Level IV Member
Join Date: Nov 2016
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I've absorbed a lot of information from discussions like this on many many forums, at this point my conclusion is simply that there are too many complex systems interacting with too many variables and too little data/tests to ever confirm what any individual *thinks* a product did or didn't do for their motor.
The biggest two problems are
1) The number of tests/sample size is too small. Any one treatment you give a motor that happens to coincide with the abatement of an issue is not proof of anything in the complex system of a computer-controlled ICE.
2) The external observations of a user are limited and easily skewed and/or misunderstood. This one comes in two parts:
2a) - When no change or effect is actually present: The mind is so incredibly easily fooled, the senses so unreliable, that in these cases what your brain *thinks* it perceives is totally self-manufactured. Ask any individual and their ego will likely have them saying "Maybe some people, but not me! I'm amazing!". Sure you are... the computer says the running temperature is the same, the timing being pulled on the ignition unchanged, the readings from O2 no different, etc, but YOU are far more sensitive than the computer somehow, and you can miraculously detect some change that the computer and all its sensors can't even read. Riiiiight. I'm sure you can also *see* auras and detect the rotational direction and speed of the planet, and the gravitational pull of the moon at night. Good for you.
2b) - When a change or effect IS present, but the cause and effect is misunderstood: You've got some bad gas in the tank. Happens all the time. You drive a couple hundred miles with the crappy gas thinking "boy, the poor car sure is running rough these days". You go to the gas station, put in 7 gallons of fresh fuel and a bottle of STP or whatever your favorite donation to the industry is. "WOW! It runs so much better! That additive is really amazing!" Yeah or probably just having fresh un-tainted gas is amazing.
If a computer sensor or dyno can't detect the change, I know I don't have the audacity to claim that I can detect it. If there is a change that the computer or the computer and I both can detect, a grain of salt and some critical thinking about how many variables and factors go into how well any engine is running at any given moment is in order and without laboratory controlled conditions, disassembly & inspection and A-B-A testing, no conclusion is fully supported BUT I will happily drive the car as long as it seems better and not worry about it too much.
Long and short, there is nothing wrong with throwing a little money away (I mean at) a problem in the way of additives or whatever to see if it helps and if the car is running good when the smoke clears then great, all done. The issue is taking that anecdotal evidence and unreliable butt-dyno reading and claiming with absolute certainty that it did what you think/hope it did and pushing it on others, and/or throwing it out there on the internet in hopes that the other believers will chime in and support you to further make you feel better about the money you spent. Group mentality and all... =P