like it", then that as unsubstantiated as you believe BMW's recommendation is, even more so.
I'll go with the sensors and BMW's testing over someone's "feelings" any day.

Also, the system doesn't wait until 15K or 10K or 20K. It uses many parameters along with the sensor by which to make a determination as to when the oil needs changing. If the driver does daily 5 miles commutes and doesn't get the engine and oil hot enough, the system will trigger for an oil change much sooner than 15K.

When to change the oil is variable from car to car based on how it's driven. Going by "feeling" is pointless as it uses no reference points at all, other than the marketing of the quick oil change industry that convinced the majority of needing a "3000 mile" oil change.
That industry needed people to believe their marketing as it directly affected their bottom line.

BMW has a vested interest in their cars running longer the 100K miles.
Perception of quality is important to sales. BMW certifies certain cars and warranties them for 100K miles. Does one really believe that BMW doesn't care if that car can go beyond that mileage marker?
If you believe it you're kidding yourself. If BMW engines started dying soon after 100K miles it would quickly become public knowledge and that would affect BMW's new car sales. Yes, they are a company out to make money, and to make money they have to continue to sell NEW cars, and to sell new cars their brand has to be viewed as capable.

Synthetics easily out do non synthetic oils, not be a little but by multiples. It's proven. Does that mean every car that uses synth can go 15K or 20K between changes? Of course not, because oil change interval is conditional based on how the car is driven. Thus, the sensors and CPU algorithms use driving data by which to give an oil change time.
It's not a "feeling" or a "guess". It's based on researched science and data.
Does BMW have proof for their method?
You bet they do. It started at least by 1999 when all their cars switched to full synthetic and oil condition sensors and algorithms. Thus, it's been tested for well over a decade and evidenced by the fact that BMW engines do NOT stop working after 100K miles. There are plenty of 1999 and up older BMW will well over 100K still running strong even though their oil was changed when the car computer said to do it.
Again, its' not based on speculation, but on science, testing, and evaluation.

On other important factor is that BMW engines tend to have a much larger oil capacity than other engines.
The NA 3.0 uses 7 quarts of oil. My N54 twin turbo and the N55 twin scroll use 7 quarts of oil compared to Audi's 2.0T that has a 5 quart capacity. Thus, the typical BMW 6 cylinder uses 50% MORE oil in it's engine than Audi's. Just by virtue of capacity, a BMW engine's oil change interval can be 50% longer. If Audi has 10K for it's 2.0T, then 15K for BMW's 3.0 sounds about right.

But, all is not equal, and we can't only use oil capacity as a comparison data point. The engine build and it's cooling system will also have a great impact on the oil quality. There are many factors and all must be considered. Looking at your oil, smelling your oil, tasting your oil, will tell you very little in terms of how well that oil is working and how much longer it can still go. Many people think that dark oil means it's going bad. The truth can be far from that. Dark oil also indicates the the oil is doing it's job in keeping small particles in suspension, thus it looks dark.
Have you ever changed your oil and then after only 1000 miles looked at the color of it on a dipstick only to find how darn dark it is?
Does that mean you should throw that 1000 mile old oil out?

Also consider the environmental aspects of changing oil too soon.
Sure, it may give one a "sense" of security and insurance to change sooner rather than later, but then you may be throwing away perfectly good oil just for a fuzzy feeling. That fuzziness costs in oil, time, disposal, and effort, when it may not be necessary. Thus, it's wasteful, and that's not a good thing. No warm fuzzies there.

I understand that many new to BMW may question this extended oil change interval. But it isn't being used on a whim. There are reasons for why it's a viable decision, and one should take the time to educate themselves on why, rather than be negative on it right off hand, and then speculate and diatribe as to why their position is correct.
There is a good way to find out if you should change sooner rather than later, and that's by doing an oil analysis from time to time.
Be careful though as I've seen people send it oil after their engines are only 5-7K miles old and the report shows an increase over normal of certain materials and chemicals. However, that's to be expected as a new engine will have different characteristics than an older engine, and the oil chemistry will change over time. BMW and other auto makers know this and they account for those conditions in their oil change interval estimations and recommendations.

Feelings are great in regards to puppies, girlfriends, movies, etc...
But when it comes to things automotive and mechanical, I'd much rather go with science and data. YMMV.
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